Monday, July 16, 2018

Kong Dotz Review

Check out our review of the Kong Dotz dog toy.

Chew toys are important for any day, but especially if you have a dog that is a heavy chewer.  Our puppy, Ahsoka, is a very heavy chewer.  She loves her toys, loves to play, and loves to chew.  Its important to try different chews with different materials and different textures for your dog.  Just because one dog loves a certain chew toy, doesn't necessarily mean that your dog will love that same toy.  
Although I do like many Kong toys, unfortunately the Kong Dotz is not one of them.  This is as product I can not recommend.  I thought at first that this toy would hold up to heavy chewing, it does not.  Plus, once your dog really gets into chewing this toy, it starts coming apart in very small pieces.  This is not a good thing as these pieces may be swallowed by your dog.  I did find a few pieces of the Kong Dotz in Ahsoka's poop.  This is really bad.  The plastic this toy is made of is definitely NOT something we want passing through our dog's body.  If the piece is large enough, it may get stuck and become an obstruction requiring surgery for your dog.  Obviously this is not something any of us want.  Therefore I must give the Kong Dotz toy a 1 our of 5 STARS.  I do not recommend this product for your dog.

Other helpful Blog Articles:
Kong Phatz Toy Review

Look Who's Happy Dog Treat Review
Sweet Potato Treat Review

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sit & Down

Teaching your new puppy Sit & Down.
For this you will use a food lure, which is basically "attaching" the dog's nose to "oh this smells good."  We can use that to lure them into many positions.  Its how we first teach most new behaviors.  

Sit:  Place the food in the dog's nose and slowly move it up and over their head.  Wait until their but hits the ground and say "Sit," followed by "Good" and a tasty treat (or other reward your dog enjoys).

Down:  First place your dog in a sit and reward.  Then place the food in the dog's nose and very slowly move it straight down to the ground.  Pause here for 1-2 seconds, then very slowly pull the food forward along the ground.  Wait until the dog's belly hits the ground then say your "Down, Good!" and reward.

Sometimes it make take several tries to get your dog to do this.  Don't get frustrated.  If you're having trouble training one of these, especially Down, and its not going well, take a break and move onto something else or play with your dog instead.  Try and always end training on a happy note.  Be patient and it will happen.

Other helpful Blog articles:

Teaching Down Puppy Nipping
Dog Accessories 
Anti-Jump Training
Helpful Ways to Exercise your puppy
Come When Called:  Step One
Come When Called:  Step Two

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Kong Phatz Toy Review

Check out our video review of the hippo toy, Kong Phatz.

This toy is definitely NOT for heavy chewers!  Our puppy Ahsoka just turned one year old. She has always been a heavy chewer and tends to destroy toys pretty quickly.  Because of this, we did some research and purchased some new toys that are supposed to hold up to heavy chewing.  This toy definitely does not hold up.  Ahsoka completely destroyed this toy in about 2 weeks.  I would not recommend this toy.

Other helpful blog articles:

Ruffwear Dog Backpack Review
Helpful Ways to Exercise your Puppy

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Look Who's Happy Treat Review

Today's product review is for "Look Who's Happy Farm 'n Fresh."  When it comes to choosing a treat for your dog, I like to choose things that are healthy and do not contain a lot of extra unnecessary additives.  This treat does well in this regard.  "Look Who's Happy" contains NO GMO, glycerin, by-products, added hormones, artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.  I like seeing products like this.  I always recommend looking at the ingredients on anything you want to give to your dog.  The first few ingredients on these treats are:  Duck, chicken, & pea powder.  These are good things.  Look for real ingredients on your dog's food or treats.  This product is also made in the United States, which is always positive.  You often hear of treats from out of the country that have been recalled for contamination.  Pets can get sick or even pass away from contaminated treats.  So help keep your fur babies safe by buying treats made in the US.
Overall I give "Look Who's Happy" 4 out of 5 STARS.

