Friday, November 1, 2013

Group Classes for November & December!

Greetings Pet Parents! Here are my class schedules for November and December. We have a TON of classes and free seminars running, so tell all your friends! Since Adopt & Shop is a non-profit animal rescue, each class sale goes directly to helping us save more animals from the shelter! This year we are pushing for 900 adoptions, and we are almost there! Help us reach your goal by continuing your dog's education with us and encouraging your friends to buy your pet supplies from us! The kitties and puppies will thank you! :-)

Classes are currently being held at:

Adopt & Shop
353 Lakewood Center Mall, 
Lakewood, CA 90712

Call to sign-up today! 
(562) 531-2871

Classes currently being offered:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Group Classes Announced!

Greetings all! Here are my group class schedules for August and September! As many of you already know, I am not currently taking on new private training clients because I am now the Pet Services Coordinator for an amazing non-profit rescue organization called Found Animals Foundation and their adoption center/retail store, Adopt & Shop. This is my dream job and working as the founder of their training/services department has been keeping me super busy, so I am asking anyone who is interested in training with me to please sign up for either a group class or private training at Adopt & Shop. The store is also non-profit and all profits made from the sale of merchandise and training classes goes 100% back into the rescue so they can pull more animals from high-kill shelters, provide medical attention to them, vaccinate them, spay/neuter them, and microchip them. In the 2 years that Adopt & Shop has been in business, they have helped over 1,800 cats and dogs find their forever homes!! So come on out and support this amazing organization!

Classes are currently being held at:

Adopt & Shop
353 Lakewood Center Mall, 
Lakewood, CA 90712

Call to sign-up today! 
(562) 531-2871

Classes currently being offered:

Adoption Love & Learn: a class specifically tailored for newly adopted dogs. Think of this class like a "mommy/daddy & me parenting class" where owners and dogs will play fun games and participate in bonding activities to help strengthen their relationship and bring out their new pet's true personality. This class is best suited for dogs who have been in their home for one month or less. Cost: $55 for 4 weeks course (=1-hour class meeting per week).

Shy Dog Play & Grow: this class was created to help shy, fearful and timid dogs come out of their shell and gain the confidence they need to take on the world they live in gracefully and without fear. Dogs will learn how to socialize with strangers and other dogs while playing discovery games and participating in confidence building exercises. Cost: $55 for 4 weeks course (=1-hour class meeting per week).

Beginner Doggie Kindergarten: this is the first class in our obedience training series. Dogs can sign up for this class at any time/age and can participate in this class at the same time as Shy Dog Play & Grow or Adoption Love & Learn if they would like to double the fun. Dogs will learn foundation skills they will build on in their journey towards becoming the perfect dogs. Dogs will learn Sit, Lay Down, Stay, Take It, Leave It, Drop It, Loose Leash Walking and Come, while playing fun games and participating in relationship building exercises. Owners participating in our obedience training course series will learn about effective leadership and be guided in forming a happy, healthy, well-structured relationship with their dog that will last a lifetime! This is a great place to start if your dog has received little or no previous training. All dogs should bring proof of current vaccinations for the first class. Cost: $65 for 4 weeks course (=1-hour class meeting per week).

Smart Doggie High School: this is the second class in our obedience training course series and should be taken after Beginner Doggie Kindergarten. This class builds on the foundation skills previously learned and more advanced commands are introduced. Dogs will learn Loose Leash Walking with distractions, Wait, Come with automatic Sit, Heel, Settle, Stand, Place, Sitting for Greetings, and distance work. Distractions and the duration dogs will need to hold cues are increased. By the time dogs graduate High School they should be able to hold a Sit/Stay or Down/Stay from 15' away in the presence of moderate distractions for 3 minutes. We. Have. Never. Failed! Every single dog that has participated in High School has accomplished this and graduated! :) And as always, fun games and activities are also a big part of the class!
Cost: $65 for 4 weeks course (=1-hour class meeting per week).

Genius Doggie University: this is the third and final class in our obedience training course series and should be taken after Smart Doggie High School. This class builds on the skills learned in previous classes with even more advanced commands introduced. Dogs will be working intensely on performing reliable cues (reliable meaning the cue is executed the first time the cue is given, every time the cue is given), in the presence of heavy distractions, increased duration and from greater distances. Commands taught include: accepting grooming, increased Heel work, Back Up, Go to Bed, Targeting exercises, Heel with Send Away, Door Boundaries, Play Bow, Paw, Look at That, Under, Jump Up, and Down/Stay and Sit/Stay from a distance and held while the owner goes out of sight for 3 minutes. After this class is completed, owners and their dogs will have the opportunity to take the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test! This test will act as a title for your pet from the AKC (even mutts can have titles now!) and is the first step for dogs interested in doing therapy work, service dog training, etc. Cost: $65 for 4 weeks course (=1-hour class meeting per week).

What makes the Adopt & Shop Training Program different from all the rest?

