Where we celebrate the noble nanny dog character of mythology, history and entertainment.

Nanny Dog

Guide Dog School 1: It’s Definitely not Summer Camp!

By Brian Fischler


Service dog taking keys from owner with mobility impairment.

What follows is the first in a series of my thoughts and memories of going through guide dog school for the first time. Having never been a dog owner, this experience was not only unique, it was intimidating, but, looking back, it was the best decision I ever made.

Getting a guide dog is not an overnight process. It takes about a year. First there is the application, and submission of letters from your doctor. Then there is an in-home interview where trainers from the guide dog school come out and meet with you. This consists of an in person interview, making sure the home is a good environment for a dog, and an analysis of how mobile you are.

After all of this has taken place, there is a waiting period when your case goes before a review board. Once you have been approved, you are given a date to head off to guide dog school. You have to live at the school for a month of training. Unfortunately, it’s not like summer camp, it’s more like boot camp. Your days start at 6 a.m. and you train six days a week. The school provides room and board. The school that I went to, Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, New York, is a not-for-profit organization. They are completely publicly funded, so all of these services were provided to me at no cost.

The first day at guide dog school is a lot like the first day of college. You get to the school, you head off to your dormitory room, unpack and get settled, then head off to meet your fellow classmates. Oh yeah and just like college’s “freshman fifteen” there is a lot of eating. You are provided with three meals a day, and will probably eat more than you ever do at home.

My class had fourteen students, a mixture of those who had guide dogs previously, and some like me who were first-timers. Even though the school was in New York, I was the only New Yorker in the class. The class was made up of people of all races, religions, and backgrounds. The one thing we all had in common was we are blind.

The first day of training at guide dog school is all about the trainers learning your walking speed and about your lifestyle. There is no dog, since the trainers need to determine which dog is best for you. Guiding Eyes for the Blind uses mostly Labradors due to their temperament and trainability. Wow, I hope I can get a dog that loves to sleep in, loves the Yankees and Gators, and can run to Ray’s Pizza to pick me up a slice.

Seeing eye guide dog

Seeing eye guide dog

The second day started out with obedience training and learning how to discipline the dog, and the trainers first start introducing you to the verbal commands and hand signals you will use to communicate with the dog. We still weren’t training with our dogs, rather the harnesses and leashes were attached to our trainer’s arm.

We were taught two obedience commands. The first is a right arm pull on the leash to tell our dogs to stop sniffing, stop window shopping and focus, and to generally just get the dog back on track. The second is a left hand leash pull, which would be used to correct our dogs’ more serious mistakes, like walking us into something, blowing past a curb, or just an overall lack of focus.

I wasn’t that great at the left arm correction, as I guess I was a little apprehensive to be pulling on the dog’s neck. Like I said, I never had a dog before, and didn’t realize that a dog’s neck is the strongest part of his body.

We were then off to the metropolis of White Plains, New York, where Guiding Eyes has a facility at which we would do most of our training. I guess the good people of White Plains are nicer to train around than the people of New York City.

We walked around with our trainers having the dog’s harness and leash attached to their arm. We were learning basic hand signals to tell our dogs to move forward, go right, and go left. Of course some idiot yelled out, “You forgot the dog!” I guess he must have been from New York City.

At this point, tomorrow afternoon will be the big day, when we will be introduced to our dogs for the first time. It should be a really interesting and exciting day, and at least we won’t have to pick up their poop for the first few days. That is one lesson I am not looking forward to learning!

Part 2: And His Name Is …

Part 3: Taking Care of Business

Part 4: It Isn’t All Work and No Play

Dead Game (Albany Lou)

This breed is not a “nanny dog”. It is a game dog, “man-made” bred for the game. This song consistently references breeding and gameness. That’s what pit bulls have been and are still bred for. They are not and never have been nanny dogs. Dog fighters / pit bull breeders know the truth that pit bull advocacy denies and defies.

It’s a common misconception that the Rottweiler is a good fighting dog – it’s garbage

A lot of people walk around with these cur dogs they call pit bulls – mutts

15 minute wall-jumping curs

I’ll let you know about the real bull dog

The opposite of a cur, mother fuckin’ game dog. H’unh!

I’m a bull dog, baby, and I fight to the end

If I’m the down dog, don’t matter, I’m gamer than him

I’m not making a turn, gotta’ kill me to win, and my owner won’t pick me up – I bite him!

Got holes in my face, I’m not giving a shit

Your dog is a bitch, in my rep he’s a cur and he quit

No disrespect to bitches cause we need them too

In fact I’ve seen many that were gamer than you

I don’t bark and don’t grovel, all I know is I’m biting

And I don’t get socialized, all I know is fighting

Other than that I’m just on my chain, every back of a game bitch creating the same

My conditioning consists of flirt poles, spring poles, treadmill for a month and I swallow you whole

I’m 30 lbs. of pup, you can be a hundred and up, a five time winner it don’t matter

