Housebreaking and Crate Training, Piece of Cake

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Feb 262018

Ellie, Golden Retriever, Plymouth, MA

Ellie’s owner contacted me because she was having difficulties with housebreaking this little cutie.

Even though Ellie’s owner was an experienced dog owner, things were a little different this time with 3 toddlers added to the mix.  How much can one mom juggle?

We got right to work setting up a schedule that was easy to follow, which eliminated accidents almost immediately.

Another issue Ellie had was her severe dislike of her crate.  Trying to get her in it had become a power struggle nightmare. So we worked on a more positive approach and now she loves her crate and going in it has become a breeze.

Only good things for this little girl in the days ahead.

I had so much fun with you guys.  Keep up the good work.




 Posted by on 02/26/2018

I’m Glad I’m Not In Charge Anymore

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Feb 122018

Tank, American Pit Bull Terrier, Middleboro, MA


Since Tank already knew basic obedience, we took those skills and practiced long line work to build distance and reliability in preparation for off-leash.  We also worked on distractions at the same time by having one of his toys right in front of him while practicing.

Tank is very smart when it comes to training, but has a bit of a stubborn streak and because of that his owners admitted to giving up at times.

Tackling a dog’s willfulness is not always easy but it is something that an owner must conquer if you ever plan on having an obedient dog.

I was so happy to have spent time with this family.  They are truly committed to Tank and know their responsibility to him includes his education.  That being said, it was easy to emphasis to them the need of being in charge with Tank and not the other way around, which was previously the case.  Those days are gone Tank, sorry.  You don’t drive the bus anymore.

I’m happy knowing this family will continue to be good ambassadors for this breed.  They are definitely on the right path.

Tank, if they start to slack off just let me know.  I’m here for you buddy!






 Posted by on 02/12/2018

Behaving Better Together

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Feb 022018

Jake & Oscar, Labrador Retrievers, East Bridgewater, MA

I started training these handsome boys when they were only 4 months old.   Double trouble is always better than just trouble and clowning around was never in short supply.

Other than being babies that didn’t know the rules yet, there really wasn’t anything out of the ordinary except to conquer the kinks of puppyhood. So we worked on housebreaking and obedience training.

It was important for their owner to know how to correctly handle them at the same time, which is always a little more challenging with two.  But if you keep things in perspective and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, you quickly realize that those individual training sessions pay off in the end.

I’m happy to report they haven’t received their eviction notices yet.

I will miss our fun filled mornings.

Nice work my boys!






 Posted by on 02/02/2018

Walking Better on Leash

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Jan 292018

Tucker, Hound Mix, Plymouth, MA

Tucker’s owners contacted me because they hadn’t had a puppy in a long time and wanted some assistance.

Tucker didn’t have any particular problems other than a little backsliding with housebreaking and pulling on the leash, so we did some work with obedience and walking.

He’s much better with walking on leash but still has a tendency to pull when he gets excited seeing someone new, so that is still a work in progress.  The thing to remember is that correcting is done through leash work, positive reinforcement and sometimes a collar change because of strength.   But continued practice is always the remedy, which is the case with obedience work anyway.  Practice, practice, practice and when you think you’ve practiced enough, practice some more.

Tucker also learned the place command to keep him from wondering around the studio getting into mischief, so his dad can concentrate on making music.

Tucker is a lucky boy who just happens to have a famous rocker for a dad and a pretty terrific mom.

Keep up the good work guys.



 Posted by on 01/29/2018

Training for Safety

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Jan 202018

Jenny, Beagle Mix, Halifax, MA

A friend contacted me to help train her father’s dog, Jenny.

There is no denying there are times that our dogs can get underfoot.   Let’s face it, we all trip over our dogs once in a while.  However, as we get older that can become a real safety concern.

Jenny’s biggest problem was that she would crowd her owner’s space while walking on leash.  She would also pull on her leash which added more of a safety issue.

Training with Jenny was about as easy as it gets.  She is not only eager to please but as sharp as a whip. Look at the attention!

I’m happy to report that Jenny’s owner quickly learned how to properly handle her on leash by directing her with positive reinforcement.

We also worked on door training for Jenny’s safety.  No more darting out the door.

I’m happy to report that these two did a wonderful job and now can enjoy their walks together even more.

I look forward to running into the two of you one of these days while out for a stroll.

Thanks for the chocolate, Joe.  I ate the whole thing! Ha ha





 Posted by on 01/20/2018

Isn’t she cute?

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Jan 192018



Nala, Labrador Retriever, Halifax, MA


Nala’s owners reached out to me to help them train their new puppy.  With a face like that how could I refuse?

Nala is a typical fun loving puppy that likes to play and be with her family.  Teaching her and working through the typical puppy behaviors is easy when you are fully committed, as this family has been.