Other helpful Blog articles:

Sweet Potato Treat Review
Zuke's Dog Treats Product Review
Homemade Dog Treats:  Pumpkin & Peanut Butter
Homemade Dog Treats:  Applesauce & Carrot
Homemade Dog Treats:  3 different kinds
Summer Dog Snack:  Watermelon
Trainer Tip:  Is human food ok for your dog
Trainer Tip:  Picking a pet food
Trainer Tip:  Saving money on dog food

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ruffwear Dog Backpack Review

Check out our review of our favorite dog backpack, Ruffwear.

If your dog has a lot of extra energy, adding a backpack to your walk can help wear them out and can also help them focus because they have a "job."  A dog backpack is also very helpful for hiking and events because your dog can help carry water and other essentials. I absolutely love the Ruffwear dog backpack.  It fits well, sits properly on the dog, and does not inhibit the dog's movement (unlike most other types of backpacks).  

Other helpful Blog articles:
Adventure Hike:  Village Trails
Adventure Hike:  Launiupoko Trail
Adventure Hike:  Polipoli Trail
Adventure Hike:  Lipoa Point
Adventure Hike:  Pineapple Hill
Adventure Hike:  The Lahaina L

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sweet Potato Treat Product Review

Check out our video review of Wholesome Pride Pet Treats, Sweet Potato Dog Treats.

Other helpful blog articles:

Zuke's Dog Treats Product Review
Homemade Dog Treats:  Pumpkin & Peanut Butter
Homemade Dog Treats:  Applesauce & Carrot
Homemade Dog Treats:  3 different kinds
Summer Dog Snack:  Watermelon
Trainer Tip:  Is human food ok for your dog
Trainer Tip:  Picking a pet food
Trainer Tip:  Saving money on dog food

Friday, June 1, 2018

Happy Birthday Ahsoka

It is Ahsoka 1st birthday today.  She is still very puppy, but I have uploaded a video to show you just how much she has grown.  From 9 weeks and 9 pounds when we first adopted her, to one year and now 39 pounds.
I love this little cutie!

Other blog articles:

Socialization Fun
First introduction to puppy Ahsoka
Helpful Ways to Exercise your puppy
Puppy Supply Check List
Come when called:  Step One
Come when called:  Step Two
Teach your dog to Heel
Indoor Dog Game:  Go Find
Dog Paddle Boarding:  Step One

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Socialization Fun

Some fun videos of socialization with Such Good Dogs.
Featuring SGDs:  Ahsoka, Caravaggio, and Devo.
Also featuring:  Kahleesi, Lily, Coco, Jackson, Charlie, Lola, Flap, Louis, Luna, & Motoki.

Proper Socialization is teaching a dog not to react to everyday things they will encounter by slowly desensitizing them to these things.  It is important to positively expose a puppy to as many different environments and situations as possible.  Keep in mind that exposure needs to be slowly introduced at the dog's pace, not the owners.  Letting a puppy explore new things at his/her own pace will help them become more comfortable and help avoid negative reactions.  Another way to think of socialization is to consider it desensitization.  For example when having your puppy meet new people remember to include a variety things:  such as people who are short, tall, adults, kids, someone with a hat or glasses, someone in a wheelchair or on crutches, etc.  Improper socialized dogs can be frightened by normal human greeting behaviors.

Proper socialization is the number one way for you to avoid having a dog in the future that will develop serious behavior problems such as aggression. 

Once your dog has been approved by your vet to be around other dogs, start taking your dog everywhere you possible can.  A friend's house, a barbecue, a busy street, different pet stores, or even to work (if you're allowed).  The more places you can take your puppy, the better socialized and more calm your dog will become in any future situation.

Remember to go at the puppy's pace and not your own.  A puppy should always appear happy and relaxed during socialization. 

Socialization for a puppy should start as soon as possible but the best time to socialize a dog is before five months of age.  This does not mean socialization after this age is not important.

So think about it...what are your plans for this evening or tomorrow?  Can you take your dog with?

