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

Teach Your Dog “Leave It”

Train your dog to avoid trash on the streets

Whether your dog fancies other dog’s poop or you live in a neighborhood peppered with trash, you can teach your dog to avoid all things nasty on the street. I constantly struggle with whether or not to teach my clients “leave it”. Why? After we introduce the cue and practice a couple times, the very …Read More

Learning Patience from Dogs

fin-4 copy

I am a teacher. My days are spent showing dogs acceptable new behaviors and coaching their humans on how to do the same. I have learned a lot over the years by listening and observing, and I have found that enlightenment does not stop when I leave work.  Dogs are amazing creatures. Without their knowledge, …Read More

Winter Training for Your Dog

Howard eating snow

Whether you frown or smile when snow falls, you have to remember your beloved dog(s) during winter months. With a few simple tips, you can keep your dog happy, healthy and training momentum strong even when life is thrown off by frigid temperatures. Health and safety are priority.  Many Chicago residents live without a yard. …Read More

The Right Way to Use Treats

Avoid common mistakes using treats in dog training

As a reward-based training advocates, we see remarkable transformations in canine behavior by tapping into each dog’s top motivator(s). We find it is much easier to determine what is expected of your dog in troublesome situations and train an acceptable behavior than to punish a naughty act. It makes perfect sense, good is behavior is rewarded, it happens more …Read More

The Cuteness Curse

Ask before petting a dog

Look at this face.  You want to pet him, don’t you? Have you ever wondered if he wanted you to pet him?  Just because a dog is cute and looks good to you does not mean he or she loves to be touched; especially by strangers. I am not suggesting that you get on hands …Read More