All posts by Keith Somers

Negative Dog Behaviors Can Be Eliminated

negative dog behaviors
Dr. Dennis Fetko with Mugger, a Husky mix,
Sharia, a Doberman mix, and Bimbo
a St. Bernard/German Shepherd mix—all rescues.
by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

Negative Dog Behaviors
May Be Difficult to Change

Negative dog behaviors can easily catch your attention.   They can also bring you to your wit’s end.   Below is a list of such bad behaviors.

  •   leash lurching
  •   counter surfing
  •   loud noise fearing
  •   crate hating
  •   furniture chewing
  •   carpet eliminating
  •   constant barking
  •   trash can dumping
  •   and much, much more

Negative Dog Behaviors
Can Be Eliminated

They can be totally corrected.   There is absolutely no jerking, choking, squirting, yelling, or cursing—so says Dr. Dog.   His name is Dennis Fetko.   He has a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology, specializing in dog therapy.  For the last three decades, Dennis has been in constant demand.  He is an educator, authorconsultant, and guest.   In short he is the expert’s “EXPERT”, locally, nationally, and internationally.

Dr. Fetko states:

“My work for decades has focused on ending unwanted animal behaviors.  Sadly, more dogs are put down for their behavior than for physical problems.  So I take my work very seriously!

“I have personally worked with thousands of dogs and dog owners.  I have witnessed lives being changed and the dogs finally becoming the dogs they were meant to be.   Now with the publishing of my eBook, “Dr. Dog’s FAST, EASY, FUN Behavior Solutions”, my methods are reaching many more people.

“With my 60-day Money Back Guarantee, I’m taking all the risk.   So don’t delay.  Try out my methods for yourself with nothing to lose.  By clicking on the book title below, you will have immediate download access to my book.   You can be reading it in the next few minutes!

Enjoy your dog more.   Teach him proper behavior.   Here’s to your success!”




How to finally eliminate
negative dog behaviors and
it’s all Fast, Easy and Fun!

Plus You Get 2 FREE eBooks
When You Order!


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Keith Somers
is a registered Independent Field Representative
of Life’s Abundance products
and the Healthy PetNet Foundation

Pet Insurance, Research It, Buy It!

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook


Pet insurance—let’s put a hold on that for a second, and first look at the total cost of having a dog for its life-time.   You will be as surprised as I was because it is much more expensive than you might think.  The following information comes from the named sources and covers a life-time of 12 years, and averaging the size of the dogs.  Why is there such a cost differential?  Because there are a multitude of variables like:  size, breed, dog source (breeder, shelter, etc.), pet insurance, necessary and unnecessary items, where you live, veterinary medical costs (can be thousands of dollars in a year), and hundreds of options and surprises.

  •    $  59,668 – Bloomburg
  •    $  18,805 – Raising Spot
  •    $  21,574 – Pet Education
  •    $  50,280 – Forbes
  •    $  10,225 – ASPCA
  •    $  31,995 – AKC

I am not sure how helpful this information is for you, other than to point out that having a dog is expensive.  But when all is said and done, the money isn’t the measure anyway, its the unconditional love that greets you at the door, and for a life-time it is well worth the cost.

Pet Insurance Budget Options, Considering Probable Costs

  •    If you can do so, pay cash for everything as it comes up;
  •    Monthly, set aside the money you would be spending on insurance premiums for use when accidents, illnesses, or other unusual emergencies pop-up;
  •    Go into debt to pay for the veterinary services—not recommended;
  •    Invest in a quality pet insurance that will keep both you and your dog health and happy!

Over the long haul, doing your homework here will save you hundreds of dollars in the years ahead.  A dacade or more ago, pet insurance may not have been a very important consideration—but today, new diagnostic tools and methods, new treatments, new surgical procedures, and new therapies are being used so that the increased scope of veterinary science may require all of us to take another look at pet insurance as a sensible option.

One final thought—increasingly many families now consider their pet a valued member of the family and will do anything to keep their dog or cat healthy and happy.  If that’s the case with you, then pet insurance might be a preferable alternative.

Pet Insurance Questions With Answers

The answers to the following questions are taken from the Life’s Abundance partner, Hartville Pet Health Insurance.  You can visit the site below for more information.

