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Archive for the ‘Tips & Safety’ Category

How to Be More Fun, Less Annoying, and Avoid Dog Bites

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

logo-anim-no-bg-rightDo you love to pet your dog? Does your dog love it too? Are you sure?

Here’s a video with a way to ask your dog if he or she likes the way you are petting. I call it the 5-Second Rule, and every person who interacts with a dog, cat, or even horse should know it, because it’s excellent bite prevention and also just basic polite manners! Teaching it to children will avoid bites and also teach the concept of setting their own boundaries for safe interactions.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Babette: Puppy Camp Success Story

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

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. (more…)

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

5 Fireworks Tips for Dogs: Grisha’s Fireworks Survival Protocol

Monday, December 31st, 2012

kissHappy New Year! Here are some FIREWORKS tips. These are my recommendations for dogs and puppies who have never heard fireworks or dogs who are already scared of them:

0. (too late for this right now, but do it at least a few weeks before the net set of fireworks…get a sound desensitization CD and get your dog used to the noises using the recording and the protocol below).

But here’s what you can do right now:

  1. Stay home, don’t go out dancing and leave your pup to suffer.
  2. Play calming music or watch television
  3. Have a container of fabulous treats in reach (so you don’t have to jump up to get them). Toys are also a good choice for dogs who love toys more than steak.
  4. Whenever a firework goes off, close your eyes, breathe out calmly, grab a treat and give it to your dog (you may have to open your eyes for this). Feel free to toss a handful of treats on the floor. If it’s a toy, you can throw it. Do this every time there’s a boom and if the noise is long, just keep calmly tossing out treats.
  5. During and after the treat tossing, visualize your most pleasant memory/fantasy in great detail. It can be rated G, like thinking about world peace or the taste of chocolate on your tongue, but it doesn’t have to be.

The visualization step is important. I don’t think I’ve heard it suggested elsewhere, but it really helps my dog Peanut. It can also really help to actually do normal things, like lie down for a nap, wash dishes, talk on the phone, do yoga, etc. (Thanks to Kathy Seube for the reminder!)

Other tips: put on an Anxiety Wrap or Thundershirt a while before the fireworks start. This should not be your dog’s first use of such a wrap (otherwise they will associate the wrap with the noises, which is bad). Use Happy Traveler or some other herbal anti-stress medication, have calming oils in the room, like lavender…

If you have enough time before the fireworks play in your area, you can play a sound CD of fireworks at low low volume in the morning and gradually raise the volume during the day. Then by the time the real fireworks come, your dog will just think it’s part of the CD.

If you really must go out,

  • Take a long walk to exercise your dog before you go so that he is likely to be asleep.
  • Leave him with music and/or television on.
  • Leave him with a full food puzzle (or several) for him to enjoy while you are gone. If you have a Kong, you can freeze it with food or if you don’t have time to prepare that, put melted cheese in it to make it last a while. Melting cheese in a glass container that you transfer to the Kong is ideal, but you can put a 1-inch cube of cheese into the Kong, microwave for 20 seconds, and swirl it around to get it coated with cheese. Cool off before giving to the dog.
Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

3-day Products Sale

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

3-day sale! Use the code happyholidays to save 25% on product orders over $25 in Seattle and in our online store. This includes the new Ahimsa Dog Training Manual, BAT products like books and DVDs, harnesses, other authors’ books, leashes, toys, etc. check out the Bat Toy!

The last day of the sale is also the last day that we will guarantee delivery by Christmas in the US for in-stock items.

Worried about delivery? We have ebooks!

Note that this coupon is for products only.

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

Parvo Update – Back to Life as Usual

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

If you have a dog in Seattle, you were probably freaked out by the news that adult dogs were getting parvo. I spoke with ACCES hospital manager Don Wirenga (ACCES was the hospital that recently reported an increase in parvo cases) about this issue.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Poison in Green Lake, Halloween Tips

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

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

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Puppy and New Dog Tip for Spring!

