Thursday, September 19, 2013

Introduction for Basic Dog Training clients


Congratulations on making the very important decision to bring your dog to obedience class. 

Some decisions have a ripple effect which lasts far longer than the original moment of decision.  

The decision to train your dog will certainly have long reaching positive impact on all of your lives.

In this class you and your dog will have the opportunity to learn and practice behaviors such as SIT, DOWN, and COME, but the benefits go far beyond that.  You will gain a better understanding of how your dog’s mind works.  This will give you better behavioral results, improved attention and an overall enhanced relationship with your dog. 

Training is key to making your dog a valued family member.  In 1998 a study was published in the Journal of Applied Welfare Science which followed how much training dogs who were relinquished to animal shelters had received.

The results are dramatic, but not surprising.

Of the dogs relinquished to shelters:

Trained by Owner                            62     %
Already Trained when Obtained     15.1   %
Attended Obedience Class                4     %
Trained Professionally                       1.2  %

The guidelines below will start you on the path to making fair, firm consistent rules for your dog that will allow him to become the sort of canine companion you hope for.


Consistent fair rules, achievable goals and the ability to understand others are the hallmarks of good bosses and fair parents.  That is your role for your dog.  If you can be fair, consistent and fun your dog will follow you anywhere.

First off, set rules and be consistent.  This means you and your family members must all have the same expectations for your dog.  Are they allowed on furniture?  Do they sleep in the kitchen or in the bedrooms?  Do you want them jumping on people? 

If you don’t want dogs on the sofa when Grandma is over, don’t let your dog on the sofa.  If you don’t want your dog jumping on your company, don’t let her jump on your kids.  Have a family meeting and agree on the rules.

If you set consistent rules and stick to them you will rarely have to correct your dog. 

Be Fair - If you are house training a dog, it is not fair to expect them to go 9 hours without eliminating.  You are probably much larger than your dog, so it should be easier for you.  If you think you can go from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm without visiting the facilities, try it.  Then arrange for a neighbor, dog walker or doggie day care to give your friend relief on days when you can’t help them out.

Before you become frustrated with your dog for any reason take a deep breath and ask yourself if you are being fair.

Don’t scold a dog for something you laughed at yesterday.  You rewarded the behavior.

Pick up your stuff.  Once you have had your dog for a while they will understand the difference between their toys and things belonging to people.  But for the moment pick up the shoes, put your Grandmother’s needlepoint pillows in a box, and close the doors to the kids rooms.  If you leave it out and it gets chewed by an unsupervised new dog, it’s your fault, not the dog’s fault. 

Be Patient – You are asking your dog to change behaviors.  They are in the habit of jumping, barking, pulling on leash, etc.  If you have ever tried to stop smoking, lose weight, or not bite your finger nails, you know changing behavior patterns is hard and takes time.  Accept that your dog needs time too.

Set Boundaries – “Start Small”  New dogs don’t need to have the run of your home and property all of the time.  They should be indoors when you can’t supervise them so they don’t learn to dig, bark at other dogs or escape.  They should be confined to a crate or one dog-proof room when you are not watching them indoors.  Give them chewies, or a stuffed kong, but don’t feel badly about putting your dog in an appropriate, comfortable crate with toys and good things to gnaw for a few hours a day.  As your dog matures they will earn more freedom and trust.

Speaking of boundaries, Dogs should not be leaping on visitors at the front door.  Leash your dog when you are expecting company, or put your dog in another room.  Ask people not to greet your leashed dog at the door.  Walk guests into the house, have them take a chair, and when the dog is calm and polite they can greet your guests.  Take the emotion away from the door.  If your dog really reacts to the doorbell consider putting up a note requesting visitors call you on the phone instead of ringing the bell

Keep Your Dog Busy.  Plan exercise for your dog, fast long walks, jogging, fetch, tug, swimming, and even gnawing at a kong stuffed with sweet potato and yoghurt and frozen solid can be mental exercise.  But plan how to keep your dog busy.  Like kids, a busy dog is sometimes a good dog, but a bored dog is going to get into trouble.  

Only use a Dog’s Name for good thing.  If you say SPARKY!  Get out of the Trash!   SPARKY, BAD DOG, NO CHEW!, SPARKIE, Drop my Shoe!  SPARKIE BE QUIET!!.  Then when you say ‘SPARKIE COME,” Sparkie is likely to think you are mad again and avoid you at all costs. 

