My Dog & I: Rehabilitation

One of my theories about dogs and their personalities is that most of what they need to know in order to have a happy, calm life, can be put in place before they are eight weeks old.

I know it sounds a little unrealistic …mostly because we don’t even get our puppies until they are at least that age and often not until much, much older.

However, my experience has shown me time and again that the earlier we start to mold our dogs, the more success we have in “training” them to be good partners. Due to the “cuteness factor” many of us wait until long after the dog has formed his/her habits and patterns and then we call for help!! My challenge is to figure out what the dog is already accustomed to doing and then changing these behaviors. Of course, the length of time these behaviors have been in place, the longer the “training” will take and the more succinct the message must be.

A little puppy will quickly and happily adapt to even the most bizarre requests while a two-year-old rescue has learned coping skills that can be very complex to interfere with. In order to “train” (teach a behavior), we must start with a willing dog and if he or she has already decided how to operate, it can be a challenge to change their minds. This is where we run into the question of training vs. rehabilitation.

I do not think of rehabilitation as some sort of emergency intervention. I do not think of rehabilitation as any sort of “treatment”. I believe that rehabilitation is, in the true sense of the word, restoring something to its original state and is about taking the dog back to a place where he was not afraid, unhappy, confused or overly entitled.

A dog as young as five months old may need some rehabilitation, a six or ten-year-old dog may need some rehabilitation and it is with this in mind that I approach all new students and some returning ones! A large part of any “training” experience with me revolves around teaching the dog how to be a dog and how to live in a human world and this often involves some “rehabilitation”.

If we can bring a dog to a place of understanding and build trust with clear and consistent information, we can begin to develop new patterns that will allow everyone to get more of what they want. I have so many people who call with questions about “training” when what they really want to ask is “How do I change this situation?” It is first important to “tune in” to where the dog lives before changing his mind and sometimes the behavior has become so disruptive that even sharing the same room is impossible!!

So, often sharing my home with my newest “client” is not all that fun but, in order to truly effect change, we need to create a receptive mental state and this happens slowly. Yes, the “tricks” are fun…Sit, down, stay etc. BUT lying calmly in the kitchen while I make dinner and sharing a space with five other dogs makes for a happy life.

So, yes you may see me in Lowes simply standing around while some Doodle bounces off the end of my leash or barks incessantly at every passing trolley but yes, this is one of the “rehab” parts of “training”, right along with getting in and out of the car in the parking lot and sitting nicely while some guy in hat reaches in for a scratch!!

Rehabilitation is not a bad word but the beginning of a new start… Rehab available for puppies thru’ senior citizens…changing lives, one dog at a time…

| Follow Janine on facebook and instagram @goodladddogtraining and hire her at! Find this column at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Submit a Comment


Magical Moments & Frightening Haunts w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper this October!

Magical Moments & Frightening Haunts w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper this October! - Enjoy magical moments and frightening haunts w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper this October 2020! At the top of most everyone’s list this month is finding magical moments, carving pumpkins with family and friends, and setting up decorations leading up to Halloween. There’s almost too much to do when fall finally rolls around including long walks […]

Local Resources


Stay Updated w/ HashtagWV!

Want to stay updated with the paper or thinking about advertising? Sign up today for the latest HASHTAGWV monthly newsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg, WV

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg WV! - Spending a day in Lewisburg? Here are a few of the best things to do while you’re visiting. Start your day at the Wild Bean coffee shop.  Located downtown, this cafe offers premium coffee, tea, veggie cuisine, wi-fi, entertainment, and more! The breakfast menu consisting of breakfast burritos, egg scrambles, breakfast sandwiches and granola w/ […]

"Over the last 10 years, we have tried several avenues for advertising. Beyond a doubt, our greatest return has been through HASHTAGWV. Whether it be in the HASHTAGWV print edition, or online, our customers, both locals and tourists, really do look for this media form to be in tune with what’s going on in the area and for destination shopping. Advertising with LBSPY (now HASHTAG) has unequivocally been a great asset for our business!" - Craig Miller w/ Serenity Now Outfitters. Ad rates start at just $20! Click here for MEDIA KIT  

Patrick4CMPLTshrp "Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty (pictured above), The Irish Pub, Lewisburg, WV
Adam DeGraff "HashtagWV always has their finger on the pulse of this community!" - Adam Degraff (pictured above), (The Weight/ The Dueling Fiddlers / Pianafiddle)

Wonder How HashtagWV Remains Free?

WONDER HOW HASHTAG LEWISBURG CITY PAPER REMAINS FREE? - Wondering how Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper gets published and distributed FREE every month in-print and online? Do we have wealthy parents or did one of us seduce a millionaire? No. Are we financed by bank loans or grant money? Nope, not that either. Until we hit it BIG in the lotto, every issue of HASHTAGWV comes […]


P.O. Box 744
Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901


"Here at WHEN PIGS FLY BBQ, we get the most return advertising with Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper. New customers tell us all the time how they see our ad. They then come see us!" - Mike and Kellen, owners of When Pigs Fly BBQ, Lewisburg, WV.
"Christina, Thank you so much for the cover and the ARTICLE. Your HASHTAGWV is fantastic! We hope to grow this ride and other sports events in our area. Your magazine will do this. Again thank you from everyone in the GVBike club. Come ride with us sometime." - Janice Centa


Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper is a free, full color arts and entertainment tabloid dedicated to providing useful information in the areas of Greenbrier County, Pocahontas County, parts of Alleghany County, and more. We distribute 7,000, full color issues every month.


We are engaged in promoting local music, arts, events, dining, and shopping. We reach our audience where they live, eat, shop, drink, play, and fill up their gas tank. BEHIND HASHTAG