Sunday, February 1, 2015

Are you exciting enough for your puppy? Puppy Training in Milton

 New puppies are so very exciting. They bring a whole new dynamic to a household, not to mention a whole new level of entertainment. Unfortunately, often we, as owners, are not exciting enough to ebb any interest out of our pups after the first couple weeks of ownership. It's usually around the time that the puppies realize they actually have a mind of their own, and don't necessarily have to trail us around and hang on our every word. This is often the time that new owners get frustrated because their pups have tuned them out, and are making their own decisions, good or bad, instead of listening to mom or dad (sounds familier if you have kids).

The problem tends to be a lack of interest in us, a lack of engagement, and owners pushing the pups into too much distraction, expecting the pup to be right on point with the owner, without laying any good ground work.

As with all dog training, we need to start with as little distraction as possible, and build the pup up from there. Yes, it is extremely important to get your puppies out and socialized with many new places, people and things. However, to expect your pup not to pull you in these socialization situations, to listen intently to your every word, and to put you above all else in the environment, is setting yourself and your pup up for failure if you haven't done the ground work.

And what is ground work, you might ask? Ground work is the intial stages of training to teach your pup that you are something interesting, you are something rewarding, and you are fun. It doesn't have to start with sit, down and stay. You can start with simple steps of teaching your pup their name and attention, and meal time is the perfect time for this. Utilizing LOTS of movement, rewarding attention with food, being fun and rewarding name response are great ways of teaching your pup to interact and engage with you. You can work on such things as following a lure to circle around, luring simple sits and downs, luring the pup onto pillows, teaching the pup to follow you and stay focused. Make your releases fun, rewarding and attention grabbing. Capturing attention and rewarding is key in gaining a dog who wants to pay attention to you, rather than you having to beg them to.

When you see your pup start to click at home, you can start moving your training around so that the pup understands that it's good to pay attention to you where ever they are. If you started in the kitchen, move your work to the living room or basement. If weather permits, the backyard works well for a next step up. When you see that you've got your pups focus in the backyard, you can try the front sidewalk, the park at a distance from activities etc.

Typically this type of training is limited to simple and quick training sessions, but it can also be VERY useful in real life, distracting situations with young puppies. It helps to teach and reinforce that you are better than the dog across the road, you are more fun than the bunny that just ran in front of them, you are more engaging than the neighbour down the street and you are more exciting than the gum on the sidewalk.

With young puppies, namely those under the age of 18 weeks, training should be lots of fun, and very rewarding in order to keep them coming back for more, and the oppostunity to engage your pup is just that. It also allows for a great introduction to simple obedience commands, the process of luring and/or shaping and starts the relationship off on the right foot. It can be started as soon as your pup is comfortably settled in your home, and can be utilized throughout your dogs life.

Remember, keep it fun, keep moving and keep it rewarding and your pup will be begging you for more!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Indoor Activities to Get Your Dog Through the Cold Days - Dog Trainer Milton

Well the cold snap is back again, and there are lots of times in the extreme cold that we do not want to take our dogs out long. So what do do about exercise?

There are many different ways to keep your dog active over the winter months, indoors, large or small.
Number one is practice the training you have started with your dog - set aside 10-20 minutes and go over your sits, downs, stays, comes and heeling. Work on perfecting it under low distraction in your home. When you work your dogs mind alongside their body, they use more energy, feel more satisfied, and I always note that when you do "mind work" in addition to body work, the dogs get way more of a workout.

Number two, teach your dog some new commands and/or tricks. Anything they can learn, no matter how silly it may seem, will benefit your canine companion in both the communication and brain work department. Use their meals as the perfect time to teach new things - get them working for their supper!

Number three, and an awesome one I play frequently, teach your dog to "find". This is a great game if you don't have an area to play fetch in your house. The dog can be either toy or food motivated. Start by having someone hold the dog , or put them in a sit stay, and hide a toy as they watch. Upon release, tell them to "find it". Repeat this process multiple times until the dog catches on to the meaning of the command. Once they do, have them stay or be held in another room or out of view. Hide the toy or treat, go back to them, release and tell them to "find it". You can help if they get stumped. This is a great game for both mind and body work, and fun, fun, fun for drivey dogs.

Number four, if you have the space for fetch, bows the time to teach them in a controlled setting to "fetch" and "give". If your dog isn't a natural fetcher, start on leash . With this game, and with the below game, your dog needs to be taught a proper "give " or "drop it".

