Thursday, September 14, 2017

Congratulations to me !!!

 I am now Nancy Freedman-Smith CDBC, CBATI
Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, with  IAABC, The International Association of Behavior Consultants,  Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March comes in With 3 Great Dog Author Events

Susannah Charleston will be talking about Possibility Dogs   

One Book, One Community – Read. Reflect. Engage.  is a campus-wide initiative that seeks to engage students, faculty, staff, and the community in reading, discussing, and analyzing the same book. This semester the One Book One Community Committee has chosen The Possibility Dogs by Susannah Charleston. Copies of the book are available in the YCCC Library. Please join us for either of these two events, which are free and open to the public.
YCCC has two free events planned and hopes that faculty, staff, students and members of the community will join us.
March 8, 2017 – Noon
Susannah Charleston, author of The Possibility Dogs will be on campus for a discussion of the book, working with dogs and therapy animals.
Susannah Charleson was first published under her given name in 1981. A content provider before the term became an idiom, she has written magazine and newsletter articles, multimedia productions, PSAs, news stories, commercials, features and movie reviews for commercial radio, Web content for publisher Thomson/Wadsworth, radio theatre and parody for public radio, catalogue copy for a vintage jewelry store, and serial fiction on AOL. In addition to writing for media, she has worked in radio and television reporting news, weather, and traffic. Susannah hosted a Dallas-area arts & entertainment television program for thirteen years.
She is a flight instructor and canine search-and-rescue team member in the United States. Her search partner Puzzle is a Golden Retriever certified for the rescue or recovery of missing persons in urban, wilderness, disaster, and scent discrimination/trailing searches. Susannah and Puzzle share their home with a rabble of Pomeranians, a rescued German shepherd-Labrador retriever-pit bull mix, and a rescued Skye terrier-chihuahua mix out of Hollywood.
Susannah’s first book, Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search and Rescue Dog, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2010. This critically well-received book also appeared on the New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Amazon and Denver Post Bestseller lists, with excerpts appearing in D Magazine, Bark, and other online venues. The e-book returned to Wall Street Journal and Amazon bestseller lists in fall, 2012. Scent of the Missing is available in audio formats from Blackstone Audio and in e-print for Kindle, iPad, etc., as well. Portugese, Polish, Czechoslovakian, Japanese and Chinese editions are also available now.
For more information on the book, including a video trailer with Puzzle working in the field, visit the Scent of the Missing website. Scent is available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and fine independent booksellers nationwide and may be ordered directly from the book’s website, online, or purchased in stores.
Scent of the Missing was optioned for television in 2010 and is owned by CBS Productions.
A book that follows Susannah’s work with rescued dogs trained for mental health service to the disabled and for therapy work in the wake of catastrophe or trauma — The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of Rescues Taught Me About Service, Hope, & Healing, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 2013.
Audiobook editions of both Scent of the Missing and The Possibility Dogs are available from Blackstone Audio/ Susannah narrates both books.


RSVP to the ARL to hear  Amy Sutherland talk about Rescuing Penny Jane
Rescuing Penny Jane Book Talk and Author Meet & Greet
Thursday, March 16th  |  6PM
The ARLGP is proud to host bestselling writer Amy Sutherland. Amy will be at the ARLGP to talk about her new book Rescuing Penny Jane.  Penny Jane is an ARLGP alumni that Amy adopted while volunteering at the ARLGP. She presents an unforgettable and inspiring trip through the world of homeless dogs, shelters and the people who work so hard to save them.  

Longfellow Books will be joining us for this paw-some event. Grab Rescuing Penny Jane at their Monument Square location, or purchase it at the ARLGP the night of at the book talk. 20% of all Rescuing Penny Jane books sold through Longfellow Books will support the ARLGP! 


And last but not least, Patricia McConnell! 

Boxborough, Massachusetts -- March 23, 2017

Holiday Inn, 242 Adams Place

7:00 to 9:00 PM

The Education of Will

Patricia will be talking about her memoirThe Education of Will: A Mutual Memoir of a Woman and a Dog. The "Will" in the title of Patricia's new memoir has two meanings. First, it refers to her Border Collie, Willie, who came as a "troubled, spark of a dog," who was loving and attentive, but also consumed by fear. However, the word "will" also refers to will power, which, as the book shows, is not enough to help a panicked dog, much less a dog owner overwhelmed with her own fears. Patricia will touch on her very personal story about how her beloved Willie first set her back, but eventually led to healing from the traumas in her own past that she had tried to "will" away for decades.
Join Patricia as she details her personal journey with Willie to turn a life of fear into one of confidence and compassion.
Registration information coming soon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Free Tricks Workshop at Scarborough Dog Days.

Join Gooddogz Training at Dog Days of Scarborough this Saturday at 2:30 for a free and fun interactive Tricks Workshop. 
Come teach your 'ol dog some new tricks!
Teaching tricks is a great way to engage your dog's mind, improve your bond, teach your dog how to learn, and teach you how to be a better trainer.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Week 3 with Hannah, teaching trade and tug

 I am making no secret that I am making things up as we go along.  The first thing I wanted to help with was startle reflex.  I want to put a lot of great experiences  in the behavior bank. Our hope is  that when Hannah  is startled, she won't act defensively with her teeth.  When Hannah feels the stomping vibration of someone approaching, she is happy and knows what to expect.
She knows something is coming and it will be pleasant.

