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January Newsletter – Ahimsa on the Radio!

We are completely excited to announce that our radio show on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM starts next week! We also have other great January happenings, so please read on.

1. Best of Seattle

We may not have actually shared this news yet, so… Thanks to your votes last fall, Ahimsa Dog Training was second place in the Best of Western Washington contest–first among the training facilities in the Seattle area. So thank you!! Continue reading January Newsletter – Ahimsa on the Radio!

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Poison in Green Lake, Halloween Tips

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.

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:
Continue reading Poison in Green Lake, Halloween Tips

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More News!

We just got some great feedback on a service we started in last spring, Puppy Day Camp. In our Puppy Day Camp, we do the training and socialization homework for our students, so they can live their lives. This format has allowed us to work some minor miracles. I thought I’d share this feedback so you see what I mean!

When we first came to Ahimsa we had just adopted a 9-week-old puppy that was terrified of the world, snarling at everything and everyone in it (even other puppies). We are not inexperienced dog owners, but this was far beyond what we had bargained for. After 2 nonfunctional (for us/him) Puppy Kindergarten sessions where our pup snarled at anyone coming close, the trainers suggested that he would be a good candidate for intensive training in their Puppy Day Camp program.

Within the first 2 weeks there was tremendous improvement in our puppy, he learned lots of words, was less afraid of things, had much improved manners and the unpleasant snarling reduced dramatically. It has now been 6 weeks of Ahimsa Puppy Day Camp and we have and entirely different, confident and well-mannered tweener dog. He now has fabulous manners (a convenient output of Puppy Day Camp) and most importantly he has become a popular playmate with other puppies, people and children – and he LOVES it! Instead of snarling, he, looks forward to going outside and shakes off anything super scary. There was no way we could have helped him improve so rapidly on our own, regardless of our experience and kindness. There just was no substitute for the 16 hours a week of focused intensive training (& puppy emotional therapy) that the expert staff at Ahimsa Puppy Camp provided for our pup. We are now confident that our puppy has the skills to make and build good decisions that will help him grow further into a very loved and easy to live with furry family member.

And now we’re looking forward to joining a normal Puppy Junior High class!


Note: in our camp, the idea is to keep things calm and fun the whole time. If we are not able to set up an environment where a puppy will be comfortable (i.e., not snarly or scared) then we would recommend private training, instead. We take the well-being of all of our campers very seriously!

We also have a video of this dog at the Furry 5K, an event by the Seattle Animal Shelter that Ahimsa sponsored this June. I’ll post that soon!

Click here for more info on the puppy camp.

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Puppy Day Camp is Coming Soon

I am thrilled to announce that we are moving forward with our Puppy Day Camp! This is not a free-for-all, Lord of the Flies experience. The puppies will get an orchestrated socialization and training experience to help them get off on the right paw.

  • Starting April 9th.
  • 2 staff members to supervise the puppies.
  • Up to 6 Puppies, 2-5 months old. Play will often be in smaller groups.
  • So what is this, exactly? A tired dog is a good dog, but a trained, tired puppy is even better. And we do your homework for you! Ok, so it’s good to keep doing it, but think of how much faster your puppy will learn housetraining, crate training, sit, down, stay, targeting, and the rest with some expert help.
  • Training, play time, and chill-out time. That way, puppies don’t just learn to see other dogs and immediately jump into play mode. Your puppy will have a chance to learn to settle with other dogs around.
  • Great for pet dogs and competition dogs.
  • Daily report card on each puppy for potty training, skills, socialization, etc. Each week, you can select skills or problems for our staff to focus on during the Puppy Day Camp.
  • Clean and safe environment (both physically and emotionally).
  • We’ll provide crates, or you can bring yours. Bring your own bed so we can work on ‘go to your bed’ with your dog’s own bed, which will help the skills transfer to your home crate.
  • Sessions will be in the brand new Ahimsa Annex (with the possibility of field trips, depending on the vaccination status of the puppies).
  • Drop off 7:30-8, pick-up 11:30-noon.
  • Camp is Monday through Thursday. Book by the week, have your puppy come as many weeks as you want.

We can’t wait!! Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

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Free Agility Demo!! 2/16

We will be doing an Agility Demo on Thursday, 2/16 at our new Annex – an extra big classroom for Competition Agility, Backyard Sports & Games, practice rentals, and some of our other classes that need more space. Here are the details.

