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


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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.


Outstanding methods of Sacramento Dog Training

Dog training should be a non-negotiable for serious owners.

As any dog owner knows, having a four-legged friend in the family comes with a lot of responsibility. One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to learn how to communicate with your dog through training. Dogs who are well-trained are less likely to bark excessively, become anxious, or make messes in the house. They are also more likely to be welcome guests at social gatherings and be less likely to disturb the neighbors.

Training is also a great way to bond with your dog and form a closer relationship. Whether you’re teaching them basic obedience commands or teaching them tricks, training is an essential part of being a responsible dog owner. So if you’re thinking about getting a dog, be sure to factor training into the equation. It’s one of the best things you can do for your furry friend – and yourself.

Wholistic Canine is a different kind of dog training company. We believe in a holistic approach to dog training, which means that we take into account the whole dog – their individual personality, needs, and behavior. This allows us to create a unique training plan for each dog that we work with. Some dog training companies take a one-size-fits-all approach to training, which doesn’t always work best for every dog. At Wholistic Canine, we understand that every dog is different, and we tailor our approach to each individual canine. So why choose Wholistic Canine over traditional dog training? Because we offer a better approach – one that takes into account the whole dog. As Kim Brophey calls it “L.E.G.S.” Learning, Environment, Genetics and Self.

If you’re a dog owner, you may have considered starting training at some point. But what are the reasons to actually go through with it? Here are five reasons that may convince you to start dog training:

1. To stop your dog from barking excessively – whether it’s out of excitement, fear or anxiety, too much barking can be a nuisance for both you and your neighbors. Training can help your dog learn when it’s appropriate to bark and when to stay quiet.

2. To help with obedience issues – does your dog pull on the leash when you go for walks? Jump up on guests when they come over? Disobeying basic commands can be frustrating, but training can help your dog learn how to behave.

3. To reduce anxiety and stress – some dogs may feel anxious in certain situations, such as being left alone or meeting new people. If this is the case with your dog, training can help them feel more relaxed and comfortable.

4. To improve your bond – spending time together while learning new things can be a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Training can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you!

5. To avoid neighbor complaints – if your dog is disruptive and lawmakers are getting involved, it may be time to consider training. Dogs that are well-behaved are less likely to cause problems for the community, so everybody wins!

How Do we offer a better approach to training your dog?

Wholistic Canine is a better approach to dog training for several reasons. First, we want to see overall improvement in your dogs, mental and physical health not just in obedience. Second, we believe in training the whole dog, not just teaching commands. This means addressing behavioral issues such as general anxiety, separation anxiety, chewing, and reactivity. Finally, Wholistic Canine offers a comprehensive approach to dog training that includes everything from nutrition to swimming lessons . We offer a wide range of services, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. Wholistic Canine is the best choice for those looking for a better way to train their dogs.


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The primary differences between conflict-free dog training and regular dog training

Wholistic Canine offers a unique approach to dog training that focuses on the whole dog, rather than just obedience commands. This includes using all four quadrants in dog training to build a strong bond with your dog, as well as teaching them how to think for themselves. Old School dog training methods often rely on compulsion-based training, to get dogs to behave. However, this can lead to mistrust and even owner-directed aggression. In contrast, conflict-free dog training helps dogs to feel safe and secure while still learning what is expected of them. We work more on shaping activities from an ethological standpoint. So Looking at how the dog learns, what its environment is, what its genetics tell us,  and what its current self is.

As a result, they are more likely to offer good behavior without even being prompted. Of course, not every dog or owner will choose this route, so we also counsel on other options and weigh pros and cons of each. Wholistic Canine also offers a variety of other services, such as behavior modification, perception modification, and puppy classes. These services are designed to help dogs become well-rounded members of the family. Contact Wholistic Canine today to learn more about our unique approach to dog training.



When do I start training my puppy?

A common question I get asked is, “when should I start training my puppy?”


The reason I say this is because your puppy or dog is learning every second of every day since the moment they are born. So, if you are reading this article and your 13-week-old puppy is exploring the kitchen, and it happens to find crumbs on the ground, what did it learn? It has learned to search for food on that floor surface. What if it managed to pull the towel off the oven door? Well, it learned it can entertain itself with that “toy.”  Maybe your puppy made its way over to the smelly trash can, and maybe it knocked it over. What did it learn? It has learned that there’s a mystery can of valuable prizes! Moreso, from all of these encounters, it has learned it can get your attention because you have to go and remove the puppy from the kitchen, especially if you have to clean up a mess.

Conveniently, dogs are very similar to human children in the way that they learn.  All it takes is one or two times that they’ve been “exposed” to a sound or routine and they have it.  Faster than you know, they’re repeating a discovered behavior without you having done anything!  If we mitigate the amount of unknown factors in our dog or puppy’s training, we can control the outcome of their behaviors.  Just like you wouldn’t expect your toddler to be able to roam the house unsupervised, you should not ask the same of your dog or puppy!  We do this because children are not great at safe self-discovery, and generally aren’t very responsible!  The same goes for the dog.  To mitigate unwanted behaviors and unsafe experiences for our children, we use things like cribs, playpens, and interactive toys that keep them busy.  Similar methods and tools apply when keeping your dog safe, and while teaching them the rules of the house.

“Ok, so, what should I have done?”

The short answer is:  Prevention and management until the pup or dog has learned the rules and boundaries from training!

Ideally, we would have had that puppy on the leash and guided them through the house rules.  Teaching and showing them where to rest, where to play, where to potty, what to not touch, what they can and can’t play with, how to settle on a leash, how to relax in one place while the human is in the kitchen, and how to not be in the kitchen without our human.  The results of our investment into that type of training?  A better behaved dog, with less naughty behaviors in your future!

All of those above steps are training! Training is so much more than just obedience skills like Sit, Down, Stay and Come.  Training is about building a communication system with your dog that you both understand! It is not just one of you BARKING orders and the other giving you a furry finger. Training is teaching your dog how to make the right choices by limiting the bad choices they can make early on. A puppy or dog will never be able to dream up a behavior unless they discover that behavior first.  

Example: A dog doesn’t know a doorbell alerts to the commotion at the door until it sees your response and energy moving towards the door. Once it hears the bell and sees your reaction a few times, it might join in the party!  Now you can’t avoid greetings and doorway usage, but you can start teaching them that the doorbell brings cookies, and then station them on a bed. You can also teach them that it brings cookies when a guest comes inside and that they must ignore them and relax before they get to greet.  

So, do you want to know when training truly begins? The moment your dog can breathe!

Their life is cause and effect, even from birth, just like human babies! Yes, we have lower expectations for younger ages, but we always strive to make the best learning experience for them.

So if you think you haven’t started training, you better think again!  Your student is many, many, MANY weeks ahead of you.


Congrats on the new addition to your family! Now what?

Well now it’s time to start that routine that your new family member will thrive off of!

Potty training is a crucial part of any well-mannered puppy or dog’s upbringing.  While it is understandable and expected that each family might have its own schedule to adhere to, it is important to establish a consistent routine early on.  Regardless of if your dog is just 6 weeks or 6 years, establishing a predictable schedule will not only keep your pet regular, but will help you establish clear expectations and rules in your household for both where, and when your dog should relieve themselves, encourage them to practice independent play, and helps to create time in our busy human schedules to engage with our pets for enrichment and training consistently.


Please enjoy this complimentary guideline for scheduling your new dog’s day!


6:30 am Good Morning!

Take your dog outside for a potty break.

We recommend taking your dog on a leash to the same general area every potty break. 


6:45 am Breakfast 

Meals should be fed in a crate, on a leash, or in a confined area for 20 minutes max.

A potty break after eating.

Enjoy some playtime with your dog!


7:30 am Crate Time or Direct Supervision

Have your dog crated (when not supervised or on a leash during this 2-hour break)

They can be crated for up to 2 hours at a time.

Your puppy can have toys in the crate


9:30 am Potty/Play/Potty/Crate

Take your dog potties to the “potty area”

Play with your dog after going potty

Offer potties again after playing

Return to crate unless directly supervised or on leash with you


12:00 pm Lunch Break

Meals should be fed in a crate, on a leash, or in a confined area for 20 minutes max. 

A potty break after eating.

Enjoy some playtime with your dog

Potty Break again.

Return to the crate. 


1:00 pm Crate Time or Direct Supervision

Have your dog crated (when not supervised or on a leash during this 2-hour break)

Your puppy can be crated for up to 2 hours at a time.

Your puppy can have toys in the crate if they are safe.


3:00 pm Potty/Play/Potty/Crate

Take your dog potties to the “potty area”

Play with your dog after going potty

Offer potties again after playing

Return to crate unless directly supervised or on leash with you


5:00 pm Dinner

Meals should be fed in a crate, on a leash, or in a confined area for 20 minutes max.

A potty break after eating.

Enjoy some playtime with your dog

Potty Break again. 

Return to the crate. 


6:00 pm Crate Time or Direct Supervision

Have your dog crated (when not supervised or on a leash during this 2-hour break)

Your puppy can be crated for up to 2 hours at a time

Your puppy can have toys in the crate


9:00 pm – 6:30 am Bedtime with Potty and Crate

Breaks should start at 2 hours but gradually increase the time between breaks

Take your dog potties to the “potty area”

Do NOT play with your dog after going potty

Return to crate


Potty Box Training for Dogs and Puppies


Have a hard time getting your dog to use pee pads or go outside?  They may be more familiar or more comfortable with a Potty Box!  Many breeders these days start potty training using this tool, as they don’t have to risk exposure to outdoor contaminants to their litters by bringing them outside, while also having an easy-to-clean, transferable system when the pups are ready to start going potty outside.


If you want to build a potty box it’s pretty simple!  Find a small container you can use as a litter box, you will find some readily available online. For larger dogs you can use a plastic kiddie pool or build a litter box of your size preference.  Line your chosen box device with plastic. For the litter we suggest pine or paper pellets.  Then, simply use a cat scoop to remove the wet or solid waste!  If you have a male dog, you can place a traffic cone in the middle, or build a cute tree or other vertical objects for them to lift their leg on. Make sure to put some of their urine and poop in the box at first so they feel it is safe to use!  Your litter box can be as simple or fancy as you desire but it can save you a lot of stress and a lot of mess, especially when it is not so easy to go outside.  This also works really well in RVs!


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