My Dog is My Rock

Keep building the bond...

The Ethos of Dog

Companion to competitive training with a focus on behavior.

We do it all!

Filtering by Tag: Dog Behavior

What is your biggest reward?

Let’s talk about reward systems today.  Food is not the only form of reward we should offer our dogs.  Play, affection, attention, basically anything your dog LOVES, and I mean LOVES LOVES LOVES, should be a part of their reward in every training session.

How do I know what my dog loves the most?

This is a trial and error process, and something you will need to take the time to work out on your own.  My recommendation in figuring this out is start in the safest and most comfortable place for you and your dog.  This could be your home, backyard, garage or wherever you can get one on one time with your dog and not have any distractions. (And when I say distractions, I am not just talking about your dog being distracted; this goes for you as well, turn off your phone!  Your dog will thank me later)

I promise you that you will know immediately as to what your dogs highest reward is.  The biggest issue we all run into is not taking the time to work through all options to get the desired result.  Once you have found something that works, please don’t kill the fun; do not put any discipline to the fun (at-least not just yet).  Take 5 minutes of the beginning of your training session just to give your dog that reward. 

It may look like this: If affection and attention are what get your dog jazzed up- You and your dog sitting on the floor of your garage, snuggling, giggling, wriggling and lots of kisses.  Sounds silly? Probably not, I am quite sure you do this in private most days anyways.  So let loose, give your dog what they need and love, even if it happens to be in the middle of your session, heck, how about three times throughout your training session.  It does not matter how much you give them, it is what they give you back that is the most important.

My last promise to you today is, once you have found your high high high reward, your training sessions will progress in leaps and bounds.


Keep building the bond...



My Dog is My Rock, LLC

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