All About Toy Dog Breeds

If your dream is to have a furry companion that is puppy-size forever, it can be a reality! You just need to get a toy dog.


If you desire a toy dog, you should educate yourself on the breed group and ensure a toy dog will fit your lifestyle. Well, this post will guide you about everything you need to know about toy dogs. 


Let’s get started!

General characteristics of toy breeds 

Toy dogs are small dogs that weigh 15 pounds or less when they are fully grown. As their name suggests, toy dogs are all mini in size, but what they lack in stature, they make up for with their massive personalities. Toy dogs are tiny bundles of fur and love, ready to curl up on your lap. 


Toy dogs are practical and highly portable dogs. They are easier to care for, manage, and satisfy than other dogs. Toy dogs are fragile, so too much exercise, bad weather, injury, or anxiety can easily put them over the edge. 


Toy dogs enjoy a close association with those they live with. They’re mostly curious about everything that is going on. Toy dogs may be small but they’ve a strong mind of their own and the determination to go with it, especially when it comes to you. 


Safety and comfort are very important to them. Much of their potential “misbehavior” will arise out of their simply feeling uncomfortable. Given their small size and emotional nature, they can easily become overwhelmed by the world around them and overreact to those events.


Kim Brophey in “Meet Your Dog” recommends educating yourself about toy dogs and seek professional help if your dog:  (pp. 134)


  • Suffers from separation anxiety
  • Experiences soiling/difficulty in house training
  • Has perception of “stranger danger” at home and in public 
  • Is barking excessively
  • Has difficulty with small children
  • Show handling and grooming intolerance 
  • Is overprotective of his person, also known as lap guarding
  • Exhibit reactivity and dramatic behavior toward other dogs

Toy dog breeds 

There is as much variety in toy dogs as there are in large ones. Below are the dogs within the AKC toy group.


  • Affenpinscher
  • Biewer Terrier
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chihuahua
  • Chinese Crested
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Havanese
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Japanese Chin
  • Maltese
  • Manchester Terrier
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Papillon
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranian
  • Pug
  • Russian Toy
  • Shih Tzu
  • Silky Terrier
  • Toy Fox Terrier
  • Toy Poodle 
  • Yorkshire Terrier

Temperament of toy breeds 

Toy dogs thrive on human companionship and can make great apartment pets. Keep in mind that every toy breed will have its own personality that may not fit these generalizations. Toy dogs usually share the following temperament:


  • Sensitive: Intuitive, sensitive, and emotionally delicate, toy dogs are designed for attending to and comforting their person. When touched unknowingly, these little ones can give you a dirty look. They cannot easily handle inconsistent routines or noisy and chaotic households.
  • Playful and Engaging: Toy dogs are fun-loving, playful, and curious with family and friends. They enjoy spending time and playing with their human companions. Their playful antics often help them get the adoration they crave. You can never get bored with a toy dog.
  • Affectionate: Toy dogs are loving and affectionate to the entire family. They desire your attention and affection but offer unconditional love to their person. Toy dogs enjoy cuddling up next to their owner.
  • Wary: Toy dogs often bark loudly despite their small size. They may be prone to alarm barking and defensiveness in new conditions.
  • Codependent: Toy dogs are clingy and demand attention. These charming little dogs love attention and can’t tolerate being alone. It is not a good idea to leave a toy dog all by themselves as you go for a walk or to work. When left alone, these little ones tend to be anxious, bored, and lonely and could become problematic. 


Early socialization and training are important in directing their energy in a positive way.

How to take care of toy breeds 

Kim Brophey in “Meet Your Dog” explains that your toy dog’s idea of a perfect world is one of safety, comfort, love, familiarity, 

and fun with you. (pp. 139)


Toy dogs may be small, but they’re still a dog who needs you to consider their emotional, mental, and physical needs every day. Care does not end at making your toy dog sleep in your bedroom. It extends to feeding him proper food, grooming, training, exercise, and taking him for check-ups to a vet.