Are there caps on illnesses or incidents?
What are the exclusions, if any?
Are there levels of coverage—basic, wellness, superior?
What about neutering and spaying?
Is there coverage on prescriptions/meds?
What are the options for deductibles?
There is a low annual deductible of $100 per pet.

How and when are claims paid?
          Take your pet to any veterinarian in the US or Canada and pay for the services.  Then fill out a simple claim form andmail, fax, or email it with your receipts.  You can then track the status of your claims conveniently online at the free Member Center.

Can any veterinarian be used?
          You can use any licensed vet in the US or Canada.

Is after hours emergency available?
Is there a breed differential?
What is your policy regarding accident coverage?
How are hereditary and congenital needs covered?
Do you offer preventative coverage—is the cost lower?
Do you have a pet age limit—cost?
Are there discounts—for more than one pet?
          Save 10% on multiple pets with the Base Plan Premium
Is there a co-payment?

You may be able to protect your budget and your pet’s health, through Life’s Abundance and its partnership with Hartville, offering pet health insurance.

Bandaged FootGet Answers

Keith Somers
is a registered Independent Field Representative
of Life’s Abundance products
and the Healthy PetNet Foundation


Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

karen_pryor_4Karen Pryor, author of Reaching the Animal Mind, is a behavioral biologist with an international reputation in two fields, marine mammal biology and behavioral psychology. She is a founder and leading proponent of “clicker training,” a training system based on operant conditioning (isolate wanted behaviors and ignore the unwanted) and the all-positive methods developed by marine mammal trainers. Clicker training is now in use world wide with dogs, cats, horses, birds, zoo animals, and increasingly with humans, in the teaching of sports and athletic performances and developing behaviors in autistics.

Karen’s 40-year career working with and educating scientists, professional trainers, and pet owners has changed the lives of countless animals and their caretakers in zoos, oceanariums, and pet-owning households.

She is the author of six books, including Don’t Shoot the Dog!, the “bible” of training with positive reinforcement. Her most recent book, Reaching the Animal Mind, describes how to bring out the undiscovered creativity, intelligence, and personality of the animals in our lives. Karen lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.

Karen Pryor, the author of Reaching the Animal Mind, is responsible for developing the clicker method of training:  an all-positive, safe, effective aid to modify and shape animal behavior, and in so doing she has changed the lives of millions of both animal parents, and animals.

Her book is thoughtful, insightful, and practical.  It contains:

  • delightful stories about Pryor’s encounters with animals of all kinds;
  • the science behind clicker training;
  • step-by-step instructions on how you can learn how to clicker-train your dog;
  • bonus video clips, slide shows, articles, downloadable exercises;
  • links to broaden your understanding of the contents of the book; and
  • autobiographical sketches of her life’s work.
Reaching the Animal Mind:  Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals

Karen Pryor

Reaching the Animal Mind










Keith Somers
is a registered Independent Field Representative
of Life’s Abundance products
and the Healthy PetNet Foundation

Inside of A Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

 by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

Although this read is not kin to most formal training guides about dogs, Inside of a Dog does have practical applications for people who love dogs and and would like to begin at the beginning.  That is, come to some understanding as to why dogs do what they do—what they see, smell and therefore know.

AlexandraAlexandra Horowitz is a psychologist with a PhD in cognitive science and currently teaches psychology at Barnard College, Columbia University.   She earned her PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of California at San Diego, and has studied the cognition of humans, rhinoceros, bonobos, and dogs.  For seventeen years she shared her home with an unwitting research subject, Pumpernickel, a wonderful mixed breed.   She now lives in New York City with her husband, young son, and Finnegan, “a dog of indeterminate parentage and determinate character.”  (Photo by Vegar Abelsnes).   An ardent dog-lover, Alexandra will take you on “an informed imaginative leap inside of a dog — to see what it is like to be a dog; what the world is like from a dog’s point of view.”

For example,  “To a dog,” she points out, “a hammer doesn’t exist. A dog doesn’t act with or on a hammer, and so it has no significance to a dog. At least, not unless it overlaps with some other, meaningful object:  it is wielded by a loved person; it is urinated on by the cute dog down the street; its dense wooden handle can be chewed like a stick.”

