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My name is Lesli Hyland. In my fifty one years on this earth, my home and my heart have been graced with the company of twenty four dogs. Many came to me as seniors. All of them taught me something and helped determine the course of my life. I became a dog trainer because of them. I met my friends because of them. My husband and I are are forever bonded by our mutual connection to them. Currently, as a Dog Walker I have access to other people's dogs and I am allowed to experience their unique personalities. The dogs make me a better person by forcing me to closely examine my motivation, my actions and my choices. Everything I do affects their behavior, safety and happiness. It is an awesome responsibility. The dogs keep me honest.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Imagine for a moment that your four year old son is attacked by an out of control child at the playground.  The child hits and kicks your child, scaring and hurting him.  As a result, your previously socially outgoing son, now yells and throws a tantrum when another child comes near him.  Sometimes he yells at the other child.  Sometimes he tries to run away, thrashing against your restraint.

Here's some advice:
Force your child to sit on the ground and tolerate a child coming close.  If he is terrified and thrashing, hold him down.
Slap your son and yell at him when he gets "aggressive" toward an approaching child.

Would you follow this advice?    I surely hope not!

But people are given this advice regarding their dogs' behavior all the time...AND THEY FOLLOW IT!  Blows my mind.  And makes me very, very sad. Most people don't want to hurt their dogs. They do it because a "professional" told them to.  Dogs view this treatment from human beings as an attack.  Isn't that what CAUSED the issue in the first place?

Some dogs don't even need an actual scary event to occur to become defensively aggressive toward other dogs.  Lack of socialization and exposure can cause a dog to be fearful of what they do not know and result in "aggressive" displays as a coping strategy.

How can it possibly make sense to cause our dogs fear, pain and emotional stress as a way to stop behavior that is fueled by fear, pain or emotional stress???  Ay yi yi...

Please stop and think before implementing any advice given by anyone, regarding your dog.
If you wouldn't do it to your child, don't do it to your dog.

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