Where: Ahimsa’s new space (the annex), at 925 C NW 49th St. in Ballard (Seattle).

When: February 16, 2012, 6:00 until 7:30pm. (If you’re participating, please arrive at 4:30 to help set up the space and start warming up at about 5:00 pm.

What: An Agility Demo, which will be run like a miniature trial, with all obstacles included (there may only be 6 weaves since ours may not have arrived yet). Treats and toys will be allowed on course.

Why: For fun, for training (new environment, spectators, and treats/toys allowed–super cool!), for the good of the agility community!

NO DOGS: Please do NOT bring your dog unless you’re one of the people who’ve arranged with Ali for the demo (see below). Thanks!!

If you’re an experienced agility person and have trained your dog with positive methods, contact Ali Johnson, our awesome (new to us) agility instructor, to see if we still have space for participants.

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Training Your Dog is Not a Luxury

Here’s a quote from the most recent Karen Pryor newsletter by Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of animal care and animal training at the world-renowned Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Ken is a brilliant trainer who applies his skills to dogs, people, and exotic animals, too.

I just had to share it with you all, especially since January is Train Your Dog Month!

We’ll be hosting a seminar with Ken Ramirez in Seattle in 2013. Keep your eyes open and check our Events Page frequently, or subscribe to our seminar newsletter. Here’s the quote (the bold part is my emphasis):

“My message would be simple: training is not a luxury, but a key component to good animal care. Everyone who has a pet should understand that basic fact. Training is a way to enhance the quality of life for our pets. It is far more than just teaching a dog to do a cute trick. Training is about teaching a dog (or any animal) how to live in our world safely.”

This is so true. I had a conversation with some friends last night and one of them said, “my goal is to pick a dog that doesn’t need training, like our last two.” Newsflash: all dogs need training, some more ‘officially’ than others. Everything we do with a dog teaches them the rules of our household, so whether you think you are training or not, you are! Having a consistent plan just makes things simpler, less confusing, and more fun for human and dog (if you’re using rewards).

For example, with training, you can simply say, “leave it” if your dog is checking out something you’d rather he leave alone, instead of raising your voice and yelling something random. Isn’t that better for everyone?

And don’t even get me started on the importance of puppy and teen dog socialization… Skipping socialization in puppyhood is neglect — a lazy version of dog abuse.

Interested in training your dog or puppy? Check out our list of dog training classes, which now includes Agility and Control Unleashed classes by Ali Johnson, CPDT-KA, plus Troubled Teens, Growly Dog 1 & 2, Basic Manners, Puppy Kindergarten and more.

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November Newsletter

The November news is here a little early. Why? We have Jr. High starting, Halloween here, and some brags to share.

1. Halloween is here and the rest of the holiday season is coming soon

We will be closed only in the evening of Halloween. Morning classes will take place, but we close at 2:30 pm on October 31. See below for Halloween tips. We will also be closed Weds-Sunday on the week of Thanksgiving and December 23 – January 1.

If you are registered for a class, you got an email with dates that you have reserved. Notice that these are not always consecutive! Your registration may have a skip date because we are closed for a holiday or because that hour of the class was full when you registered. Please note the actual dates you reserved with your class.

Continue reading November Newsletter

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April Charity of the Month: Old Dog Haven

Our local Charity of the Month is Old Dog Haven, which is based in Lake Stevens. I love them and hope you will be generous to them. They foster, rehome (if possible), and provide lifelong care for older dogs. They really deserve our help.

Please donate to the little pug container at the training center or directly to Old Dog Haven – please mention the Ahimsa Dog Training charity of the month program. They were the March charity too, but we didn’t raise enough (it was just $11), so we are trying again. They also have great dogs at Old Dog Haven, so you could adopt from them or help out in other ways. Please read that link, there are actually a lot of ways to help, like posting a link to this article on Facebook or using a real estate agent who donates 1/5 of his commission to Old Dog Haven.
Continue reading April Charity of the Month: Old Dog Haven

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Home for the holidays! Discount for new rescue dogs

The holidays can be a hard time for a new dog to come into a busy home, unless you take time to give your dog a chance to relax and start your training fairly soon. So we’ve created a discount to encourage you (or your friends) to start training.