Feeding your toy dog 

If you want your toy dog to be in a good physical condition and full of energy, it is essential to feed him properly. Toy toy’s diet should be appropriate for your toy dog’s age, gender, and activity level.


To support their energy level, their diet should meet their nutritional requirements. Do not overfeed your toy breed even if they act like they are starving.

Training needs of toy breed

Toy breeds are usually fun loving and playful. They must be trained right from puppy food. 


The most suitable time to start training your toy pup is 8-12 weeks. Here are some of the training that you need to do with your puppy:


  • Leash training
  • Crate training
  • Housetraining and potty training
  • Basic commands and obedience training 


If the training experience is pleasant, your furry friend will love it. Being sensitive dogs, harsh treatment and punishments will make them anxious.


Try to socialize your toy breed as much as possible. Make sure your puppy gets to encounter all kinds of people, animals, and objects in different places. 


Introducing new places and meeting new people will help your puppy stay well mannered into adulthood. Socialization can stimulate their mind with new people, new dogs, and new sights, smells, and sounds. 

Exercise requirements of toy breed

Toy dogs need regular exercise, whether structured or unstructured. This will contribute to their happiness and overall well-being. 


You can meet your toy breed’s exercise requirements by walking and other physical activities like playing fetch, frisbee toss, and nose and scent games. Physical and mental stimulation through exercise and training will help channel your dog’s energy in a constructive way.

Vet checkup 

Vet check ups give you a chance to track your toy dog’s growth. You can discuss any questions about your toy dog’s health with your vet. 


Vet annual examinations are a key part of preventive care. During your toy breed’s annual physical exam, your vet will inspect your toy dog from head to tail.

Parting shot at toy breeds

Toy breeds can make good pets if they match your lifestyle. It is important to understand that as a dog parent you are responsible for the care and well-being of your little furry pal.


Let’s Meet The Herding Dogs

Are you looking for a hard-working, devoted furry best friend? Well, a dog from the herding group may be the perfect choice for you.


If you desire a herding dog, you should educate yourself on the breed group and ensure a herding dog will fit your lifestyle. You might be wondering what these remarkable dogs have to offer? 


Well, this post will guide you about everything you need to know about herding dogs. 


Let’s begin our ride!

General characteristics of herding dogs

Herding dogs are typically highly energetic, industrious, athletic, loyal, focused, highly intelligent, and fast learners. These characteristics describe dogs who require daily exercise, both physical and mental, for their well-being. Herding dogs may get bored and develop problematic behaviors if left to their own devices. Challenging and fun activities should be included in their daily routine so they get the mental stimulation and exercise they need. 


Kim Brophey in “Meet Your Dog” describes herding dogs as the ‘Working Wingmen’ who are attentive, responsible, and a Robin to your Batman. (pp. 213)


Herding dogs share an instinctual ability to control the movement of other animals. Their herding instinct is so strong that they have been known to gently herd their owners, especially the kids of the family. These smart dogs make excellent companions and respond beautifully to training.

Herding dog breeds

Herding dogs come in all shapes and sizes, from small to big. Below are the dogs within the AKC herding classification.


  • Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler) 
  • Australian Kelpie 
  • Australian Shepherd 
  • Bearded Collie 
  • Beauceron 
  • Belgian Groenendael 
  • Belgian Laekenois
  • Belgian Malinois 
  • Belgian Sheepdog 
  • Belgian Tervuren 
  • Bergamasco Sheepdog
  • Berger Picard 
  • Border Collie 
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Briard 
  • Canaan Dog
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi 
  • Entlebucher Mountain Dog
  • Finnish Lapphund
  • German Shepherd 
  • Icelandic Sheepdog
  • Mudi
  • Norwegian Buhund
  • Old English Sheepdog 
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi 
  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog 
  • Puli 
  • Pumi 
  • Pyrenean Shepherd 
  • Shetland Sheepdog 
  • Spanish Water Dog
  • Standard Collie 
  • Swedish Vallhund 

Temperament of herding dogs

Herding dogs have varying appearances and personalities, but they also have a lot in common.

