Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle - Dog Articles and Ahimsa News
Please see my list of dog training and behavior articles in the column to the right, or read my most recent blog posts below. Thanks for stopping by! If you are on Twitter, Facebook, or do some other social networking, please pass on our articles!
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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!
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!! Read the rest of this entry »Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
Check out thisÂ interview about Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) with dog trainer Victoria Stilwell from the Animal Planet TV show “It’s Me or the Dog.”Â The interview with Ahimsa’s owner, Grisha Stewart, is just over 5 minutes. It starts at 22:40 and goes to about 36:00.Tweet This Post!
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:
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!
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!Tweet This Post!
Penny is having a blast doing her fun tricks! Check out Ahimsa’s manager, Adriane Villanueva, with her dog Penny on Seattle’s King 5 TV. (You’ll need to watch a commercial first). If you like Penny’s tricks, check out our Backyard Sports and Games class. If you’re looking for something more athletic, look at our agility series in the new Annex.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
Will this be your dog’s first summer in your home? Have your puppy spend some time in your back yard today to get used to the sights and sounds of spring. The reason to do this is to teach your puppy not to bark at people, dogs, and other distractions in your neighborhood.Tweet This Post!
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.
We can’t wait!! Thoughts? Comments? Questions?Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
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.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
January is Train Your Dog Month! Celebrate by training your dog with positive dog-friendly training. Here’s a little example of what that can do! I did a little interview with my dog, Peanut, on New Day Northwest today. The interview follows a short commercial. If your browser or phone doesnâ€™t show a video below, use this link.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
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):
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.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
Does your dog play catch-me-if-you-can? Chase games are fun, but this one will make it easier to catch your dog at the park.
This game is a fun way to train your dog to hold still when you approach. The idea is to teach them to anticipate a fun run in the direction you’re coming from, versus away from you. First teach your dog a stand-stay with positive reinforcement (see our awesome friend Emily Larlham on the kikopup channel on YouTube and/or attend an Ahimsa class). After this, you’ll want to rehearse in a variety of ways – approach with leash/collar, different speeds, etc. other ideas for helping this problem: teaching a strong recall, targeting your empty hand or the leash with their nose for treats/toys, etc. When in doubt, use more treats!
Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICCJDoHij1cWritten by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
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.
You can log in at http://ahimsadogtraining.com to see or CHANGE your reserved dates, using your order ID (which is in the email and on your punchcard). Changing dates allows you the flexibility to celebrate your own holidays or go on vacation. Read the rest of this entry »Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
Just a quick reminder that Ahimsa is closed for Labor Day weekend, through Monday night, 9/5 (store, playtime, & classes). We do have our biannual summer camp near the Mount Baker National Forest this weekend, and you can join us! Read on for more news.Tweet This Post!
Sophia Yin has a new book out for adults and especially KIDS on how to greet a dog. It’s illustrated by Lili Chin, the fabulous illustrator who did the pictures in my book on BAT for dog reactivity.
Click here to go to Sophia Yin’s download page. She posted on August 7, so it probably goes through August 13th, 2011.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
What: Puppy greeting party at Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle. Participants will dress in costumes and bring their friends, so that puppies will have plenty of people to practice polite, brave greetings with. Firemen, mail carriers, pizza deliverers, veterinarians, etc.! Puppies will walk around the block and encounter these various people. They’ll get treats for polite greetings and have a lot of fun! We’re not blocking off the street, so it’s more of an Around the Block Party, but you get the point… Read the rest of this entry »Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
Peanut and Grisha were invited by A Dog’s Life Daycare to join their interview on Q13 Fox. Peanut showed off some of his tricks and had a great time meeting Kaci Aitchison. Grisha & Peanut appear at about 1:25 into the video clip.
If you are reading this by email, you may need to go to the Ahimsa blog online to see the video.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
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=j03lJa7v7EUWritten by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
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.
