English Shepherds / Australian Shepherds / Cur Dogs / Litters & Available / Home



Article Directory

all articles by Lisa Lafferty unless otherwise noted.  Some previously published on K9Station (defunct) under author's previous name Lisa Giroux

Want the whole book?  Send a check or use Paypal to order the format you need for eReading or printing. Contact Lisa Lafferty ozarklisa@gmail.com

Why Train?

So you just got a dog.  Thinking of taking him home, turning him loose and seeing what happens?  Better not!  Read this article for simple, easy ways to make things happen the right way, from the beginning...

Top 5 Reasons You're Having Dog Troubles

...When you got your dog, you expected happiness and cuddling and ball games and dog tricks and a best friend, right?  If you are here, it's probable that things aren't perfect and you are looking for a solution to something that is bothering you, and that's too bad.  I want to help you fix it, and this article targets the top five causes for how things went wrong. It also shows you how to get things on track.  Starting today...


...Whether you have a puppy or an older dog, a new dog or a a dog you've had for a while that is suddenly having issues, here is advice you can use.  Throw away everything you have heard before, start fresh with an open mind, read this article, and you will succeed...


...This is the most important thing you will ever learn about what to do with your dog, especially if you live in a suburban or urban area. It's not just puppy parties and meeting people.  Fortunately it's ridiculously simple, if you know how to do it.  Read this article and discover just how easy it is to prepare your dog for a lifetime of calm and easy reactions to the world.  Whether you have a brand new pup, or an older dog, this article is for you.  There is no age where socialization cannot help...

Crate/Confinement Training

...You don't "need" to use a crate, but confinement of some sort (and there are many options!) can be a useful tool in housetraining and in preventing bad habits forming like: chewing inappropriate items, the development of separation anxiety, and many other issues.  This article will teach you how to get your dog to see his crate or confinement area as a happy, cozy place--a cushy bedroom where he can relax, curl up, and enjoy his "den time."...

Listening for Life:  A Modified Nothing in Life is Free Training Approach

Dog doesn't listen?  Blows by you at top speed trying to get his own way?  Has his own ideas about how the house should be run?  Pushes through you instead of acting like a partner and friend? This method is a gentle, necessary training approach that works like a charm to set things right.  You don't have to be harsh, you just have to be consistent.  Even if you don't believe, give it a try and see what happens...you will become a true believer after you see the results!

Help!  My Puppy Bites! Training Proper Use of Mouth

...Dogs don't have hands, but they do have a mouth full of teeth and they just love to explore their world with those big white choppers.  Whether it's your hands, your child's hair or clothing, or your heels as you walk on by, this article will teach you how to show your dog how to control himself when he wants to wildly nip and play with you as if you are another dog...

Help!  My Dog Eats Poop!

Coprophaegia:  the eating of feces.  It's a thing.  Many dogs do it.  If you are a member of the "My Dog Eats Poop" club, click on this article.  We are here for you.  Take a deep breath...

Raising and Training a SMALL DOG

Want to avoid having a little fella with a Napoleon complex?  Ever wonder why a lot of small dogs are fearful or shy?  Did you know that small dogs can act just like big dogs, if you raise them right?  Discover the major mistakes that cause small dog problems.  If you already have a little Napoleon, the methods described will help your Napoleon change his ways.  It's easier than you think!

Mental Stimulation:  How to Keep Your Dog Sane and Happy

Your dog is programmed to do a lot of things that occupy his brain.  Did you know that pet homes often provide nearly none of this very instinctual stimulation?  Did you know that most dog problems can be eliminated or lessened just by increasing the mental stimulation you provide?  The methods might surprise you.

Mental Stimulation:  How to Create Dissection Toys

Dogs of the world, unite!  Enjoy these crazy, fun, cheap and easy dissection tools from now on!  Reduce your stress!  Use your brain!  Stop chewing the wallpaper and the shoes!  Become a better dog!

Food or Object Aggression:  Instinctual Resource Guarding Management

One of the most alarming types of aggression, Resource Guarding is fortunately quite easy to reduce and manage.  Don't despair.  You will find easy techniques to ease your problems with this very instinctual, common issue.

**General Facts about Aggression

Dogs have teeth, a great big jawful, and when they use them to harm it is incredibly difficult to know what to do.  Learn when to be worried, how to evaluate the seriousness of a problem, safety management techniques, and where to turn to solve the issue.

Myth-Busting: Dominance

What is it?  Does my dog have it?  Is it a terrible thing?  Myths and facts discussed.  Before you click, stop a moment to think about YOUR personal definition of Dominance in dogs.  See if it matches the facts.  You might be really shocked at the answer.