I’m making my dinner, let’s get it done the first time, never see the same dog

Look in my eyes fucker ’cause this is a game dog

I wasn’t bred for looks, I was bred to pain

I wasn’t bred for size, I was bred for the game

I wasn’t bred for color, I was bred to be game

My offspring is game and I expect the same …

I wasn’t bred for looks, I was bred to pain

I wasn’t bred for size, I was bred for the game

I wasn’t bred for color, I was bred to be game

My offspring is game and I expect the same …

I have survived hard bulls, my game test was best

If you’re a head dog don’t matter, I go for the chest,

I lock down, I bite hard,  you need a break stick

Against a hard punisher and I’m taking it

I’m not an ace, I have no super powers but I’m game – see

Pleasure and pain for me is one and the same

I felt teeth touch my bones, heard the pop

Enough shaking and pop to put a man in the shop

But I’m not in agony, see, this is in my nature

Man-made, dead, the song that the band played, dead game

Amazing grace, see how it tastes

Death is the only way for me to escape

And that’s my freedom, can’t deny me that

And my predecessors before were just like that

Put your money on me, and forget the lame dog

Look in my eyes fucker ’cause this is a game dog

I wasn’t bred for looks, I was bred to pain

I wasn’t bred for size, I was bred for the game

I wasn’t bred for color, I was bred to be game

My offspring is game and I expect the same …

I wasn’t bred for looks, I was bred to pain

I wasn’t bred for size, I was bred for the game

I wasn’t bred for color, I was bred to be game

My offspring is game and I expect the same …

Wildside Kennels were the court of Colby

Primarily Jeep, ‘though I date back to Primo

Broke legs, torn ears, only should have cropped ’em

Die dead game in twenty minutes, he should have stopped ’em

Six year old grand champ should retire at stud

Used to be a firecracker, now they think I’m a dud

OK, bet against me, use your wealth in your belt,

And remember this, I would fight the devil himself

I’m hard to hurt, and I’m even harder to kill

My body’s hard, and almost as strong as my will

My willpower don’t yield, the chemical in my brain

Tells me let me off this leash, and I get it to train

Built to last three hours, maybe get devoured

On my death bed I won’t die, I’ll fight instead

I’m man-made, dead, the song that the band played, dead game

Amazing grace, see how it tastes

Death is the only way for me to escape

And that’s my freedom, can’t deny me that

My predecessors before were just like that

Put your money on me, and even against a game dog

Look in my eyes fucker ’cause this is a game dog




Sam Simon Foundation – Service & Hearing Dog Programs

Sam Simon is a multi-millionaire Hollywood television writer, director and producer who has contributed significantly to enduring television favorites like Taxi, Cheers, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, The George Carlin Show, The Drew Carey Show, and most notable of all The Simpsons.

The 58-year-old vegan philanthropist was recently diagnosed with stage-4 colon cancer and given a grim prognosis of three to six months. Sam responded by pledging to leave all his fortune to charity.

Animal causes are Sam’s greatest passions – he serves on PETA’s Executive Committee, and in 2011 launched his own Sam Simon Foundation.

The Sam Simon Foundation provides:


Sam Simon Foundation trains hearing dogs like this one.

Service dogs trained for veterans diagnosed with PTSD as a result of serving in the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts, as well as trained dogs for assistance with hearing loss, TBI (traumatic brain injury), and moderate physical limitations due to injury. Sam Simon Foundation service dogs are trained to perform the following:

• Cover Me: Dogs are trained to move from a “left side position” to a “front side position” in order to create a spatial boundary between the veteran and public.

• Watch my back: Dogs are taught to turn, sit and face the opposing direction from the veteran, creating a sense of security and reducing stress.

• Balance: Where balance might be affected by medication used in treatment for PTSD and/or TBI, our dogs are taught to stand still in position when they feel a moderate weight applied to their shoulder and back. A veteran with balance challenges is taught how to use their dog properly to regain balance again.

Hearing dogs specially trained to alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing to common household sounds such as door knocks, telephones, and smoke alarms.

Typically dogs trained by the Sam Simon Foundation are rescued from the Ventura County Animal Services shelter. Dogs that don’t work out as service dogs, are adopted into loving families through the Foundation.

NannyDog.info offers our public THANK YOU! to big-hearted Sam Simon who is helping people and animals have better lives together. God Bless You Sam!!!

Puppy Behavior and Genetics

Domesticated dogs have been described as a “genetic cocktail” due to the variety and diversity of breeds. Every breed was developed by humans to serve specific helper roles such as hunting or herding. Dogs are bred for physical traits as well as for consistent temperaments. Some breeds are naturally more independent or aloof while others are friendlier. You’ll want to choose a breed known for being affectionate with people if you’re looking for a companion or service dog.

Dogs desired for companionship and partnership with humans were bred to reduce the natural instincts of predation, dominance and aggression which are heritable traits. According to Michael D. Breed in his article What is the Basis for Aggression in Dogs?:

Certain breeds have been selected for enhanced dominance and aggression. Pit bulls and Rottweilers currently receive the most public attention in this regard, and pit bulls have been banned in many locations because they are perceived as being dangerous. While advocates of these breeds claim that maltreatment is a more likely underlying cause of the kind of aggression leading to biting incidents (some of which involve human fatalities), in fact we know that personality is fairly unresponsive to environment.

Working from Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence study, Hellmuth Wachtel categorized dog breeds into these groups of heritable trainability:

  1. Herding dogs were rated highest in obedience – Border Collie first on the list
  2. Gundogs (spaniels, retrievers, pointers, and setters)
  3. Mastiffs and livestock guarding breeds (Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, etc.)
  4. Schnauzers and terriers
  5. Arctic breeds
  6. Sighthounds (except the Afghan hound which placed absolutely last)
  7. Scenthounds
  8. Primitive breeds like the Basenji

It’s not surprising that our top choices as nanny dogs come from Wachtel’s most trainable groups – herding dogs and gun dogs.

