Machine Mindset

Words like “fix”, “stop”, “guaranteed” and “instantly” can be synonymous with dog behavior and training. But, as trainers who have studied and carefully watch our canine counterparts’ behavior; we often cringe when we see those words. Dogs are unbelievably intelligent, highly individual in their motivation and thresholds for stress or distraction; and also deeply emotional. And, …Read More

Over It Syndrome

Franklin is OVER IT

Have you ever had one of those days where you spill coffee on yourself as you race out the door, then, JUST as you notice the giant dent on your rear bumper that was not there last evening when you parked; you feel a SQUISH under your favorite pair of boots that you know has to be dog poop? …Read More

The Controversial Muzzle


“Hannibal Lector”, “Cujo” or my least favorite, “how dare you have that vicious beast out of the house?” while glaring at the person holding the leash. I have heard all those mutterings, and more, when working outside with a client and their muzzled dog. Muzzles prevent bites, it is that simple. If your dog has bitten another …Read More

Prioritize to Succeed

Giant Schnauzer "Molly" smiling on her bed

This week, I was in a session with a lovely couple and their adorable puppy who’s wiggle-jiggle, butt-smacking wag matches her endearing personality. The husband asked me to review the chew toy exercise I showed them during our last appointment because they had not done much work with it. Gasp! Actually…I didn’t gasp because mom …Read More

Dread in the City


One of the saddest behaviors we encounter is an extremely fearful dog living in the heart of Chicago. Sure, many dogs absolutely love their walks. But, a dog who has innate, negative physical responses to cars, buses, the El, other dogs and people coming at them; the patience needed to help these dogs learn that …Read More

Staring is Rude


Wait, hold the phone. We told you eye contact was good but now it’s not? So confusing! Fido looking at his mom with soft eyes, a relaxed face and giant grin; all super awesome. Fifi staring at the cat, frozen stance and a tense mouth; not good at all. There is no need for a …Read More

Teaching Calm and Leash Walking

Leash walking training for dogs who like to bark

Leash walking is one of my favorite things to teach because it allows dogs to get out and enjoy some much needed exercise and if trained properly, can be very relaxing for all involved.  For those of you who have never had a dog walk on a LOOSE leash, it is a pretty phenomenal feeling. …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

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