Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Archive for the ‘Puppies’ 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.


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]

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.


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]

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]

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

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:


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.


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.


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Breeding Dogs for Temperament

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Why do breeders continue to breed dogs that are not of sound temperament? The dogs meet the AKC beauty standards, but dogs can be dangerous, and living with an aggressive dog has a huge effect on our lives and the life of the dog. We should be breeding for calm, happy golden retrievers, labs, pit bulls, pomeranians, chihuahuas, etc. Temperament needs to be placed over beauty. Can’t we make a law? (more…)

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Dogs on the Bus in Seattle (King County)

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Seattle is a very dog-friendly city. Dogs can even ride the bus in Seattle, you just may have to pay for it. If you have a puppy, the bus is a lovely way to socialize your dog will lots of different people. Bringing a dog on the bus changes the dynamic – even the “normal” people on the bus will talk to you if you have a puppy!


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

I have other dogs. Does my puppy still need Puppy class?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007


I get this question a fair amount. I’d rather get this question than have people simply skip puppy class, believing that their other dog(s) will socialize the new puppy. It helps to have dogs at home, but it’s not enough, and it may convince you to not be as diligent in socializing your new puppy.

Why it’s important to still take your puppy to a training & socialization class: (more…)

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle




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