Thursday, December 31, 2009

Clicker Reaction Game

How fast are your reactions?

Click here-----> Sheep Reaction Game to test your clicking skills.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Millie's Crockpot Chicken for dogs

From M. Shirley Chong

1 chicken, bones and all
about a pound of various veggies (anything but onions)
(optional: 1 teaspoon sage)

Place the chicken in the crockpot and cover with water. If you want
it to smell appetising to humans as it cooks, add the sage. Cook on
high for 4-8 hours and on low for 8-12 hours. In the last half hour
of cooking, put in the vegetables.

When the chicken is done, the bones will be easily crumbled with the
fingers. Use a potato masher or a blender to puree the whole mass.

You can also use an electronic pressure cooker, set on high pressure for 90 minutes .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Laura's Dogs

Photo by Robin Tinay Sallie

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Science of Vaccine Damage

written by Catherine O' Driscoll
(posted with permission)

A team at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine conducted several studies (1,2) to determine if vaccines can cause changes in the immune system of dogs that might lead to life-threatening immune-mediated diseases. They obviously conducted this research because concern already existed. It was sponsored by the Haywood Foundation which itself was looking for evidence that such changes in the human immune system might also be vaccine induced. It found the evidence.

The vaccinated, but not the non-vaccinated, dogs in the Purdue studies developed autoantibodies to many of their own biochemicals, including fibronectin, laminin, DNA, albumin, cytochrome C, cardiolipin and collagen.

This means that the vaccinated dogs -- ”but not the non-vaccinated dogs”-- were attacking their own fibronectin, which is involved in tissue repair, cell multiplication and growth, and differentiation between tissues and organs in a living organism.

The vaccinated Purdue dogs also developed autoantibodies to laminin, which is involved in many cellular activities including the adhesion, spreading, differentiation, proliferation and movement of cells. Vaccines thus appear to be capable of removing the natural intelligence of cells.

Autoantibodies to cardiolipin are frequently found in patients with the serious disease systemic lupus erythematosus and also in individuals with other autoimmune diseases. The presence of elevated anti-cardiolipin antibodies is significantly associated with clots within the heart or blood vessels, in poor blood clotting, haemorrhage, bleeding into the skin, foetal loss and neurological conditions.

The Purdue studies also found that vaccinated dogs were developing autoantibodies to their own collagen. About one quarter of all the protein in the body is collagen. Collagen provides structure to our bodies, protecting and supporting the softer tissues and connecting them with the skeleton. It is no wonder that Canine Health Concern's 1997 study of 4,000 dogs showed a high number of dogs developing mobility problems shortly after they were vaccinated (noted in my 1997 book, What Vets Don't Tell You About Vaccines).

Perhaps most worryingly, the Purdue studies found that the vaccinated dogs had developed autoantibodies to their own DNA. Did the alarm bells sound? Did the scientific community call a halt to the vaccination program? No. Instead, they stuck their fingers in the air, saying more research is needed to ascertain whether vaccines can cause genetic damage. Meanwhile, the study dogs were found good homes, but no long-term follow-up has been conducted. At around the same time, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force initiated several studies to find out why 160,000 cats each year in the USA develop terminal cancer at their vaccine injection sites.(3) The fact that cats can get vaccine-induced cancer has been acknowledged by veterinary bodies around the world, and even the British Government acknowledged it through its Working Group charged with the task of looking into canine and feline vaccines(4) following pressure from Canine Health Concern. What do you imagine was the advice of the AVMA Task Force, veterinary bodies and governments? "Carry on vaccinating until we find out why vaccines are killing cats, and which cats are most likely to die."

In America, in an attempt to mitigate the problem, they're vaccinating cats in the tail or leg so they can amputate when cancer appears. Great advice if it's not your cat amongst the hundreds of thousands on the "oops" list.

But other species are okay - right? Wrong. In August 2003, the Journal of Veterinary Medicine carried an Italian study which showed that dogs also develop vaccine-induced cancers at their injection sites.(5) We already know that vaccine-site cancer is a possible sequel to human vaccines, too, since the Salk polio vaccine was said to carry a monkey retrovirus (from cultivating the vaccine on monkey organs) that produces inheritable cancer. The monkey retrovirus SV40 keeps turning up in human cancer sites.

It is also widely acknowledged that vaccines can cause a fast-acting, usually fatal, disease called autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA). Without treatment, and frequently with treatment, individuals can die in agony within a matter of days. Merck, itself a multinational vaccine manufacturer, states in The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy that autoimmune haemolytic anaemia may be caused by modified live-virus vaccines, as do Tizard's Veterinary Immunology (4th edition) and the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.(6) The British Government's Working Group, despite being staffed by vaccine-industry consultants who say they are independent, also acknowledged this fact. However, no one warns the pet owners before their animals are subjected to an unnecessary booster, and very few owners are told why after their pets die of AIHA.

A Wide Range of Vaccine-induced Diseases

We also found some worrying correlations between vaccine events and the onset of arthritis in our 1997 survey. Our concerns were compounded by research in the human field.

