Bringing up Puppy! First Vet Visit

Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. We will be sharing videos, pictures and blog posts that includes great tips for all…

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Bringing up Puppy! Tucker and Karl Interact

Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. We will be sharing videos, pictures and blog posts that includes great tips for all…

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Bringing up Puppy! Meeting Karl

Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. We will be sharing videos, pictures and blog posts that includes great tips for all…

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Bringing up Puppy! Socialization – Day School Week 2

Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. We will be sharing videos, pictures and blog posts that includes great tips for all…

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Bringing up Puppy! Socialization Part 2

Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. Each day we will be sharing videos, pictures and blog posts that includes great tips…

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Bringing up Puppy! Socialization Part 1

Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. Each day we will be sharing videos, pictures and blog posts that includes great tips…

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Bringing up Puppy! We have a name!

Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. Each day we will be sharing videos, pictures and blog posts that includes great tips…

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Bringing up Puppy! Puppy Proofing & Redirecting to Toys

Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. Each day we will be sharing videos, pictures and blog posts that includes great tips…

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Bringing up Puppy! Schedules & Potty Training

Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. Each day we will be sharing videos, pictures and blog posts that includes great tips…

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Bringing up Puppy! Preparing house & and Bonding

Join us in this series, where we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets her new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. Each day we will be sharing videos, pictures and blog posts that includes great tips…

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Bringing up Puppy! First day

Getting a new puppy is always a challenge… even for trainers! Join us each day as we follow in the footsteps of our lead trainer and owner Linda Brennen, as she gets a new puppy and experiences all the challenges and joys of adding a new puppy to the family. Each day we will be…

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Thunderstorm Phobias in Dogs

Colorado is famous for its daily thunderstorms. For many dogs, these storms can create stress and sometimes even panic. Why are dogs afraid of thunderstorms? A better question may be “why not?” Dogs can go for years having no fear of storms, then one day they hear a loud boom of thunder that scares them and everything…

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Promoting Healthy Play (Part 3 of 3)

The last two posts on dog play styles (Part 1 and Part 2) covered the main categories of play, what they look like, and management techniques to keep all dogs playing safely and happily. If you haven’t read them already, please go back and read those posts before reading this conclusion. While consent tests work…

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Promoting Healthy Play (Part 2 of 3)

Last week I discussed the two main styles of dog play: wrestling and chasing. If you missed that post, please go back and read it before continuing onto this one where I’ll expand those ideas in the context of confidence, over arousal, and management techniques. The biggest challenge we see in our Puppy Practice and…

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Promoting Healthy Play (Part 1 of 3)

Puppy and adult dog play can often be troubling to watch if you don’t know what to look for. “Is Fido really having fun? Because that doesn’t look like fun if I were the one playing!” I regularly have clients ask me during Puppy Play Time what appropriate dog play looks like and if their…

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Puppies and Cookies and Teeth, Oh My!

Are you living with a land shark? When you give your dog a treat does he take a finger with it? There are several reasons dogs take treats too hard: they haven’t been taught not to, they are overly aroused or anxious, or you are simply holding the treat too high. The most common reason…

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Dog Training Tips For Surviving Your Dog’s Adolescence

Just like human children, our dogs go through that dreaded period of social development that strikes fear in the hearts of all parents – adolescence. This is a period where individuals will test boundaries and assert their independence. This is also the period when many dog owners give up, and many dogs end up at…

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Does My Dog Need a Friend?

This is the first of several blogs about multi-dog households. As I sat down to write, I realized many factors are involved, and they cannot be wrapped up neatly in one short blog post. For the first part, we will look at the question of whether or not you should get a second dog. It…

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Halloween and your Dog

Make the most of your Halloween, while still keeping your dog healthy, happy, and safe. I often hear comments from people about the great costume they got for their dog, and how they can’t wait to take him out Trick-or-Treating. I have several concerns about this practice. First of all, how well do you know…

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Choosing a Dog

In addition to teaching puppy and obedience classes, solving behavioral issues are a big part of my job. Most often these problems are not necessarily with the dog but with clients having chosen the wrong dog for their lifestyle. If I am lucky, a client will contact me before getting a dog and I can…

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Canine Bloat

While preparing for my monthly post I often look around on the internet for topics to discuss in my training tip. This morning I came upon a Facebook post that included a video of a dog bloating. I’m not sure how many of you know about bloat (also called stomach torsion or GVD, gastric dilatation and…

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Door Dashing

Does your dog make a mad dash for freedom every time he sees an open door? Door Dashing strikes fear in the hearts of most dog owners, as every dog will try it at least once. Knowing what to do could save your dog’s life. First let’s talk about what you can do to prevent…

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How to Choose a Dog Trainer

There is a lot confusion about appropriate and effective training techniques and methodologies in the dog training world of today, therefore dog owners must become educated consumers when hiring a dog trainer. So how do you choose the best trainer for you and your dog? 1. Get a referral from friends, your veterinarian, groomer or pet sitter,…

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Dog Stress

The Waldo Canyon wildfire has made the past week extremely difficult for all of us here in Colorado Springs, and that includes our dogs. In addition to the physical discomfort due to the high heat and smoke-filled air, we have experienced uncertainty and an emotional roller coaster due to the fire and evacuations. So this…