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

20120407-104303.jpgWill 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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

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’t 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]

“Stay Tag” – dog training for hard-to-catch dogs

Friday, November 18th, 2011

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=ICCJDoHij1c

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

How Afraid is Your Dog? Fearful Dogs Blog

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

I wanted to share a great blog with the readers of the Ahimsa Dog Blog. It’s by Debbie Jacobs of http://fearfuldogs.com – there’s an article on her site about what sorts of options fearful dogs have. I love her point that when a dog is *allowing* petting (versus growling, etc.), he doesn’t necessarily enjoy it. Read the whole picture, folks!

This article also has an interesting clip of an iguana being threatened by an iPhone. It’s interesting in the sense of reading iguana body language, but it’s awful in the sense that people do mean things to animals just to have a laugh…

DEBBIE IS COMING TO SEATTLE on November 5, 2011 to give a seminar for Ahimsa. It is called Living With and Training a Fearful Dog. Join us and please help spread the word.

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

You’re Not Crazy, You’re Mourning: Grief from the Loss of Your Dog

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

To love a dog is to truly know the meaning of unconditional love. If you were lucky enough to share your life with a dog, especially a ‘soulmate dog’ who has passed or is nearing the end of life, then you also have the flipside of such a strong relationship: grief. Every experience of grief is unique, so you can’t really be prepared for the loss of your dog. Some of the things that you might do or think while grieving may make you think you are going crazy. This article will help you understand some of the common feelings, behaviors, and thoughts that may come with the loss of your dog. It is my hope that while an article can’t get rid of the sadness or fill the empty hole in your heart, it may encourage you to find a way to grow from this experience and see it as yet another gift from your dog.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

How to Greet a Dog – free ebook download this week

Monday, August 8th, 2011

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

“I Rescued a Human Today” – anonymous

Friday, June 17th, 2011

20110617-073213.jpgThis 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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Teaching Your Dog to “Drop It”

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Should My Dog Sniff on a Walk?

Friday, January 7th, 2011

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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Is Your Dog at Risk? 8 Important Safety Tips

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Watch us live on King 5 TV!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

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!

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

Tuesday Tip: Instant Puppy Socialization

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

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.

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

Tuesday Tip: a Sure-Fire Way to Socialize Your Puppy

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

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

Muzzle Training 101

Monday, July 5th, 2010

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!!

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Do You Know Why Dogs Bark?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

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?”

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Training Your Dog to Stay – Video

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

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 [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.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Help for Your Reactive Dog (BAT cartoon)

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

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!


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

Did your dog chew your harness?

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

If you have the Freedom harness, you can send it to the manufacturer for a quick repair. You just have to pay the shipping.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Can you please stop hitting that puppy?

Monday, March 1st, 2010

That’s what I asked the woman with her 10-week-old Golden X puppy.  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.  Cute! I thought, followed immediately by a mortified, “oh my Dog, did she just hit that puppy?”  She smacked it 3-4 times and then it moved away, and she hit it some more, probably yelling at the same time. I couldn’t hear her from inside my car.

So I barreled over there in my car and slammed on the brakes beside her.  “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.  I told her that there were lots of great ways to get the puppy to stop biting, and I’d love to show her.  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. (more…)

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Free Puppy Socialization in Seattle

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

BAT seminar DVD is available!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

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

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

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:

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Session overview Sheet For BAT

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

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).

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Cat Clicker Training from Karen Pryor

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

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!

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

9 Good Things About 2009. What’s Your List?

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

This morning, as I read the posts on Twitter, I came across Edie Jarolim’s post “2009: It wasn’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!
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Support the Angel Fund for Emergency Care

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

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…
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Wii – Could a Video Game Help with Puppy Socialization?

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

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.  We set it up yesterday and Peanut thought it was fine – just some new kind of DVD player.  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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

New Dog Toy: Pogo Plush

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

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!! (more…)

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Are You Sabotaging Your Training?

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

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.”  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!

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Mathematician to Dog Trainer – My NPR interview

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

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

Dominance Training Position Statement by APDT

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Finally! Quoted from the APDT website (my emphasis):

Association of Pet Dog Trainers Position Statement

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.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Thundershirts – sound phobias, fears, etc.

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

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:
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Crate Training, food-free rewards, & more in Whole Dog Journal

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

The November 2009 Whole Dog Journal is out. Get yours today!