Dogs often stare soulfully into our eyes.  And, she writes, “Though they have inherited some aversion to staring too long at eyes, dogs seem to be predisposed to inspect our faces for information, for reassurance, for guidance.”  Perhaps we ought to try harder to reciprocate and be the better for it!

Inside of A Dog:
What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

by Alexandra Horowitz

“Inside of A Dog” is a  New York Times  Best Seller


Keith Somers
is a registered Independent Field Representative
of Life’s Abundance products
and the Healthy PetNet Foundation

The Other End of the Leash, Is Your End

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

LeashThe Other End of the Leash, is a book about what is going on at—the other end of the leash—your end.  You can get the book below and be provoked to examine your own perspective about your dog/dogs.  Is there more to learn?  You bet!  The author, Patricia McConnell says there may be more, much more, about how we deal with our dogs.  See for yourself.

Here is what it says on the hardcover edition of her book.

The Other End of the Leash, shares a revolutionary, new paradigm on our relationship with dogs, focusing on our behavior in comparison with that of our dogs.  An applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer, with more than twenty years experience, Dr. Patricia McConnell looks at humans as just another interesting species, and muses about why we behave the way we do around our dogs, how dogs might interpret our behavior, and how to interact with our dogs in ways that bring out the best in our four-legged friends.  ‘After all, although humans and dogs share a remarkable relationship that is unique in the animal world, we are still two entirely different species, each shaped by our individual evolutionary heritage.  Quite simply, humans are primates and dogs are canids (like wolves, coyotes, and foxes).  Since we each speak a different native tongue, a lot gets lost in the translation.’

The Other End of the Leash demonstrates how even the slightest changes in your voice and the way you stand can help your dog understand what you want.  Once you start to think about your own behavior from the perspective of your dog, you’ll understand why much of what appears to be doggy-disobeiience is simply a case of miscommunication.

“Inside you will learn:

  • How to use your voice so that your dog is more likely to do what you ask.Why ‘getting dominance’ over your dog is a bad idea.
  • Why ‘rough and tumble primate play’ can lead to trouble, and how to play with your dog in ways that are fun and keep him out of trouble.
  • How dogs and humans share personality types, and why most dogs want to live with benevolent leaders rather than ‘alphawannabees!’

“In her own insightful, compelling style, Patrticia McConnell combines wonderful true stories about people and dogs with a new, accessible scientific perspective on how they should behave around each other.  This is a book that strives to help you make the most of life with your dog, and to prevent problems that might arise in that most rewarding of relationships.”

The Other End of the Leash,
Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs

by Patricia B. McConnel



So you want to become more “fluent in dog”?  Here’s the Book.  Dr. McConnell will show you how to improve your communication in both directions—between you and your dog, and between your dog and you.  She is one of those skilled dog trainers that you wish was your best friend.  Her writing style is delightful, sometimes amusing, and always simple to grasp.   In  the book she covers: understanding, communication, concepts, and practical advice, all of which you can put to use immediately.


Keith Somers
is a registered Independent Field Representative
of Life’s Abundance products
and the Healthy PetNet Foundation

Dog Poisons May Be In and Around Your Home

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

Make Your Home Safe from
Dog Poisons

Dog poisons must be kept locked up or out of reach.  You are  there-by making your home and grounds safe for your companion animals.  Home should be the safest place in the world for your dog.  But it can also be the most dangerous.  Only you and your family can make the difference.

Dog Poisons

If you suspect your dog
has ingested any of these dangerous items,
call your teterinarian or emergency clinic

Dog Poisons In Foods

Most dogs love to eat table scraps, what is left on the counter (“counter surfers”), what they see your eat, and discarded food in trash cans.  Be sure that the following dog poison foods are never accessible to your dog:

  • raw bread dough – results in bloat (GDV), twisted stomach, hyportension (low blood pressure);
  • grapes and raisins – extremely toxic and can result in kidney failure;
  • hops, plugs or pellets – mild to severe toxicity, including malignant hyperthermia;
  • moldy food – moderate to severe toxicity, resulting in seizures and sever hyperthermia;
  • macadamia nuts – mild to moderate toxicity, effecting nerve functions in muscle fibers;
  • xylitol – a natural sugar-free sweetener.  Xylitol can cause an acute, life-threatening low blood sugar, and liver failure;
  • onions and garlic – a super-radical that destroys red blood cells;
  • chocolate (especially dark/Baker’s) – This can result in cardiac and pancreatitis problems from chemical toxicity;
  • candy wrappers – when dogs eat candy they usually eat wrapper and all.   Wrappers can cause life-threatening bowel obstruction which may require surgical intervention;
  • left-over fatty meat scraps – can produce pancreatitis, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
Dog Poisons Indoors