- We are affordable! Why do we price our classes so cheap? The answer is simple. We want to see MORE DOGS receiving training than making a huge profit. We go to animal shelters many times per week and we see what happens to dogs if they have behavior issues or are considered a nuisance. Its no secret that 90% of dogs that are relinquished to shelters by their owners are there for behavioral reasons that are 100% fixable with training, so we want to do everything we can to prevent dogs entering the shelter system for reasons that are completely preventable.

- We are efficient! Our classes last only 4 weeks, whereas our competitors last 6-8 weeks, so the time commitment is not overbearing. And oddly enough in just 4 weeks you will learn far more material in our courses than you would in our competitors courses! 

- We are fun! We believe that if classes are kept positive and fun, then your dog will enjoy training and will want to learn more. By playing fun games and participating in relationship building activities, not only will your dog have a ton of fun, they will enjoy coming to classes and so will you! We even have fun group graduation ceremonies once a month to formally recognize the hard work and commitment both you and your dog have accomplished! Parties include cake and desserts for both humans and doggies, a cider toast, diplomas, pictures, the whole shebang!

Need more reasons? How about these: We are knowledgeable! We are non-profit! Your purchase will help save more animals from the shelter! Your dog will have opportunities to socialize with new people and dogs! Your dog will have the chance to get out and work their minds and bodies!

I could go on and on, but do I really need to at this point? Get to calling already! Classes book fast, and lets be honest, you know you want to! ;-)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Help Save Phantom, the Escape Pittie!

**UPDATE: July 13, 2013. A foster home is DESPERATELY needed for Phantom! We know the shelter will not hold him forever and we need to get him out NOW. We expect to pull him either saturday or monday, but he has nowhere to go after he gets out. Help us find a foster for Phantom! We will help with his training and rehabilitation, we just need a place for him to stay for 1-2 weeks so he can recuperate after his ordeal and pull himself together. This poor dog has been through so much and he will only get worse the longer he is in the shelter. If you are willing and able to foster him, please email me ASAP at Thank you!

Phantom the Escape Pittie
Phantom is a wonderful 7 year old Pit Bull who unfortunately is in quite a jam. The trainers here at Dog Sense had been working with Phantom on his obedience skills for a few months and he was making excellent progress when he was taken by Animal Control on June 5th. He is extremely friendly, energetic, smart as a whip and learns his commands flawlessly. He is a pleasure to be around and has never shown any signs of aggression to anyone. He loves to bark, but his bark sounds worse than his lick. I have walked him with my own dogs and he play bows and gets all wiggly-puppy to encourage them to play. He is a great dog and it is unfortunate that he is in this circumstance, but we believe in him so much that we are doing everything we can for him.

ABOUT PHANTOM (note: these incidences took place before we started training him):
Phantom is a 7 year old Pit Bull who was rescued from the streets after Hurricane Katrina. A rescue picked him up and gave him to a woman named Janet to foster and care for after being diagnosed with stage 4 Heart Worm disease. He recovered and Janet decided to adopt him. Several years later Janet, Phantom and her other dog Shadow moved to a home in southern california. 

On June 5th Phantom was taken from his home by LA Animal Control because he kept escaping from his yard. After 5 escapes and 2 minor scuffles with neighbors dogs (as a professional trainer, I believe these were NOT aggressive, but rather more of a case of the other dogs being under-socialized, Phantom being too excited, and the owners not understanding canine body language), his owner was forced to relinquish him. Fortunately, by heavy social media networking, we were able to stop his euthanasia, but he was given a Potentially Dangerous Dog title. The judge was very kind though and understood that this title may inhibit him from being adopted, so the restrictions placed on him were reduced to just wearing a collar and leash in public and his new owners' yard must be escape proof. Phantom is a sweet, sweet boy and does not deserve this title, and I know from working with him that he is NOT aggressive. His dog-dog interactions are impeccable, and he just wants to receive affection. The Non-Profit rescue organization I work for, has agreed to pull him from Downey Animal Shelter, where he has been for almost two months now, but here is where things get sticky. 

When I went to pull him earlier this week, his paperwork wasn't ready yet but I was able to see him for a behavioral assessment, and what I saw was heartbreaking. Phantom is so terrified from being in the shelter that he has nearly shut down. He was barely responsive, but was able to take a few treats. He whined slightly and began to shake when he saw me, but that was it. He is going to need to spend a few weeks in a loving foster home so he can pull himself together. He is highly treat motivated and loves cuddles, so I know he WILL come out of this, but the rescue I work with is not equipped to take on dogs that need long-term rehabilitation. Will you please help Phantom? We will do everything we can on our end to network him so that he finds the right home, but we feel that he would do best in the hands of a pit bull or other bully-type rescue seeing as they would attract a wider audience with a passion for pit bulls than the ones we see in our demographic. As the head trainer for the company, I will also waive all dog training fees from beginner to advanced, as well as an AKC CGC test to whoever adopts him so that he can continue his education to eventually appeal the PDD title. He needs a foster who is experienced with Pit Bulls, and an adopter who is ready and willing to take on the responsibility of owning a PDD dog (unjustly labeled of course). 

