Our sweet pup, Honey Bear, has been the most hyperactive dog we've ever owned. Bringing her into a house with an already established senior dog and cat has been tough, and Cynthia has been instrumental in helping us navigate integrating her into our life. She's been able to coach us on identifying our dog's non-verbal queues to go outside when we struggled with Honey Bear not being vocal about her own needs.
I've been so impressed by the small but mighty group of staff Cynthia has procured. It's evident to me that Cynthia's passion for what she does is what really makes the difference for dogs who may not succeed with training elsewhere.
Thank you for being an ally to our family!
Rachel De Zamacona
We did a private lesson for behavior modification and Cynthia was absolutely wonderful to work with. She explains things very clear and simple, and does a great job showing you how to work through the training exercises. Her advice and experience has filled in a huge gap in my training and I look forward to booking more lessons with her.
Cynthia is an amazing trainer and pet behaviorist. When looking for a skilled professional in this field she is tops. Brought Orbit to ABBDT And so happy that we did.
Cynthia and her staff are the full package: skilled professional, and friendly. After Orbit returned home with very clear, concise instructions that were very easy to understand, he was more at ease in our home and adapted to his training in an amazing way. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who is looking for help with their dog .. God bless Cynthia and her crew for making a huge difference in our family life with Orbit.
La Grange, Texas
After a sudden move to Texas for my husband’s job we noticed our 3yr old German shepherd mix became very anxious and aggressive. he would lunge for other dogs (and sometimes people) on walks, barked at everything and even nipped at the cable guy. these new behaviors seemed to be getting worse by the second and we were starting to feel trapped. we did some research and found Cynthia through a referral.
What a blessing! in just a few short weeks Cynthia transformed our nervous-nellie into a well behaved and much less stressed dog. she also took the time to train us as well which was a key factor to Bullitt’s success. we couldn’t be happier with the results and would recommend Cynthia and a better bond dog training to anyone!
Look what Regan the Springer Spaniel owner said:
Cynthia is absolutely amazing. There is probably not enough space here for me to fully explain and offer my gratitude to her. She has given me my dog back and a dog that I now LOVE to be around. She worked tirelessly for weeks with my Springer Spaniel to help her overcome many issues. She wanted to fully understand my dog and figure out what was going on with her. Cynthia worked to find out the root of her problems, some of which stemmed from physical pain, anxiety and OCD behavior.
She networked with colleagues in the field to determine what was causing my dog to howl uncontrollably at things and to lose focus, obviously outside of the norm. After behavioral modification, trust and confidence building my girl came home but Cynthia’s guidance has not stopped. We text and/or chat several times a week. She has been there for me to cheer me on after our first walk when my dog managed to walk around the neighborhood and did not vocalize at anyone or anything. She has been there to congratulate me the first time my dog encountered a cat and she just sat there NO howling (whereas before every neighbor would have been outside asking me what was wrong). She was there the first time we went to a park and I did not leave with people staring at me and whispering why is that dog so bad. And she was there for me this morning cheering me on as my dog did her very first springer like thing (flushing out birds from bushes) off leash with a perfect recall.
If you send your dog to Cynthia, you will be guaranteed to get a dog back that is balanced. She can work with any issue and her knowledge base is outstanding. I had made the decision to send my dog sooner. Each day she has been home has been like a gift, she can serve as a therapy dog now.
Cynthia truly lives up to the name of her business, A Better Bond Dog Training . Yes, she helped me have a better bond with my dog by helping me understand what my dog needs is very different from my other dog. She has given me a dog that now when I take her out people ask “what dog is that” because she is so well behaved and so good on a leash. Her training is far from over as each day I have to work with my dog to make sure she practices what she learned with Cynthia but I know that because of this training, I have given both myself and this dog a lifetime of balance and love. I am forever grateful to Cynthia, owner of A Better Bond Dog Training in Austin Texas.
“Ryder has made himself right at home in Tennessee. He seems to love farm life.
Your training has given us a wonderful new member of our family. Ryder is everything I wanted. He was given a solid foundation with love and care.
