Monday, April 30, 2012

Let funny dogs lie.

Ever see your dog lying perfectly content but in the most uncomfortable awkward-looking position.
One of the many reasons our dogs make us smile!

Positive Gun-Dog Training Weekend

I was delighted to be able to work with my mentor once again, Inga From (head trainer at Midwest Animal Rescue Services), helping her with a weekend seminar.  Furthermore, I was very excited to be able to meet an amazing dog training from England, Helen Phillips.

Inga is one of only a handful of trainers in the United States that teaches positive reinforcement training for hunting dogs.  Helen has been using positive training for hunting dogs in the UK for 25 years and gave an amazing seminar over the weekend.  Many people attended from all over the United States and Canada.  Although I am not a hunter and will never do this sort of training myself, I believe it is very important to learn as much as I can about all types of dog training.  I also had a wonderful time helping out people as I learned alongside them, and got to meet a lot of other trainers as well.

If you are interested in learning a really great non-traditional way to train your dog for hunting, please consider Positive Gun Dogs of Minnesota, with local trainer Inga From.

Helen Phillips in the classroom.

Helen demonstrating in the field.

Helen Phillips & Athena

Athena & Inga From

Some of the weekends participants.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Minnesota Horse Expo 2012

My aunt and uncle in Wisconsin have always had horses, so every year they come to the Minnesota Horse Expo held at the State Fair grounds.

As I do every year, I took my youngest dog, Caravaggio (or Vaggy as we call him most of the time).  It's important to socialize your dogs AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!!!  Even as your dog gets older, it's important to keep giving them many new experiences so they can learn to be comfortable in any situation.

Although they do allow dogs onto the fair grounds for the event, they do not allow dogs inside the horse barns or coliseum.  I would recommend to most families if you're going to the event and want to see all they have to offer, to leave your dogs at home.  However, if you're like me and you want to go to such an event to look at things for sale (they have all kinds of dog stuff as well), have a day with your dog, and hang out with some good people, I highly recommend bringing your pup along.

It's a great place to introduce your dog to all kinds of new things.  (Please note you should never bring an aggressive dog to any such event).

The Minnesota Horse Expo is held the last weekend in April every year.  Try and check it out next year!

Below is a picture of Caravaggio and myself next to a pony.  He was only a few inches shorter :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Trainer Tips--Professional Dog Help

When seeking professional help for your dog training needs, make sure you do your research.  It's always great if you know a friend who can highly recommend someone for you, but many of us are starting from scratch when trying to find help.  My advice?  Look for someone that has been professionally trained.  Look for a trainer that has knowledge in positive reinforcement dog training, and has been certified as a companion dog trainer.  Above all else, work with someone you feel comfortable with.  In order to properly learn, both you and your dog must be comfortable and fairly relaxed during training.  Find a trainer that enjoys what they do, that is happy to work with you, and excited to help you and your dog.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Positive Gun-Dog Training Weekend

Coming Up....April 27th, 28th, and 29th 2012.
Positive Gun-Dog Training

Professional Gun Dog Trainer: Helen Phillips - Her first appearance in the United States.
Workshop 1: April 27th 
Workshop 2: April 28th & 29th 
Marine on St. Croix & Blaine, MinnesotaRegistration open.  Visit the positive gun dogs MN website to sign up.
Dinner Meet & Greet with Helen Phillips

Friday, April 27th 5:30pm 
Marine on St.Croix/Stillwater, MN
Come meet other clicker gun dog lovers, workshop participants & Helen Phillips for dinner.
Cost: $25 (includes: dinner & social hour with Helen) 
Must preregister by e-mailing: to sign up!  

I will be helping out MARS trainer Inga From with this very exciting event.  If you are looking to train a hunting dog in a positive way, please visit the above website.  Hope to see you all there.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Animal Behavior Certified Dog Trainer

Although I have been training and working for a long time towards this goal, I am now officially certified as a dog training.  I received the title of Animal Behavior Certified Dog Trainer--ABCDT from Animal Behavior College.  I feel very excited and proud to begin my career the right way, as a certified dog training instructor.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Breed of the Month--Harrier


Color:  Any recognized hound color.
Height:  19-21.5 inches
Weight:  40-60 lbs
Life Span:  10-12 years

Breed Health Concerns:  May possibly include hip dysplasia.

Coat:  Dense, hard, weatherproof, glossy, short
Country of Origin:  Great Britain

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

Originally bred for hunting European hares, the Harrier is a smaller version of the English Foxhound.  This breed was brought to the United States as early as the 1700s.  Many Harrier packs were bred by specialized hunt clubs.  Today the breed is less known but still have a loyal following.

The Harrier looks very similar to the Foxhound and Beagle, but has a very different temperament.  The Harrier is adaptable, good-natured, and easygoing.  Like his fellow hounds, the Harrier rather enjoys using his loud voice.

The Harrier needs to be able to freely use his nose regularly.  This breed needs a large, open space where he can hunt and run.  Several long walks a day where the Harrier can do this will keep him happy.

Occasional brushing and a rub down with a hound glove will keep the Harrier's coat looking nice.

The Harrier must be trained with a positive but firm hand.  To keep the Harrier sweet and friendly, it is important to socialize him from puppyhood.  The Harrier is known to be somewhat single-minded and stubborn.