heartsinharmonyllcheartsinharmonyllchttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/blogHow To Keep Your Dog Physically And Mentally Stimulated During COVID-19]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2020/04/23/How-To-Keep-Your-Dog-Physically-And-Mentally-Stimulated-During-COVID-19https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2020/04/23/How-To-Keep-Your-Dog-Physically-And-Mentally-Stimulated-During-COVID-19Fri, 24 Apr 2020 18:26:00 +0000
In this new world of COVID-19 keeping your dog happy, healthy, and still improving their behavior can be a little more difficult. Continuing your dog’s training is a great way to keep your canine physically and mentally stimulated. Hamilton dog training is still open for private sessions and behavior consults at the facility (in Hamilton) only. Hearts in Harmony takes the Covid-19 pandemic seriously and has put in place practices consistent with Virginia requirements. We ensure social distancing, limiting the number of participates and cleaning and disinfecting of the facility and equipment between private training sessions.To honor social distancing are not providing demonstrations with the dogs. Unfortunately, group training classes are on hold until further notice. However, here are a few ways to make the best of the situation at hand with your dog.
It may be a simple answer, but walking your dog is one of the best physical and mental exercises for them. If you are unable to take your dog for a walk, you can provide other fun stimulation such as:
• playing hide and seek • spreading kibble out around the house for a hunting experience • walking with them up and down stairs in or just outside your home
Review basic manners training
In our area of Hamilton and Leesburg, dog training teaches that manners training does not end after your canine has graduated their classes. It is a process that continues through your dog’s lifetime. While strengthening what your dog already knows, it will also build his confidence since he already knows the commands. Depending on where your dog is in his training experience, you can tailor the training accordingly.
Interactive dog treat dispensing toys and games
A fun way to enrich you dog’s life while at home is to engage him with “nosework”. Snuffle mats, kongs, busy buddy, and tricky treat balls are all examples of interactive dog toys with treats hidden inside. Dogs have to work to sniff and dig out the treats. It is a challenging way to get them to work for their food. It is also something fun to do while being indoors.
Enrich your dog’s life with private sessions at the Hamilton facility
Your dog’s training in Leesburg, VA area is vital no matter the situation. Keep his mind sharp and body healthy with fun training sessions and techniques. Learn more about the private sessions we are still currently offering onsite at Hearts in Harmony. Call us now at (540) 454-4098!.
Essential Behaviors to Learn for Dog Training in Leesburg, VA This Spring]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2020/03/24/essential-behaviours-to-learn-for-dog-training-in-leesburg-va-this-springhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2020/03/24/essential-behaviours-to-learn-for-dog-training-in-leesburg-va-this-springMon, 23 Mar 2020 19:18:00 +0000
Spring is here— the snow is melting, the sun is shining, and it's time to get back to regular having fun outside with your dog. What better way then with dog training in Leesburg, VA! During the winter many pet owners tend to stay indoors and limit their time outside. That's understandable, but you and your furry friend need to catch up once the cold season is over and have some fun.
Now that spring has arrived, shake off cabin fever and gear up for outdoor fun with your pooch! Just to help you get back into the swing of things, focus on a few essential behaviors for safer, happier adventures with your beloved canine.
Dog Training for a Safe and Happy Spring Season
If you didn't have a lot of opportunities for Hamilton dog training during the winter, your pup needs to brush up on his fundamental manners. Spring's lovely weather is excellent for hanging out at the dog park, dining at a pet-friendly establishment, playing fetch outside, hiking, and many other activities.
To do these activities safely, make sure your dog has the following behaviors:
Reliable recall (come when called).
A reliable recall is one of the most valuable behaviors your dog can have. This skill is especially important if you plan on going on hikes or playing at the dog park this spring. Having an excellent recall will give you peace of mind and allow your dog to enjoy more off-leash freedom.
Drop –It.
Expect your dog to go crazy now that he gets to go outside again! He'll want to explore and sniff out everything. Unfortunately, this curiosity often ends up with him taking something in his mouth. This behavior can be risky since it may turn out to be something toxic. Teaching your dog how to drop things on cue will help you keep him safe and avoid damaging objects during your springtime strolls.
Polite Leash Walking.
On the surface, having your dog walk nicely beside you seems like it should be simple — your dog must walk closely beside you, not ahead or behind you. However, it's one of the most challenging behaviors students and their dogs learn during .
It involves clear communication between you and your pet, and you need to train him to focus on you and your movements despite all the distractions outside. Mastering this skill opens up a lot of possibilities for spring fun since you can trust your dog to stay with you no matter where you explore.
Join Our AKC Fit Dog Club for More Springtime Fun and Learning!
At Hearts and Harmony, we want you and your dogs to be healthy, happy, and fit. That's why we're starting an AKC Fit Dog Club in April, and we're inviting you to join us!
Be a part of our "Out and About" classes, where we meet in different locations in western Loudoun County for walks. During that time, we will practice good dog manners, polite leash walking, and safety. We" ll also be adding agility and other fun classes that will encourage canine fitness and fun!
Finally, set the foundation of a wonderful life with your pet through dog training classes in Leesburg, VA, Hearts in Harmony offers different Dog Training Programs to help your dog develop the skills he needs to become an excellent companion. Register for classes, or call us at 540-454-4098 to learn more!
Enrich the Lives of Aging Dogs with Mental and Physical Leesburg Dog Training]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2020/02/29/enrich-the-lives-of-aging-dogs-with-mental-and-physical-leesburg-dog-traininghttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2020/02/29/enrich-the-lives-of-aging-dogs-with-mental-and-physical-leesburg-dog-trainingFri, 28 Feb 2020 18:36:25 +0000
No matter how old your dog is, regular Leesburg training should still be an essential part of their lives. Senior dogs need as much mental stimulation and enrichment as their younger counterparts. It is not just fun and games —training can significantly boost their mental, physical, and emotional health. Most importantly, it allows you to bond more with your beloved canine during his golden years.
Advantages of Training for Senior Dogs
Just because your aging dog is not as agile or sharp as he was, that does not mean he should now spend his days as a couch potato. Senior canines benefit from dog training in Leesburg, VA, in several ways:
Assists brain growthBoosts problem-solving skillsEnhances social skillsSupports physical healthImproves weight managementKeeps joints and muscles healthyAllows dogs to practice their instinctive and natural behaviors in a constructive wayMakes canines feel confident despite the changes happening to their bodyImproves emotional health; lack of enrichment can lead to anxiety, depression, and other issuesReduces destructive behaviors, such as destroying objects and nuisance barking that can result from boredom
Finally, dogs are the happiest when they are interacting and playing with their owners. For senior dogs, training is both an opportunity to spend time with you and stay physically and mentally active.
3 Fun Training Activities for Senior Dogs
Hamilton dog training for older dogs should take into consideration the physical challenges they are experiencing. If your dog is starting to have difficulty walking, for instance, it might be time to slow down from the agility course. Try the following activities instead:
1. Review his obedience training
Obedience training does not end after your dog has graduated from his classes. It is a lifetime process. It is a great way to boost your dog’s confidence because he already knows the commands while strengthening good manners. You can easily tailor obedience training according to his physical limitations.
2. Have fun practicing old and new tricks
Review your dog’s repertoire of old tricks and add new ones while you are at it! Practice them in private, or have him perform for family and friends. He will enjoy all the attention while stimulating his mind.
3. Challenge him with Treat Dispensing toys
Snuffle mats, kongs, busy buddy, and tricky treat balls are all examples of interactive dog toys with treats hidden inside. Dogs have to work to sniff and dig out the treats. It is a fun way to make them work for their food. It is also excellent for senior dogs because it gives an exciting and rewarding challenge that is not physically demanding, and they can do it indoors.
Enrich the Life of Your Senior Dog with Leesburg Dog Training
Leesburg dog training is vital in all stages of a dog’s life, and even more so during their senior years. Keep their mind sharp and their bodies healthy with appropriate training techniques. Learn more about how to engage your older dog with fun classes and rewarding training sessions here at Hearts in Harmony. Call us now at 1-540-454-4098!
Start Your New Puppy Off on the Right Paw With Dog Training in Hamilton, VA]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2020/01/28/Start-Your-New-Puppy-Off-on-the-Right-Paw-With-Dog-Training-in-Hamilton-VAhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2020/01/28/Start-Your-New-Puppy-Off-on-the-Right-Paw-With-Dog-Training-in-Hamilton-VATue, 28 Jan 2020 14:58:36 +0000
Planning to get a puppy or have recently adopted one? Make the first few days with your new canine companion a breeze with early dog training in Leesburg, VA. Learn how to set up your home for success, help your pup develop excellent social skills from the get-go, and more with Heart in Harmony’s FREE Puppy Start Right seminars.
Puppy Start Right Seminars
Beginning on February 6, Hearts in Harmony will hold Puppy Start Right seminars every first and second Thursday of the month at 6:30 PM. Each class is led by our primary instructor, Kim Miller, who is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer with over four decades of experience.
Join Puppy Start Right seminars to learn how to puppy-proof your home and create a safe environment that encourages socialization. Classes also cover how to manage typical behaviors like chewing, biting, jumping, and potty training.
In the past, Miller only offered puppy socialization sessions every Saturday morning. Classes focused on teaching essential skills, such as leash walking, and basic commands like “come,” “drop,” and “leave it.”
Puppy Start Right seminars are perfect for anyone with a puppy or thinking about getting a new canine. They are FREE and open to anyone interested, regardless of whether they are a part of our Leesburg dog training group class or not.
Why Puppy Socialization Matters
The first three months of a dog’s life is a defining phase. During this time, he absorbs information like a sponge. Everything he learns will affect how he interacts with his environment when he grows up.
Proper socialization familiarizes puppies with all kinds of sights, smells, and sounds. Thanks to positive associations, he learns how to react to them appropriately. For instance, it can keep a dog from being afraid of crates, car rides, crowded places, and more.
A dog that has a solid socialization background is friendly, well-adjusted, and self-assured, which leads not only to good behavior but also a longer life.
According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, behavioral issues mostly due to improper socialization are the number one cause of death for canines below three years of age.
Essential Puppy Socialization Tips
Enrolling your puppy to dog training in Leesburg, VA is only the first step towards nurturing a happy and well-adjusted pet. Once class ends, you must continue socializing your pup to his surroundings.
Turn everything unfamiliar into an exciting learning experience. Just make sure that you know what you should and should not do during your puppy socialization efforts.
• Ensure every socialization session is fun for your pup.
It is important that every time your pup interacts with something unfamiliar that they have a positive experience. Pairing tasty treats and praise when introducing your pup to new experiences will him to associate the positive feedback with what he is being exposed to.
• Create a socialization checklist.
Turn every day into an adventure by exposing your pup to new sights, smells, and sounds. Let him interact with different kinds of people, run on various types of flooring, explore new places, meet other animals, and more.
• Involve your friends and family.
Let your puppy get used to the presence of the people that you often meet and interact with. Then, help him get used to experiencing new things when he is with them.
• Do not overwhelm your puppy.
Limit puppy socialization sessions to one or two settings per day. This will give him enough time to process new sensations and information with minimal stress.
• Avoid taking your puppy to risky places.
Puppies are vulnerable to creating strong fear associations during the first 18 months of his life. Avoid taking him to areas that may compromise his physical and psychological health, such as public dog parks, animal shelters, and loud places.
Sign Up for the Seminar Today!