Any companion or service dog must have a high level of bite inhibition. Puppies should be tested for aggression and dominance, as well for other personality traits, because you cannot change your dog’s genetic blueprint. What you get from your dog’s breeder is what you will have to work with. That’s why it’s so important to research and locate a breeder able to show success in breeding dogs suitable for service work or companionship.

Geneticists emphasize what we see as one heritable behavior actually results from a complex interaction of multiple genes. For this reason it is important that working dogs must be bred for their purpose at every generation otherwise the combination of genes required to produce the desired behavior may become separated, and subsequently lost.

Never underestimate puppy aggression; it is a good indicator of what to expect from the dog as an adult. Since pit bulls and Rottweilers are the most likely to kill people, they are not suitable choices.

Aggressive puppies are not advised if you're looking for a family pet

Aggressive puppies are not advised as family pets

Body language signs of an aggressive puppy:

  1. Biting
  2. Snapping
  3. Growling
  4. Excessive barking
  5. Raised fur along the hackles (the back of the neck and the ridge of the spine)
  6. Flattened ears
  7. Lip licking
  8. Standing up on his toes with erect ears
  9. Rapidly wagging his tail
  10. Teeth baring
  11. White ringed eyes


Domesticated silver foxes enjoyed human company and developed floppy ears and short tails.

Domesticated silver foxes enjoyed human company and developed floppy ears and short tails.

CASE STUDY: The Russian Fox Study

A fifty year study by a Russian scientist hypothesized that breeding “for tameness and against aggression would result in hormonal and neurochemical changes, since behavior was ultimately rooted in biology. It could be that the genetic differences that led to the morphological changes that biologists noticed in domesticated dogs (particularly, they noticed differences in fur coloration, and increased skull size relative to body size) were related to the genetic changes that underlied the behavioral temperament that they selected for (tameness and low aggression). He believed that he could investigate some of the questions about domestication by attempting to domesticate wild foxes. Belyaev and his colleagues took wild silver foxes (a variant of the red fox) and bred them, with a strong selection for inherent tameness.”

“And so it was that selecting for a single behavioral characteristic – tameness (or, put another way, selecting against fear and aggression) – resulted in changes not only in behavior, but also in correlated and unselected physical and physiological changes.”


CASE STUDY: How genetic code combinations affect coat color and pigmentation, and gameness in pit bulls:


“Regardless of one’s historical perspective, these old amber-eyed, red-nosed, red-toe-nailed, red-coated dogs represent some of the most significant pit bull history and tradition that stands on four legs today.”
McNolty | 30-30 Journal (1967)

“In the middle of the 19th century, there was a family of pit dogs in Ireland that were known as the ‘Old Family’. At that time, all the strains were closely inbred. Being a small genetic pool of that type, it was likely to have a slide toward the recessive traits, because the dominants, once discarded, were never recaptured. Since red is recessive to all colors but white, the ‘Old Family’ eventually became the ‘Old Family Reds’. When the dogs began coming to America, they were beginning to show the red nose.

Many strains have been crossed with the Old Family Reds at some time in their existence. Consequently, nearly any strain will occasionally throw a red-nosed pup.

6 week old pit bull puppies fighting, and yes, that is blood.

Red-nose pit bull puppies display instinct to fight.

To many dog owners, these red-nosed individuals are Old Family Red Noses even though the great preponderance of their blood is that of other strains. Sometimes such individuals will fail to measure up and thereby reflect undeserved discredit on the red-nosed strain. Originally renowned for its gameness, some of the most reputable breeders in all Pit Bull history such as Lightner, McClintock, Menefee and Wallace have contributed to the preservation and development of the strain.”

Below are some videos showing very young puppies displaying their inherited behavior.


Pit bull puppies are born “game” for the fight!
These are the videos that pit bull advocates keep getting removed from YouTube.
They don’t want you to know the truth!
















Celebrity criminal pit bull owners

As noted by Dr. Stanley Coren, based on numerous reputable studies on the topic, people who own “high risk” or dangerous dog breeds, notably the pit bull, are more likely to commit violent crimes than owners of non-risky breeds, like nanny dog breeds.

Just recently two such examples have emerged:


Paranoid millionaire McAfee between armed thugs

John McAfee – The founder of McAfee anti-virus software was arrested for unlicensed drug manufacturing and possession of an unlicensed weapon at his home in Belize in April 2012.

Within months of being released, he was then sought out as a “person of interest” in connection to the November 2012 murder of his neighbor, American expatriate Gregory Viant Faull.

Two of McAfee's pit bull dogs that had terrorized his neighbors

Two of McAfee’s pit bull dogs that had terrorized his neighbors

McAfee fled to Guatemala where he requested political asylum and was denied. While in custody he faked a heart attack to buy time for his attorney to file an appeal that ultimately blocked his deportation back to Belize where he is wanted for questioning in the Faull murder. He is now in Portland, Oregon.

McAfee’s neighbors in Belize had reported his vicious pit bull dogs to authorities, and after some of his dogs died, presumably due to poisoning, he blamed his now deceased neighbor Gregory Faull. A day after the two neighbors exchanged words about the pit bulls, Faull was found shot to death.