You did a fantastic job raising our puppy!“
Ryder went through our Partial Raise and Train program, coming to stay at A Better Bond Dog Training when he was just a little pup at 10 weeks old straight from his litter in Spring Texas. During his stay with at A Better Bond Dog Training in Austin Texas, we raised him as one of our own.
Ryder’s training included everything needed in early puppy stage exposure including a huge variety of sounds, sights, smells, people, places and things. Ryder received crate training, house training, all his basic obedience and the foundation of his off leash training.
At 7 months old Ryder, this adorable Yorkshire Terrier went home to his family horse ranch in Tennessee, with all the foundation training needed for a fully trained family dog.
Every human on this planet has mastered the art of exiting in a moment of overload to seek decompression. We just need a moment to ourselves sometimes, away from the responsibilities of life, a moment out of the office, away from our loved ones, an outlet.
As humans we can use our thumbs, open the door, jog down the street, go to the gym or drive to the grocery store to hide in the gourmet cheese section. We can do this because we HAVE THUMBS! We have the psychological capacity to identify (in most cases) that we are overloaded and take steps to relieve or resolve the issues of our own accord. We have the capability to create space for ourselves, to exit the building pressure.
Without thumbs and the capacity to process a building issue our dogs are often living in a “pressure cooker”. They can not create a routine, structure, handle responsibility on their own. Adding multiple dogs to such a situation often results in conflict, with seriousness varying from mild disagreement and unrest to serious fights and injury. This always starts in small and avoidable ways which unfortunately are rarely identified at these lesser levels. One dog may push another away from receiving affection, that most likely began when a dog could be consistently pushy for affection with their owner. Dogs receiving toys and bones scattered about without supervision are more likely to compete over these items. The lack of supervision and constant access to those items created ownership, the ownership in turn created responsibility. The dogs then become in conflict over the items because THEY have the responsibility instead of the people. When you add the confinement to a singular location, such as your home and backyard it should add perspective to the all to common situation of in fighting between dogs living together. Dogs who are constantly adrenalized, unable to settle are also more likely to have issues within their home.
Of course, this is not always the case BUT if this rings at all familiar to you keep reading. If you have had no such issues, then these things will just make everyone happier.
There IS such a thing as a mismatch between dogs, just as two people may simply not get along, this can happen between dogs. There are also some dogs who are legitimately dog aggressive although dogs who lack proper socialization, are afraid of other dogs or are reactive may also look this way from the average perspective. However, this is not nearly as common as the “pressure cooker’ scenario previously mentioned. In either situation it is vital that we as humans find the confidence and skills to lead our troubled dogs.
Adding structure and supervision to their daily life, from receiving resources to learning to maintain calm behavior in a variety of situations will add to your likelihood of success.
Dogs who can walk nicely on leash together and run off leash safely together are infinitely more likely to get along at home, because they have a common outlet for fulfillment and to release their stress. Dogs who can go out into the world with their humans calmly and with confidence will have so many more opportunities for fulfillment, further setting them up for success in all aspects.
Find a dog trainer who has a history of results, makes sense, is not a bully or a snowflake to help you reset you and your dogs. Dog trainers who will empower you, educate both you and your dogs to this new beginning. Be willing to walk the walk and makes the changes necessary to remove the burden of responsibility on your dogs, real results just cannot be accomplished from behind our phone screen or from the couch. Just like you go to the gym or jog down the street or whatever healthy way you choose to decompress, your dogs will also have this opportunity to live a less stressful life.
As unhappy as living with two fighting dogs has made you, imagine how your dogs feel. This is NOT a happy experience for them. The way to avoid such a situation is very similar to how it may be solved in many cases. I am not suggesting that this article alone is to be mistaken for a solution in and of itself IF you are already experiencing fighting between dogs. Instead my goal is to help you better understand, to consider the situation, be confident and hopefully motivate action to help all involved.
The show Lassie first graced television September 12, 1954, creating the first romantic imagery of a heroic canine and their beloved child. Lassie was played over the years by Pal, Lassie Junior, Spook, Baby, Mire and Hey Hey. Saving Timmy from the well, alerting the powers that be to imminent danger and always behaving in the most admirable fashion possible.