If you’ve ever had a hoovering puppy or a dog that likes to explore the world with her mouth, you know that getting your dog to let go of something quickly is important. It’s also great for exercising your dog, because dropping the toy is an important part of fetch.Tweet This Post!
1. I should have the first book on Behavior Adjustment Training, or BAT, published in mid-2011. BAT is a technique for rehabilitating and preventing dog reactivity issues, including frustration, fear, and aggression. The picture you see here is a little teaser of some of the illustrations. The book will be available at http://ahimsadogtraining.com/bat – see that page for my upcoming BAT seminars around the world.
2. We have two seminars coming up – one on Creative Dog Training by Emily Larlham (from YouTube’s KikoPup channel) and another by Lori Stevens on TTouch. Visit our Special Events page for information or to sign up. There are only a few spots left for Emily’s seminar in mid-May.
3. We have lots of great classes going on in Seattle this summer, from nose work to backyard sports to basic manners to crate training for puppies. Most of our classes are ongoing, so you can start right away. Check out the Ahimsa Dog Training home page for more info.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
There are many things that I’m glad I don’t do in the doggie fashion, like sniffing poo on the ground or rolling in smelly carcasses. But one thing that I’m so glad that my dog does and can share with me is the ability to live in the moment.Tweet This Post!
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.
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.Â 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.Tweet This Post!
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.
Send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “drill team” if you’re interested in attending.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
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.
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!Tweet This Post!
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. Read the rest of this entry »Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
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.Tweet This Post!
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:
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 Globetrotterâ„¢ program! We chose that name because it conjures up images of the sophisticated dog who can travel anywhere. Think of K9 Globetrotterâ„¢ 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 Globetrotterâ„¢ program when we transition from Dream Dog to K9 Globetrottersâ„¢.
Some features of the new K9 Globetrotterâ„¢ program will include:
Look for more announcements soon!Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
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.Tweet This Post!
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.
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!Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
Ahimsa Dog Training is on King 5â€™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 â€“ the dogs are there to be cute and get socialized!!
They say the whole show will be great. Dave from Daveâ€™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!Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
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:
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.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
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.Tweet This Post!
When socializing your puppy, take it at the puppy’s speed. If he wants to walk away from a person, go with him! He may just need a moment to regroup and build his confidence. It’s critical that puppies have good experiences as their own pace, not forced interactions.
Watch for body language while he’s being petted, like glancing away, turning his head, sniffing the ground, walking away, shaking off, or quickly licking his lips. If you see any of those, just happily say, “let’s go!” and walk a few steps away with the puppy. You can even hand out a treat at that point (for putting up with the stranger and for coming with you), and then possibly see if he wants to go back for more.
Do this with everything: other dogs, strangers, kids, garbage cans, etc. Let him check out scary stuff from what he thinks is a safe distance. The more he can trust you on the leash, the more brave he will be. And since most aggression is really just fear, now is your chance to do some aggression prevention.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
Watch this fascinating dog conversation. Any of the behaviors that you hear mentioned are great behaviors to reward in BAT, since they’re all excellent alternatives to aggression or panic in a dog:
Video is from the YouTube user 99Taro99TaroWritten by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
The new DVD is ready! Yay!
Click here to watch a video clip of the latest BAT DVD in the online store. This DVD is intended for regular dog lovers whose dogs need help and professional dog trainers and behaviorists that want to learn more about BAT.Tweet This Post!
Here’s a great YouTube video on how to get your dog used to wearing a muzzle. Dogs hate muzzles when they first go on, so it’s essential to train them to wear them comfortably if you need one. Muzzles do not keep a dog from wanting to bite, they just keep them from being able to. I only use muzzles to introduce a dog to a person or another dog when I’m sure it should go well, but I still want the situation to be safe, in case I’m wrong. I also use them when dogs who may bite have to be handled, as at the vet. We can’t count on our own timing, because dogs are ridiculously fast!!Tweet This Post!