Dean Barrow, the prime minister of Belize has referred to McAfee as “extremely paranoid, even bonkers”.

In his own words, McAfee himself does not use McAfee anti-virus software stating, “It’s too annoying”. Nanny Dog recommends that PC users download the 100% free Microsoft Security Essentials program from Microsoft instead of contributing to criminal McAfee’s millions.

Read more at http://cravendesires.blogspot.com/search?q=mcafee



Alleged murderer Oscar Pistorius and his pit bulls

Alleged murderer Oscar Pistorius and his pit bulls

Oscar Pistorius – South African double-amputee Olympic running star “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius was arrested for the Valentine’s Day 2013 shooting murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Neighbors reported they heard shouting before the gunshots. Pistorius does not deny shooting his girlfriend but claims he mistakenly thought it was an intruder using his bathroom.

Previously, in 2009, Pistorius had been charged with assault by South African police for slamming a door on a woman at his home.

Pistorius has been described as a reckless risk taker, citing a boat accident in 2009 which put him into hospital intensive care unit. Confirmed in a People magazine article, US journalist Michael Sokolove recalls that Pistorius had “a frenetic aspect about him” and enjoyed “driving fast fealessly, riding his dirt bike, driving his speedboat” and that he was involved in several “exotic” business ventures including race horses and white tigers.

It is noteworthy that Dr. Coren’s article on the personality characteristics of dangerous dog owners concludes that as a group they are more careless and more likely to engage in self-defeating behaviors than low risk dog owners.

And now Oscar’s brother, Carl Pistorius, is being charged with culpable homicide charge for a 2008 road rage death of a female motorcyclist.


O.J. Simpson owned an Akita named Kato

OJ Simpson owned an Akita named Kato

Former football player turned actor turned violent criminal O.J. Simpson owned another fighting dog breed, an Akita.


Read more: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/200903/psychological-characteristics-owners-high-risk-aggression-dog-breeds





Psychological profile of high risk dog owners

In his excellent article, author Dr. Stanley Coren, sums up findings from numerous studies about the personality type of people who choose to own aggressive and potentially dangerous dogs.

The findings confirmed that owners of “high risk” or dangerous dog breeds are:

  • significantly more likely to commit violent criminal behavior, compared to other large dog owners, small dog owners, and people who did not own dogs at all
  • more careless, selfish and have strong manipulative tendencies
  • engaged in more self-defeating behaviors than the low risk dog owners
  • much more accepting of the maltreatment or abuse of animals than was found for owners of low risk dog breeds

Read the full article here:


As evidence, here is a current story involving an owner of high risk dogs:

This man had his unleashed pit bulls in an Atlanta park. The dogs aggressively approached two women (one pregnant) and their children, and the owner then told the kids to go away somewhere else because his pit bulls were there first. The women politely asked him to leash his dogs and take them away, and he flew into a rage. One woman began recording his verbal assault with her cell phone which he slapped out of her hands.





Chance is a Labrador retriever / pointer mix.

Chance is a Labrador retriever / pointer mix nanny dog.

“When my 3 children and I moved in with my parents Chance was already 7 years old. He was accustomed to living with adults and older teens his entire dog-hood. When we first walked through the door with a noisy 4 year old in tow he looked leery and much like an old man seemed to be grumbling in his seat, “Kids!”

However, with children comes scraps! He soon cheered up and greeted my 3 children at every mealtime. Most likely sucking up for a taste of baby food (blech!) or a spoonful of ravioli. But he doesn’t mind their presence, their loud noises or high pitched voices. He puts up with it all very well.

On many occasions he follows us upstairs, most especially during thunderstorms. He figures no amount of noise the kids make can be as annoying or scary as thunder booming.

Today I had to make my crying 10 month old a bottle. I placed the 10 month old, sitting upright, onto the floor and my 2 year old sat next to him. Who should decide to sit next to the 2 children? The serious pointer mix himslf, Chance. He allowed them to pull his ears, touch his face, and climb his back without so much as a nip.

And I was super surprised how he has adapted to the little ones in the house. He reminds me very much of the old man in the rocking chair. At first he grumbles and then his heart grows for the love of little ones. And that’s where Chance is now. He’ll never play frisbee or catch a ball, for he was born with a very mature soul and is quite serious, but he won’t mind if the kids test the way his ears fold and bend.

The little ones seem to keep him going and amused.”


Barry the St. Bernard

Barry was a distinguished nanny dog who saved the lives of 40 people.

The St. Bernard dog is an ancient breed with a modern name. Originally they were known as Hospice Dogs, until the early 1800’s when Barry came along.

Barry is credited with saving forty people trapped in avalanches. For a long time after that, this breed was known as Barryhund (Barry dog) in its native Switzerland.

Legend has it that Barry was killed by the forty first person he attempted to rescue, but other more reliable sources claim he lived to a ripe old age and died in 1814.

To this day the monks at the Great St. Bernard Hospice always have one dog named Barry in his honor.


This is Barry’s preserved body in a museum in Bern, Switzerland


Hero Chihuahua finds missing girls in the woods

While we often refer to nanny dogs as heroic, hero dogs truly come in all sizes and packages!

“A 3-year-old chihuahua named Bell is an unexpected hero after finding three young girls who became lost for hours in the woods in Newnan, Georgia, on Monday.

