Posted on

Babette: Puppy Camp Success Story

We received this letter from a Puppy Camp student and I was thrilled to hear about puppy camp achieving exactly what I had hoped when we began it last year. We get thank you notes all the time from students (yay!) but this was so detailed and clear that I asked Dana for permission to share it on our website. Note: I also added in some links, but otherwise, this is Dana’s original email. It’s especially valuable feedback, because Dana is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist!

*****

Dear Grisha,
My French Bulldog puppy, Babette, has been a grateful Puppy Camp student for eight weeks. I wanted to drop a note to make sure you are aware of what amazing work is going on there. I really cannot imagine how Babette’s development would have played out had it not been for Frank, Amber and Katie. Continue reading Babette: Puppy Camp Success Story

Posted on

January Newsletter – Ahimsa on the Radio!

We are completely excited to announce that our radio show on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM starts next week! We also have other great January happenings, so please read on.

1. Best of Seattle

We may not have actually shared this news yet, so… Thanks to your votes last fall, Ahimsa Dog Training was second place in the Best of Western Washington contest–first among the training facilities in the Seattle area. So thank you!! Continue reading January Newsletter – Ahimsa on the Radio!

Posted on

Poison in Green Lake, Halloween Tips

Here is the October newsletter. Enjoy!

Hi folks, we have a few important announcements:

1. Toxic algae in Green Lake (Seattle)

Please do not let your dogs drink from the lake right now. It is poisonous. http://tinyurl.com/8kkgfjj

2. Vote for Ahimsa! Every vote counts. 🙂

We would really appreciate your vote for Ahimsa in the Best of Western Washington Contest. Voting ends very soon, so please vote today. If you have a chance to also leave a comment, that would be great! The more specific, the better. We are close to winning again, but we need some more votes:

http://doggiezen.com/vote
Continue reading Poison in Green Lake, Halloween Tips

Posted on

More News!

We just got some great feedback on a service we started in last spring, Puppy Day Camp. In our Puppy Day Camp, we do the training and socialization homework for our students, so they can live their lives. This format has allowed us to work some minor miracles. I thought I’d share this feedback so you see what I mean!

When we first came to Ahimsa we had just adopted a 9-week-old puppy that was terrified of the world, snarling at everything and everyone in it (even other puppies). We are not inexperienced dog owners, but this was far beyond what we had bargained for. After 2 nonfunctional (for us/him) Puppy Kindergarten sessions where our pup snarled at anyone coming close, the trainers suggested that he would be a good candidate for intensive training in their Puppy Day Camp program.

Within the first 2 weeks there was tremendous improvement in our puppy, he learned lots of words, was less afraid of things, had much improved manners and the unpleasant snarling reduced dramatically. It has now been 6 weeks of Ahimsa Puppy Day Camp and we have and entirely different, confident and well-mannered tweener dog. He now has fabulous manners (a convenient output of Puppy Day Camp) and most importantly he has become a popular playmate with other puppies, people and children – and he LOVES it! Instead of snarling, he, looks forward to going outside and shakes off anything super scary. There was no way we could have helped him improve so rapidly on our own, regardless of our experience and kindness. There just was no substitute for the 16 hours a week of focused intensive training (& puppy emotional therapy) that the expert staff at Ahimsa Puppy Camp provided for our pup. We are now confident that our puppy has the skills to make and build good decisions that will help him grow further into a very loved and easy to live with furry family member.

And now we’re looking forward to joining a normal Puppy Junior High class!

******

Note: in our camp, the idea is to keep things calm and fun the whole time. If we are not able to set up an environment where a puppy will be comfortable (i.e., not snarly or scared) then we would recommend private training, instead. We take the well-being of all of our campers very seriously!

We also have a video of this dog at the Furry 5K, an event by the Seattle Animal Shelter that Ahimsa sponsored this June. I’ll post that soon!

Click here for more info on the puppy camp.

Posted on

Puppy Day Camp is Coming Soon

I am thrilled to announce that we are moving forward with our Puppy Day Camp! This is not a free-for-all, Lord of the Flies experience. The puppies will get an orchestrated socialization and training experience to help them get off on the right paw.

