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Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle - Dog Articles and Ahimsa News

Please see my list of dog training and behavior articles in the column to the right, or read my most recent blog posts below. Thanks for stopping by! If you are on Twitter, Facebook, or do some other social networking, please pass on our articles!

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Video of BAT in action for dog aggression

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 Tweet This Post!

August 23 First Annual Dog Days of Ballard’s Summer

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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How Behavior Adjustment Training Works

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.

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Are Sticks Safe for Dogs?

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

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

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 Tweet This Post!

Dream List Radio Interview

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

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How to Find Low-Cost Vet Care

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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Ahimsa interview on My Doggie Says

July 15th, 2009

Last week, Fred Haney from My Doggie Says Radio Talk show interviewed me (Grisha). The main topic of the interview is the ways that dogs communicate to and train US. Click here to listen.

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6 Quick Steps to Teach “Targeting”

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‚Äôs 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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Muttmixer – June 24 2009 in Seattle

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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Retractable leashes: friend or foe?

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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Blog to read: Magic “Touch” for Fearful Dogs

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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Can a Dog Sense Fear?

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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FDA is not looking into Nutro Dog Food

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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How Not to Pick a Rescue Dog

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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Video: Obamas Do Right By Bo (mostly)

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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Free Spay/Neuter/Training for Pit Bulls in Tacoma

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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Welcome to the White House, B’Obama!

April 13th, 2009

Rico(Picture is two Ahimsa clients with their Portuguese Water Dog, Rico.)

Bo Obama, the Portuguese Water Dog, seems to be enjoying his new home in the White House.¬† The Obama puppy’s big debut is Tuesday (tomorrow) but the press has already leaked his story.

And who wouldn’t enjoy being the First Dog, with two kids to love on you and great parents? When we were there for the inauguration, Jill and I checked out the size of that yard. Any dog in the DC area (heck, even a dog in Seattle) would be happy to have such a big space!

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Teen Dog Play in Seattle

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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Hand Targeting is a Fun Way to Call Your Dog

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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When is a fence not a fence?

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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Twitter, here we come!

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?

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Puppy Mill expose on Nightline March 27

March 26th, 2009

The Seattle area has had their share of puppy mill busts, including the recent one in Snohomish County that is inundating Seattle with little rescue dogs and some big ones, too.

Tomorrow (March 27) ABC’s Nightline is doing a big expose on puppy mills. I haven’t seen it, but I imagine it’s terrible and gruesome and will make you wonder why animals have put up with us for so long.
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Kid / Dog Safety book: Don’t Lick the Dog!

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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New Research from Vets – Dog Whispering Likely to Cause Aggression

March 11th, 2009

The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Science has released a pilot study that found that 1/4 of dogs trained with punishment/pinning/growling were likely to respond with aggression, versus almost no aggressive behavior that resulted from methods like the ones we use at Ahimsa.

Yes, you read that correctly. Methods that have the goal of dominating the aggressive dog with force were likely to cause aggression toward the owner and other people or dogs, rather than preventing it.
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Protected: Get SMART Seminar Carpooling Page

March 3rd, 2009

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

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Dream Dog Training Program is Ready!

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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Dog Puzzler Toy & Ahimsa featured on Radio Program

January 28th, 2009

I (Grisha) had a blast being interviewed on the Doggie Chronicles radio show just after New Year’s. ¬†They asked me to talk about the Pooch Puzzler (formerly the “Dog Puzzler”), Kibble Nibble, and other products in our store, as well as the classes at Ahimsa. Click here to see their website and listen to the show! (Or download the¬†MP3 version.)

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Kathy Sdao Reward-Training Seminar will Rock Your World

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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Do Not Try Dog Whispering at Home

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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The World’s Coolest Dog Toy / Dog Dish

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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American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Speaks out Against the Dominance Model

December 31st, 2008

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior would like to let you know that Dominance – the idea that we need to overcome our dogs by force, lest they try to take over our homes, is outdated and leads to inhumane training.

Here’s some info from their Position Statement on Dominance issued in December, 2008:

AVSAB is concerned with the recent re-emergence of dominance theory and forcing dogs and other animals into submission as a means of preventing and correcting behavior problems. For decades, some traditional animal training has relied on dominance theory and has assumed that animals misbehave primarily because they are striving for higher rank. This idea often leads trainers to believe that force or coercion must be used to modify these undesirable behaviors.”
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How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

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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Clicker Trained Dogs take over Christmas!

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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Marley & Me – Marley Needs Positive Dog Training!

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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Rainy Day Dogs – Issue 1

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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Snow is Dog Cocaine

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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Make Money for Your Group!