CBS Atlanta reports that, on Monday, 8-year-old Carlie and 5-year-old Lacey Parga went for a walk with their dog Lucy down a cul-de-sac on trails near their neighborhood.

What started as a casual stroll became an unintended, and at times frightening, experience. As Carlie tells CBS, ‘”We tried to find our way out of the woods. We kept following paths and stuff and we got lost.” Indeed, they became scared that they were only to get more and more lost.

Carlie’s father, David Parga, noted that it wasn’t characteristic of them to wander off and, after searching for them but not hearing them respond, he contacted police and firefighters. Neighbors joined them including Carvin Young who thought to take Bell, who plays with the girls every day and knew their scent. Bell was able to lead searchers to the girls.

As Young tells CBS, “Bell sniffed them out. She smelled them, her tail went to wagging and she kept running and running until she got to them. She started jumping up on me and I knew we were close.”

Selfless dog makes nightly trip to fetch food for her family

A dog named Lilica has a special devotion and sense of duty to her family. She provides for her extended family by venturing two miles away each night to pick up food specially prepared for her and the other animals in her family, so that they have food to eat. This smart and loyal dog has been sharing her food with her family every night for three years.

Lilica lives in a junkyard in São Carlos, Brazil. She lives on the site with another dog, a cat, chickens and a mule, along with Neile Vania Antonio, who found Lilica abandoned as a puppy and took her in.

Every night the dog makes her way to the home of Professor Lucia Helena de Souza. She travels miles along a busy highway road to meet with Lucia. Lucia, who takes care of 13 stray dogs and 30 cats, has developed a special routine with the dog. Lucia prepares food and puts it in a bag for Lilica and then meets her every night at 9:30 pm. Lilica eats some of the meal and then carries the bag back to the junkyard to feed the other animals.


How to Raise the Perfect Dog

How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through puppyhood and beyond
by Cesar Millan

Cesar Millan’s newest book, ‘How To Raise The Perfect Dog Through Puppyhood and Beyond’ co-written with Melissa Jo Peltier, documents the lives of five pups – Blizzard the Labrador retriever, Junior the pit bull, Mr. President the English bulldog, Angel the miniature schnauzer and Eliza the soft-coated wheaten terrier. The first four pups were raised by Cesar and the terrier was raised by cameraman Chris Komives and his wife Johanna.

This book is an extraordinary resource for anyone contemplating the purchase of a puppy. Cesar discusses the importance of finding a good breeder, and what qualities to look for in the prospective parent dogs. He explains why puppy-mill bred dogs come into the world with so many disadvantages and how to identify and steer clear of those puppies. He gives advice about how to pick the right pup for your family based on energy level, and this important information can be applied to puppies acquired from a rescue or shelter, as well as older pups or adult dogs. Cesar’s excellent advice is –

“As a good rule of thumb, I recommend people choose a dog with the same energy level or a lower energy level than their own. If they have other dogs at home, it’s even more important not to choose a dog with an energy level higher than that of the dogs or humans already in the family pack.”

Cesar thoroughly documents the puppy’s conception, gestation and birth. Every step in the puppy’s growth is covered, how the mother dog and family pack teach the puppies, and how you, as the adoptive family, can start becoming involved with your puppy before bringing him/her home. He spends several chapters explaining how to prepare your home and family for the new addition, how to make the first few days as stress-free as possible, and how to care for your new puppy. In all 160 pages are devoted to teaching you everything you need to know about puppies to set you up for a successful adoption. Learn –

  • what to expect at each stage of your puppy’s life
  • stress-free and effective housetraining
  • the importance of proper nutrition
  • vaccinations and avoidance of over-vaccinating

The next part of the book deals in training. Yes, he instructs you in how to train your puppy basics like walking on a leash, but he also teaches you how to identify your puppy’s strong suits – for instance Angel the miniature schnauzer had a talent for sniffing out cigarette butts in the park, so Cesar cultivates this natural skill hoping that one day Angel will be able to sniff out cancer in humans. And he tells you how to use play time to balance genetically-bred characteristics of certain breeds to reduce natural tendencies, such as the the bulldog’s inclination to challenge other dogs. You will learn how to –

  • establish rules, boundaries, and calm-assertive leadership
  • avoid the most common mistakes
  • recognize and correct issues before they become problems
  • use play to bring out the best in every dog

In addition, Cesar discusses the top ten most common problems, their causes and how to resolve them (which can also be applied to older dogs adopted through a rescue or shelter) –

  • jumping up on people
  • chewing
  • barking
  • nipping and mouthing
  • housetraining
  • not coming when called
  • digging
  • won’t walk on a leash
  • crying and whining
  • excited or submissive urination

The last part of the book deals with the challenges of adolescence, a time when many dogs are given away, surrendered to rescues, or thrown away at a shelter. Cesar prepares the new owner for the physical and emotional changes they can expect and how to navigate this time of the young dog’s life. He spends several pages discussing the advantages of neutering, dispelling myths about neutering, and concludes –

“I come from the point of view of wanting to prevent unwanted puppies growing into dogs that we put to death, simply because we can’t find homes for them. To me, this is a moral outrage, something that creates negative karma for our entire species.”

This book deserves five stars for it thoroughness in covering all aspects of puppy rearing, it’s enjoyable readibility, and it’s practical, easy-to-follow instructions to make your puppy adoption a calm and smooth experience.

