Vet-Certified!

“I’d like to recommend Robin Sockness’ services as dog trainer.  Well-behaved pets are a pleasure to work with and a pleasure to own.  Owners are proud to show off what their trained pets can do when they come in for visits to the clinic or when visiting with friends and family at home.  For a well-trained dog, contact Robin Sockness and My Best Buddy Dog Training!”

Chris Schwenk, DVM
The Animal Medical Clinic of Fairburn

Nola and the Baby

IMG_2181Nola and BabyJuly 2015

We adopted Nola when she was eight months old.  By the third day, we realized that she had some significant fear issues and was very reactive to people.  Shortly thereafter, we contacted Robin for help with her issues and worked with Nola through private lessons with Robin. Since then, Nola has formed wonderful relationships with both people and other dogs.

Nola has a strong herding instinct and has previously demonstrated reactivity toward small children.  A year ago,  my husband and I learned we were going to become grandparents. We were concerned about Nola being around the baby.  Robin met with us and provided a program on how to prepare her for the grand baby’s arrival.

Following Robin’s advice, we were amazed how Nola bonded to our grand baby.  Being attentive to the baby became her “new job” – Nola became a nanny!   My husband and I are incredibly proud of Nola and grateful that she has adjusted so well to life and to our precious grandson. Thank you, Robin!  – John and Cindy

Praise for Robin’s Training

Gabe and AtticusPraise for Robin’s Training

We want to thank Robin Sockness of My Best Buddy Dog Training for the great experience we had with our two Border Collies Gabe and Atticus. They are very well-behaved due to the training that they received from this class. We were out-of-town with both of them and everyone commented on how well they listen. While taking the class, Robin was always available for questions we might have before our next class as she was only a phone call away. They are very socialized due to the class and learned all basic puppy skills. This is a class that we would recommend to anyone with a new puppy.- Buddy and Donna Teague, May, 2015 

Perfect Sit Stay Recall and Off-Leash Heeling!

On Monday mornings, weather permitting, we have a Bark in the Park, which is our students walking around at Huddleston Pond, learning good social skills and behaviors with distractions as well as good social manners with other dogs.  Phoenix, who is our puppy class grad, advanced class grad, therapy dog prep class grad  showed off her amazing skills today showing us her off-leash heeling with many distractions and impeccable sit-stay and recall, all while off-leash with many distractions!  Phoenix and her handler, Merilee have done all of her training without any pain, intimidation or coercion.  We are so proud of this team and all that they have accomplished.  Job well done, Team Phoenix!

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The American Cancer Society Bark For Life Walk

IMG_0784The American Cancer Society Bark For Life™ Fayette County is a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer.  We had well over 20 people on our team, The South Side Good Dogs, as we walked to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  I was proud to be co-captain with my friend Donna Little and to be a part of one really awesome team.

We raised triple our goal and were the #1 fundraising team at the event.  My dog KaeJae won the “Top Dog Award” for raising the most funds.  How wonderful it is to do volunteer work with my pets.  A big thanks to all my clients and friends who came out for a truly spectacular day.  Here’s hoping that this year a cure is found and that many more humans and dogs alike will have more birthdays.

 

 

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Bark For Life

62853.596118663.customBark For Life of Fayette County GA
Drake Field
Sunday, April 27, 2014
2:30 pm

My Reason to Bark!  KaeJae barks for fun and we walk for a good cause!  American Cancer Society fun walk for dogs!

There are way too many people in our world who are affected by cancer. KaeJae and I are participating this year to honor all our family members & friends who have heard those words “you have cancer”.  We are especially thinking of our friend Rhonda Tucker who is in heaven.  She and KaeJae were big buddies.  Rhonda battled lung cancer.

The American Cancer Society Bark For Life is more than just an event to us. It is our personal opportunity to help save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays by supporting the American Cancer Society. By taking part in Bark For Life, we are helping the American Cancer Society save lives by:

  • Helping people stay well by helping them take steps to prevent cancer or detect it early, when it is most treatable
  • Helping people get well by being in their corner around the clock to guide them through every step of their cancer experience
  • Finding cures by funding groundbreaking research that helps us understand cancer’s causes, determine how best to prevent it, and discover new ways to cure it
  • Fighting back by working with lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight

Would you please support our efforts by making a donation to our campaign? Together we have the power to help create a world where cancer can no longer claim another year of anyone’s life!

Click the link above if you would like to join our team, “The South Side Good Dogs”  20 bucks to register gets you an awesome t-shirt, a nice little stroll and all for a good cause.  If you can’t walk, will you consider donating?

Thanks and Woof!

Robin and KaeJae

http://main.acsevents.org/goto/KaeJae

First Do No Harm

6648951_lPrimum non nocere is Latin for “first, do no harm.”  I think that’s an important philosophy to have as a dog trainer.  I think it is an important philosophy that every dog owner should have as well.  Popular tv personalities professing to be dog trainers promote training ideas that cause great harm to dogs.  I find that unconscionable.  Showing your dog your “dominance” and being physically or verbally intimidating are not required to have a well-behaved dog and are definitely things that are harmful to your dog.

Many people think dogs just want to “disobey”.  I have heard it so many times, “My dog needs to obey me!” If you are always looking to see if your dog “disobeys” you then you have a human-canine relationship that is adversarial.  It doesn’t need to be you versus the dog.  Dogs are equipped with loads of deference, thus the phrase “man’s best friend”.