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 Рfor 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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Peanut’s Epulis Test – It’s Benign!

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.

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Holiday Dog Photos – PAWS and Seattle Shelter

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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Holiday/Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dogs

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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Walking Your Dog Off Leash is Like…

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 Tweet This Post!

Walking or Hiking Off Leash With Your Dog?

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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Cocoa Mulch – Toxic to Dogs

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 Tweet This Post!

Another Silky Leash How-to Video

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.

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Training Your Dog for Distractions (or Prepping Your VP)

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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Motion 2008-0347, Prohibiting Dog Chaining in King County

October 13th, 2008

Imagine being chained to a tree year after year. You watch the door, hoping someone will come out to play. No one ever does. You long to run, but you can only pace. You shiver in winter and pant in summer. Loose dogs come to beat you up, and you can’t run away. Children taunt you and, again, you can’t run away.

King County Council (Washington State) is looking into the feasibility of implementing legislation to prohibit chaining dogs. Deliberations about whether they should look into it end October 20th, so please contact the council asap.

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Silky Leash Video – How to Train Leash Walking

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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Beverly Hills Chihuahua Movie

October 6th, 2008

Beverly Hills Chihuahua opened in movie theaters this weekend. Chihuahua lovers everywhere have flocked to see it. People in the dog business have mixed feelings when we see dog movies. The dog-lover part of our personality is glad to see an oh-so-cute dog movie. The part of us that cares about the dogs cringes, because we know that the next thing that will happen is that people will be getting Chihuahuas, Dalmations, etc. for their children and then promptly returning them to the shelter when they turn out to be less fun than the movie actors. Yes, those dogs are actors! Even Chihuahuas can act!

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

To Treat or Not To Treat? Training Reliable Behaviors

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 Tweet This Post!

Can You Foster a Dog?

September 19th, 2008

If you are thinking of getting a dog, but can’t make a full committment yet, or want to test out the waters, fostering is a great way to help a dog in need without committing 10-20 years of your life.

Most area shelters and rescue organizations have a foster program.¬† One such program is Ginger’s Pet Rescue.¬† Ginger’s “specializes in Death Row Dogs” and is about to have 80 dogs from a puppy mill bust in the next few weeks.¬† It seems like every time I hear about Ginger, she’s getting another huge batch of dogs. She needs to mobilize all the foster homes that she can get!

Find out more about Ginger’s a www.GingersPetRescue.org.

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

Oct 4 – Help the Seattle Humane Society

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. ‚Äď 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 Tweet This Post!

Pit Bull Breed Ban versus Dog Safety Legislation

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 Tweet This Post!

Paws Cafe Grand opening in Redmond

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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KOMO 4 TV Interview – Service Dog Racism

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.”

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How to Make Your Own Green Dog Toys

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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 Tweet This Post!

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

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!

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List of Banned Breeds: Will Your Dog Be Next?

July 1st, 2008

A group called Families Against Breed Bans that works to block Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in the Seattle area and elsewhere. There has been talk of creating a breed ban in Seattle for pit bulls or “fighting breeds” and I know that this is *not* the answer.
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Every Day With My Dog is Precious

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.
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April 2008 Newsletter

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 Tweet This Post!

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

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 Tweet This Post!

What to Do When a Dog Refuses to Walk

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

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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Kathy Sdao Dog Trainer Workshop in Seattle 2008

February 21st, 2008

white-boxer-puppy.jpgI’m very happy to announce that the details have finally been hammered out and Ahimsa is going to host a dog trainer workshop by Kathy Sdao in Seattle this summer. The I-Cue seminar is open to professional dog trainers and regular dog owners who have interest in taking their training a big step further. Click for seminar info & registration.

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Clicker Training – Reliability in Action

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 Tweet This Post!

Dog Fences: Invisible vs. Visible

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

West Seattle Dog Poisoning

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).
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Puppy class and play time changes

January 29th, 2008

The Saturday puppy classes are changing times somewhat. The good news is that we now have a play time for bigger dogs – under 30 pounds instead of just 20 and for tiny dogs under 15 pounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Chocolate, Raisins and Other Foods Toxic to Dogs

January 17th, 2008

kiss.jpg Everybody knows that chocolate is bad for dogs, but do you know how much is too much? That 7 raisins could kill your dog? Or that onions are bad for dogs? Or that garlic is also toxic for dogs? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Dog Training for Busy People

January 7th, 2008

sisyphus-sign.jpg Have you ever taken a dog training class and then not done the homework? I have. I’ve also done months of PT and struggled to get through the homework. I just never had time, and the dog training ended up being at the end of the to-do list. The cure? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Sagan and the Blanket – Thinking Inside the Box

