We love our dogs here in Seattle. But, even the best pup sometimes will do something that makes its owner scratch his or her head and ask "Why did my dog do that?" From jumping on guests, to snarling at the mailman, it's not always easy to get inside the head of man's best friend. Unless of course, you are Aly DelaCoeur. She's the founder of Why Does My Dog, a website dedicated to dishing out simple tips and tricks on training, behavior, nutrition and health.
"We create bite-sized videos for your average dog owner that they will be able to digest and understand really easily," explained DelaCoeur. "My part about it is I do the animal training and behavior part of it. Anything from basic obedience to why does my dog do these weird things that they do."
Aly's interest in dog behavior began with her previous dog, Duke. She quickly learned Duke had some very bad habits, including aggressive tendencies.
"I kept watching things online and how to make him better. And, I felt that instead of making him be a better dog, I was ruining our relationship with him. And that's when I started doing a lot of research and looking at animal behavior and what was causing his misbehavior. I thought maybe if I got to the root to why he was doing it and deal with that, then he'd be a better dog. And he became a much better dog so quickly, and people saw an improvement in him and kept asking me how to train their dogs and that's kind of where it started. I started doing a lot of research on animal behavior, different training methods, and actually ended up going to the University of Washington and got a certificate of applied animal behavior from them."
Aly hopes her videos will give dog owners the help they need before spending hundreds of dollars on easy fixes.
"I would come in and it's as simple as how do I teach my dog to sit, not bark and not jump on people. It didn't make sense to charge $500 to answer such a simple question. My number one question dog owners ask is why does my boy dog not lift his leg to pee. And it's really simple. My dog, Truffle, does not lift his leg because he's really young, it's a learned behavior."
At the end of the day, Aly says dogs have a lot in common with their owners.
"Because every dog is so different and every person is so different, you kind of have to cater around the individual people. Some people will go the extra step to get educated and buy all the tools, and some people can do simple stuff. It's providing information that fits people equally."
Do you have a question for Aly about your dog? Would you like to meet with her for a consultation? Send us the issue you'd like help with, along with a photo of you and your dog, to firstname.lastname@example.org and you just might find yourself featured on Seattle Refined.