The New England Journal of Medicine, for example, reported that it is possible to isolate the rubella virus from affected joints in children vaccinated against rubella. It also told of the isolation of viruses from the peripheral blood of women with prolonged arthritis following vaccination.(7)

Then, in 2000, CHC's findings were confirmed by research which showed that polyarthritis and other diseases like amyloidosis, which affects organs in dogs, were linked to the combined vaccine given to dogs.(8) There is a huge body of research, despite the paucity of funding from the vaccine industry, to confirm that vaccines can cause a wide range of brain and central nervous system damage. Merck itself states in its Manual that vaccines (i.e., its own products) can cause encephalitis: brain inflammation/damage. In some cases, encephalitis involves lesions in the brain and throughout the central nervous system. Merck states that "examples are the encephalitides following measles, chickenpox, rubella, smallpox vaccination, vaccinia, and many other less well defined viral infections".

When the dog owners who took part in the CHC survey reported that their dogs developed short attention spans, 73.1% of the dogs did so within three months of a vaccine event. The same percentage of dogs was diagnosed with epilepsy within three months of a shot (but usually within days). We also found that 72.5% of dogs that were considered by their owners to be nervous and of a worrying disposition, first exhibited these traits within the three-month post-vaccination period.

I would like to add for the sake of Oliver, my friend who suffered from paralysed rear legs and death shortly after a vaccine shot, that "paresis" is listed in Merck's Manual as a symptom of encephalitis. This is defined as muscular weakness of a neural (brain) origin which involves partial or incomplete paralysis, resulting from lesions at any level of the descending pathway from the brain. Hind limb paralysis is one of the potential consequences. Encephalitis, incidentally, is a disease that can manifest across the scale from mild to severe and can also cause sudden death.

Organ failure must also be suspected when it occurs shortly after a vaccine event. Dr Larry Glickman, who spearheaded the Purdue research into post-vaccination biochemical changes in dogs, wrote in a letter to Cavalier Spaniel breeder Bet Hargreaves:

"Our ongoing studies of dogs show that following routine vaccination, there is a significant rise in the level of antibodies dogs produce against their own tissues. Some of these antibodies have been shown to target the thyroid gland, connective tissue such as that found in the valves of the heart, red blood cells, DNA, etc. I do believe that the heart conditions in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels could be the end result of repeated immunisations by vaccines containing tissue culture contaminants that cause a progressive immune response directed at connective tissue in the heart valves. The clinical manifestations would be more pronounced in dogs that have a genetic predisposition [although] the findings should be generally applicable to all dogs regardless of their breed."

I must mention here that Dr Glickman believes that vaccines are a necessary evil, but that safer vaccines need to be developed.

Meanwhile, please join the queue to place your dog, cat, horse and child on the Russian roulette wheel because a scientist says you should.

Vaccines Stimulate an Inflammatory Response

The word "allergy" is synonymous with "sensitivity" and "inflammation". It should, by rights, also be synonymous with the word "vaccination". This is what vaccines do: they sensitise (render allergic)an individual in the process of forcing them to develop antibodies to fight a disease threat. In other words, as is acknowledged and accepted, as part of the vaccine process the body will respond with inflammation. This may be apparently temporary or it may be longstanding.

Holistic doctors and veterinarians have known this for at least 100 years. They talk about a wide range of inflammatory or "-itis" diseases which arise shortly after a vaccine event. Vaccines, in fact, plunge many individuals into an allergic state. Again, this is a disorder that ranges from mild all the way through to the suddenly fatal. Anaphylactic shock is the culmination: it's where an individual has a massive allergic reaction to a vaccine and will die within minutes if adrenaline or its equivalent is not administered.

There are some individuals who are genetically not well placed to withstand the vaccine challenge. These are the people (and animals are "people", too) who have inherited faulty B and T cell function. B and T cells are components within the immune system which identify foreign invaders and destroy them, and hold the invader in memory so that they cannot cause future harm. However, where inflammatory responses are concerned, the immune system overreacts and causes unwanted effects such as allergies and other inflammatory conditions.

Merck warns in its Manual that patients with, or from families with, B and/or T cell immunodeficiencies should not receive live-virus vaccines due to the risk of severe or fatal infection. Elsewhere, it lists features of B and T cell immunodeficiencies as food allergies, inhalant allergies, eczema, dermatitis, neurological deterioration and heart disease. To translate, people with these conditions can die if they receive live-virus vaccines. Their immune systems are simply not competent enough to guarantee a healthy reaction to the viral assault from modified live-virus vaccines.

Modified live-virus (MLV) vaccines replicate in the patient until an immune response is provoked. If a defence isn't stimulated, then the vaccine continues to replicate until it gives the patient the very disease it was intending to prevent.

Alternatively, a deranged immune response will lead to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, pancreatitis, colitis, encephalitis and any number of autoimmune diseases such as cancer and leukaemia, where the body attacks its own cells.

