How to Pick the Perfect Dog For Your Family

Who can resist that squishy pug face? Or those stubby little doxie legs? How about those piercing blue Huskie eyes?

When choosing a dog for your family, there is so much more to consider than looks. Choosing your dog based solely on looks could spell a sad ending for the pup, who will likely end up in the shelter if you choose a dog ill-suited for your lifestyle. We’re outlining the top four things to consider before choosing your new furry friend.

1. Research Breed Characteristics

Dachshund mix puppy

Puppy searching can be fun but make sure you know your breed’s behavioral characteristics to avoid frustration down the road.

While not set in stone, breed characteristics are a guideline for what behavior you can expect from your new pup. You want to make sure your family can meet the dog’s exercise and attention needs.

“You should understand the key characteristics of the breed, but you should also make sure the dog’s energy level matches yours,” California dog trainer and founder of The Pooch Coach, Beverly Ulbrich, says.

2. Added Expenses From Breed Stereotypes 

Although you might be looking for a protective dog, keep in mind your homeowners’ insurance could go up based on the breed you choose. Breeds that are considered aggressive by some could cause a spike in your rates.  These breeds typically include:

  • Pit Bulls
  • Bull Terriers
  • Rottweilers
  • Siberian Huskies
  • German Shepherds

Some landlords may outright ban certain breeds or charge an additional deposit. If you can demonstrate your dog is well-trained—with AKC Good Canine Certification, for example—you might be able to convince the insurance company or a landlord with liability concerns that your dog is safe.

Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of Treating Your Dog Like a Baby

Jacqueline Bennett with Yellow Dog, all dressed up.

Dressing your dog up and carrying him around? Probably not a good idea. But we’ve been guilty of it, too.

Most pet parents are guilty of it at one point or another—babying your dog. Whether it’s extra cookies, carrying them around, dressing them up in cute outfits or letting them get their way, we can treat our furry friends the way we would treat our toddlers. But could this be making a good dog go bad?

We talked to The Pooch Coach, San Francisco based dog trainer Beverly Ulbrich, to outline the pros and cons of treating your dog like a child.

Signs You’re Guilty of Babying

You might not even realize you’re doing it, but there is a good chance you’ve babied your dog.

“There is a wide range of possibilities,” Ulbrich says. “But typically it has to do with owners feeding into bad behavior, such as begging or whining, or allowing their dog to not obey commands.”

Here are some common behaviors that baby our dogs:

  • Giving into whining or barking for attention or food
  • Carrying an able-bodied dog around or pushing him in a stroller
  • Letting your dog ignore commands he knows
  • Not correcting bad behavior such as posturing, resource guarding, and forms of aggression—including dog-on-dog aggression, food aggression, and people aggression

Continue reading

How to Deal With Aggressive Dogs; The Pooch Coach Trains USPS Workers

We’ve been bringing you her expert tips here at Yellow Dog Blog and now our training expert is the official trainer of San Francisco USPS mail carriers on how to deal with aggressive dogs.

Beverly Ulbrich visited the main mail-sorting facility March 21 to lead two talks to a group of postal carriers before they headed out on their daily routes.

facebookcapture

Beverly talked about how fear is the driving force for why dogs attack.

Continue reading

7 Dog Breed Stereotypes

We saw a recent article on Yahoo! Shine detailing seven dog breeds that don’t deserve their stereotype and really wanted to share it. We couldn’t agree more! Properly training your dog, regardless of breed, is the single most important thing owners can do to make sure he grows up without any behavioral issues.

We consulted our expert trainer Beverly Ulbrich, founder of The Pooch Coach, to help further debunk these breed stereotypes. She told us any dog can be fearful and aggressive.

pit bull dog

American Pit Bull Terrier by Scott Kinmartin, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“All dogs need to be properly socialized and trained so they are not fearful, which almost always leads into aggression,” Ulbrich says. “Dogs need to learn boundaries and have bite inhibition. They should be taught not to growl or snap when upset.”

She also emphasizes dogs should be treated as individuals and it isn’t fair to make general assumptions about a breed.

“I don’t like spearking in generalities about breed,” Ulbrich says. “Breeds are like nationalities for people; they might look similar, but personalities and disorders vary greatly.”

Continue reading

How to Speak Dog; Communication is Key

Have you ever been at a dog park and seen two dogs get in a fight? Or heard of a dog that viciously attacked another dog “out of nowhere?” In reality, it’s never out of nowhere. These dogs show signs of fear and/or aggression, signs that often go undetected or get overlooked.

Dogs obviously do not speak English but they do have their own communication clues that you as a pet parent are responsible for learning. This will prevent so many problems and may save your pet’s life.

dogsonbeach

Happy and confident dogs keep their tails and heads high.

“Knowing when your dog is fearful or agitated or even in pain are all important things to learn,” behavioral therapist and expert dog trainer Beverly Ulbrich says. “You want to teach your dog to be relaxed and comfortable so they don’t do harm to themselves or others when they are not feeling well, emotionally or physically.”

Let’s go over some signs you should look out for; if you see your dog exhibiting these behaviors, you should address it immediately.

Continue reading