We started with reinforcing the dos and don’ts of housebreaking, which she has done successfully.  Then we moved onto very basic training for now.

Keeping her attention, as with any puppy is limited, so it’s important to be clear in the small window you have during each training session.

She is off to such a great start.  Things will only get better from here.

Thanks for sharing her with me.  I had such a fun time and looking forward to doing more advanced training with her in the near future.

P.S. If you can’t find her one of these days, I swear I have no idea where she could be in my house!! lol




 Posted by on 01/19/2018

Our First Dog

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Jan 132018


Georgia, Pit Bull Mix, Bridgewater, MA

Georgia’s owner contacted me because she was the first dog the family had ever had and wanted to make sure they started out on the right foot.

Georgia is a rescue dog from Georgia who was facing her final days if a home or rescue could not be found.  Luckily she was saved and found herself heading north to her forever home.

Her only problems seemed to be approaching other dogs while barking and pulling on the leash.  Once she would reach the other dog, her tail would start wagging and a new friend was made.

So we worked on basic obedience along with getting her out on a regular basis for socialization.

I’m happy to report that she is extremely smart in obedience and seemed to take training in stride, which made the whole experience easier than expected for her family.

To date, her only real problem now is that she’s not thrilled with winter!  I can truly relate.

You all did such a great job and your lives will never be the same now that you share it with a dog.

Best wishes my sweet southern bell.





 Posted by on 01/13/2018

Non- Social Barking Dog Fixed

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Sep 212017

Kona, German Shepherd Mix, East Bridgewater, MA

Kona’s owners contacted me because they wanted more for their dog.

They wanted to be able to take her for walks, car rides and outings other than their own neighborhood.  They wanted to be able to enjoy her company.

In the beginning, just being in the front yard was too much for Kona to handle.  She would bark at anything and everything, whether it was something she saw or heard.  She was never at ease to just go for a nice walk or simply be outside having fun.

So we started working on behavior modification techniques and obedience training.

The big goal was to be able to take Kona away on vacation to Cape Cod with the family instead of boarding her for a change.

I’m happy to report that not only was the Cape a success but also the various trips since then.

This family did a fantastic job and I couldn’t be prouder of them and Kona and the strides that have been made in such a short time.

Nicely done!


 Posted by on 09/21/2017

A New Family Member

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May 182017

Ana, Chorkie, Carver, MA


Ana’s family reached out to me because they wanted to do it right from the beginning.

Unfortunately Ana was an orphaned pup and didn’t get the benefit of being taught the basics that all moms teach.

We worked on housebreaking and basic manners.

I’m happy to report her family just adores her and are grateful they were able to teach her what they hadn’t with their previous dogs.

Disney’s Ana has nothing on you, little sweetie.

Good work.







 Posted by on 05/18/2017

Finding a Dog Breeder

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Jan 242017


Dog Breeders, Who Can You Trust?


So you have decided on the kind of breed you feel is best suited for you and your family.  Now what?  Where do you find the good breeders and not the backyard breeders or puppy mill breeders?

This past summer, my town faced a situation regarding a German Shepherd Dog  breeder and their desire to expand their number of breeding dogs.

By looking on the breeder’s website, the dogs appeared to be high quality.  Their pictures were stunning.  Absolutely gorgeous dogs.  Too bad the pictures on the website weren’t the breeder’s actual dogs.

As the months wore on, so did the town meetings. With each meeting came more information about compliance regulations, etc.  But along with all the red tape also came stories of animal abuse toward the resident breeding dogs.  More and more witnesses came forward to give their account of the welfare of the dogs and how badly they were being treated.

If the accounts of abuse weren’t bad enough, it came to light that a great majority of the dogs the breeder was selling as their own stock were actually being imported from puppy mills in Pennsylvania.

So how do you avoid being a victim of fraud when you are just simply trying to find a nice dog?  Here are some tips:

  1. Speak to law enforcement in the town or humane societies in the area
  2. Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints filed
  3. Ask for referrals from your veterinarian or friends
  4. Contact local breed clubs or visit professional dog shows

Don’t forget a good breeder will make you jump through hoops convincing them why you should have one of their dogs or puppies.

Make sure the breeder isn’t the only one asking questions.  Find out how long they have been breeding. Ask to speak to previous adopters.  Visit the facility.  Meet the parents or at least the mother to give you an idea of temperament.  If they say no or have excuses why you can’t, walk away.  That is an immediate red flag.

Take your time and never buy a dog from a pet shop.  Remember a reputable breeder would never ship their dogs off without doing their due diligence.  If they don’t want to meet you, you do not want to do business with them.

Dawn Corby
Canine Etiquette, LLC

 Posted by on 01/24/2017