  • Affectionate: Herding dogs are affectionate with all members of the household and are especially good with children. This makes them good family dogs.
  • Courageous: Herding dogs are very courageous and territorial. They’ll defend their ‘patch’ vigorously.
  • Loyal: Herding dogs are extremely loyal to the family. They’ll remain by your side and are always ready to rescue you in difficult situations.
  • Smart: Herding dogs are very intelligent due to the complexity of herding and the diverse skill set it requires. They learn things very quickly and are highly trainable. Herding dogs have a good memory and can read and understand human voice gestures and commands.
  • Workaholic: Herding dogs are not content to laze about the house or farm. Their mental and physical ambition can make them overwhelming and exhausting at times, especially if you’ve a quiet indoor lifestyle.
  • Strong chase instinct: Herding dogs have a strong chase instinct and will chase passing small animals. Just the sound, scent or sight of a moving object can trigger the prey drive in herding dogs. 


All herding dogs need early socialization and exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences during puppyhood. Socialization helps ensure that your herding dog will be a friendly and well-rounded dog. Many behavioral problems with this breed have a root in a dog’s early upbringing where limits have not been set. 


Kim Brophey in “Meet Your Dog” recommends educating yourself about herding dogs and seek professional help if your dog is:  (pp. 214)


  • Chasing any moving objects 
  • Controlling behavior toward other family members or other pets in the house.
  • possibly manifesting as threats or aggression
  • Hypersensitive to lights, shadows, sounds, and motion
  • Barking excessively at events, at her environment, and at people 
  • and animals
  • Nipping the feet or legs of people and animals
  • Over protective of territory and social members
  • Threatening or exhibiting aggressive behavior toward visitors
  • Hyperactive or showing restless behavior 
  • Over excited or appear aggressive toward other animals, people, bikes, cars, etc.
  • Exhibiting repetitive and obsessive behaviors such as spinning, tail-chasing, retrieving, and barking

How to take care of herding dogs 

Taking care of your herding dog involves a lot of things including feeding, training, and exercises. Herding dogs’ intelligence and athleticism mean they require a mix of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Feeding your herding dog:

If you want your herding dogs to be in a good physical condition and full of energy, it is essential to feed them properly. They are active and athletic dogs and their diet should be healthy and include all nutrients. If your dog is on commercial dog food, it must be safe, affordable, and made with high-quality ingredients.


The food requirements of a puppy changes as they grow up. Their diet should be appropriate to the herding dog’s age, gender, metabolism, and physical activity. Clean and fresh water should be available to herding dogs at all times.

Socialize, socialize, and socialize

Herding dogs are highly energetic, but sometimes they get a little too excited. They are also very sensitive to sound and movement, and can be reactive without proper socialization. Socialization is key to helping your herding dog use her energy, stamina, and herding powers for good. Socialization provides positive experiences with all kinds of people, other dogs and pets. 

Training your herding dog:

Herding dogs are active, intelligent, and easy to train dogs. They can fairly understand your commands and enjoy learning new things. These 

workaholic dogs crave a sense of accomplishment and a supervisor. 


Kim Kim Brophey in “Meet Your Dog” recommends “never stop teaching 

her new things, adding to her list of critical responsibilities as the little 

worker bee she is.”


Consistency and reward-based training methods work best for herding dogs. They are extremely sensitive, so punishments and harsh behavior will make them stubborn and damage their personality. Start training as early as possible, ideally when the dog is between 8-12 weeks of age. With proper training, your herding dog should be able to:


  • Walk calmly on leash
  • Be comfortable in a variety of environments
  • Greet everyone politely


Here are some of the training that you need to do with herding dogs:


  • Leash training
  • Crate training
  • Housebreaking and potty training
  • Basic obedience training 

Exercise requirements of herding dogs:

Herding dogs are bred for work and do not miss anything. You should expect to participate in daily exercise sessions with your fur buddy otherwise, they may develop behavior issues. 


Kim Brophey in “Meet Your Dog” clarifies that herding dogs aren’t picky about the kind of work they do, as long as it’s interesting. The more complex the task, the better. Herding dogs definitely have their “preferences for chasing anything that moves quickly, regulating anything out of the ordinary, or barking sharply and running circles around disorganized 

groups of people or animals.”


