Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Free Treats? NO!

Don't treat your dog unless he does something to earn it. Have him sit or beg or stand or do something you've asked of him before he gets a treat. Why?
  1. Free treats diminish their training value
  2. Treats are like money to people (or allowance to children) they have great value - the dog learns he has to do something to earn a treat
More on what is a "treat":
  • A small piece of kibble is a healthy treat that works as well as other goodies to obtain proper behavior.
  • "Good dog!" -- rewarding good performance with a treat and a good dog, gives the spoken "good dog" power when used without a treat.
  • An activity can also be a treat. Have your dog sit and wait before you throw a ball. Throw the ball and have him wait until you say, "go get your ball!" Don't let him get the ball until he does it correctly. His reward is getting the ball and getting the "good dog!"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Play Your Dog Smart!

What can your dog learn if learning is a game? What fun tricks will your dog WANT to perform if doing them is part of a game -- a game involving treats and toys and YOU? Dogs are motivated by fun, games, treats and you. Mix in trick training, and you have an engaged, smart, fun DOG!

Try it! Funagle has been given as gifts for Christmas, Birthdays, Mother's Day and Weddings. Yes! Weddings. We will share some of the FUN stories we've heard back from Funagle players.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Teach your dog tricks for even deeper bonding!

Every day KT and I work on learning a new trick. Her hardest trick to date has been "play dead." It took 2 months to accomplish "play dead." I'd have her lie down (she's good at that), then, I'd move a treat in front of her, over her side and around to her back. I gave her time to think about it. She wanted the treat, but wouldn't roll over onto her side. If she didn't do it, I gently rolled her onto her side and said "Play dead!" and treated her.

We worked on this once every morning with 2 attempts. Two weeks ago she finally did it on her own. Why is this important? Because we were working on something together. It was her special time to think, get "alone" attention and to feel accomplished. I never said no to her, just encouraged her with treats, my voice and belly rubs.

As close as we are, training KT to do tricks makes us even closer. Next we will learn "roll over" (this will be easier).

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Fergie, a nearly 15 year old Yorkie who had very lax housebreaking habits, now has become a very reliable and housebroken dog. How? We made her go out more often than she needed to and told her to "go potty". When she did we gave her a tiny treat. It took a month, but she is very reliable again. In fact, at lunch time she will go out and pee. Come in for her treat. Then go out again to go poo and come back in for a treat. She knows what she's doing.

We HIGHLY recommend this solution for anyone having housebreaking challenges.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How to Play Funagle

There is now a video about how to play the new board game for people and dogs to play together, called Funagle! It's posted on YouTube at:
It's a great way to entertain yourselves and your dog[s] during the holidays and winter months. Start with lots of treats and your dogs' favorite toys. You'll be amazed at what you can get your dog to do with a little creativity on your part. Treats are a great motivator. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Old Dog New Tricks Follow-up

After 3 weeks of encouraging our our 14 1/2 year old Yorkie to "shake," we seem to be making progress. Fergie raises her right paw when asked to "shake" before she gets her treat every morning. It has taken longer than it would have when she was younger, but, it appears that it just may be possible to teach an old dog new tricks. What do you think? Have you had luck training elderly dogs?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How to celebrate a dog's birthday

Every year it's nice to mark your dog's birth with a celebration. What's the best way to celebrate? Well, what is your dog's favorite thing to do? Besides eat? Go on a walk? Play with friends? Chase a ball? Go to the dog park? There's your answer. Give her special attention, an extra treat, a walk to her favorite shop or tree, a belly rub. You know what she likes. Let her know how happy you are that she came into your life.