January 1st, 2008

Fixing dog behavior problems isn’t just about training the dog. Many times, a “management” solution, where you change the environment instead of changing the dog, is the best way to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Comfort Trainer head halter – fitting

December 20th, 2007

If you have tried a harness and that’s not enough to safely walk your dog, the Comfort Trainer head collar is a great way to reclaim your walk from your pulling dog. The collar portion of the Comfort Trainer head collar should fit fairly snugly, but not as tight as you might fit for the Gentle Leader. You want the collar on tight enough that if the nose portion does come off, the collar itself stays on. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Breeding Dogs for Temperament

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? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Dog Whisperer Training Techniques Inhumane

December 13th, 2007

It’s official. The “Dog Whisperer” TV show uses outdated, inhumane dog training methods. I’m so happy to have found out that it’s not just me, or the many, many dog trainers that I know – in Seattle and around the world – that think the Dog Whisperer show has done more harm than good.
Everyone has been so afraid to say anything possibly libelous, but it’s just the truth, and we need to stop hurting these dogs.The American Humane Association, founded in 1887, officially announced late last summer that they found the techniques on the “Dog Whisperer” inhumane, and stated that the National Geographic Channel should take Cesar Millan’s show off of the air as soon as possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Rules for Playing Tug with Your Dog

December 10th, 2007

Tug-of-war is good game for teaching the dog to switch between Crazy Dog mode and Thinking Dog¬†mode (Limbic and Cerebral). Contrary to popular myths, tug does not cause aggression in dogs. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Dogs on the Bus in Seattle (King County)

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!

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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

How to Teach Perfect, Fast Dog Behaviors

November 13th, 2007

The quick answer? Pay only for better than average behavior. The three aspects of fluency are precision, latency, and speed. The following training plans are designed to increase the fluency for three Rally Obedience exercises: slow pace heel, fast pace heel, and right turn while heeling.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Crate Training for Dogs Using Targeting

November 13th, 2007

I wrote a different article about Crate Training Puppies and Dogs last week. Take a look at it before you read this one, if you haven’t done so already.

Many dogs can be crate trained faster by using targeting. With targeting, you first teach the dog to touch a target and then eventually put that target into the crate. Then you can put “getting into the crate” on cue. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Private Dog Training

November 13th, 2007

We’re excited to begin offering private behavior consultations with world-famous dog expert Kathy Sdao, MA, CAAB at Ahimsa. Sessions take place at our facility in Ballard. Topics include aggression, fear, separation anxiety, and most other dog behavior problems. For more information, visit the private training page.

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

November News

November 12th, 2007

* Workshops this week: Coming When Called, Fraidy Dog, Baby-Proofing Your Dog
* Online dog training forum is up and running!
* Featured product at the store.
* Free Training Practice class moving to Mondays.
* TIP: Teaching your dog to fetch.
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Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

How to Teach Your Dog or Puppy To Fetch

November 7th, 2007

dog fetch toyDoes your puppy grab a toy and run off with it instead of bringing it back to you? You should be able to play catch *with your dog* and having your dog fetch the ball instead of playing “catch the dog” and having to fetch her. Fetch should be exercise for the dog, not for you!:) Read the rest of this entry »

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“Good Dog!” NOT “Good Sit”

November 7th, 2007

You hear it all the time. “Sit, Fido.” (Fido sits). “Good sit!” It’s in my old training, too, but it’s a habit I’m mostly over. It’s not helpful for dogs when you use the cue (like “sit”) in the praise. It’s probably actually making your dog learn more slowly Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

The future of Agility at Ahimsa

November 6th, 2007

We have offered agility classes at Ahimsa for several years. Our core focus is to improve the relationship of dogs with their humans, and while agility does serve that goal, the training center is so busy these days that I had to decide between continuing to offer agilty classes and offering more manners classes, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

How to Get Your Dog Comfortable in a Head Collar

October 19th, 2007

There are many different brands of head collars for dogs these days. Popular dog head halter brands are Gentle Leader, Halti, NewTrix, and the ones that we carry on our website, the Comfort Trainer and the K9 Bridle. Head collars give you a lot of control, but dog’s can take several weeks to get used to them. This post gives instructions desensitize your dog to a head collar.¬† I also have a blog post with fitting instructions for the Comfort Trainer. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Dog Training Advice & Community Forum

October 11th, 2007

We did it! The dog training forum is ready for people to visit. Complaints about off leash dogs in Seattle? Need help with coming when called? Or weaning off of treats? This is the place to post your questions, rants, and raves. Visit the forum at http://doggiezen.com/forum.

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

Voted Best in Seattle – again!