People who adopted a dog from a shelter or rescue organization in December 2010 or January 2011 qualify for our “Home for the Holidays” discount! To get the discount, use coupon code “homeholiday” (without the quotes) to get 10% off of classes.

The not-so-fine print:

  • This discount is not retroactive (i.e., please don’t ask us to apply it to classes you’ve already signed up for).
  • This is on the honor system, so please don’t use it if you already had your dog before December or if your dog is not from a rescue. Thanks!
  • Expires January 16, 2011.
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Look for the New “K9 Globetrotters” Program in 2011

We are excited to announce a more comprehensive program for our Seattle dog training classes in the first few months of 2011. With the improvements come a new name, the K9 Globetrotter program! We chose that name because it conjures up images of the sophisticated dog who can travel anywhere. Think of K9 Globetrotter as a bigger, better version of our Dream Dog program. Any students who are enrolled in the DD program will automatically have membership in the K9 Globetrotter program when we transition from Dream Dog to K9 Globetrotters.

Some features of the new K9 Globetrotterprogram will include:

  • Drop-in opportunities for students in series classes like Puppy Jr. High and Growly Dog
  • Chances to earn discounts, free training, play, and prizes around Seattle with the K9 Passport (every globetrotter needs a passport!)
  • More series classes, including Core Skills Training, for people who prefer structured classes.
  • The same fun, flexible ongoing classes that are currently part of the Dream Dog training program.

Look for more announcements soon!

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Don’t Miss FidoFEST 2010 this Sunday!

FidoFEST is this Sunday, September 26th, at University Village in Seattle. I’ll be giving a demonstration at 11:45 with my dog, Peanut. I’m excited for his big debut and hope he does well with the crowds! Peanut will be doing some work with his nose (finding keys, etc.), with some of the kind of training we do in our Backyard Sports & Games classes.
Continue reading Don’t Miss FidoFEST 2010 this Sunday!

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Flier for Fear, Aggression, & Play seminar Sept 11-12

I just created a flier for the upcoming aggression and play seminar in Seattle. If you have a dog in your neighborhood that barks or lunges at you or your dog, put these fliers up near those houses or at nearby coffee shops – maybe your neighbors will attend and learn to help their dog! Or you could be less subtle and leave one on their doorstep. 🙂

Continue reading Flier for Fear, Aggression, & Play seminar Sept 11-12

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April News, party, seminars, and more

Hi everybody,

* Party! Don’t forget that you are invited to our Grand Expansion Party next Friday. 🙂

Our party is next Friday, April 30th, 5-8 pm. All of our staff will be there to have fun! Come by any time throughout the party, with or without your dog – remember, not all dogs want to be at parties, even fun ones like ours. We will have free puppy play time during the whole party (20 minute limit if another dog is waiting to play), plus demos, games, door prizes, some displays by rescue groups, and more! This expansion just about coincides with our 7th anniversary. Wow!

Please forward this message on to your dog-loving friends! If you are part of a non-profit and want to display your group’s info, just let me know. Dog walkers, vets, stores, groomers, etc.: we do have a bulletin board now and can display your materials, too, if we feel confident referring to your business.

Want to stop by the new store with less hullabaloo? Our regular store hours are below:

Monday – 10 am – 9 pm
Tuesday – Thursday 5-9 pm
Saturday 9-7:30 pm
Sunday 9:30-7:30 pm
The store is at the same location as the training center, but on the south side of the building, on 9th itself. Thanks for all of the food suggestions. We have decided to not offer dog food or products that a lot of the great local stores already offer, but rather to concentrate on dog training supplies. That means we have training books, DVDs, harnesses, treats, food puzzles, life-sized stuffed dogs, and fun training gear like a remote control treat dispenser. We do sell some smaller bags of Evo to use as treats.

* Dog Aggression & Fear seminar May 28th, 6:30-8:30 pm

I just added this to the schedule yesterday, and 5 people have already registered! Sign up for this seminar if you are a trainer (or want to be), a dog walker, vet, a regular person that’s interested in dog behavior, or a student that attended Growly Dog class before we started doing BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training). This is a fairly high-level seminar, but it should be helpful for all who attend. BAT is a technique I developed to help dogs gain confidence and social skills. I will be showing video, discussing the technique, and demonstrating it live with a reactive dog. Sign up for this workshop or our other ones with Kathy Sdao and Patricia McConnell at

* Backyard Sports & Games

This class is designed to be mostly for fun, but it also helps you and your dog become a team, using a combination of backyard agility, dog dancing, nose work/tracking, tricks, and games. This is a great way to see if your dog would enjoy one of these sports. It’s not meant for hard-core search and rescue folks or world-class agility & competitors. It’s meant as a way to expand your dog’s mind and a chance for you to have some more fun training.