  • Starting April 9th.
  • 2 staff members to supervise the puppies.
  • Up to 6 Puppies, 2-5 months old. Play will often be in smaller groups.
  • So what is this, exactly? A tired dog is a good dog, but a trained, tired puppy is even better. And we do your homework for you! Ok, so it’s good to keep doing it, but think of how much faster your puppy will learn housetraining, crate training, sit, down, stay, targeting, and the rest with some expert help.
  • Training, play time, and chill-out time. That way, puppies don’t just learn to see other dogs and immediately jump into play mode. Your puppy will have a chance to learn to settle with other dogs around.
  • Great for pet dogs and competition dogs.
  • Daily report card on each puppy for potty training, skills, socialization, etc. Each week, you can select skills or problems for our staff to focus on during the Puppy Day Camp.
  • Clean and safe environment (both physically and emotionally).
  • We’ll provide crates, or you can bring yours. Bring your own bed so we can work on ‘go to your bed’ with your dog’s own bed, which will help the skills transfer to your home crate.
  • Sessions will be in the brand new Ahimsa Annex (with the possibility of field trips, depending on the vaccination status of the puppies).
  • Drop off 7:30-8, pick-up 11:30-noon.
  • Camp is Monday through Thursday. Book by the week, have your puppy come as many weeks as you want.

We can’t wait!! Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

Posted on

Free Agility Demo!! 2/16

We will be doing an Agility Demo on Thursday, 2/16 at our new Annex – an extra big classroom for Competition Agility, Backyard Sports & Games, practice rentals, and some of our other classes that need more space. Here are the details.

Where: Ahimsa’s new space (the annex), at 925 C NW 49th St. in Ballard (Seattle).

When: February 16, 2012, 6:00 until 7:30pm. (If you’re participating, please arrive at 4:30 to help set up the space and start warming up at about 5:00 pm.

What: An Agility Demo, which will be run like a miniature trial, with all obstacles included (there may only be 6 weaves since ours may not have arrived yet). Treats and toys will be allowed on course.

Why: For fun, for training (new environment, spectators, and treats/toys allowed–super cool!), for the good of the agility community!

NO DOGS: Please do NOT bring your dog unless you’re one of the people who’ve arranged with Ali for the demo (see below). Thanks!!

If you’re an experienced agility person and have trained your dog with positive methods, contact Ali Johnson, our awesome (new to us) agility instructor, to see if we still have space for participants.

Posted on

Training Your Dog is Not a Luxury

Here’s a quote from the most recent Karen Pryor newsletter by Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of animal care and animal training at the world-renowned Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Ken is a brilliant trainer who applies his skills to dogs, people, and exotic animals, too.

I just had to share it with you all, especially since January is Train Your Dog Month!

We’ll be hosting a seminar with Ken Ramirez in Seattle in 2013. Keep your eyes open and check our Events Page frequently, or subscribe to our seminar newsletter. Here’s the quote (the bold part is my emphasis):

“My message would be simple: training is not a luxury, but a key component to good animal care. Everyone who has a pet should understand that basic fact. Training is a way to enhance the quality of life for our pets. It is far more than just teaching a dog to do a cute trick. Training is about teaching a dog (or any animal) how to live in our world safely.”

This is so true. I had a conversation with some friends last night and one of them said, “my goal is to pick a dog that doesn’t need training, like our last two.” Newsflash: all dogs need training, some more ‘officially’ than others. Everything we do with a dog teaches them the rules of our household, so whether you think you are training or not, you are! Having a consistent plan just makes things simpler, less confusing, and more fun for human and dog (if you’re using rewards).

For example, with training, you can simply say, “leave it” if your dog is checking out something you’d rather he leave alone, instead of raising your voice and yelling something random. Isn’t that better for everyone?

And don’t even get me started on the importance of puppy and teen dog socialization… Skipping socialization in puppyhood is neglect — a lazy version of dog abuse.


