fEB 8, 2012 Issue #33 Published by Sue Skiff







Well, it looks like my weekly e-zine has turned into a monthly e-zine. Hopefully, you're not as bothered by this as I am.

You know, it used to be really fun writing the articles for these newsletters. However, recently I started using the articles as blog posts. Then, I felt the need to practice SEO (search engine optimization) with as many of these articles as possible. Now, I have the articles analyzed for SEO after I write them. If I don't have my "specific keyword" placed strategically enough, I get told. Having to place a specific keyword in my page title, in the title of the article, as a link, and throughout the article really takes all of the fun out of writing. It annoys both the academically trained writer in me, and the creative side of me. Actually, it just kills my creativity. And, the writing just plain looks weird. If you look through the two main articles in this e-zine, I'll bet that you can guess what the specific keyword is in each. To me, they stick out like a sore thumb. It sure does eat up the time, too. I had gotten writing these e-zines down to about 3-4 hours; from the starting of writing the first article, to instructing the e-zine service to send it out. Now, it seems to take that long just to get one article written.

Thank you for letting me get that off of my chest. Despite the shackling of my creativity in the following articles, I hope that you enjoy them, and find useful information in them. The first article is about a technique to help you teach your dog how to pay more attention to you when you are walking. The other article is about Emma overcoming her fear of water.




Recently, I started walking dogs regularly for a family; specifically I began walking THREE HUGE dogs. I enjoy it a great deal. However, being a dog trainer I can’t just engage in simple dog walking; I always feel the need to engage in leash training while walking dogs. When walking these dogs, I have dealt with the usual issues in leash training; pulling, not paying attention, wanting to chase squirrels, etc. However, one of these canines displays a particular behavior which I would like to address here; she likes to go on the opposite side of poles from the side that I am on, thus getting her leash wrapped around those poles. So, herein, I would like to address a useful dog obedience training strategy which I have dubbed “pole weaving.” Pole weaving was actually a technique that I always used when teaching about walking dogs on a loose leash in dog obedience training classes; but I realize that I haven’t shared it with many people since then.

What is pole weaving? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like; weaving around poles. I find that schools with outdoor hallways are excellent places to practice pole weaving, but if that’s not convenient, you can just try this whenever you happen to be walking dogs and you come across a pole or tree along your path.

Why practice pole weaving? There are a couple of reasons. Most importantly, it teaches canines to pay more attention to their handlers when they are out walking dogs. In addition, it teaches these canines what to do if their leashes happen to get wrapped around something; a useful skill for a dog.

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At first glance, anybody would guess that Emma is a swimming dog. This is because she looks, and acts, like a Labrador retriever mix. However, Emma's lack of swimming, when I first adopted her, was decidedly un-lab-like. In fact,she was scared of water. The average lab is a swimming dog. Most labs love being in the water. I even know one lab that readily jumps in the swimming pool whenever she returns from a walk, no matter what the temperature is outside. This was not Emma. Just being near a body of water turned her into a scared dog.

When I first got Emma, she would do anything to avoid being in water. It was obvious that the idea of being a swimming dog was terrifying to her. You may recall that I wrote an article on dealing with fear in dogs a few weeks ago. In that article, I pointed out the dangers of forcing a fearful dog to face its fears. I knew that making Emma go into the water would most likely make her even more scared of it. So, for the first year that we were together, I did not make any effort to get her to try out swimming. I would take her to the creek near our house, but she did not have to go down to the water itself, if she didn’t want to, let alone be a swimming dog. Soon, if we were near the creek, she would go down to it to get a drink, when she needed to.

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Silver Lining Pet Services is the business owned by Sue Skiff. It provides both dog training and pet sitting services.

If you own a dog, then look to Sue to alleviate any fears and frustrations that you have over your dog's behavior. Sue will come to your home, and set up a training program that is customized to your, and your dog's, needs. You can even have Sue do the training for you, in your home, while you go about your business. If you don't live within Sue's service area, you can contact Sue about setting up a Skype, or phone, appointment.

The first 15 minutes are free As for pet sitting services, Silver Lining Pet Services endeavors to give traveling pet owners peace of mind that their pets will be well cared for while they are away.

For further information on the services provided by Silver Lining Pet Services, please visit our website.

Silver Linings is a publication of Silver Linings Pet Services, and is published for the purpose of marketing services. The current address of Silver Linings Pet Services is: 5555 Merritt Drive Concord, Ca 94521