My Dog is My Rock

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The Ethos of Dog

Companion to competitive training with a focus on behavior.

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Filtering by Tag: Dog

Your dog ate WHAT?


In 1988, my father decided he wanted a dog. As the age old question upon acquiring your first dog always is… what breed of dog should we get? Well, he chose a Weimeraner.  Such a beautiful puppy, silver-blue fur, crystal blue eyes… and sweet beyond words.  Jabarems Baron Aroused Interest was his show name, and at home, Baron, was a well-known name to our neighbors, friends and even our parrot that learned to imitate the tone of the family shouting his name!

Man oh man were we in for a surprise, what did we know about Weimeraners ; other than they were used as Bear hunters in Germany’s 19th century, they were called they grey-ghost, and this puppy in particular, his blood lines were best of the best in show lines.  Of course this dog was going to be amazing… amazing for people who knew how to handle a working breed that is!   My family on the other hand… we wanted a family dog.

Now, don’t get me wrong, some Weimies can be incredible household pets.  Baron was a remarkable family member, yet, he was comparable to that kid that does everything possible to get his parents attention… Good and BAD!

As I am getting to my main point here, poison control, they knew us by name.  In his 12 years of life, Baron had eaten the following: poisonous plants, chicken bones, pantyhose, telescope poles, rocking chairs, bags of potatoes, ¾ of a Turkey Dinner, pieces of laminate kitchen floor, a bottle of Synthroid, bottle of Ibuprofen, dug a hole through our basement cement floor, and lastly tuna- sucked out of small puncture holes he made in the cans.  I wish I was joking when I say these things, but the list continues to go on and on. 

As part of this story has to do with specific behavior problems (all of this topic will be addressed in another posting) I started this blog with my story due to a recent call a friend made to me this week. 

 “My dog just ate a piece of Trident gum, what should I do?”  My initial reaction… “NOTHING!”  Its gum, my dog ate more things, more dangerous than a small piece of gum… and lived to eat even more!

To my shock, a few minutes later, my friend responds, “it says online that Xylitol is extremely toxic and can cause Liver failure”……..  “WHAT!!!???”

I have been overeducated in the hazardous foods and plants that my dogs must avoid, but this was news to me. So mortified, I started my research.  This small additive is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and as any creature, the smaller… the deadlier.  In a world of processed foods, for humans and dogs, we are all playing Russian roulette on a daily basis with what we put into our systems. 

In light of these recent events, I would like to offer you my DO NOT EAT list for Dogs!

*Disclaimer* the following list is based on research and studies through my years as a Vet Tech student and personal dog owner.  The items on this list are to be avoided, and as always… With any ingestion of potentially hazardous items, human and dog alike, IMMEDIATELY consult with a Doctor/Veterinarian!


Some offer more information than others.  So please, take the time and educate yourself on the lists.


Lastly, please educate yourself in Pet Emergency First Aid. offers a great Pet First Aid and CPR I highly recommend any pet owner to take one of her classes.  Reasonably priced, and tons of information!  As any “parent” we need to be prepared with who to call when we have an emergency… here is my must have list.



1.      Your primary veterinarian

2.      One or more nearby 24-hour veterinary emergency clinics

3.      ASPCA Poison Control: (888) 426-4435 ($50 fee)

4.      Animal Poison Hotline: 888-232-8870 ($35 fee)

5.      Pet Poison Hotline: 800-213-6680 ($35 fee)

6.      An emergency contact number for you and your dog's coowner (if applicable).

7.      Some areas now have Pet Ambulance.  Check your lcity directories to see if one is available.


As always, thank you for being a part of my journey…


Keep building the bond!

Emily Roach


The Tone of Your Training

In the middle of a difficult training lesson, a frustrated client said to me, 

I want to do more trick training, than obedience”.  

Why is that?” I asked.  

The answer baffled me…

”Well, trick training is more fun, the dog enjoys it more!” 


Why is it that our dogs enjoy trick training, agility or play time, over obedience training?

Emily & Chryses

Emily & Chryses

My opinion stands as this, the fun starts with the handler.  When we teach our dogs a new trick or ask them to hurdle an A frame, the excitement, pride and sense of accomplishment we project is insurmountable. 

The saying, “your dog only wants to please you” stands true!  If you are excited and project a positive attitude over your dog’s response to the task at hand, the dog’s attitude will reflect that in its performance.  Our canine friends DO want to make us happy, so in turn they can be happy as well. 

Let’s look at when we ask our dog to shake hands; once we have coaxed and motivated the dog to touch our hand with its paw, we stir with excitement.  Our tone of voice changes, our facial features light up, eyes brighten, smile appears… and the feeling, that one deep inside of accomplishment, swells beyond a point of pure bliss.  Heck, why wouldn’t your dog want to continue throwing that paw into your eager hand… 

I would too if you asked me that way!

Now, look at the times we ask our dog to do something as simple (simple to us), as sit.  What tone of voice do you use, what attitude are you projecting?  Most times it’s a serious, demanding, “You better sit!”  Say it to yourself, or even, to your dog, “SIT”.  Reflect on how that felt: dry, rigid, and sorry to say, but probably boring?  Now, change your tone, lighten your presence, think happy thoughts… and ask your dog again “SIT!”  What was the difference?  Hopefully, your dog responded faster, more enthusiastically and in all of it, aimed to please.  If nothing changed, try again, and again, and again, up to the point where you notice a change.  Take note of yourself, what did you do differently, how did you sound saying it, and most importantly, how did you respond to the finished task?

Through obedience training, take your time, work on one task through your session, and truly reflect on your state of emotional presence.  Try and try again, up to the point you find yourself having fun!
(GOOD JOB! Give yourself a treat!)

Training your dog will always be the most beneficial, rewarding and bonding experience you will ever have with your four legged friend.  So, make it meaningful, treat every objective as it’s the first time you are asking your dog to do it!  And lastly, be fair; be fair to your pet, and yourself.  If you are not in the proper mindset to project the proper attitude, I will always say, wait until you are.


Until next time…

Keep building the bond!

Emily Roach