This brings us to HOW DOGS LEARN

Dogs learn by association.  They do something and the result is rewarding or not rewarding.  If they are rewarded they will do it again.

If your dog thinks the word “SPARKIE” means he is in trouble, he will avoid you when you use that word.

This is why it is so important not to unintentionally reward (or punish) your dog.

If my dog wants attention when they are in their crate and they start barking I reward them when I go into the kitchen and say “Quiet!!”  To the dog, the logic is, “I barked 10 minutes and mom came and talked to me, next time I’ll bark 20 minutes.”  If you want your dog to be quiet in their crate, don’t go near the crate if they are barking.

If my dog likes to play outside, and every morning I say “Sparkie Come,” and then I drag him inside and put him in his crate,  “Sparkie Come” will mean….  If you come near me now I will put you in jail for 4 hours. 

Commands like COME must have a long history of positive association if they are going to work in an emergency.  Never ever call your dog to you and then scold them or make them unhappy.  You are teaching them NOT to come.  Instead call them back inside while you still have time to give them a treat, talk to them and let them move about before you put them in their crate.

Dogs are not moral creatures.  They do not ‘know better.’  They simply know that they did something and found the result rewarding or not rewarding.  

A dog that finds a sandwich on the counter and eats it has been rewarded for jumping up and looking on the counter, he will do it again.  If you come in five minutes later, wave the empty paper plate while yelling at your dog they will look ‘guilty’

These are called Appeasement Gestures.  They are used by animals (including humans) when confronted by a potentially dangerous creature.  If you yell, wave your arms and scowl your dog will likely hunch, tuck his tail and look away.  There is no connection to the sandwich eaten five minutes earlier.  Your dog just thinks you are a little crazy and potentially dangerous and they are trying to look small and non-threatening.  (This is the same for house training mistakes.  If it’s on the floor it’s out of your dog’s mind as well as his tummy.  Yelling won’t teach your dog a thing.  Clean it up, use enzymatic cleaner, and move on.)

As your dog’s owner/mentor/parent/teacher it is your job to be aware of potential pitfalls and prevent your dog from making mistakes.  If your dog is making too many mistakes ask yourself how you can be a more proactive dog owner.  Manage your environment so the dog is not rewarded for unwanted behaviors in the first place.

Dogs learn by association.  They repeat behaviors they find rewarding.  We are going to make listening to you a very rewarding experience.  We will use food, play, and real life rewards to teach your dog that paying attention to you, and doing what you want, is a lot of fun and the best way to get access to things they want!

Things to bring to every training class are:
A hungry dog, do not feed them for 6 to 8 hours before they come to class unless they are a very small breed puppy.
A six foot leash (no retractable leashes)
Great treats,  Chicken and hot dogs often motivate a dog very well
A long, soft tug toy, something your dog will enjoy holding in their mouth
If we are training at Tailspins on Whitemarsh Island the floor can be cold..  consider bringing a bathrug for your dog's comfort when they down.

I hope you are looking forward to getting started.

Questions are always welcome.

We hope you join Catnip 'n' Biscuits and Train This Dog on Facebook.

Claudia Black-Kalinsky, CPDT-Ka
Cell:  912-677-2861

Monday, September 16, 2013

Better Dog In One Week - Tip # 1 Reward good behavior


Training Tip #1

You get what you Pay For!  -  Reward behaviors you like, and you get more of them.  Polite sitting, reward it.  Quiet in the crate, reward it.  Drop a toy politely at your feet, reward it.  Jumping, barking, pawing and nudging, walk away, no reward for that.  What behaviors did you reward your dog for this week?

Claudia Black-Kalinsky, CPDT-Ka
Training in Georgia at Catnip 'n' Biscuits
Also training in Bluffton, Hilton Head Island, and Environs

Join us on Facebook
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Puppy Packet - Basic Help for the Puppy Owner

Attached is My "Puppy Packet"  -

I developed this several years ago when I discovered most of my young dog clients had the same questions.

Please take a look at the document and apply what seems useful.  If you have questions I am happy to supply answers.

Claudia Black-Kalinsky, CPDT-Ka
Puppy Packet © Train This Dog, 2013

Puppy Packet

Congratulations on your new Puppy.

I have prepared a few thoughts and guidelines to help you survive the first year with your puppy.