And number five, tug! Yes, I said it, and don't believe those that would refrain from having your dog play tug. It's a great game, and can be used to teach self control. Rules need to be implemented, and as above, your dog needs to be taught a solid "give" or "out" before fully engaging, and they should be able to show some self control without re-biting when you've paused. Patience is key, you can work the trade off (tug for treat or other toy), when teaching "give", or you can work the statue (hold very still, with tug against your body, hands on both sides, wait for release, then reward). Key is to be fun while engaging and calm when teaching the "give". This game still offers both mind and body work, gets the heart rate up, and you can throw some obedience or tricks into the game.

There are other ways to keep your dog active is the freezing whether, but these are our favourites that we wanted to share.

Most importantly, Have fun with your dogs!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Dog Training Milton

We're a little late on this, since the original post did not take, but we would like to take a moment to wish everyone all the best over the Holiday Season, no matter what you celebrate! We hope that you had a safe, joyful, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Puppy Class in Milton - Milton Ontario Dog Training

Puppy Class coming!!! 
Did you get a new pup, or are thinking of adding a pup to your family for the new year? 
We have a great puppy class that starts young puppies off on the right foot, in a positive environment that lets them enjoy learning, improves the bond with your pup, and teaches the owner how to handle
typical puppy issues.
4 sessions, 45 minutes - 1 hour each. Cost is $125 plus HST.
January 31st, 1:00-1:45pm
For puppies up to 16 weeks of age - must have two sets of vaccines.
Space is limited, please contact us today for more information

Monday, November 24, 2014

Puppy Class - is that it? Dog Training in Milton

Puppy class, or private puppy training is a fantastic option to start your new addition off on the right foot, introduce them to simple obedience, start building a great bond and respect from your canine companion. However, puppy training is just that ... a start. In no way, shape or form should puppy training be the end of teaching your dog, just as in no way shape or form should grade one be the end of your childs education.

Puppies are constantly growing, changing, learning and exploring. Every day for a puppy is a learning experience and every day for puppies should be a new training opportunity. It would be disappointing to say the least, to end your puppy's "world education" at 16 -18 weeks old. Puppies need consistent, fair and clear training for an extended period of time before formal instruction should end to get the most out of your dogs training (though I believe, just like us humans, training and learning should never end) This time period going upwards of a year, and beyond with certain breeds/temperaments.

I always recommend my clients take a minimum of Basic Training after working through a Puppy Training session. It's great if everyone could add a Bootcamp or Real World type training session after Basic as well, to ensure that your puppy/dog can and will respond in real life situations.

So make sure that if you enroll in puppy training, that you continue your dogs education with basic training or beyond to get the most out of your dog's mind, to ensure that you have a good way of communicating with your dog and to keep your dog happy - a trained dog is a happy dog.

For information on our puppy training and basic training please feel free to contact us at or visit the website for details:

Monday, November 17, 2014

CARO Rally Obedience October 26th, at The Poodle Farm

To say I am proud would be an understatment! On October 26th two of my students competed in their very first Rally Obedience out at The Poodle Farm, in Vanessa, ON. Both did amazing and I am extremely happy with how they handled themselves. Trixie obtained two qualifying runs at the Novice Level and Theo obtained one qualifiying round at the Novice Level. Congratulations to both of you, your hard work paid off!!

Brandy also competed that weekend, and obtained her Advanced Rally Obedience title with CARO. On to Execellent!

We will be opening some Rally Obedience Classes at the Novice and Advanced level in 2015. Rally is an awesome sport, allows you to communicate with your dog throughout, and offers the opportunity to increase your dogs obedience skill levels. These classes will prepare you to compete, and give you and your dog a great goal to strive for. For more information on the upcoming classes, please contact or see the website for details.

Monday, November 10, 2014

December Basic Obedience Dog Training Classes in Milton

We have had a few spaces open up for our Basic Obedience Classes starting in December. This is a MUST class. If you take no other group training, you NEED to take this one. Prepares your dog to work around distraction, to maintain control, and know that calm behaviour is what you are looking for. Small class sizes for optimum individual attention.

Thursday December 11th, 7-8pm
Saturday December 13th, 10-11am

Class runs for 7, one hour sessions. Cost is $220.00 plus HST. This is for puppies/dogs 18 weeks and up. Classes take place at Hall #1 at the Milton Fairgrounds off of Robert Street, downtown Milton.

Please contact us ASAP if you are interested in signing up

Or visit the website for details: