Meet Beau

It’s been a bit quiet here and you might be wondering why? Well, this family is growing. We are picking up our rescue today and have been busy preparing for the new family member. (Shelter adoptions are no joke in NYC. Three rounds of interviews, a home visit and then meeting the pup!)

We are ANXCITED! This is our first dog and we realize we have a lot to learn. When we went to see Beau I asked the foster mom what she needs most. She pondered for a moment and then said: LOVE, a whole lot of love. I exhaled and said: “I got plenty of that. We’re good!”

Also, I think I have watched every Cesar Milan video out there by now. If you have adopted a rescue or own a dog and have tips, please be so kind and drop them in a comment below.

Onward to our new chapter! WOOF!

Update: Sharing some first impressions with her on Instagram, look for the Pup Emoji story highlight. (circle at underneath my bio)

46 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Please do not follow Milan, it is old school punishment. Search for Karen Pryor and clicker training. There is a wonderful book called “don’t shoot the dog” by Pryor. I highly recommend it. It is a more loving and positive approach for communicating with your new pup and he with you. My best wishes for a grace filled relationship for you all.

    Thank you for your newsletter,

  2. Congratulations!
    We’re on #s. 11, 12, 13 +14 in the rescue department.
    They’re all different, but we haven’t met a dog who didn’t do best with a routine.
    Good luck!

  3. Congratulations! Reward-based training will help your dog settle in nicely. Here is one column about reward-based resources and why Milan is not a good resource.

  4. BEAU! What a cutie! Congratulations on the new family member!

  5. Congratulations on your new family member! I love the quote you shared about dogs being our link to paradise. My three are contentedly napping on my lap, and it feels very true. I’m wishing you much happiness with Beau and many paradise moments!

  6. Ours has a lot of energy (oh my) but the long walks have been good for me.
    You’ll be fine.

  7. During a trip to Ukraine (for a shoot at Chernobyl), I met a friendly Estonian dog trainer and agility judge. His advice to me and our Daschund Lennart was to remember that dogs perceive life in still imagery, not in sequences. They can certainly anticipate and remember, but they live mostly here and now. So when training a dog not to jump on a bed or a sofa, this must be learned before the fact, not afterward when the dog is immersed in a totally different still image.

  8. I echo the comment about ignoring Cesar Millan–his advice is based on outdated and discredited theories about dog behavior. I’ve found the Youtube videos by McCann Dog Trainers (for example, to be extremely helpful for training. You’ll never want to go back to living without a dog–it’s a blessing to share our lives with them.

  9. Give your rescue a lot of time and patience! We’ve had ours for six years and are still surprised at stuff she does/doesn’t do!

  10. Huge congrats on the new pup! I’m sure Beau will enhance your lives in so many ways. <3 Seconding what the commenter above (Kathryn) said. Karen Pryor (with the clicker or not – we use sweet words instead), crate training, and lots of love will serve you well in this new adventure!

  11. We’re on shelter dog #2. Both have been amazing. Patience and routines are great for dogs. Since he’s coming from a shelter he may already be crate trained. Dog #1 didn’t like to be in a crate. Dog #2 LOVES his crate. Feel that out. Never use the crate as punishment, it should be a place where the dog can feel safe if/when they need it. Our dog sleeps in his crate and it comes with us when we travel.

    Also, remember that dogs see the world differently and they sometimes see innocent behavior as a threat. Remind children to be careful etc. and keep your dog away from children and other dogs when walking until you learn how they will react in those situations.


  12. Our dog is constantly praised by strangers for her training from Dingo Doggies here in LA ( I came across Dingo because the trainer had 15 dogs on a horizontal lead sitting for 5 minutes to get their picture taken. Their philosophy is every dog wants a job and to know the boundaries of the job. The other big thing they’ve taught us are the boundaries around playtime—play should be at level green/yellow … when it starts heading to orange, then it’s time for a time out. You never want them playing at level red because it means the dog is unable to focus/hear you. Hope you find this helpful and best of luck with the adorable Beau!

  13. Congratulations! We have two rescues. They have been so much work but 1000% worth it!
    Kikopup is one of the best positive reinforcement trainers:

  14. Congratulations! Generally speaking, a tired dog is a good dog…I think it goes for humans too. ? Have fun, life will never be the same.

  15. Consistency consistency consistency!

    A tired dog is a “good dog”. Walks aren’t enough for lots of dogs. (haha just noticed the person above me wrote this too :P)

    Most “bad” things your dog does are your fault.

    Always talk and point etc with your dog; you’d be surprised how much they will pick up. (Every time you go outside for a bathroom break it’s “outside” and “pee time” *goes pee* “good pee” and then “inside” etc. My dogs know “pee time before bed time” and will go out and pee then come in and run to the bed :)

    Unless you’re willing to physically go get your dog, don’t say “come here”. (This drives me crazy…people basically teaching their dogs to ignore such an important command!)