Do not pass up the chance to get FREE Hamilton dog training from a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Join Puppy Start Right seminars and give your puppy a great start in life. To further solidify his foundation, enroll him in one of the group dog training classes here at Hearts in Harmony. Call us now at 1-540-454-4098 to learn more about our seminars and classes!
Exploring the Pitfalls of Getting a New Pet During the Holidays with Dog Training near Leesburg, VA]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/12/26/exploring-the-pitfalls-of-getting-a-new-pet-during-the-holidays-with-dog-training-near-leesburg-vahttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/12/26/exploring-the-pitfalls-of-getting-a-new-pet-during-the-holidays-with-dog-training-near-leesburg-vaThu, 26 Dec 2019 15:59:24 +0000
An adorable puppy stumbling out of a festive box, tail wagging and eyes bright —who can resist such a charming sight? Many holiday ads, movies, and programs have used this formula to illustrate the stunning joy of getting a pet on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, such portrayals seldom show what comes after the ecstatic moment. Experts on dog training near Leesburg, VA discuss the reasons why gifting and adopting pets during the holidays is not a good idea.
The Christmas Season Is a Busy Time
Dogs of all ages need time to acclimate to their new environment. Establishing daily habits from the get-go is key to a smooth transition. However, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can make it impossible to set a routine.
Puppies will miss their mother and siblings, so they will demand a lot of attention from their new family —something that not all puppy present recipients can guarantee. Long-established arrangements like going on post-Christmas out-of-town trips and attending or holding parties can lead to unintentional neglect.
Puppies Are Not Toys
Kids seldom have the attention span and sense of responsibility necessary in taking care of a dog. Once the novelty of surprise wears off and the responsibilities start, most of them neglect their new pets. Unfortunately, not all parents are ready to pick up the slack. Most of the puppies that end up in animal shelters after the holiday season were Christmas gifts to children.
If your little ones are asking a pet this Christmas, take them to an animal shelter. Let them spend some time as a volunteer to find out if they are ready for the responsibility that comes with taking care of a pet.
Critical Considerations Before Getting a New Dog
Pets are lifelong commitments. Adopting a dog is not a decision that should be based solely on how it will surprise someone on Christmas morning. If you are seriously thinking about getting a pup during the holidays, consider the following:
Are you ready for the responsibilities that come with having a dog? Adopting a pup is a lot like having a child. You need to take care of and pay close attention to him, not only during the height of the holidays but beyond it as well. This will demand a lot of time, patience, and care.
Are you financially prepared to take care of a dog? Expect pet care to take up a significant part of your budget, especially in the first few months of adoption. Aside from canine essentials, such as dog food and dishes, you also need to pay for vaccinations, regular vet visits, Hamilton dog training, and more.
Is your family ready for a new dog? Adopting a pet will have a significant impact on your family’s life. Make sure all your household members are fine with adjusting their day-to-day arrangements to accommodate a new pup.
Got a Dog for Christmas?
Whether your new pup is a gift or a carefully considered choice, his general well-being is now your responsibility. Follow these tips to keep your new pup safe through the holidays and beyond:
Do not give holiday food to your pup. Puppies are not accustomed to the high salt, fat, and spice content of Christmas dishes. Feeding them such meals, even in small amounts, comes with the risk of a hospital stay due to pancreatitis. If you really want to give them a delicious holiday treat, ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
Puppy-proof your home. Most puppies are determined to touch, sniff, taste, and play with anything that catches their attention. Given a chance, they may break something that can injure them or ingest something harmful to their health. To avoid these scenarios, you must:
Transfer breakable ornaments higher on your Christmas tree.Make sure décor with glitter and sequins are far from your pup’s accessible areas.Cover electric sockets with plug covers.Keep curtains, blind pulls, and electric cords out of your puppy’s reach.Store delicate furnishings in cabinets or high shelves.Do not leave small toys and items on the floor.
Finally, bar all entryways with a baby gate to keep your puppy from escaping. Whenever guests arrive, make sure the front gate and door are closed firmly. Make plans to enroll your pup in dog training near Leesburg, VA once the holiday season ends.
Teach your pup to respond well to “sit” and “go to your space” prompts. This will minimize jumping, barking, and running when guests come by your home. Give your pup a quiet, safe space where he can retreat to whenever he feels overwhelmed.
Train your puppy to get used to confinement. Like children, parties are seldom the right setting for young dogs. The festivities can stress your pup, and there is a chance that some of your guests are not comfortable with canines. Hence, it is best to make crate training a part of your new pup’s daily activities.
Think Twice About Getting a New Pet for Christmas
Adopting a dog should never be a snap decision made in the spirit of spreading holiday cheer. Be responsible. Make sure you and everyone in your household are prepared to commit to a new pet.
Have you adopted a puppy during the holidays? Help your new pup build a solid foundation on good behavior by enrolling him in Leesburg dog training classes here at Hearts in Harmony! Call us at 1-540-454-4098 to set one-on-one training sessions, register to our classes, and more.
Control Your Canine’s Prey Drive with Specialized Dog Training near Leesburg, VA]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/11/15/control-your-canines-prey-drive-with-specialized-dog-training-near-leesburg-vahttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/11/15/control-your-canines-prey-drive-with-specialized-dog-training-near-leesburg-vaFri, 15 Nov 2019 13:51:30 +0000
Dogs are natural predators. While decades of domestication have eased their hunting instinct, their prey drive remains. It shows when they chase after cats, rabbits, squirrels, and other animals that they consider as “prey.” If left unmanaged, the drive result in inappropriate behavior such as, chasing children, inability to focus and calm, destruction to companion animals and livestock. Control your dog’s predatory instincts with expert dog training near Leesburg, VA and these effective behavior management tips.
Predatory vs. Aggressive Behavior
Dog owners must know how to distinguish predatory attitude from aggression. Unlike aggression, which is driven by social conflict and territoriality, the motivation to chase prey is born from social survival and instinct. For example, Basset Hounds hunt rabbits because they were bred for the job for centuries. Meanwhile, herding is in the genes of Border Collies, and Terriers search for vermin which is why they can have a tendency to chase anything that moves.
Prey drive-motivated behavior is indicated by the following:
Hunting (e.g., searching, sniffing, scanning, tracking, waiting for prey, etc.)StalkingAttacking (e.g., chasing, pouncing, catching, shaking or choking to kill, etc.)Consuming
Breeds with Strong Prey Drive
Dogs that were bred to chase and kill animals are more likely to display predatory instincts compared to other breeds. Canines with strong predatory instincts include:
Terriers – Jack Russell Terriers, Bull Terriers, Scotties, etc.Hounds – Bassets, Greyhounds, Beagles, etc.Sporting Breeds – Spaniels, Retrievers, etc.Herding Breeds – Cattle Dogs, Border Collies, etc.Northern Breeds – Huskies, Malamutes, etc.
Tips for Controlling Predatory Instinct
Predatory behavior often interferes with a dog’s ability to walk nicely on a leash, come when called and ability to focus. All of these behaviors are addressed during group classes at our Hamilton dog training. If prey drive is in your canine’s genes, it is important to take active measures to keep his instincts under control. The same goes if your dog is prone to chasing animals and children. Here are some simple but effective management and training methods:
Fence your yard to keep your dog contained during potty periods and outdoor playtimes. Make sure the border extends a bit underground, especially if your canine is a determined digger.Keep your canine leashed when you take him on hikes to keep him from going after wild animals, such as deer, rabbits, and squirrels. Do the same for short walks around your neighborhood and brief excursions to the park.Enroll in a specialized course for dog training near Leesburg, VA to get expert lessons on how to calm your canine’s desire to chase, and improve their focus and response to you.
Tame Your Dog’s Predatory Instincts for Good
Dogs with high prey drive can co-exist with other species with the right training. Hearts in Harmony is the perfect partner to help you in your quest. We use rewards-based training methods to manage your pooch’s predatory instincts and teach him to something different instead of chasing. Choose from a wide array of Leesburg dog training courses, such as Dog Group Classes, Private Sessions, and Puppy Group Classes. Contact us NOW at 1-540-454-4098 to inquire about our training services.
Develop Your Dog’s Scent Skills with Nose Games for Hamilton Dog Training]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/10/18/Develop-Your-Dog%E2%80%99s-Scent-Skills-with-Nose-Games-for-Hamilton-Dog-Traininghttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/10/18/Develop-Your-Dog%E2%80%99s-Scent-Skills-with-Nose-Games-for-Hamilton-Dog-TrainingFri, 18 Oct 2019 14:29:46 +0000
A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 times more powerful than humans. Tap into this natural talent through smart nose work! Hearts in Harmony’s resident Hamilton dog training expert, Kim Miller, recommend scent games to harness your canine’s gift in a fun, meaningful, and rewarding way.
The Power of a Dog’s Nose
While puppies are virtually born blind, their sense of smell is already fully engaged and developed. In addition, dogs have roughly 300 million olfactory receptors compared to humans’ six million. The sector of their brain that processes scents is also 40 times bigger than ours. This enables them to perform exceptional feats, such as locate lost hikers, find victims of natural disasters, and even sniff out coveted truffles underground.
Unless your pooch is specially trained for these jobs, however, his nose is likely out of practice. Instead of using their noses to survive, domesticated dogs learn to rely more on their visuals after living in familiar places, such as your home.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to harness your dog’s astounding sense of smell. Add nose games to your local Leesburg dog training routine to develop his scent skills, keep him entertained, and unlock new skills and behaviors!
Benefits of Nose Games
Nose games utilize your dog’s natural scenting abilities constructively. They offer the following advantages:
• Mental stimulation – scent work requires your dog to think and analyze what you are asking him to smell, find, and accomplish • Physical stimulation – dogs get more exercise when they play nose games • Confidence building – every successful scent activity contributes to greater self-confidence for your furry friend • Convenience – this type of game can be played indoors and outdoors, and doesn’t require complicated equipment apart from tasty treats and some basic items
On top of these, playing nose games strengthens the bond between you and your dog. It’s a fun and fulfilling addition to dog training in Leesburg, VA, and you can begin anytime you want.
3 Nose Games to Play with Your Dog
All you need for the most basic nose games are some strong-smelling treats, time, and patience! Below are some games you can play with your pooch:
1. Find the Snack
With your dog out of the room, place a couple of treats in full view, and wait for him to eat them. Repeat, but start hiding the treats beneath the sofa, behind the coffee table, or even under a cushion. Increase the difficulty by hiding the food in less obvious places or moving the game out into the yard.
2. Choose the Right Hand
Hold a treat in one of your closed fists. Tell your dog to “find it,” wait for him to choose a hand, then give him the treat. Repeat this several times and alternate your hands each time. Up the challenge by waiting until his nose is on “alert” with the treat hand before releasing it. You can also enlist a friend’s help to add more fists to the mix and make it harder.
3. Hide and Seek
Your dog loves you above anything else, even more than the tastiest treats! Make your Hamilton dog training more exciting by playing hide and seek with your dog. Hide in different places throughout the house, such as behind a door or inside a closet. Praise and reward your pup when he finds you. Once he has mastered this level, play the game outdoors to increase the difficulty.
Develop Your Dog’s Natural Skills with Positive Training
Learn more about harnessing your dog’s natural abilities with Hearts in Harmony! Call us at 1-540-454-4098 to sign up for our classes, schedule one-on-one training sessions, and more.