Remember, your puppy is a puppy.  You can train a puppy to do many cool things, but they are still a puppy.  Just like you can train an 8 year old human to play the violin, but they are still eight years old and prone to being silly and childish.  It is not fair to you or your puppy to expect more than your puppy can do.  Your job is to show your puppy that the world is a friendly place and to demonstrate your expectations of good behavior to your puppy in a way that is understandable and age appropriate.

Part I  -  General Socialization

First and Foremost -   Socialize.  

This means your puppy should experience everything good in the world at a very early age.  

Great care should be taken to make all of these experiences pleasant.  If your puppy is fearful do not drag him to the thing he finds frightening, or force him to be still while the scary thing approaches him.  Allow your puppy to approach when they are ready.  If you find something your puppy really does not like use TIME, TREATS and TOYS to help them get over the hurdle.

Let’s say your pup is afraid of buses.  They are large, noisy and smelly, who can blame the puppy?

Day 1 - Start at a distance from the bus your pup can tolerate comfortably.  That means they are interested in taking treats and interacting with you.  If they freeze, crouch, won’t take a treat or play you are too close, back up!  Now when a bus approaches play with your puppy, give them treats, make them happy.

Day 2 – Move a very little bit closer to the bus and repeat.  Do not rush this; your puppy will learn buses are okay more quickly if you don’t frighten them by going too far too fast.

Day 3 - onward.  Repeat, repeat, repeat until your puppy can stand next to the bus stop comfortably when buses come and go.

Remember, just because your puppy is now used to buses, it does not mean the garbage truck won’t be scary.  If you live near a firehouse the siren and trucks will provide another socialization opportunity.  Gas station attendants, fire fighters, police officers, mail carriers, UPS and Fedex employees, and trash collectors, introduce your puppy to these people and encourage your pup to take treats from them  

Bring your puppy to the vet and groomer multiple times just to have the staff give your puppy treats and pet the puppy.  Then leave.  Not every trip should involve shots or nail clipping.  Some visits should just be for fun.

Be sure your puppy accepts hugs, gentle restraint and collar grabs.  Pair these things with praise and treats.  Be sure your dog is used to children.  They run, hug, trip over dogs, startle dogs and squeal.  Children are also not necessarily good about asking your permission to pet your dog.  Be sure the first time your dog meets a child is not when some little girl runs off her porch, grabs your dog’s collar and squeals, “PUPPY!”

Allow your puppy to approach the child, not the other way around.  Have the child toss treats on the floor or throw a ball for the puppy.  Puppies and children should be respectful of each other.  Always supervise your puppy’s or dog’s interaction with young children.

THINK about what your puppy will be expected to do when they are an adult dog.  Do you sail every summer?  Get your puppy around boats ASAP.  (Don’t forget a life vest).  Do you summer in the country?  Will your puppy meet horses, ducks, cows, chickens?  Socialize your puppy to these things.  Do you intend your dog to come to work?  Are there elevators?  Strange looking doors?  Open back stairs?  Will your puppy spend part of their time in a city and have to learn to eliminate on pavement?  How do you live, where will you go?  Don’t wait; use the puppy’s early socialization window to get them used to these things.


Your Puppy and Strange Dogs.  

On leash greetings often go badly.  Sometimes it only takes one bad meeting for a dog to become one of those animals who barks and lunges at every dog they see.  

At best, if every on-leash greeting your dog experiences is a happy one, your dog will learn to expect to greet every dog it sees.  This sets you up for a lifetime of being pulled down the sidewalk to each oncoming dog.  Keep your dog safe, and don’t teach your dog to pull you to every oncoming animal. 

Dog parks are not appropriate for dogs under 2 years old.  A lot of adult dogs don’t like puppies.  Personally, I don’t think dog parks are appropriate for any dog.  Arranged play dates with a few friendly dogs are infinitely better. 

I know some veterinarians believe a puppy should not have contact with the outside world until all of their shots are complete.  This is akin to not allowing a child to meet other children until they have received their last tetanus diphtheria/pertussis vaccine at age 7.  The need for a child to meet and interact with other children as part of their social development far succeeds the risk of getting any of these diseases in a child who has already received early stage inoculations in infancy.  The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior supports this position.  I will be happy to discuss the issue with you or your veterinarian.