Six dogs and a myriad of human actors over the years, more over CHILD actors. How did such perfection happen, so consistently on the big screen? How can we learn from this to accomplish the same? My purpose is not to promote a training style or one up any methodology but to instead focus on the way of being that brings this dream to life. We all want our children to enjoy the canine companion in their life, don’t we? Having a pet is proven to build character in our children.
Creating a sense of compassion and responsibility that comes with helping and caring for another. This is NOT just about the dogs and we are all aware of this, regardless of our willingness to act upon that knowledge.
I am not writing this only as a dog trainer but also as a mother of three beautiful, often wild, always beautiful children, all of whom have been raised as I have grown in my profession over the last 18 years. My 17-year-old son, 9 year and 8- year-old daughters have gone from infancy through childhood around a myriad of dogs, including our own. Both children and dogs have always had the same “recipe to follow” without fail when interacting and without fail this recipe has always worked. A little consistency and due diligence go a long way towards creating a mutually beneficial living situation between two completely different species cohabitating.
Recipe for success –
Children behave, teaching our children to act appropriately around dogs is simply good parenting. Unfortunately, social media videos seem to be normalizing completely inappropriate behavior in all of humanity. The tail pulling, playing keep away with the kibble, loving face to face stares into the pups eyes, barreling into a full body hug as the dogs eyes widen to the size of the moon, laying on top of a dog, enjoying a cupcake inches from a pups face, riding a dog through the house, screaming, ear pulling, and teasing is ALL the equivalent to asking for a dog bite. Overall if there is a video on social media justifying any of that, please consider it a tutorial on what not to do.
Train our children, teaching the appropriate way to ask a dog owner if it is okay to approach or touch a strange dog will go a long way towards avoiding issues. Not just for our children but for a struggling dog and their owner as well. Although frankly our children are more likely to be bitten by a dog in their own home or a frequently visited residence where space is limited, adrenaline high and supervision lacking due to over familiarity. Teaching our children to avoid a familiar but overly energetic & pushy dog is just as important as avoiding a strange and snarly one.
Permission does not equal a good idea. Just because we have been told it is okay doesn’t mean it necessarily should be done. As a rule only well behaved dogs able to maintain composure under their owners instruction should actually be approached by children. Anything less realistically runs the risk of going south in the form of anything from a scratch or worse. If you don’t want to risk it don’t, everyone will be better for the consideration. The old “don’t touch things that aren’t yours” still stands the test of time, being a great life philosophy with dogs.
Understand the age of accountability. This period of understanding is often about 5-6 years old in children, even then supervision and reminders must continue. However, an “age of accountability” isn’t a reality in dogs, because they are DOGS. Obviously, puppies and young dogs need more guidance but a dog’s skill with children is as much related to the aforementioned items as it is to the actual training and guidance they are given. The concept of “nanny dogs” isn’t an actual thing, it’s a concept (this has nothing to do with any breed, only the actual phrase and what it promotes). YOU are the nanny of both the actual children and the dogs.
Train the dogs, regardless of your chosen methods, just train them, fairly.
Teach them to be calm and behave appropriately with children, even in play. This means no mouthing the kiddos (they aren’t a snack), paws off the children. There is a huge difference between playing fetch respectfully with your 5-year-old and barreling over them with the ball in their mouth. Dogs should be taught to be calm around children, this is LITERALLY the key ingredient to having the lassie dream in your own household. Even those with no desire or time to do the actual training CAN attain a well-trained dog, with maintenance being the primary requirement moving forward in many cases. Services from Board & Train programs to fully trained family dogs for sale make having a well trained dog more accessible for all.
Choosing the right dog for your family is also vital. Some dogs are just not tempered correctly for children. Some families just do not have the time to set their children and dogs up for success. Thankfully there are dog training professionals around the country who either have fully trained family dogs available or can help you locate the proper pup and provide training to all family members moving forward. All impartially and with the family’s best interest in mind, just as much as the dog.
There are admittedly more factors that influence the success of dogs and children being together. Chaos creates chaos, it goes to follow that if the dogs and children involved are always over excited and lacking boundaries, problems will happen. A healthy relationship always involves respect and balance, this is no different and well worth the benefits a Lassie like relationship to help form a beautiful childhood. These efforts will pay off in the form of beautiful childhood memories playing in the parks of Austin Texas, with your very own “Lassie”.