Crates Aren’t So Bad Afterall

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Mar 272019

Roxy, Chihuahua/Dachshund Mix, Halifax, MA

Because Roxy was never properly crate trained, her mom was missing a valuable ally in her quest to conquer housebreaking.

So we started at the beginning to help Roxy like her crate instead of fear it. Once her attitude toward her crate changed, so did her mom’s guilt about putting her in it when necessary.

Not all people are comfortable crating their dogs, but if your frustration is never ending, because you can’t watch your dog every second, then maybe you could consider trying a crate. There is a big difference between crating your dog and incarcerating your dog. Maybe knowing it’s not forever might give you peace of mind.

Roxy’s housebreaking accidents are now considered history. Not only is she trustworthy in the house, but she’s also more confident with her crate, which has made the entire process a success.

In addition, teaching her some obedience exercises helped her gain more confidence. Now instead of shying away, she is more eager to say hello to strangers. Making her a more balanced and happy dog.

Nice job girls!

 Posted by on 03/27/2019

Do I really Need to Learn?

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Feb 012019
Sadie, Bluetick Coonhound, Halifax, MA

First let me say, that it is not easy keeping a straight face when you’re looking at a face like this. How cute is she? And yes, you really need to learn this stuff, Sadie.

I had previously trained this family’s older dog Tobey a few years back, so returning to visit and training this little one was the best of both worlds. I just had to refresh the memories of mom and dad to get Sadie on the right track. I also had to remind them that she was NOT Tobey. A Bluetick Coonhound is completely different from a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Not only are they obviously two different breeds, but also two very different personalities which required a different understanding of training.

That being said, we got right to it. One of the most challenging things when training a hound is working against their natural instinct of keeping their nose from the ground. That simply means you have to work harder to keep the dog more engaged with you rather than the great smells on the ground.

Now that she has her feet wet with the basics, maybe her next milestone should be a job? How does tracking sound, Sadie? See you never stop learning!

 Posted by on 02/01/2019

It’s a Family Affair

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Feb 012019

Hobey, Lab/Spaniel Mix, Scituate, MA

Hobey’s owners contacted me, because they were experiencing typical adolescent dog behavior and couldn’t quite get a handle on what to do and the right way to do it. What they wanted most was to learn as a family.

Hobey actually wasn’t all that out of control and nothing that a little guidance and instruction didn’t fix.

It always makes me happy knowing that a good dog has a great family that takes pride in teaching their dog instead of just complaining about them.

Excellent job you guys. See you around the hockey rinks!

 Posted by on 02/01/2019

It’s Not Easy Being Shy

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Feb 012019

Draco, Chihuahua, Bridgewater, MA

Draco’s owner contacted me because she felt guilty that she had been unsuccessful bringing Draco out of his shell. She admitted she rarely took him places when he was a puppy and now at 2 years old he was just scared, when she tried to make the attempt. She felt they were on a merry-go-round and were missing out on life together, as a result.

One of the biggest deficiencies I see as a dog trainer is the lack of socialization in dogs. It comes when people miss the natural window of socialization, which only occurs between 8-16 weeks of age. Once that window closes, it is unfortunately closed forever. The only thing you can do from there is desensitization, which can be a little more difficult. Which was the case here.

So we started by adding obedience exercises to his life and a whole lot of “getting out there” to meet people and dogs. This was done initially from a comfortable and safe distance for Draco and then gradually closing the gap. The trick is finding the balance to push your dog at the right time and pace.

I’m happy to report that Draco and his owner have found a new lease on life and are enjoying all the new places they are going and the people and dogs they are meeting along the way. Life and good and a lot more fun and exciting. Just the way it should be!

 Posted by on 02/01/2019

Whisper vs. Roar

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Jan 082019
Great Dane/Shepherd Mix, Bridgewater, MA

Henry’s owner contacted me because his excessive barking and charging at by passers, was not particularly desirable.

In Henry’s case his access to an invisible fence allowed him freedom but it also added frustration, which resulted in charging/barking when people walked past the house. For Henry it had become a vicious circle. Any barrier, whether invisible or not, is still a barrier.

We addressed these issues by temporarily not allowing Henry use of the invisible fence unless his mom was present. This gave her the ability to correct and redirect his behavior when it happened.