Hearts in Harmony is located in Hamilton, Virginia (10 minutes west of Leesburg) and serves Loudoun County and surrounding Fairfax, Frederick, Fauquier and Prince William counties. Kim Miller also travels throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and the surrounding Metro Washington DC area.
Manage Your Dog’s Counter Surfing Habit with Professional Dog Training near Leesburg, VA]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/09/28/manage-your-dog-counter-surfing-habit-with-professional-dog-training-near-leesburg-vahttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/09/28/manage-your-dog-counter-surfing-habit-with-professional-dog-training-near-leesburg-vaFri, 27 Sep 2019 18:29:04 +0000
Does your dog often steal food from your table or kitchen counters? If so, you have a case of counter-surfing at your hands. When left alone, this bad habit makes no food safe from your sneaky canine every time you turn your back. Eliminate this behavior through dog training near Leesburg, VA, and these simple but effective management tips.
What is Counter Surfing?
Counter surfing can be traced back to canine ancestors, who had to scavenge food regularly to survive. Counter surfing happens when a dog tends to steal unattended food. While it usually occurs on kitchen counters, it can also take place on the dining room table, coffee table, and any other surface where food is often placed. When successful, dogs will repeat this behavior.
Apart from the irritation of losing your meal, counter surfing can also be dangerous to your dog. If he eats something inedible or poisonous, the results can be tragic. Thus, it is important to enroll your pooch in expert Hamilton dog training to correct this behavior.
Steps to Correct Counter Surfing
Many owners attempt to stop counter surfing by ‘punishing’ their dog. However, it is not the best approach to change this behavior. Punishment can damage your relationship with your pup and does not teach them what you want them to do instead. To effectively stop counter surfing, you need to manage your pup and teach them an alternative behavior. Follow these steps:
1. Do not leave out food.
Get rid of the temptations that drive your canine to counter surf. Clear your tables, counters, and other surfaces of food and all enticing items. Place edibles on high shelves, cupboards, the microwave, the oven, or the refrigerator. Clean spills and bits of food immediately.
2. Rearrange your furniture.
Arrange your chairs, tables, and sofas in such a way that surfaces are inaccessible to your pooch’s reach. Some dogs are clever enough that they manage to reposition furniture to reach their goals, so make sure your furnishings are securely in place.
3. Prevent your dog’s access to the counters and table.
Keeping your pup from practicing unwanted behaviors is key to successfully changing unwanted behavior to more desirable behavior. The key to preventing your dog from counter-surfing is eliminating their ability to access the counters or table unattended. Use exercise pens, door gates and/or a leash if you are unable to properly supervise your dog.
4. Reward your pet’s polite behaviors.
Every time you spot your dog with all paws on the floor around the counter/table make sure to reward him with a small snack away from the counter/table. Be consistent with this practice. Through professional Leesburg dog training and persistent efforts, the likelihood of your canine raiding the counter will significantly diminish.
5. Teach your pet to “go to the mat.”
Set up a mat positioned far from the counter and teach your canine to go there whenever there is food in the room. By tossing treats for him on the mat keeping him busy and away from the counter/table. The mat will quickly become the place where good things happen and your pup will begin positioning himself on the mat instead of surfing the counters or table.
Stop Counter Surfing Once and for All!
The earlier you start training your dog to stop counter surfing and the more persistent you are with management, the easier it will be to control your dog’s behavior.
Hearts in Harmony offers dog-group classes, specialty classes, private sessions, and more to help pet owners and animal professionals alike. Call us now at 540-454-4098 to register for dog training near Leesburg, VA.
Get Ready for Fall with Dog Training Near Leesburg, VA]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/08/15/get-ready-for-fall-with-dog-training-near-leesburg-vahttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/08/15/get-ready-for-fall-with-dog-training-near-leesburg-vaWed, 14 Aug 2019 21:37:00 +0000
If you are experiencing concerning behaviors with your canine, then you may want to look into professional dog training services. We offer group classes on everything from manners to fear free handling. However, if you are having problems with your pooch, such as dog to dog aggression, then our separation anxiety and fear group classes may not be the right fit. Not to worry! Hearts in Harmony offers private classes and behavior modification sessions. More information and pricing can be obtained on our Behavior Modification page.
Learn how to identify problems and respond appropriately for your dog’s sake through Hearts in Harmony dog training near Leesburg, VA. Check out our upcoming classes for:
Dog Group ClassesPuppy Group ClassesSpecialty ClassesPrivate Sessions
We have new classes this fall on:
Advanced MannersFind-It, Introduction to Sniffing and Searching TechniquesAKC Canine Good Citizen Class
Keep your pooch calm and collected with Leesburg dog training. Call Hearts in Harmony at 1-540-454-4098 or register online for a class!
New Dog Training near Leesburg, VA: Tips for the First Week of Adoption]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/07/22/new-dog-training-near-leesburg-va-tips-for-the-first-week-of-adoptionhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/07/22/new-dog-training-near-leesburg-va-tips-for-the-first-week-of-adoptionMon, 22 Jul 2019 15:19:12 +0000
There are few things more exciting than bringing home your adorable new dog. Tempting as it is to shower him with affection and cuddles, keep in mind that how you treat your pooch the first week will set the foundation for your relationship. Help your canine friend become a well-mannered companion by investing time, effort, and consistent dog training near Leesburg, VA from day one.
Set the Stage for Success
It is critical to have management measures in place prior to your new dog’s arrival. This will help you avoid reinforcing unwanted behaviors from the get-go. Here are some basics to prepare before your pooch sets paws in your home:
Adjustable collar with tags containing your contact infoLeashWater and food bowlsPoop bagsPet bedNutritious dog foodHigh-quality treatsPet-friendly toysBaby gatesPlaypenCrateEnzyme cleaners for potty accidents
Once you have secured these supplies, set aside time for these canine preparation steps:
1. Dog-proof your home.
Unless you adopted a fearful or anxious dog, expect that your canine will start roaming around his new home immediately, sniffing and getting into everything within his reach. Puppies, in particular, are exceptionally curious and persistent during their survey. They will explore and try everything with their teeth, which can land them (and your valuables) in trouble.
Protect your new furry family member and your home by dog-proofing your place. Lock your cupboards with baby latches, put away all electrical cords, and hide slippers, shoes, and other valuables where he can’t find them.
2. Establish firm house rules.
Everyone in your family should be on the same page when it comes to engaging in dog training near Leesburg, VA . Avoid confusing your new canine with contradicting behavior by establishing firm rules everyone has to follow. For instance, if you want to let the dog on the couch, ensure that all family members are okay with it too. This will help prevent conflict and give your dog a solid start.
3. Research your service providers.
Choosing professional pet care providers should not be a last-minute activity. Your groomer, veterinarian, professional, and pet sitters will have a significant impact on your dog’s upbringing. Do not settle for the first one you find; take time with your research to get the best for your pet.
Training Tips for Your New Dog’s First Week
Once you are done with your preparations, it is now time to welcome your new dog to his new home! Follow these tips to help him adjust and set the stage for the years to follow:
✔ Start slowly.
Let your pooch explore your home and meet everyone at his own pace. It is the best way to avoid overwhelming him with stimuli during the first couple of days.
✔ Give him his own space.
Provide a safe spot that your dog can retreat to whenever he wants to take a break from the excitement of his new environment. Reserve a quiet space for his crate and bed away from the rest of the bustle of your home.
✔ Establish a routine ASAP.
Dogs thrive on a set schedule, so figure out a routine that works for you as early as you can. Begin by:
Going outside for potty breaks without failScheduling walks at the same time every dayFeeding at the same time every dayGoing to bed at a consistent hour each night
The sooner your dog knows what is expected of him, the faster he will settle into your home.
✔ Supervise your canine at all times.
Keep a vigilant watch over your dog so you can correct misbehaviors as soon as they occur. One way to do this is by tethering or leashing your dog while at home so you can see everything he does. Another is to familiarize him with his crate. That way, you can leave your dog inside when you are not at home without stressing him out.
✔ Begin training as soon as possible.
Pups soak up information during their early weeks, so take advantage of this by enrolling your pooch in Leesburg dog trainingclasses near the end of his first week. Not only will it help him learn essential commands, but it also jumpstarts his socialization process.
Do the same if you adopted an adult dog. The learning process may take longer since his personality and world perception are already established, but the results are always worth it. Most importantly, you will learn how to better communicate and connect with your new furry family member.
Give Your Dog the Best Start with Hearts in Harmony’s Hamilton Dog Training Classes
The time and effort you pour into your dog’s first week at home will pay in dividends for years to come as he becomes a well-behaved member of the family.
At Hearts in Harmony, we use positive reinforcement training techniques to teach dogs of all ages and backgrounds. Check out our Puppy Group Classes or join one of our Dog Group Classes. We also offer private sessions, behavior modification classes, and other courses for you and your dog. Call us at 1-540-454-4098 for inquiries or to register for classes!
Teach Your Dog Proper Door Manners with Hamilton Dog Training]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/06/25/Teach-Your-Dog-Proper-Door-Manners-with-Hamilton-Dog-Traininghttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/06/25/Teach-Your-Dog-Proper-Door-Manners-with-Hamilton-Dog-TrainingMon, 24 Jun 2019 16:46:15 +0000
One of the most common frustrations that Hamilton dog training experts see among owners is the way their dogs behave at the door. Jumping up on visitors, bolting through the open door, barking when someone knocks or rings the doorbell — if left unresolved, all of these will not only make dog ownership a struggle but also put your canine friend at risk.
Through management and fear-free training, however, it is possible to teach your dog appropriate door manners to keep him safe and responsive to door-related events in a more pleasant way.
Why are Doors Irresistible to Dogs?
Doors hold the promise of adventure for dogs — from racing after cars and sniffing new smells to greeting guests and chasing squirrels or the neighborhood cat. Unfortunately, it only takes a second for a dog to dash through the door, escape, and get into an accident.
On top of this, a particularly big dog that keeps jumping up on people can knock down your guests and hurt them. Barking every time the doorbell rings or someone knocks can get increasingly irritating, and it creates tension and stress for your dog too.
The Need for Physical and Mental Exercise
Many dogs who are chronic door dashers typically lack mental and physical stimulation. Dogs are natural explorers and hunters. When they are bored and unable to release all their pent-up energy, they tend to get creative with finding a way to reach out or do what they want — and that usually includes rushing through the door, digging under or jumping over the fence, or destroying things to make an opening they can go through.
Exercise is just the beginning of instilling proper door manners. It helps get your dog into a calm and balanced state of mind, making him more receptive to your training. Aside from daily exercise, the two other components of door manners are management and dog training.
Managing Your Dog and the Door
Managing your dog’s environment means not giving him the opportunity to practice inappropriate behaviors while simultaneously setting him up for success.
Management takes the form of tools used along with proper dog training near Leesburg, VA. When it comes to door manners, two common management methods are:
Barriers – Prevent your dog from rushing through the door by blocking the area with an x-pen or a baby gate. Do not use this management tool if your dog can jump over them or barrel through.Crate – Are you letting a guest inside or coming through the door with groceries? A crate will help you contain your dog in a specific place where they can calm down before greeting visitors or doing other door-related activities. A crate is also a safe and quiet place for your dog to take a break whenever he gets too excited or agitated.