Participating in exercise is fun and rewarding for both herding dog and owner. Here’s how you can meet your herding dog’s exercise requirements:


  • Taking them for a walk. 
  • Play fetch games
  • Play frisbee toss 
  • Giving them a safe area to run around and play
  • Go for jogging or hiking 
  • Backyard agility 
  • Make use of a treadmill
  • Give them lots of interactive toys to keep them occupied.

Parting shot at herding dogs

Before bringing home your herding dog, it is important to understand that as a pet parent you are responsible for the care and wellbeing of your dog. You must take a look at your lifestyle and how accommodating it would be for the herding dog.  


Now that you know more about herding dogs, let us know about yours!


New Years Resolutions For Your Pup?

new years dog

Whether you are looking for a new hobby or a new way to spend your time, spending more time with your dog is a great resolution to make this year. You might be wondering how to get started with an obedience class or a relationship-building class and what you should expect from your pet. This article will give you some tips and tricks to help you along the way.

Exercise with your dog

Getting exercise with your dog is a great new year’s resolution. The best part about it is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can take part in pack walks, or just get out and about in your area on sniff walks.

You can also work out your dog’s mental needs with enrichment activities. Some examples include dog food scavenger hunts, trick training, teaching your dog the names of its body parts or rent a Sniff Spot and let your dog sniff away for an hour. You can also try to improve your dogs’ manners with “free shaping activities” using positive reinforcement. This will encourage your dog to offer more good behaviors.

In addition to exercising with your dog, the new year is a great time to introduce a variety of high-quality foods. Just like us, dogs need a variety of food. It is also a good idea to have a health checkup. The vet will be able to help you and your pet in many ways. They can recommend supplements for your pet’s stage of life, as well as prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes to help your pet digest its food.

Getting a vet check-up twice a year

Getting a vet check-up twice a year is one of the best things you can do for your dog’s health. It’s a simple way to prevent problems in the future. In addition, it can save you money by catching things early. 

Pets age much faster than humans, and it’s important to monitor their health on a regular basis. During a vet check-up, your vet will check your pet’s overall health, including its ears, eyes, teeth, coat, heart, and weight. Your vet will also perform tests for worms, parasites, and cancerous cells. This is essential because early detection can improve your pet’s quality of life and help to avoid costly emergency care.

During the first visit (which can be scary), your vet will give your dog a physical exam. This includes a check of the dog’s heartbeat, ears, eyes, mouth, coat, and weight.  (Name if body parts help with this) The veterinarian will then discuss your dog’s health and recommend any treatments or medications that are appropriate. Depending on the veterinarian’s evaluation, your vet may suggest any additional testing, including blood work, x-rays, or other procedures.

Teaching your dog how to relax

Getting your dog to learn to relax can be fun. Who doesn’t like watching TV with their best friend? This actually helps to strengthen the bond with your pet. It will also help your dogs nervous system take a break so it can make better life choices.

A game you may want to try is  “musical chairs”!  It’s one of the simplest “tricks” or games you can teach your dog.

The idea is to teach your dog to lay down when you sit. First begin by sitting in a chair with your dog on leash,  then lure your dog into down, once he is down give him a few treats, one at a time, then you and him both get up with your “let’s go” command. Now find another chair and repeat! You are teaching your dog when you sit he lays down. It’s a fun way to build a “off switch”.

If you’re looking to improve your dog’s life, you may want to make a few resolutions. For instance, you can make sure you spend 10-20 minutes each day training your dog and then 10-20 mins resting with your dog. Also don’t forget you could enroll your dog in an class with a trainer!

It is always best to be on the lookout for new things to teach your dog. You can try a variety of activities, from herding balls to searching for food and even swimming!

Stop begging

Getting your dog to stop begging is a New Years resolution that can be achieved through a few simple steps. However, the behavior will not change overnight. The first step is to understand why the behavior is occurring. By knowing what drives the behavior, you can make the necessary changes to eliminate it.