She learned sit, auto sit and down and really is doing amazing with all that.

This past week my normal syllabus called for recall.  Hmm. How exactly is that going to work?  Mom came this week and she told me that the dog is never far from them and they don't expect her to come.
In the yard, she is on a 30 foot line.
We did work out a cue for come. It involved putting food in the luring hand, and starting mid way at her body and basically swiping her all the to her head, and then walking backwards and then feeding. That worked great.

After Hannah worked for a while, I asked if she played with toys and the answer was a resounding YES, so I gave her this great fleece toy with a tennis ball built in. Well, I have to say I was surprised at how totally normal, young dog acting she was, and I knew right there they next thing that she needed to learn was DROP IT , and proper tooth play.  She was very gentle with her mouth and didn't once get me by accident.  This was the first thing that I taught, that except for not adding a verbal cue, I taught it the exact way I do all my dogs.

Give the toy, tug tug tug then put your hand with food at the nose and wait for them to drop it. Feed and then repeat the game.  This will teach her that it is play when the toy is moving, and time to give it up when we stop the motion. She nailed it.  I think you can see from the photos below that she really did play hard!
Next week we will define take and drop a bit clearer.
All and all I could not be happier with her .

I was surprised at how much Hannah loved to play! 

She is tugging hard here. Tugging won't make her aggressive. Hannah like all dogs  is going to use her teeth anyway,so best to teach her the rules in a fun way.

Drop it! Good girl!
When we teach the trade up game, the dog gets something of greater value than what they are playing with and then they get the prize back.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week 2 with Hannah, the deaf and blind dog

I just love how easy it is to capture a moment on my cell phone!
  Below you will find two very short videos of Hannah in class. My only wish is that I recorded Hannah  just as soon as I saw her walking in the parking lot on the way in.   Hannah was just like most young dogs. She totally   recognized where she was and she was excited to be there.  She wagged and sniffed and was clearly happy.  Hannah  totally seemed to know me and gave me a sweet howdy.   On the way in, she aced the three steps down and then the three steps up.
I was impressed.

This is no lie.  We are making stuff up as we go along. We continued to introduce her to people by stamping our feet twice the treating, and that is going really well.

She learned no mugging, just like I teach dogs with sight and hearing.  We held out  our fist with food inside and if she didn't back off and stop trying to get the treat  with her mouth and paws then she wasn't rewarded. We are still using a scratch behind the ears as a marker that she did good and a treat is coming.

In class this week she learned that two taps on her butt mean sit.  Check her out. She learned this in minutes.

And then we taught her the beginnings of automatic  sit.  When I go, you go and when I stop you sit.
I continue to be impressed.

She did so well in class in fact that her owner who has another dog at home, and has fostered quite a few dogs mentioned that in some ways working with Hannah is easier than with other dogs.   Hannah's world is all about him and his wife.  She has no other competing reinforcers.  She is not distracted by other  dogs, or toys, and pretty much is there with them all the time.  She is content to just be around them and while I think they have challenges to face, there is truth in that statement.

We have no class next week because of the Fourth of July, but I can't wait to see her the following week. I will try to get more video.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Training Hannah, she is deaf and blind

9 month old Hannah, a rescue dog from Indiana joined my group Manners class at The Training Center on Forest Ave in Portland this past Saturday.  Because her training has so many challenges I will be blogging about what we taught her and more importantly, how we taught it.  I googled  training deaf and blind dogs quite a bit and didn't really come up with much, so I will be posting here in hopes of helping someone else down the line.

Not that long ago the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook  took in 3 young deaf and blind dogs and they contacted me about helping with with them. I went in to meet them but they were already all set and did an amazing job at helping those dogs.  They were older than Hannah and one in particular had behavior issues. Kudos to the ARL for doing such a great job with them.  What I learned from meeting those dogs is that the ARL used three scents to help the dogs find their way.

The ARL used Lavender for crate. Hannah's family is already doing this and they are using Lavender on bedding also.
The ARL used Sage on walls and Basil in Doorways. I suggested this to Hannah's family and I think they may try it, although they report she is getting around amazing well. I saw her on our stairs and she was quite impressive!

The first thing that we taught Hannah was a marker. A marker means that she did good and a treat is coming.  For that we used a quick scratch behind the ears followed by a high value treat.   Hannah finds this pleasant.

My biggest concern is that she may be startled and bite.  She shows no signs of that now, but now is the time to work on this.  Hannah is actually quite clever and very, very sweet.  We came up with the idea that her people would stamp their feet 2 times and I would stamp over and feed her. We also played find it on the floor but stopped because she was so clever she started to look on the ground for food as soon as she felt the floor vibrate.
I have to say, considering I was making the stuff up as we went along, I found this to be a really smart way to go.  We know that Hannah feels the vibrations on the floor and this paired people approaching with something very pleasant.  It also teaches her  that stamping means something is coming.

We also started to teach her to sit with both a lure and capturing. It didn't take her long to start offering sits and I was really pleased with that! She also started to learn down with a lure on her mat.

I plan on blogging her classes over the next month.
I welcome suggestions from those of you who have trained deaf and blind dogs.
Happy training!

I think we will follow in this dog's footsteps.