Training for Good Door Manners
Dealing with a door-dasher requires consistent and positive Leesburg dog training. Its basics include:
Preventing unwanted behavior or managementIdentifying what you want your dog to do insteadPracticing the behavior and making it a predictor of great things
For a dog that keeps jumping on people, for instance, good alternative behavior would be to have him sit down and wait for your permission to greet people. Another is to train him to go to the crate every time the doorbell rings.
The key to instilling door manners is to be consistent. It is crucial that you are not the only one implementing the door training. The rest of the household and your guests should also be on the same page.
Dog Training with Hearts in Harmony
Learn how to communicate and work with your dog through positive reinforcement training by enrolling in any of our classes here at Hearts in Harmony. Our Dog Group Classes offer three levels of fun and rewarding manners classes. We also have Puppy Classes, Specialty Classes, Private Sessions, and more. Check out our list of classes here, and register now with your furry buddy!
Appropriate Dog-to-Dog Play vs. Rough Play: Learning the Basics through Hamilton Dog Training Classes]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/05/21/appropriate-dog-to-dog-play-vs-rough-play-learning-the-basics-through-hamilton-dog-training-classeshttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/05/21/appropriate-dog-to-dog-play-vs-rough-play-learning-the-basics-through-hamilton-dog-training-classesMon, 20 May 2019 21:40:17 +0000
Hamilton dog training experts recommend dog exercises, including play, to keep your canine friend mentally and physically fit. Keep in mind, however, that playtime needs to be a pleasant experience for everyone.
Rough, Consensual Play vs. Rough, Nonconsensual Play
When dogs get in the zone for fun, things often get a little rough. What looks like a fight to the death to people could just be two happy dogs having a mutually great time.
Most dogs use their teeth, paws, and bodies without holding back, growling and biting at their playmates. Body slams, tackling, nipping, and forcing another to the ground are also common behaviors during play. Animal behavior researchers aptly refer to this type of play as “play fighting” as it involves behavior typical in real fights.
How to Tell If Play is Fun and Consensual
You know dogs are having mutual, good-natured fun when:
Their movements are inhibited, big, and clumsy They frequently engage in “role reversals,” taking turns at “winning” and “losing” during playThey engage in “self-handicapping,” wherein they tone down the force and excitement of their play to avoid overwhelming their playmate
These are the sorts of play behavior taught and encouraged in dog training near Leesburg, VA.
How to Tell If Play is No Longer Consensual
What tips the scale from “fun rough” to “too rough” during playtime is the response. If one of the dogs involved has expressed his disinterest in the game but the other insists, then it is no longer consensual.
How to Tell If a Dog Doesn’t Want to Play Anymore
When one of the dogs playing is no longer having fun, he will give off cues to indicate his stance. The signs include, but are not limited to:
Ignoring his playmateJumping on his humanHiding behind his humanMoving away or cowering whenever the other dog draws nearSnapping or responding aggressively to his playmate’s advances
Leesburg dog training classes underline the importance of recognizing these signs just as much as they highlight the significance of always monitoring dog-to-dog play, keeping play times short using time-out breaks to calm the dogs and keep things from escalating.
How to Tell If a Dog is Playing too Rough
If a dog insists on playing despite the other dog’s clear disinterest, then the dogs should be separated. You can also determine if a dog takes playtime too far by the way he behaves. Here are a few signs:
Stiff bodyPinned earsCurled lip or closed mouthQuick, calculated movementsNo bouncing around during playtimeKeeps roughly tackling or pinning his playmate to the ground
If your dog exhibits any of these signs, then your dogs may not be a good candidate for dog-to-dog play.
Enroll your pooch now in Hearts in Harmony’s Hamilton dog training classes and learn how to recognize appropriate dog-to-dog play. Call us at 540-454-4098 today!
Hamilton Dog Training & Puppy Socialization Classes: Why, When, and How to Do Them Right]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/04/24/Hamilton-Dog-Training-Puppy-Socialization-Classes-Why-When-and-How-to-Do-Them-Righthttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/04/24/Hamilton-Dog-Training-Puppy-Socialization-Classes-Why-When-and-How-to-Do-Them-RightTue, 23 Apr 2019 19:47:58 +0000
Hamilton dog training classes are the perfect venue for your pup to meet and mingle with other puppies. However, you shouldn’t limit their socialization activities to just puppy classes. The more you expose your puppy to different people, dogs, places and things the better their chances are of becoming a well-balanced and social dog.
Is this the first time you’ve heard of puppy socialization? Fret not. Heart in Harmony’s local dog trainer, Kim Miller, discusses the importance of socialization and shares what you can do to maximize it.
Understanding Socialization
Socialization involves creating positive experiences for your puppy to various stimuli and ensuring that he’s comfortable and having a good time while doing so. According to behavioral scientists, the most significant socialization window takes place when a puppy is 4-14 weeks old. After that, the window narrows down fast.
What the puppy experienced during that socialization window would have a significant impact on how he perceives and reacts to his surroundings for the rest of his life.
Why Socialization Matters
Well-socialized puppies with solid positive foundations about their environment grow up to be optimists. Socialization at an early age helps a puppy develops a perspective that not everything unfamiliar is bad and scary. Even if they experience something bad or traumatic, they’ll more likely be able to recover quickly. It’s what makes them more resilient compared to under- or un-socialized dogs.
Under- or un-socialized canines, on the other hand, may consider anything new to be scary and dangerous. It is possible to help them overcome their fears, but it will take a lot of time and careful conditioning. As such, it is imperative that you train your dog well through private dog training near Leesburg, VA.
How to Maximize the Socialization Window
Two things cause under-socialization: lack of exposure and inappropriate exposure to stimuli. If you’re not careful, you may accidentally lead your puppy to have negative associations to the things you’re introducing them to. Here are some tips to avoid inadvertently setting back your puppy’s socialization.
Pay attention to “fear periods.”
During these periods, any aversive experience that your puppy may have will leave a long-lasting impact on the way he perceives his surroundings. The first phases of these periods happen when puppies are 8-10 weeks old. During these times, it is important to make sure that you create positive associations for your pup in all situations. Pairing a tasty treat with new experiences and encounters is a great way to build positive associations.
Don’t take your puppy to a public dog park.
Puppies are young, curious, and vulnerable. No matter how resilient they may seem, it’s best to avoid taking them to the dog park. Not only is there a danger of disease transmission—which can be deadly since your puppy may not have complete vaccinations yet—but there’s also the risk of other dogs being too rough or attacking them. Public dog parks don’t offer the same controlled conditions of Hamilton dog training classes.
Supervise your puppy when meeting other humans.
Puppies meeting other people and children is fine if you keep a close eye on them. It is important to make sure that they are not roughly manhandled by enthusiastic people and that you provide them an escape when over-whelmed. Otherwise, they may develop a negative perception of people, especially children.
Join Our Dog Training Classes
Mindful socialization at home works well with proper training. Enroll your puppy in Hearts in Harmony’s Hamilton dog training classes to help him get used to other dogs and build up his confidence. You may send us your inquiries by filling out our Contact page or sign up to our program by calling 540-454-4098.
Exercise & Stimulation: Vital Components of Hamilton Dog Training Classes]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/03/19/exercise-stimulation-vital-components-of-hamilton-dog-training-classeshttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/03/19/exercise-stimulation-vital-components-of-hamilton-dog-training-classesTue, 19 Mar 2019 13:56:24 +0000
Proper exercise and regular Hamilton dog training classes are vital in keeping your dog physically and mentally fit. Many dog owners think that a couple of 20-minute walks around the block is enough for their canine companions. In reality, however, a lot of dogs don’t get proper exercise and stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.
The good news is that there are many ways to exercise your dog to give both his mind and body a good workout. Kim Miller, Hearts in Harmony's local dog trainer, discusses the importance of proper dog exercise and introduces various canine workouts you can teach your pooch.
The Value of Exercise for a Well-Rounded Dog
Regular exercise is vital in reaching your dog's ideal weight and body condition. It helps boost his energy and promotes a strong cardiovascular and immune system. Together with a balanced diet and routine vet visits, exercise can significantly prolong your dog’s life:
Physical Implications
Similar to the human population, obesity is becoming a bigger problem in dogs. Exercise helps dogs maintain a healthy weight and helps prevent issues like cardiac disease, osteoarthritis, compromised immune function, skin problems, and respiratory conditions.
Behavioral Implications
Burning up pent-up energy helps decrease your dog’s destructive behaviors such as excitement barking, destroying objects, hyperactivity, and aggression.
Exercise also releases feel-good and calming endorphins which contributes to lower levels of anxiety and stress. It’s a powerful complement to dog training near Leesburg, VA as it helps them calm down, focus better, and become receptive to learning.
Introducing Variety to the Canine Workout
Routine workouts can lead to boredom, demotivation, and reduced well-being. That’s why it’s important to switch up your dog’s routine from time to time. Have a mix of indoor and outdoor exercises so that your dog gets a workout no matter the weather. Below are some great ideas:
Fill a toy with high-value treats and toss it at your dog’s feet. Reward him every time he picks it up, and keep it exciting by keeping the toy out of his reach before throwing it back.
Recall Training
Take a six-foot leash, call your dog’s name, and encourage him to run after you. Reward him when he reaches you.
Find It
Toss a treat to one side and say “Find it!” Once he gets the game, increase the difficulty by tossing it further and in unexpected places.
Classic and versatile, you can play tug anytime and anywhere. Just make sure to enforce polite dog behavior throughout – no teeth on human clothing or skin, wait for the invitation to tug, and let go when told to.
Finally, proper exercise goes hand-in-hand with good training. Enroll your furry friend in dog training near Leesburg, Ashburn, or Purcellville areas to give him the foundation to become a confident and well-mannered canine companion. Sign up now by calling 540-454-4098 or send us questions on our Contact page.
Hamilton Dog Training and Confidence Building Exercises for Fearful and Shy Dogs]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/02/19/Hamilton-Dog-Training-and-Confidence-Building-Exercises-for-Fearful-and-Shy-Dogshttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/02/19/Hamilton-Dog-Training-and-Confidence-Building-Exercises-for-Fearful-and-Shy-DogsMon, 18 Feb 2019 19:36:39 +0000
Through genetics or environment, often a combination of both, some dogs can turn out fearful or shy. Learn how to apply positive, rewards-based Hamilton dog training techniques and other tips to help a fearful and shy dog build confidence.
Understanding the Fearful Dog
Fear-related behaviors have complex roots in fears, anxieties, and phobias. To help a fearful or timid dog, it is important for owners to understand these closely related, yet vastly different conditions:
Fear – involves the proximity or presence of the feared situation, person, or object
Anxiety – tension or distress caused by the anticipation of a real or imagined future threa
Phobias – extreme, chronic, and inappropriate anxiety and fear responses that are incredibly out of proportion to the nature/level of the threat.
Recognizing whether your dog is fearful, anxious, or phobic in a given situation is a big step in helping him overcome it. With patience, love, trust, and positive dog training techniques, fearful dogs can blossom into a much more confident version of themselves.
How to Help a Fearful or Shy Dog
We want the fearful dog to learn that the world is a fun, safe, and happy place. Therefore, never force your dog to bear more than he is able to. Avoid scolding him for fearful behaviors such as trying to leave, being reluctant to take treats, or not responding immediately to commands.
Most importantly, dog training for Leesburg, VA owners and surrounding areas goes much more smoothly when both the owner and the dog are enjoying themselves. Keep these tips in mind as you work with your companion.