Interested in training your dog or puppy? Check out our list of dog training classes, which now includes Agility and Control Unleashed classes by Ali Johnson, CPDT-KA, plus Troubled Teens, Growly Dog 1 & 2, Basic Manners, Puppy Kindergarten and more.

Posted on

November Newsletter

The November news is here a little early. Why? We have Jr. High starting, Halloween here, and some brags to share.

1. Halloween is here and the rest of the holiday season is coming soon

We will be closed only in the evening of Halloween. Morning classes will take place, but we close at 2:30 pm on October 31. See below for Halloween tips. We will also be closed Weds-Sunday on the week of Thanksgiving and December 23 – January 1.

If you are registered for a class, you got an email with dates that you have reserved. Notice that these are not always consecutive! Your registration may have a skip date because we are closed for a holiday or because that hour of the class was full when you registered. Please note the actual dates you reserved with your class.

Continue reading November Newsletter

Posted on

Video of the Ahimsa Dog Training Drill Team Debut!

As I mentioned a while back, we started a doggie drill team at Ahimsa. Last weekend, at the Furry 5K to support the Seattle Animal Shelter, we did our first show. While it wasn’t perfect, I still thought it turned out great! The most important part is that the dogs were treated well, even if there was a mistake. We definitely had a great time and are practicing hard for our next gig. See our routine for yourself here:

You can use the links below to share on Facebook, or just copy and paste the link to this page.

p.s. If you’d like to join the drill team, let us know.

p.p.s. If you can’t see a video above, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j03lJa7v7EU

Posted on

“I Rescued a Human Today” – anonymous

This little story from a dog’s perpective is so touching that i just have to share. My shelter dogs certainly make my life so much better. See the bottom for some links with info on how to (or not to) pick a shelter dog.

I RESCUED A HUMAN TODAY

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid.

Continue reading “I Rescued a Human Today” – anonymous

Posted on

April Charity of the Month: Old Dog Haven

Our local Charity of the Month is Old Dog Haven, which is based in Lake Stevens. I love them and hope you will be generous to them. They foster, rehome (if possible), and provide lifelong care for older dogs. They really deserve our help.

Please donate to the little pug container at the training center or directly to Old Dog Haven – please mention the Ahimsa Dog Training charity of the month program. They were the March charity too, but we didn’t raise enough (it was just $11), so we are trying again. They also have great dogs at Old Dog Haven, so you could adopt from them or help out in other ways. Please read that link, there are actually a lot of ways to help, like posting a link to this article on Facebook or using a real estate agent who donates 1/5 of his commission to Old Dog Haven.
Continue reading April Charity of the Month: Old Dog Haven

Posted on

February Charity of the Month: Summit Assistance Dogs

The Ahimsa Dog Training staff members are excited to launch our Charity of the Month Program!

For February we have chosen Summit Assistance Dogs, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization based in Anacortes, Washington, that provides mobility, hearing and therapy dogs for people living with disabilities. There are more than 55 million Americans living with various disabilities, and the wait time for a service dog can be as long as two to five years. Summit was created to help fill this big need, and provides approximately 6 to 8 trained assistance dogs per year to its recipients, in addition to providing follow up care and support for the life of the dog.  Summit provides dogs to individuals in need, regardless of ability to pay, and also is one of the few organizations which provides service dogs to individuals under the age of 18.

Continue reading February Charity of the Month: Summit Assistance Dogs

Posted on

Drill Team Rehearsal on Friday Feb 4

Join us for the first meeting of the Ahimsa Dog Training Drill Team! Our drill team will meet every other Friday night at 7 pm. We will perform at various dog events in the Seattle area to show off the power of positive dog training.

  • Tricks trained with positive reinforcement only.
  • Dogs should already have good training focus. Not perfect, but good.
  • Dogs need to be able to be fairly close to other dogs.
  • Rehearsal is to come up with moves and practice them as a group.
  • Free, $5 suggested donation to the Charity of the Month.
  • At some point, we may have tryouts, but for now, we’ll practice with whoever is interested.
  • There will not be an instructor, because this is not a class, but rather a rehearsal. An Ahimsa staffer will lead the group. She will probably have her own dog present.