DO join or establish a well run puppy play group where puppies are put together according to size and temperament so everyone has a good experience.

Finally, protect your puppy.  Do not allow your puppy to be bombarded by people who yell, grab, pull, squeeze, or frighten your puppy.  Avoid fireworks, scary Halloween costumes, and other situations that cause your dog terror.  If it is a situation your dog has to become used to, allow them to get used to it slowly.  Be positive, reward, encourage, and don’t go too fast.

Margaret Hughes, from Positive Paws Dog Training published 'The Puppy's Rule of 12' on the internet in 2002.  It is a wonderful document and I recommend you give it a look.  

Part 2 - Consistency, Managing the Environment, and Setting up Guidelines

Think about how you want your adult dog to behave, and start with those rules from day one. 

Do you mind dogs on the sofa?  How about dogs with muddy paws on the sofa?  How about dogs on the sofa when you are having a party?  Your muddy dog does not understand party clothes.  If you allow dogs on the sofa, they will be there.  If you don’t want them on the sofa sometimes, best to not allow them on the sofa ever.

Do you want your dog to bark at the window at every jogger, dog and squirrel?  If you have dog who is doing this, limit their access to the window.

Do you have enticing tassels on your curtains?  Take them off or restrict your puppy’s access to the area until they understand the rules.

Keep counters and tables clear of food and any other item your dog might find valuable.  A dog who jumps up and finds a turkey sandwich on the counter will yearn to check that counter every day for many, many months. 

It is much easier to keep your dogs from getting into bad habits than it is to suppress those habits once they are established.

Everyone in the household must agree to the rules.  Enforce them calmly, fairly, and reward your puppy for good behavior.

Part 3 - House Training

Everybody wants to get this over with as soon as possible.  It is work, but constant attention to it will set you up for success.  Plan to spend a lot of time getting to know how your puppy's insides run and observe what they do, both inside and outside.  Housebreaking will take a different amount of time for every dog, there is no average.

Some Rules;

1.    Do not allow your puppy too much freedom until they are reliable.  Keep your puppy crated or confined in the kitchen unless you can supervise them.  Plan to supervise them a lot.  When your puppy is free, let her drag a leash.  Do not let her out of your sight.  This will help you explain all the household rules to your puppy.  Not just the rules about eliminating.

2.     Consistent feeding times and walking schedule.  Learn your puppy’s internal clock.  Write it down if necessary.   Ate at 7:00 AM, pooped in house at 8:15.  Note to self; walk one hour after eating.   Six week old puppies need to go out every hour or two, adult dogs need a minimum of 3 walks a day, 4 is better.  The smaller the dog the more often they need to go outside.  If you have a teacup yorkie remember even an adult has a bladder smaller than a brussel sprout.  Be fair in your expectations.

3.     Watch your puppy when they eliminate outside.  What do they do in preparation?  Do they go to a quiet corner?  Do they sniff?  Circle? Paw?  These are signs to watch for inside, when you see them ask your puppy, “Do you need to go out?”  Quickly leash up your puppy and get them outside to their potty spot.

4.    Establish a ‘potty spot’ close to your home.  Bring your leashed dog here first, when you leave the house.  If the puppy goes, reward as soon as the puppy is finished with treats and outdoor play or a walk.  If your puppy does not go, bring your puppy back inside, crate your puppy, set the timer for 15 to 20 minutes and try again.  (Try not to make the substrate of your potty spot too unusual.  You don’t want to teach your dog to only eliminate in a field of tall grass unless you are confident you can find tall, grassy fields everywhere you bring your dog).  Do not get in the habit of bringing your puppy inside as soon as they are done eliminating.  They can learn to delay going in order to have more outdoor time

5.     Never punish your puppy for eliminating in the wrong area.  If your puppy eliminates inside and you did not see your puppy do it, clean it up, using enzymatic cleaner, and move on.  It is too late to correct the puppy.  Your pup won’t understand why you are upset. 

6.     If you do catch your puppy In The Act of soiling the house, interrupt..   (Clap your hands and say in a pleasant but business like way something to the effect of, “No, no, don’t do that.)  Then immediately and swiftly move your puppy to their ‘potty spot’ outside and praise your puppy whether they go there or not.

Part 4 - PLAY
First, the don’ts. 

1.        Don’t play games than encourage your puppy to bite or jump on you.  Mouth wrestling, chasing and jumping will teach your puppy to do things you don’t want your adult dog to practice.

