How to be successfull with Dog Cone Collars & Recovery Apparel


The video in this article is an example of training you can do with your pup to make the Elizabethan collar a non event for you and your pup.

This discussion came up with my Dremel Like a Boss students and I thought the topic was excellent as an article for all of you!

The question asked was about using pet recovery collars (AKA Elizabethan collars, e-collars, cones, etc.) and ideas on how to get our dogs used to it before a surgery. This is the mindset we want in the membership is how do we prepare our dogs for any husbandry procedure before it happens, instead of fixing it after it happens. We want to prepare our dogs for the event in the best way we can.

There are now many devices to allow our dogs to heal after surgeries. I will list some of them below:

  1. Recovery suits- great for many types of surgeries (especially spay/neuter surgery) as long as the suit covers the wound/incision and your dog won’t lick/chew through the suit. Make sure they are not too big. If your dog is...
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Please add handling, restraint, and husbandry behaviors to your training plan. Small things will make a huge difference…trust me!

This topic has been hitting home for me lately and I really want to make sure as many people as possible take this topic to .

I currently live with four dogs part time and two of those dogs had lovely comments from professionals this week. Let me start with Jibe, although I have spent many hours training her on husbandry skills, these results can be achieved with a smaller commitment as you will see with Beckett’s story in a bit.

Jibe is a heavy-coated Newfoundland with a full on spay coat and heavy furnishings. We have run into an orthopedic issue that will likely require surgery, conservative management, and underwater treadmill. When Jibe was young, she was not comfortable with strangers. Our handler and many of my dear friends worked with Jibe to get her used to people other than her mama taking the end of her leash.  As part of my Dremel Like a Boss program, we work on handling, chin rest, restraint and generalization of these behaviors for groomers and...

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Do you travel for long periods with your dog? 🐕‍🦺🌎

#4pawsadrift #dlab Oct 28, 2023

I have been traveling and I am sometimes away for a month at a time. This means I need to do some grooming on the road with my Newfoundland, Jibe. If you do not have a double coated breed, your list will be shorter than mine, but anyone traveling for a bit with a dog needs a few things just in case. I wanted to make sure I had things for regular maintenance, but also in case I ran into burrs or mud and couldn’t give her a bath. 

BTW I have run into burrs and needed quite a few things on this list.

Here is my list of must have grooming travel items for longer trips:

  • Dremel - I use an actual Dremel with a DiamaGroove diamond bit from Whitman.
  • Ear Cleaner- The Zymox line is one of my favorites. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
  • Eye Wash - I just use sterile solution eye wash from the grocery store
  • Hot Spot Treatment- Vetericyn is my favorite. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
  • Rake/Comb- Livestock Comb. This is literally my favorite rake of all time. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
  • Leave in...
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Pool or Underwater Treadmill? Which is best for your dog.

My clients and I are extremely fortunate that we have access to both an in-ground pool and an under water treadmill at the swim center where my business is located.  I know…..extremely fortunate.   Since I can offer both types of hydro therapy, I get asked this question literally 10 times a day.

I hope this chart is useful if you are ever trying to figure out which hydro therapy you would like to pursue with your canine.  As always if you have a serious illness or injury, speaking with your Veterinarian or Rehabilitation Therapist is a good place to start.

When reviewing the chart here are some things to consider.  The 10,000 foot view is that the Underwater Treadmill is better for hind end, swimming is a front end activity.  If a dog is recovering from an injury with any muscle atrophy I am going to suggest Underwater Treadmill hands down.  If economics is a factor and you just need some mild conditioning then the pool is your biggest bang for...

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Are we Exercising our Newfoundland Dogs Enough?

I would like to start a dialog in our community about what active exercise really is and if we are doing enough active exercise to achieve our summer goals?

One of the topics that comes across in my DMs and that I witness first hand; including my own Newfoundland, is that our dogs are not able to swim without life jackets.  In a perfect world, we would not have to worry about this, but for Newfoundlands and Portuguese Water Dog water titles they must compete without a life jacket.

I have witnessed first hand that the dogs that are struggling know the behaviors and to be honest like the behaviors.  In my opinion, I think we need to move beyond training competency as the issue and explore what other obstacles exist to achieve our goals.

I want to explore body conditioning as a potential issue that challenges us.  I would also like to add that I personally help condition many, many dogs each week in my own canine swim business and I see many breeds that regularly compete...

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Three ways to increase water test pass rates!


One of my passions is to address the low pass rates in our breed water tests and why this cycle has been going on for so long.  I have seen pass rates for a single test as low as 10%.

I know this is a big topic to take on, but my goal is to identify what is important to the participants and support keeping these tests viable for the future owners and the water breeds that participate in them.

I have Newfoundlands.  I also have many clients with Portuguese Water Dogs.  Some of the same issues cross both breeds.  There are also Labrador Retriever and Leonberger breeds that will participate in these tests when opportunities are open to them.

I am not an advocate for making the current test criteria easier, I am in the camp of educating members on how to properly train the tasks using scientific methods.

I am a Professional Dog Trainer that spends time and money educating myself with the most current scientically supported training methods from many instructors...

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My Why.....her name is Molly

Photo Credit Louis Ruediger

I had a revelation the other day.  My stumbling 14 and a half year old Newfoundland with her cataract eyes, unkept coat, and greying muzzle looked at me.  I realized why I decided to take my training business full-time, ask a friend for a hand to live on her property, and devote my life to being an entrepreneur.... Molly.

I thought my why was my independence, owning my own business, flexibility, but that was all just added benefits.  The true reason...Molly.

My first Newfoundland, my heart dog, spent the last years of his life not sleeping near me, in a crowded space, and my devotion to something that did not serve him.  He spent his life by my side in good times and in bad.  Some of my decisions did not serve him.  

Tears are now rolling down my face....

I was not going to do that to Molly.  I got her at 10 months old.  She was scared and soft.  She made me the trainer I am today.  She has allowed me the...

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Dog Training Items I Recommend all the time!

I have been on boarding some day training clients.  I decided it was time I put onto paper all the things I use.  I am not paid to promote any of these products. This is just a list of products I have put together after a decade of observations and hundreds of clients and myself using dog training stuff.

Some of each and every appointment either at the pool or in a park is a general coaching conversation about how to help the client have a better interaction with their pet.  Some of my clients only have a vet to reach out to, so I am their life line to ask general questions.  There is so much information out in the world, most people need help to filter the information.  My team at 4 Paws Adrift strives to provide resources and information to guide our clients to good, reputable resources.

The spectrum of questions we receive is wide, but today I will focus on items to setup a productive training session for any dog owner and their beloved dog....

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Taking the Mat Challenge a step further - Building an "Off Duty" Mat Behavior


I have included my Instagram Live Video from today and a demo video of Jibe and I doing the training challenge.

I don't know about you guys, but these challenges are doing the job of getting me to focus and train my dog as well.  I hope you all are enjoying these challenges as much as I am!

Here is my 4 Paws script for my training clip:

Plan - food in the middle of dog's front two feet

Always Choice Based- food lure to and from bed to set up good choices

Work Dog in Front - Jibe is ready for challenge, Plan B was to go back to Day 1 challenge from last week to magnetize mat to more fluency

Strategic Reinforcement - Food thrown or placed in between dog's two front feet

Remember to look for those calm moments to throw food and set up a non working context for your dog.

Visit my website to get a free training video and learn about my new on-line course: 4 Force Free Steps to increase Article Hold Duration

Now...go out and train some dogs!

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