A new theory, stumbled upon by Open University student Gary Smith, explains what holistic practitioners have been saying for a very long time. Here is what a few of the holistic vets have said in relation to their patients:

Dr Jean Dodds: "Many veterinarians trace the present problems with allergic and immunologic diseases to the introduction of MLV vaccines..." (9)

Christina Chambreau, DVM: "Routine vaccinations are probably the worst thing that we do for our animals. They cause all types of illnesses, but not directly to where we would relate them definitely to be caused by the vaccine." (10)

Martin Goldstein, DVM: "I think that vaccines...are leading killers of dogs and cats in America today."

Dr Charles E. Loops, DVM: "Homoeopathic veterinarians and other holistic practitioners have maintained for some time that vaccinations do more harm than they provide benefits." (12)

Mike Kohn, DVM: "In response to this [vaccine] violation, there have been increased autoimmune diseases (allergies being one component), epilepsy, neoplasia [tumours], as well as behavioural problems in small animals." (13)

A Theory on Inflammation

Gary Smith explains what observant healthcare practitioners have been saying for a very long time, but perhaps they've not understood why their observations led them to say it. His theory, incidentally, is causing a huge stir within the inner scientific sanctum. Some believe that his theory could lead to a cure for many diseases including cancer. For me, it explains why the vaccine process is inherently questionable.

Gary was learning about inflammation as part of his studies when he struck upon a theory so extraordinary that it could have implications for the treatment of almost every inflammatory disease -- including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, rheumatoid arthritis and even HIV and AIDS.

Gary's theory questions the received wisdom that when a person gets ill, the inflammation that occurs around the infected area helps it to heal. He claims that, in reality, inflammation prevents the body from recognising a foreign substance and therefore serves as a hiding place for invaders. The inflammation occurs when at-risk cells produce receptors called All (known as angiotensin II type I receptors). He says that while At1 has a balancing receptor, At2, which is supposed to switch off the inflammation, in most diseases this does not happen.

"Cancer has been described as the wound that never heals," he says. "All successful cancers are surrounded by inflammation. Commonly this is thought to be the body's reaction to try to fight the cancer, but this is not the case.

"The inflammation is not the body trying to fight the infection. It is actually the virus or bacteria deliberately causing inflammation in order to hide from the immune system [author's emphasis]." (14)

If Gary is right, then the inflammatory process so commonly stimulated by vaccines is not, as hitherto assumed, a necessarily acceptable sign. Instead, it could be a sign that the viral or bacterial component, or the adjuvant (which, containing foreign protein, is seen as an invader by the immune system), in the vaccine is winning by stealth.

If Gary is correct in believing that the inflammatory response is not protective but a sign that invasion is taking place under cover of darkness, vaccines are certainly not the friends we thought they were. They are undercover assassins working on behalf of the enemy, and vets and medical doctors are unwittingly acting as collaborators. Worse, we animal guardians and parents are actually paying doctors and vets to unwittingly betray our loved ones.

Potentially, vaccines are the stealth bomb of the medical world. They are used to catapult invaders inside the castle walls where they can wreak havoc, with none of us any the wiser. So rather than experiencing frank viral diseases such as the 'flu, measles, mumps and rubella (and, in the case of dogs, parvovirus and distemper), we are allowing the viruses to win anyway - but with cancer, leukaemia and other inflammatory or autoimmune (self-attacking) diseases taking their place.

The Final Insult

All 27 veterinary schools in North America have changed their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats along the following lines; (15) however, vets in practice are reluctant to listen to these changed protocols and official veterinary bodies in the UK and other countries are ignoring the following facts.

Dogs' and cats' immune systems mature fully at six months. If modified live-virus vaccine is giver after six months of age, it produces immunity, which is good for the life of the pet. If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralise the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The litre is no "boosted", nor are more memory cells induced.

Not only are annual boosters unnecessary, but they subject the pet to potential risks such as allergic reactions and immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia.

In plain language, veterinary schools in America, plus the American Veterinary Medical Association, have looked at studies to show how long vaccines last and they have concluded and announced that annual vaccination is unnecessary.(16-19)

Further, they have acknowledged that vaccines are not without harm. Dr Ron Schultz, head of pathobiology at Wisconsin University and a leading light in this field, has been saying this politely to his veterinary colleagues since the 1980s. I've been saying it for the past 12 years. But change is so long in coming and, in the meantime, hundreds of thousands of animals are dying every year - unnecessarily.

The good news is that thousands of animal lovers (but not enough) have heard what we've been saying. Canine Health Concern members around the world use real food as Nature's supreme disease preventative, eschewing processed pet food, and minimise the vaccine risk. Some of us, myself included, have chosen not to vaccinate our pets at all. Our reward is healthy and long-lived dogs.

It has taken but one paragraph to tell you the good and simple news. The gratitude I feel each day, when I embrace my healthy dogs, stretches from the centre of the Earth to the Universe and beyond.