2.       Don’t give your puppy your personal items to play with.  You pup can’t tell the difference between an old sock and a new one, an old towel, and a new one, etc.

3.       Don't allow young children to play unsupervised with a puppy for everyone’s safety.

4.       Don't leave a puppy (or any dog) unattended outside, even fenced.  They can get escape, be injured by an animal, ingest dangerous items, or can learn to bark and dig.

Now the Do’s

1.       Do play fetch and tug games.

2.       Do provide the puppy with puzzle and chew toys (no rawhide, please)

3.       Do schedule at least 3 fifteen to twenty minute play sessions a day.

Part 5 - Attention Seeking Behavior  - Barking, Nipping & Jumping

First ask yourself, does my dog need to potty, are they hungry, are they tired?  If the answer to all of the above is ‘no’ they your dog may be bored and is hoping to stir up some excitement. 

Be careful about rewarding behavior you don’t want.  If your dog jumps, nips or jumps for attention and you look at them and say “Hey, stop that!”  They have just captured your attention.  Barking, jumping, nipping have been successful. 

Instead train yourself.  If you bark, nip or jump on me, I look away, I turn around, or I walk out of the room and close the door behind me.  As soon as the puppy is quiet with four feet on the floor return your attention to the puppy with quiet praise.  Then, if your dog needs exercise, provide some play.  If your puppy has been exercised and repeats barking, jumping, nipping institute a ‘three strikes and you are out rule’.

When your dog demands attention three times in quick succession, despite your turning away from their demands, then crate your dog.

It is a good idea to allow your dog to drag their leash around the house when they are going through this phase, otherwise you will be involved in a good game of ‘chase the puppy’ which is a HUGE reward for barking, nipping and jumping.  When they are quiet for 15 - 30 seconds in the crate let them out and try again.

The above quiet rule applies to your dog in a crate at almost all times.  Do not approach your crated dog if they are barking for attention.  The only exception to this is a puppy who may be desperate to eliminate.  If you do take a barking puppy out of the crate, go directly to their potty spot.  If the puppy fails to eliminate in 5 minutes go back inside and return the puppy to the crate until they are quiet.

Part 6 – Chewing and distructive behavior

Again, have your puppy drag a leash around the house when you are supervising and keep an eye on them until they understand the rules.  If your puppy goes into the living room and destroys sofa cushions while you are not there, they won’t understand why you are upset, but they will remember what a great time they had de-stuffing your sofa.  It is much better to catch your puppy when their little teeth first make contact with upholstery.  Interrupt your puppy verbally, use your leash to move them away from the sofa, and then give them an appropriate chew object, praising them for taking it.  (If the sofa, woodwork or other item becomes a frequent chew target spray it with Yuck, Bitter Apple, or a similar product.)

Your puppy Must Chew.  This is something every young dog does.  Since you can’t stop it, you need to channel it.  Frozen Kongs full of the dog’s kibble mixed with just enough other food (mashed banana, no fat plain yoghurt, a small amount of canned dog food) so that the kong can be frozen will keep your puppy busy, tire them out, and alleviate teething pain.  Frozen carrots or a wet frozen rag can also be good chew toys for the teething puppy.  Remember, if you stuff a kong with half a cup of kibble, reduce the puppy’s regular meal by that amount.

This desire to chew will diminish as your dog ages, but will never vanish.  Always have some good chewies for your best friend.

Part 7 - Restraint is crucial to a dog's development

Young puppies must learn to accept that sometimes they will be held in your arms, without the option to squirm away.  Puppies who learn that you have the right to hold them and examine their ears, look at their teeth, touch their paws, and rub their bellies turn into dogs who are able to be groomed and examined by the vet without muzzles.  They also tend, as adults, to be less apt to guard food, toys or locations.  This simple exercise is very important.

Pull your puppy into your arms.  Hold them gently but firmly.  If they try to wiggle away tighten your grip enough to restrain them, but not enough to hurt.  When they relax reward them with petting and praise while you touch them from nose to tail.  This is very important.  The first time you touch your dog’s ears should not be when they have a painful ear infection.  The first time you touch your dog’s paw should not be when they have cut their foot.  Teach your dog that people will sometimes restrain them, gently and pleasantly, but firmly.