I was asked this question by Marty Unger on Questionland today:
“My golden-doodle is incredibly sweet and wouldn’t hurt a fly but when she sees someone outside, whether she knows them or not, she barks like she wants to rip their head off. If she could speak english, what would she be saying?”Tweet This Post!
Here’s a message to a Meetup group, with permission to repost:
I was looking at your meetup group and I thought you all might be interested in something that is going on next Wednesday, June 30th, in Seattle. At Hotel Monaco in Seattle, we are holding auditions for a TV show called “Tales for the Pet Lover’s Heart.” We are looking for people who are passionate about their pets to come and audition for 10 minutes (with their pet) and tell us a little bit about themselves and their pets.
Behavior Adjustment Training is a great new way to help dogs gain real confidence and social skills. It is for rehabilitating dogs with problems and for properly socializing puppies. We have lots of info here on the site, but if you want to hear and see a description in person, along with a demo, please join us this Friday at Ahimsa in Ballard.
Click here to see our whole list of upcoming seminars in Seattle (BAT in June and Sept, Kathy Sdao in July, Patricia McConnell in September).
Click here to see our list of upcoming BAT seminars around the country.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
This video is a clip of my dog, Peanut, and I training on a hike. I talk about some of the basic principles for training a stay, but also just demonstrate what it might look like once it’s pretty well trained. Even trained dogs need occasional practice, so that’s what Peanut and I were doing.
Learn more about how to teach your dog to stay in one of our classes. If you aren’t in the Seattle area, look up a dog-friendly dog trainer on the APDT website.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
Here’s a quick video of Peanut and I that shows what you are looking for when teaching your dog to heel versus teaching loose leash walking. LLW is for regular walks, and heel is for times when you need to squeeze by some one, walk past a distraction, impress a friend, etc.
Notice that while I trained my dog to heel and walk on a loose leash using treats and toys, we don’t need them any more. Walking on a loose leash is his default behavior when on leash. Continuing to walk forward is the treat for loose leash walking and permission to do loose leash walking again is the treat for heel.
Learn more about how to teach your dog to walk nicely in one of our classes or specifically in the Leash Walking workshop (next one is May 9th, but we schedule them about once a month). If you aren’t in the Seattle area, look up a dog-friendly dog trainer on the APDT website or check out our blog post on Leash Walking.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
I just heard back from a trainer who started BAT with a really over-the-top freaked out foster dog on April 11th. The dog is so much better and just went home with her new family!! and I think there may be footage to use in my seminar.
I’ve been having a hard time choosing which of the many great causes to support with our Grand Expansion party on Friday. I’ve decided to give 5% of all profits from the new training store, including class registrations, to the Deaf Dog Photo Project.
With BAT, we often have the student dog walk away from the trigger or decoy as a reward. But let’s say that you see some great behavior and you try to get your dog to go away, and they don’t. Does that mean that your dog doesn’t want to walk away?
Not necessarily. Here are some other reasons:
* Party! Don’t forget that you are invited to our Grand Expansion Party next Friday.
Our party is next Friday, April 30th, 5-8 pm. All of our staff will be there to have fun! Come by any time throughout the party, with or without your dog – remember, not all dogs want to be at parties, even fun ones like ours. We will have free puppy play time during the whole party (20 minute limit if another dog is waiting to play), plus demos, games, door prizes, some displays by rescue groups, and more! This expansion just about coincides with our 7th anniversary. Wow!
Please forward this message on to your dog-loving friends! If you are part of a non-profit and want to display your group’s info, just let me know. Dog walkers, vets, stores, groomers, etc.: we do have a bulletin board now and can display your materials, too, if we feel confident referring to your business.