Other helpful Blog articles:
Trainer Tip Video:  Socialization
More information on dog Socialization
Island Dogs
Trainer Tips:  Dog Friends

Helpful Ways to Exercise your Puppy
Puppy Supply Check List
Socialization with other species
Trainer Tips- Dog Parks

Monday, May 14, 2018

Zuke's Product Review

Today we are reviewing the product:  Zuke's Training Treats.  For this review we tried two different flavors, Wild Rabbit & Chicken.  When it comes to choosing a flavor for your dog treats, it is really ultimately best to pick whatever flavor your dog enjoys most.  I recommend buying a few different flavors.  Try one flavor for awhile, then try the other.  If your dog tends to like a particular flavor better, they will generally be more excited about that treat.
Zuke's are one of my all time favorite treats for training.  The "mini" size is perfect.  If you do have a small dog or small dog puppy, I would even recommend breaking this treat in half so we do not upset the small dog's tummy.  Full grown medium sized dogs and larger can use the treat as is.

Overall Such Good Dogs would give Zuke's treats 5 STARS.  They are fantastic.  They are healthy, made in the United States, and they are the perfect size for training.  I highly recommend trying Zuke's treats for your dogs.

Other helpful Blog articles:
Trainer Tip:  Picking a good dog food
Trainer Tip:  Human food for your dog?

Fun ways to use training treats:
Trick Training:  Hoop Jump
Trick Training:  Paw & Wave
Trick Training:  Spin
Dog Training:  Heel

Saturday, May 5, 2018

How to get a scared dog into the pool

In this video we show you how to get a scared dog into the pool.  When doing this, make sure you have a lot of patience.  Remain calm, but confident.  We are going to pull on the leash just enough to get the dog moving toward the pool.  The steps are like the edge of a cliff to the dog, so we need to show them that it is safe.  Take your time and lure the dog into the pool by pulling on the leash.  If you have a shallow end, as we do in this pool, stay in the shallow end for a bit to get the dog used to the idea of just being in water.  Be sure to not allow the dog to bolt out of the pool.  Exit the pool in a calm manner.  Enter and exit the pool several times to get the dog comfortable with it.  Once the dog is doing this well, move onto actually swimming.  You will again need to use the leash to gently pull your dog into the pool and get them swimming.  Once the dog is in the deep water, one helpful thing you can do is hold the dog along the sides and allow them to get a good swimming rhythm going before releasing them onto the steps.  Keep repeating this training until your dog becomes more and more comfortable.  Eventually the dog will no longer fear the steps or the edge of the pool.  Some dogs are more naturally inclined to want to swim and some are not.  If you have a breed of dog that has a pushed in face or has a more solid body mass (such as a Bulldog), adding a lifejacket can be very helpful.  If your dog is into a toy, you can use that to help coax them into the pool as well.  Remember to be patient and have fun.  Once your dog starts to get more comfortable and calm down, you can add treats to help make it a positive experience.

Other helpful blog articles:

Teaching your dog to Swim in the Pool
Ocean Swimming:  Step One
Ocean Swimming:  Step Two
How to get a scared or timid dog moving on leash

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Puppy Nipping

Puppy Nipping:  What to do and how to stop it.

In this video we go over puppy nipping.  The star for our video today is Lily, a 3-month-old Havanese.  For puppy nipping and biting, any time the puppy puts their mouth on you, pause and make a loud "Ouch" sound, even if the puppy's teeth do not make contact.  Usually this will work best.  If this does not work and the puppy continues to bite after you, make a loud clap with your hands and use your No Reward Marker, "Eh Eh" or "Uh oh." Saying this marks the biting behavior and something you do not approve of.  Often times the puppy is just playing and we must remember that they are babies and they are still learning about the world.  Remember to have patience.  If your puppy is really biting try and redirect their mouth onto a toy or bone or chew.  Often times the more exercise you can give your puppy in a healthy appropriate way, the less energy they will have to take out on you by nipping.  Puppies will also sometimes bark and growl when nipping.  This is usually just play.  If you do feel that your puppy has become aggressive, seek a qualified trainer in your area.

