Fall Is In The Air!

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September is right around the corner and a wonderful time to visit DogWoods Retreat!  A quieter time at our local parks and town, you will enjoy the pace.  Our dog friendly cabin rentals are each privately fenced for safety and fun.  You can hike DuPont State Forest, Ceasars Head State Park And Table Rock State Park in South Carolina or head up on the Blue Ridge Parkway for some spectacular views!  They are all within minutes, not hours from our vacation rentals.  At night enjoy a relaxing hot tub under a star filled sky, a campfire or a fire in the fireplace.

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Aversive Training Methods for Behavior Modification In Animals

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I recently came across an article written by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.  Called the AVSAB Positiion Statement, it is based on scientific studies (not your neighbor or popular television shows)  and they present facts regarding the use of punishment for behavior modification in animals.  Yes, that E-collar or electric collar some trainers like to use is actually an electronic shock collar.  Prohibited from being used in many countries and with good reason.  The risk to your dog far outweighs any benefit you might attain. 

We allow all dogs to stay at DogWoods Retreat, regardless of breed, size or temperament.  Our dog friendly cabins with their large private fenced yards make it a joyous vacation for all!  If you have some issues with your pup you’d like some help with you can schedule an optional training session with our Now And Zen Dog Training.  We never use these old schools training methods and can get you the help you need during your stay with us.  Please call us today to discuss our positive reinforcement training options.

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It’s All About The Dogs!

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We fashioned our DogWoods Retreat vacation rentals around dogs. We think every dog should be able to have that perfect vacation with their people. Regardless of breed or temperament issues they are welcome here. Our private fenced yards are perfect for dogs that might not like other dogs or people. They totally surround each of our cabins so no one is escaping either. You can even schedule an optional behavioral consult with Nan thru our https://nowandzendogtraining.com/. Of course we didn’t forget about their people they’d be bringing with either. With our luxury cabins, memory foam mattresses, and hot tubs under the stars you’ll enjoy yourself too. Come and stay with us!

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Devil’s Courthouse

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We had a great day off this past Sunday! Cool temps made for great hiking. Hiked DuPont State Forest in the morning, had a nap in the afternoon, and climbed up to the Devils Courthouse in the evening to catch sunset. We sat amidst the clouds that opened up just in time for the sunset. Willow says “it was fun mom, but it’s a long ways up!” All within minutes (not hours) of our dog friendly vacation rentals at DogWoods Retreat. The last picture is of the Devils Courthouse summit that we were on when we took the rest of the pictures shown.

Enjoy these pictures of our trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway for our Devils Courthouse sunset experience.

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DuPont State Forest, Our Favorite Place!

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We love to spend our day off at DuPont State Forest. It’s only 10 minutes from our cabin with over 10,000 acres and 83 miles of multi-use trails. You can mountain bike, hike, horseback ride and swim in this dog friendly forest. There are some of the most spectacular falls anywhere and access is easy via the trail from Hooker Falls up to Triple Falls and High Falls. Please be careful to respect the falls and adhere to the rules posted regarding access points. So grab a leash and bring your best friend with on your vacation!

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Hooker Falls

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Triple Falls

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High Falls

 

The Three Most Common Training Issues

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There are typically three issues that most of my dog training clients are dealing with.  Maybe not always all three, but at least one of these is sure to be on their list.

  1. My Dog Pulls
  2. My Dog Doesn’t Come
  3. My Dog Jumps

The problems arise from a miscommunication between dog and owner and lack of practicing properly.   As a trainer it is my job to assess the “team” and come up with better solutions.  It’s important to teach the client as well as the dog and help bridge the gap between them.

A dog never pulled on a leash relentlessly until we attached a person on the other end.  If a dog is tied with a leash he gives in to it when he reaches the end.  We are guilty of teaching pulling by following our dogs on a tight leash.  We can use tools, training and education to help with pulling.

