Dog Training

Avoid mistakes when bringing home your new dog

Avoid Mistakes When Bringing Home Your New Dog

Bringing Home Your New Dog: Common Mistakes You Could Be Making

Bringing home your new dog is an exciting experience! A common mistake adopters make is giving the new dog too much freedom too soon. Freedom should be earned slowly as the new dog becomes more reliable with housetraining and the new owners have some basic control of the dog.

Before bringing home your new dog, we suggest investing in a crate. Crate training is the fastest and safest way to housetrain the new dog/puppy. Even if the dog was reliable in the previous home, accidents happen.

Use the crate to get your dog on a routine and stick with it until you know he is reliable. The crate will also give the dog/puppy a safe place to get used to the new surroundings. After a long walk or playtime let him rest in his crate and observe his new family as they go about their business. Let him sleep, chew on a toy or just hang out. This will help him learn to chill out while the family is in hectic mode and that he doesn’t have to be involved in every activity.

Try not to go overboard with the doting. It is best for his development to give him some space and time alone. Ignore him occasionally. We want to create a dog that can handle being left alone when the owners are out and not be totally dependant on humans for emotional support.

Do your little dog (this goes for puppies too) a favor and put them on the floor. Let them be a dog and experience the world at their own eye level most of the time. You can cuddle when it’s nap time.

Make sure children in the home understand how to properly interact with dogs and puppies before bringing one home. No tail grabbing, ear pulling or surprise attacks on the sleeping dog.

Play games with puppies that don’t encourage grabbing at hands or chasing pant legs. Even most adult dogs like a good game of fetch. Toss one toy and have another ready so you can get him to drop the first toy as you toss the second one. Have the family or the kids stand about 10 feet apart and encourage the dog/puppy to come to each person in turn and reward with a tiny treat. Check out the internet or book stores for more games to play.

Introduce the new dog to a resident dog on neutral territory like a park or just down the street. If possible take your dog with you when choosing a second dog. Make sure the dogs are compatible in energy levels if you are looking for a playmate for your dog.

If you are looking to get a second dog with an adult or senior dog in the home don’t leave it up to the old kid to show the new kid the ropes. You don’t want to pass on any bad habits.

Seek out a dog trainer to help with questions and concerns before you adopt, to help you pick out the right dog for your situation, help transition the new dog, and get you started on training your new dog to prevent misbehavior in the future.


Teaching your dog the meaning of language

Teaching Your Dog: The Meaning of Language

My name is not a command!

Teaching your dog the meaning of language and commands is a major part of owner and dog communication. You can train your dog using his name before a command as in “Joe Come” or even use his name as encouragement after calling him but his name itself should never be used alone as the command.

Say for instance, you always call your dog’s name, “Joe”, to get him to come to you. The word “Joe” has now taken on the meaning of the command “Come”. Likewise, if you yell the dog’s name when he’s snooping through the trash can or about to steal your lunch off the kitchen table, the dog learns that his name means 1) he’s in trouble or 2) he should get away from something. This can be very confusing for dogs after a while they become desensitized to their name.

Now imagine how confusing it would for the dog if he learned to come only to his name and now you want him to learn Sit and Stay. As the dog is sitting you must be very careful to not say his name. Even in encouraging ways. “Good boy Joe”. To your dog “Joe” means “Come”. He cannot sit/stay and come at the same time.

Teaching your dog the correct language for the command you want to achieve requires clear communication. He needs to learn “Joe” what? “Joe” followed by a command tells him what you want him to do. “Joe sit”. “Joe come”. “Joe out”. This way he learns each individual command and that his name is to get his attention and get ready to respond.

Give it a name.

Dogs have the ability to learn or recognize hundreds of words. We all use Sit, Down, Come or variations of these and other commands. We do this by associating a word with an action to get across what we want the dog to do. You can do the same with everyday words using consistency, patients and enough practice to build a clear association between the word and the action.

Name it!

  • “Kennel” as your dog is entering his kennel/crate.
  • “House” as your dog is on his way into the house.
  • “Outside” as your dog passes through the threshold of the doorway.
  • “ByeBye” as you gather the leash for a walk.
  • “Potty” as the dog is begining to urinate.