  • Alternate rewards for when your dog won’t take food
  • Easy Riding – tips for calm, safe car rides
  • Quick Crate Training Tips
  • What to look for in buying treats
  • Dancing with Dogs (hint: you don’t have to dance much, your dog is the star!
  • Is your dog’s microchip useless?
Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

New issue of Whole Dog Journal

Monday, October 19th, 2009

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:

  • Good Growling? 5 things to do when your dog growls at you
  • Passing Fancy – How to teach your dog to calmly walk on-leash past other people, other dogs, bicyclists, skateboarders — you name it!
  • Needing Pain Relief – acupuncture
  • Do as I Say, Not as I Do – Even the best-informed owners can make mistakes with their dogs
  • Positive Show-Offs – Clickers and treats work as well for training show dogs as they do for the family pet.
  • Rally Obedient Dogs – Handlers can encourage and even reward their dogs in the show ring in this very fun sport, “rally obedience”

Order Whole Dog Journal from us online today!

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

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.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Edmonds Dog park Halloween Howl is tomorrow!

Friday, October 16th, 2009

I will be giving a dog safety presentation at *noon*, particularly how to read dogs and how to avoid and break up dog fights at the park. Come with or without your dog!
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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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Behavior Adjustment Training video #2

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

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

Amazing, amazing dog video!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

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

Video of BAT in action for dog aggression

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

August 23 First Annual Dog Days of Ballard’s Summer

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

How Behavior Adjustment Training Works

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

I’ve moved the contents of this post to http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/bat, but I wanted to keep the post so that the great comments people wrote were still available.

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

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?
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

8 Sure-Fire Ways to Shorten Your Dog’s Life

Monday, August 10th, 2009

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.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Marley to Lassie in 7 days – How to Be the Center of Your Dog’s Universe

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Dream List Radio Interview

Friday, July 24th, 2009

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.

Click to Play Interview

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 Seattle

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

How to Find Low-Cost Vet Care

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

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.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

6 Quick Steps to Teach “Targeting”

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Once you teach your dog to “Target,” you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.  The behavior here is that your dog touches her nose to a human’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.”
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Muttmixer – June 24 2009 in Seattle

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

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. :)
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Retractable leashes: friend or foe?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

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.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Blog to read: Magic “Touch” for Fearful Dogs

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

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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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Can a Dog Sense Fear?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

katrina dogI gave a presentation at a school in West Seattle today and a good question from one of the teachers stuck with me. Can a Dog Sense Fear?

My answer to her was something like, “Yes, dogs do seem to be able to sense fear. But just sensing fear won’t make them decide to bite you if that’s not in their personality.” Thinking on it more, I should have said some things that fearful people do that clues the dogs in and what they can do to appear more confident.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

FDA is not looking into Nutro Dog Food

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

There’s an article at ConsumerAffairs.com that claims the FDA is looking into claims of several deaths and a lot of sick dogs over the last two years.

However, I went to the Nutro website and they deny that the FDA is looking into their foods. You can read the Nutro website here. I don’t know who’s telling the truth, but if you do feed Nutro, it would be a good idea to look into this. It’s always best to be informed! UPDATE: See video in this post, which says Nutro’s right, there is NO FDA investigation.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

How Not to Pick a Rescue Dog

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

First off, I want to say that I’m all for getting rescue dogs. I have rescue dogs and I probably always will. There are tons of great dogs in Seattle that need forever homes.

There are ways to get a dog that avoid the biggest trouble, be it a purebred puppy or a rescue dog. This story is inspired by two friends of mine, who just adopted a dog for a week on a ‘trial basis.’

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Video: Obamas Do Right By Bo (mostly)

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Here’s a quick video of Bo Obama’s intro to the world. I saw several things that they did right, and some that they could’ve done better (of course, can’t we all?)

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Free Spay/Neuter/Training for Pit Bulls in Tacoma

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

If you have a pit bull and are looking for a free way to make your dog a better citizen, here’s the way! Even if you don’t live in Tacoma, this is probably worth the drive.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Teen Dog Play in Seattle

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Our first Teen Dog Play time is April 9th at 5:30. About half of our students have begun to opt for Dream Dog instead of Intermediate Puppy, I want to make sure they’re still getting supervised play.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Hand Targeting is a Fun Way to Call Your Dog

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

One of the skills we teach in our Super Start sessions of Dream Dog is targeting. In the easiest form of targeting, the dog touches your hand with his nose. For shy dogs or dogs that like to play catch-me-if-you-can, this is a great way to get them to come to you.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

When is a fence not a fence?

