Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Obligatory Holiday Article

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published by ArlNow.com

So here it is. The holiday season is upon us, and while the holidays can be full of joy and wonder, they can also be full of stress and anxiety. This is as true for your dog as it is for you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Meet the Daycare Team: December 2015

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Jada.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Go For A Better Walk

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published by ArlNow.com

Walking the dog is an integral part of the dog owners day, especially for those of us who don’t have a yard. And for many of us it has become a rote behavior, but walking your dog is an opportunity. It is quality one-on-one time that should not be wasted. Here are some ways to make the most of your daily dog walks:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Meet the Daycare Team: November 2015

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Scotty.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

(The Right Kind Of) Practice Makes Perfect

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com

Do you “practice at your performance?”

I’ve been talking to a lot of clients about practice lately. People hate practice. Do you remember being forced to practice the piano? What about sports drills? It seems to be in our nature to want to get better at something but to hate the process required to get there. Dog training is the same way. We want our dog to be well behaved but we find it challenging to put in the time it takes to make that happen.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Meet the Daycare Team: October 2015

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Meg.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Debunking Common Dog-Training Myths

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com

Dogs were domesticated at least 15,000 years ago. Today Americans keep about 78 million dogs as pets. 78 MILLION! In all of that time, and with all of those dogs, lots of dog knowledge has been accumulated. As in any field of study, we are constantly learning new things and replacing old theories with new evidence. Some of these old ideas have made it into our common beliefs about dogs. Unfortunately, some of these sticky ideas are just plain wrong. Worse yet, some have proven to be very damaging to our relationship with our dogs and other animals.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Meet the Daycare Team: September 2015

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Alexis.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dog Training vs. Behavior Modification

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com 

I get a lot of inquiries asking how many lessons it will take to solve a certain problem.

My answer is always the same: it depends. It depends on:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Meet the Daycare Team: August 2015

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Spencer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Puppy Love or Running With the Big Dogs?

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com 

There are several avenues you can use to get a dog. Dogs are available through breeders, rescue groups and animal shelters. All of these options have good dogs available. But before you go to get a dog, you will need to have an idea of what you are looking for.

Preventing Dog Bites

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com 

There is was again. Another story about a dog attacking a child. This time it was in Texas. A Border Collie. A five year old. In the face. But location, breed and age don’t matter. It happens everywhere, with all breeds of dogs, and all ages of people.

Wags n' Whiskers 2015

Mark your calendars -- WOOFS! Dog Training will again be a sponsor of Wags and Whiskers pet-oriented street festival in Shirlington Village.  The event is free and friendly dogs are welcome.

Free Workshops at Your Dog's Friend

WOOFS! owner Laura Sharkey and senior trainer Erica Pytlovany are scheduled for talks this fall at Your Dog's Friend in Rockville Maryland.  Come on out -- we'd see some of our familiar, friendly
faces!

Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Help the Shy or Reserved Dog

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com 

I found myself talking to a lot of people with shy and reserved dogs this week. I was repeating the same advice over and over again so I thought I would share it here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Student video: Basic Obedience Week 3 with Jen

We are proud to share the following photos and video from Jennifer Thomas' Saturday Basic Obedience classes that started May 23rd.

On Week 3, students were given the following missions for extra credit (and extra tickets!):

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Meet the Daycare Team: June 2015

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Dennis.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Trick Dog Titles

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com 

Teaching tricks is great for dogs. It provides them with both mental and physical stimulation and helps create a stronger working relationship between the dog and the handler.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Meet the Daycare Team: May 2015

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Eliza.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Walking With a Dog-Reactive Dog

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com 

Some dogs react to the presence of specific stimuli with aggressive barking and lunging. When a dog does this specifically in the presence of other dogs, we call it dog reactivity.

There are many reasons why a dog might be reactive. Fear, a lack of early socialization or a traumatic event are just some possible reasons. Some dogs may be reactive on leash but play really well with dogs off leash.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Meet the Daycare Team: April 2015

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Zach.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Is Your Dog Overweight?

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com 

More than half of the dogs in the U.S. are overweight. Much like with people, it is a result of too much processed food, large portion sizes, and just plain overeating.

What amazes me the most about this epidemic is the number of dog owners who simply do not know that their dog is overweight. Check out this awesome chart at projectpetslimdown.com. Once you know your dogs body condition score (BCS) you can make adjustments to their feeding.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Out of the Blue

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com 

When it comes to aggression, trainers often hear the same thing.

“Rover bit me out of the blue,” or “Fluffy growled at my son and never gave any other indications he was uncomfortable.”

Both of these situations are highly unlikely since dogs very rarely do things without prior warning signs.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dog Sports

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com 

Spring is just around the corner. Really. And spring is a great time to get involved in a sport with your dog.

Dog sports continue to grow in popularity for several reasons. First, it’s a great way to advance your dog’s training. No matter what activity you choose, your dog’s training will improve.

Meet the Daycare Team: March 2015

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Celeste.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Surviving Your Dog’s Adolescence

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com

Much like in humans, your dog will go through an adolescent phase and this period can be fraught with difficulty. Dogs will enter their adolescent period at around 6 months old, and exit between 18 months and 2 years of age. Smaller dogs tend to mature more quickly, larger dogs more slowly. During this time you may feel like your dog has forgotten everything they learned in puppy class. You are not imagining it. There is physiological evidence that neural synapses are breaking and reforming at a very high rate. Previously attentive pups will start to ignore you and non-chewers will become destructive maniacs.

Friday, January 9, 2015

What you Should Really be Teaching Your Puppy

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com 

Whenever someone gets a new puppy or dog, they are often eager to teach “the basics.”  So everyone starts in on the same things; sit, lie down, shake, stay in front of the food bowl, etc. While these are all valuable skills for your new puppy or dog to know, they definitely do not need to be at the top of the list.

Teaching your dogs cues like sit or down, are obedience skills. The premise being that whenever you give a specific cue, your dog responds with the correct position. Responding to cues is important, but what is more important is your dogs general behavior.