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AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM | Which Dog Will I Call About First? #AKCDogLover

I am blogging on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network and the AKC. I received compensation for my time from the AKC for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine.

Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Blue, Puppy, Cattle Dog mix

What do you mean I have to stop jumping, biting ankles and chasing the cats, Mommy?

We’ve had the AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM for a couple of weeks now and during that time I’ve been wondering what dog behavior issues I would call them about. We have three dogs that are pretty well behaved; do I really need this (lifetime) service?


Our dogs have been allowed to develop some bad habits and I have to admit that canine behavior baffles me at times.  I didn’t really appreciate that I needed some help until after our first call with the AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM.  I spoke with Elizabeth who was kind, helpful, non-judgmental, and I can’t wait to try out her tips.

Blue aka Blueberry – Australian Shepherd / Australian Cattle Dog / Large Munsterlander, 1-1/2 years old

  • Blue jumps all the time
  • Blue keeps biting Sydney’s ankles
  • Blue keeps humping Sydney
  • Blue keeps eating the cats’ food
  • Blue jumps out of the yard
  • Blue digs holes

Once I identified one dog behavior problem that could use some correction, more kind of all fell into place.  What’s interesting is that all of our dogs exhibit the above behaviors (except the ankle biting).  I thought I knew what to do about each of these issues, but I’m not doing it and it was helpful speaking with Elizabeth, because she helped me see that most of Blue’s “bad habits” are due to being over excited and although redirecting his focus before the unwanted behavior is great, it’s not enough.

The dog training advice…

When I shared that Blue does most of the ankle biting right before we go outside, Elizabeth picked up on that he’s over excited about the prospect of going outside and she knew that jumping was part of the excitement too and that it’s shared by all three of our dogs.  She also identified that he’s a herding mix dog (our records only say that our dogs are mixed breed) by his behavior.

  • Elizabeth suggested that we start with having the dogs sit and stay before I open the door to go outside.
  • I then go outside first, while the dogs remain seated.
  • Then I release them with “okay” and they can then come outside with me.

They’ll still be very excited, but this process will settle them down a bit.  She also suggested that I do the same before mealtime.

AKC Good Dog Help Line Testimonial

But how do we train three dogs?

Elizabeth says that we can train them together and separately and believes that one-on-one training will really help us out.  So while two dogs are in another room (in a crate for families who crate their dogs; we only crate Blue), or in their yard – we can work with one dog.

We’re going to start working with the dogs and I’ll give you an update on how it’s going and what I learn on future calls.

AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM – Website | Facebook | Twitter

What help / advice would you like from the AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM?


  1. Well I am going to try out some of those tips for calming dogs down going outside, Charlie get’s so worked up, one of these days he is going to break the door on his way out! This sounds like a really great service.

    • OMG, I hear you! And we have three of them jumping up and hitting our door. I’m on my way home to leash them up for a walk, that’ll zap some of their energy.

  2. That’s pretty neat that she was able to give you such great advice just from over the phone. I’m excited to call on our issues and see what happens!

    • What I really loved (and should have noted) was that she wasn’t judgmental at all. I know that we allow our dogs to get away with a lot. We don’t have visitors and we don’t have kids, so our dogs have a lot more freedom to misbehave. They listen to J more than me, but they’re always following me room to room, so it’s nice to have someone give me tips on how to get the best behavior out of them.

  3. I’m interested in learning how you do with correcting those issues! I have some of the same : )

    • So far, Blue has learned that we want him to sit for attention. He still jumps, but he doesn’t jump like crazy. That took loads of patience to get through to him and we’ve been working with him on this for a while. Getting Blue to stop biting Sydney’s ankles is actually easier than I thought. One thing is to make them settle in a sit before opening the door. Getting them to let me out first is harder. And I also use treats to distract the dogs and that buys us time too. We still have a ways to go, but at least we have a game plan.

  4. So glad to have such a helpful resource available for dog owners! Looking forward to hearing about the training progress – you know that’s my passion! ;0)

  5. I know a lot of dogs are returned to shelters due to behavioral problems, so maybe this will help give some of those owners some options.

    For me, I wouldn’t mind some suggestions on how to stop my dog from getting overly excited (panting, whining, shaking) when we go to “exciting” places in the car like state parks. It’s so annoying.

    • I’m there with you. Our dogs are like this when we’re about to go outside and when we’re on walks and they see rabbits, joggers, cyclists or other dogs. I’ve been making them stop to settle them down, but it takes a lot of time and patience.

  6. Interesting post indeed. I wonder if a hybrid approach would work best… a mix of 1:1 training and separate training where the other dogs are in crates or another room.


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