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Category Archives: K9 Independent Study

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 »


Back to School for Dogs Too – Homeschooling session 2

October 1, 2016

Back to School for Dogs Too – Homeschooling session 2

Hey there inquisitive dog lover! Welcome to session 2 of our Back to School for Dogs Too homeschooling series. If you’re just joining us, check out session 1 for tips and lessons on getting started. If you’re continuing on, we say “Yay!” click-treat, and thank you for participating. For this specific installment, we will be focusing on “Sit” and “Down.” As a certified trainer, I have come to lump these, along with eye-contact, as the main trifecta of dog behaviors. If your inquisitive canine can master these, then you will not only set yourselves up for success, but will also create a solid foundation for many other behaviors and situations. Here we go! Sit Wait for your dog to sit. … Continue reading »


Yellow Vest: Service Dog or Canine Fashion Statement?

August 3, 2015

Yellow Vest: Service Dog or Canine Fashion Statement?

No matter your politics, I think you’ll join me in saluting the United States Department of Justice for its clarification on service animals – FAQs on Service Animals. As a certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, I see SO much inconsistent information on the subject. “I have heard stories  from well-intentioned dog lovers  — and even witnessed — what I would consider law-stretching and boundary-crossing. Some of these actions risk endangering the public, and putting dogs at risk too. Plus, they could create situations where laws would be changed that negatively impacted those that really need services dogs.”  We encourage you to read through all of the FAQs on Service Animals. Written in clear, concise language, the FAQs on Service Animals starts with the basic questions “What is … Continue reading »


Jack Russell Superstar: The Amazing & True Tale of Jesse the Jack

March 9, 2015

What’s your Inquisitive Canine’s favorite thing to do? Sniff? Explore? Agility?  Maybe yours is more of the eat, pray, love type. My sidekick Poncho enjoys a lot of different activities, and he’s very good about any work-related task I request of him. I’m bringing this up because of one of my favorite videos. Just Jesse the Jack stars Jesse, a Jack Russell Terrier, and Heather, his genius handler. Heather honed in on Jesse’s natural abilities and taught him amazing things by capitalizing on behaviors she liked and putting them to good use. I know you’ll enjoy and appreciate Jesse. While watching the video, zero in on how Heather adapted his innate canine skills to our human environmental needs. For example: … Continue reading »


Training Options for Outgoing Dogs

February 23, 2015

Training Options for Outgoing Dogs

The list of inquisitive canine-specific sport and activities keeps growing and growing, and as a dog trainer and dog mom I think that’s fabulous! Having such a variety of options for dogs and humans to choose from is wonderful. Individual dogs usually have a preference for a certain sport. Think about it. Is your dog a sniffer? A fetcher? A swimmer? A catcher? Pusher or puller? I live in the Santa Barbara, California area and am able to play with my inquisitive canine all year round. Check out the following list of some of the more popular sports for inquisitive canines. Think of adapting them to the indoors. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new pastime for you and your dog. … Continue reading »


It’s Valentine’s Day for Dogs, too. Show Your Love with Some Dog Training

February 9, 2015

It’s Valentine’s Day for Dogs, too. Show Your Love with Some Dog Training

The day dedicated to sweethearts is right around the corner. That means you’ll want your inquisitive canine to be feeling the love. Valentine’s Day often means chocolate, and lots of other, candy. Poncho and I want to send a gentle reminder to make sure you’re managing your environment, keeping all of those types of human yummy treats out of your dog’s reach. Yes, safety is top priority for pets – through management of his or her environment – but that doesn’t mean you can’t show your love in a multitude of other ways. How about making it a scent-ual Valentine’s Day and setting up a Kibble Hunt? Poncho loves playing this as much as we love setting up the course. A few tips on … Continue reading »


Does Your Dog Like to Share Their Food and Toys?

July 5, 2012

When it comes to resources – food, toys, and locations – many animals, dogs included, prefer to keep it all to themselves. Learning to share is just that, a learned behavior. Guarding ones resources, is an innate behavior – and one that is very handy for survival.


Teach Your Dog to Enjoy Alone Time

March 19, 2012

Dear Poncho, Our dog Tessa is a wonderful addition to our family. She’s smart, lovable, and very obedient. Our only problem is leaving her alone. She cries, barks, and shreds her bed in the crate. If we leave her in the backyard, she chews at our fences, although eventually she settles down. She has also destroyed my car’s door panels when I’ve left her in there for even short periods of time (with open windows, in the shade, and with water, of course). We don’t know what to do about her complete agitation when she is away from us, and I don’t have time for long and intense training. Please help! Thank you, Cara Dear Miss Cara, Sounds like your … Continue reading »


Dog Training Basics to Prevent Fido From Being Left Out of the Group

February 1, 2012

Dear Poncho, Help! We’ve had family staying with us all weekend, and our dog, Wiley, has had a hard time behaving. At the family’s request, when we go outside, we have to put him inside, in his crate. That’s because if we let him out when we go out to play, he jumps on and nips at us, the extended family, neighbors, the gardener and anyone else stopping by for a visit. When we are inside, Wiley must be sent outside in the yard. Wiley is part of our family, and I want him to blend in and be able to play with us. When we try to ignore him by turning away, he jumps on our backs and also … Continue reading »