Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Drama Diva Queen, Featuring Capall

Meet Capall!

Capall is a 2 year old Bouvier DeFlanders! He's a bundle of love, with a big heart, big paws, and big teeth! He has a habit of getting "mouthy" when playing with his family. Our job was to teach him that polite dog's don't put their teeth on humans!

With dogs over 5 months, we recommend you do not allow any teeth on humans. Some people like to rough house with their dog, however, a child playing with a mouthy dog might jerk her hand away, causing a scratch which may be mistaken for a vicious bite! Also, a dog who learns to communicate with his teeth could take it too far and hurt someone!

Dogs are very aware of what their teeth are touching -- they can feel even the slightest graze of a single tooth touching human skin. We use this to our advantage and teach that -- no teeth to human contact will be tolerated by playing a game called Drama Diva Queen!

Drama Diva Queen is a shun game. To play -- start a regular play session with your dog. 

If he nips or bites you (any bit of a tooth touches your skin) -- say "Ouch!" and dramatically turn your back! 

Shun your dog -- withhold all attention -- break any eye contact (don't even look at him) young children can cross their arms and turn their body away. Do not touch or scold your dog, just wait silently.

After 5-10 seconds return to playing with him as before. Repeat as necessary.

If you play this game correctly most dogs will 'get it' in as soon as 2-3 training sessions!

Some tips on playing Drama Diva Queen:
  • A drag line or tether are effective management tools to use during this game. They prevent your dog from trying to follow you or jump up while you are shunning him. 
  • Try this game 3-5 times in a row. If your dog isn't getting the message, you may need to try a more advanced game like Out of the Pack, which you can find on Zen Dog Training Online
  • Allow minor playbiting with puppies under 5 months, play biting is an important learning stage. 
  • Use volume control -- for minor playbites a low level "Ouch" may be in order, but harder bites should result in a more dramatic "OUCH!" and you might result in you leaving the room for 30 seconds!

For more tips on how and when to use Drama Diva Queen and Out of the Pack, please visit Zen Dog Training Online

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Training Tips for Traveling with your Dog

Planning a trip with your dog?

Traveling can be an exciting adventure for you and your dog, but a long car ride with little to no activity can also be stressful for your canine companion! Increasing your dog's activity before a long trip is a great way to make your trip a bit easier!

Tiredness can really take away from some of the worry your dog may experience during a long car ride.  Remember: A tired dog is a happy dog! Play and physical activity are great ways to exercise your dog's body and mind before a long trip. The morning before a planned trip, take your dog for a longer play session. Ideas for play and increased activity include:
  • Take him to his favorite park to play fetch
  • Bringing him to play with his friends at a local doggie daycare
  • Take a jog together around the neighborhood
  • Throw around a frisbee for him at the beach
  • Set up a play date with another of your dog's doggie-friends
  • Play tug-of-war together
  • Run him up and down the stairs!

The point is -- amp up your dog's activity level before a long trip to help him relax. This can be done with any form of play and activity you can think up!

For more on physical activity games, exercises, and video solutions, visit www.ZenDogTrainingOnline.com!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A bit on Housetraining, featuring Appa

Meet Appa!

Appa is a 4 month old Havanese puppy with a fluffy coat and a zest for life! He's still adjusting to the rules of his new home, including proper house training

There are many important things to consider when house training your new puppy. For a complete list (and helpful videos) visit: www.ZenDogTrainingOnline.com better yet, set up an appointment with a Zen Dog Trainer!

In the meantime, here's an important thing to consider regarding using Puppy Pee Pads. 

Puppy Pads/Training Pads/Pee Pads: If you ultimately want to train your dog to go outside -- then do not use them! It's OK to leave one for a young puppy in his confinement area, especially when leaving him alone for longer then he can "hold it". However, if you want to teach your new puppy to eliminate outdoors, then make sure that he goes outdoors as often as possible!

Encouraging a puppy to go on a pad indoors (and outside too) only confuses your dog to your rules. Dog's have a powerful instinct to keep their den clean. Essentially, allowing your dog to go indoors goes against his natural tendency to perceive your home as his den and not pee inside the house.

Every time your puppy goes inside, it confuses him to your rules. Only use pee training pads if you are planning on using them for the rest of your dog's life!

Think about it like this: It's winter time in cold Boston area, you then ask Appa, would you rather use your pee pad or go outside in the snow? It's the human equivalent of asking Appa if he would rather use the indoor plumbing (toilet) or go outside in cold outhouse! 

If you had the choice, you would probably continue using the indoor bathroom because it's more comfortable and that's what you grew up doing. If you teach Appa to go inside first, then it will be way harder to convince him to start going outside later. 

To learn more about house training, using treats, and positive reinforcement, visit Zen Dog Training OnlineAlso, check out our Housetraining eBook and other online resources!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Socialization to Touch, featuring Ernie

Meet Ernie!

Ernie is a 12 week old Field Spaniel, he's not shy in the slightest and is as friendly as can be! There are lot's of things to work on with a new puppy. One area people often forget is to teach their dog to tolerate human touch. At Zen Dog Training we do this with the game Socialization to Touch.