    I love this training: Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution.

    Enjoy your new friend, doggos are wonderful <3

  16. Congrats to all of you!

  17. Pay for good training! This is barely for the dog, and more for the humans! You don’t know how or by whom the dog was previously trained, and this is the best way to build an unbreakable bond between each person in the house. They will also provide guides to dog’s cues and behaviors – I learned SO much from going through training with our rescue that has helped me understand all dogs, not just ours!

  18. What a friendly looking dog! Make sure he gets plenty of exercise!

  19. Don’t well on the past. Dogs don’t do it there is no reason for us to either.

    It is much easier to start with rules and relax later in training than trying to implement rules after endless freedom

    All dogs need a leader, and want a mom

    A dog’s first language is not English

    If the trust and bond is not there, it is going to be much more challenging working on the other aspects of having a dog.

  20. Never had dogs and now I have an 8-year old and 8-month old. Best decisions I’ve made have been:

    A cheap camera at home to see how they behave when I’m out.
    Group obedience class
    Regular dog park / run visits

    Almost every challenge I’ve faced is solved with exercise…

    Good luck.


  21. Don’t follow Milan. Get the books by Patricia McConnell. She’s got a doctorate in animal behavior and is an expert in the field.

  22. Been an owner of a rescue for 3 years…my first dog ever.

    One tip: allow time for the bonding to happen. It takes a while for the dog to realize this is home and these are my protectors. Esp a rescue since you did not raise from a pup. But it WILL happen and you will know when it does.

    And get ready for parts of your heart you had no idea you had to reveal themselves.


  23. Thank you for choosing a rescue dog instead of buying, he looks gorgeous and I hope you will be forever friends x

  24. I’m so pleased for you and your new friend – you will be a great dog owner.

    Dogs LOVE certainty and routine. It’s great seeing my rescue dog know that he is about to get a chew/walk/game because it’s that time of day.

    Yours will probably be quite tired from all the stress, they go through a time of decompression. Mine spent quite a lot of time asleep on my desk next to me working when he first came but now he’s full of beans. Any dog of mine sleeps on my bed, under the covers on the cold nights! No crates necessary :) good luck and enjoy having some excellent company.

  25. I can tell you will be a good mom. Thoughtful, considerate, curious. Hopefully you will take Beau to work. Dogs get lonely and depressed. Why do that to them? Not fair. It’s incomprehensible as to why such an adorable dog like Beau ends up in a shelter. Make it up to him with lots of love and attention. Have fun!!!

  26. Thank you Kathryn Allen! I know a lot of us don’t like to criticize, but Milan’s methods are truly hurtful for dogs and for the health of the long-term relationships the dogs have with their humans. He *is* effective and that has made people think he is right, but there are better ways (kinder to the dog and works better) to accomplish everything he does. He is being punitive and retaliatory to an animal that can not process the “why” behind his behavior. It is sad.

  27. congrats !!! <3

  28. What a joy! I recently rescued for the second time and I think you got great tips already! I used Cesar Milan when I rescued my first dog 15 years ago, after about 7 years I changed the approach for positive reinforcement and my dog responded so much better. I am not using him for my second rescue. I agree with the comments above about it. A couple of lessons with a positive reinforcement trainer helped me a lot this year as I re-learned how to interact with my dog and get into a new routine. Mine loved training in the crate until the 11 hours flight to bring him from where I found him to where I live. So no crates anymore… we adapt as needed. We learn what kindle of cuddles are ok, which ones they love, their toy preferences. It takes time. For my cats, I designated a place in my apartment the dog could not come in. There is where I placed their food as well. They slowly got comfortable and tried to interact and it has been great. The training helped me teach the dog to be calm around them. One cat it took 2 days and now they play and chase each other. The other cat got so stressed I got a calming collar for him and it took 2 months for him to be comfortable around the dog. We are slowly getting there :). Congratulations o the new addition to the family!

  29. Congrats! They’re the best! Tip? Positive conditioning, patience and consistency in the rules. No treats, only dry food (Yarrah or similar have great bio/veggie dogfood) For them a hug or a sweet word is (almost:) like bacon. (cheese? chicken? they freak out, forget quiet lunchs). Exercice, running, etc: a walk at the park to smell it all tires them a million too. Cars, roads or traffic in sight? Always a leash. They just wanna have fun. Ah, and don’t lose your humour! ENJOY ✊?

  30. Congratulations! Your life is to forever change for the better. Regarding how to ‘be’ with your new friend, remember the 3 Fs: Firm, Fun, and Fair. Dog’s sniff out injustice as quickly as they sniff out a squirrel. Also, bear in mind that rescue dogs may have been through a LOT before they come to you, and it takes them time to decompress – months. When you first get her home don’t overwhelm her with treats, toys, visits with other people and places – keep it really chill at first, very scheduled, and look to her to figure out when she’s ready to be introduced to different aspects of her new world.