About the Author:

Catherine O'Driscoll runs Canine Health Concern which campaigns and also delivers an educational program, the Foundation in Canine Healthcare. She is author of Shock to the System (2005; see review this issue), the best-selling book What Vets Don't Tell You About Vaccines (1997, 1998), and Who Killed the Darling Buds of May? (1997; reviewed in NEXUS 4/04). She lives in Scotland with her partner, Rob Ellis, and three Golden Retrievers, named Edward, Daniel and Gwinnie, and she lectures on canine health around the world.

For more information, contact Catherine O'Driscoll at Canine Health Concern, PO Box 7533, Perth PH2 1AD, Scotland, UK, email, website Shock to the System is available in the UK from CHC, and worldwide from Dogwise at


1. "Effects of Vaccination on the Endocrine and Immune Systems of Dogs, Phase II", Purdue University, November 1,1999, at

2. See

3. See

4. Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) Working Group on Feline and Canine Vaccination, DEFRA, May 2001.

5. JVM Series A 50(6):286-291, August 2003.

6. Duval, D. and Giger,U. (1996). "Vaccine-Associated Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in the Dog", Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 10:290-295.

7. New England Journal of Medicine, vol.313,1985. See also Clin Exp Rheumatol 20(6):767-71, Nov-Dec 2002.

8. Am Coll Vet Intern Med 14:381,2000.

9. Dodds, Jean W.,DVM, "Immune System and Disease Resistance", at

10. Wolf Clan magazine, April/May 1995.

11. Goldstein, Martin, The Nature of Animal Healing, Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1999.

12. Wolf Clan magazine, op. cit.

13. ibid.

14. Journal of Inflammation 1:3,2004, at content/1/1/3.

15. Klingborg, D.J., Hustead, D.R. and Curry-Galvin, E. et al., "AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents' report on cat and dog vaccines", Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 221(10):1401-1407, November 15,2002,

16. ibid.

17. Schultz, R.D., "Current and future canine and feline vaccination programs", Vet Med 93:233-254,1998.

18. Schultz, R.D., Ford, R.B., Olsen, J. and Scott, P., "Titer testing and vaccination: a new look at traditional practices", Vet Med 97:1-13, 2002 (insert).

19. Twark, L. and Dodds, W.J., "Clinical application of serum parvovirus and distemper virus antibody liters for determining revaccination strategies in healthy dogs", J Am Vet Med Assoc 217:1021-1024,2000.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Boundary Training without Shock

Boundary Training

Steve Benjamin, KPACTP, KPA Faculty

Would you like to train your dog to stay in your yard without resorting to electrical shock? There is a way to do it that is inexpensive, takes about the same amount of time, and is just as reliable as the electronic containment systems commercially available.


"To me, as a behavioral biologist, the most useful and wonderful aspect of reinforcement training is the window that the training opens into the animal's mind." - Karen Pryor

Developmental Stages in Puppies

Developmental Stages in Puppies

"Puppies provided with poor socialization or deprived of environmental exposure often develop lifelong deficits and dysfunctional behaviors. A puppy isolated early in life from other puppies and humans will not only fail to establish satisfying social contact with conspecifics or enjoy companionship with people later in life (such puppies are extremely fearful of any social contact), they will also exhibit widespread behavioral and cognitive disabilities as well. Isolated puppies exhibit poor learning and problem-solving abilities and are extremely hyperactive or rigidly inhibited, are emotionally over-reactive and unable to encounter novel social or environmental situations without extreme fear and avoidance, and are socially and sexually incapacitated." - Handbook of Applied Behavior and Training, Steven R. Lindsay

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It takes a strong-minded human to appreciate a strong-minded dog.
-- Mary Webber

Friday, November 27, 2009

Verbal Marker?

Here is great blog on TAG - clicker training people.

Here is more information about TAGing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"No matter how celebrated the trainer is, there are always things that don't fit with our own personalities, our dogs, and our clients." -- Mia Dunn

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Persistence is a canine characteristic. -- Phyllis Dorrough

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tag Teaching

Here is a collection of videos that show TAG or clicker training people.

Tagging (Teaching with Acoustical Guidance) is clicking for people.
The website says TAGteach is a new way of teaching using positive
reinforcement with a click sound marker to identify successful
performance. We all know there is nothing new about using a clicker.

A tag point is what you are clicking the the person for. I click my
seven year old for various things, but unlike Red and Blue - my dogs -, I tell her what I am
clicking her for - and I don't give her a treat. She works to make me click her. We started out with me passing out M&M but it interrupted the flow. Then I went to me dropping an M&M in to a cup to give to her later and she was not interested in having them. She just wanted to keep

So teacher give their student a string of beads and the student moves a bead from one end of the string to the other.

In my dog training classes I'll give the student a tag point like
Still hands or Treat for position after explaining what I'd like the
person to work on and say their name as the click (since I have four
students at a time in class and all will have different tag points.)

Adult clicker trainers tend to resist being clicked (treated like a
dog) which is why I use a verbal, and use praise instead of a cookie
or a ball toss. ;-)

Look at these videos. WARNING they are using clickers for people. It
drives my dogs crazy. YMMV

I also have been using it (with a clicker) with my seven year old's basketball
team. I worked one on one with each kid and a parent teaching the
parent to tag their kid to improve their drilling skills and footwork. The girls
have gotten very good. If the season was longer and we did not have so
much to cover, I'd get the kids tagging each other.