Part 8 - Coming and Going

Do not attach drama to people (including yourself) coming and going from the house.  When you leave put your puppy in the area they will be confined to, give them a stuffed kong, treat, or chew toy, pick up your keys and go.  Be calm and matter-of-fact.

When you return do the same thing.  Come in, put down your keys, hang up your coat, do not even look at your puppy.  If your puppy is quiet and fairly contained, greet her. If your puppy is barking and flinging herself against you, the crate, or her gate, ignore her.  Read your mail, check your messages.  When the puppy is calm acknowledge her.  Note; if your puppy is desperate to get to the potty spot take her there.  But your routine should be such that your puppy is not ALWAYS 
desperate when you return.  Once the pup has pottied and had some exercise return to the house.  If your pup nips, barks or jumps, see Part 5 on how to handle those behaviors.

When visitors arrive have your puppy leashed before the door is open.  Ask your guests NOT to greet the puppy at the door.  Instead show them to seats inside while you hold the leash.  When your guests are seated and the puppy is calm guests and puppy can come together.  Remember, exuberant greeting of guests may be adorable when your puppy is 2 months old.  A year later when a 75 pound dog gallops down the hall and bounces off your mother-in-law’s chest no one will be giggling.  Your puppy won’t understand why everyone is upset, because you trained them jumping is fun when they were young.

Part 9 - Resources and your dog

Your dog needs to earn access to attention, treats, play and the outside.  Once your puppy is old enough to truly understand a few commands (Sit, Down, Wait) begin to ask your puppy to sit before you give them a treat.  Wait, before they go out the door or into the car.  Down before they grab a toy and play tug with you.  

Reward good behavior lavishly.  Do not reward what you consider to be ‘rude’ with attention.  Remember, telling your jumping puppy to ‘stop it’ while pushing them off you, or returning to your barking puppy to say ‘Be quiet already’, rewards jumping and barking with your attention.  Be careful your ‘corrections’ are not actually reinforcing the behavior you do not want.

Part 10 - Puppy supplies for the home:
Crate, comfortably lined
Water Bowl
Kongs or food dispensing toys
Humane collar
Lots of tug, puzzle and chew toys
Enzymatic cleaner
Bitter Apple, Yuck or Phooey  (bad tasting, non-staining spray to discourage your puppy from turning leashes, furniture and woodwork into chew toys)
A phone list with important numbers including, Groomer, Vet, and the name, number and address of the 24 hour emergency clinic

I hope you found this helpful.
Emails are always welcome

Monday, June 3, 2013

TRAIN THIS DOG has a web site!

I am so excited.  The house is sold and I have finally gotten my Train This Dog web site up.

It is time to start training the dogs of Hilton Head, Savannah, and Bluffton!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Owning pets during Hurricane Season - Dogs, Cats, Horses

Hurricane Season Shelters, Evacuation and Riding out the Storm

Dogs, Cats and Small Animals

Hurricane Season begins on June 1st. Those of us living in the coastal communities of Georgia and South Carolina watch the weather closely, hoping we don’t have to board up our windows and evacuate our families and pets to higher, safer ground. Train This Dog joins with the American Veterinary Medical Association and others to encourage you to plan ahead for evacuation.

The suggestions for emergency preparedness for people are similar to pet emergency preparedness. Watch the weather, and think ahead. 

Have your dogs and cats micro chipped, and get them a tag with your cell phone number engraved on it now. 

If it is not safe for you to stay in your home, it is not safe for your animals. Many of my Savannah neighbors leave their dogs outside most of the time. Pet animals left outside, tied or penned are in extreme danger during a disaster. It is important to plan ahead. 

Human shelters, available for last minute human evacuations, are frequently unequipped to take in companion animals.

Your local Animal Control in Savannah and Hilton Head will not be open to accept your pets, they evacuate early. The Red Cross cannot guarantee you and your pet a place.  Plan Ahead!

Identify pet friendly hotels away from the Carolina and Georgia coasts. Make your reservations several days before the storm is scheduled to hit. Leave for safety sooner, not later, to guarantee your reservation will be held. 

Prepare a ‘bug out bag’ for your pet. It should include seven days of food (I keep kibble in Tupperware containers, they seal for freshness and double as bowls) and medicine. Keep the medicines in their original containers, sealed in plastic bags, one bag per pet. 

