• The U.S. Dog Agility Association’s Southwest Regional Championships will take place from April 29 through May 1 at Arroyo Vista Community Park, 4550 Tierra Rejada Road.
The action will start at 9 a.m. and finish by 3 p.m. each day. The championships will take place on the soccer fields at the far east end of the park. Well-behaved dogs are allowed to attend, but must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Visit http://www. facebook.com/USDAA or email Annie DeChance at adechance@ usdaa. com for more information. I’m well behaved except when I try to steal Savana’s food
Some advice from my friends (well, kind of friends)
• Dear Paw’s Corner: We have two dogs that we adopted from shelters: “Kylie,” a beautiful greyhound who is missing one front leg, and “Zu-zu,” a toy poodle, who is about age 16 and is almost completely blind. I’m writing to let readers know that caring for pets with physical challenges can be expensive and challenging. They need to know what they’re in for before adopting a challenged dog. We wouldn’t trade our two “kids” for the world. Kylie is quiet and very determined even though walking can be tough for her. Zu-zu is yappy and can get anxious when she’s home alone, but is loyal and loving. Both have additional physical issues that require more trips to the vet, extra medicines, even special equipment. Please let your readers know to be aware of the challenge they take on when they adopt dogs with illnesses or handicaps. — Karen H., Conway, New Hampshire
Dear Karen: Caring for challenged dogs can be incredibly rewarding, but also difficult. They can have both physical and emotional issues, particularly if they’ve experienced past trauma, neglect or abuse. Before adopting a pet, ask plenty of questions of both shelter supervisors about a pet’s known past, its behaviors and what
• Cesar Millan thinks that humans should be the pack leaders and not us dogs. Maybe he is right, you decide. Here is his advice to humans. I know Savana acts as if she was the pack leader.
Having a dog is a wonderful experience, but in order to have the best possible relationship with your dog, you need to establish yourself as the Pack Leader.
From the moment they’re born, puppies look to their mothers for guidance and training. But once that puppy or adult dog joins your family, the Pack Leader torch gets passed on to you. You need to set rules and boundaries with your dog to ensure both of you lead happy, balanced lives.
If you’re new to this and you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry! You can learn the skills necessary to establish yourself as the Pack Leader. You just need to first identify the areas you need to work on and then put Cesar’s techniques and principals into practice.
If your dog wakes you up, it means he doesn’t respect you. In order to correct this behavior, you will need to change your dog’s habits to let him know that you are the one who will wake him up. So if your pup tries to wake you up, simply ignore him.
Don’t pet your dog when she does something wrong. This affectionate act — or reward — nurtures the very behavior that you don’t want and will only convey that it’s okay for your dog to act that way. Instead, learn how to master affection.
A dog mom makes her babies wait to eat. So it should be no different with you as a Pack Leader. Instinctively, dogs know that the Pack Leaders eat first. So feed yourself before you feed your pup to show that you’re the leader.
Just like with food, dogs instinctively know that the Pack Leader is in control and should be the one to lead. Dogs don’t walk ahead of their Pack Leader, so you will need to change your role if you’re the one following your dog around the house.
Jumping is a dominance behavior. Enough said. So when your dog jumps on you, he’s asserting his dominance over you. But you can’t just jump on your dog, so you need to let your dog know that his jumping isn’t okay and learn how to manage jumping issues.
Without rules, boundaries, and limitations, you make yourself out to be a playmate instead of a leader. Remember, your dog needs to follow a Pack Leader to feel secure and to be balanced. Strive to be your dog’s source of calmness and direction by creating your dog’s calm, submissive state.
She is on your bed, on the sofa, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, and going berserk at the front door if anyone dares to ring the bell. You need to set boundaries for your pack, so she knows what is and isn’t allowed. Follow these tips for building boundaries with your dog.
If you haven’t trained your dog in basic obedience, you are losing pack leadership points. Work on teaching your dog these five essential commands to establish yourself as Pack Leader and curb behavior issues.
Yelling is actually the best way of making sure your dog 1) never listens to you, and 2) develops fear and anxiety because of your unbalanced energy. So instead of yelling at your dog — which gets you nowhere, fast — try being calm and assertive.
Remember, when it comes to pack leadership, you are the one in charge. By setting boundaries now, you and your dog will be in great shape towards building your relationship and strengthening your bond for years to come.