Want to stop by the new store with less hullabaloo? Our regular store hours are below:
Monday – 10 am – 9 pm
* Dog Aggression & Fear seminar May 28th, 6:30-8:30 pm
I just added this to the schedule yesterday, and 5 people have already registered! Sign up for this seminar if you are a trainer (or want to be), a dog walker, vet, a regular person that’s interested in dog behavior, or a student that attended Growly Dog class before we started doing BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training). This is a fairly high-level seminar, but it should be helpful for all who attend. BAT is a technique I developed to help dogs gain confidence and social skills. I will be showing video, discussing the technique, and demonstrating it live with a reactive dog. Sign up for this workshop or our other ones with Kathy Sdao and Patricia McConnell at http://doggiezen.com/workshop
* Backyard Sports & Games
This class is designed to be mostly for fun, but it also helps you and your dog become a team, using a combination of backyard agility, dog dancing, nose work/tracking, tricks, and games. This is a great way to see if your dog would enjoy one of these sports. It’s not meant for hard-core search and rescue folks or world-class agility & competitors. It’s meant as a way to expand your dog’s mind and a chance for you to have some more fun training.
Our Sunday classes are full, so we added Wednesday nights at 8 and we will probably add a daytime class start in mid-May, most likely Mondays at 1 pm. The schedule/info is at http://doggiezen.com/dreamdog/sports.php or if you’re already signed up for Dream Dog, you can log in to swap in for some of those sessions. The fun and games classes are pretty popular, so dropping in can be difficult.
* Take a fun break – watch us training puppies on King 5
If you haven’t seen us train puppies on TV yet, watch it on the home page at http://doggiezen.com In the video, I demonstrate how to teach Touch, use touch as a recall cue (come), and how to start work on heeling.
p.s. Puppy folks – I just added some more Puppy Jr. High classes, at http://ahimsadogtraining.com/class/puppy-junior-high.php Just a warning – these are popular classes and they fill quickly, so sign up when you get a chance.
Only good things,
These great illustrations of how to Behavior Adjustment Training, or BAT, on a walk are by Lili Chin, http://doggiedrawings.net. Note that the body language in the picture is at the upper end of the threshold. I often work at a lower level of stress, where the dog just notices the decoy. So if you get any of the signs shown in the first picture, don’t go any closer!Tweet This Post!
Ballard dogs have been enjoying our training services since 2003. Our classes have become so popular, that we’re expanding to a second training room and a dog training store for gear and the essentials for creating a calm, happy dog. We’re so excited!
Ahimsa is going to be a Silver Sponsor of the Furry 5K this year. The Furry 5K is a benefit for the Seattle Animal Shelter. More news later, but I wanted to let you know about the event so that you could mark your calendars!
Here’s their info, from http://www.furry5k.com:
The Seattle Animal Shelter is pleased to present the 11th Annual Furry 5K Fun Run and Walk! The race, which will take place in Seattle’s Seward Park on Sunday, June 20th, 2010, raises money for the Help the Animals Fund.
Join the fun as thousands of people run and walk, with their friends, families, kids and of course their dogs, in order to raise money for injured and abused orphaned animals.
We will definitely have a booth and we *might* have a walking team. Let me know if you are interested in walking as an Ahimsa team!Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
On Monday, March 29th, I’ll be interviewed live with Margaret Larson on a brand new morning show called New Day Northwest, which runs 10-11 on weekdays. At least 3 trainers will be at their studio in Seattle and we’ll have several Ahimsa Dog Training client puppies with us. We look forward to helping greater Seattle learn more about dog-friendly training. I’ll give you more details if I figure out when exactly we’ll be on during that hour!
Hopefully I will have access to a video that I can post here in the blog.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
We’ve got some fabulous talks coming up for dog trainers and people who simply have gotten addicted to dog training. It’s even better than a basket-full of chocolate kisses. Seriously.
Happy spring! The construction on our second training room is almost complete. It looks like we will be good to go on April 1st. It’s adjacent to our main training room in Seattle (Ballard) and I’m hoping we’ll occasionally be able to open it up and use both rooms for bigger classes.
I’ve been busy adding more classes for you to our schedule this week. We have new Puppy Jr. High, Growly Dog classes, Puppy Kindergarten, play times, and Advanced Manners classes. Because of the 2nd training room, you can take classes at even more convenient times, including weekend mornings. Those have been reserved for puppies for the last several years, because we want the room to be pristine. Now the adult dogs can use their own room in the morning. Yay!