Each bag should also contain a file card with the following information: 

Veterinarian Name and contact information 
Your Name and contact information 
Your emergency destination address and phone number 
Current license number 
Current rabies tag number Micro Chip information 
Medical or behavioral issue information 
A photo of your animal securely attached to the card 
A copy if this file card should also remain in your wallet

Bring a harness and a leash. 

Be prepared with a muzzle if you think there is the slightest chance your dog could become agitated and bite a human or animal. 

Crates:  It is possible you will be able to stay in a friend’s home or hotel only if your animal is crated.  Your animal must be able to stand up and turn around.  Crates are essential for safe cat and small animal evacuation. Have a carrier for your feline friends, and small pets. Label each crate with your name, address and telephone number. Use Waterproof labels. Don’t forget cat litter and a scooper. 

Finally, learn the storm evacuation routes through Hilton Head, Bluffton, and the Savannah areas.

Those of us with horses must be especially proactive. 

Get a ‘break away’ halter for each of your horses. Put a pet tag with your name and phone number on the halter, and save that halter for an emergency situation. 

Consider having your horse micro chipped or tattooed. Have a picture taken of you with your horse, be sure to get any identifying marks (blaze, scar, spot, whorl, etc) into the photo. 

Keep your horse’s coggins test current. 

Think today about where you could bring your horse. Arrange for safe shelter now. When a storm approaches you don’t want to find out the place you were hoping to put your horse is already full. 

Fill your truck with gas and plan to leave a full 24 hours before human evacuation is declared. Bring hay, grain, and fill your water jugs. 

If you are going to ride out the storm with your equine companions in their barn be sure to fill every available bucket and trough with clean water before the storm hits. My barn in New Jersey lost electricity for a week after Sandy. No electricity means no water pump. 

Trim the trees surrounding your barn and pastures regularly. You won’t want to do it with a storm approaching. 

Just before the storm arrives leave your horse with enough hay and water to keep them for 24 to 36 hours, in case you are called to save a friend or family member with their own emergency and find it difficult to return to your barn. 

In the event of truly catastrophic flooding, let your horses free to find higher ground. This is a last resort, leaving your horses vulnerable to live down wires, traffic accidents, etc. You will be held responsible for any damage to persons or property caused by your stray horses.

Claudia Black-Kalinsky, CPDT-Ka
Phone: 912-677-2861
Savannah, Georgia Dog Trainer
Bluffton and Hilton Head, South Carolina Dog Trainer
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Monday, April 29, 2013

Simple Solutions to Dog Problems?

I know my accountant will cringe, but there are many times when I just can’t justify going to someone’s house and taking their money without offering some solutions over the phone. Here are a few of my favorites.

(Murphy in a sit, stay on a raft. He'd rather be swimming)

Dog training question from Savannah, Georgia :
I have a dog that won’t use the dog door. It’s there, he just won’t use it.

A: Ma’am, I can come to your house and charge you, but honestly, you don’t need me.

If I came out I would ask you not to feed your dog that day, so he’s a little hungry. I would hold open the dog door, so he is not worried about the flap, and toss a piece of chicken through the door. A nice big piece, so he can see it, and smell it; and I would hold the door open until he passed through the door to get it.

Still holding the door, I would show him a piece of chicken and lure him inside, back through the door. I would do this maybe 20 or 30 times, closing the dog door a teenie, tiny bit each time. The pieces of chicken would shrink to about the size of a pea during this process. I would even put use of the dog door on command, saying DOOR just before I tossed chicken, until the dog learned that going through the door was a really good thing, and when I say DOOR it means something nice is going to happen on the other side of the door.

Now, I am happy to come to your house, and throw chicken through your dog door; but if you want to give it a go yourself and call me if it does not work, I’ll understand.

Question about Puppy training from Bluffton, South Carolina : My puppy sneaks upstairs and pees and poops in the bedrooms.

A: Puppies don’t belong upstairs alone. Close or gate all rooms your dog does not need to be in unless closely supervised (living room, guest room, dining room, etc) and gate the bottom of your stairs.

If you need help in setting up your house for puppy success and house training, basic commands, and socialization, I’ll be glad to be your dog trainer, but if eliminating upstairs is your only issue, buy a gate and use it until your dog is 100% reliable in the rest of the house, then supervise him upstairs until you are sure he is reliable there.