The second step is to be consistent. If your pet begs, you should not feed him. Instead, set a house rule that states that he can be a guest in the same room but he must lay on his bed. When dinner is over and he is quiet he can scavenge for scraps on the ground. (It’s ok if you place one or two for him to find.) He will then learn to wait for you to release him to search for crumbs. This actually will prevent that begging at the table. 

Third, teach your pet basic obedience commands. These can be a great help to prevent impulse-based behaviors. You can also reinforce progress by providing your dog with snacks or a treat whenever he performs the command correctly.

Finally, learn how to use body language to communicate with your dog. Kim Brophey has written an amazing book all dog owners should read, Meet Your Dog. You can use this information to understand your companion and build a strong relationship based on its natural instincts. 

Your Ultimate Guide to Dog Decompression Walks

dog decompression walks wholistic canine


Urban life and apartment living can be hard on some dogs. All dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy and active. Walking your dog is a simple task that impacts the overall health and fitness of your dog. 


Walking your dog on busy streets and a short leash might not always provide the enrichment your dog needs. It can be overstimulating, stressful, and may trigger reactivity. Decompression walks are among the best things you can do for your dog. 


In this post, you will learn about dog decompression walk. You will also get to know the benefits of dog decompression walk and how to make the best of a dog walk. Let’s get started:


What is a decompression walk?

The term “decompression walk” was coined by Sarah Stremming, a canine behaviorist, trainer and educator.


Decompression walks are dog walks in which your furry companion is allowed to explore and sniff his surroundings. This can be done either off-leash or on a long line. In simple words, dogs decompression walks allow freedom of movement in nature. Compression walk often provides little opportunity for your furry companion to “just be a dog.”


Decompression walks allow your dog to engage in natural behaviors in a way that is both calming and decompressing. Freedom to sniff and explore the surrounding area provides both physical and mental stimulation. Your role is just to monitor the environment and area for safety, and check in with your furry pal or shorten the leash when necessary.


“Decompression walk will heal your dog, and it will heal you.” Sarah Stremming, a canine behaviorist, trainer and educator.


“For dogs who experience fear, anxiety, stress, or reactivity during their daily walks, decompression time can serve as a vital stress relief and an important way to improve their behavioral health.  Decompression walks allow dogs to be dogs and to engage in natural behaviors in a way that is calming and decompressing. Freedom of movement allows for choice and exploration. Freedom to sniff and explore provides both physical and mental stimulation.” – Jenny Efimova, Dog Minded

Benefits for dogs and pet parents

Have you heard about the benefits of decompression walks for dogs?


All dogs experience vital benefits, but for fearful or reactive dogs the positive effects are life-changing. Let’s get down to some of the amazing benefits of dog decompression walk:


  • Great for fearful dogs: For dogs who experience stress, fear, or anxiety during their daily walks, decompression time can serve as an important stress relief. It’s an important way to improve your dog’s behavioral health.


  • Strengthens the bond between you and your dog: Walking and spending time with your dog will strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. By going out for a dog decompression walk and spending time together, you will create a new level of trust between you and your dog.


  • Burn their pent-up energy and keep them fit: Dog decompression walk can burn pent-up energy and help your dog feel more relaxed and fit. It allows your furry pal to spend time with you in a constructive manner.


  • Improve your dog’s mental health: Dog decompression walk can improve their mental health and reduce boredom. It allows them to explore new sights, places, and smells.


  • Improve their digestive health: Decompression walk helps regulate your dog’s digestive tract. It can also help in relieving constipation and also improve your dog’s urinary health.


  • Fights obesity: Decompression walk will keep weight off your dog and prevent obesity. Obesity can be a real problem in dogs and can lead to many health issues like pancreatitis, respiratory issues, arthritis, joint problems, diabetes, and depression. 


Dogs aren’t the only ones who benefit from decompression walks – pet parents benefit too! Walking your furry child improves your physical and mental health. It keeps you busy, entertained, and you won’t get much time to laze.