**Myth-Busting:  Punishment and Discipline

Discipline and Punishment have become dirty words in some dog training circles, and catch phrases in others.  What are the facts about using discipline and punishment in a dog training program?  Cast aside your previous bias and develop a balanced and clear understanding of how dogs learn from both, along with the various side effects, pros and cons of using punitive methods to train.

Clicker Basics

You've heard of this type of training, and you've clicked a clicker a time or two, but what kind of tool is this really?  Is it worthy of its cult-like following?  Is it effective and efficient?  Get the answers to these questions, along with how to use the method, in this article.

**Introducing House Pets:  Cats and Dogs

Find out how to make dogs and cats live together with the least amount of stress.  It's the old cliché --getting along like cats and dogs.  Yet cats and dogs can co-exist in harmony and even be best friends.  Being aware of the realities of introductions and safe transition periods can help you to calm down when you bring that dog home and your cat disappears under the bed for six weeks, or when you bring the new cat home, and the dog acts like "FRESH MEAT, MAN."

Feeding Routines:  A Building Block for Relationships

Did you know that certain types of feeding routines are the start of really, really bad behavior?  That other ways of controlling the food routine can be the building block of a great relationship?  That feeding routines can leave your dog restless and bored, or happy and satisfied? Read on, to learn just how important it is to have a proper feeding routine for your canine, for health AND behavior.

Dog Body Weight:  Is Your Dog Fat, Skinny or Fit?

This article with illustrations gives you the technique of how to accurately judge healthy and unhealthy body weight of dogs.  Pictures and hands-on evaluation techniques allow you to know the truth about your dog's healthy weight.

**Putting Weight on a Skinny Dog

Helping a dog return to a healthy weight after it has been too thin should be a carefully managed and thoughtful process. Learn several safe, easy techniques to restore your dog to glowing good health.

**Feeding Routines for Canine Weight Loss

For some reason, people with overweight dogs are often more offended by me telling them their dog is fat, than if I told them that they themselves were fat!  Overcome your denial and do the right thing by your dog.  Learn how to slowly and easily reduce body weight on a canine, through safe and healthy methods that do NOT involve buying special foods from the vet.

**Choosing a Dog Food:  How to Evaluate Ingredients

Choosing the right dog food can be a bewildering task.  Learn to step past the colorful packaging and intense media campaigns, by knowing how to read and evaluate an ingredient list.

Spay/Neuter: Pros and Cons

Should it be automatic at a certain age?  I don't think so, and recent studies support the growing view of dog owners that we should wait or omit sexually altering our pets.  Find out the facts on why sexually altering a pet dog could be detrimental both mentally and physically.

Puppy Life Stages:  What to Expect When You're Raising a Dog

Learn about what is going on in the brain of a dog as they grow from a neonate into an adult animal.  Trainers often don't tell you about the very real stages in your dog's learning curve as they mature and grow.  If you know what is happening, it is easier to adjust your training to provide the best experience possible for you and your dogs.  Hint:  They Don't Grow Out Of Anything...but they do have fear periods, teenage angst, dog/dog relationship changes, and many other things that happen at very consistent ages, that you need to understand.

**Raising and Training an Australian Shepherd

This is a rundown of the behavioral traits mentioned in the ASCA Breed Standard, and how they spin out as unique behavioral traits as the dog grows from puppyhood to a mature adult.  You will understand how your dog is perceiving the world, particularly the ups and downs of adolescence.  This is a good partner article to Puppy Life Stages, and should be read SECOND to that article.  Note:  Much of this information applies to other herding and watchdog/protective breeds, like German Shepherds and Rottweilers.

**So You Just Bought a Stockdog: Valuable Training for the First Few Weeks

Whether you brought home a puppy or an older dog, what you do in the first few weeks of his time on your farm will set the path for a successful transition to working. Some things may seem totally unrelated to his potential working career, but make a huge difference in how he accepts training on stock later in life.  Learn the simple, sensible things you can do with your new dog to truly prepare him in the best way possible.

**Training Your Stockdog

Find valuable off-site resources on this page, combined with a few simple exercises to improve your dog, along with a list of things to avoid to prevent unwanted learning.

**Livestock Guardian Dog, or Herding breed?

In this day and age there is a vast array of farm needs, every farm having its own particular priorities.  Farm size and type of stock along with family dynamic make a huge difference in the way a dog may be used.  One size definitely does not fit all!  This article makes you aware of some of the considerations to make when choosing the right dog for your operation.