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

If it can’t actually hold your dogs in your yard, or keep trouble out, a fence can do more harm than good. It makes you feel like you have a fence, so you let your guard down. In one of my classes, a student with an aggressive dog said that they had a fenced yard. It turns out there is no gate, just a big gaping hole where the dog can get out!

I snapped this photo on a walk with Peanut in Seattle. There are two problems with this fence. The obvious one is the big hole where panels are missing and the dog can get out or other dogs or children can come in. The other is the height! If Peanut wanted to, he could easily jump over this fence.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Kid / Dog Safety book: Don’t Lick the Dog!

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Ever wish you had just the right way to tell young children how to meet a dog? There are some good books out there already, but Seattle artist Wendy Wahman has a great new book out that can help! I have to admit, I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m trying to get a copy so that we can use it as part of our Kids & Dogs training class at Ahimsa in Seattle and Bellevue.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Protected: Get SMART Seminar Carpooling Page

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

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

Dream Dog Training Program is Ready!

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Let the Dreams begin! We’re ready a day early and can now take registrations for the new Dream Dog Training Program at Ahimsa in Seattle and Bellevue.  Dream Dog is a revolutionary new way to train your dog, where you can get help and practice exactly what you need.  The skills are award-winning, dog friendly methods that you’ve come to trust, but the way we teach them to you and your dog will make the difference.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Kathy Sdao Reward-Training Seminar will Rock Your World

Thursday, January 15th, 2009


(See the end of this post for a coupon!)

Why are reward trainers so sure that their methods are the more humane way to train? Because reward-based training works, and it works well, without harming or intimidating the dog.

But to get the best results with rewards, you need to know what you’re doing. The devil’s in the details when it comes to reinforcement. The more you know about training with rewards, the faster and more stress-free learning will be.

Reward trainers who only sort of know what they are doing just give fuel to the myth that training with rewards is somehow inferior. Don’t be that kind of trainer! Come to the Kathy Sdao Get SMART seminar on how to effectively use reinforcement on March 5-6, 2009 in Seattle, Washington.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Do Not Try Dog Whispering at Home

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Expose“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel

“Positive” dog trainers throughout the Puget Sound can now celebrate a victory of science and learning over sensational TV.

Because Cesar Millan was coming to Seattle for Seattle Dog Winterfest, KOMO’s Problem Solvers began looking into the global controversy surrounding the methods used on the Dog Whisperer TV show. I was fortunate to able coordinate with the reporter and contribute to the story by providing details and Seattle-area contacts. They interviewed me, but my passion had me tongue-tied, so they didn’t end up airing it. Oh well…I have since thought of several quick sound bites!
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

The World’s Coolest Dog Toy / Dog Dish

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

The Dog Puzzler is a revolutionary way to feed your dog. It’s got the ease (for the human) of a dog dish with the fun (for the dog) of a dog toy. If possible, all or most of a young dog’s meals should come from a puzzle. Tired dogs are good dogs and make for happy families!
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

81-year-old singer Patti Page is my new hero.  You probably know her song, “How Much is That Doggie in the Window?”

Well…she’s decided to re-release the song, but has changed the lyrics to reflect the changing times and to promote her book, “This Is My Song.” She’s given the Humane Society of the US permission to use the lyrics to advertise their cause.

Here are the new lyrics, sung, of course, to the same tune of “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?”

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Clicker Trained Dogs take over Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

This amazing video was made by a group of clicker trainers in Hungary. Just look at how happy and excited the dogs are.  They are really enjoying themselves! They’re also doing complex tasks from a distance.   

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, if you love dogs, you’ll enjoy watching these well-trained dogs and appreciate the power of clicker training!
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Marley & Me – Marley Needs Positive Dog Training!

Friday, December 19th, 2008

If you see the movie “Marley and Me,” you’ll note that Marley is unruly to say the least. In the Real World, Marley might not have had a happy ending. How could we make him a better fit for a regular family?