When should I take my dog for decompression walks?

Supporting your furry pal’s natural instincts in a safe and controlled environment is always a great thing. Before you take your dog for decompression walks, you should be extra cautious and keep in mind a range of factors. When to take your dog for a walk depends on your schedule and your dog’s temperament. Let’s have a look at them:

  • Weather

Different dog breeds have a varied tolerance for both hot and cold weather. Don’t take your dog for decompression walks in extreme hot or cold temperatures. 

  • Distance

A healthy dog should go for a decompression walk daily. It may be difficult for overweight dogs to go for decompression walks without taking multiple breaks.

  • Temperament

If you have an anxious, fearful, or reactive dog, early mornings or late evenings are best to avoid encountering others while on your walk.

  • Overall health condition

The more healthy a dog is, the better he can walk. If you feel that your dog is tired, lethargic, or emotionally stressed, talk to your vet before taking it for decompression walks.


Dog decompression walking tips

A decompression walk will make your dog happy and healthy. Let’s have a look at some remarkable dog decompression walking tips:


    • Try to introduce the long leash to your dog and leash train your dog before using it on a decompression walk!
    • You should know your dog’s stamina and how far to walk it.
    • Choose an area with little to no human or pet traffic nearby. If your furry pal can see or hear people or dogs running around, you may actually stress your dog out instead of helping him decompress.
  • Bring a poop bag and scoop to clean up after your dog, just in case! 
  • Avoid walking in extreme temperatures. Try to protect yourself and your dog from excessive heat and sunburn.
  • Your dog, no matter what the breed is, must stay hydrated during walks, particularly in warm weather.
  • Make sure your dog is properly identified and don’t leave them unattended.
  • Try to stick to a consistent routine for walking your dog.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings so that you can pick up the leash and hold your pet closer if another person or dog is nearby or if you’re nearing a blind spot.


Being a pet parent, you should also try to wear something supportive and comfy during the walk.

Activity level needs by dog breed groups

The level of exercise your furry companion needs is largely influenced by dog breed. A dog’s size, energy levels, stamina, and physical and mental limitations vary depending on its breed.


Dog breeds that are highly energetic and playful with high exercise needs are


  • Dog breeds in the sporting group: They need 60-120 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per day.
  • Dog breeds in the working group: They need 60-120 minutes of exercise daily.
  • Dog breeds in the herding group: They need 60-120 minutes of daily physical exercise with at least 60-90-minutes of vigorous exercise.
  • Dog breeds in the terrier group: They need 60-90 minutes of daily exercise with 30 minutes of moderate to intense play.
  • Scent hounds: They need 60-90 minutes of moderate to intense activity daily.


Dog breeds with medium to low exercise needs include


  • Brachycephalic dog breeds: They need 20-30 minutes of exercise daily.
  • Dog breeds in the toy group: They need 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise daily.
  • Sighthounds: They need 30-45 minutes of moderate exercise daily with an occasional short burst of running.
  • Giant dog breeds: They need 30-45 minutes of moderate exercise daily.

Ideal location for decompression walks

If your pooch can see or hear people or other animals running around, you may actually stress your dog out instead of helping him decompress. So, an ideal location for decompression walks is an area with little human or pet traffic, no car traffic, and wide walking paths. Some great examples for decompression walks are dog-friendly parks, open fields, quiet parks, beaches, nature reserves with wide trails, empty playgrounds, or vacant athletic fields.


If you don’t have a really good area near you, check SniffSpot. You can find safe, fenced, and private dog parks and spaces using SniffSpot. Get the best experience and fun for you and your dog.

Final Thoughts

Decompression walks give your furry pal a physical and mental workout. It should be a fun experience for you and your furry friend. This will spice up your dog’s life and keep him fit and healthy. Remember… Respect your dog’s preferences and never force him to walk with you.


You now know the benefits of dog decompression walk! So, what are you waiting for? So get out there and enjoy the world with your four-legged friend! 


We’re eager to hear about your adventures and personal experiences.


Happy Petting!

