• Trick Tuesday: Rollover

    Francis in the snow

    Time to rollover and get moving after a long weekend! Welcome to the second posting in our Trick series – teaching your dog to rollover!

  • Trick Tuesday: Shake-a-Paw, High 5 & Wave!

    Francis in the snow

    Welcome to the first in our Trick Tuesday series. Every Tuesday, we'll be posting a new trick tutorial.

    The first packs a punch as a 3-fer. Teach your dog to shake-a-paw, give you 5 and wave all with the same basic lure.

    Method: luring
    Skill level: beginner
    What you'll need: Food, dog and a conditioned reinforcer

  • Trick Tuesday: Hand Target

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday - every Tuesday, a NEW trick tutorial!!

    Today, we will teach you how to master a hand target.  Hand targets are the beginning of teaching your dog to target to objects.
    We can quickly turn this into motion towards other objects. Once your dog understands how to target to a small piece of plastic, for example, you can then make your target command mobile and start to teach your dog to turn off light switches or close doors - even blow bubbles in water.  The sky is the limit!

    Method: Capturing
    Skill Level: Beginner
    What you’ll need: Food, dog, conditioned reinforcer

  • Trick Tuesday: Spin and Unwind

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick!

    This week we add a bi-directional spin to our bag of tricks. This trick is lots of fun and can even turn into a “washing machine” command. Once your dog understands how to spin in both directions individually, you can put them together.

    Method: Luring
    Skill level: Beginner
    What you'll need: Food, dog and a conditioned reinforcer

  • Trick Tuesday: Weaving Skills

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    Today we will work on teaching our dogs to weave around and through our legs. This trick is a real crowd pleaser.

    Method: Luring
    Skill Level: Intermediate
    What you’ll need: Food, dog and a conditioned reinforcer

  • Trick Tuesday: Sit Pretty

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    Today, Reggie challenges the cuteness factor by helping me demonstrate the "sit pretty" trick.  This one takes balance and core strength for the dog.  Be sure your dog is physically sound enough to participate.  This isn't a good trick to teach our senior dogs!

    Method: Luring
    Skill Level: Intermediate
    What you’ll need: What you’ll need: Food, dog, conditioned reinforcer, pillows (optional), wall (optional)

  • Trick Tuesday: *BANG* - Play Dead

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week's trick is a fun one!  We are going to teach the dogs to "Play Dead."  In order to teach this trick, we'll be using a method called, "Back Chaining" where we start with the last behaviour and work our way backward to the first.  Our goal is that on one command, our dogs stop, lie down, flop onto their sides or back and hold position.  So, we'll start by teaching them to hold position on their side.  Once they've mastered that, we'll add in the position change.

    Method: Back chaining
    Skill level: Intermediate
    What you'll need: Food, dog and a conditioned reinforcer

  • Trick Tuesday: Jump into my arms

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week’s trick is a flashy one!  We are going to teach the dogs to jump up into our arms.  In order to teach this trick, we need to make sure that we have a dog that is physically capable of jumping a good height and we need to ensure that the handler is strong enough to catch them!

    Method: Encouraging
    Skill Level: Intermediate
    What you’ll need: Food, dog, conditioned reinforcer, chair or bench (optional)

  • Teach your dog to listen, even when distractions are high

    What do I listen to?

    A dog who’s been taught to listen well, even in the presence of distractions seems like an amazing feat. Impossible? No way! It’s simply a matter of planning and learning about your dog, then using the things they find valuable to build reinforcement and value in distracting situations.

    To teach your dog good listening skills in the face of distraction:

    Make a list of your dogs 5 favourite reinforcers and rank them in order from highest value to lowest, for example:

    1. steak
    2. cheese
    3. liver
    4. tug toy
    5. tennis ball
  • Trick Tuesday: Jumping Skills

    Francis in the snow

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week’s trick is all about fun!  We are going to teach our dogs some jumping skills.  In order to teach jumping, we need to make sure that we have a dog that is physically capable of jumping without causing himself injury.

    You can make your own jumps out of household equipment.  No need to buy or make anything fancy.  A couple of boxes or pillows and a broomstick work great!