Our Sunday classes are full, so we added Wednesday nights at 8 and we will probably add a daytime class start in mid-May, most likely Mondays at 1 pm. The schedule/info is at or if you’re already signed up for Dream Dog, you can log in to swap in for some of those sessions. The fun and games classes are pretty popular, so dropping in can be difficult.

* Take a fun break – watch us training puppies on King 5

If you haven’t seen us train puppies on TV yet, watch it on the home page at In the video, I demonstrate how to teach Touch, use touch as a recall cue (come), and how to start work on heeling.

p.s. Puppy folks – I just added some more Puppy Jr. High classes, at Just a warning – these are popular classes and they fill quickly, so sign up when you get a chance.

Only good things,

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We just sponsored the Furry 5K

Ahimsa is going to be a Silver Sponsor of the Furry 5K this year. The Furry 5K is a benefit for the Seattle Animal Shelter. More news later, but I wanted to let you know about the event so that you could mark your calendars!

Here’s their info, from

The Seattle Animal Shelter is pleased to present the 11th Annual Furry 5K Fun Run and Walk! The race, which will take place in Seattle’s Seward Park on Sunday, June 20th, 2010, raises money for the Help the Animals Fund.

Join the fun as thousands of people run and walk, with their friends, families, kids and of course their dogs, in order to raise money for injured and abused orphaned animals.

We will definitely have a booth and we *might* have a walking team. Let me know if you are interested in walking as an Ahimsa team!

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Amazing info at advanced seminars in Seattle

We’ve got some fabulous talks coming up for dog trainers and people who simply have gotten addicted to dog training. It’s even better than a basket-full of chocolate kisses. Seriously.

  • Kathy Sdao is a behaviorist and a scientist with decades of experience, but you wouldn’t know it by the energy she puts into all of her talks.  She has a great way of explaining difficult concepts so that we all understand.  Kathy is doing a relatively new kind of workshop in Seattle this summer, which we’re calling “Kathy Sdao Unplugged” – it’s a place for trainers and advanced folks to bring their dogs, get practice, and solve those tricky challenges with your own dogs. We have working and auditing spots.  You can get more info or register now for the July 15-16 workshop.
  • In September, we have a whole weekend devoted to fear, aggression, and play in dogs. I’ll be starting out the weekend with a 1-day presentation on Behavior Adjustment Training, or BAT.  It’s a technique I developed that has had some really fabulous results with client dogs and my own dogs, too.  People around the world are trying it and giving great feedback on their dog’s new-found ability to function like a regular dog!  On the second day, Patricia McConnell will fly into Seattle and rock our world with her great info on dog play and aggression. I’m absolutely thrilled to have Dr. McConnell, author of countless dog books, come to Seattle. She’s one of my all-time favorite dog behavior heroes. Can you tell?  You can get more info or register now for the September 11-12 workshop.
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More convenient class times – 2nd training room!

Happy spring! The construction on our second training room is almost complete. It looks like we will be good to go on April 1st. It’s adjacent to our main training room in Seattle (Ballard) and I’m hoping we’ll occasionally be able to open it up and use both rooms for bigger classes.

I’ve been busy adding more classes for you to our schedule this week. We have new Puppy Jr. High, Growly Dog classes, Puppy Kindergarten, play times, and Advanced Manners classes. Because of the 2nd training room, you can take classes at even more convenient times, including weekend mornings. Those have been reserved for puppies for the last several years, because we want the room to be pristine. Now the adult dogs can use their own room in the morning. Yay!

We also added 5 new weekly Puppy Kindergarten classes, for a total of 15, including a third class for baby puppies (under 12 weeks). Puppy class sizes will now be limited to 8 instead of 10.
Continue reading More convenient class times – 2nd training room!

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Kathy Sdao Dog Trainer Workshop in Seattle 2008

I’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.

Continue reading Kathy Sdao Dog Trainer Workshop in Seattle 2008

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Private Dog Training

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.

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

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

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