Also read this article about TAGing teenage dog trainers.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination. - Fitzhugh Dodson

Saturday, September 26, 2009

TTouch Method

This is from the TTouch website ~~ TTouch - the Tellington TTouch - is a method based on circular movements of the fingers and hands all over the body. The intent of the TTouch is to activate the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence - a little like "turning on the electric lights of the body."

Targeting for Shy Dogs

Hand Targeting for Shy Dogs - The best bloopers are a click away

Targeting Exercise For Fearful Dogs - Amazing videos are here

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

On Failure in the Ring

I think I know *why* a lot of people lose badly.

Firstly because they build in errors by working on past mistakes in training, and by paying attention to mistakes.

Secondly because they don't start with enthusiasm.

Thirdly because a show is a very different environment to where a lot of people train, and where owners act weird.

And, fourthly because they practice whole exercises.

The first one is easily fixed. If your dog looks away when teaching
heelwork, stop.

Do small amounts of heelwork perfectly, not large amounts with faults in the middle.

If your dog doesn't do a perfect front, don't give the cue to heel. Chains are reinforced by giving the cue to continue the chain. Don't reinforce mistakes by cueing the next part.

Never, ever pay attention to mistakes either. This means don't reinforce a mistake by trying to get your dogs attention. The classic one most dogs learn is that if they look away or wander off while heeling their dad gets liver out. Over time I have watched people train their dogs to heights of innattention with this method, and I have done it too.

Secondly train with play. Throw food so your dog has to run and get it, play with toys, play with your dog without toys, surprise your dog, use FANTASTIC treats, use rubbish treats, use bizarre treats, but get them off your body as soon as possible!

Thirdly train in weird places, train all over, train in new places and allow your dog to explore them after he works. Of course if he doesn't work, he doesn't get to go explore.

Train where you feel embarrassed. I find any where public embarrassing, but places with bigger audiences worse, like lawns outside schools, high streets, public parks.

And, fourthly don't practice whole chains. Split 'em up. A typical practice session for me would include my dog sitting at heel while I throw toys and food out, heelwork through all those distractions, sending my dog to collect a distraction, calling it back to present, sending it for a toy, calling it back through my legs, taking the toy (no present) getting a finish then leaving in a stay, walking away and turning suddenly waving my arms in the air etc, then releasing the dog to go fetch another toy, and so on.

- --
Jane Curthoys

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Your First Track

Tracking is a great game to play with your dog. Any age dog or puppy can be started on tracking.

Your First Track


Here is a good article about punishment. It explains what punishment is and why not to use it.

"But isn't that Pain?"
"I hereby swear to listen to my dog and not give in to trying human
suggestions that I know will reduce her choices and increase her discomfort."

Marra Apgar

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Circus Poodles

Here is the finished product of excellent training! I think I'd be a good trainer if I had a poodle.

See if you can spot the dogs getting treats in the ring.

"If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us."
— Jim Rohn: Author and motivational speaker

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dog Bite Laws

If you have a reactive dog, it is very important that you know and understand the dog bit laws.

This website, Dog Bite Laws, is a great place to start.

Dr. Ian Dunbar's bite assessment criteria

Dr. Ian Dunbar's bite assessment criteria when assessing a dog bite.

1.. Level 1- Dog growls, lunges, snarls-no teeth touch skin. Mostly intimidation behavior.

2.. Level 2- Teeth touch skin but no puncture. May have red mark/minor bruise from dog's head or snout, may have minor scratches from paws/nails. Minor surface abrasions acceptable.

3.. Level 3- Punctures ½ the length of a canine tooth, one to four holes, single bite.No tearing or slashes.Victim not shaken side to side. Bruising.

4.. Level 4- One to four holes from a single bite, one hole deeper than ½ the length of a canine tooth, typically contact/punctures from more than canines only. Black bruising, tears and/or slashing wounds. Dog clamped down and shook or slashed victim.

5.. Level 5- Multiple bites at Level 4 or above. A concerted, repeated attack.

6.. Level 6- Any bite resulting in death of a human.

"Loss of attention does not happen in the ring, you just notice it there." - Dog Sport magizine

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"It's not the Will to Win that helps you succeed, it's the Will to TRAIN to Win that makes the difference.

"Anyone can want it, but only a few will truly take the time to TRAIN to
achieve it!" - Troy Bassham

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default."
-- JK Rowling

Read about the Dominance Controversy

Dr. Sophia Yin explains that dominance is not a personality trait.

Read her web posting by click here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dog Treats

Tuna Brownies
2 cans of tuna in water, drained & flaked
(or you could use 1 large can of salmon or jack mackerel. If you use tuna in olive oil and leave the oil in they will be moister)
2 eggs
2 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ cups flour of your choice
2 tbs of chopped parsley

Mix. Dough should be stiff. If necessary, add a few drops of water.

