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Category Archives: Your New Dog

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 »


Basic Dog Training – Step #1

September 14, 2015

Basic Dog Training – Step #1

Chances are good you are reading this because you have a new family member – an inquisitive canine. Congratulations and welcome to your new family member!  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 Step #1 is a super-simple activity. (Maybe you are already doing it.) Gaze into Each Other’s Eyes  Have fun teaching your dog to look you in the eyes. Reward your dog with high-value yummy treats, petting and praise whenever s/he looks into your eyes. Start out with a quick glance and then increase the duration to a few seconds. Prompt your dog … Continue reading »


Welcoming Your New Dog Home

August 17, 2015

Welcoming Your New Dog Home

Anytime of year is a good time to welcome a new inquisitive canine family member into your home — whether it be a puppy or an adult dog. As a dog mom, I know firsthand how life enriching and meaningful the human-animal bond can be. Everyday I give thanks for the relationship my 10-pound mutt, Poncho, and I have. As a certified professional dog trainer, I know that making your home as dog friendly as possible before your new family member arrives will create a smooth transition and reduce stress for everyone, including the dog. So for you pet-parents-to-be, here are a few simple tips to start things out on the right paw. Health & Wellness:  Prevention is key! Schedule a … Continue reading »


Dog Training Creates a Mutt-Match Made in Heaven

February 3, 2015

How to Play Mutt-Matchmaker Dear Poncho, Several years ago, I brought a new puppy into the family “to keep my older dog company.” That backfired because they fought constantly. The older one passed away a few years ago, but now I’d love to add another dog to my family. What is the best way to introduce a new dog into a family with another dog while avoiding what happened the last time? KG Dear KG, Geez, I hate when a mutt-match backfires. As you’ve learned, arranging relationships between two or more dogs living in the same home takes more than just pointing to the cutest nearby pooch or making the decision based on who you think your dog would like. Speaking as an … Continue reading »


Shelter Dog Shopping Spree, Santa Barbara’s La Cumbre Plaza

August 22, 2013

Shelter Dog Shopping Spree, Santa Barbara’s La Cumbre Plaza

Calling all animal lovers, animal rescue advocates, and shopaholics! This Sunday, August 25, 2013 marks the official GRANDE OPENING of the newly established Give a Dog a Home – ReTails Adoption Center at La Cumbre Plaza here in Santa Barbara. From 12:00 – 2:00 PM, you can join the adorable available adoptable doggies, along with the gracious, giving and dedicated volunteers who’ve launched this exciting venture. There will be food, fun, furry friends, local politicians, animal advocates, and community members celebrating all things rescue dogs! What is Give a Dog a Home all about you ask? Well, thanks to the generous folks of La Cumbre Plaza donating one of their fabulous retail spaces, Santa Barbara shelter dogs are now able … 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 »


Santa Barbara Dog Shelter Celebrates Love of Irish & Dogs

March 9, 2012

Santa Barbara Dog Shelter Celebrates Love of Irish & Dogs

Looking to adopt a dog this March? If so, make sure you stop by K9 PALS in Santa Barbara to see if you can find your mutt-mate. The kind folks of the Placement and Assistance League are celebrating their 12 year anniversary with special adoption rates. And, because K9 PALS wants to be your pal too, your perfect pooch with already come spay/neutered with all of their vaccinations. But wait, there’s more!  They’re even throwing in 4 FREE dog training classes to help you and your inquisitive canine start out on the right paw together! P R E S S    R E L E A S E K-9 Placement & Assistance League, Inc. Contact:  Janelle Ward FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Telephone:  … Continue reading »


Resolve to Help Keep Dogs in Homes and out of Shelters

January 9, 2012

Dear Inquisitive Dog Parents, The new year is officially here. For many, this means creating lists of resolutions with intentions of modifying one’s behavior. In honor of this tradition, my sidekick, Poncho, and I have decided to join in, talking about resolutions to help dogs stay in their homes and out of animal shelters. We encourage you to team up with us and add the dogs of your community — whether your own or someone else’s — to your list of personal achievements. Solutions Start with Preparation According to a study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy on Reasons for Relinquishment of Companion Animals in U.S. Animal Shelters, the top reasons dogs are sent to … Continue reading »


Old Dog, New Year, New Resolutions

January 1, 2012

Attention Dog Parents! 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – Wow! Welcome to 2012! As an inquisitive canine who knows a lot about human behavior, I’ve learned that many of you bi-pedals start the new year with a list of self-improvement goals for the next twelve months. I thought it would be the perfect time to jump on this little bandwagon, explore a few of the more common commitments found on these resolution lists, and apply them to life with a dog. Here are my special tenet’s to honor the new year: Get Fit: Looking for ways to stay in shape or lose a little holiday weight? What about your dog’s weight? Is he or she more on the … Continue reading »