The Basics of Having a Good Dog

A few simple tweaks in how you interact with your dog can make a big difference.

Did you know that every minute you interact with your dog, he or she is learning what is acceptable or not?  Too often, folks want to react after a dog has been naughty but miss SO many opportunities when their dog is being good.  Here’s a few things to get you started or a good …Read More

Stay: The Right Way

Boxer/Mastiff mix "Levee" rocks a good down/stay outside!

It is very important not to rush this as it will only frustrate you and teach your dog the definition of “stay” is getting up.  Get your dog into a sit. Mark with a “yes” and then give quick flashes of the flat palm (stay hand signal) while simultaneously saying the word “stay”. Count to …Read More

Stumbling Into Resilience

Dogs can teach us amazing things about being human

I started this article in Spring 2012 as the third in our Lessons Learned Series.  Finn’s health declined and his well-being quickly became my only priority when I was not with clients and their dogs.  At the time, I admired my amazing dog for his strength and his lighthearted ways, despite having endured ample hard …Read More

Good Things Happen

Help for resource guarding dogs

One of the trickiest canine behaviors to live with and understand is Resource Guarding.  Why is it so difficult? It is very common for guarding dogs to be lovely, sweet, fun creatures 98% of the time.  Then BAM! You forget that your dog gets snarky over sticks until you have to pry one out of …Read More

Guiding Grace

Prevent resource guarding by doing take it and drop everyday for rewards

Oh puppies…they are so cute and fuzzy, you just want to eat them up.  Then, you go in for a belly rub and expect a little nuzzle or maybe even a kiss but the hethen grabs your pant legs with their shark teeth and when you try to pry him or her off; starts gnawing …Read More

Wrong Choices


Does your dog constantly whine while you eat dinner?  Is your puppy a jumping maniac when guests walk in the door despite you saying “sit”?  Are you prying your dog’s jaws open to see remnants of Wrigleyville vomit even after you said “leave it”?  It is frustrating, isn’t it? Your dog’s job is to politely …Read More

Space Invasion!

Common courtesy when out and about with your dog

A dear friend of mine who does not LOVE dogs and lives in an elevator building often asks me how to politely tell her neighbors she does not wish to have dogs plunge their face into her laundry basket on her way home.  Before you judge, she does not dislike animals.  She simply does not …Read More

The Sassy, Sensitive Type

Those confusing dogs who will bark for attention inside but shrink in fear outside

They lure you in with their good looks and charm.  You spend countless hours together in the house, easily enjoying each other’s company.  Yet, the instant you walk outside or have a friend come into your condo; your dog backs away, trembles and sometimes growls.  If only people saw the wind-up tail bounding to you as you …Read More

Trusting Your Gut with Dog Experts

Chocolate Lab Finn smiling for the camera

Desperation: we have all been there.  If you read my last article, you would know that I needed help in a very bad way. While I was fully committed to Finn’s well-being, what I had tried on my own was not working. But, I am a trainer. How could I not know how to train my …Read More


How to have a good dog, even when excited

Dog trainers often instruct clients to “manage” their dogs as the first step in any training routine.  I love learning and as a student of kayaking, yoga, cooking or whatever catches my interest; I sometimes scratch my head at another instructor’s lingo. It reminds me how important it is to define shop talk and terms …Read More