Other helpful blog articles:

Helpful ways to exercise your puppy
Puppy Supply Check List
Proper Socialization
Canine Body Posture
Learning Theory
Stages of Learning
Dog Training Programs

Dog Behavior Drives
Canine Development Periods
General Canine Vaccinations
Common Canine Parasites
History of Dog Training

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Village Trails--Adventure Dog Hike

Join us for a beautiful hike at the Village Walking Trails in Kapalua.  This hike is somewhat intense in areas and does go up hill, so it may not be for everyone.  But if you like a good adventure hike and can handle a bit of intensity at times, this is a great one to try.  There are several different possible trails to take with maps along the way to help keep you on track.  I recommend going up to the pond at the top.  It is beautiful and contains many fish and ducks.  We hiked up with our dogs then sat and had lunch at the edge of the pond.  

Other SGDs Adventure Hikes:
Launiupoko Trail Hike
Polipoli Hike
Lipoa Point Hike
Pineapple Hill/ Napili Park
Maluaka/ Maui Prince Beach
Launiupoko Trail (South)
The Lahaina L

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Hoop Jump: Trick Training

In this video we will show you how to teach your dog to jump through a hoop.
To start, first get your dog comfortable around the hoop by giving them some delicious food.  Once the dog is comfortable, place the hoop on the ground and get the dog to walk through.  When the dog is doing well at this, start raising the hoop a little bit off the ground, then higher and higher as they do better.

Other helpful blog articles:

Trick Training:  Paw & Wave
Trick Training:  Spin
Dog Training:  Heel
Indoor Dog Game:  Go Find

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Paw & Wave: Trick Training

In this video we will show you how to teach your dog to give you their Paw, or Shake, and also how to teach your dog to Wave.
For each of these, you are going to start by tickling the back of your dog's paw.  When the dog moves their paw, even a little bit, mark with a Good and reward.  Once your dog starts getting the idea, add a word to it, such as Paw or Shake.  When the dog lifts their paw, place your hand under their paw and mark with your GOOD and reward with a treat. I recommend teaching the Paw or Shake first.  Once the dog has a good idea of Paw or Shake works, use the same method to move into teach them how to wave.

Other helpful Blog articles:
Trick Training:  Spin
Dog Training:  Heel
Indoor Dog Game:  Go Find

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Dog accessories

Today's video goes over some basic dog accessories you can get for your dog including, leashes, collars, harnesses, head collars, dog backpacks, swimwear, muzzles, and a treat pouch.

Related Blog Articles:

Come when Called:  Off Leash
Puppy Supply Check List
Choosing an Anti-Bark Collar
Trainer Tips:  Dog Care Essentials
Trainer Tips:  Puppy Potty Pads
Shock Collars
Trainer Tips:  Alternatives to Shock Collars
Chewing Deterrents
Dog Crates & Kennels
Retractable Leash
Slip Collar
Prong & Pinch Collar
Head Collars

Friday, March 23, 2018

Spin: Trick Training

Teach your dog some cool tricks to show off to your friends and neighbors.  Today's trick is Spin.  To teach this we will be using a food lure.  Place some good smelling food in front of the dog's nose and slowly move it so that the dog follows it and spins in a circle.  Once the dog is again facing you, initiate a sit.  When the dog sits, give your "Good" and reward.  Continue practicing until you are able to move your hand further and further away.  Eventually you should be able to the hand signal while standing upright and your dog will respond.  This is one fun and easy trick you can teach your dog.  I also like teaching them to spin both directions.  I call one way "Spin" and the other "Back Spin."  Some dogs may only want to spin one way at first, that's ok.  Get them used to spinning that one way until they really get the idea of it, then try again to spin them the opposite way.  If your dog is not getting it, try slowing down and moving the food very, very slowly to get them to follow it.

Related Blog articles:

Dog Training:  Heel
Indoor Dog Game:  Go Find

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Homemade Dog Treats--Pumpkin & Peanut Butter

Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Treat One:

1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1/2 cup oats
3 cups flour
3 tablespoons peanut butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.  In a small bowl, stir together the flour and oats.
3.  In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, and peanut butter until combined.  
Stir wet ingredients into dry.
4.  Pour onto a floured surface and roll dough out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with cookie cutter.
5.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
6.  Let completely cool before giving to dog.  Store in airtight container in freezer.

Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Treat Two:

1 cup oats
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup peanut better

Note:  We quadrupled the recipe in order to use a full can of pumpkin puree.

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.  Add the oats to a food processor and grind until they reach a fine powder.  Add in the pumpkin and peanut better and blend until a sticky dough is formed.
3.  Roll out on a floured surface.  Cut with cookie cutter.
4.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.
5.  Let completely cool before giving to dog.  Store in airtight container in freezer.

Important Note:  Be sure your peanut better does NOT contain Xylitol as this is toxic to dogs.

Other Helpful Blogs:
Home made Dog Treats:  Applesauce & Carrot
Home made Dog Treats:  Chicken & Yogurt
Summer Dog Snack
Trainer Tip:  Human Food for your dog
Trainer Tip:  Picking a good dog food
Trainer Tip:  Save money on dog food
Trainer Tip:  Begging 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Puppy Ping Pong

Puppy Ping Pong, a game to practice and build up your training of Come when Called.  This video features Charlie, a 5-month-old King Charles Cavalier.

When teaching your dog "Come when Called" it is helpful to play a game that we call Puppy Ping Pong.  For this game you need at least two people and one dog.  The main part of this game is to practice the Come command.  Always reward when your dog comes to you, then practice one or two other commands, such as sit, down, look, or any tricks you may be teaching your dog.  Then the next person will call the dog.  Start off about 10 feet away from each other.  As the dog improves, start moving further away and then around obstacles like a wall or tree so that you are out of sight and the dog has to find you.  It is important that if it is not your turn to call and interact with the dog, that you ignore the dog.  It will much harder for the dog to run to the other person if you are looking at them, smiling, or otherwise engaging the dog.  Communicate with your partner during this game so they know when it is their turn to call the dog.

Come when Called:
The Rules:
1.  Always have a leash (or fenced-in area).
2.  When you say come, you have to see it happen.
3.  NEVER punish a dog for coming to you.

The Steps:
  1. Say the dog’s name, and Come.  ONE TIME ONLY.
  2. Have a party.
  3. Lure the dog back to you.

When first teaching a dog Come when called, we start with step 1 & 3.  Standing directly in front of the dog (No distance), put the treat in the dog’s nose, say the dog’s name and Come (one time), then quickly back up a few steps.  When the dog follows, stop, say “Good!” and give the treat.  (See video:  Come when Called Part One).

Other helpful articles:
Come when Called:  Part One
Come when Called:  Part Two
Come when Called:  Off Leash
Come with Distractions

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Fearful Dogs

Trainer Tip:  Fearful Dogs.
How to help give your dog confidence.

Dealing with a fearful dog can be a very difficult problem.  Dogs can and do overcome their fears with help.  First off, if you do not have the patience and time, a fearful dog may not be the right choice for you and your family.  Overcoming fear is very difficult and will generally take several months, but it is possible.

No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact.
This is important.  A dog that is fearful will be very intimidated and scared of someone who reaches out to touch them, makes direct eye contact, or even talks to them.  The first step in helping a fearful dog is to have any new people coming in to follow this rule.  It is also helpful to be aware of your body position.  Sometime even facing your body towards a fearful dog can be too much for them.  Instead try to side-face the dog or sit with your back to the dog to help make them feel more comfortable.

Take it slow, but move with purpose.
Overcoming fear will take time, so take it slow.  Make your movements around a fearful dog slow and calm, but move with purpose.  Being hesitant around a fearful dog will make them more uneasy.  Be calm but confident.

Use high value rewards.
A very fearful dog may not take food yet, but don't give up.  Use high value rewards such as stinky soft treats or real meat like turkey, chicken, or lunch meat.  It the dog is comfortable with one particular person, use that person to help them get more comfortable around things they are afraid of.

