Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Dog Whisperer

People, I'm doing it all wrong.

That's what I learned from my Dog Whisperer experience. No, he didn't make a special trip to my house, and now I'm never going to ask him to because I already know he'd pull his whole, "It's totally the owner's fault" thing.


National Geographic ran a marathon of The Dog Whisperer every night last week... and I watched every single episode. One of which featured a spoiled Maltese named Bubba that was running his household. I've decided that step one in every endeavor is admitting there's a problem.

Hi. My name is Sara and I'm not the pack leader.

Now, since Riley and I spend 98% of our time only in each other's company I had been in the mind set that it really wasn't that big of a deal that he ruled the roost. But Ceasar (the dog whisperer) set me straight on that one. Dogs, deep down, want to have a leader... and when they don't have one they don't know what to do with themselves. They get anxious (um, yes) and act out (hello, Mr. I-can't-help-but-mark-by-the-table). And since it has been getting harder for me physically to hold him back on a leash when someone is at the door, I figured it might be a good idea for him to listen to me now and then.

"I don't think I like this show..."

Now, we're only a week into this whole thing... but I'll be darned if my dog can't actually respond to a command and act appropriately.

Who knew?!?

I've got that whole "Shhht." sound down that Ceasar throws around at his dogs and it totally works. I'm not crazy enough to think he'll do everything I want when someone walks in the door and his brain is exploding with excitement, but I figure we'll just take this one step at a time. Repetition and consistency are the new words in this house. That, and my new calm-assertive energy I'm sending to the pup. [At least I have all of Ceasar's lingo down pat.] :)

"Yes, O Pack Leader... How can I serve you?"


We may not have the whole "I-love-to-beg-for-treats-at-the-door" thing taken care of yet...


But would you look at that self control while waiting for the command to eat it?

I swear, all this power may start going to my head...  


  1. Sara...I have 3, count 'em, 3 very spoiled Malteses.
    I can't tell you how it sounds when we have visitors! And The Boo, who was my 1st pup marks my table leg too!!!
    I have been told by just about evryone who comes in my house that I need the dog whisperer...I don't think I get the National Geo. channel on my basic cable, maybe I need to get a book or something. I'm definately not the pack leader although I keep telling them I am ...

  2. OH Riley...if only I could have the same self control when chocolate is in front of me!!!! Good job!!!!!

  3. good for you. I know you can do it. I have tried to implement some of the techniques on my mom's dog. she has a boston terrier and he's out of control. She just won't admit it. Lets put it this way, he has drawn blood on about everyone in the family. I am not kidding. However, there is no repetition for him after I leave.

  4. Awwwww, too cute! Way to go, Sara! (Was there some tugging on your heart strings when you first started?)

    Tooooooo cute!!!

  5. I have a Riley too, but he is a Bichon Frise. I like visiting your blog to see your interactions with your dog. I am not the alpha dog at my house either! Please visit me at

  6. You are making me laugh and the "I don't know if I like this show" picture ... hilarious!

  7. Being top dog in our house was always hard for me once I was given the puppy dog eyes!

    Good Luck!

  8. Another problem (according to Victoria of "It's Me Or The Dog"),is that Riley( nor my George and Gracie) doesn't get out on twice a day walks. She swears that this is a major reason that dogs misbehave - actually, doesn't The Dog Whisperer say that too?
    Anh-hoo. How in the heck are you supposed to be able to take Riley on at least 2 half hour walks a day (same for me) and who can really afford a dog walker?
    Hey - if I came and stayed with you for a week...and spent 5 hours a day ringing your doorbell (so you can get Riley to quiet...and wait - would you come down and spend a week with me, doing the same? It's warmer here:)

  9. Laughing, you DO watch the dog whisperer!! Addicting, I tell ya. Me, so not the pack leader... Rick? Definitely the pack leader! Our girl is like two different dogs depending on who is home. I so have to get this on video... sadly I have proof.

    "O pack leader..." HA! Seriously funny stuff Sara! You would so get on the show too... are you sure we shouldn't contact him *wink*... can't you just see Cesar on his big-wheeled rollerblades and Riley with his little white ears flapping behind just running for his life!

  10. Goodness, you made me laugh! Dear hubby is the pack leader in our house, but he gets all mushy sometimes too when Beau's big brown eyes are turned full blast on him instead of me.

    I don't think he likes the Dog Whisperer show, either. LOL

  11. Good for you Sara... and good for Riley too! I LOVE the Dog Whisperer! He is just awesome... and SO right on the target with his diagnosis!! Good luck with this... it looks like you are both off o a good start!

  12. I have two, ~ do you hear me ~ two pack leaders around here and guess what?? neither one of them is myself....I need Ceaser in person, not on TV.

    My two think I am the dog and they are the humans!

  13. IT'S A MIRACLE!!!

    My pharmacy delivery guy came today and Riley sat and stayed until I said "OK" for him to go greet him. He went nuts after I said ok, but DUDE!!!

    Ron (the delivery guy) gave me a high five. :)

  14. Man, that was FUNNY! I have a golden retriever and a chocolate lab.

    The golden rules.

    I do not have the discipline to discipline my boys.

    Besides, they're boys. And they love girls. They have kissed more girls than I have.

    And I don't have a snowball's chance in Hell of being the alpha dog, either.


  15. I am so proud of you. Hi fives from the delivery guy? Riley is so cute, it is easy to see how one might want to spoil him. This was the cutest post. I love it. Congrats on the new camera, too.

  16. now if only i could figure out how to do this with my parrot, starbucks!

  17. Totally off the topic, I love the colours in your house. The burgundy and that beautiful cushion. I'm a bit of a cushion girl. There would be hundreds in this house except that hubs stops that in its tracks. Anyway - love your living room.

  18. I read your blog on a semi-regular basis. Riley is just about the cutest dog EVER!! Keep up the good work, altho with that adorable face, I wouldn't have a chance.