Monday, December 22, 2014

January is Train Your Dog Month

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) is hosting the 5th annual “Train Your Dog Month” in January 2015. The goal is to encourage people to work with their dogs and this years focus is on basic training.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Boarding Your Dog

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the busiest travel times in the United States, and inevitably people with dogs need to find someone to take care of Fido while they are out of town.

If you can’t take your dog with you, the next best option is to have a family member or friend either take your dog to their house, or come and stay at your house. Being in their own environment, or with someone familiar, is definitely the best option for your dog. But sometimes that isn’t possible and you need to find a boarding facility.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Surviving the Holidays

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

The holidays are a great time for feast and family, but we all know sometimes having visitors can be stressful. The last thing you need is conflict between your dogs and your guests. Here are some tips to keep everyone happy.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Don’t Like Dogs, What Should I Do?

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

This is the dog article for people who don’t like dogs, or are afraid of dogs, or just don’t want to be bothered by a dog at the moment. If you live in greater Arlington, which is very dog-friendly, navigating a walk to the Metro without coming into contact with a dog can be a challenge.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Scoop on Dry Food

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

The dog food market has exploded. There is almost an endless variety of dry dog food options, making it more difficult to determine what the best option is for your dog. Here are some tips to help you make an educated decision.

Bottom line, do what works – If your dog is healthy and fit on whatever food you are feeding him or her, there is probably no need to make a change. A couple of ways to determine if things are going well is to evaluate the results: you need to check the poop. If you dog is pooping more than twice a day, or if your dog is not producing solid formed stool, you may need to reevaluate what you are feeding.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Is People Food OK for Dogs?

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

We often here people say, “I NEVER give my dog people food.” This surprises me because I do almost all of my dog training using “people food”as treats. My favorites are hot dogs, string cheese and rotisserie chicken.

So is it ok to give dogs people food? Of course it is! High quality dog foods are made from chicken, beef, sweet potato, etc. Dog foods contains the same ingredients that you and I eat, simply molded into a different form that is convenient to purchase and feed to our dogs.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Should My Dog Go to Daycare?

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

Many dog owners want their dogs to go to the dog park or attend daycare. Both are great places for dogs to be social, run and play and expend some of that excess energy. Dog owners are often rewarded within a tired and content dog.

But as the owner of two dog daycares, I can tell you that daycare is not good for all dogs. In addition, just because your dog enjoys daily trips to the dog park, does not mean they will do well in daycare. They are very different environments.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What is Socialization?

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

Socialization is the process of positively introducing your puppy to new things so that as they grow into adulthood, they are able to adapt to new situations without fear or anxiety.

The most important thing to know is that most puppies are only open to the socialization process between the ages of 3 to 16 weeks. This is called the socialization window. During this time, the pup’s brain and sympathetic nervous system is programmed to accept new experiences with less fear and anxiety than normal. As the pup gets older, their neurobiology changes and it becomes more and more difficult to teach your dog to tolerate new things.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Surviving the Dog Days of Summer

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

Yup, it’s hot. What’s a dog owner to do? Here are some suggestions to stay safe and cool for the next few months.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What to Know About Tiny Dogs

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

Small dogs are great for urban environments. They are generally easier to exercise than large dogs and take up less space with their small crates and small beds.

Small dogs are just as smart and trainable as large dogs. Small dogs get a bad rap because too often owners find it faster and easier to just pick up the dog rather than train it, something that is not possible with a large dog. It’s not until the dog is older that some owners realize they missed the boat in teaching their small dog manners.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

On Leash Greetings

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

Urban living can be tough on our dogs, and one of the toughest situations our dogs encounter is meeting other dogs on leash.

Dogs meeting on leash is a completely artificial situation for them. The leash and the resulting close quarters means that dogs can not greet each other in a natural way. Compare the way unleashed dogs greet each other at a dog park with how they meet when on leash.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Laura Sharkey Writing Column for ARLnow

WOOFS! is currently sponsoring The Local Woof for ARLnow, our Arlington local news source.  The Local Woof will cover a variety of topics relating to dog ownership, training and behavior.  Articles are written by WOOFS! owner Laura Sharkey.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dining Out With Fido

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on 

One of the best ways to enjoy the warm weather in Arlington is to enjoy a meal outside at one of the many restaurants that offer patio seating. But what about bringing your dog along? Unfortunately, it’s not always a good idea.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Moving? Help Fido Transition Smoothly, Too

By Patti Hight

Moving can be a stressful, challenging time for you, but it can be even worse for your dog.  Dogs thrive on routines and stability to feel secure.  Moving disrupts both, and removes the familiar.  It can seriously unsettle them; however, here are a few helpful hints to help your best pal transition a bit more easily:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Conference Presentation by Ariana Kincaid

As well as being a WOOFS! trainer, Ariana Kincaid, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP is the founder and owner of Operation Socialization, an organization to promote the importance of early, positive puppy socialization.  Ariana recently spoke at two big events.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Laura Sharkey to Speak at ClickerExpo 2014

WOOFS! owner Dr. Laura Sharkey will speak at ClickerExpo in Norfolk, VA on March 29 and 30, 2014. Her first talk, "Shh! Tagging, Targeting & Tranquil Training", explains how to teach human students more effectively with non-verbal communication.  Her second is "Give Pups a Chance: Working with Aggressive Puppies" which shares case studies and protocols for puppies with true aggression as young as 8 weeks old.

This is Laura's second year as a speaker at ClickerExpo.  It is a terrific honor that she shares billing with Karen Pryor, Ken Ramirez, Dr. Susan Friedman, Kathy Sdao, and many more amazing behavior experts and trainers.