We also added 5 new weekly Puppy Kindergarten classes, for a total of 15, including a third class for baby puppies (under 12 weeks). Puppy class sizes will now be limited to 8 instead of 10.
That’s what I asked the woman with her 10-week-old Golden X puppy.Â I had just left Ahimsa to go get lunch and was about to turn right. Instead, I saw this woman and her young daughter up ahead with a puppy.Â Cute! I thought, followed immediately by a mortified, “oh my Dog, did she just hit that puppy?”Â She smacked it 3-4 times and then it moved away, and she hit it some more, probably yelling at the same time.Â I couldn’t hear her from inside my car.
So I barreled over there in my car and slammed on the brakes beside her.Â “Can you please stop hitting that puppy?” She looked up, slightly embarrassed, and tried to excuse the hitting, since the puppy had just jumped up and bitten her child.Â I told her that there were lots of great ways to get the puppy to stop biting, and I’d love to show her.Â But of course, it’s hard to be receptive when a perfect stranger comes and criticizes you from their car window, so she politely walked off. At least she didn’t yell at me. Read the rest of this entry »Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
What: Video shoot in Seattle with Grisha Stewart for how to use Behavior Adjustment Training to socialize puppies. Puppies will get a chance to socialize and their humans will learn how to do socialization RIGHT to help prevent aggression and fear. Video footage will be used for seminars, videos, and other how-to demonstrations of BAT.Tweet This Post!
Want to know more about how to rehabilitate your dog or clients’ dogs with aggression and fear? Behavior Adjustment Training can probably help!
Tawzer Dog Videos filmed my 90-minute Behavior Adjustment Training seminar in Novato last month, and it’s now available for sale in our online store (click here). We ship orders out on Fridays only, so if you’re looking to get it as soon as possible, then get it from the Tawzer website, when it becomes available.
Here are some clips from the intro of that seminar:
(if that doesn’t work for you, you can view it on YouTube).
We should get copies on Thursday, February 11th, so orders placed this week will *probably* go out on Friday.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
As loyal blog readers know, I have developed a technique for dog aggression and fear called Behavior Adjustment Training. I’m giving seminars on BAT around the country and one thing that I really need is a lot of footage of dogs doing BAT, for use in seminars. We can do the filming so your head doesn’t show, if you or your kids don’t want to appear on film.
I could use a lot of volunteers in Seattle. Are you interested? Here’s what I need:Tweet This Post!
As I look over research on the effectiveness of various methods for treating dog aggression, one thing that strikes me is that people are not very good at actually doing enough set-ups with their dogs. This is true for any kind of treatment (and actually, it’s true of my physical therapy, even though my back hurts more if I avoid it, but that’s a story for a different day).Tweet This Post!
I’m the featured expert of the week on the Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training forum.
Through Sunday, I’ll be discussing BAT for fear and aggression and there have been a lot of great questions! You can read the forum without being a member, but you’ll need to join (quick and free) if you want to post a question or comment. Check it out!Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
I was helping a client with her cat and dog issues the other day and I was telling her how even her cat can benefit from clicker training. So I went online to find her some proof and came across this great little video from Karen Pryor with Catherine Crawmer. Even if you don’t have a cat, it’s a great video to watch to get the basics of clicker training. If you can deliver food, chances are, your pet can be clicker trained!Tweet This Post!
Behavior Adjustment Training isn’t just for fear and aggression in dogs. You can use it with all kinds of behavior problems and all kinds of species, like horses, birds, etc. It’s not perfect for every situation, though, so it’s important to know when and how to use Behavior Adjustment Training.
I just made a handout that you can use with your own dog or that dog trainers can print out for clients. The one requirement is that you leave my contact information on there and do not post it electronically to websites, etc., but you can link to it. Just right-click the link below to copy the URL for your own website.
