Cindy Bruckart

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Cindy Bruckart is a dog trainer in the Portland, OR metro area.  

She runs Regarding Rover, LLC offering private training and board & train programs.  

She is also the Play Group Coordinator and Trainer at Multnomah County Animal Shelter, which is an open-admission, Open Paw, county shelter.  

She specializes in puppy and adolescent dog training with a focus on training during off-leash play.

Cindy is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, a Certified C.L.A.S.S. Evaluator, blogger, podcast host and public speaker.  She is also a proud, professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

Cindy is currently traveling the country to speak about shelter play groups in her seminar Beyond Socialization - Using Shelter Play Groups for Training & Assessment.

Blog posts by Cindy Bruckart

Dog Community

I have been so busy with puppy classes, adolescent classes and working privately with dog owners with more specific doggy issues that I've had very little time to write about it all.

I have a feeling that there is something important in this. I am overwhelmed, and I think sometimes spoiled, by the respect and inclusion of dogs in this part of the country. Dogs are literally everywhere in Portland, Oregon! We have dog beaches, a pub that allows dogs, a restaurant that has a separate doggy menu, tons of dog parks, over fifty dog daycares, dog friendly housing and hotels, all kinds of dog-related events and very few dog-free sidewalks.

 

Hurry! Limited Time Offer!

Dog owners may be surprised to find how often trainers will bring up the subject of early puppy education. There are reasons, you know. This isn’t my first post on the subject, and it certainly won’t be my last.

The reason it’s brought up so frequently is because it’s a near desperate situation that seems to be very difficult to clearly get into the heads of puppy owners and potential puppy owners. Perhaps as a trainer I have been speaking too softly about it. Maybe it’s time to play hard ball.

Here’s the deal. If your “puppy” is over the age of about four and a half months, you cannot realistically call me for puppy classes or puppy training advice unless you are looking for advice on a future puppy you intend to take into your home. The dog you have is done being a puppy. You missed it. You messed up. You blew it. You are now asking me to let a teenager into kindergarten, and I can’t do that.

 

Surf's Up, Dude!

Okay, let’s do a little visualization. I’d tell you to close your eyes, but that would make it hard to read this. So, keep your eyes open.

Imagine you work in an office (maybe you really do, which will make this easier). In your office there is a cupboard and you don’t know what is kept inside. One day, you decide to open the door and check it out.

Inside, you find a $10 bill! Cool, huh? You put the money in your pocket and think, “Wow, I’m glad I finally checked out that cupboard!”

Do you think you’ll look in that cupboard again? Of course you will! So, let’s say the next time you check the cupboard, you find a fresh slice of your favorite pie! Woo hoo! It’s a magic cupboard full of wonderful surprises! What a discovery!

 

Stop Your Dog From Pooping!

Pooping is an annoying, smelly and common problem among dogs. It’s important that owners put a stop to this kind of behavior right away. I say, nip it in the bud (or butt)! No dog should be allowed to poop anywhere at anytime, and no owner should ignore this unsavory behavior.

Sound crazy? Good. It is. But I’ll tell you what...when owners ask me how to stop their dog from chewing, it sounds just as crazy to me. STOP a dog from chewing? Why in the world would someone want to do that to a dog?

Now, some of you will say, “Oh, Cindy, I think they mean that they want to stop the dog from chewing inappropriate items. They just don’t want the dog to chew up their shoes or their table leg.”

 

Gardening with Dogs

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
- Margaret Atwood

There are only a few things that I love as much as dogs. They are fresh dirt, new plants and cheesecake. Cheesecake has nothing to do with this post, but it’s always worth mentioning.

I’m one of those crazy people who think yard work is synonymous with total relaxation. The excitement of creating something that wasn't there before, rearranging what is there and being surprised at what appears on it's own (like the Elderberry tree that volunteered in exactly the right spot last year) is more satisfying to me than anything else I can think of. Well, okay, excluding THAT.

This year, however, is the first time that I am gardening with the help of five dogs. Two of them did an excellent job of pruning my palm tree. Really, they did it perfectly!

 

Desperate Times Call for Sensible Measures

Lots of things “work” in dog training. Throwing a can of coins at a dog who is barking at the door might get the dog to stop barking. However, it might be a good idea to stand in the dog’s fur and ask what you’ve just learned.

You’ve learned that your owner might throw scary things at you. You’ve learned that barking at the door makes scary or unpleasant things happen. You might decide that your owner is scary and unpredictable, or that the door is a dangerous place.

 

Slow and Steady Saves You Face

At my dog daycare facility, I often find owners struggling to help their dog maintain a sit during greetings, or apologizing for their excited behavior in the daycare lobby. They seem to really want the dog to come into the facility in a calm, respectable manner. This same scene takes place on sidewalks, in parks, at the vet’s office and in homes across the country.

 

Canine Juvenile Delinquents

Many dog owners falsely believe that their four, six or eight month old dog is still a puppy. Well, I suppose she is in the same way that my 23 year old daughter is still my little girl. However, my feelings about my daughter do not change the fact that she is most certainly an adult. Likewise, the cuteness or playfulness of any dog doesn’t change the fact that a dog becomes an adolescent around four months of age.

 

Socialization…’Till I’m Blue in the Face

In the middle of a conversation with a daycare client the other day, I was interrupted with, “…I know, I know. Socialization, socialization, socialization.” The client rolled her eyes as she said this, and we both laughed. She’s heard my mantra many times and she knows I’m passionate about it.

 

What Do YOU Want From Your Dog?

What Do YOU Want From Your Dog?

I have five dogs in my home. Not one of them knows what “heel” means. Not one of them does agility, fly-ball or competition obedience. They all sit on the couch, occasionally chase one of my four cats and dig huge holes in the yard.

So, are my dogs trained? Well, yes. They are trained to live with me in my house under my rules and to pay attention to me when in public.

 

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