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

Recipes for Stuffing Chew Toys

Recipes for filling your dog's toys or bones

Has peanut butter been met with less enthusiasm than it used to? Even if your dog has yet not turned up his snout to the standard Kong filling, a little change here and there and can go a long way when filling a Kong or other treat dispensing chew toy. Consider yourself lucky if your dog goes nuts …Read More

Leash Training for People

Jack Leash Walking

In the dog world, it’s important to practice new behaviors without distractions and slowly introduce new noises, smells and sights. That all makes perfect senses in theory. But, how do you train your dog to walk on a leash inside when you really need a loose leash outside? It is all about foundation and setting …Read More