Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Belated Tongue Out Tuesday, Co pilot edition

First Foray into Rally Free...we did less than meh

Yesterday I submitted a video for my first Rally Free entry, and well let me just say it was a whole lotta learning experience.  I am about 99 percent sure that we didn't Q (qualifying score), but I decided to send it anyway, so that down the line I will have a before and after.

My dog Beck, has had some epic behavior issues the last few years. Beck is 5 now and things really magnified at about the 3 year mark, which is more common than you would think. When dogs reach maturity, stuff catches up to them.  \

At around the same time, I tore my miniscus andwe  moved.  Needless to say, it has taken a while, but he is a happier, safer dog than he was this time last year. The thing is, I am still treating him like a circus freak and I need to re- eval my training plan and start working with the dog I have who is in need to a lot more training out and about in all kinds of places.
Now Beck is some kind of brilliant in my kitchen and in Rally Free you get the entire routine 10 days before hand.  Hand signals are frowned upon and we had the entire routine on voice cue with some subtle body cues.  But ya would never know it.  As we like to say in the dog training, there were "a lot of competing reinforcer"s in that field.
For the record, our mistakes in Rally Free have nothing to do with my dog being stubborn. He was just a little more than overwhelmed at his new training area, and working for several minutes with no food is tough! Rally Free is easily way more difficult than the highest Rally level but I love it, and we are hooked.  I had LOTS and LOTS of idea to make our next run so much smoother.
No, I am NOT posting our video here.  I may at some point post a before and after. Or maybe not.
I will enter the next few and well, wish us luck.

This photo of a random lobster roll is here to remind me of my reinforcer when I get that first Q!

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  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 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 . 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 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!