Nature vs. Nurture, Hardware vs. Software, Dogs and Dog Training


Wholistic Canine - Nature vs. Nurture, Hardware vs. Software, Dogs and Dog Training.

Understanding The Analogy We Are Presenting About Dogs

A dog’s brain is like a computer.  Training is like programming that computer for being operable under the circumstances in which you need it to perform.  Some computers, when you bring them home, have the software already installed.  Some computers require you to install all new or additional software to enhance your computer’s performance and operability as you need it.  When you bring home a dog, you can enjoy the training it may have already received from its past, or you may need to provide new or additional training for that dog so that it can blend into your lifestyle.

Computers also come with hardware.  The hardware is what makes the computer turn on, what powers it, what allows it to process, and how efficient it is at “thinking”.  While installing software is one aspect of modifying or controlling your experience with your computer (or your dog), hardware is another factor that needs to be considered.  The hardware on a dog is their genetics.  The software allows us to manage or operate the hardware, and the hardware allows us to perform at different speeds, rates, and qualities.  The only caveat?  Your dog isn’t actually a modular computer. 

You cannot simply “replace the hardware” if it’s not as fast, or as efficient as the newest or highest-performing model.  You must work within the parameters of your hardware.  You can, however, manage the hardware by using appropriate software.  In dogs this lets us “troubleshoot” their hardware (genetics), allowing us to have a way to work with or around flaws that may be intrinsic to that individual.  In training, this is by making sure we address instinctual or genetic behaviors and drives to our advantage by using training methods that are in line with what motivates that individual dog to learn as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Or, if necessary, by using training like a “patch”, a way to bypass or correct those instinctual behaviors by giving them an alternative directive in order to manage or correct behavior.

That being said, it really can make you think about the concept of nature vs nurture.  The phrase “it’s all in how you raise them” now becomes a misleading statement.  It’s not exclusively all in the nurture, or “how you raise them,” but rather in how you use software carefully and efficiently with the hardware, you are given in order to create a system that works best for your needs.  This also means that you cannot simply combine any software with your current hardware.  Your software must be compatible with the way your system’s hardware functions, or you’ll likely end up with computers that have lots of errors or even break down.

Understanding Your Dog’s Brain and Body

In other words, you have to train your dog with the understanding of the individual brain and body it has been given.  Understand its limitations, and its possibilities, and by using training that is compatible with how it learns and performs.  For example, some dogs are built to chase small critters, and some are built purely to keep your lap warm.  Those two brains are wired completely differently because those dogs were designed to perform very different functions over decades of careful breeding (or hardware development).  You wouldn’t expect a low-budget work laptop to function at the same performance rate as a high-end luxury gaming computer.  They simply are not built the same way (hardware), and they’re definitely not using the same software.  However, they are both computers, so we can expect that given appropriate software for the hardware they’re working with, each individual computer has the capacity to perform as required, both efficiently, and smoothly.

Now the question is, “Do you know how to install the software for your version of hardware?”  If you are unsure, reach out to one of the team members at Wholistic Canine so we can help you get the best version for your system. We can install hard cuddles or freedom to chase critters and even teach virus detection or monthly maintenance checks.

Contact Us Today And Get Started With An Amazing Obedience Training Package.



Top Dog Training Tips For A Newbie


Top Dog Training Tips For A Newbie


dog tainers in west sacramento

There are a lot of different ways to train dogs. The best way to learn and improve your dog’s behavior is to work with various humane methods. We had a chat with the people behind Best Dog Training In Sacramento. We have assorted a few tips to get you started: 


Before we discuss some of the standard DIY methods, assuming you have the time, let’s first recommend the obvious….Hire a professional.


If you feel the necessity and have the patience to try to do this all by yourself, please consider the following recommendations.

  • Focus on Basic Training. 