One reason dogs don’t come is we don’t spend a lot of time training it.  I ask my clients, “when do you ask your dog to come?” and they explain that every time he takes off they call him and he doesn’t come back.  It is the only time they practice calling him to come.  So, in fact, they have actually inadvertently taught their dog that come means to run off in the woods and not return.  We have to practice training what we want in situations that are easy for the dog at first.

Dogs love to jump because they are rewarded for it.  The dog jumps up, people pet him.  He might jump up, and we don’t like it, so we push him off.  He likes that too because he gets interaction.  What we reward our dogs get better at, so helping him not practice some things, is important too.

You can save yourself a lot of bad practice and headaches by scheduling a training session during a stay in one of our dog friendly cabin rentals.

By Nan Long, APDT

Owner DogWoods Retreat /Now And Zen Dog Training

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A Day At DogWoods Retreat

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Enjoy over 250 water falls in lovely Transylvania county. Dogs on leash are welcome to come with you on all trails, Transylvania county is all about friendly! Our cabins are located within just a few minutes of DuPont State Forest sight of the original Hunger Games film. You can take a dip at the bottom of Hooker Falls or hike to vantage points of Triple Falls and High Falls. Don’t forget to take you camera with you as you’ll have lots of great photo opportunities on your vacation. You can come back to your cabin for lunch and take a quick 10 minute drive later that evening and enjoy a wonderful dinner and some entertainment in the quaint mountain town of Brevard.

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Spring In The Mountains

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Come and enjoy a vast array of lovely wildflowers during a stay with us. Currently DogWoods Retreat property is full of wild blooming mountain laurels in their shades of pink to white. June will bring the wild azaleas with their blaze orange while rhododendrons show off in purple shades. You can also experience rare pink lady slippers, right on our dog friendly property! A plethora of wild flowers continue thru out the summer and fall in our wonderful mountain cabins. We are also host to lots of fireflies and the rarer blue ghost firefly, floating by you, as you enjoy your evening hot tub.

Willow gives it two paws up for our spacious fenced yards for pups to enjoy!

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Does your dog growl?

Does your dog growl?

Growling is a communication from the dog that can mean several things.  It may mean “I can’t handle that!” (Fear),  “That’s mine!”  (resource guarding) or “I’m playing with you/them” (play mode).    

It’s important to understand what the communication is at the time the behavior is displayed.  We need to understand it, work with it and never silence it.  If it is caused by fear and we silence the growling because it makes us uneasy (and it should) we stop the dogs ability to communicate with a growl as a warning.  Taking the ability to communicate that they are stressed by something can result in communicating in a stronger way, such as snapping or even worse a bite.  

If you are experiencing growling, and are unsure of the cause or know it is due to stress or fear,  please seek help from a professional dog trainer to help work on modifying the behavior.

Prevention and Treating Thunderstorm Anxiety

Prevention and Treating Thunderstorm Anxiety

It’s that time of year that we don’t look forward to with our dogs.  Those noisy angels bowling up in heaven and the crashing of cymbals from above, can be scary and foreign to a lot of our dogs.  Imprinting young puppies with tapes of thunderstorms early on, can be very helpful in preventing this fear. Sometimes this fear can be caused by a previous bad experience with thunderstorms such as the lightning strike close to the house.  How can we help them during these times of stress?

My thunderstorm a kit includes many different things such as:

  • Thunder shirts
  • Essential oil of lavender
  • Bach’s Rescue Remedy
  • Homeopet Anxiety TFLN
  • Loud music 
  • Turning on all lights in the house
  • Toys that squeak to distract dogs during Storm
  • Chews such as bully sticks also used to distract
  • Running a loud box fan


If you can remain calm and soothing to the dog that is helpful.  Going into the bathroom with the dog shutting the window blinds or curtains and turning on all the lights and playing some louder music to distract from the noise.  This can also be a good plan if you are going to be gone for the day and you know your dog is fearful of storms and that they have been predicted.  If anxiety is severe you might want to check with your vet and consult a professional dog trainer for help.

Nan Long, APDT
Canine Connections Dog Training