December 21, 2018

Brace yourselves, folks. This is going to be a LONG post, but that's because it is SO. FREAKING. IMPORTANT.

If you have a working breed dog, this is critical reading.

German Shepherds, Herding dogs, Hunting dogs, any kind of dog that was bred for a purpose of working with humans in partnership to perform a task. 

What I'm going to talk about in this post is responsible for about 80% of the private training clients I see. Meaning, this is the thing that was the...

December 4, 2018

This post was originally written for Sidewalk Dog Media. You can see the original article here. March 17, 2017

Is your pup a little unsure in new situations? Want to remind your dog of his inner strength and super powers? Just looking for a way to connect more with your four-legged pal? Here are some tips to build your dog’s confidence – and his trust in you!

Let Them Explore

Encourage your pup to explore her new surroundings and sniff as much as she wants. Ju...

November 27, 2018

What Are My Options? 
You’ve found yourself in a situation. Your dog is doing something different, or strange, or bothersome, or even worrisome. You aren’t quite sure what to do about it, but you know that something needs to happen. That’s likely why you ended up on my website.  

This article will outline ALL of your options for what to do next, whether you decide to work with me or choose a different route. It’s good to know what’s on the table, and what...

November 26, 2018

This was originally posted on as a guest blog post June 20, 2017. Original link here.

If you are going to get a puppy, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can do is to select the right breeder. All too often, I have depressing conversations with new puppy parents (or owners of teenager dogs) where I have to explain that the "nature" portion of their dog's behavior is not fixable. Genetics are HUGE. 

Enough pre-amble. Here's the article. 


November 14, 2018

 That, my friends, is the look of incredulity. 

Yup, a dog trainer at a life coaching conference may feel a bit out of place. And I did. For about 3 minutes. 

If you've been following along on Facebook, you heard about my trip to California for the Rich Litvin Intensive. 

I've been back for about a month, and I'm finally in a place to share my experience with all of you. Took a while to process! (that, and moving, and some medication changes, made life a...

July 20, 2018

I've changed River's food from kibble to dehydrated raw. Next up is exercise.

Here's what would NOT work: more chuckit/frisbee/runningandchasingthings. This is arousing exercise and does nothing for her brain. It expends some calories, but it gets her brain into a heightened level of arousal, and I have no good way of bringing her back down.

Enter decompression walks ala Sarah Stremming. 

I've been off leash hiking with my dogs since I got them. Seriously, Mic...

July 19, 2018

 If you're just joining, I'm blogging about trying to "fix" my own dog, River, using my own training principles. Right now we're going through the fundamentals: nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and communication. 

First up: nutrition.

I thought I had done  a pretty good job on the nutrition front. Listening more and more to Sarah Stremming's podcast (cogdog radio) though has led me to take a closer look at this and go deeper. And be more thorough...

July 18, 2018

 My dogs are not perfect. Well, Mica is close, but they both have flaws. And I certainly am not perfect. I'm chock full of flaws!

You know that saying about the cobbler's kids going barefoot? Yeah, it's starting to happen to my poor dogs. I help other people with their dogs all day long, so I find myself entering "appeasement" mode with my own two.

What's the minimum I can do to keep them happy because I'm exhausted and mentally spent?

It's definitely not fair...

May 26, 2018

 I've been feeling a lot like this lately. Conflicted, confused, and all turned around.

I just read the profile of another successful trainer in an attempt to figure out the secret sauce. What's working for her? 

danger danger danger danger

That was a dumb move. Ever heard of impostor syndrome? 

Well, it did trigger something productive. It prompted me to dig a little deeper and figure out why I'm doing this in the first place.

I won't lie to you. The busin...

May 9, 2018

You're walking down the sidewalk with your dog by your side, enjoying the afternoon sunshine. Ahead, another dog and her person come around the corner.... You panic.

You stop breathing for a moment, feeling the burst of adrenaline sweep through you. You glance quickly down to your dog, hoping he hasn't seen the trigger yet. Unconsciously, you tighten your grip on the leash and shorten your step.

Your dog, in tune with your physiological changes, notices the d...

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