October 10th, 2007

CityDog Magazine had it’s annual readership poll for TopDog in various categories. In 2006, we were voted TopDog in the Dog Trainer/Behaviorist category. In 2007, CityDog wrote that we were a “close second” to a facility in Woodinville. When I asked my clients for suggestions for what to say about Ahimsa getting the most votes of any dog training facility in Seattle proper, here’s what one of them wrote: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

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

October 10th, 2007

golden-mountain.jpg
Yes!

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: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

How to Click Your Dog’s Cute Behavior Into a Trick

October 6th, 2007

Your dog does a million cute things every day, if you look closely. Yoga stretches, head tilts, lip smacking, barking, you name it. Let’s turn one of them into a trick using clicker training! Here’s how: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

October News – Puppy Jr. High, Rally is back, more!

October 4th, 2007


In this Newsletter:

  • New class: Intermediate Puppy, a.k.a. Puppy Jr. High
  • Baby-Proofing Your Dog workshop – this Saturday
  • Rally Obedience starts on Oct 18.
  • Wallflower Shy Dog class starts Nov 17.
  • More Agility Classes on the Schedule
  • CityDog’s TopDog votes are in!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

My Dog is Afraid of the Clicker!

October 4th, 2007

clicker.jpg

Some dogs are nervous about the clicker. It does happen from time to time, and almost all dogs will get over their fears, given the chance. So you have one of those dogs? Here’s what to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Recalled Dog Treats – Smokehouse

September 19th, 2007

It’s not an official recall yet, but Petsmart is pulling the following Smokehouse dog treats from their shelves, because of some dogs becoming ill after eating these treats. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Upcoming classes, call for volunteers, free training

September 8th, 2007

In this post:

* Free Training Sessions moving to Thursday
* Volunteers needed for Growly Dog class
* Ahimsa won a “very close second” in the CityDog Magazine Top Dog awards (and the first place center isn’t in Seattle!)
* Upcoming classes
* Dog Training Conference Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Woman breeds, chains dogs, who escape & kill others

August 22nd, 2007

I could have used the headline that others used, “Pit Bulls maul sleeping woman…” but I think the more important detail here is how this happened. It’s not the breed, it’s the fool who chained them up outside. Yes, some pit bulls are dog aggressive. And yes, they are powerful. But I have seen dogs of all breeds that are aggressive to dogs and to people. And “Pit Bull” isn’t even a breed, it’s a description of several breeds of dog. When a pit bull gets into trouble, “Pit Bull” is in the headline. When it’s a labrador retriever, like the mauling of that woman in France who got face surgery, they don’t usually even bother stating the breed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Hiccup Cure!

August 20th, 2007

The cure below is for curing human hiccups, but do dogs get hiccups? (hiccoughs?) Yes. Puppies are more prone to hiccups than adult dogs. My dog had hiccups every single day when she was a puppy, and has since grown out of that. But I wanted to write this blog entry because I got hiccups last night and was so frustrated that I couldn’t get rid of them that my wife finally began searching the internet for a hiccup cure. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Shy Dog class, Agility, Free Practice Class, more!

July 31st, 2007

Once again, I have a boatload of news for you…

In this newsletter:

  • CityDog TopDog voting ends today! (maybe tomorrow)
  • Free Practice Class for past and current students
  • Join the Humane Society’s fight to end Dog-Fighting!
  • New Round of Dog Agility
  • Wallflower Shy Dog class returns!
  • Baby-Proofing Your Dog – workshop
  • Burien classes: Terrier & Puppy

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

Baby/Dog workshop, new dog training classes

July 26th, 2007

We have new classes!

The Baby-Proofing Your Dog workshop for expecting parents is completely new, and the Wallflower Shy Dog Class is a returning favorite.

I’ve also added a ton of new classes to the schedule: Agility, Basic Manners, Terrier classes in Burien, and a new Saturday puppy class in Burien.

Click here to see the schedule.

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Seatbelts or Crates in the Car

July 19th, 2007

petbuckle.jpgWhen I was growing up, the concept of having a dog in a seatbelt was never even considered. Even having a baby in a strapped-in secure, safety-tested car seat was a pretty new idea. But now that they are available, would you take your newborn home from the hospital just sitting on the car seat next to you? Or on your lap when you drive? Read the rest of this entry »

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Household Poisons & Toxic Plants (Dogs and Cats)

July 19th, 2007

poisonPeople often ask what things around the house – and what plants – are dangerous for their dog. The ASPCA has a list of poisonous items. Some of them “just” cause vomiting, others are things that some dogs are allergic to and others aren’t, and some will kill any dog.

The ASPCA Poison Control Hotline is (888) 426-4435. It costs $55. I have also called the regular human poison number. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!

 

 

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