Make him feel safe. Give your pooch a safe haven to retreat to, such as a covered crate or a quiet room. Avoid making loud noises near him and practice approaching him in a calm and relaxed manner. In addition, remove any perceived threats in the environment and take steps to limit his exposure to aversive individuals, items, and situations on a daily basis. The key to coaxing a timid or fearful dog out of his shell is to take it slow and make sure he feels safe enough to try new things and explore.
Practice counter-conditioning. Counter-conditioning involves helping your dog make positive associations with a scary stimulus. For instance, if your dog is afraid of vacuum cleaners, start making it a reliable predictor of something fun or yummy. Find his threshold distance (the distance within which he can tolerate the presence of the vacuum cleaner without being afraid), present the vacuum cleaner, and feed him nonstop with a high-value treat. Repeat this and increase the intensity of the stimulus (moving the vacuum closer, turning it on, etc.) until your dog finally sees the vacuum cleaner as a predictor of awesome, tasty things. This is what we call a conditioned emotional response.
Socialize your dog as early and as much as you can. Expose him to as many things as you can – people, situations, other dogs, items, and more. Just make sure that these are all positive exposures, and don’t ask your dog for too much too soon.
Train and play a lot. Dogs learn a lot of valuable life skills through games. This can help fearful dogs try out new, meaningful things without having to worry about things that make them scared or anxious. Here are some games you can use to build trust and boost your dog’s confidence:
• Nose work games such as finding treats around the house
• Free-shaping games like hiding treats in boxes and encouraging him to explore it
• Targeting games such as asking him to touch your hand for a reward
• Interactive games like fetch
• Teaching him tricks like sit, stay, and down
Always reward and praise your dog for any effort to engage, and give him some extra pats and treats for a job well done!
As a trusted resource for Hamilton and Leesburg dog training, Hearts in Harmony invites you to considered available sessions for our Dog Training Services that may help your fearful or shy dog. For inquiries, please call Hearts and Harmony at 540-454-4098.
Fun Games that will Make Your Hamilton Dog Training Classes Even More Exciting!]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/02/07/Fun-Games-that-will-Make-Your-Hamilton-Dog-Training-Classes-Even-More-Excitinghttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2019/02/07/Fun-Games-that-will-Make-Your-Hamilton-Dog-Training-Classes-Even-More-ExcitingWed, 06 Feb 2019 16:21:35 +0000
Dogs thrive when they engage in activities that are both physically and mentally stimulating. To make your Hamilton dog training classes even more fun and engaging, Hearts in Harmony’s local dog trainer, Kim Miller, shares some creative games you can play with your dog.
4 Games to Play with Your Pooch
Playing with your dog is more than just about having fun. It teaches him good manners. It also stimulates his brain, exercises his body, and makes him more confident. Furthermore, it deepens the bond between you and your dog. Try these four games with your dog today:
1. Chase a Flirt Pole
A flirt pole is a long stick with a rope at the end. On the end of the rope is something called a lure. The lure could be anything that will prompt your dog to chase, such as his favorite toy or a tasty treat.
Move the flirt pole around and let your dog run after it. Allow your dog to catch the lure from time to time as a reward. You can also step up the challenge by practicing the “Let Go” command after he catches the lure.
2. Tug of War
Most dogs love to play tug of war. Not only is it physically engaging, but it’s also an opportunity to teach them bite inhibition.
Fret not – playing tug of war won’t make your dog dominant or aggressive. The trick is to stop the game every time his teeth and mouth touch your skin. Pretty soon, your dog will learn that he has to be gentle and careful if he wants to continue playing this fun game with you.
3. Set Up an Agility Course
An obstacle course offers intense mental and physical exercise for your dog. In fact, some owners find that running through an agility course tires out their dogs more than a two-mile walk!
Set up your course with common household objects. Have your dog jump over a broom, mop, or weave through dining room chairs. Ask him to jump through a hula hoop or step over a pile of blankets. The sky is the limit in terms of what you can use, but you can also buy some ready-made agility equipment if you prefer.
4. Nose Games
Dogs’ noses are 2000 times more sensitive than human noses, but they rely on their eyesight more. Help your dog harness their sense of smell through various nose games.
At first, keep it simple by showing him a treat in one hand then closing both your hands. Let him sniff both hands and choose one. If he’s right, give him the treat and praise him for a good job. If not, simply show him the treat, close your hands, and repeat the game.
Once he becomes an expert at it, level up the game by hiding treats in boxes and all over the house for him to find.
Play and Train with Hearts in Harmony!
When combined with positive training methods, playing games with your dog will help you raise a well-rounded companion.
Hearts in Harmony offers fear-free dog training near Leesburg, VA, Purcellville, Fairfax County, Hillsboro, Oak Grove, Northern VA, Loudoun County, and surrounding areas. Reserve a slot for our dog training classes or send inquiries by calling us at 540-454-4098!
Learn with Your Dog in a Fun and Rewarding Way through Positive Dog Training in Hamilton!]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/12/29/Learn-with-Your-Dog-in-a-Fun-and-Rewarding-Way-through-Positive-Dog-Training-in-Hamiltonhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/12/29/Learn-with-Your-Dog-in-a-Fun-and-Rewarding-Way-through-Positive-Dog-Training-in-HamiltonFri, 28 Dec 2018 16:48:00 +0000
Dog owners are starting to recognize the life-saving value of enrolling pets in structured Hamilton dog training classes. Using fear-free techniques, Hearts in Harmony can help you cultivate a deeper bond with your dog, founded on communication, positive reinforcement, and complete trust.
When is the perfect time to learn dog manners?
Puppies absorb information during the first few months of their lives, and we want them to learn correct behavior as early as possible until it becomes second nature.
Once they are current on vaccinations, puppies as young as six months are ready to join our Dog Manners Classes. No dog is too old to learn how to be a polite companion — we welcome dogs of all ages here at Hearts in Harmony!
Fun-Filled Dog Manners Classes
For your convenience, our Dog Manners Classes are offered on both weeknights and Saturdays. If you wish to enroll in a dog training near Leesburg, VA, Purcellville, VA, or Ashburn, VA areas, our Hamilton dog training facility is just within driving distance!
We allow a maximum of four students in each class so that every dog will receive focused, individual attention for optimal learning. Throughout the Dog Manners program, we will teach you how to use positive methods and motivators to train your dogs and reinforce desired behaviors.
The goal of our dog training classes is to help you build a strong relationship with your dog through clear and concise communication.
Our Dog Manners Classes are structured into two levels:
For puppies six months and up
Includes six one-hour classesScheduled for January 5 to February 9, 2019 (Saturdays) at 11 AM to 12 PMMust have current vaccinations ( Bordetella, Rabies, and DHPP) at least two weeks before the class, and vaccines must be updated while enrolledShelter or Rescue adoption discount applies
The Basic Dog Manners Class is designed to give your dog a strong foundation he will need to be a polite companion. We will be focusing on good manners, socialization skills, impulse control, plus focus and relaxation exercise. Expect plenty of fun and games in every Dog Manners Class!
At Hearts in Harmony, we only use fear-free, rewards-based training methods to build the confidence of your beloved companion and make them excited to learn and work with you.
Throughout the Basic Dog Manners Class, your dog will learn basic commands like sit, down, trade, leave it, come when called, polite greetings, and loose leash walking.
For puppies six months and up
Includes six one-hour classesScheduled for January 8 to February 12, 2019 (Tuesdays) at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PMMust have current vaccinations ( Bordetella, Rabies, and DHPP) at least two weeks before the class, and vaccines must be updated while enrolledMust have Basic Dog Manners training or similar Basic Manners trainingShelter or Rescue adoption discount applies
In this class, we will strengthen previously-taught behaviors like recalls and leash walking by challenging your dogs with more distractions, duration, and distance.
You will learn handling and emergency cues for quick responses from your dog as well as supervised separation. New behaviors will also be introduced such as stay, wait, and go to the mat. Finally, you will learn more learning games to play with your dog, such as nose, targeting, and shaping games.
Sign up for Our Dog Manners Class today!
Enroll your furry friend in dog training near Leesburg, Ashburn, or Purcellville areas! Aside from our Dog Manners classes, our Hamilton dog training programs also include small, behavior-focused classes such as reactive dog classes and behavior modification classes to fit your needs.
Interested in joining any of our classes? You may register through this link or call us at 540-454-4098. We can’t wait to meet you and your dog!
Keep Your Furry Friends Safe during the Holidays: Expert Tips from Hearts in Harmony’s Hamilton Dog Trainer]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/11/21/Keep-Your-Furry-Friends-Safe-during-the-Holidays-Expert-Tips-from-Hearts-in-Harmony-Hamilton-Dog-Trainerhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/11/21/Keep-Your-Furry-Friends-Safe-during-the-Holidays-Expert-Tips-from-Hearts-in-Harmony-Hamilton-Dog-TrainerTue, 20 Nov 2018 19:56:28 +0000
The holiday season is a time for merrymaking, but it’s also a time for dog owners to become more vigilant. Christmas trees, an abundance of food, presents, plants, lights, ornaments, visitors – so many things that are potentially hazardous to your pets if left unsupervised. At Hearts and Harmony's Hamilton dog training owner Kim Miller discusses some precautions you can take to make sure your dogs stay happy and safe throughout the festivities.
There are so many delicious dishes during the holiday season, but no matter how much your dog begs for a bite, resist those cute puppy eyes and keep certain food items off limits:
Ditch the Desserts – Never feed dogs chocolate and anything that contains xylitol as these are harmful to canines. To be sure they don’t get into the desserts, keep them away from the table, secure the lids on trash bins, and don’t leave plates of food unattended.Don’t Offer Leftovers – Be extra careful of sharing your holiday meal with your dog, especially those that are spicy, fatty, and have bones. Stay with their regular diet to avoid upset tummies and medical emergencies.
Watch Your Cocktails – Alcohol is extremely toxic for dogs, and it can make them ill, weak, and unconscious. At worst, significant alcohol ingestion can lead to fatal respiratory failure. Keep unattended adult beverages completely out of reach.
Choose Treats Wisely – As a beloved member of the family, our furry friends deserve a few gifts in their stockings. Not sure what to give them? Indestructible chew toys, bouncy balls, or KONG toys that are stuffed with dog-friendly treats are all safe selections.
Part of the holiday spirit is decorating the house, but remember these tips to protect both your dogs and your hard work:
Secure Your Christmas Tree – Even small puppies can tip over a Christmas tree, so make sure to anchor your tree in a spot where it won't fall. Doing this also prevents your pet from drinking stagnant, dirty tree water that can trigger diarrhea and nausea.Keep Edible Decorations Off Your Tree – Decorating your tree with popcorn strings or cranberries is probably not a good idea, especially with a new dog or puppy. Your dog may be attracted to these edible ornaments and knock down your tree as a result.
Swap Out the Holly and Mistletoe – These two are classic Christmas decorations, but they are severely toxic to dogs. They can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea when ingested. Instead, go for artificial plants to decorate and avoid risking a health hazard.
Hide Wires and Display Candles Correctly – Curious dogs can hurt themselves with a live wire, broken glass, or ornament shards. They can also burn themselves or start a fire if they knock over your candles. Be sure to keep live flames at a safe distance and wires, batteries, and similar materials hidden safely from exploring paws.