Socialization to Touch is time spent teaching your puppy to be accustomed to any human touch. Even uncomfortable touch like being handled by the vet or groomer.

This game is great at preventing problems in the future, like aggression, and is important for emergencies. Not only should your dog should be OK with uncomfortable touch at the vet and groomer, imagine when you need to to pick a thorn out of his paw, cut his nails, or even brush his teeth!

Pick up and touch your dog every day. Have friends (and kids) pick him up and hold your puppy in their arms like a baby. Give him treats yourself or have your friends give him treats as he accepts being touched, picked up and held by others.

At home, you should be more systematic. Hold him with his head facing out and his belly facing up. Your puppy might fight this and wiggle around, but don't let him go. Take a Yoga Breath. If you are relaxed, your puppy will relax.  Again use treats to make a positive association to human touch.

Over time you can touch different body parts as you hold and treat him. Think about what he might have to tolerate in the future: touch his paws and between his toes, his teeth, belly, legs, ears, etc. Remember: You should keep feeding him tasty treats throughout the process.

Tip: Play for only a few minutes at a time and keep feeding him treats! You want him to really love being touched!

For more on Socialization to Touch, Love, Yoga Breath, and other puppy training games, visit Zen Dog Training Online

Friday, April 12, 2013

Directions to Charlestown Crate Escape from Sullivan Square

Zen Dog Training

Directions to Crate Escape Charlestown - From Sullivan Square

Here are step-by-step directions to classes held at Crate Escape’s Charlestown location. The brand new facility is off the beaten path, this should guide your way to finding the Charlestown Maritime Center.

Crate Escape - 200 Terminal St, Charlestown 
Note: GPS is NOT great at finding this location. We recommend you search for the intersection of Chelsea and Terminal Streets.


Located just 3 minutes from the Schrafft’s building in Sullivan Square.

 Step 1.) Take the left onto Medford St.

Step 2.) When you see this…

Step 3.) You’ll be at the intersection of Medford St. and Terminal St…
Follow the sign labeled “Truck Route”

Step 5.) This sign means you’re on the right track! Take a right and you’ll see…

... an enormous mound of salt with the Tobin Memorial Bridge in the distance.

Step 6.) Take a left onto Chelsea St. at this sign and you will see…

Step 7.) Follow the red arrow and drive directly under the bridge.

Step 8.) At this sign, take a left into the parking lot!

You have arrived! Plenty of Free Parking!

Directions to Charlestown Crate Escape from USS Constitution (N. End)

 Zen Dog Training

Directions to Crate Escape Charlestown - From USS Constitution        

Here are step-by-step directions to classes held at Crate Escape’s Charlestown location. The brand new facility is off the beaten path, this should guide your way to finding the Charlestown Maritime Center.

Crate Escape - 200 Terminal St, Charlestown 
Note: GPS is NOT great at finding this location. We recommend you search for the intersection of Chelsea and Terminal Streets.  

Step 1.) At this intersection, take Chelsea St. away from I-93 and towards…

…the USS Constitution. At this point, you’re just 3 minutes away!

Step 2.) Follow Chelsea St. until you reach the Charlestown Maritime Center.
Take a right onto Terminal St. and you will see the Tobin Bridge!

Step 3.) Drive directly under the Tobin Memorial Bridge! Follow the red arrow and go directly under the bridge.

Step 4.) Continue until you see this sign. Take a left into the parking lot.

You have arrived! Crate Escape in Charlestown. Plenty of Free Parking!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Impulse Control, Featuring Vinnie

Meet Vinnie!

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's Vinnie, and she's running straight for us on the couch!

This spunky 5 year old English Bulldog's owners have a baby on the way -- so it is important for Vinnie to re-learn the house rules before the baby comes! Just imagine Mom and Baby quietly cuddled on the couch, when out of nowhere rambunctious Vinnie decides to join them -- it's an accident waiting to happen!

Now, imagine a dog who politely waits for your cue to join you on the couch. Zen Dog Training has a solution for this and the answer is quite simple and very effective -- Nothing for Free!

Nothing for Free is a relationship-changing game which teaches her that the fun of the couch is controlled by you! Up until now, Vinnie has learned that she controls the couch, jumping up on it whenever she pleases!

Nothing for Free is a game that can also be played with food, your affection, and other things your dog finds fun! For a full explanation of when and how to play, visit www.ZenDogTrainingOnline.com. Here are some tips for teaching your dog Nothing for Free with the couch!

-Always Ask for a Sit before calling your dog up on the couch. Use a release word like, "OK" to invite her up.

-If she jumps on the couch without waiting for your permission, Interrupt her by using your Interrupt marker word, "Hey!" and gently grab her collar, then take her off the couch.

-Over time, you can Ask for an extended Sit/Stay before inviting her on the couch.

To your dog, coming up on the couch should be a privilege, and Nothing for Free will teach her just that!

For more activities to add to your Nothing for Free program, and more on our 3-Step-System: Ask, Shun, and Interrupt, please visit www.ZenDogTrainingOnline.com!