Many of the following dog poisons can be lethal to your dog.   Keep these items locked up, or do not keep them at all:

  • Drano/Liquid Plumber
  • slug and snail bait – very toxic to dogs, treatment must be quickly and aggressively implemented;
  • rodent poisons – those containing strychnine and zinc phosphide are the most deadly—a life-threatening emergency;
  • mole and gopher bait – zink phosphide and bromethain are active and have no known antidote;
  • ammonia – burns mucous membranes and contributes to asthma.  When ammonia is mixed with bleach it creates a poisonous gas which can be deadly to small dogs and other pets;
  • mothballs – contain paradichlorobenzene, naphthalene, or naphthalene—all deadly;
  • chlorine – used in disinfectants, toilet bowl cleaners, automatic dish detergents, swimming pools.   Chlorine causes dizziness, vomiting and laryngeal edema in some dogs;
  • glycol ethers – used in many cleaning products to clean glass, carpets, including spot removers, and toilet bowls.   Glycol ethers are linked to anemia, lung and kidney damage in dogs;
  • formaldehyde – used in soaps and some dog shampoos.   Formaldehyde contributes to asthma and is carcinogenic;
  • Easter grass and Christmas tinsel – ingested and unable to pass through the intestines, it can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract.   This often requires expensive abdominal surgery;
  • ALL medications, canine and human – over the counter, prescriptions, vitamins—can range from mild, to severe, to life-threatening.
Dog Poisons Outdoors

Many of the following dog poisons are potentially toxic to dogs.  Keep them labeled, tightly sealed, and out of reach:

  • antifreeze (sweet-tasting ethylene glycol).   A tablespoon full can result in acute kidney failure, coma, or death;
  • windshield cleaner, including windshield washer solution – may contain methanol, a toxic alcohol similar to ethylene glycol;
  • cocoa bean mulch – mild toxicity, until chocolate aroma has dissipated after a heavy rain;
  • fertilizer and plant food – mild to moderate toxicity, can contain pesticides;
  • pesticides/insecticides – typically of low toxicity;
  • rodent poisons – those containing strychnine and zinc phosphide are the most deadly.   Such “cides” are always a life-threatening emergency;
  • de-icing salts, any salt, ocean water (picked up on paws and licked off) – moderate to life-threatening toxicity, severe hypernatremis (salt-poisoning).   Do keep fresh water available while on the beach;
  • compost piles – should never contain dairy or meat products and should be contained, covered and fenced-off to protect your pets and wildlife.   They can contain serious toxins;
  • slug and snail bait – very toxic to dogs, treatment must be quickly and aggressively implemented;
  • mole and gopher bait – zink phosphide and bromethain are active and have no known antidote.   They are very dangerous.
Dog Poisons In Plants

The following plants, bulbs, flowers, and pollen are dog poisons  and can be seriously lethal to dogs:

  • Crocus – especially Autumn Crocus
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lilies – here are the most dangerous varieties: Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show; no effective antidote;
  • Oleander
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Daffodils
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Sago Palm
  • Tulips
  • Hyacinthas
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe

NOTE:  There are other dog poisons that could be included in these lists.  The effects of some of the toxic items on the list may vary greatly with the breed of dog and even dogs within the same breed.  For example:  we have had two dachshunds who loved chocolate—with absolutely no adverse effect on either of them.*

If you have a question, as always, talk to your veterinarian!

* Many Christmases ago, there was a wrapped box of chocolates placed under our Christmas tree.   It was to be opened on Christmas day by the humans in our house.  One day while we were gone, our doxie found it, unwrapped it, opened it and ate all she wanted.  Then she very carefully “buried” one chocolate in each corner of each cushion on our couch, and every easy chair in our living room.   She knew that she could go to her stash later and enjoy another chocolate or two!


Keith Somers
is a registered Independent Field Representative
of Life’s Abundance products
and the Healthy PetNet Foundation