The opportunities are endless. Just be sure to use simple commands and use them each time your dog is doing the action you want to name. Use tiny treats to motivate your dog if needed and have fun with word play too. Just because a word means something in English doesn’t mean it has to to your dog. It is just as easy to teach a dog to lift his paw and associate the word “Pony” instead of “Paw” as the dog lifts his foot.

Dog Training Tools

The Proper Use Of Your Dog Training Tools

Get to know the dog training tools we use. Each dog is different so we like to have options. We use all the training tools below but not on every dog. Dogs trained with us will go home with the option that works best for the dog and owner.


Headhalters can take some time for a dog to acclimate to the feel and pressure on thehalti on dog muzzle but once the dog has settled into the headhalter it can be used to guide a dog into heel position and keep him there. Care should be taken to avoid harm to the dog’s neck by not forcing the dog’s head sideways or downward into an unnatural position.

To use this type of dog training tool properly, you should have the dog next to your left leg in heel position and hold the leash so the dog has just enough slack to walk by your side. Any forging ahead should be met with a slight twist of the wrist or slight tug backward. Never give a hard leash correction with a headhalter!


prong collar on dog

Pinch/Prong collars are a metal collar with angled prongs that add pressure evenly around the dogs neck when fitted correctly. We use these to introduce the first phases of pressure and release to the dog. While your dog is distracted, step back until the leash is taut and keep pressure on until your dog moves around and puts slack on the leash. For sit, apply upward pressure and lure with a treat or tuck the hind end into a sit.


Choke chain collars need to be fitted so they can release their grip and not sit tightly on the dog’s neck. With your dog facing you, make the collar into a circle and let dog wearing choke chainout some slack on one end. Put the collar on the dog when the collar is in the shape of a “P”. This will allow the collar to loosen quickly after a correction. If the collar is put on in the “q” shape, it will tighten and remain tight. A properly fit choke collar will only have 3 or 4 inches of extra chain extending after placement on the dog’s neck.

Any less and there will not be enough slack for a correction. Any more you will have to make bigger movements to make a simple correction. As with the prong collar, never let the leash tighten. Correct by giving a quick pop and doing an about turn. Practice this routine any time the dog is out of heel position and soon enough your dog will be walking nicely on a loose leash.

Transitional leash on dog


The Transitional Leash is a slip lead that is twisted to fit over the dog’s muzzle similar to a headhalter. Unlike Gentle leaders and Haltis the Transitional leash controls from the back of the dogs head. It works by applying upward pressure until the dog sits calmly. With pressure on when the dog is aroused, pressure off when the dog is calm. It can also be used as a slip leash when needed.


Avoid Dog Behavioral Problems

Avoiding Dog Behavioral Problems

How to Avoid Dog Behavioral Problems

Dog behavioral problems can be very frustrating to dog owners, learn what it takes to have a well mannered dog…


There’s a lot of talk about Leadership and how to dominate your dog. That’s Not what we want you to think of in terms of Leadership. Effective leadership is taking the role of the decision maker, the food provider, the caretaker. As a dog owner you are already making decisions for your dog on a daily basis. Such things as when it’s time to get up or when your dog goes outside.
Simple everyday decision making should be second nature to the dog owner but sometimes it isn’t. Some pushy dogs out there are making too many decisions of their own and most times these are bad decisions. This is a common dog behavioral issue that can be easy to break.

A dog who barks and growls at everyone trying to enter the home is taking on the role of leader. He is guarding his home. Not your home. Not your family. But his home and his people. This may sound like a good idea. Everyone wants to feel protected and a dog who alerts to noises isn’t a bad thing. But it is your decision as leader to determine who enters your home. A dog who feels he owns his castle is one step away from correcting you or someone in your family for making a decision he doesn’t approve of.
To be a leader to your dog takes giving your dog some rules.


  • Not rushing the door and jumping on visitors
  • Not dragging you around on leash
  • Not begging for food
  • Staying out from under foot
  • No running through the house like a wild dog.


Another way to solve your dog behavioral problems is to show leadership is to put your dog on a feeding schedule. Twice a day is good. Let him know the food comes from you, the provider, and wait for your dog to be calm before placing the bowl on the floor. Remove after 10 to 15 minutes whether he is finished or not. He won’t starve. And don’t be manipulated into coercing him to eat at each meal. Put it down and walk away.