Press into a foil-lined cookie sheet, sprayed with Pam or a bit of olive
oil. Dough should be approximately ¼ inch thick.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until dry.

When cool, cut into ¼ to ½ inch strips with a pizza cutter. Store in the
refrigerator for up to a week, or longer in the freezer.

To serve, you can either break off small pieces with your hands or cut the strips into small (½ inch) squares with a scissor.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Cheryl Zuccaro

Thursday, May 28, 2009

If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome. -Michael Jordan

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ideas for Keeping a Dog Busy

A couple of years ago, Blue blew out a hock.

In an effort to keep both Blue stimulated
and happy in her cast for 20 weeks
I had to come up with a plan.

I looked at every idea that was sent to me
and thought about what I could train on a lead,
in a crate, on a mat or in an exercise
pen. I have been picking something to work on for
a couple of minutes every hour that I am at home and awake.

And every potty break was a training session.

A lot of the stuff we had been working on already,
Blue after all was my agility dog.

Mainly I am used Sue Ailsby's training levels
( and
Shirley's keepers (
to guide me in training.

Blues training plan
-- pick up (as in let me pick you up)
-- nose touch to target / object (naming objects
or just pointing) with duration
-- nose touch to end stick with duration
-- nose touch to my hand with duration
-- paw touch to target / object (naming objects
or just pointing) with duration
-- paw touch to stick with duration
-- paw touch to my hand with duration
-- Spin
-- Twist
-- follow target stick
-- follow my hand
-- Husbandry - accept any type of handling
-- LLW to potty and back
-- Leash manners
-- Shirley's say please
-- Shirley's conditioned relaxer
-- Shirley's induced sleep
-- Shirley's Retrieve
-- Shirley's Recall redux
-- find Mine - Scent Discrimination
-- settle (lie down flat on side)
-- Take (shape a hold using wood, plastic, leather, metal)
-- Give (shape a give using wood, plastic, leather, metal)
-- Sit
-- Sit stay
-- Sit for exam
-- Down
-- Down stay
-- Down for handling
-- Zen
-- Look at That
-- Go sniff
-- Sit at door
-- getting teeth brushed
-- Yes (same as click)
-- Look back at doorways
-- Crate games
-- Leash on and off
-- collar grab
-- ruff grab
-- urinate on cue on a short lead on any surface
-- defecate on cue on a short lead on any surface
-- Use a specific place in the yard as an outdoor bathroom
-- quiet (no bark) on cue
-- Bark on cue
-- Ready (sit and look at me)
-- Taz (short for Tasmanian devil which is her nick name)
look at me and see what I will ask next
-- pronto (classically conditioned recall cue-
come now and let me touch you)
-- eat (clean you bowl immediately or it will be removed.)
-- drink (take a couple of lick from what I offer you)
-- mat go and stay until called or release
-- crate enter and stay in crate until told to leave with door open
-- Sits to leave crate. Walks out and sits again.
(WALKS out and turns to look at you)
-- Look at cat then automatically look at me. (without barking)
-- Stand
-- Stand stay
-- Stand for exam
-- classically condition love of a head halter
-- classically condition love of a life jacket
-- classically condition love of a back pack
-- classically condition love of an elizabethan collar
-- classically condition love of a muzzle
-- classically condition love of nail grinder
-- classically condition attention to me when I
sing twinkle twinkle little star
-- classically condition attention to me when I wear a
black wrist band on my left wrist
-- auto watch me
-- Find it (treat dropped or hidden near the dog to
teach her to sniff for it)
-- Blue (look at me when I say your name)
-- Dogs (look at me when I say your dogs)
-- Easy (slow down)
-- Wait
-- Build a motivating toy
-- Build a desire to tug (laying down and sitting?)
-- One meal a day spread in a scent box
-- scenting (from training levels)
-- Ring bell with nose
-- Ring bell with paw
-- Roll over
-- Rub back on floor
-- Shake hands
-- other hand
-- Paw wack
-- Other paw wack
-- Both paw wack
-- High Five
-- other high five
-- Wave
-- other wave
-- give a back paw
-- give other back paw
-- Cover your eyes
-- stretch - captured when she leave crate
-- bow
-- U-turn (Turn 180 back towards me and touch my hand)
-- here (come up behind me and touch what ever hand is presented)
-- safe (sit behind me. it is okay to look out between my legs)
-- kiss
-- smile - captured (mouth slightly open, ears back, eyes soft)
-- sing (howl)
-- look (the way I point)
-- Right (dog's)
-- Left (dog's)
-- Shaping games
-- Bang (play dead)
-- Cross paws - The dog is laying down, with one paw
crossed over the other
-- Chin (rest you chin in my hands so I can clean your tear ducts)
-- Pull on rope
-- Find/bring car keys
-- Push something with the nose
-- Sneeze
-- Stop / freeze on cue
-- stationary left heel
-- stationary right heel
-- Teach names for toys (Get or touch a toy by name)
-- Put Away The Toys
-- sit go wild sit
-- Be a wolf Bare teeth
-- Cock your head to one side
-- Growl
-- Nod your head
-- Rub muzzle on floor
-- Shake your head
-- Wet - Shake yourself
-- Wag tail
-- Yawn
-- Look cute (ears up)
-- Balance treat on the nose
-- toss up and catch a treat from nose

Bored Dog Exercises

I like tracking with my dog because it is just me and Blue out working. She doesn't have to "worry" about other dogs.