    Method: Luring
    Skill Level: Intermediate
    What you’ll need: Food, dog, boxes or pillows, broomstick, toy (optional), Hula Hoop (optional)

  • Trick Tuesday: Back Up

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week’s trick is all about fun! We are going to teach our dogs to back up on command. This one is for everyone! Any dog can participate

    Our goal is to start by rewarding 1 step backward, then 2, and then ask for a bit more with each repetition.

    Therefore, we’ll be capturing the behaviour we want from our dogs.

  • Safe Travels With Your Dog

    Lets Travel

    We’ve all seen dogs traveling in unsafe manners, flinging themselves wildly about the back seat, resting on the drivers lap, heads way out the window or loose in the bed of a pick-up truck. What are some of the downfalls of loose dogs?

    • Loose dogs in the car who don’t remain in place can be a dangerous distraction causing accidents
    • Drivers can be charged under Distracted Driving laws
    • Loose dogs become a flying missile in the event of a collision or hard braking situation
    • Dogs with their heads out the window or in the open bed of a pick-up are left open to injury caused by flying debris
    • Dogs with full access to windows or in truck beds may get loose while the vehicle is moving or stopped.
  • Stop! Please keep away! My dog needs space!!! How do Yellow Ribbons Help?

     The Yellow Dog Project

    Presented for your consideration: Donna & Skippy – Skippy is a happy young dog. Boisterous and energetic, always up for a good time! Innocently, Donna thinks he should socialize with all dogs – he is super friendly, after all. Skippy always loves everyone he meets and just wants to play, play, play!

  • Trick Tuesday: Hand Stand

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week’s trick is about balance and rear-end awareness. We are going to teach our dogs to do a hand stand. Before starting this trick, make sure your dog is physically fit and capable of putting pressure on their front end.

    We are going to use our back-up command and a ramp to teach our dogs to balance on their front end only.

    Method: Capturing
    Skill Level: Advanced
    What you’ll need: Food, dog, conditioned reinforcer, movable ramp

  • Taking the Fear out of Nail Trimming

    “Oh my word, NO!!!!” That was her response when I asked her if she wanted to practice nail trimming with her Head Start puppy. Clearly she was terrified of the process. I asked her why. “My last dog used to fight so hard, we had to muzzle him and eventually had to resort to anaesthetizing him to get his nails trimmed. It was awful!”

    We hear these and other similar stories all of the time in classes and we consider it all the more reason to work hard with your puppy to get them used to nail trimming. With a little bit of knowledge and practice, nail trimming can be a simple part of grooming. Remember that even if you don’t want to trim nails yourself, your dog will have to be part of the process and it’s essential that they are comfortable with it.

  • Trick Tuesday: Chin Target

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week’s trick will help your dog win the hearts of everyone around them with its adorable nature! Our tutorial will help you teach your dog to target their chin to an object or your hand./p>

    We are going to use our chin command as a jumping off point for another trick in coming weeks.

  • Top 10 Reasons NOT to get a Puppy

     Whats In There?
    Course Level Taken : Online Training
    Testimonial Rating : 5.00

    Screen Shot 2018 06 14 at 3.02.25 PM  Listen to the Podcast

    There is nothing in the world quite like a puppy – warm, fuzzy and snuggly and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything cuter! But as the holidays approach, squash those thoughts about giving the gift of a puppy. Often parents imagine the wonderment of a soft, fuzzy puppy under the tree – providing a Christmas morning that their children will never forget. Fast forward a few days, weeks or months and the reality is a puppy can put a major strain on a household. Puppies under the tree are NOT a good gift for anyone! So that begs the question: Is your household ready for a puppy? Here are 10 things you should know before adding a puppy to your household:

  • Trick Tuesday: Teach your Dog to Crawl

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week, we are going to teach your dogs to crawl! If you have trouble getting your dog to move to you without getting up, you may find that setting up a pole for them to crawl underneath aids in their understanding.

  • Training From the Dog’s Perspective

    Have you ever wondered what things look like from your dog’s perspective? We took an opportunity to “be the dog” with Ken and Rad, and the use of a “Go-Pro” camera. I think it’s safe to say that Rad was having a great time working through the Grade 1, Lesson #1 demo with proud-Papa, Ken! Watch them train Look at Me, Walking on Lead, Coming When Called and Emotional Control exercises:

  • Trick Tuesday: Teach your Dog to Crawl Backwards

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week, we are going to teach your dogs to crawl BACKWARDS! We’ll do this by combining our “down” skill with our “back up” trick. If you missed the backup trick tutorial, you can view it here:

  • What a Beggar!!! 4 Quick steps to Stop Begging at the Dinner Table

     I want some too!

