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Category Archives: Puppy Power

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 »


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 »


Puppies as presents … well, you asked my opinion

December 17, 2015

Puppies as presents … well, you asked my opinion

As a  certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, during the Pawliday Season I hear this every day:  “I’m going to get the kids a puppy for Christmas. What do you think?” Hmm … where to begin … I’m thinking SO many things. Instead of bursting anyone’s “Hallmark moment” bubble, I just smile, giggle, and agree that having a puppy – or adult dog, or cat, or …– is magical. There really isn’t anything like the love and joy of a furry friend … trust me! But when it comes to buying a puppy for someone else, even if it’s within the same household, I encourage people to really think hard about this type of “purchase,” from both the giver and the recipient(s) point of view. … Continue reading »


Coming When Called and Making Sure Your Dog Does

March 23, 2015

Coming When Called and Making Sure Your Dog Does

My dog loves to play off-leash in our neighborhood park. I’m becoming more and more reluctant to let him go leash-less as he’ll ignore my calls and sometimes it takes forever for him to come. Who knows how long I’ll have to spend calling and waiting. I get annoyed. He doesn’t understand. We’re both frustrated. The main thing is his safety. My happy off-leash dog wanders far and wide, out of my sight most times. I’m afraid he’ll run into the street and get hit by a car. Or someone might dognap him. Please help. Owner of a Wandering Woofer Dear Wandering, Sounds like your inquisitive canine has a bad case of “selective hearing.” My mom, a certified professional dog … Continue reading »


Building Trust with Your New Bashful Bow-wow

August 5, 2012

Building Trust with Your New Bashful Bow-wow

Dear Inquisitive Canine,  Our new Shih Tzu puppy hides from us, only coming out when no one is around. She also lowers her head when we pet her. I know it takes time, but I’ve heard some dogs will start interacting with their new environment after 1-3 days, and tomorrow will be her third day here. I just want her to be a happy puppy. What should I do and how should I do it? Renee T. Dear Renee, Poncho here! My certified dog trainer mom thought it best if I take this one. First off, allow me to say “atta girl!” for being inquisitive, aware of your situation and taking the time to ask questions about your new puppy. … Continue reading »


Puppy Thinks Sibling Cat is a Squeaky Toy

May 20, 2012

Puppy Thinks Sibling Cat is a Squeaky Toy

Dear Poncho, My name is Greta. I’m a 7-month-old German Shepherd who is absolutely fascinated by my kitty siblings. I can’t seem to leave them alone. I’ve been told they are beloved family members, but part of me thinks they would make really interesting windup squeaky toys. I keep attempting to figure out how to get them to squeak, which totally freaks out my humans. Since I’d like to remain part of the family, do you have any suggestions on how I can control this behavior? Greta Dear Miss. Greta, Congratulations! Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward gaining control. I commend you for being able to get this far, especially when the behavior you speak of … Continue reading »


Training Tips for Teaching Your Dog Not to Speak

April 23, 2012

Dear Poncho, My dog barks enthusiastically, very loudly, over and over. He does it at many different times, including the morning when I’m taking him outside, when I come home from being away, or when we arrive home together from a car ride. He barks in the car, out of the car, and everywhere between! I don’t know how to stop him. I tell him “No,” but then he usually barks at least two to four more times! Do you have any suggestions? Tj’s owner Dear inquisitive canine parent of TJ, Your dog barks, you give him attention by saying “no”, he barks again. Hmm, sounds to me you’ve done a great job at teaching him to “speak” – nice work! I … Continue reading »


Information for New Dog Owners to Chew on

September 26, 2011


Original Inquisitive Canine Joins Santa Barbara Edhat Community

September 6, 2011

It’s official folks! This inquisitive canine has teamed up with our local online news site Edhat-Santa Barbara with my very own dog behavior and training advice column. Similar to the one me and my mom co-write, Dear Inquisitive Canine, I’ll be doling out my own pooch’s perspective. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what I’m calling it. A Pooch’s Perspective is exclusive to the Edhat community. It will include dog behavior Q&A, dog behavior and training tips, along with a side-order of canine quips – because well, that’s just who I am. I encourage you to check out, read through, ask questions and leave comments. Edhat is built on community involvement, and I agree with and am honored they … Continue reading »


Painless DogTraining Tips to Help With Puppy Biting and Nipping

July 13, 2011

Painless DogTraining Tips to Help With Puppy Biting and Nipping

I’ve been hearing a lot of this lately: “Ouch! My puppy’s teeth are like needles!” Yep – that’s what puppies do. Bite, chew, nip, shred and chomp some more. Their mouth is the perfect tool to explore the world and all that’s in it. So what are new puppy owners supposed to do to help the situation? The following are a few simple steps those who may be experiencing this painful situation, in a pretty painless way. Know your animal: Remember, dogs use their mouths to explore the world! This means, if it appears interesting, and it’s within reach, it will be investigated. Dogs also use their mouths (and teeth) to play with things, destroy things, and just for lots … Continue reading »