Look at these two links for ideas.

Scent Discrimination

Tracking Games

Monday, May 18, 2009


Ick! Ticks. It is that time of the year.

Click on the links below for more infomation.

Dos and Do Nots

Tool for Removal

Great Website

Monday, May 11, 2009

A dog training question

"A search and rescue handler and dog team that has been performing fairly well in training, even with some blind (they don't know where the subject/article is) problems is ready to do a formal evaluation. They feel ready, but they have test anxiety anyhow. Unfortunately now, so does their dog. The dog will literally start barfing because of stress (handler is working hard to control their own stress, but having a barfing dog doesn't help). No leashes are used, but we all know the leash doesn't matter that much anyhow as the invisible ones are just as taut as the actual leashes :). The test must be called off because the dog just shuts down. The handler does not use aversive training methods either. It seems to simply be test anxiety. I know the handler works hard to stay calm during an eval and even seems to be ok, but how do we make them calmer so the dog feels it too?"

My answer:

Can the handler do a couple of mock tests running someone else's already certified dog?

In another life, I spent 20 years as a Junior Olympic boxing coach, judge and referee. "Choking" was a common problem with my young athletes so we put in a lot of time working on mental toughness.

Mental toughness, by definition, toughness is "to be strong and resilient; able to withstand great strain without tearing or breaking. It is "between the ears" toughness. Mental toughness is skill.

Try the book "That Winning Feeling" by Jane Savoie which has helped lots of people who compete with their dogs. And even better book is "The New Toughness Training for Sports" by James E. Loehr.

Can you get the handler to learn to meditate? Various forms of meditation have been used for thousands of years for almost any purpose you can fathom, including reduction of stress, enhanced mental clarity, and simple relaxation.

Can you get the handler to learn to visualize?

Can you get the handler to over prepare? There should be nothing new on test day.

Can training days be varied, different, more stressful? Just as progression is an important part of training, applying any challenging stimulus to the handler's life will give the handler a greater ability to handle stress of all kinds. It would go a long way towards teaching the handler problem-solving skills and critical thinking, both of which can help the handler tough out any number of situations.

Can the handler teach the dog some stress relieving tricks to do as they warm up for the search?

Can you put a calming word into the dog and handler's training vocabulary? Get the handler to use it frequently at home when everything is relaxed and safe. The use it out and about, during trainings, until the dog realizes that it is the cue that everything is fine. (I sing happy birthday to my reactive GSD, Blue.) This can be a great tool when the handler is pushed to work a stressful area, as the dog can be reassured. (And I personally find it hard to be stressed while signing something as silly as happy birthday.)

Can the handler learn doggy calming signals and mimic them for the dog?

Can you find a way to turn the stress signals that the handler throws in to a cue for calm for the dog?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Kid helping in my manners class

I took the kid to work with me recntly. She helped train a 1 year old lab mix in my basic manners class. Instead of taking photos with a still camera, I shot video.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What is a treat and train?

A treat and train is a remote reward training system (currently sold under the name MannersMinder) that was developed by Dr. Sophia Yin. Click her name to go to the MannersMinder website.

I like to use it for crate training and for down stays on the mat. The dogs had the breakfast kibble served from the TnT on their mats this morning. The dogs think the TnT isnthe best thing since sliced bread. I own three of the original model.

I set the TnT to the down stay mode to drop one piece of kibble on a variable rate with 10 seconds as the average. That setting means the kibble will fall at an average of every ten seconds apart but may be as close as every second or as far apart as 20 seconds.

The machine took about 35 minutes to empty of 8 ounces (by weight) of mixed kibble. Today's kibble a mix of Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Reduced Calorie Dog Formula, Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Green Pea and Duck Cat Formula and Solid Gold Barking at the Moon Grain Free Dog. Kibble is a special treat to my raw fed dogs and cat kibble is the cream. I always have a variety on hand as I work in a pet store that always has a lot of different samples to give away.

Neither dog left their mat. Between kibble drops both dogs stared holes in to my face. Both know that the remote is operated by me to drop kibble. They love the TnT's remote almost as much as they love the clicker.

Over the years we've had our TnTs, I have rewarded both dogs a lot to look at me instead of beating up the machine between treats. Red can get one open in about three seconds using his paw. Blue just thinks that a couple of strong paw whacks will speed things up.

I was sitting about 20 feet away reading email. Anytime I looked up and both dogs were looking at me, I used the remote control to drop some kibble.

When I do mat work any more I don't use the TnT. I used it today so I could take photo. I do pull it out to prevent crate screaming one of Red's most endearing habits, and to work on distance and direction and drive. I think I will also start using it for contacts.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Photographing Dogs

Get as close as you can. Fill the frame with your subject.