Send an email to info@doggiezen.com with the subject line “drill team” if you’re interested in attending.

Posted on

Charity of the Month

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was yesterday. It motivated me to make some changes and one of them is that Ahimsa Dog Training is going to start having a Dog Charity of the Month. We will give local (Seattle / Puget Sound area) rescue organizations and charities a chance to be featured in our blog. The charity of the month will also have a donation bin at our training center and dog training supply store in Ballard, so that our students can learn about your organization and/or donate.
Continue reading Charity of the Month

Posted on

Positive Dog Training Flash Mob in Seattle

We had a great time at the positive dog training flash mob at Westlake center on Sunday. The surprise dance routine (I use the word dance loosely, here) was meant to bring attention to the fact that January is “Train Your Dog Month” and promote positive training, including the Puget Sound Positive Dog Trainers group. Trainers Mary McNeight and Amanda Brothers spearheaded the effort. Peanut and I were happy to join in the fun! I’m in the light blue shirt and Peanut is in the gray Thundershirt (which helped him deal with the noises of traffic in downtown Seattle). It wasn’t the most polished group dance, but considering that these dogs never practiced as a group, it was amazing! Watch out for the next one… Read on to see some video clips!

Continue reading Positive Dog Training Flash Mob in Seattle

Posted on

Do Dogs Laugh?

There is some research on dogs being able to laugh. It’s like a fast huffy panting noise. Shelter dogs who heard recordings of dog laughter reportedly quieted down.

Whether you think the research is solid or not, it’s still fun to play around with. I have used laughter (my own version of dog laughter) to help dog greetings go well and to calm down tense play in puppy kindergarten. Continue reading Do Dogs Laugh?

Posted on

Should My Dog Sniff on a Walk?

The short answer is, “of course!” Smelling (the nose, tongue, and the vomeronasal organ) is a dog’s primary way to take in information about the world. Dogs are olfactory creatures, we are visual. Their sense of smell is part of what makes our dogs so amazing!

Asking a dog not to put her nose to the ground is like asking a human to walk around with a blindfold on. My only requirement on leash walking is that the leash be loose, not that the dog walk without sniffing, unless I specifically ask the dog to heel.

Continue reading Should My Dog Sniff on a Walk?

Posted on

Home for the holidays! Discount for new rescue dogs

The holidays can be a hard time for a new dog to come into a busy home, unless you take time to give your dog a chance to relax and start your training fairly soon. So we’ve created a discount to encourage you (or your friends) to start training.

People who adopted a dog from a shelter or rescue organization in December 2010 or January 2011 qualify for our “Home for the Holidays” discount! To get the discount, use coupon code “homeholiday” (without the quotes) to get 10% off of classes.

The not-so-fine print:

  • This discount is not retroactive (i.e., please don’t ask us to apply it to classes you’ve already signed up for).
  • This is on the honor system, so please don’t use it if you already had your dog before December or if your dog is not from a rescue. Thanks!
  • Expires January 16, 2011.
Posted on

Look for the New “K9 Globetrotters” Program in 2011

We are excited to announce a more comprehensive program for our Seattle dog training classes in the first few months of 2011. With the improvements come a new name, the K9 Globetrotter program! We chose that name because it conjures up images of the sophisticated dog who can travel anywhere. Think of K9 Globetrotter as a bigger, better version of our Dream Dog program. Any students who are enrolled in the DD program will automatically have membership in the K9 Globetrotter program when we transition from Dream Dog to K9 Globetrotters.

Some features of the new K9 Globetrotterprogram will include:

  • Drop-in opportunities for students in series classes like Puppy Jr. High and Growly Dog
  • Chances to earn discounts, free training, play, and prizes around Seattle with the K9 Passport (every globetrotter needs a passport!)
  • More series classes, including Core Skills Training, for people who prefer structured classes.
  • The same fun, flexible ongoing classes that are currently part of the Dream Dog training program.

Look for more announcements soon!