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Yogi the Corgi

For my Training Tip this month I had to look no further than the internet. It amazes me the things that dogs do that people think are funny, until they are not. For those who missed it, check out this video that went viral of Yogi the Corgi setting his kitchen on fire. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEtg7QZCbPk The…

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How to Love a Dog

Part of the definition of loving someone, whether that someone is a spouse, sibling, child or friend, is getting to know their likes and dislikes, their wants and needs. It also helps to learn about what makes them feel loved. I think the same applies to loving our dogs. Whether or not dogs truly feel…

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Dog Training while Playing Games: Tug and Chase

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! In our busy daily lives it’s very easy to become focused on all the things we have to do, and forget about all the things we like to do. And while I’m the first to point out how important it is to spend time training your dog, playing with your dog…

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Holidays with your Dog

It’s that busy, crazy Holiday time of year again! Here are some Holiday Training Tips for your dog: 1. Maintain as normal a schedule as possible for your dog, including feeding, walking, and quiet or nap time. 2. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of regular exercise, with walks, trips to the park, or…

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Your Dog: To Punish or Not to Punish

Corrective or punishment based training has become a very controversial subject over the last ten to twenty years. When I began training my first dog, in the mid 1970s, the only training classes available were correction based. That means when teaching the dog a new skill we praised him when he got it right, and…

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Exercise for your Dog

Over the next few months my training tips will address common dog behavior problems, and what you can do to prevent them. Most often behavior problems are normal, natural, and often necessary dog behaviors that are simply being expressed in inappropriate ways. They usually are a result of some basic need of the dog that…

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Dog Socialization

When I bring this subject up with most dog owners, their mind immediately goes to their dog’s relationship with other dogs. Often they respond: “we have another dog at home, so do I need to socialize him?” or “We’re socializing him. He goes to the dog park regularly.” I’ve even heard “He’s never going to…

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Helping your dog through 4th of July

My training tip for this month is: Helping Your Dog Through the 4th of July. Between the heat, the crowds, and the noise, many dogs find this a particularly difficult holiday. So here are some tips to help keep your dog safe and happy while you enjoy the celebrations. •  Make sure your dog gets…

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Train your Dog to Stop Jumping

Dogs jump up on people for two reasons. Jumping begins because it is s normal greeting behavior among dogs, especially for puppies greeting older “pack members”. It continues because it works. Dogs always get attention for jumping. In some cases, especially with smaller dogs, people will actually reward the puppy by petting him when he…

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How to Interpret your Dog’s Body Language

In the past few weeks I have seen a disturbing trend on Facebook and YouTube that I wanted to address. Several “funny” videos have been posted and shared showing dogs acting “guilty.” What disturbs me is both the misunderstanding of what the dogs are actually saying, and that people are making a joke of the…

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Dog Leash Manners

The concept of dog leash manners is really simple, but to be successful you must consistently follow these rules: 1.  Don’t pull on your dog. Many people try to use their leash to control, and to communicate with, their dog. If you steer your dog with the leash or you pull your dog along when…

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Puppy Socialization

I talk a lot about socialization with young puppies both in my seminar Understanding Your New Puppy, and in Puppy Kindergarten class. But even after laying a firm foundation in early puppyhood, socialization is an ongoing process, as Karl reminded me over the last few days. He recently began showing fear towards unfamiliar men in…

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Holiday Survival Guide for your Dog

As we find ourselves in the middle of holiday crazy time, I thought I’d help out with a Holiday Survival Guide for you and your pets. 1. Maintain as normal a schedule as possible for your dog, including feeding, walking, and quiet or naptime. 2. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of regular exercise,…

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Trick-or-Treating With Your Dog

I often hear comments from people about the great costume they got for their dog, and how they can’t wait to take him out Trick-or-Treating. I have several concerns about this practice. First of all, how well do you know your dog? Is he calm, confident, and friendly? Does he like being around crowds of…

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Dog Parks – Part 3

We’re in the dog park, so now what? Once you’ve entered the dog park, move quickly with your dog away from the gate area. Excitement and anxiety levels can be very high at the gate, especially if the area is crowded, causing spats between dogs. Try to keep his attention, and stay close to your…

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Dog Parks – Part 2

Making the Most of Your Dog Park Visit! Before you get into the park: Are you prepared? Do you have all of you supplies, clean up bags, water and bowl (if necessary), treats and clicker for training? Take care of all your “business” before you get to the park so you can concentrate on your…

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Dog Parks – Part 1

Recently, many of my clients have asked my opinion of Dog Parks, so I thought I’d share some of my tips and concerns about dog park use. I personally am a fan of our dog park here in Briargate, and take my dogs there regularly. I have also visited many dog parks around the country…

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Dog Safety ID

Please make sure that your dog has proper identification at all times. As I write this, I have a cute little stray resting at my feet. He was found this morning outside of the dog park, and of course, he has no ID. All dogs should wear a flat, buckle collar with identification tags at…

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Be A Good Dog

What does “Be a good dog” mean, really? During my first contact with a client, either on the phone, or in class, I always ask “What are your goals?” I usually receive one of two answers. Either they reply “I just want the dog to be good”, which I will follow with “define good”. Or…

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What’s In A Dog’s Growl

Often clients will ask me, “My dog growled at (me, another dog, my neighbor, etc.), what should I do?” By growling, your dog is trying to tell you, in the least threatening way possible, that he feels uncomfortable with what is happening. So what you shouldn’t do is reprimand or punish him. By correcting him…

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