Henry is still a work in progress but I’m happy to relay that his mom is very happy with the progress he has made and continues to make.

 Posted by on 01/08/2019

All Dogs Need Exercise

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Jan 082019
Micha, Labradoodle, Halifax, MA

Micha’s owners contacted me, because one of them had never had a puppy and the other hadn’t had a dog in 20 years. They felt they needed guidance on housebreaking, obedience and how to handle Micha, when on occasion, he got “out of hand”.

Training for these owners and Micha went smoothly. The “out of hand” part was simply that Micha needed more space to exercise to get rid of pent up energy. The lack of that opportunity was presenting itself as acting mildly aggressive. I actually hate to even use the word aggressive, because in my opinion he was just being a normal fresh puppy.

Walking your dog is absolutely necessary, but they also need space to run and frolic. That is where long lines come in. When, for whatever reason, going off leash isn’t an option.

Now that Micha can run on a long line, he is happy, healthy and tired!

 Posted by on 01/08/2019

Having the Best of Both Worlds

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Dec 062018


Izzy, CockerPoo, Plymouth, MA

Izzy’s owners first contacted me, because they were having issues involving housebreaking. 

Like most families with very young children it can be challenging to split your attention between the two especially when the dog isn’t going to wait when it has to go out.

We started with breaking things down and getting Izzy on a schedule that allowed this family to manage both without guilt and accidents.

I’m happy to report, that Izzy’s owners confess that although things aren’t perfect yet, the situation has greatly improved and fine tuning is all that is needed from here.   

 Posted by on 12/06/2018

Changing Lives Through Training

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Apr 122018

Kingsley, Yorkshire Terrier, Taunton, MA

Kinglsey’s owner contacted me for help with her new little guy who was causing big problems and on her last nerve.

Fortunately for Kinglsey,  he had to be re-homed because his original owner could no longer keep him, which gave Kingsley a new lease on life and all its wonders.

However, because Kingsley’s original owner never taught him anything or ever took him anywhere, there were a lot of things he had to learn at the age of 5.

One of the biggest problems was that he would freak out when visitors would try to leave.  He would frantically bark at them and bite at their ankles.  In addition, he became very possessive of his new mom when others would simply hug her or come in close contact with her.  He would also bark excessively at every dog he came across (this is still a work in progress).

We used, and are still using, a variety of tools to help change his ingrained behaviors, such a clicker training and the use of a remote collar with amazing success.

I am happy to report that things have significantly changed for the better do to hard work, perseverance, and lots of patience.

As for Kingsley, he is loving his more relaxed life and realizing that making dog friends is pretty great too, all because of training.

I will be dropping in from time to time to make sure things are still on track and to grab a hug!

So happy for all of you.  You guys are proof that hard work really does pay off.





 Posted by on 04/12/2018

Little Dogs Like Training Too

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Apr 092018

Stella, Yorkshire Terrier, Halifax, MA


Stella’s owner contacted me, because she began exhibiting random acts of aggression.  They felt it all started after she was accidentally stepped on my a family friend. Because this is a young family, children visiting is a common practice and became a safety concern.

We quickly identified the triggers that forced Stella to react. Once we had addressed these problem areas, we began practicing specific exercises to desensitize Stella from being fearful and  ultimately stop her reactive behavior.

I cannot stress enough how devoted this family is to this cute girl.  They were determined to “fix” the problem to save their dog.

Stella is proof that not only are small dogs capable of training successfully, but they are also capable of changing their unwanted behavior, in a mighty way!

Amazing work from all of you.  I enjoyed every minute of the time we spent together.

Nicely done!


 Posted by on 04/09/2018

Training and Brawn Go Together

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Apr 092018

Chance, Doberman Pincher, Halifax, MA

Chance’s owners contacted me, because they wanted peace of mind knowing he was properly trained and that they could control this big beautiful boy.

Chance took to training immediately.  Not only is he a smart dog, but he also enjoys training and likes to please anyone who works with him.

I had so much fun with this family.  They gave 110% at each lesson and did their homework, which only made it that much easier for Chance to succeed.

Can’t wait to bump into you guys walking one of these days, especially when I need a kiss from my guy!







 Posted by on 04/09/2018