article image

2019 Is A New Year With A New Dog

This is Wiley’s first new year in the Bay Woof household.

At the moment, I’m planning to stay up until midnight in my party hat to give her a good smooch as I drain a glass of champagne to ensure a prosperous 2019.

I am not a big resolution maker, but having a smart, frisky pup who likes to play, go, and learn has me rethinking that. Wiley is still a bit of fraidy dog who is still finding her way, and I want to help her become confident any way I can. I am grateful for the good advice the learned contributors offer in Bay Woof, and their tips, tricks, schemes, and methods have been making their way into my training regimen with Wiley, from high-value treats for rewards to dog food puzzle toys for enrichment.

As I contemplate how to connect more with Wiley in 2019 and minimize her scaredyness, I’ve been pondering another effective tradition suggested by training guru Kelly Gorman Dunbar. In this installment of The Monthly Woof, she recommends that humans keep the dog training fun. It shouldn’t be all business and serious like military exercises full of drill sergeant orders. Nope, for the best results, keep it wacky, fun, and whimsical. Have fun. Be fun. Have a party.

She goes way beyond sit, stay, down, and come, teaching some of her best students how to army crawl, sit pretty, play dead. One bright star knows commands in multiple languages, and another can fake pee on cue. There’s no limit. Wiley’s cousin, Memphis, a Pom, can stop, drop, and roll when told he’s on fire. Dunbar offers a resolution challenge to good sports: a trick per month in 2019. Sounds good to me.

This month, Rusty Barnes of Pawgress notes in Good Dog! that January is also National Train Your Dog Month, and he wants you to resolve to build a better training partnership with your pooch. To do so, he offers four Golden Rules to strengthen the human-canine bond, based on mutual respect, and simplifies them as: 1. Resist Repeating Yourself.  2. Pay the Sticker Price.  3. No Pace for Punishment. 4. Let the Dog Choose. There’s just no arguing with any of that.


Wile E. Coyote


Wiley dressed up as Wile E. Coyote wearing a rocket launcher for Halloween in Fremont.