You can download the Behavior Adjustment Training Handout here.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
This morning, as I read the posts on Twitter, I came across Edie Jarolim’s post “2009: It wasnâ€™t so bad for me. How was it for you?” I thought it was a lovely idea for a post, so here’s my answer to Edie’s question. Please answer yourself in the comments or in your own blog!
I received this from the staff at Elliott Bay Animal Hospital in Seattle, which is near the training center. I thought it’d be a great cause for all dog and cat lovers in the Puget Sound to know about, and possibly support. I like supporting local causes, and maybe some of my readers do, too! Here’s the info…
I talked my wife into getting a Wii because it would allow us to play tennis in the winter, without even having to go anywhere.Â We set it up yesterday and Peanut thought it was fine – just some new kind of DVD player.Â Once we started playing tennis and boxing in the living room, though, he decided that we had gone completely crazy. He slumped upstairs to wait for our sanity to return.
That got me to thinking…what a great puppy socialization tool! Too bad I didn’t have this game 7 years ago, when Peanut was a puppy.Tweet This Post!
Ok, I love the new toy that Premier pet products featured a new toy at the Association of Pet Dog Trainers conference this year: the Pogo Plush. I brought home two of them, of course – one for each dog. They were an instant hit! The pogo is a plush toy, but there’s no stuffing (read: no mess), yet it feels like stuffing, because there’s a rubber frame inside. Genius!
The squeaker is free-floating, so even though Peanut is an excellent toy surgeon, the squeaker still works!! Read the rest of this entry »Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
In my first training class, with Spoon (that’s her, to the left) I was told to lure my dog into a sit and simultaneously say, “Sit.”Â Then I was to give her the treat and say, “Good sit!”
I doubt the trainer specifically wanted to teach my dog to only work if food was present, but I was sabotaging my training, and we were on the fast track to teaching her to ignore me if I didn’t have a treat!Tweet This Post!
Jeannie Yandel from KUOW in Seattle interviewed me last week. It’s going to play today at 1:06 p.m. on 94.9 FM in Seattle. It’s a personal interview on how and why I transitioned from a mathematician into a dog trainer. You can also listen to it now via the KUOW website.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
I had the great opportunity to work with a horse named Levi yesterday. Joey Iversen and I coordinated a Behavior Adjustment Training session with Levi and his human, Laura. We worked on Levi’s fear of tarps on the ground. That’s a big fear among horses, apparently. I’m not a horse person, but armed with knowledge of horse behaviors and BAT, we made excellent progress with Levi.
Finally! Quoted from the APDT website (my emphasis):
There has been a resurgence in citing “dominance” as a factor in dog behavior and dog-human relationships. This concept is based on outdated wolf studies that have long since been disproven. Contrary to popular belief, research studies of wolves in their natural habitat demonstrate that wolves are not dominated by an “alpha wolf” who is the most aggressive pack member. Rather, wolves operate with a social structure similar to a human family and depend on each other for mutual support to ensure the group’s survival.
We are now carrying Thundershirts in our online store (and in the little store at the training center). If there was a drug-free way to ease your dog’s fears, would you do it? I would! And the Thundershirt’s a lot less than the Anxiety Wrap (and easier to put on), almost half as expensive. We sell it for just $35.62!
I originally bought a Thundershirt for Peanut’s stress in the car. It helped! I even tried doing a comparison with having it on and off on different trips. 3 times with the Thundershirt – no shaking any of those times. 3 times without – shaking every time. TTouch practioners have known the benefits of anxiety wraps for a long time. Thundershirt is an affordable, attractive way to wrap your dog and reduce stress. Check out this video:
I just scheduled a seminar for dog trainers and advanced students, to teach a new system for working with behavior problems, called Behavior Adjustment Training, or BAT. The seminar is an hour and a half, Friday January 8th, 2010, from 8-9:30 p.m.
We also have an exciting visit from Patricia McConnell planned for September 12, 2010.Tweet This Post!
The November 2009 Whole Dog Journal is out. Get yours today!
I love this pit bull video by John Shipe. Great dogs, great music! If they could only have filmed it without those prong collars and choke chains! Don’t they know pit bulls excel with reward-based training?
I’ve been singing it a lot since I saw this video, although I have to admit, I keep making up my own silly lyrics and singing them to my dogs, like “I’m a Pea-nut, I’m a black-furred, black nosed Pea-nut.”
Don’t forget to support the artist! Click here to purchase the single on iTunes.Tweet This Post!
We have the latest issue of Whole Dog Journal. If you have a dog that has issues walking by other people, dogs, bikes, etc., you won’t want to miss this issue!
October 2009 articles:
Order Whole Dog Journal from us online today!Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
This a mini BAT session for fear/barking that I did with some kids this morning. The video is on my iPhone, which has the opposite orientation of the program I use to process it, so it stretched Peanut out a bit.
Here are some highlights of that video:
The second video is the use of the Premack Principle to practice heeling. Remember, BAT is not just for aggression & fear, but also for other problem behaviors maintained by the environment, like pulling. The point is to set the dog up to succeed, then reward with what they most want in the moment.
Another title of this post could be “Are you secretly plotting against your dog’s rehabilitation?” Or “Do as I say, not as I do!”
The Seattle positive dog trainers group had a meeting yesterday. It was the first time we’d met in about a year and I was going to see some people I hadn’t seen for even longer. It was at a home in the country, so we could all bring our dogs. Yay!
I love going places with my dog, especially now that he can handle it, most of the time. But sometimes, he can’t. I know he has these limitations, for now, because I haven’t done the work I need to make him more comfortable with, say, small children. He came to me, as a puppy, with a fear of just about everything, from dogs to kids to adults, wheeled things, etc. As I’ve mentioned before, he’s able to be a therapy dog and loves going to meet his fan club at the assisted living facility we go to.
But, and this is important, he’s not fine in all situations, and as his human with the schedule and the car keys, it’s up to me to make sure my dog is kept within his comfort zone until I can make that zone bigger through training.Tweet This Post!
Here’s another video of BAT in action for dog aggression, from Cassie’s 2nd BAT session. Please read about BAT, watch the first Behavior Adjustment Training video, and then re-watch this video before you try it yourself with a trainer. Dog trainers and advanced students might also want to join our Yahoo Group for BAT and related techniques.
One thing I should mention is that the other dog is kitty-corner across the street, about 40-50 feet away from our first approach distance, maybe a bit more.
After a long break, we are doing her third session today, so stay tuned for video!Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
There has been such great feedback on Behavior Adjustment Training from other trainers and advanced students that I have decided to make a discussion group for us all.
Click here to join FunctionalRewards, a discussion group and creative space for people interested in BAT and related methods for aggression, fear, and other dog issues.Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
This is the power of reinforcement. Check out this dog trick/dance video and the skills the dogs are doing! Look fun? Try our Canine Freestyle (dog dancing class) to get started in this fun sport. (This is not a dog trainer from our school in Seattle, but just a sample of what well-trained dogs can do).Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
Here’s a video from a recent BAT session with a dog-reactive Aussie. For more information about how Behavior Adjustment Training works, read our other blog post.
There are lots of different ways to do BAT, but the main idea is to use what the dog is already working for to pay for a new behavior.
In this case, the dog would bark/lunge at other dogs she doesn’t know in order to increase the distance between her and the other dog. So we do the session far enough away that she can be calmer* and we use ‘permission to walk away’ as the treat for soft eyes, blinks, head turns, etc. We mostly focus on head turns for this session, as that is a nice default behavior.Tweet This Post!
Update: the organizers say they will be carding to avoid having too many dogs! 98117 and 98107 zip codes only!
There will be a fun gathering of dog folks at Ballard Commons on August 23rd. They’ve asked me to sponsor them, so there are three $50 Ahimsa Dog Training gift certificates to be had for their contest.