What Color Is Your Dog?

In his new book ‘What Color Is Your Dog?’ Joel Silverman, Hollywood trainer and host of Animal Planet’s Good Dog U, introduces a simple concept to accurately determine any dog’s innate emotional personality. Just 160 pages in length, this little gem of a book includes lots of color photographs and is cleverly formatted with important information spotlighted so you can reference it easily.

Joel’s innovative concept categorizes dogs as Red, Orange, Yellow, Green or Blue, or some degree in between such as Red-Orange. It’s a simple and elegant system that is easy for everyone, even children, to understand.

On one end of the spectrum, the hot side, are Red dogs. These high-strung dogs are often described as ‘out of control’. They are easily distracted and often challenging to train. At the other end of the spectrum, on the cold side, are Blue dogs. Timid, fearful and untrusting, Blue dogs can become fear aggressive biters. Both Red and Blue dogs frequently end up in animal shelters and rescues simply because their owners don’t know how to deal with them.

Right smack in the center of the spectrum are the Yellow dogs. These ‘mellow Yellow’ dogs are the ideal. On each side of the Yellow dogs are warm Orange and cool Green dogs. The goal is to bring any dog closer to ‘mellow Yellow’ by the way in which the owner approaches, trains and handles the dog.

Joel and Sunshine on the set of "A Good Year"

Joel and Sunshine on the set of “A Good Year”

The title might sound like a fanciful Dr. Seuss book, but once you start reading it you will be amazed at how profoundly perceptive the color categories are. You’ll probably have your own dog’s color identified within the first few pages of the book. This book delivers on it’s goal to teach people how to develop a respectful relationship with their dog by providing insight into any dog’s personality.

But beyond simply identifying dogs by color, the second half of Joel’s book explains how to effectively train each color type. For instance, Blue, Green, Yellow and some Orange dogs respond very well to clicker training, while the clicker sound and food reward can be too stimulating for the already excitable Red dogs who do best with calming tactile rewards such as petting and stroking.

Joel’s motive for writing this book was to help new dog owners learn the best way to communicate with their dog, in order to reduce the number of adopted dogs being returned to rescues and animal shelters. The book is also a great resource for people who work in rescue. By being able to identify the dog’s emotional personality in advance, the rescue staff can teach the new dog owner how best to handle that particular personality for a happy and successful adoption.


What Color Is Your Dog? Train your dog based on his personality color
by Joel Silverman

Interview with Joel Silverman:

Joel, to give the readers a little background about you … you were one of those early pioneers clicker training dolphins and orcas at Sea World, and the last 30 years you’ve been training dogs for TV, movies and stage. Among your most famous credits are training Dreyfuss for Empty Nest, and training Sunshine for the Russell Crowe movie A Good Year. You’re also the host of Animal Planet’s Good Dog U.

When training for different vehicles, TV, movies and stage, is the training different for each type of acting?

No, the training is the same, but it is different from the type of training you would do with your family pet, or an agility dog. Normally you’ll want the dog to be very attentive to you, but when training for film you want the dog to look natural. You don’t want him looking at you. You also don’t want to excite him or stimulate him. So you would not use a clicker in that case. You affirm to the dog that he got it right by moving to the next behavior. However, I would use the clicker when training something new like asking the dog to cover his eyes with paws. That requires a lot of precise timing and shaping to develop the behavior.

Let’s talk about your new book, ‘What Color Is Your Dog’. I am enjoying this book. The writing is concise and engaging. The book is very user-friendly. How did you develop this concept of identifying dogs by color?

I went to the book store and looked through the training books. I felt there was a need for a fresh new approach to dog training. The book developed from two philosophies of mine about training.

The first is my observation that the most successful dog trainers develop a relationship – they create a bond of trust with the dog prior to starting the training. They spend some time just getting to know the dog for two to four weeks. Once the relationship is built, the dog will do what you want – you won’t need to force him. The second philosophy is that every dog is different and should be handled according to its personality.

I wrote this book with the new dog owner in mind. Too many dogs are adopted from shelters and rescues, only to be returned because the new owner didn’t understand the dog and how to train it. My goal with this book is to increase the number of adoptions that work out and decrease the number of dogs returned to the pound.

Joel's best friend and companion is Foster.

Joel’s best friend and companion is Foster.

Are some breeds more prevalent in particular colors? I’m thinking Border Collies and Australian Shepherds must be Red dogs.

I try not to generalize. Any breed can be any color. A lot of people think that Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are Red dogs, but in my experience they tend to be Green more often because they are a little bit timid and reserved. The color is more about a dog’s emotional personality rather than energy level.

The idea is to move a dog from an extreme color like Red or Blue towards the center of the color spectrum which is Mellow Yellow. What causes the shift? Is it environment, experience, age …?

What changes the dog is you. You have the power to change his color.

Can a dog move between colors during stressful situations? Can a Blue dog turn Red?

No. A dog cannot move from one extreme to another. This is important to understand. Let’s say you have a Green dog. He’s a nippy little Chihuahua-mix. He can go one of two ways, towards Yellow or towards Blue. If he’s forced to do something and is afraid, he’ll go to the extreme of Blue. A Blue dog can be fear aggressive and bite. The same Green dog, this Chihuahua-mix, if you train him the right way, he’ll move towards Yellow. Another example would be an Orange pit bull mix with a bit of an aggressive streak. You pull the leash and his hackles go up. You keep forcing him and he’ll become a Red dog. If you calm him down he’ll go towards Yellow.