This is 3-month-old Finn playing tug with his father, Ryder.

Growing up Finn

This is Finn at 11-months-old.

This is Finn at 3-months-old.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Kiss

Notice Blue's soft ears.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Have fun, that’s the point.
Your dog’s doing it for you.
Dennis Murphy

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

“It's not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.”

-- Francis Bacon, Sr. quotes (English Lawyer and Philosopher. 1561-1626)

How to stuff a Kong

No grapes, raisins, onions, or chocolate

Possible Kong Stuffers:

Cut very tiny pieces of any of the following ingredients. Put the Kong openning side up in a coffee mug to hold the Kong still for stuffing. Stuff Kong and freeze. Always keep a spare in the freezer. To occupy your dog during the dinner hour, feed them their regular kibble amount in the Kong. If you only have one dog, you can hide stuffed Kong throughout the house while away.

Place in dishwasher after use.

Canned dog food

Oatmeal (raw but soaked in water or chicken broth)

Rice (cooked)

Apples, Bananas, Oranges, Blueberries


Frozen green beans

Frozen carrots

Frozen corn

Canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

Peanut butter

Cream cheese

Cheese Spreads


Cottage cheese

Mashed potatoes

Canned soup

Doggy toothpaste






Baby Food

Caution: Any new food can cause a stomach upset in your puppy. Initially, experiment with small quantities every other day

Treat Dispensing Puzzles

Moving beyond the Kong

Treat dispensing puzzles are food/treat dispensing toys for dogs. Food or treats fall out of the toy as the dog plays with it, providing mental stimulation and physically active. Most dog owners have a Kong or two. Here are other toys to consider.

Amazing Ball



Sunday, April 12, 2009

Java runs the jump chute

Java runs the jump chute after our Control Unleashed class.

Red Plays with Lynnda

Red plays with Lynnda after Control Unleashed class.

Control Unleashed Class- Java's Treat and Train

Java has a Treat and Train to help her be happy in her crate. She still gets in a bit of barking.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hang with dogs

Dog in a box

Jane brought Finn, my God dog, to visit and show off his box trick. For a clicker class that Jane is taking, she shaped Finn to drive to a box, leap in and lie down. He worked his trick with joy and enthusiasm.

The girls

Medusa and Granite visited my Canine Good Citizen class today.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dog Training

What!?! On a dog training blog?

Using breakfast (kibble for training) I worked both dogs today:

Red worked on the fold back down.

Blue worked on go to mat as it was tooo cold to work on Loose Lead Walking outside. Ms. Blue pulls like a freight train.


Red will offer his relax down (turn around three times and flop down
flat on his side) or his regular down (fold over on left hip then
lower chest and chin to the ground) most often, even with a lure.

I started requesting a regular down and tossing the treats behind him
so he had to get up. Over and over again. When he got tired of
getting up from that position, he folded into a down. That was the
first time I clicked. So he did it again (with out my asking for a
down - which is a good thing I realize as I want to keep the regular
down. I tossed the treat to get him up and he offered it again. I just
clicked and tossed, clicked and tossed. We did about 15 reps with him

Silly me to see what he would do, I asked for a down. He sighed and
gave me his regular down. I treated him and freed him but did not
click. I had to toss a treat to get him on his feet again. I waited.
He offered the fold back down. I clicked and quit. When I get to the
naming point, I think I'll call it drop.

Blue's training involved sending her across the room to her mat. We
just did six reps at eight feet and quit. My goal is to be in the
kitchen out of sight and send the dogs to mats in the living room. I
had to put Blue outside while I worked with Red. She was not a happy
camper. Red was happy to be fed just for laying on his mat while I
worked with Blue.

Yesterday I worked both dogs at the same time on the mat as a magnet.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Red Goes Around

Lynnda uses Red and then Java to show how to teach a distance exercise. It is easily to teach your dog to work reliably at a distance. It is also one of life's necessities.

Lynnda shaped Red to go near the cone – click for being near it, for looking at it, for walking toward it, etc – AND she lured Red into position by tossing each treat further along the path she wanted him to take.

This was Red's first work on the cone exercise and he got it fairly quickly. Lynnda doesn't know him well enough yet to see then he is over loading and getting ready to zoom. He did manage to get two laps around the ring in before she could get him back.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Nail Trimming

A well trained dog

Here is a video that I like but did not take. This is a well trained dog. I wonder if they used a clicker.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sam I am.

Dogs are far better at shaping people than people are at shaping
dogs. -- Susan Garrett

Doggie Cam

Friday, April 3, 2009

Why Positive Reinforcement Training Works

For the article CLICK HERE
"Give the cue a name when you'd bet your paycheck that the dog will do the behavior." - Tia Guest

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I took these photos in May 2007 at an outdoor agility trial in Savage, MN. I went to practice shooting movement. But a dog jumping looks like every other dog jumping. I like to find interaction between people and their dogs as well as dogs in action. I take photos (or video) at every dog event I can attend.