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Category Archives: Fido Fundamentals

Veterinary Nutritionist Dr. Cailin Heinze’s Recipe for Dog Feeding & Treating Success

April 11, 2017

Veterinary Nutritionist Dr. Cailin Heinze’s Recipe for Dog Feeding & Treating Success

Having a conversation about the best choices for dog food and treats is an invitation to open up Paw-ndora’s Box. So before I begin, let me first make it clear that I am not a vet, vet nutritionist or dog nutrition expert. However, I am a certified dog trainer and dog-mom who happens to be passionate about what she feeds her dog and what she uses for training. For our new dog, Ringo, hubby and I wanted to start out on the right paw with his dietary needs. Poncho, the original inquisitive canine, had many dietary issues during the last few years of his life. Because of this, we admittedly had some emotional baggage when it came to choosing Ringo’s … Continue reading »


Don’t Speak Woof? Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

March 16, 2017

Don’t Speak Woof? Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

Have you ever wished that you and your dog spoke the same language? While we don’t share the same vocal language, when you really think about it, we can very effectively and successfully read each other and mutually communicate our needs nonverbally, using body language. In fact, most of what your dog has to “say” is communicated through her facial expressions, body poses and postures. Some of the key areas of your dog to watch are her head, eyes, mouth/tongue, legs, and tail. For the most part, canine body language is predictive, universal throughout the species, honest and reliable. Sometimes the expressions can be more subtle, but even with an untrained eye, it won’t take you long to learn what … Continue reading »


No Dog Left Behind: Making the Case for Canine Education

March 1, 2017

No Dog Left Behind: Making the Case for Canine Education

Education is important — so much so that it’s written into our law… for humans. In the United States, there are compulsory education laws, which mandate that children attend school (public, private or home) by a certain age, and state they are not allowed to drop out (should they decide to) until a specific age. These laws were developed to help literacy rates, protect against child labor, and to better the population as a whole. If we, as a society, promote the importance of education for people, then I propose that it’s high time we advocate for a similar system for inquisitive canines. Dogs (and other non-human animals) are becoming more a part of our everyday culture. I submit that … Continue reading »


Say NO To Weapons of Mutt Destruction – Choose The Best Dog Walking Gear

February 3, 2017

Say NO To Weapons of Mutt Destruction – Choose The Best Dog Walking Gear

There is significant controversy over the use of aversive dog walking equipment such as choke, prong, electric, and Citronella collars. Although research confirms that there are many negative side effects created by using this kind of punishment-based gear, the use of inhumane training equipment is unfortunately pretty common. Even large pet stores that claim to be animal advocates continue to sell aversive walking and training equipment. As an inquisitive dog mom, animal advocate, and certified dog trainer, I often wonder how and why gear that causes, as the ASPCA puts it, “physical discomfort and undue anxiety,” is considered acceptable. Haven’t we figured out that animals (which include us humans!) learn better in an environment that is friendly, trusting, and filled with love — … Continue reading »


What to Look for When Choosing the Best Dog Trainer for Your Pet

January 19, 2017

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Dog Trainer for Your Pet

Recently I was on a run with a friend, and we were talking about how many dogs we saw along the way, as well as the people who were leading them. It was easy to spot the professionals, as they often had several dogs on leash. Still, by observing how the animals were being handled, it was apparent even to my non-dog-trainer friend that not all “professionals” are created equal. Knowing that I’m a certified trainer, she innocently asked, “Is it me, or does everyone think they can be a dog trainer?” In my experience, my friend’s observation was spot on. Many folks out there think that just because they’ve had dogs, grew up with dogs, love dogs, know dogs … Continue reading »


A Pawsitive Attitude is the Only New Year’s Resolution Needed for You and Your Dog

January 2, 2017

A Pawsitive Attitude is the Only New Year’s Resolution Needed for You and Your Dog

Hello inquisitive pet parents, and welcome to 2017! I can’t believe we’re starting a brand new year. Time flies when you’re having fun… especially when hanging out with inquisitive canines. When you think New Year, what’s the first word that springs to mind? If you couldn’t help but jump to “resolutions,” you’re not alone. Because who among us – human or canine – doesn’t desire and deserve a fresh start? The key to getting your year off in a pawsitive way is to come at your goals with a dog trainer’s perspective: changes in behavior come from acting in a consistent, rewards-based, loving manner, NOT from sporadic, negative, punishing action. My goal is to motivate, make it fun, and set … Continue reading »


Make Your List (Check It Twice!) To Prepare Your Pooch for Holiday Guests

December 15, 2016

Make Your List (Check It Twice!) To Prepare Your Pooch for Holiday Guests

The weather outside might be frightful, but that doesn’t mean your inquisitive canine’s holiday entertaining skills — or lack thereof — need to be. As a certified professional dog trainer, I am well aware that pet parents’ stress levels go up this time of year as they worry about how their dog is going to behave during the holiday hullabaloo. Will she jump on guests? Is he going to tackle grandma (again!)? Will the pup push over little Paulina? Help herself to the delectable prime rib roast left to rest on the counter? What about the ever-popular neighborhood exploration adventures that happen when arriving guests leave the front door open for a second too long? And then, of course, there … Continue reading »


Hello, Doggy: Teach Your Dog to Come When You Call

December 1, 2016

Hello, Doggy: Teach Your Dog to Come When You Call

Has this ever happened to you? You call your dog by name over and over… to no avail. Then you open a can of food and voilà! Out of nowhere, you hear the pitter-patter of paws heading toward you at top speed. As a certified trainer and also a dog mom, I feel very strongly that when it’s “recall” time, ALL dogs (yes, ALL dogs) need to be taught how to respond. It’s not just about manners – there are definitely times when getting your dog to come to you is for his safety. And it’s best to teach your pup before you need the behavior – not during. You wouldn’t teach someone a fire drill during a fire, right? … Continue reading »


Sure Fire Strategies to Teach Your Dog to Greet People Nicely

November 15, 2016

Sure Fire Strategies to Teach Your Dog to Greet People Nicely

The holidays are coming, and one of the best parts of this time of year is having friends and family over to celebrate together. For inquisitive canine parents with dogs that don’t know how to politely greet people, though, having people over often only adds to the stresses of the season. As a certified trainer, dog lover, and member of the therapy dog organization Love on a Leash, I find a composed canine greeting, be it at home or along the way, of the utmost importance – everyone appreciates a polite pooch. So let’s get started! GREETING NICELY The goal for Part 1 of this behavior training is to teach your dog that sitting or standing to greet you and … Continue reading »


Watch Me, Walk With Me: Loose Leash Dog Walking 101

November 1, 2016

Watch Me, Walk With Me: Loose Leash Dog Walking 101

Everyone knows you walk with your feet (or paws, depending on your species), but did you know that the secret to successful loose leash dog walking begins with a mutual connection that comes from the head and the heart? With any DIY dog training, you have to start with an understanding of inquisitive canine behavior. Put your pup on a leash, and s/he’s not going to stop doing what s/he’s wired to do: sniff, explore and investigate. The pull to examine everything that catches your dog’s eye is powerful… literally. This is why so often we see dogs walking their owners, and not the other way around. As a certified dog trainer, I appreciate when inquisitive canines trust their humans … Continue reading »