Category Archives: Langley Cornwell

5 Tips for Teaching a Dog Impulse Control

impulse marilynBy Langley Cornwell

Dogs are like any other living animals. When their actions result in rewards, they will continue the actions. For example, if your dog gets praise, encouragement and head pats when he jumps on you or performs any other undesirable action, he will continue to do so. He thinks your positive reaction indicates that you approve of his bad behavior. On the other hand, when a dog gets rewarded for good behaviors, like sitting calmly when directed to do so, you can expect that behavior to continue as well. Teaching a dog about impulse control can take less time that you might imagine, when you use the proper tools and methods.

Assume a Position

Whether you want your dog to lie down on his mat during dinner time or you want him to sit calmly at the door before being let out, you need to first teach him how to be still. To do this, you’ll need some high quality treats like CANIDAE Grain Free PURE, a spot to work with your dog, a visual and vocal command, and a position to teach.

Take your dog to the area where you will be working. Tell your dog to sit, stay or whatever command you decide on. Use a hand motion picked just for this command, and use the hand motion and voice command at the same time. The moment your dog is in the position that you desire, reward him or her with a treat. Remember that consistency is vital.

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Does Your Pet Make You Feel Unconditionally Loved?

love stellaBy Langley Cornwell

The answer to this question is a resounding yes! The connection people have with their pets is a source of unending fascination to me. The flowery words they use to describe the animal/human relationship are evidence of how they feel about their pets. And even though animals can’t use flowery words, they do a good job of communicating their love for us in different ways. When I asked my friends how their pets make them feel unconditionally loved, I received so many beautiful answers. Here is a sampling:

They Comfort Us

My friend Kim talks about her animals all the time. She marvels at the fact that, when she’s hurting, her dog and cats will curl up with her. “It’s like they sense my distress and want to comfort me.”

Taylor’s little dog Brynnie recognizes when she’s having nightmares and will stand on her chest and gently paw her face until she awakens. You see, Taylor has PTSD and often has horrible nightmares. She’s so grateful that her dog seems to understand and helps her through the tough times.

The other day my friend Jenn choked as she was drinking a glass of water. She describes it this way “As I fell forward onto my knees trying not to die from the very substance that gives me life, my dog came running over to make sure I was OK and tucked his head under my arm. No one else in the house so much as paused their video game to make sure I wasn’t actually as close to dying as my dog and I were both convinced I was. Dogs are the best.”

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The Importance of Low Impact Activities for Puppies

puppy low impact bobBy Langley Cornwell

When we first adopted our now-senior dog, she was roughly 10 months old. I’ll never forget how high her energy level was; I’d never lived with a dog who had that much vim and vigor. This dog wanted to go mach-five for 20 hours a day. Most young puppies sleep between 15 to 20 hours a day, but she was past that sleepy-puppy stage and into the boisterous adolescent stage. She wore us out. In fact, at the ripe old age of 11 she is still full of puppyish energy but, thankfully, it’s not non-stop anymore.

You know the old saying, if I’d only known then what I know now? Well, I feel that way about this pup. Because she was so rambunctious, we tried every known trick to wear her out. We went to puppy kindergarten class and then reviewed and practiced our simple obedience skills over and over. We stuffed CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Chewy Treats into hard rubber toys for her to play with. We had supervised play dates with other puppies, and we took her on our daily jogs. Like I said, if I’d only known then what I know now. You see, it was a mistake to take her on jogs at that young age.

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Decoding a Dog’s Sense of Smell

dog decode smell padBy Langley Cornwell

Dogs and humans share three senses—hearing, smelling and seeing—but we rely on them in different ways, or rather, with different levels of dependence. For the majority of humans, hearing is their primary sense followed by seeing and lastly, smelling. There are some humans who are more visually focused and take in and process visual information before auditory information but as a general rule, the order of sensory dependence is hearing, seeing and then smelling.

A dog, on the other hand, primarily relies on his sense of smell. For our canine friends, the order of sensory dependence is smelling, seeing and then hearing. Amazingly, our dogs receive and understand as much information via smelling as we do via sight!

A dog’s reliance on the nose starts at a young age. When puppies are born, their eyes are closed and their ears are stopped up. Even so, they are born with heat sensors in their noses which help them locate their mother in order to nurse. These heat sensors fade with time, and fully adult dogs no longer have this ability.

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Iconic Dogs Found in Literature

iconic dogs grandpafootsoldierBy Langley Cornwell

During this time of year, it’s so hot where I live that if I’m not working in my home office, chances are good that I’m tucked into a nook somewhere with a fan blowing in my face and a book glued to my hands. My summer reading list has revealed some memorable protagonists, and not all of them are of the two-legged variety. In fact, some of my favorite characters, not surprisingly, happen to be four-legged.

That’s right, in some books dogs play an essential role in the plot progression. Sometimes the entire story centers on the canine, while in other stories he is merely doing what he does best, being a faithful companion and loyal sidekick to his human. Here are a few of my favorite dogs found in literature.

Buck

With a list like this, you almost have to start with Buck from Jack London’s The Call of the Wild. This canine was a principal character in this classic 1903 book. Buck was living a leisurely life as a domesticated dog during the Klondike Gold Rush period when, being a St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix, he was stolen and forced to work as a sled dog. This heroic one-time-pet begins to transform into a more primal, animalistic creature in order to survive at the hands of cruel humans and conditions.

Finally, Buck is rescued by John Thornton and the two forge an incredibly close relationship. Buck gets the chance to repay the debt by rescuing Thornton from a frozen river. But in the end, Buck’s beloved human is killed and he returns to his primal nature by answering the call of the wild. I fell in love with Buck the first time I read his name, and have loved him ever since. As you can probably tell, this book had a profound effect on me as a child.

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How Do Dogs Sense Approaching Storms?

dog storms ttarasiukBy Langley Cornwell

Where I live, we have short thunderstorms almost every afternoon in the summer. I used to like these storms because they cooled things down a bit, but one of our dogs has recently become a master weatherman, sensing approaching storms long before we see evidence. Unfortunately for him, he dislikes the thunder. And because he senses its approach, his misery is long-lasting. For his sake, I wish he wasn’t so keen to oncoming inclement weather. I also began to wonder, how in the world does he know in advance when a storm is rolling in anyway?

We provide our dogs with love, companionship and shelter, and feed them healthy food like CANIDAE. We spend lots of time with them but even so, sometimes dogs do things that make us wonder. Some dogs dig the carpet before lying down, some herd children, and some even terrorize mailmen. But dogs also do amazing things like saving their humans from fires, protecting their homes and predicting the weather.

While you can’t ask your dog how bad a storm is going to be, if you get to know your pup you will be able to tell when a storm is coming, just by observing their behavior. Dogs know when it’s time to batten down the hatches, and will often herd the family to where they can keep an eye on you while they pace agitatedly. How do dogs know a storm is approaching long before the clouds appear, the rain falls and the thunder rolls?

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