    People often say that they don’t want to use “human food” to train as they don’t want their dogs to learn to beg at the dinner table. In reality, this rationalization is very far from the true reason dogs learn to beg while you eat. In actuality, you can feed your dog kibble from the table and they will learn to beg just as quickly as if they get human scraps.

    As a dog owner, burn this phrase into your brain: DOGS DO WHAT’S REINFORCING! If you never learn anything else of importance about how dogs think, learn this!!! Dogs will repeat behaviours that earn them reinforcement. The only tricky part is figuring our what that particular dog finds rewarding. Most dogs love food and often dogs love petting, praise and play. That’s just basic insight into canine nature.

  • Trick Tuesday: Teach your dog to run backwards through your legs

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week, we are going to teach your dogs to run backwards between our legs. We’ll do this by combining our “spin” trick with our “back up” trick. If you missed the backup trick tutorial, you can view it here:

    If you missed the spin trick tutorial, you can view it here:

  • Christmas with Canines: Eliminate the Dangers!

    Merry Christmas

    Christmas should be a magical time for all. Don’t ruin your holiday with a trip to the Emergency Vet – be aware of a few Christmas dangers and keep everyone in your family safe this holiday season.

    Things to be aware of:

  • Trick Tuesday: Introduce Your Dog to Frisbee Tricks

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week, we are going to start to teach our dogs some Frisbee skills! In order to have a successful Frisbee dog, your dog must enjoy retrieving. Teach them to first love bringing objects back to you before considering the game of Frisbee.

  • Trick Tuesday: More Frisbee Skills – Teaching “Take”

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week, we will continue on with our dog’s Frisbee skills! Starting with a basic “take” trick, we’ll progress to teaching them to jump over our leg to catch the Frisbee. If you missed last week’s Trick Tuesday where we introduced the Frisbee, you can view the video here:

  • 4 Easy Steps to House Training Success

    Housetraining can be a daunting task if you don’t go about it right. With proper supervision and timely responses, any owner can have a fully housetrained puppy in no time.

    1 – SUPERVISE –this really is the key. The most crucial step in the process. If you aren’t watching and the dog has an accident in the house, it’s a lost training opportunity. Don’t think that disciplining after the fact will help. It never will. It’s crucial that you actively supervise your puppy so that any accidents can be caught as they occur and proper feedback can be given. This may include a soft scold followed by bringing the puppy outside. No harsh corrections are needed or warranted. If you cannot supervise, use an appropriate crate.

  • Trick Tuesday: Frisbee Vault

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    TThis week, we’ll be teaching our dog’s a Frisbee back vault! This one is a bit more complicated. Make sure you have a solid understanding of Frisbee basics. If you missed last week’s Trick Tuesday where we introduced the “take” command, you can view the video here:

  • Trick Tuesday: Frisbee Juggling

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday! Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week, we’ll be teaching our dogs Frisbee Juggling! This trick is a simple and fun way to build your dogs catching and dropping skills. Make sure you have a solid understanding of Frisbee basics. If you missed our Trick Tuesday video on Frisbee foundation, you can view the video here:

  • Trick Tuesday: Shaping Introduction

    Francis in the snow

    Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

    This week, we are going to start the process of shaping by teaching our dogs how to get into a box. The traditional definition of “shaping” is asking our dogs to offer successive approximations on a skill or behaviour. Shaping is so much fun and can be used to teach limitless skills.

    What we are doing is asking our dogs to offer or “shape” a behaviour. Essentially, we are teaching them to think and problem solve. To start shaping, you’ll need an easy behaviour, like getting into a large box. Initially, click any step, motion or even just slight attention towards the box. Then, wait for a little further commitment each time until you’ve reached your desired behaviour.

  • Too Cold to Go Outside? Fun Times Indoors with your Dog!

    Francis in the snow

    Winter can be hard on humans and canines alike. We take for granted how easy it is to entertain our dogs when the weather is nice. So, how can we make sure our dogs don’t go stir-crazy when the weather outside is frightful? Here are a few ideas to help keep you and your pup be content when outdoors isn’t an option.