Are some behavioral problems (house training, biting, fighting) associated with certain colors?

Not necessarily. Biting and fighting are just how dogs are in general. Any color dog can have difficulty with housetraining. All dogs can learn the basic commands that I teach in the book. These are Sit, Stay, Come and No. In the book I explain how to teach these commands based upon your dog’s personality color.

As a clicker trainer, it was interesting to me that you recommend not using clicker training with Red and some Orange dogs. Is it the sound of the clicker, the excitement of the treats, or what?

It’s excitement in general. When you think about a Red dog, think about a dog that jumps. He jumps on people, he jumps on furniture, he just jumps and jumps and jumps. I’m not saying you couldn’t clicker train a Red dog, but I think that would not be the fastest way to train him. You want to calm this dog down. Tactile rewards, like petting and stroking, get the Red dog moving towards Yellow.

Should people pick the dog color that matches their own personality?

No, I wouldn’t say that. You can have chemistry with any dog.

It seems to me that anyone who deals with a lot of different dogs on a frequent basis, such as a rescue organization, animal shelter or a veterinarian’s office would find this book useful.

Absolutely. I’ve been going around speaking to different groups. This book is about is not forcing dogs. This is a way to train all types of dogs based on their personality.

Joel, thank you for sharing this time with me. It’s been an honor. It’s obvious you are a really nice guy and you genuinely love dogs. This book will have a huge impact on people’s ability to understand their dogs and train accordingly. I believe you will achieve your goal of decreasing the number of dogs returned to shelters. If every new owner, and current owners alike, were to read your very reasonably-priced gem of a book, people would avoid feeling frustrated and overwhelmed which in turn leads them to give up on their dog. You make it all so simple and easy!

Why We Love The Dogs We Do

Why We Love the Dogs We Do – How to find the dog that matches your personality
by Stanley Coren

“When a dog and its human fit each other well, the resulting bond can make both lives richer and more satisfying. The love for a well-chosen dog can transcend life itself.”

These beautiful words come from Dr. Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology and the author of one of the most insightful books I’ve ever read, ‘Why We Love The Dogs We Do – How To Find The Dog That Matches Your Personality’.

Dr. Coren contrasts the great love some humans demonstrate to their dogs with the sad fact that nearly half of all puppies purchased do not make it through the first year in their new home, ending up returned to their breeders, sold or given away, dropped off at shelters, or cruelly abandonned. Disturbed by the number of unwanted dogs, Dr. Coren decided to study the subject and surveyed over 6000 people to determine what personality traits in humans were complemented by which breeds of dogs. The result is a personality test that pinpoints which types of dogs will be the most successful match for the human.

Another innovative aspect of Dr. Coren’s study is the categorization of dogs into seven classifications. These completely novel groupings of dogs are based on temperament as opposed to the AKC breed groups based on function. The dog groups were developed by Dr. Coren and his team of eleven dog experts. The groups are:

Stanley Coren and some of his dogs.

Stanley Coren and some of his dogs.

Group 1: Friendly – affectionate and genial dogs (bearded collie, collie, curly-coated retriever, flat-coated retriever, golden retriever, labrador retriever, old english sheepdog, soft-coated wheaten terrier)

Group 2: Protective – territorial and dominant dogs

Group 3: Independent – personable and strong-willed dogs

Group 4: Self-Assured – spontaneous and audacious dogs

Group 5: Consistent – self-contained and home-loving dogs

Group 6: Steady – good-natured and tolerant dogs (Bernese mountain dog, bloodhound, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard)

Group 7: Clever – impulsive and trainable dogs

This book isn’t just a personality test and discussion of the dog groupings – the most compelling and fascinating part of the book is Dr. Coren’s evaluation of famous people and their relationships with their dogs. There are stories and photographs of celebrities, royalty, writers, painters, politicians, and famous professionals from all walks of life. Many of the stories are touching and give you a new, sympathetic perspective on people for whom you may have never felt any compassion – like Richard Nixon who was known to drive around the White House lawn with his Irish Setter King Timahoe seated on the golf cart next to him. Nixon is quoted as explaining, “We’re not really going anywhere, it’s just that Tim likes to ride in the cart and I like to see him happy.

The Bouvier des Flandres is a favorite breed of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and also of Star Wars producer George Lucas. An interesting coincidence ... or is it?

The Bouvier des Flandres is a favorite breed of
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and
also of Star Wars producer George Lucas.
An interesting coincidence … or is it?

There is also a list of each breed in Dr. Coren’s study and the names of the famous people who own or have owned that particular breed. For instance, did you know the Bouvier des Flandres has been a favorite pet of comedian Bill Cosby, Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon, Star Wars director/producer George Lucas (who is said to have based the Wookie character Chewbaca on his dog), country singers Barbara Mandell and Reba McEntyre, President Ronald Reagan, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Beatles drummer Ringo Star and actress Debra Winger? It certainly can be an ego boost to find out that Halle Berry, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman or T. Boone Pickens has the same taste in dogs as you do!

In many cases, Dr. Coren also provides the celebrity’s dog’s name which makes this book a super resource for individuals searching for original names for a new pet or a rescue group needing to name dozens of dogs on a frequent basis. In addition, in the book Dr. Coren addresses people who don’t like dogs as well as people who prefer cats.