Read the following press release from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers to learn more about Marley and how his family could benefit from positive dog training.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Rainy Day Dogs – Issue 1

Friday, December 19th, 2008

I’ve got some ideas for what to do to exercise your dog indoors, for people who cannot exercise their dog because of the puppy’s age, the dog’s aggression, illness, or injury, or other things going on in the household.  I’m writing it all for a book that I’ve titled Rainy Day Dogs.  

I’ll be eking the book out, bit by bit.  When it’s all done, I’ll compile it, yank it off of the web, and publish it.  So you get the first read. Please feel free to comment below with suggestions of any kind.

Here’s the first bit. In case you were wondering, yes, this is copyrighted. Please do not copy!

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Snow is Dog Cocaine

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

If you live in or near Seattle, you know that it snowed in the Puget Sound last night. We woke up to inches of blissful snow!  Almost nobody is driving.  I even saw two buses that are stuck on the road next to my house.

If you have a puppy, you should be especially happy about the snow. If you aren’t off of work because of the snow already, you should go home to take this chance to be with your puppy.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Make Money for Your Group!

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

dog-money I hesitated doing this, but I have finally caved in and made an Ahimsa affiliate program.  The program allows non-profit organizations and even regular people or businesses to make some money by referring people to Ahimsa – for both the online dog store and training classes.

Right now, I have the percentage set to 5% (excluding tax and shipping), but I may muck around with that in the future and have all of the money go to charity. See below.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Holiday Dog Photos – PAWS and Seattle Shelter

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Did you miss our last photo opportunity?  Here’s another chance to support PAWS and get some fun photos of your dog, to boot!  Last time, Ahimsa students raised a LOT of $$ for PAWs with Alyssa Rose Photography.  The photo above is from that photo shoot.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Holiday/Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dogs

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season can be dangerous for dogs. Cooked bones, especially turkey & chicken, can splinter and cause choking or intestinal problems, even death. While most of us know not to feed it to the dog on purpose, your guests may not know this or your dog may get bones out of the trash.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Walking Your Dog Off Leash is Like…

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

 

Get Your Off-Leash Dog Signs Here!

Different themes: [Nose Picking] [Smoking] [Punch Bowl] [In the Buff

I’d like to come up with a long list of analogies for people who walk their dogs off leash in areas that are not designated off-leash parks.

 I’m not saying people shouldn’t let their dogs stretch their legs. I just think it’s important that they don’t ruin anyone else’s walk, either.

I would like a quick way to convey the message that walking their dog up to another dog or person off leash on a trail or sidewalk is impolite. It seems like the gross-out factor would be helpful.

So I’d like your help! Here are some ideas completing the following sentence.  Walking your dog off leash is like…

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Walking or Hiking Off Leash With Your Dog?

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Walking your dog off leash is like picking your nose, but more dangerous.

Both are something that no one else should have to see you doing.  Okay, it’s not quite the same – dogs LOVE to be off leash, and it’s a lot of fun.  If you know the dog is safe, it’s enjoyable to watch.  But some people are afraid of dogs, some are allergic, and some dogs don’t like other dogs. And picking your nose isn’t against the law. On a trail, when the people you meet don’t know you and your dog, and vice versa, it’s important that leash your dog up as soon as you know they might be in contact with another person.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Cocoa Mulch – Toxic to Dogs

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Cocoa Mulch, which was sold by Home Depot, Foreman’s Garden Supply and other garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called ‘Theobromine’. It is poisonois for dogs and cats. Cocoa Mulch smells like chocolate and it attracts dogs. They may ingest Cocoa Mulch and if they eat a lot of it, they can die quickly.  Just a word of caution, check what you are using in your gardens!

Your dogs may also find cocoa mulch out on walks, so be careful!

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Another Silky Leash How-to Video

Friday, October 24th, 2008

How do you get your dog to stop pulling? We have the answers! I’ve just made another Silky Leash video, to go along with our classes. I wanted to put it in the same blog post as the last Silky Leash dog training video, so check it out in the other Silky Leash video post.

You can see it on Youtube.

