Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Links to my two commissioned reactive dog articles

I am really proud of the two commissioned reactive dog articles that I wrote for Petcha.com.  The first one, Defining the Reactive Dog explains what a reactive is, and helps you figure out a plan going forward.

The second one, 10 Tips to Teach Your Reactive Dog To Stay Calm   is just that. 10 tips. I am proud of both of them.

This marks a dozen articles published on Petcha for me, and I have to say, while I struggled writing them and I am NOT a prolific writer, it sure feels good to have them done.  I applaud my writer friends who can whip out thousands of words a week.  Having these 12 under my belt has given me inspiration to work on my book.  So far I have 3 chapters in the can as they say in the movies.
 Stay tuned!

Gooddogz in the RUFF is my trademark Reactive Dog program. I am taking a break from group reactive classes and will return later in the summer with batteries charged and my program reworked.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My best post from Petcha - Socialization tips for adult dogs, A tail of Two Collies

With an adult dog, things around the house are usually quite a bit calmer than with puppies or young dogs. Watch for changes in behavior from younger days. Dogs who went to day care or were the life of the party at the dog park may show signs of no longer enjoying these activities. I often tell my clients the following analogy: “When I was younger, I used to slam dance in a mosh pit, but I rarely enjoy large crowds these days.”

To read the full article, please click the link to be taken to the Petcha.com site. 

A Tail of Two Collies - Socializing the Adult Dog 

Friday, May 1, 2015

New Training space on Forest Ave in Portland and other cool news!

Hello out there!
Goose and Finn love the new Forest Ave  space

The big news around here is that I secured a new training space at Forest Ave Veterinary Hospital in Portland on Forest Ave.  I share the space with another trainer and the staff at the clinic.  It is my hopes to be able to help more dogs and their families by cutting down on my travel time .  In the last month I have turned away quite a few dogs who live too far out of area, but would have been willing to come to me if I had a suitable place to see them.
I am hopeful that this will be a great thing!
My first clients at the new space start  this next week and most of the time slots that I allotted are filled!

Puppy class starts at Forest Ave starts Thursday, and I will be offering Therapy Dog Prep, Puppy Play and Learn, and Freestyle on Saturdays starting in June.

I have been writing lots for a new site Petcha.com . Currently I have 6 articles posted, but another 5 or more should be up soon.  You can view all my Petcha articles here.
Petcha has been  amazing to work for.  The biggest news is that they paid me a really good amount of money to write a puppy article for their new venture Petcha Puppies, which is a glossy magazine.  Nice to see that print isn't dead.  Don't think that it will be available until winter, but I am looking forward to sharing that with my parents who send me clippings of dog articles pretty much weekly by snail mail. They are adorable my parents, and I am very fortunate to still have them with me.

I have been working hard to try to make my web site easier to navigate, but so far it is not going that well. I created a page listing all group classes.  My web site is confusing to navigate because I am training at Mainely Agility, Poetic Gold Farm,two  Pet Quarters and now Forest Ave.  Have you ever seen that movie If this is Tuesday it must be Belgium? That is pretty much how I feel about life every day.  Here is the link to my new At a glance page.

I have been super busy, but I have pledged to blog twice a week because I have been told by multiple sources that Google is penalizing me in web searches for www.GooddogzTraining.com for having a blog that I do not update. For the past few years, I have focused energy on my Gooddogz Training Facebook, but moving forward I will be sharing my time between both.
If you haven't already, please visit and like my Facebook page.
Happy Training! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Couch

Today I am an ace sleuth detective. I slip into the furniture store wearing inconspicuous clothing and dark sunglasses, determined not to make another furniture mistake. Purchased less than a year ago, our current couch has turned out to be a “dreaded dog hair magnet.” So under the cover of anonymity, I wander purposely around the store, searching for suitable fabric that will camouflage and repel fur.
Having dogs, and therefore having dog hair, you learn things about material. Parachute nylon-good; codura nylon-bad, very bad. It’s embarrassing watching the kids go off to school after their backpacks and pants appear to have spent the night down wind to a furball tumbleweed. Denim is usually good, but I do not want to live in a denim house. As a grown-up, I long for a real couch, instead of the usual fur and jelly cushions.
At the end of the aisle, I spot Ultra Suede. Very interesting. As I stand there pondering, I’m startled by a voice: “Can I help you?” Then before I can answer, I’m receiving the spiel about the wonders of this new miracle fabric: stain resistant, easy to clean, and guaranteed. “Sounds wonderful,” I say and then excuse myself to the ladies room, only to double back a few minutes later when the coast is clear. Carefully I open my zip locked bag of dog hairs and scatter a few on the sides of the arm. To my astonishment, it looks as though the couch is playing catch with the fur. My mouth is gaping as I witness a perfect couch landing. The hair went south and due west to connect with the ultra suede. Another dreaded pet hair magnet! Could there be above average static electricity today, for some reason? No, this cannot be. I have come prepared and reach into my bag to retrieve a dryer sheet. Palming the “Bounce” like a magician, I stretch my arms and covertly wipe the couch arm, and then drop a few hairs once again. Inconclusive. Back into the bag one more time for the lint brush and tape. The ultra suede passed the removal test unlike some fabrics that just seem to inhale the hair.
Moving on, I methodically test couch after couch. Some seem to be feeding on fur. Note to self; write a B-movie about couches that need dog hair to survive.
I do not even bother with the silk and chintz type materials. Never mind dog hair, they would never pass the kid test. We are a tough family-the kind of family that stain-resistant fabric was invented for.
Moving on, I arrive at the home entertainment couch. It has rocking seats, moving foot stools and hidden compartments. Storage bins could hold a weeks worth of food. The next Noreaster, we would only need to leave the couch for bathroom breaks. I start to feel sea sick, so continue on. Here is an interesting one. They call this brushed fabric. The fabric looks tough, but it’s also very similar to what we have now, and I know that doesn’t work for us.
And then I spot the leather. For a few moments I allow myself to dream of life with this beautiful couch, love seat and ottoman, but then the reality of canine toenails, Koolaid, and the ache in my foot where I was impaled by the ears of the Lego giraffe this morning sets in. We would destroy this couch in no time flat.
My high expectations are gone. I ask for several swatches and head for the car. At home I will double stick tape the swatches directly to the dog’s bed for further observation. Deep in my heart I know we will be a slip cover family for a few more years.

This post was written in 2002!  There are more choices for materials today than there were back then. I may need to revisit this.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why the dog didn't fetch the shoe - Gooddogz Training tip #1

This is a reenactment Beck is showing you all where I was sitting when I came up with the brilliant idea to ask him to fetch my sneakers.  Sure I could have just reached for them.   Beck has a very good understanding of fetch, bring and deliver to hand. I had never asked him to fetch shoes before.
 "Beck fetch the shoe".

Beck did not fetch the shoe after much asking and pointing, so I picked it up and tried to give it to him.
So I asked him a few more times and the answer was still the same. "NO".
Beck is a very biddable dog when it comes to work, and after all he did want to go out, so he offered up another option that he hoped would get him out the door.

Quoting my daughter.  "The dog has standards. He didn't want to put your stinky feet in his mouth, and he knows where your shoes have been."

This has been a public service for  all dogs from Beck.  The message here is simple.  Sometimes there is a very good reason your dog doesn't want to do what you ask them.  So ask yourself, what can I change to better communicate with my dog and is what I am asking fair.   When I showed Beck that he could fetch laces, and not put his mouth on stinky feet or poop residue he was fine with it. 

Honor the dog.

We have joined the Blog the Change hop.  This is my contribution for dogs.