Impressionist Cats and Dogs: Pets in the Painting of Modern Life

Many Impressionist paintings of modern life and leisure include images of household pets. Their appealing presence lends charm to such works while alluding to middle-class prosperity and the growing importance of animals as family members. In many cases, such domestic denizens significantly complement representations of their owners. In certain others, the devotion of individual artists to their pets symbolically enhances their expressions of artistic identity. This book focuses on the role of pets in Impressionist pictures and what this reveals about the art, artists, and society of that era. James Rubin discusses works in which artists paint themselves or their friends in the company of their pets, including several paintings by Courbet (who was fond of dogs) and Manet (a notorious lover of cats). He points out that in some works by Degas, dogs contribute to the artist’s commentary on psychological and social relationships, and that in paintings by Renoir, dogs and cats have playful and erotic overtones. He also offers a theory to explain why Monet almost never painted pets. Drawing on early pet handbooks and treatises on animal intelligence, Rubin explores 19th-century opinions on cats and dogs and compares handbook illustrations with the animals shown in Impressionist works. He also provides information on pet ownership and on the place of Impressionism in the long history of animal painting.

Dog Painting 1840 – 1940

William Secord is the first author to explore the presentation of the dog, from its origins in Greek, Roman and later European art, to the remarkable paintings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries up to modern times. In this splendid work he traces the evolution of some fifty breeds, using carefully selected illustrations by outstanding nineteenth and twentieth century artists, ranging from depictions of hounds and sporting dogs in the field to Victorian portraits of pampered pets and highly-bred favorites. From the diminutive chihuahua to the massive St Bernard, this fascinating account of most of the popular breeds provides an original and penetrating artistic record of mankind’s faithful companions. It is also an invaluable reference work about the many superb painters who specialized in dog painting, providing an essential index for art historians, dealers and galleries requiring a directory of names and examples of the exponents of this popular genre.

Breed Apart: The Art Collections Of The American Kennel Club And The American Kennel Club Museum Of The Dog

This volume is a testament to our love for the dog, in all its guises, in conformation dog shows, field and obedience trials, in the sporting field and as a pet. It is also a testament to the many artists, some of whom were virtually forgotten until recently, who chose to use their insights and artistic skills to portray the dog on canvas, paper and in porcelain and bronze. Chronicled in this monumental volume is the combined encyclopaedic collections of the American Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog. Because of the enormity of the two collections, it was impossible to include everything – during the selection process only the very best of the collected works were chosen. The collections are particularly comprehensive, and include not only nineteenth and twentieth century paintings and bronzes, but many watercolours, original prints, silver trophies and antique dog collars, each and every artefact directly related to dogs.

The American Dog at Home: The Dog Portraits of Christine Merrill

Whether highly bred canines or loveable mixed breeds, America has fallen in love with the dog, and who better than Christine Merrill, America’s premier pet portraitist, to chronicle this long term relationship. As best selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford exclaims, She has caught my Jemmy exactly; the portrait is perfect in every way. While grounded in the traditions of 18th and 19th century England, this Baltimore artist has over the past 20 years created a body of work, which depicts the American dog in its own especially American environment. Each chapter of this book features an American dog owner who has commissioned Merrill to capture their dog in oils, and answer the who, what, where and why’s of each collector’s story, and how they came to seek out Merrill to portray their dogs – members of the family whose portraits often supplant the portraits of their human relatives. Each chapter is lavishly illustrated, not only with Merrill’s paintings, but also with colour photographs of the pet owner with their American dog at home. Merrill’s paintings, executed in the centuries old style of the great English masters of animal painting, are timeless testaments to our love for the dog, and Americans all over the country have chosen her to create portraits in oil of their beloved pets. Merrill counts movie stars, authors, socialites and captains of industry among her clients, each with one thing in common: their love for their pets.

Best in Show: The Dog in Art from the Renaissance to Today

Dogs have been featured in works of art in various ways—from primary subjects to supporting characters to props. Best in Show is the most up-to-date, comprehensive survey of the dog as shown in painting, sculpture, works on paper, and photography from the end of the sixteenth century to today. This beautifully produced book features sixty works by such illustrious artists as Francis Bacon, Gustave Courbet, Salvador Dalí, Lucian Freud, Thomas Gainsborough, Edouard Manet, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Andrew Wyeth, and many more. Four fascinating essays by distinguished scholars discuss the dog in the context of the art of the 16th through the 21st centuries; examine the purebred and how breeds have developed and changed over the years; and outline the results of scientific inquiry over the centuries regarding the nature of dogs.

Dog Painting: A history of the dog in art

William Secord explores the presentation of the dog, from its origins in Greek, Roman and later European art, to the remarkable paintings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries up to modern times. In this splendid work he traces the evolution of some fifty breeds, using carefully selected illustrations by outstanding nineteenth and twentieth century artists, ranging from depictions of hounds and sporting dogs in the field to Victorian portraits of pampered pets and highly-bred favorites. From the diminutive chihuahua to the massive St Bernard, this fascinating account of most of the popular breeds provides an original and penetrating artistic record of mankind’s faithful companions. It is also an invaluable reference work about the many superb painters who specialized in dog painting, providing an essential index for art historians, dealers and galleries requiring a directory of names and examples of the exponents of this popular genre.