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DOGGIE BLOG

Grieving the Loss of a Pet

July 25, 2016

Grieving the Loss of a Pet

Dogs bring pure joy into our lives and homes. The flip side of that is the devastating loss when they leave us. As a certified professional dog trainer and  behavior consultant, and dog mom, I would be remiss if I didn’t post about pet loss and its accompanying grief. The purpose of this installment is to offer some resources and to provide comfort during a very difficult time. First, intense grief and sadness over the loss of a dog, or any pet, is normal – at least in my opinion. A dog is a family member and a big part of daily life. The human-canine bond can be very strong, and not all humans understand that. Mourning the loss of your dog … Continue reading »


Creating a dog-friendly Fourth of July celebration

July 1, 2016

Creating a dog-friendly Fourth of July celebration

Happy July and here’s to wonderful Fourth of July! It’s a fun and festive time for our country and local communities. While humans are reveling in picnic games, barbecue menus, and colorful theatrics in the sky, the holiday can be a totally un-celebratory experience for our inquisitive canine family and friends. As a certified professional dog trainer, I know how terrifying a thunderous fireworks display can be for pets or how a quick sniff of meat in hot coals can turn into a painful burn on a cold nose. With some preparation and environmental management, the Fourth of July can be a star spangled holiday for all family members. Here are a couple of previous patriotic posts that readers have found … Continue reading »


Understanding Dog Displacement Behavior

Understanding Dog Displacement Behavior

Nail biting, hair twirling, and pacing are examples of nervous behavior in humans. In the world of canines, behaviors dogs use to cope, relieve stress, or stave off trouble (rather than deal with it directly) is called displacement behavior.  Called so because the behavior is out of place, or displaced. The behaviors themselves are normal but happen out of context – such as a dog shaking off as wet when dry.  As a certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, I know how subtle these behaviors can be, and I can’t emphasize enough the importance of  trying to understand what your dog’s body language is communicating. That’s why regular interaction between dog and human is so crucial, so you can tell if … Continue reading »


#Train4Rewards Blog Party … Reward, Reward, Reward

June 15, 2016

#Train4Rewards Blog Party … Reward, Reward, Reward

Woofs and wags to Companion Animal Psychology and its #Train4Rewards Blog Party. You think I’d miss this party? Read on! As a is certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, I’m all about reward, reward, reward. Plus, it’s an extra-special party for me as it’s Poncho’s birthday. So here’s what I’m bringing to the paw-ty: A case study on reward training from Poncho’s column A Pooch’s Perspective.”  A woman asked Poncho why her inquisitive canine, a 13-year-old lab, would sometimes discreetly pee in her parents house, though the girl dog never had an “accident” at home. Poncho breaks down his answer into four points. Know Your Animal – Dogs eliminate when they feel the need, unless they have been taught otherwise. A couple of triggers dogs … Continue reading »


Dog Training: Why hitting or using pain are not the ideal choices

June 1, 2016

Dog Training: Why hitting or using pain are not the ideal choices

Dogs are my world. What can I say, I love canines! It’s no wonder my chosen profession is certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant. Oftentimes at social events, when someone learns I specialize in dogs, I’m asked about my training philosophy or solicited for advice. Recently, a journalist asked for my thoughts on “why hitting or using pain doesn’t work” for an article she was writing. Further, she wanted to know what resulting behavior(s) dog owners can expect when using this type of training and what should a dog owner do when they feel frustrated, angry, and are tempted to hit. I have lots and lots to say on this subject, however, I decided to whittle my thoughts to some … Continue reading »


Pet Planner and Organizer for when you’re away

May 15, 2016

Pet Planner and Organizer for when you’re away

As the saying goes, “variety is the spice of life.” For many, this is true. On the flip side, we also find comfort in our daily routines, as do inquisitive canines. Meal time, walk time, play time, nap time, snack time, snuggle time, bed time, just to name a few. As a certified professional dog trainer and  behavior consultant, I can’t overemphasize the importance of preparing, well in advance, for those times when you’ll be away from home for just an afternoon, a family vacation, or forever. So much of the information you have in your head needs to be written down to ensure your inquisitive canine’s routine is stable, and comfort level isn’t jeopardized, should you be unavailable.  Hard copy … Continue reading »


Puppy Parent Tip Sheet

May 1, 2016

Puppy Parent Tip Sheet

There is no peak season for puppies, but my experience as a certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant has shown summer to be one of the busier training times for young inquisitive canines. Any time is a good time for puppy training. Summer, though, has the added benefit of kids typically being out of school, which allows extra time for bonding and training with their pups. Kind of puts a brand new meaning to “dog days of summer,” doesn’t it? Training is fun for inquisitive canines and their humans. Dogs are social animals. They want to interact with humans. Keeping things pawsitive sets the stage for quick learning on both ends of the leash. Following are pointers to make the most out of your … Continue reading »


Upcycle Leftovers Into High Value Dog Treats

April 3, 2016

Upcycle Leftovers Into High Value Dog Treats

Last week a private training client mentioned that their dogs had some dietary restrictions, but were allowed to have salmon. Fortunately for me, I had just roasted salmon for our dinner and had some left over, along with brown rice and chopped herbs. Yay! Aside from working with dogs and their humans, I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, especially when I have a goal of coming up with special treats for inquisitive canines. Thanks to the food processor, an egg, and some flax seed, the mixture turned out quite lovely. Low and slow in the oven (40 minutes, 325 degrees convection), cooled and sliced up with pizza cutter made for quite a large batch of these morsels that both dogs found … Continue reading »


Dog Rehabilitation: Your choice is in jeopardy

February 24, 2016

Dog Rehabilitation: Your choice is in jeopardy

As a certified professional dog trainer, I find Karen Atlas of HydroPaws, an animal rehabilitation and performance center, amazing. Karen is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT) and an experienced and licensed human Physical Therapist (PT), as well. Along with her work as Director of Rehabilitation at HydroPaws, Karen is the President of the California Association of Animal Physical Therapists, and the CAAPT is on a mission. CAAPT seeks toplay a leading role in making recommendations to lawmakers on how to protect consumers while keeping access open for rehab services by allowing humans to choose qualified, safe, and competent non-vet rehabilitation therapists for their pets. CAAPT’s tagline says it all: ”We exist to protect your right to choose your own qualified non-vet rehabilitation therapist and … Continue reading »


Basic Dog Training – Step #2

January 18, 2016

Basic Dog Training – Step #2

As a certified professional dog trainer and  behavior consultant, I take a pawsitive approach to dog training as an easy, simple, and fun way to enhance the everyday relationship between dogs and their guardians. Dog training should be enjoyable and strengthen the bond between a human and dog.  Like Dog Training Step #1, Dog Training Step #2 is a super-simple activity. It’s a two-part step with Sit and Down as the learned behaviors. Sit Maybe the most common command, “sit” is an invaluable behavior. Oftentimes, it can be a lifesaver, like when something real playful across a busy street catches your dog’s eye. Ask your dog to “sit” in a cheerful tone of voice. Then pause for a second or two (one-one thousand, two-one … Continue reading »