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Category Archives: Puppy Training

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 »


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 »


Dog Training Tips for Chewing Mouthing & Nipping

April 1, 2011

Dog Training Tips for Chewing Mouthing & Nipping

Dear Inquisitive Canine: I recently purchased a Maltese/Pekingese mix. He is only 13 weeks old, but his biting habits are getting worse. No one can sit without him biting their feet or attacking their shoes. I have tried putting him in his crate after saying “no” to him. But nothing seems to deter him. Do you have any suggestions? — Kathy Dear Kathy: Ah, yes, bees gotta sting, birds gotta fly and dogs gotta … mouth, chew and chomp! What a great question! Thank you for taking the essential steps in finding a solution for precluding those “Jaws” interactions with your puppy’s sharp, needle-like teeth. Isn’t it amazing how something that small can cause that much pain and discomfort? I … Continue reading »


Inquisitive Canine: Tips for Keeping ‘Ruff’ Housing From Getting Too Rough, Part I

February 4, 2011

Dear Inquisitive Canine, I recently adopted Tucker, my 4-month-old male border collie and lab mix, as a friend for my 3-year-old dog Polo, another male of the same mixed breed. Upon meeting Tucker I was taken over by his rambunctious behavior, but I figured he was a puppy and that this was something normal, and as time went on he’d begin to adapt to our family and his new brother Polo. However, a few negative behaviors still remain. Tucker is constantly picking on Polo, which is at times a gesture to begin to play, which Polo accepts, but when he does not, Tucker does not understand that he needs to stop. I am afraid Tucker may injure Polo, as he … Continue reading »


Puppy Proofing Your Home: Dog training tips for new puppy owners

December 22, 2010

The holiday season brings a time for increased adoption rate of puppies. This means it’s time to plan for when you bring your new bundle of furry love home! Setting your puppy and yourself up for success is the sure way to start out on the right paw. This will not only help during the initial stages of puppy-hood, but will set the stage for your lifetime together. As a certified professional dog trainer, these are a few of my top tips for puppy and dog proofing one’s home: Ensuring your pet’s safety in and around the house and yard: Make sure yard enclosures are secure and safe. Including fences and gates. Also look for areas that might be prone … Continue reading »


House-Training Success Using Positive Reinforcement: How rainy weather works to your advantage

December 20, 2010

It’s day #3 of rainy weather here in Southern California. Personally, I’m loving it! My sidekick Poncho the dog, not so much. Although he is an adult, there are times when he will opt to go potty inside and not out in the yard. This usually happens when we’re not paying attention – our fault – or when the weather is bad and he’s not hanging around outside or going on walkies – again, our fault! What does this mean for us humans? That we have to stay on top of it with management and making sure we’re offering him the opportunity to go outside! AND, following my own recommendations I provide in my FREE House-Training eBook, here’s the most … Continue reading »


Dog and Puppy Socialization: Great No Matter Our Age

June 27, 2009

Dog and Puppy Socialization: Great No Matter Our Age

If you know this 10-pound mutt, and my mom the rockin’ certified professional ventura dog trainer, then you know we’re all about proper puppy socialization! But what does dog and puppy socialization really mean? Well, I’m here to tell you… Similar to taking young children out into the world when they’re young, just so they can adapt more easily to their environment, and just like enrolling children  in tons of activities like music lessons, sports activities, arts and crafts, reading programs, after school programs, day care, pre-school etc…it’s important to take us dogs out when we’re young. Whether it be to dog training classes, dog social play groups, or friends houses. This doesn’t mean to endanger us in any way… … Continue reading »


House Training Basics for Dog and Puppy Owners Alike

February 14, 2009

House Training Basics for Dog and Puppy Owners Alike

Dear Poncho, Could you tell me why my 13-year-old lab, who has never had an accident in the house, will sometimes pee when my parents watch her. They have a female lab and so she likes to stay there, I just don’t know why she discreetly pees when she’s there. It has happened only four or five times over many years, but it is four or five times too many! Cheers! Deena Dear Miss Deena, I’m sorry to hear about this frustrating situation you’re having with your dog, especially since this isn’t her usual MO. I’m sure it makes you nervous about dropping her off for sleepovers at your parents’ house. Being a dog myself, I can certainly address the … Continue reading »