No baby talk.
When children are afraid we tend to use "baby talk" around them.  Saying things like, "Its're ok."  This is NOT something you should do with a dog.  Baby talking a fearful dog will actually tell them to stay in their fearful state.  Instead remain calm and silent until the dog does something that is facing their fear, such as moving towards or taking food near the object or person they are frightened of.  When this happens praise the dog with a calm "Good girl" or "Good boy."

Food & water.
If a dog is fearful of a particular family member, have that person be the one to always feed and water the dog (and walk them if possible).  I even encourage that person to mix a little something in their food, like a small amount of lunch meat.  Use your bare hand to mix the food so that the person's scent is also in the food.  This will help the dog start to overcome their fear of that person.

Other helpful blog articles:
Proper Leadership
Walking a scared or timid dog
4th of July Safety Tips
Trainer Tips:  Getting your dog used to touch
Trainer Tips:  Lavender Oil

Other articles that might help:
9 calming aids for fearful dogs

Monday, February 12, 2018


Sit, Down, & Up:

We use the Food Lure technique to first teach these commands.  Some of these things may have already been learned, that’s great.  You can use the dog’s current knowledge of each cue and progress further to adding hand signals.  Each command should have its own word and hand signal.

Teaching a dog to "Lay Down."
For both the "Sit" and "Down" commands, we use a food lure.  For Down, start the dog in a Sit position and reward for this.  Then slowly move your baited hand (hand with a food reward already in it) from the dog's nose to the ground, pause for a second, then pull forward and out.  Make sure you move very slowly keeping the dog's nose "attached" to the food reward.  The reason we pause for a second when you hit the ground is that about 50% of dogs will actually slide backwards to lay down instead of moving forward.  Be sure to move from the dog's nose downward but staying close to the dog's chest.  Pause here and wait to see if your dog slides backwards.  If not, slowly pull the food along the ground forward.  Wait until your dog's body touches the ground then immediately say, "Down...Good!" and give the reward.  Repeat this until your dog is doing well and seems to have a good handle on the Down command, then you may start adding the word before the action.

Other helpful Blog articles:
Anti Jump Training
Helpful Ways to Exercise your Puppy
Training Stay

Monday, February 5, 2018

Come w/ Distractions

One of the things I recommend practicing with your dog as often as possible is Come when Called.  Building up a reliable recall with your dog is one of the most important things you can teach.  Doing so will help keep your dog safe and keep your mind at ease.

As with any command or cue to teach your dog, start the command at its simplest.  See the links below to get the videos and details on how to start teaching a Come when called.  Once your dog has the basics down and is reliable 90% of the time in your home or back yard, it's time to start practicing it out in the world with minimal or no distractions. Once your dog is doing well at this and responding 90% or more of the time, start adding small distractions.  Remember to set your dog up for success.  If the distraction you have tried adding is a little too much for your dog to ignore, try something they can more easily move away from.  As the dog gets better with small distractions, start making the distractions more difficult.  Remember to always move forward at your dog's pace.  If the dog is making a lot of mistakes or unable to ignore the distraction you have tried, take the training back a step and make it easier until the dog can succeed.

Other helpful Blog articles:

Come when Called Step One
Come when Called Step Two
Come when Called Off Leash

Friday, January 26, 2018

Anti Jump Training

In this video we discuss one helpful way to get your dog to stop jumping up.  Basically, any time a dog jumps up at you, you should turn away.  If a dog jumps on you and you pet them, you are rewarding them for jumping on you.  If, however, you turn away when a dog jumps up and only pet them when they keep all 4 paws on the ground, you are teaching them that they get attention only when they do NOT jump up.  This can be difficult for some people to put into practice at first.
Remind your guests that come over:  No touch, No talk, No eye contact.  Basically you should ignore a dog until they calm down, and if they jump on you, you should turn away. Remembering these simple rules will go a long way in helping teach your dog (and any other dogs you meet) that being jumped on is not something we like or want.

Other Helpful Blog Articles:

Video:  Impulse Control
Basic Dog Knowledge
Trainer Tips:  Socialization
Redirection:  Bad dog behaviors turned Good