Posted on

Is Your Dog at Risk? 8 Important Safety Tips

I’ve gotten a lot of bad news lately. Just in the last few weeks, I’ve had two clients tell me that their dogs were hit by cars, one whose dog died from a routine surgery, a few who were attacked by loose dogs, and several others who tore ligaments in their knees. My wife and I found 3 sets of loose dogs in the last three weeks. A hero dog was accidentally euthanized at a shelter in Arizona last week, when she got out of her yard and was brought to the shelter without tags. It’s been a whirlwind of bad news.

We can’t really prevent all of the problems our dogs encounter. Let’s face it, they don’t live as long as we do, so eventually, we’ll lose the battle. But we can fight for them as much as we can along the way.

Continue reading Is Your Dog at Risk? 8 Important Safety Tips

Posted on

Don’t Miss FidoFEST 2010 this Sunday!

FidoFEST is this Sunday, September 26th, at University Village in Seattle. I’ll be giving a demonstration at 11:45 with my dog, Peanut. I’m excited for his big debut and hope he does well with the crowds! Peanut will be doing some work with his nose (finding keys, etc.), with some of the kind of training we do in our Backyard Sports & Games classes.
Continue reading Don’t Miss FidoFEST 2010 this Sunday!

Posted on

One Easy Step to Help Dog-Friendly Training

We're Competing badge

Please vote for us in the Best of Western Washington contest! It’s really important for us at Ahimsa and it’s great way to promote positive training.

Use the button above to vote and after you do, please use Twitter, Facebook, and plain old email to spread the word! (And check your email to make sure your vote went through.)

p.s. I know a lot of local trainers read my blog (you may be one of them). If we get to the end of the contest and it’s either a truly positive trainer (like us) or a place that uses prong collars along with their treats, can you switch your vote? I will!

Posted on

Watch us live on King 5 TV!

Ahimsa Dog Training is on King 5’s New Day Northwest tomorrow along with some of our great PUPPIES!

You are invited to be in the studio audience for the show. I’ll be talking about puppy socialization and dog aggression – the dogs are there to be cute and get socialized!!

They say the whole show will be great. Dave from Dave’s Killer Breads is on to debut his new bread and to bring armfuls of deliciousness for the audience! Seats are FREE! Audience in at 9:30am, done by 11:30.

UPDATE: Click here to see the puppy socialization video clip. Note that any puppy socialization needs to be upbeat and positive!

Posted on

Tuesday Tip: Instant Puppy Socialization

Just add an easy food puzzle, and mix!

Stuff a Kong, Squirrel Dude, Twist-n-Treat, or other food puzzle with wet dog food. Freeze it (have several so there’s always a frozen food puzzle for your puppy or dog).

Make sure your puppy understands the good-puzzle concept by having your dog work through a few inside the house (different days).

In a fenced-in yard or supervised on a leash, give your puppy the Kong to enjoy. It will last a lot longer, frozen. your puppy will passively hear the noises of the world, but not react to them. Do this a bunch!

Give a food puzzle and relax in different locations, too:
– Dog training class
– Bus stop
– Front yard
– Back yard
– Coffee shop
– On a bus (older puppy)
– At a busy park, like Green Lake (off the path)
– Near a playground

Repeat, repeat, repeat! Bring your own entertainment, like a book to read (Ahimsa training manual, maybe?).

Just make sure no other dogs try to steal your puppy’s great toy. You should also rehearse trading the food puzzle for a treat (then giving the toy back, usually), so you don’t end up with resource guarding.

For our students: also look at the training manual for the Relaxation Protocol, which is great to practice in all of the settings above.

Posted on

Flier for Fear, Aggression, & Play seminar Sept 11-12

I just created a flier for the upcoming aggression and play seminar in Seattle. If you have a dog in your neighborhood that barks or lunges at you or your dog, put these fliers up near those houses or at nearby coffee shops – maybe your neighbors will attend and learn to help their dog! Or you could be less subtle and leave one on their doorstep. 🙂

Continue reading Flier for Fear, Aggression, & Play seminar Sept 11-12