Friday, November 19, 2010

Calming Cap: a fantastic aid or another weird invention?

What is a calming cap? According to the manufacturer it:
  • Lessen's anxiety
  • Lessens stress
  • Reduces visual stimulus
  • Filters vision
  • Easy on/off use

The use is indeed easy and it does work. For us dog walkers and trainers it is another great aid. It was designed by Trish King, CPDT CDBC and director of Behavior & Training at the Marin Humane Society, in collaboration with Lisa Moore, CPDT. The Cap was developed originally to ease hyperactivity in a dog that became agitated while traveling in a car. Now it is used to lessen a dog's anxiety or aggression in high-stress situations. If you ever walk through SF and see a dog walker using these on their dogs than you know it is not dress up time. The dog can walk with the pack without being stressed out or reacting aggressively. A humane behavior management aid!
Price at is $19.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Which dog training method is right for you?

In dog training school I was exposed to three different training methods: Traditional, Modified Traditional and Clicker training. As every trainer you develop your own style and choose the method that works best for you. Nevertheless, as a dog trainer you also have to be open to other dog training methods.

The traditional dog training method is based on praise and petting. Modified traditional training is based on praise, petting and a treat. So how does that work? It is not that complicated. You say the dog's name (attention), you give a command (verbal/non verbal), you lure or assist the dog to perform the desired behavior and when it does you reward the dog.

Clicker training differs from above methods. You wait for the dog to offer the desired behavior and then you reward it. Clicker training is a fun way to train your dog but most people stay away. They find running around with a clicker ridiculous. Clicker training is time sensitive but when done correctly offers great possibilities to train your dog (and cat!).

We train all three training methods as people differ and so do dogs. If you feel more comfortable training your dog in one way than stay away from the other. The main goal is to start communicating with your dog to show what behaviors you desire and what behaviors you don't. Training is a great step forward to build up a long lasting and happy relationship with your dog.

I personally use the traditional modified training method. Using more body language and luring the dog into a behavior versus physically assisting the dog. My husband uses the traditional training method. There is nothing wrong with using different techniques as long as training is fun for everyone involved and helps build up a relationship with your dog.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Humans domesticated dogs to be of service to humans. Dogs were selectively bred to perform a certain type of work that was useful to us. We continue to breed these dogs although many never are given the opportunity to express those natural inclinations. The inevitable result is a host of behavioral problems. Failure to release the excessive energy can result in destruction. The dogs are often simply bored.

Our dogs are not bred to lay back and relax in our home. They are not a plant that needs some nutrition and water. Dogs need to be exercised and mentally stimulated. If your dog shows signs of boredom here are a few awesome dog jobs available to you:

  • Agility
  • Assistance
  • Competitive Obedience
  • Herding
  • Police K-9 work
  • Protection (Golden Retrievers may not do so well in this!)
  • Schutzhund
  • Therapy
  • Tracking
  • Scent work
  • SAR
There is an alternative job for every breed if you cannot provide the job they have been bred for. Contact your dog trainer for more information.

Resources: Joy Tiz

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our newest business venture

Since 2007 K9 Consultant had been in the planning. The rise of The Dog Hikers, PurrfectKiddies and the K9 Outdoor Adventure Club (K9OAC) kept us happy and busy that we put our plans aside. Nathalie's back suddenly went out again. The result from a motorcycle accident in 2003, Nathalie's back ended up in a mess. As life changing as the 2003 accident was in her life, the new flaring up of her back made her decide that running a family and three full time successful businesses is just too much. She decided to concentrate on what she had been doing behind the scences all this time: train dogs to become pleasant and happy companions.
Nathalie will be concentrating on setting up a dog consulting business. Training is just part of that. We are happy to announce the launch of K9 Consultant on September 15, 2010. Although some of our services are already available we will officially publish our website on that day! By the end of the year Djuka will be joining our K9 team as well. She is finishing her theory on dog behavior although her knowledge is extensive as a certified Search and Rescue handler. We will also collaborate with Tammy, who is planning on offering Agility to interested dog owners.

We are really looking forward to building up a unique business by providing information to dog owners and taking dog training to the outdoors versus a classroom. Going back to school has just become a lot more fun. Happy Training!

Your K9 Consultant Team