  31. Tired dog’s a happy dog.
    I heard that many a moon ago and have had few dogs in my adult life — all rescue — and this has always held true.
    To go along with the many comments, be patient. My last rescue took a while (probably a year) to realize this is his forever home. In early days, especially, make sure you and your kiddos know to never sneak up on a dog, let them hear you, let them see you before approaching them. They could be on edge from being in a kennel and out of sorts. Rescues can be very protective of their new family and space. I still do a what I call a formal introduction when new people come into my home. I give them treats to give him before they come in and just approach slowly. He has done really well. I think they know that you’re bringing them into a loving home and they respond in kind. Good luck!

  32. Loving congratulations to you, your family and to Beau <3 <3 <3

  33. So happy you found each other!
    Committing to being a dog’s responsible human is taking on the equivalent of a furry toddler for the next decade-ish. You’ll be equally exasperated and elated. You’ll be loved unconditionally.
    Take an obedience class as a family so you all know what to expect from each other and Beau won’t have to hear every command echoed by every family member before complying. (Ask me how I know) Best Wishes to all!

  34. Agree with the positive reinforcement training. I rescued 2 older dogs with no training and relied on my mom instincts as no training classes available for 6 months. I got the smallest treats possible and they got one every time they did their job outside. 1 treat for #1, 2 treats for #2. Took 2 days and they both got it. Sundays were the Big Brushing and they got a teeth cleaning treat.
    They want a forever home and they want to please you. Be kind, patient and loving. Remember their heart was broken-they were abandoned and possibly mistreated. It’s going to take awhile for them to trust you. Consistency in your behavior will help.

  35. Also on positive traning: Zac George on youtube. He is the best. Cezar is a dog whisperer one cannot follow but George is an awsome trainer. Has video series with shelter dogs showing how he trains them. Anyway welcome Beau!

  36. Love that face!
    You’re getting and will get so much advice- it’s like having a child again! As you get to know your dog I think you’ll feel what works best for your family and home. 14 months into our new dog now, and I’m still learning. Dogs are amazing. What really got me recently was this rushed school morning when my son banged his head really hard. Our dog jumped right in (as we rushed around him to our son, but in the end our dog was the one who sat with our son until he was feeling good to get up again. I almost cried. It was such uncomplicated love they showed each other. My husband and I came to the situation with the baggage of all the things that led up to him getting hurt but our dog just went right in for comfort and assurance, which is really what he needed.

  37. We were gifted a book on adopting rescues when ours joined our household, and their advice was to be like a dog mom- firm but reassuring, and always patting him a little possessively, like he’s ours. It does seem to make him feel more secure.

  38. Congratulations, we got our first pup 6 months ago and he is (mostly!) a joy! Be kind to yourself, it’s HARD to adjust for both of you. Also want to add my voice that Caesar Milan’s techniques are harmful and have since been debunked by animal behaviour science. Positive reinforcement is the only way to go!

  39. I agree with the comments that positive training is better than Cesar Milan’s methods. Donna Hill has some excellent dog training videos on Youtube. Do More with Your Dog is a good website.
    Have fun with your pup!

  40. So sweet! Happy Family to you! You’ll be an awesome dog Mom!

  41. Definitely watch Zak George!

    We have so much to learn from our pets. And they can bring such joy and love. Enjoy! He looks adorable.

  42. First off love your blog and congrats on this cutie/beauty!

    I concur, please do not follow Cesar Milan! His work is based on outdated ideas. There are so many trainers – it’s hard to know which way to go, but I highly rec you seek training info from a current behaviorist – there are so many great ones who post videos on Youtube.

    I personally love Sophia Yin’s videos and book. Kim Brophey has a TED talk you can check out. Paul Owens is great and has several books. These are just a few!

  43. Congratulations. I love a scruffy dog. I agree with the other comments regarding Cesar Milan, his training methods are cruel. Positive reward training worked wonders for our Corgi Pickles McGherkin;-) So excited for your family. xo

  44. Hey Swiss Miss – congrats on your lovely Beau boy…so happy you found each other!!

    Please feel free to help yourself to anything useful from my blog at and check out my weekly Facebook training paws-up’ at

    Let me know how it all goes and ask questions any time :-))

  45. So very adorable! Patience & Love. Beau will give you so much more than you will ever know.

  46. Congrats! Based on my personal experience with my dog, I would also suggest taking a positive reinforcement training approach to how you interact with your dog has some great videos and resources, similar to the other examples that have already been shared.

    Wishing your fluffier family all the best :)