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

Training Your Dog for Distractions (or Prepping Your VP)

Monday, October 20th, 2008

We want our dogs to perform in any kind of situation.  When training their dogs to behave in the face of big distractions, people tend to make a few key errors and throw their dogs in over their heads. A solid understanding of the principles of positive dog training might also help Sarah Palin prepare for interviews.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Silky Leash Video – How to Train Leash Walking

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

How do you teach a dog not to pull on leash, either ahead or behind? There are lots of ways to teach your dog or puppy loose leash walking, but I really like Silky Leash.  This method teaches dogs that a very light pressure on the leash is a “cue” that means to go in the direction of that light pull. The best part of Silky Leash training is that it doesn’t train dogs with pain or pressure, but with positive reinforcement.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

To Treat or Not To Treat? Training Reliable Behaviors

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

You might have read some of the traditional training books or watched a certain tv show that talks about training with treats as if it were a sloppy way to train dogs, whereas training with punishment means the dog works with you because they love you. The people who avoid treast just don’t know enough about *how* to train dogs with treats, and I thought I’d write a blog post to give an overview of how to precisely use reinforcers to get reliable dog behavior.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Oct 4 – Help the Seattle Humane Society

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Mark your calendar!  The Humane Society for Seattle/King County is hosting a Walk for the Animals event on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 9:00 a.m. – Noon at University Village in Seattle. If you have a friendly dog that would enjoy this event, please support the animals.  Click here for more info.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Pit Bull Breed Ban versus Dog Safety Legislation

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Is there a middle ground between banning pit bulls in Seattle and ignoring the fact that attacks like the recent awful, terrible, scary mauling of a 71-year-old woman keep happening, by dogs reported to be pit bulls? I think so. It’s not enough to target pit bulls.  We need to prevent aggression from all breeds.   I don’t think we should settle for protecting Seattle against pit bulls. Legislation should apply to all dog breeds, whenever possible, for the most possible protection.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Paws Cafe Grand opening in Redmond

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Come Join Us for the Paws Cafe Grand Opening Celebration this Weekend, August 16 & 17th! Ahimsa Dog Training offers classes at Paws Cafe in Redmond, so we’ll be there helping out during part of the festivities, with free dog training advice. Grisha will be at Paws Cafe giving out tips on August 16th from 12-3 pm.

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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

How to Become a Dog Trainer in Seattle (and elsewhere)

Monday, July 21st, 2008

I get contacted a lot by people who have fallen in love with dog training and want to learn how to become a professional dog trainer. I decided to write this blog post so that I can quickly give a helpful answer.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

April 2008 Newsletter

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Hi folks! In May, I’m going to redesign several of the classes, including Puppy & the Basic and Better Manners classes. If you have taken any of those classes and are interested in helping us teach more effectively, I’d love your feedback. I need ideas on what you liked as well as what you didn’t. If you didn’t finish the class, why not? If you continued to the next class, why? Were you happy that you did? Just reply to this email with ideas. Thanks!

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

It’s 2 a.m. Do you know where Fido is? Dog Theft on the Rise

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

thief.jpgThe AKC reported 30 dog thefts for January-March 2008, compared to 10 in the entire year for 2007.

I don’t know the rest of the trend (maybe 2007 was a really low year?) but the AKC is worried and so am I.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

What to Do When a Dog Refuses to Walk

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

donkey dog Is your dog a stubborn Donkey Dog? A lot of dogs pull forward on leash, but some dogs and many puppies pull *backward* or refuse to walk. This happens to French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs all the time! Pulling harder or luring with a treat only makes the problem worse, so what should you do to help your dog or puppy get moving?!

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Is My Dog Fat? How to Tell Your Dog is Overweight

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

fatFrom StopCanineObesity.com: “The numbers are startling. Recent studies show that while veterinarians estimate 47% of their canine clients are overweight, only 17% of dog owners believe their dogs fit that description.”

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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.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Dog Fences: Invisible vs. Visible

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Get a Real Fence I’ve been asked by dog training clients several times about my opinion on the Invisible Fence. The short answer is that I really, really don’t like shock fencing; I think it’s inhumane. Watch the video below, which shows several humans wearing a shock collar, for an indication of what it might be like for a dog to wear a shock collar. (more…)

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

West Seattle Dog Poisoning

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

katrina dog
There have been news reports of dogs in West Seattle that may have been poisoned with rat poison on dog treats, bones, etc, strewn about Westcrest and Fauntleroy parks where dogs run off leash (though possibly, they shouldn’t anyway, as I think they aren’t off leash parks).
(more…)

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

 

 

 

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