**Basic Handler Skill Sets:  Improving Your Chops as a Trainer

You don't have to be an expert or even very experienced to have good success when training dogs.  What you do need is a plan and some information on how your dog is interpreting what you are doing.  What are the true, bottom-line facts you should keep in mind when you are training your dog?  How can you improve your training success by changing the way you plan training?  What physical actions improve, or hinder, your dog training journey?  Learn new ways of thinking about how to go about training with the highest chance of success for you and your dog.  Apply this knowledge to the things you can find in the media all around you, and your job will be MUCH less confusing.

**Recall:  Training to Come When Called

A rock solid recall, with distractions, is a cornerstone for a true partnership with your dog.  Learn how to train it and learn how to maintain it for life.

***Training a Sit

Can your dog sit?  Can your dog sit on cue on the FIRST cue?  Can your dog do it in every circumstance?  If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then this article will fill you in on how to improve and solidify your dog's response and teach you how to train from body language to verbal in a short time.

***Training a Settle

Not often taught in obedience class, a "settle" is a directed control exercise during which your dog learns to be beside you during activities, remaining calm and relaxed while you enjoy your time together.  This skill will make the difference on your decisions on how to spend time with your dog.  Whether you attend a softball game, bring your dog along camping or inside someone else's home, every dog benefits from knowing how to just CHILL OUT with you.  Every puppy and adult dog benefits from knowing this skill from an early age.

***Training a Down

Learn how to get your dog to lie down on a verbal cue from a distance with a willing and happy attitude.  The Down cue is one of the most functional obedience behaviors for everyday life and stockdog work.  Learn about Reluctant Downers and how to overcome a resistant dog's instinct to brace.

***Training a Stay

Of all the obedience behaviors, handlers struggle with the Stay command the most of all.  Learn the components of the Stay and how to effectively train them, and combine them for a wonderful reliable Stay.  Learn the silly things most handlers do that actually inhibit the dog's understanding of this behavior.

***Training to Potty on Cue

This is a top cue for making life easy for the handler.  It is almost never taught in classes, but is one of the most amazing skills your dog can have.  Learn how you can improve your doggie experiences by having a dog that can "Get Busy" on cue.

***Training for Property Boundaries

Have a farm that just isn't enough for your curious dog?  Want your new puppy to learn right from the beginning, where he belongs?  Learn how to train your dog to know how to stick around the home place.  This article is targeted specifically for dogs that live in the country with property all around and is NOT for urban or suburban dogs.  It is an in-exact science, not one of the most reliable skills that the dog can maintain, but you can really improve your dog's roaming habits by conscientiously training for property boundaries.

***Training for Stock Trustworthiness

Learn what makes a dog  trustworthy around poultry and other small stock, find out how to prevent the dog learning to chase large stock.  Get an idea of some of the common mistakes that people make that cause dogs to unintentionally learn to chase, harass or even kill livestock.

***Training for Control of Protective Behavior

"If I could just get him to stop freaking out at the door, he'd be perfect."  Learn what mistakes to avoid and learn positive alternatives that will teach your dog what is and is not appropriate when someone rings that doorbell.

***Training to Not Jump Up

Serious jumping up is very much a trained behavior, that you certainly did not intend to train!  Learn effective ways to deal with guests and strangers on the street that are training the dog to jump.  Learn to recognize how family members can prevent unwanted habits from developing.

***Hydrating a Hard-Working Dog When They Don't Want to Drink

Did you know that lack of good hydration can mean the difference between working all day, or quitting and going to the house?  What's true for humans is also true for dogs.

***Raw Feeding

Feeding kibble is by far not the only, or even the best, choice for your dog.  Making and storing raw food is easier than you might think, and we will point you toward resources to get you started.

***Life Hacks:  Simple Home-Based Care Suggestions

A fun, random lists of little things to make life easier when you own dogs. 

***Essential Oil Bug Spray Recipe

Non-toxic and very effective for dogs, cats and people.  Probably would work on horses too, but I haven't tried it.  Helps control fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, gnats, and who knows what else.  Plus, it smells DIVINE for males and females of any species.


***First Aid Kit for Dogs

Make a simple, comprehensive first aid kit to have on hand in your home and car.

**List of Toxic Items for Pets

A simple list of toxic items to avoid, along with first aid information and Poison Control contact information.

***Deep Thoughts for Instructors of Humans Who Own Dogs

Kind of a wordy job description, isn't it?  We do far more than the title of Dog Trainer.  How can you improve your student's comprehension and implementation of things you advise?  How do you motivate a person to work with their dog?  What key questions can you use in your approach to quickly and effectively diagnose problems?  This article is a Human Resource/Psychology/Learning Styles overview that deals not with training dogs, but training your actual clients--the owners.



  English Shepherds / Australian Shepherds / Cur Dogs / Litters & Available / Home

Lisa & Kerry Lafferty  /  ozarklisa@gmail.com  /    Mountain Home, Arkansas