He has already survived living on the streets, a hurricane, a near-fatal disease, and now loosing his home. His owner is absolutely heart broken over this. If any dog needs a second chance, it is Phantom. Please view the video I posted above. It was submitted to the court as evidence during his hearing to show that he is NOT a dangerous dog. This video shows the dog I know and love, and the dog I hope he will be again with the help of the right foster and/or rescue organization. You can compare it to the photo I took of him below on Tuesday. He is barely recognizable now.

I want to thank the animal control department and the court, especially the judge, for being so kind and understanding with his owner in this case. She knows she is too elderly to properly care for him, and for the life of her she could not figure out how he was escaping. He truly is a phantom! But now he will be able to find another good home that will love him just as much as she loves him. We ask that you forward his story on so that Phantom can find a new home and that other mis-judged Pitties can also get a second chance. Thank you!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Waggin Wednesdays- Doggie Sudz Shampoo!

Sorry for the delay in posts this month, I had an epidural injection in my back so I haven't been online much. I'm feeling better now though! 

So earlier this month my training assistant Kate and I went to the Pasadena Groomer's Expo in search of a natural flea shampoo for my cat Linus. He has super sensitive skin, and if we try to put a topical flea medication on him, he looses his fur anywhere the medication was applied. If we leave him alone and a flea bites him, he gets flea bite hypersensitivity and looses his fur on his neck and chest. Needless to say, he's my special little boy whom we prefer to not run around naked, lol. So our mission was to speak to vendors to see what we could find to help him. 

We came across two lovely ladies with Austin Rose, Inc, who recommended we try their shampoo for dogs, called Doggie Sudz. Now, normally you aren't supposed to use dog products on cats, especially when it comes to flea prevention, because Pyrethrins, a common ingredient in flea medications and shampoos, are toxic to cats. However, this shampoo is vegan and uses all organic ingredients and the ingredient list contained no pyrethrins or other harmful chemicals, so we decided to give it a try. We are happy to report that it worked! Linus smells good, his fur is soft and fluffy, and so far no fleas! Linus has all is fur, and I am sure he is very happy about that. ;-) Enjoy this video of our bath time adventure with Linus!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Meme Mondays!

Well, no one ever said dogs were known for their refined palate. lol!

So what kind of food are your dogs eating?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waggin Wednesdays- Pet Parade Dog Bark Repeller!

As a dog trainer I get asked a lot of questions when it comes to barking dogs. For every scenario, whether it be a dog that barks when its left alone all day, a dog that barks when company comes over, a dog that only barks at men, etc, there's a plethora of tools and methods available to handle each situation. I tend to prefer more humane tools and methods (yay positive reinforcement!), but there are some cases in which you have no access to the nuisance dog in question. Take my situation for example.

I used to live in an apartment with my angelic dog Cindy, who never ever barked. However, our neighbors had two dogs that were cooped up all day and received no corrections, training or exercise, so they took out all of their angst and frustrations out by barking. All. Day. Long. Even if someone was home, they still barked. From sun up to sun down, barking barking barking. And to make matters worse, one had a high pitched super yappy bark, and the other was a deep, full bark. It seemed my life was doomed to an existence riddled with noise pollution.

Enter the Pet Parade Dog Repeller! 

This sound deterrent packs a serious punch and is loud enough to interrupt a barking dog's behavior, even if its just for a moment. This small moment of silence is still good enough to reward for, which encourages the dog to be quiet more often and for longer periods of time. Here is how I used it with my neighbors dogs:

- Point device at barking dog (in this case it was through my neighbor's wall)
- say the word "QUIET" and hold the button down until the dog stops barking, even if the dog stops for just for a split second, release the button.
- Praise and/or reward the moment the dog stops barking. (in my case, stopping the dog repeller was the reward).
- Repeat, repeat, repeat.

The dogs soon connected the word "quiet" to the noise and understood that the noise would come soon after the word unless they stopped barking. In a few days time, my neighbors dogs would stop barking if I yelled "quiet!" through the wall, but when my lazy neighbors yelled "SHUT UP!" their dogs would ignore them. Ahh sweet, sweet victory. If only my neighbors had one of these too maybe their dogs would have listened to them.. or better yet, if they had invested time into training them! But I digress..

So as with all dog training tools, this will only work if your timing is quick. You only have a 1-2 second window to let go of the button when your dog stops barking for the dog to connect the cessation of the noise with the cessation of his barking. example: If the dog stops and you are still holding the button down, the dog learns nothing. Be fast, and be consistent and this tool will work great for you!

Also, every dog is different, so this may not work with every dog. But it is definitely worth a try. If you are expecting your dog to shun the sound and back away terrified when it goes off, you may be disappointed. Some dogs react to it with curiosity and a head tilt, but hey, as long as they stopped barking for a moment to check it out, use that moment to reinforce the silence and achieve victory! 

By the way.. the noise is mostly inaudible to people, but it does work. You would only hear it if you put your ear right up to the speaker, which I wouldn't recommend (but did anyway to a friend.... he had it coming. LOL).

Find it at Amazon: