Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Archive for the ‘Our Dogs’ Category

My dog is like a fine wine, better with age

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

20120407-104303.jpgWhen I got Peanut as a puppy, he was an adorable little bundle of fur and I couldn’t bear to be without him. He was fine being alone, with his Kong, after a while, but I still had separation anxiety! He was a quick learner and we did all sorts of fun things together, like tricks and agility, where he ran fast and even beat the full border collies. A silhouette of his ‘sit pretty’ trick was the first logo for Ahimsa Dog Training in 2003.


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Ahimsa Tricks on TV

Friday, May 11th, 2012

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 [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

National Train Your Dog Month

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

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 doesn‚Äôt show a video below, use this link.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Q13 Fox Interview with Tricks

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

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 [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Human Agility – Backyard Sports & Games Demo

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Here is another video clip from the Ahimsa Dog Training demo at the Furry 5K on June 12. Thanks to all of the volunteers from the audience who participated as jumps and weave poles. Peanut had a blast doing human agility! Visit our class page for info on our Backyard Sports & Games class and our Nose Work class.

Direct link to the video: http://youtu.be/OhCgzYYKn7w

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Video of the Ahimsa Dog Training Drill Team Debut!

Monday, June 20th, 2011

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

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Drill Team Rehearsal on Friday Feb 4

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

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.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

What’s the Difference Between Heel and Loose Leash Walking?

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

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 [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Good news from the training trenches

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Some victories for Behavior Adjustment Training today!

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.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Two new BAT videos

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

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:

  • At 0:27, he actually does a nice look away and retreats, and I didn’t notice, because I was fussing with the camera. I called him back and we ‘started’ our session, even though he was already starting without me. That’s the cool part about this method, that the dog can train himself after a while!
  • 0:36, 0:37, 0:39 he sees the triggers and we push on because we’re not quite at his threshold – we’re working on head turns and this is still a very easy distance.
  • 0:39, 0:46 I stop and he looks at me after only a tiny glance at the triggers (kids). I decide that’s not close enough, that he can handle more.
  • 0:49 Looks away from trigger, 0:50 big nose lick. I miss this. Another casualty of filming and walking at the same time.¬† This would’ve been a good place to stop.
  • 0:55, solid engagement with the kids, has enough time to look and see what they are up to, then turns to look at me. I mark with Good! and reward him by walking the other way with him, away from the kids. Note how fast he walks in that direction.
  • 1:10 – some calming touch. Not necessary, but it’s what Peanut and I do.
  • More aware of the kids now. I return to our same spot and do two more trials. During the walk-away on the 2nd trial, the kids follow us, and you’ll see him look back. I like trials 2 and 3 better than trial 1, because it seemed more directed at the environment, rather than an escape into mom’s eyes. I’m more than happy to be his anchor, I’m just glad when he doesn’t need it.

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.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Confessions of a Selfish Dog Trainer

Friday, October 16th, 2009

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.


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Are Sticks Safe for Dogs?

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

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?

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Twitter, here we come!

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

I (Grisha) have decided to join the modern age and try Twitter!

@doggiezen is the more official one with tips and updates about Ahimsa.

@peanutseattle is life from my dog’s perspective.

Experienced folks, can you follow and and let me know if I make any technical or etiquette mistakes?

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Peanut’s Epulis Test – It’s Benign!

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Baby PeanutMy soulmate¬†dog, Peanut, went to the vet to have an epulis in his mouth removed last week. ¬†The good news? It’s not cancer! And it was small enough that they could remove it without taking out any teeth, thank dog. ¬†

The bad news? He’s a wreck at the vet and it was a $500 experience. ¬†Dogs are not cheap!

The picture here is Peanut as a baby. ¬†He’s 6 now and I saw at the vet that once dogs turn 7, it’s a time to look for a “rapid decline in the dog’s health.” Wonderful. He’s almost a Senior Dog.

Now is as good as a time as any to say that if your older dog is suddenly aggressive or shows other brand new behaviors, it’s probably health related.


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

KOMO 4 TV Interview – Service Dog Racism

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

My dog was featured in an interview of Ellen Taft, a woman who wants to ban pit bulls and many other breeds as service dogs. My dog has a big head and looks like a pit bull, though she’s actually a Boxer mix, possibly with Greyhound. Ellen Taft definitely has it out for pit bull type dogs, but also mentioned that, among other breeds, Greyhounds shouldn’t be service dogs because, and I quote, “A Greyhound is a very, very stupid dog. It was trained for one purpose, it was trained to run.”


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

How to Make Your Own Green Dog Toys

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

I recommend that everyone feed their young dogs out of food puzzles, when they aren’t using the food for training their puppies. There are lots of treat-dispensing dog toys on the market, and we even sell some of them, like the Tug-a-Jug and the world-famous Kong Toy. But dogs need variety, just like people, so instead of buying more and more plastic toys, you can make your own! The down-side is that dogs should be supervised with these do-it-yourself dog toys, versus the more indestructible toys, like the Kong. (more…)

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Q13 News & Seattle Metropolitan Magazine – “Best of the Best!”

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Seattle Metropolitan Magazine has an annual Best of the City issue. As the founder of Ahimsa Dog Training, I was featured as the “Trailblazer” in Seattle Met. Fox chose three of the Trailblazers to feature on their morning show and interviewed me with my dogs at the training center in Seattle. (The dogs are Sagan – Boxer mix, Peanut – border collie / whippet, & Spoon – border collie / hound). Click here to see the Fox “Best of the Best” Interview. The video is sometimes broken, and refreshing the Fox website seems to help.

There’s a big 3D picture in the Seattle Metropolitan magazine (page 96). Thanks again to the puppy class students for putting up with the photo shoot!

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Every Day With My Dog is Precious

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

My dog isn’t dying, at least no more than the rest of us are. But I have joint custody of a lovely, blue-eyed Basset Hound / Border Collie named Spoon that I see only rarely. She normally lives in San Diego, but I have the good fortune of seeing her for 6 weeks while my ex is on vacation. Most people don’t drive from Seattle to San Francisco just to see a dog for 6 weeks, but I can’t imagine doing anything else. I would have gone all the way to Maine, if I had to.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Clicker Training – Reliability in Action

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

I just made a quick video of my dog, Peanut, at Magnuson Off Leash Park in Seattle. I have him do the same chain of ten behaviors twice in a row: wait, spin, jump, heel, left turn, right turn, wait, come, sit, and carwash. There are a few dogs that Peanut just met at the dog park, for distraction.


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Tug-A-Jug Rocks!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

My favorite new toy is definitely the Tug-A-Jug by Busy Buddy. When Sagan gets amped up and wants to tackle Peanut (who is never in the mood for her), we have her sit/stay and then put some kibble in this fabulous invention. Sagan tires herself out and peace returns to our two dogs and their moms.

You can feed the dog’s whole meal in there and it’s very easy to put the food in. Just unscrew and dump in a scoop.

We have both sizes of the Tug-A-Jug at the training center in Ballard and in our new online store, though there are other places in Seattle to buy them now, too. I think. :)

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

King 5 News Interview – June 07

Friday, June 15th, 2007

A visit with friends turned tragic when a child approached a family dog with a bone. You hear about this sort of thing all of the time, but too often, people “correct” the dog by telling it not to growl, rather than changing the emotionally charge of the situation. Now the dog is still angry or fearful, but it’s been told not to growl at people any more. Then we get the Silent Biter – the dog who shows no warning before biting. (more…)

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle




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