Lock away your medicines, and instruct your guests to do the same.Encourage family and friends to play nicely and calmly with your dogs.Reserve a quiet, escape-proof area with comfortable bedding and fresh water in case your dog wants to retreat from all the holiday frenzy.Keep pets far away from fireworks and noisy poppers to protect their sensitive ears and avoid scaring them.
Keeping your dogs safe during the holidays is an essential part of dog training and responsible pet care. If you are looking to enroll your furry friend in dog training near Leesburg, Ashburn, or Purcellville areas, Hearts in Harmony’s training facility in Hamilton is just within driving distance. Check out our schedule for classes and events in 2019, or contact usfor more information.
Your Local Trainer in Hamilton Dog Training Classes Shares Tips on How to Have Fun with Your Dog]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/10/23/Your-Local-Trainer-in-Hamilton-Dog-Training-Classes-Shares-Tips-on-How-to-Have-Fun-with-Your-Doghttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/10/23/Your-Local-Trainer-in-Hamilton-Dog-Training-Classes-Shares-Tips-on-How-to-Have-Fun-with-Your-DogMon, 22 Oct 2018 20:25:17 +0000
As a local trainer in Hamilton dog training, Kim Miller recognizes that training isn’t just about behavior modification. It’s more about building and strengthening the human and dog relationship.
Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
Helping your dog stay active provides an opportunity to enjoy quality time and maintain health and wellness. Building rapport and having fun with your furry friend, however, can be quite a challenge especially during the fall and winter seasons.
It may be difficult to find open space to run and explore especially in some of the tightly packed suburbs of Northern Virginia. For locals, signing up for dog training in Leesburg, Ashburn, Purcellville areas means you are within driving distance of Hearts in Harmony’s training facility in Hamilton.
Fun Things to Do with Your Dog
Dog training services are specially designed to meet your canine companion’s specific needs. To keep your dog active and happy, dog trainers recommend engaging in fun activities. Be sure to direct your dog’s energy into appropriate channels using structured games.
Playtime provides your dog a mental and physical stimulation that help him stay happy and healthy. Dogs, however, have different play styles. If you want to play with your dog, be sure to understand his personal style. Is he more comfortable with a variety of games or with just one or two repetitive routines?
Here are some playtime recommendations to keep your dog entertained whether you’re inside your home.
Hide and Seek This is a fun workout for your dog’s brain and body. Dogs have a real appetite for problem-solving tasks. Playing hide and seek helps reinforce his scent tracking ability.
Before you start playing, make sure that your dog is familiar with the ‘stay’ command. This way, he will not simply follow you around while you try to hide.Tell your dog to ‘sit’ and ‘stay.’Grab a treat and hide somewhere, but don’t hide too far. Choose an obvious place in your house, like a chair or an open door.Now, call your dog and wait for him to find you.Once he finds you, praise him and give him a treat to reinforce his good behavior.
Dog Puzzles
From squeaking plush toys, chewing balls, to rubber toys— dogs love to play toys. Likewise, puzzle toys are an excellent means to encourage your dog to think and use his sense of smell. There are various puzzle toys you can use to keep your dog occupied during the cold season. Here are a few tips to help you incorporate this game into your dog’s routine.
To introduce this game to your dog, play at least 15-30 minutes a day with puzzle toys.Once your dog adapts to the routine, let him work for his food by hiding treats in different puzzle toys. Remember to use a high-value reward that's easy for your dog to get out.Start with small pieces, then increase the size of the reward as your dog gets more skilled at using the toy.
Search and Sniff This is one of the simplest ways to engage your dog’s sense of smell, improve his impulse control, and bond with him.
Tell you dog to sit and stay.Place treats randomly around the house within eye sight of the dog. You want him to see the hiding places.Start by placing one or two treats that he can easily find.Once your dog finds the first treat (often by accident), he will quickly key into the possibility of finding other treats by sniffing them out.
Strengthen the Bond with Your Four-Legged Friend
If your dog is a little reluctant to play outside in the cold weather, it doesn’t mean it’s okay for him just to sit and sleep all day long until the warm weather returns. Lack of exercise during fall or winter can lead to weight gain and potential health problems that arise from pet obesity. Furthermore, all that pent-up energy can contribute to some unpleasant behavior issues. For more winter ideas and classes, check out Hearts in Harmony – your local Hamilton dog training professional.
Easy, fun and playful activities will help keep your pooch active and healthy not only in the colder months but all year round!
Improve Your Dog’s Recall with Dog Training in Hamilton, VA]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/09/21/Improve-Your-Dog%E2%80%99s-Recall-with-Dog-Training-in-Hamilton-VAhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/09/21/Improve-Your-Dog%E2%80%99s-Recall-with-Dog-Training-in-Hamilton-VAThu, 20 Sep 2018 16:53:18 +0000
A reliable recall is one of the most important behaviors that every dog should have. What is a reliable recall? It is when your dog consistently stops what they are doing and immediately comes to you when called.
“Come” is one of the most important behaviors that all dogs should learn. It is also one of the hardest commands to get reliably. Yet when done in a way fun and rewarding cultivates a reliable recall. Training a reliable recall can be a wonderful bonding and training exercise for you and your pup.
Importance of an Effective Recall
Your dog’s safety greatly depends on his response to a recall. When your pup’s too close to something that is potentially dangerous such as getting ready to run in front of a car or chasing after another animal a steadfast recall can be a lifesaver. A reliable recall is not just for your dog’s safety, it is will also save you a lot of aggravation. Who does not want their dog to come when called regardless of what is going on?
A reliable recall will give you peace of mind every time you let your dog play in a park, knowing that he’ll return to you when necessary. It also allows you to experience the simple joy of a relaxed, off-leash walk. A dog that comes every time he’s called has more opportunities for socialization without you having to worry too much about him getting into trouble.
When to Start Teaching Recall
Your dog’s training should begin the moment he arrives in your home. It's essential to start teaching recall as soon as you can, since building a reliable response can take months of constant training. By that time, your adorable puppy will have grown a lot bigger and more confident, and it can be harder to get him to focus on you as he happily explores the world.
The good news is that the techniques used to train a reliable recall are the same no matter how old your dog may be.
Getting a Reliable Recall
Basically, you want your dog to learn that coming back to you is the best thing that can happen to him, better than all the distractions in his surroundings.
For a fast, reliable recall, Hamilton dog training specialist, Kim Miller, recommends your dog should only associate the word “come” with good things. This means rewarding him every time he comes back to you— with tasty treats, a lively game of tug of war, or lavish praise. Now that we’ve got that down, it’s time to introduce structure to your recall training.
1. Charge up the “Come” Cue
Make sure there are no distractionsAlways use a happy voiceWith your dog a short distance from you, call his name and say the word “come” in a cheerful voiceWhen he gets to you, praise him and reward with a little treatThen run away and repeat the steps to make it a fun game with exercise thrown in
2. Strengthen the Cue by Playing
This exercise will teach your dog that the fun does not always end when they are called.
Practice somewhere with moderate distractions that will make getting your dog’s attention easier.Begin with your dog on a leash or long-line.You will need a high value treat at the beginning.Make sure your dog knows that you have the high value treat – ask for a behavior and reinforce with the treat.When your dog is moderately distracted with something (person, smell or another dog) call them to you making sure to use your happy excited tone.Initially, you may need to run backwards acting excited to get their attention off the distractionIf your dog does not respond to the recall, then move on away from the distraction as if nothing happenedImmediately after they come to you and receive their high value treat, release them to continue what they were doing before you called them. This helps teach them that the fun does not have to stop when they are called.
Keep the following tips in mind as you train your dog a solid recall:
Incorporate the recall into your everyday life.Always make recalls rewarding and fun.Use the highest value rewards you have, at least initially and with high distractions.Make the recall a party. When calling your dog, use your happy voice, be excited, run backwards and then make a big production over them when they get to you. Make it the best thing in the world to your dog.Practice calling your dog when they are distracted or doing something they like to do. Use a high-value reward with this at the beginning. You will get more repetitions and build a habit faster.
Teaching a reliable recall can be challenging, but it is also extremely rewarding. Excited to learn more? Hearts in Harmony offers a class just for teaching reliable recalls and incorporates recall exercises in their Puppy Kindergarten, Basic Manners and Intermediate Manners classes. So, no matter where you live in Loudoun County - Leesburg, Purcellville, Round Hill or Waterford, getting a reliable recall is as simple as attending Hamilton dog training classes with Hearts in Harmony! Forging a relationship with your pet is once in a lifetime, so make the most of your time with him.
Enjoy Leash Walking Your Dog with Fear-Free Dog Training in Hamilton, VA]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/09/01/Help-Your-Dog-Enjoy-Polite-Leash-Walking-Fear-Free-Dog-Training-Leesburg-VAhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/09/01/Help-Your-Dog-Enjoy-Polite-Leash-Walking-Fear-Free-Dog-Training-Leesburg-VAFri, 31 Aug 2018 18:16:25 +0000
Leash walking your best friend should be an enjoyable activity for you and your dog. Taking walks with your dog is a time of relaxation and bonding, as well as an opportunity for mental and physical exercise. However, your fun and relaxing time with your best friend can turn into an undesirable experience if the walk turns into a battle of wills. Improving your dog’s leash walking skills is not always an easy task, especially if you do not know where to start. This is why attending a fear-free dog training in Hamilton, VA is essential.
Dogs have no idea how to walk on a leash. In fact, they’re pretty clueless what the leash is for in the first place! Polite leash walking not only makes going on a walk so much more fun, but safer too— when your dog is mindful and cooperative on the leash, he’s less likely to pull you, drag you, or even run away from you when you’re outside.
Your dog does not enjoy pulling. It puts his body in an unnatural position and places pressure on his neck and throat, causing discomfort and potential damage. Pulling may begin with your dog trying to get away from leash pressure or trying to get to a location or thing quickly. Before long, pulling becomes a learned behavior in which the dog believes he must pull to move forward.
Every time your dog pulls on the leash and you move forward, you are reinforcing your dog for pulling. Simply, your dog pulls, you move forward, and he thinks, “Yes, that worked.” For your dog to stop pulling, you need to have a plan that is consistently executed.
Do not move forward if your dog pulls. Be patient and wait for your dog to move back to you or for him to create slack in the leash, then move forward.Consistently reinforce your dog for being near you. Remember that you are competing with all the interesting things in the environment and you need to make yourself more interesting and rewarding. Try rewarding your dog for being near you with a tasty treat.Make sure to move forward when there is slack in the leash. You can also use the environment as a reward by letting your dog sniff and explore when he creates slack in the leash.Consistency, consistency, consistency! While teaching your dog not to pull, it is very important never to move forward when your dog pulls. If there are times that you just give up and move forward, your dog will get confused and resort back to the behavior (pulling) he is familiar with and has practiced the longest.
Start Them Young
Training your dogs to walk politely on a leash should be done as early as possible. Very young puppies tend to be hesitant as they explore the world around them, so they’re more likely to follow you around all the time. This natural behavior is an excellent foundation for polite leash walking, so begin reinforcing it often to show your puppy that walking by your side makes good things happen.
Between eight to 16 weeks of age, your puppy will start exploring on his own. It may be more challenging for him to want to stay close to you while walking. That's why it's advisable to enroll your puppy in puppy group class as soon as you can, this can be as early as eight weeks of age. Hamilton dog training classes offering a series of puppy classes is a great way to get started.
A well-run, fear-free puppy class creates a controlled environment where you can reinforce the desired behavior (walking with you) even when there are distractions nearby, like other puppies and people.