A good leader is also a good caretaker. This means you need to look after the well being of your dog. Make sure his vaccinations are up to date, his diet consists of a well balanced food, and his grooming is attended too as needed. Exercise is also important. As his caretaker it is your responsibility to see to his mental and physical well being. A dog lacking in exercise becomes overweight and has an increase risk of joint pain and other health related issues. A dog who is lacking in mental stimulation becomes a nuisance with constant need of attention. Frustration from a lack of exercise, mental or physical, can manifest into chewing, running around like he has no off switch, excessive barking, or mouthiness.

To sum it all up.. A good leader is a good dog owner. Someone who makes the right decisions for their dogs safely, health, and well being.

Behavioral Dog Training:

It is never too soon nor too late in a dog’s life to begin training. Though the sooner you start the less time your dog has to learn bad habits. Training creates good habits by giving your dog something constructive to do in place of something undesirable. It teaches your dog self control so your dog has the ability to make good decisions.

Training gives your dog an understanding of what you want from him. It’s not about doing a trick to get some laughs. Being able to call your dog back to you out of harms way goes a long way in extending your dog’s life. When we teach a dog to Sit or Down we expect the dog to stay there until told otherwise.
Training takes time for your dog to understand. It also needs to happen outside of the home around real world distractions. If you only work with your dog in a class setting or in the home your dog will likely not understand the command in a new setting. Dogs don’t generalize as we do. That’s why we have to teach Sit in many different settings for the dog to truly understand what Sit means. The same goes for all other commands too.

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. The more you work with your dog the better trained your dog will be. Imagine a child learning the alphabet. The child repeats it over and over and over until they no longer have to think about it. It becomes second nature to them. Give your dog plenty of training time until he has a complete understanding of what he is learning.
How do you know when your dog is trained? Test. Look at your dog and say his name. Now say Sit. Did he sit? How about Down. Did he Down? How about from across the room. Well?

If your dog can do these and others on the first command within a few seconds of asking then your dog has a good understanding of the command. Now take it further and find some distractions. Can your dog do the commands now? Yes. Then find more difficult ones.
Training is never really over. It’s an ongoing process and relationship. If you give up on it, it will go away.

Dog Training Management:

This is what we do to make things easier on us, the dog, and the situation. Managing your dog can be crating him when company comes to teaching a Place command so he stays on his bed while company visits. Management can also be utilizing training tools; such as for aggression, a Halti can be worn in public to keep a reactive dog safe by controlling his mouth. A tether can keep a puppy attached to you to make sure he doesn’t wonder off and pee. Management can also keep dogs safe in a situation of a multi dog family. Crating may be needed to while the owners are not home so no fights break out.

The better you manage your dog/dogs, the less likely bad behavior will occur. Management doesn’t replace training but goes hand in hand with it. We need to be aware of what can happen at any given time and use some sort of management (a learned command, restraint, interference, confinement, etc) to keep mistakes from happening.
What ever your dog’s age Now is the time to be the adult in the relationship. A dog’s mind is as mold-able as a child’s. Give the correct guidance and education and anything is achievable. Teach your puppy or dog as much as possible and they will grow into a well mannered companion that will be welcomed everywhere.


Choosing the right dog training program

Finding the Right Dog Training Program

The Right Dog Training Program for You

Finding the right dog training  program can be confusing and stressful, especially when you are not sure exactly what you are looking for.

Are you looking for a hands-on approach for your dog training needs?

Do you have time and patience it takes to practice weekly?

Are you looking for a more economical way to have a well behaved dog?

If so, then private lessons are probably the way to go. We work with you one hour a week to achieve your dog training goals. Whether you need basic manners or off leash control our programs will help you train for the dog you want.

You may prefer our boot camp programs if you don’t have time for weekly lessons, want to get further a head in your dog’s training faster, or would like to have a professional take your dog through each step of the training for you.

You can choose the program that best suits your needs and let our trainers give your dog the foundation to build on at home. After your dogs stay with us we teach you how to continue the training and implement it into your daily life. We follow up with a few in home lessons and as needed lessons here at our facility to help you with any future training issues or just to keep the training fresh.