There’s a lot of things you need to know before getting started. I’ll list some of them here – 

  • You should have your dog on a leash until it is offering you the behaviors you want to see. If you are not training it, it is training itself. So manage its environment until you see it listening.
  • It’s important to get your dog used to being around new places, things, people and dogs. Your dog doesn’t need to engage with them, just see them and smelling them from a safe distance.
  • Start training him on cued and uncued behaviors. We need to teach our dog to follow directions after we ask but we also need to teach it to offer those behaviors before we ask.
  • It’s important to have regular check-ups with your veterinarian and groomer. I would suggest visiting the vet/groomer to just say “Hello” and get a cookie every 3 – 6 months. We don’t want it to become a place that always requires a confusing exam or groom.
  • it is important to have good communication with your dog. Think about naming the important items in its life. Ie: leash, collar, car, body parts, toys, friends
  • Don’t ask for a cue’d behavior that you cant reinforce. If you ask for a “sit” make sure you can help your dog get into position within a couple of seconds.

  • Lean On Positive Reinforcement Right? Or no?

Positive reinforcement is one quadrant of dog training. It’s a flashy buzzword or marketing term. Positive reinforcement means adding something (treat, toy, touch) to get an animal to continue doing a behavior. This is what we are doing as we train but I don’t want you stuck on buzzwords. If your professional trainer is one-sided, in the 4 quadrants, I would question them about their beliefs before you hire them. 


 Let’s think more about conflict-free training or training based on an applied ethology style such as L.E.G.S.


  • L- Learning
    • What experience has the dog had prior to you and with you? What type of training have they had prior to you? How does this dog learn new things?


  • E – Environment
    • What is the dog’s past physical environment like? What’s its current environment? What’s the best environment for this dog?


  • G- Genetics
    • What is your dog’s primary genetic grouping? Are any of the issues natural behaviors for what the dog was bred for? Did the dogs parents have any predispositions to behavior issues? 
  • S- Self
    • How old is your dog? Does it have any health issues? Is your dog spayed or neuterd? Is your dog taking supplements or medication? Is it working?


We really need to look at the L.E.G.S of the dog, combined with the 4 quadrants of dog training ( Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinfrocement, Positive Punishment and Negative Punishment) and make sure to not use any corrections for behavior unless you have spoken with a trainer on how to apply the lest amount of corrections needed.

  • Don’t Shy Away From Seeking Help.

If you have been training your dog, you know how hard this can be. But rather than fighting with your Dog, you should seek professional help. You can have Best Dog Training In Sacramento from best trainer.  


There are a few things you can do to help – 

  • Make sure your dog is familiar with the basics of dog training. 
  • Set up an environment for your dog to work in.
  • Make sure he is comfortable with the trainer. 
  • Keep track of your dog’s progress so that you can see what needs to be done next.


Here are some benefits of seeking the help of professional dog trainers – 

  • They will turn your naughty pup into a well-trained dog. 
  • Your dog will be better as a pet overall. 
  • Dog trainers can lend you their knowledge and skills. Those include proper communication and training techniques for dogs.
  • They will train you and your dog!
  • Dog trainers will help improve obedience skills and free behavior.
  • They can teach you how to provide companionship to Dogs.
  • Dog trainers can help you manage/repair any udesired behaviors such as resource guarding or agression..

  • Advanced Techniques Like Behavior Modification or Perception Modification Can Help.

Behavior modification is used to change the behavior of a pet dog. So if a dog is barking at something or being reactive, behavior modification will help limit the barking. Perception Modification is changing how to dog feels vs. just his behavior.

There are many different techniques that can be use in each method. It is important to find the one that will work best for your pet and yourself.


There are times when behvior specialist may be necessary. Here are three specific cases – 

  1. When your dog is fearful of everyday items. People, dogs noise or car rides.
  2. If you see reactivity or aggression in your dog towards humans or other dogs.
  3. When your dog is unable to go to the groomer or the veterinarian for exams or grooming.


Behavior modification can be done through a variety of methods and each trainer has a philosophy that you should learn about before hiring. We need to determine if its best to suppress the behavior or work on fixing your dogs feelings and creating the best situation for them to be successful.



These training tips are just building a guideline. Dog training is a necessary for good communication but very complicated. With enough practiceand education, you should be able to train your dog. If you are unsure at all, please contact a local trainer and begin the interview process.