Never make an animal afraid of you.  You will never have a relationship based on trust if you use intimidation, fear and punishment to train a dog.  Showing “dominance” physically over your dog or giving off some kind of “energy” is absolutely unnecessary for a dog to recognize you as the leader. Nothing done in the name of “training” should lead to confusion, physical discomfort, pain, fear or undue stress for your dog.

Remember that training is something you do with your dog, not to your dog. Taking the time to develop a relationship with your dog and being a good dog parent will give you greater success. Also remember that training alone can’t resolve your dog’s undesirable behaviors if his/her physical, social and emotional needs are not met.practice

Don’t forget, your dog does not speak English!   English will become your dog’s second language.  Suzanne Clothier, a well noted dog trainer states:  “What is possible between a human and an animal is attainable only within a relationship.”

First, do no harm to your dog.

Hand Feeding

Hand Feeding Your Dog
Clients often say to me, “How can I get my dog to pay attention to me?  Why won’t s/he pay attention to me?”  How can I build my dog’s confidence? My dog has some behavioral issues that need to be addressed!

There is a very simple thing that will produce a fast and huge change in your dog’s behavior — hand feed your dog!  Yes, put the food bowl away for a month and feed all meals by hand! When you hand feed your dog, you make yourself very important, you can teach bite inhibition and you will gain your dog’s undivided attention!

Making yourself important to your dog is a good thing.  Some call it being a “leader”.  I call it being a good pet parent.  Hand feeding is going to very quickly make your dog understand that without you, he/she might not get fed! This is a great way to bond with and build a relationship with your dog.  It is especially effective when a dog is new to your family.

How does hand feeding help with bite inhibition? Your dog should learn to be careful with his/her mouth. Hand feeding provides you the perfect opportunity to focus on giving pieces of dry dog food, one or two at a time, and teaching the command “gentle” or “easy”.  If your dog touches your finger with his/her teeth, pull back, say “ouch” and then use your calm voice to say “gentle” and then try feeding again. So, simply by hand feeding your dog, you are teaching soft mouth skills.

It sure does make sense that hand feeding your dog would help get your dog to pay attention to you, right? Why is that important?  Well, dogs, just like people tend to pay way more attention to the person in their lives that doles out the rewards.  They focus on the person in their life that is important to them. When you look at the relationship between you and your dog, and determining who controls the resources, you can put yourself right at the top of the list of people your dog needs to survive.   You need to be very important to your dog.  This is very benevolent parenting. The goal here is to be necessary in your dog’s life, not control that life!  None of us want robot dogs, but we want our dogs to look to use for guidance and  for us to be relevant to our dogs.

So how do you do this? Pick a spot on the floor- it can be where your dog eats now, or better yet, for socialization purposes, you can feed him in different areas of the house – even outside! Meals on wheels is fun….take some kibble with you when you go on a walk or are out for socialization – “to go” food!  Start by handing out the kibble here and there without asking your dog to do anything. Make sure NOT to reward bad behavior. Pay your dog for sitting nicely or for being polite. Dogs learn by association and will repeat behaviors they get rewarded for. If you give your dog kibble when s/he is jumping up, barking, pawing at you, etc., you are rewarding inappropriate behavior.  Ask your dog to stand or sit patiently before you hand feed him/her. Once the dog has the routine down, start asking him/her to do things for the food. Sit!  Watch me! Down! Shake! Spin! Hand feeding helps with recall. A dog that is hand fed will almost always come to your hand if you put it out! Use feeding time to work on the training skills you learned in class.

It doesn’t have to be just one person in the house that is hand feeding your dog as long as the food is pre-measured so you don’t over feed. You will be truly amazed at the bonding and understanding that kids and dogs have when they hand feed the dog.

Have you ever seen the dogs that never take their eyes off their owners – always paying attention on walks and when out and about? Looking for guidance in situations?  Hand feeding is a positive way to accomplish that.  Hand feeding is especially beneficial when you bring a new dog into your home.  Your dog will bond to you very quickly when you are the person with all the resources.

So, put down the food bowl and bond with your dog!

Fall Puppy Class Begins Tuesday, October 1!

puppy-classes-april

The next Puppy Class session begins October 1, at 7:00 pm.  Puppy classes are 90 minutes, are held weekly for 5 weeks and include educational materials.  Our classes include off-leash playtime as socialization is key to a well-adjusted dog.

Click to Learn More or Sign Up

 

 

Bark For Life of Fayette County GA

Bark For Life of Fayette County GA
Drake Field
Sunday, April 28, 2013
2:00PM – 4:00PM

A Reason to Bark…

We are making a difference by teaming up to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life.  Robin Sockness is the Team Captain for the South Side Good Dogs and you are invited with your dog to join the walk!  The American Cancer Society Bark For LifeTM is a non-competitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer.

The American Cancer Society Bark For Life is an opportunity to team up to help save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays by supporting the American Cancer Society. By taking part in Bark For Life, you and your are helping the American Cancer Society save lives by:

Saving lives from cancer starts one team, one participant, and one dollar at a time. Our team, The South Side Good Dogs is doing our part to make sure that cancer never steals another year of anyone’s life.

We’d love to have our class graduates and clients join our group! The impact we can make together is much greater than what any of us could do alone!  Come on out on Sunday, April 28th at 2 pm!  If you pre-register and join our team, you get a t-shirt and your dog gets a bandanna!  This event is open to anyone with a dog that is current on vaccines, so invite your friends, too!  So bring your best canine friend and join us for a fun-filled day starting with a walk, and then continuing with demonstrations, contests, and games.

Click this link to get more details and to sign up with our team:  http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=47960&pg=entry