It’s not a commercial event – no tents, no booths, no microphones, just a gathering of dog folks and some contests with prizes. It’s a good place to go after the Sunday market in Ballard. It’s sponsored by the Seattle Parks Department as a non-commercial event.Tweet This Post!
Do you use the carrot, or the stick? In it’s regular meaning, the stick is used to prod the donkey forward, so it’s not the kind of method I use for dog training. But sticks can be used as rewards, too. I use sticks to reward my dog, Peanut, for walking politely. I can surprise him with a ‘treat’ without carrying anything on me at all. Surprise rewards are the best kind to use when training your dog.
But are sticks safe for dogs?
I know some of you just can’t stand that fluffy new puppy who adores you, and want to get rid of her as soon as possible. If you can’t find anyone to take this cute bundle of fur, here’s how you can at least make sure she doesn’t live out her natural life. Unfortunately, most of these also make your neighbors mad at you, but whatever.
Does your dog pull on leash or not come when called? Do you wish your dog would listen more? Follow our daily plan below to jump-start your dog training. Your dog won’t actually be Lassie yet, but you will have a lot more focus than you do right now. Focus is the essential foundation before you can train anything else.
For this exercise, we use either a clicker or a word, like “yes,” to mark instant that your dog earns a reward. Every time you mark (click or say, “yes,”) you owe a your dog a tangible reward, like a food treat or toy. (Read more about clicker training). When you mark a behavior, give your dog the reward within a few seconds.Tweet This Post!
Dreamlist Radio is an excellent website that helps people find the career of their dreams. Melissa Borghorst of Dreamlist Radio interviewed me for the Teen section of the website, and the questions focused on what teens can do to become a dog trainer. The answers, you’ll find, will work for people of any age who are considering becoming dog trainers.
If you have a teen or pre-teen in your home, or are thinking of changing careers, I highly recommend Dreamlist’s main website!
Related Post: How to Become a Dog Trainer in SeattleWritten by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!
A lot of people these days are finding they need to give up their dogs, cats, horses, or other animals because they can’t afford vet care. If you don’t have a pet yet, and are thinking about getting one, please make sure that you take into account the full costs of owning a living, breathing animal before you adopt or buy one. For example, expect a dog to cost $700-$2800 a year, or $10,000-$30,000 over the course of the dog’s lifetime (more info). Not all dogs end up being that expensive, but when we get them, we commit to be their caretakers – in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.
But if you do already have a dog in need and you are thinking of rehoming or euthanizing your beloved family member, here are some organizations around the US (and beyond) that can help.
Once you teach your dog to “Target,” you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.Â The behavior here is that your dog touches her nose to a humanâ€™s hand, but this also works with a an actual target of some sort, like the Clik Stik pictured here.
I use targeting to move my dog around in space (from one side of the bed to the other, off of the couch, etc.). You can also teach them to heel nicely beside you or even to come to you. It’s great for teaching nervous dogs to go explore something that scares them, by having them touch your hand near the Scary Monster. It’s the foundation of “go say hi.”
Summer dog event! Come see us at the Summer Muttmixer at Rock Bottom Brewery, 1333 5th Avenue in Seattle. Ahimsa Dog Training will have a little booth set up (I’ll be there!) and the event is FREE.
Your dog is welcome, but do make sure it will be a pleasant experience for him/her. Whenever you attend an event like this, your dog’s mental and physical well-being should be first priority. Even if you have beer.
There are several brands of retractable leashes, including Flexi Leash, Eddie Bauer, Planet Dog (Zip-leash pictured here), and Guardian Gear. I can’t think of another leash with so many opinions about it! I’ll explore the pros and cons of using retractable leashes in this post.
I have a lovely blog post about fear in dogs that I’d like to share with you. It’s about the author’s experience of finding out that her dog had fear aggression, her search for answers, the simplicity of the Touch cue as an anchor for fearful dogs, and a description of where her dog, Sadie, is today.
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