Walk with Me
Teaching your dog to walk nicely beside you takes time and lots of practice. You should always begin where there is little to no distractions so that you can have your dog’s undivided attention. Teaching your dog to walk beside you should be fun and rewarding for your pup, making being next to you the BEST place ever.
Getting your dog to walk next to you on a slack leash can be challenging. Using positive reinforcement techniques motivates your dog to walk next to you, helps build focus, and improves your relationship with your dog.
Attending a group manners class where a trainer can coach you is a great way to get started with teaching your dog to walk politely on a leash. Positive reinforcement dog training classes can be found near you in Leesburg, Hamilton, and Purcellville, Virginia.
You’ll encounter these different types and more during your Leesburg dog training classes, but the one thing they have in common is that they make the exercise as fun as possible for the puppy (and you!)
Experience a Fun Dog Training
The truth is that strict leash walking training can be incredibly dull for your puppy, especially if it’s all you do all the time. But we want him to enjoy every minute of walking near you until he loves it so much, he offers polite behavior on his own.
And how is this achieved? Through games, of course! Positive reinforcement trainers have come up with a lot of games that not only strengthen the desired behavior (polite leash walking), but also make training a fun experience for you and your furry pet. Excited to try it out? Register for dog training classes with Hearts in Harmony!
Dog Training: Four Simple Tips to Help You Better Train Adult Dogs]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/06/29/dog-training-four-simple-tips-to-help-you-better-train-adult-dogshttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/06/29/dog-training-four-simple-tips-to-help-you-better-train-adult-dogsFri, 13 Jul 2018 16:11:02 +0000
The old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is widely used, but is it really true? Not necessarily. Older dogs can be “retrained” as long as the communication is clear and training is done with patience and kindness. In many cases, attending our professional dog training classes in Hamilton, VA will contribute to a smoother transition of an older dog to a new home. It will be a time of bonding and getting to know each other, too.
Why is this all important? Not every dog is lucky enough to start their lives in the warmth of a loving home. Sadly, bad experiences and often abusive ones can lead to emotional and mental health problems. When an adult dog is adopted into a new family, issues may become apparent. The new pet owner may find challenges with the newest addition to the family that require professional guidance to overcome.
If you have recently adopted an adult dog, here are a few tips to keep in mind during dog training classes:
Keep Things Positive
It can be difficult to determine the kind of environment the newest addition to your family grew up in. For best results, keep training and interactions positive. Dogs learn through association, so you will want to make sure their association with you and their new environment is positive. This can be done by, reinforcing the good behaviors learned during dog training, practicing these new behaviors at home, being clear with expectations, rewarding with treats and lots of praise.
One Step at a Time
The disposition of adult dogs varies. Some aren’t as quick to learn and adjust to new surroundings as others. Be patient--don’t give up after just a week or two. Some dogs may feel overwhelmed by their new surroundings and the situations they find themselves in. Try introducing something new gradually, take it one step at a time. Only move on to introduce something new, address the next issue or teach a new behavior you know they understand and are providing the behavior you originally were looking for. If your dog feels uneasy in a new environment (public park, etc.), then you are asking too much of them and need to slow it down. Promptly remove them from the environment that they are uncomfortable with and take him somewhere he is comfortable. You can always try introducing the new environment another time.
Spend Quality Time Together
Spending quality time together with your new furry friend is very important. Not only does your new adult pet have to adjust to new surroundings, but he also needs time to adjust to you. Spending more time together is the quickest way to build a relationship of trust between you and your new family member. Spending special time together on walks, snuggling, grooming, playing, and training are good ways to build a strong bond.
Be Your Dogs Advocate
During dog training classes, so take the time to observe how your dog’s trainer interacts with your pet. Be willing to give your dog a break when they become frustrated, tired or over-whelmed. Training should be fun for your dog. Your dog should be excited about going to class showing ease with the environment and eagerly greeting the trainer. Taking notes during class, so you can be consistent in applying what you learned in class in your own home. Make sure to get clarification on training techniques that you are unclear on, helping to ensure consistency and maintain clear communication with your new pet.
Puppy Start Right Class]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/06/12/puppy-start-right-classhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/06/12/puppy-start-right-classMon, 30 Apr 2018 11:35:00 +0000
Puppies have the learning ability of an adult dog by the age of 8-weeks. It is during this critical learning period known as the socialization period that puppies form lasting memories. Meaning thatpositive as well as negative experiences can impact your puppy’s behavior as an adult, making early socialization and learning paramount to developing a well-rounded social dog.
Although formal dog training has traditionally been delayed until 6 months of age, most vets are now recommending that puppies are socialized and receive training much earlier.The Puppy Start Right class is designed to lay a solid foundation for positive proactive socialization and training. Therefore, Hearts in Harmony is offering this programto dog owners in Leesburg, VA or elsewhere as open-enrollment class, allowing you to start when you get your puppy instead of waiting for the start of the next session. The Puppy Start Right class consists of 4 rotating classes with different socialization topics and opportunities. You can attend all four classes or just the ones that you feel most beneficial. Here’s what you can expect from the class.
Socializing with People and Other Dog Breeds
Socializing your puppy to strangers, other dogs, noises and different environments is a crucial step in training. This helps ensure that you raise a trainable, manageable pet and identify problem behaviors as soon as possible. Being in a classroom setting givespuppies an opportunity tobuild focus, attention and confidence, building a positive foundation that will follow them throughout the rest of their lives.
Associating Training with Positive Experiences
Training should be a rewarding experience for both dogs and owners in order to facilitate a healthy, loving relationship. Any training that uses any aversive form of punishment only creates fearful or aggressive responses for your puppy. Puppy preschool classes gets you started using the tools needed to continue building a solid relationship through clear, concise communication, games and fun.
Problem Solving & Prevention Training
Dogs are always learning, so any positive training will help them understand what is expected and appropriate. The reasons for and proper use of a crate, house training, jumping, handling, food bowl issues, play biting and chewing are all addressed in puppy training classes.
Reacting Positively to Being Handled by Others
Some dogs are fearful of being touched by strangers and being left alone by their owners, which can make grooming and trips to the vet quite difficult. An important part of puppy training is discussing enrichment, exercise, anxiety, fear, aggression, reading dog body language and how to continue building a solid trusting relationship with your puppy. Playing games, continued socialization and incorporating puppy playtime leads to a well-balanced and happy puppy.
Learning Useful, Basic Skills
Teaching your puppy to respond to simple obedience commands goes a long way. In puppy preschool, there is an emphasis on focus and impulse control. Basic manners such as name recognition, come when called, polite greeting, trade and to focus on you, all while having fun.Learning other skills will come easier to your puppy once the fundamental methods of communication are established.
Puppy training is a pivotal stage in your dog’s life. Make sure you get a good head start and enroll your puppy in our Puppy Start Right class. See our Puppy Group Classes for more details and to register for upcoming classes.
Puppy Start Right Preschool, PuppyColours.com
The Benefits of Puppy Preschool, PuppyTales.com.au
Springing Back to Action with Hearts in Harmony Dog Training: Three Dog Training Tips for the New Season]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/03/23/springing-back-to-action-with-hearts-in-harmony-dog-training-three-dog-training-tips-for-the-new-seasonhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/03/23/springing-back-to-action-with-hearts-in-harmony-dog-training-three-dog-training-tips-for-the-new-seasonThu, 22 Mar 2018 22:39:00 +0000
Break out the balls, the water bottles, and the bug spray! Despite the last lingering traces of winter, spring is finally back – and your pet can bound to Hearts in Harmony in Hamilton after months cooped up at home.
How can you make the most out of the season to catch up on dog training, and to simply have fun with your pet? Here are several tips.
Hit the ground running
With all the pent-up energy from a less active winter, your pet will benefit from a return to your favorite parks. Running or walking back out onto the grass isn’t just about getting the exercise, though.
Let Hearts in Harmony help you accomplish several dog training goals:
Improving your pet’s behavior on a leashLearning or re-learning responses to commands, like “Come back!” or “Leave it!” Interacting politely with other pets and humans on the trailKnowing not to dig up all the newly sprung flowers!
We can help you step into Spring with your best friend with one of our group classes, private sessions, or behavior focused (Polite Leash Walking, Rocket-Recall) workshops. For more information, visit www.heartsinharmonyllc.com, or contact us kim@heartsinharmonyllc.com.
Of course, you should also brush up on springtime pet care before heading outdoors with your dog. Aside from sunburns and dehydration, you’ll also have to be mindful of any springtime allergies they might have – not to mention springtime “enemies” like fleas, ticks, and stinging bees!
Try new activities
Springtime is for new beginnings, is it not? You can take advantage of the milder, warmer weather by teaching your dog new activities that might not be as fun in the summer or fall. And this doesn’t have to mean rolling out a slightly different version of “fetch.”
Has your pet ever swum before? You could turn your regular run or hike into an adventure by introducing your dog to a pond or lake. Have you started your spring cleaning? You could try tying together worn and torn clothes; instead of throwing them out, turn them into a rope you and your pet could play tug-of-war with.
Go on a “road trip”
It doesn’t have to be a real road trip – at least, not yet. If you worry your pet might have gotten unused to being in a car over the homebound winter, you can begin taking him or her out for short drives. Start with little trips around the block, to the neighborhood park, and then around town. These will remind your pet how to behave and be comfy in the backseat.
Soon enough, with the windows rolled down, the sun in their face, and the wind in their fur, they can be excellent traveling companions – all the way through spring into summer!
10 Tips for Enjoying Spring with Your Pet, PawCulture.com
Springtime Dog Training Tips, TheDogTrainingSecret.com
Kim Miller of Hearts in Harmony Hosts Fear-Free Dog Training Sessions]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/03/02/kim-miller-of-hearts-in-harmony-hosts-fear-free-dog-training-sessionshttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/03/02/kim-miller-of-hearts-in-harmony-hosts-fear-free-dog-training-sessionsTue, 20 Feb 2018 23:25:00 +0000
Hamilton, Virginia (March 7, 2018) — As a gift to the Northern Virginia community Hearts in Harmony and Joyful Dog hosted a Fear-Free dog training seminar in Hamilton, Virginia on March 3rd. The admission free event focused on teaching pet owners how to train their dogs to become more comfortable with veterinary handling and grooming. Speakers included Fear Free Certified Professionals Kim Miller (Hearts in Harmony) and Marnie Montgomery (Joyful Dog)as techniques were discussed on how to encourage dogs to become a willing participant in their own care.
For some dogs who don’t enjoy trips to the groomers, activities that seem mundane to humans such as nail trimming and clipping can be quite stressful and even traumatic to some extent. To provide much needed help and information to concerned pet owners, Kim is offering 4-week Fear Free training classes starting March 18th. During the classes, participants will learn methods of alleviating and preventing fear, anxiety and stress in their pets, as well as how to prepare your dog for veterinary, grooming visits and care.
The Fear free approach aims to protect the emotional experience of animals during care. This is done by positively influencing animal emotional wellbeing during care and in other areas of their life. For instance, building happy associations with the vet, medical equipment and treatment, grooming and handling are essential when puppies begin socializing. Such training should be included as a basic part of manner classes early on. At the same time, owners will learn how to recognize signs and triggers of fear, anxiety and stress in their animal, as well as techniques to manage and alleviate them.
Fear free trainers like Kim are vital in this type of training in that they work to preserve the human-animal bond. A Fear Free Certified Professional is someone who has completed the Fear Free Animal Trainer course, allowing him or her to work with the pet owner and the veterinary team to protect the physical and emotional wellbeing of pets. They must also meet a standard for education or certification, experience, and ethical codes of conduct for training so that they may also help redeem care situations in which an animal is already fearful, anxious and stressed.
For more information on Fear Free Training and to register for classes, visit
About Hearts in Harmony, LLC
Serving Leesburg, Hamilton, and extended areas in Virginia, Hearts in Harmony, LLC is a company that provides dog training services to citizens and fatigue workshops to animal care professionals. The company’s owner and primary instructor, Kim Miller, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) with over 40 years working with dogs and other animals. Kim has recently completed the Fear Free instructors training course and is a Fear Free Certified Professional. She is also a Pat Miller Certified Trainer (PMCT), a Compassion Fatigue Instructor, and an esteemed member of several venerable animal training organizations.
Housebound in Leesburg, VA? Here are Dog Training Tips to Ease Your Pet’s Winter Boredom]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/01/24/housebound-in-leesburg-va-here-are-dog-training-tips-to-ease-your-pets-Winter-Boredomhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2018/01/24/housebound-in-leesburg-va-here-are-dog-training-tips-to-ease-your-pets-Winter-BoredomTue, 23 Jan 2018 23:15:00 +0000
January and February can’t be your dog’s favorite months of the year. The sun can be hard to find, there are hardly any flower beds to sniff, and neighborhood playmates may be vacationing or hiding from the cold.
Yet even when temperatures are constantly below 50°F, there’s still a lot you can do in or around Leesburg, VA to keep your canine companion upbeat.
Keep them busy with indoor play
No one is playing fetch while housebound. But lucky for your dog – and your own mental stimulation – you can devise a few other activities. These include:
● A treasure hunt, where your dog searches for favorite toys or treats around the house
● Hide-and-seek, where your pet tracks down treat-bearing family or friends
● The cup game, where he or she sniffs out a mystery snack from under a cup
Simple tricks – like “stand”, “sit”, “spin”, or “wave” – can also be turned into rewarding games while keeping your pet’s skills sharp for any visitors.
Treat them with homemade goodies
You can also keep your pet’s mind occupied – and their stomach full – by preparing treats for them.
Let them stay in the kitchen as you do so. With their eyes turned to you for a couple of hours, that should keep them from chasing their tails and running circles into your carpet. It will also keep you stocked with yummy rewards for indoor play. (Of course, it would be good if you’ve successfully taken your pet through behavioral dog training before bringing them to kitchen duty.)
Pick a warmer day for special adventures
Is there a nearby park or beach you can easily go to? Check the forecast for milder days. Take advantage of these and go where crowds normally won’t in the winter. The change of scenery from your house, however un-summery, can help lift your dog’s mood. The fresh air will perk you up as well.
Just remember: before planning any trips, double-check how safe going out in winter will be for both you and your dog.
Find an indoor play facility
Dog training and daycare facilities are also open during the winter – and you may certainly bring your pet there to lift their spirits. Your dog might still miss the feel of soil and grass, but playing in one of these indoor parks can burn away all the restlessness of winter.
He or she could even enjoy group playtime without additional stress, since some facilities can schedule sessions with dogs of similar temperament. As your dog lets loose under the eyes of certified trainers, you can kick up your heels and relax as well.
5 Ways to Help Pets (And You!) Beat Winter Boredom, OneGreenPlanet.org
How to Beat Your Pet’s Winter Boredom, PetSafe.net
Bored Dog? Try These Winter Games, PetFinder.com
National Train Your Dog Month: Benefits of Dog Training]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2017/12/20/national-train-your-dog-month-benefits-of-dog-traininghttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2017/12/20/national-train-your-dog-month-benefits-of-dog-trainingWed, 20 Dec 2017 00:32:00 +0000
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers has declared January as National Train Your Dog Month. In celebration, Hearts in Harmony will be offering additional classes, workshops and seminars. Please visit and like our Facebook page for announcements, discount specials, promotions, and training tips.
January is National Train Your Dog Month and many dog owners, especially those who have recently become dog owners for the first time, are likely to look for ways to improve their new dog’s manners and strengthen their bond. Fortunately, training is an excellent way to accomplish both all while having fun.
Dog training, whether group classes or private session can accomplish so much in such a short time. Some of the benefits are:
Improved manners such as; polite greetings, walking nicely on a leash, recall, wait, sit and much moreImpulse control and focusCalmnessConfidenceMental and physical exercise Socialization with new people, dogs, places and objectsDog learns to problem solve and make good choicesDevelops clear communication and understanding between dog and ownerBuilds a strong relationship between dog and owner
Dog training should always be fun and rewarding for both dog and owner. Dog training class activities are a great way to improve your bond with your dog. When working with a professional dog trainer, make sure that they use force-free, positive reinforcement training methods and incorporate fun and games in to their curriculum.
It isn’t too difficult to find dog training classes in and near Hamilton, Leesburg and the rest of the Northern Virginia area especially during Dog Training Month. Several respected trainers, such as Hearts in Harmony, may even offer extra classes. Find a professional positive-reinforcement dog trainer through one of the reputable dog training associations, such as The Association of Professional Dog Trainers or The Pet Professional Guild, and see if they are offering classes that work for you.
January is the beginning of a New Year and a great time to make a commitment to help your dog be the best companion he can be. Your dog is never too young or old to learn and develop new behaviors or skills. So, join Hearts in Harmony LLC in celebrating National Train Your Dog Month and discover all the possibilities that training can offer for you and your dog.
Training Tips to Strengthen Your Bond With Your Dog, petmd.com 9 Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Your Dog, thebark.com
On December 3, Merry Manners: A Free Holiday Dog Training Seminar for Leesburg, Hamilton, Purcellville, and Surrounding Areas.]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2017/11/22/on-december-3-merry-manners-a-free-holiday-dog-training-seminar-for-leesburg-hamilton-purcellville-and-surrounding-areashttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2017/11/22/on-december-3-merry-manners-a-free-holiday-dog-training-seminar-for-leesburg-hamilton-purcellville-and-surrounding-areasWed, 22 Nov 2017 13:50:25 +0000
For more information please visithttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/events.
Everyone wants to get through the holidays with the least stress and most grace, and it’s safe to say you hope the same for your dogs. Just like humans, canine companions can get overwhelmed by the frenzy from Thanksgiving to New Year. They might simply not know what to do – especially if your hosting or attending parties disrupts their routines.
Hearts in Harmony, LLC and Joyful Dog, LLC will be holding a free dog training seminar on December 3, 2017 to help you keep your canine on their best behavior through the holidays. Residents of Leesburg, Hamilton, Purcellville and neighboring areas are invited to come. Till then, here are several tips on preparing your dogs for the coming season.
Preserve routines
Even if human holiday schedules are anything but ordinary, make sure your dog feels everything is “normal.” Stick to regular walking, feeding, and playing times. Enlist friends or family members to step in for you if you yourself can’t.
As the hustle and bustle in your house increases, carve out “quiet times” for your dog to de-stress. Maintain a private spot where he or she can retreat to as well. (You can imagine how important this would be for you!)
Teach “new” behaviors
Despite keeping routines, you will have to ensure your dog also adapts to holiday changes. For example:
● Staying away from the feast – If your dog usually has the freedom to approach you during meals, he or she might be better off staying away when you have food for guests laid out. You can prevent dogs from sniffing counters or tabletops by training them to go relax on a mat or bed and that all good things come from a specific place (mat, floor, other room) other than the table or counter.
● Meeting guests for the first time – Dogs, as we know, can become overwhelmed and nervous about meeting new people. As you begin hosting people for the holidays, have a predetermined safe place for your dog to stay or go. Giving your dog a safe place to go will not only make them more comfortable, but may possibly save you embarrassment. It is equally important to “Train” your guests not to throw themselves at your dog as well!
Dog-proof the decorations
No matter how well your train your dog, you can always avoid mishaps by ensuring there’s less risk for them. Secure electrical cords, anchor your tree, and avoid risky decorations like breakable snow globes, twinkling lights, lit candles, and foodstuffs in stockings. Not only will you prevent your dog from knocking over things left and right – you will also help limit the distractions that could get your pet overstimulated.
Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg on dog training tips for the holidays. Learn more by joining Hearts in Harmony’s seminar, and both you and your pet can enjoy the celebrations.
How to Prepare Your Dog for the Holidays, Parts 1 to 3, TwoLittleCavaliers.com
Your Dog’s Manners Around Guests, BedandBiscuitAustin.com
Holiday Manners 101, ClickerTraining.com
Early Dog Training: The Benefits of Training and Socializing Your Puppy Early]]>https://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2017/10/25/early-dog-training-the-benefits-of-training-and-socializing-your-puppy-earlyhttps://www.heartsinharmonyllc.com/single-post/2017/10/25/early-dog-training-the-benefits-of-training-and-socializing-your-puppy-earlyTue, 24 Oct 2017 17:53:00 +0000
Puppies surely are cute. They offer loving companionship and bring joy, fun, and laughter to your household. Individuals living alone, seniors, and families with children can all experience the many benefits that having a dog brings. Before you take home an adorable young pup, however, make sure that you know exactly what you're getting into. Unlike mature dogs, puppies come with added responsibilities and can make you a little flustered with their behavior. The young ones are typically energetic and need to be entertained, and they have yet to learn what we want and where we want them to eliminate.
One of the best ways to make sure that your pup is safe and happy and that you, too, are enjoying your pup, is to consider early dog training. Young dogs are eager and ready to learn, and it is at this stage that pups form habits. The responsibility of whether the habits are good or bad rests with you. As a dog owner, it's your responsibility to ensure that you have a dog that's well-rounded and adaptable.
The following are just some of the many benefits that early dog training can offer you and your pup:
Prevents Behavior Problems
A puppy's frustrating behavior, if it not addressed immediately, can eventually become unbearable once it moves to adolescence or adulthood. Early dog training prevents bad habits and behavior from even becoming a problem. The usual complaints that flustered and unprepared owners have about their puppies include eliminating anywhere, nipping family members, chewing on furniture and shoes, and jumping at the owner or the guests. With early puppy training, both you and your dog will certainly benefit from it.
During puppy training, you'll also be able to teach your dog how to behave while walking on a leash. This is one of the most important things a pup should be taught because it will allow you to take it for walks without worry while providing it with the necessary mental and physical exercise.
Socializes Well with Other Dogs and People
There are dog owners who complain about not being able to take their dogs out for a walk or have guests over in fear of their dogs chasing other pets or jumping on the guests. With early dog training, your pup will be exposed to other puppies and dog-loving people outside of your home setting. Proper socialization early in a dog's life - starting around seven to eight weeks of age - can prevent behavior problems later in its life.
Develops a Stronger Bond Between Owner and Pet
Dog training requires you to spend time with your pup so that you can teach it properly. The more time you spend together, the easier it will be to figure out your dog's traits and learn how to play with them, work with them and teach them. Conversely, your dog will also learn how to respond to you, and know what makes you happy. This will build trust and confidence, making the relationship you share a bond that can't be easily broken.
The Benefits of Crate Training, paws.org The Benefits of Training, trainyourdogmonth.com Critical Importance of Puppy Socialization, healthypets.mercola.com