Question from a Dog & Cat problems in Hilton Head, South Carolina :
Client: I have a 10 month Old English Sheepdog and a 13 year old cat. Since we got the dog, my cat has stopped using the cat box and is pooping in my bedroom closet.

(This is my dog, Murphy, and my cat, Twiz.)

Me: How are things set up? Where is the dog, where is the cat, and where is the catbox?

Client: The Dog is on the first floor, the cat spends his time on the second floor. The cat box is in the laundry room, it is also on the first floor.

Me: How far from the second floor stairs to the laundry room is it? And what does the dog do when he sees your 13 year old cat?

Client: The cat needs to go through the living room and dining room into the kitchen and then jump the gate into the laundry room. Our dog loves the cat, he wants to play, so he chases him because he likes him so much.

Me: My sympathy is all with the kitty here. From his perspective your elderly 9 pound cat is expected to risk his life running from an animal 8 times his size who could kill him with one clumsy, overexcited bounce so he can leap a gate and use the litter box. Then he has to risk his life again, or spend the rest of the day with a dirty litter box in a laundry room while your dog stares at him through a gate. There is absolutely no payoff for your cat, he is being terrorized. We should teach the dog to respect the cat, but to make things better right now, how about you move the litter box upstairs?

Client: I don’t think it’s very nice to have a litter box upstairs.

Me: Is it nicer to have a cat poop on your shoes?

Client: Point taken, I’ll move the litter box. When can you come out to help me with my cat chasing dog?

More as they occur

Claudia Black-Kalinsky, CPDT-Ka
Phone: 912-677-2861
Savannah, Georgia Dog Trainer
Bluffton and Hilton Head, South Carolina Dog Trainer

Friday, April 26, 2013

What happens when you hire a professional dog trainer. - Hilton Head Island

Today we answer the question, what does a dog trainer do when they come to your house?

“The facts ma’am.” drones Sargent Friday, seated at his desk. Pen in hand, form unfilled, Dragnet’s hero cop listened week after week to his current complainant delivering anecdotes about her neighbors, her husband, and the garbage trucks that come too early in the morning.

As a dog trainer I also hear a lot of stories which appear to go nowhere. These stories are actually filled with critical clues. A private dog training consultation begins with many questions, and a lot of careful listening. Owners always provide bits of information necessary to solve the mystery of their dog’s behavior.

Today’s case began with a call from a woman who needs a dog trainer on Hilton Head Island. She has a two year old neutered male havanese named Beau who urinates in her home. He also growls at her husband and adolescent sons, but has never bitten. We set up an appointment and I appear, like Sargent Friday, with blank form and pen, ready to discover the facts. By the way, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

The Facts:

We begin with simple information. Age, sex, has the dog seen a veterinarian recently and been found in good health? How did the owner, let’s call her Karen obtain the dog? Who lives in the home? Who is the primary caregiver(s)? What exercise does he get?

In the Past:

Beau was originally owned by Karen’s widowed mother, Helen. He was bought from a pet shop at about three months old. The shop had trained Beau, to eliminate on newspapers with moderate success. Helen has some mobility issues and Beau, although he spent a lot of time playing in her small Savannah garden, rarely left the property.

Helen had a housekeeper who came four hours a day, five days a week. Frequent visitors to the home were her daughter Karen and several older, female friends.

When Beau arrived the household did not seek a professional dog trainer in Savannah, however the housekeeper wisely blocked Beau’s access to rooms out of her sight while his house training was supervised. She encouraged Helen to keep Beau in a kitchen pen when he was not being watched and to send him outside before she let him run free in the house. This program was followed haphazardly and it took Beau several months before house training could be considered ‘reliable’. Beau was kept in his kitchen pen every night. Eventually newspapers for elimination were provided only during these overnight hours. When Beau needed to go out during the day he would stand at the back door and whine.

Beau barked and growled when strangers came to the door. Once the person was let in Beau would stop barking. He ‘seems to like women more’. Reportedly Beau would remain in the room with female visitors but would not approach them unless they offered him treats. If a male came to visit, Beau would stay in a doorway and run off if the man moved in his direction.
Beau was a somewhat “spoiled” small dog. He had nearly constant company during the day and did not appear to mind nights in the kitchen. His house training was reliable enough to be considered successful. Karen’s mother and the housekeeper doted on Beau, acquiescing to his barked demands for table scraps, play and petting. Beau was allowed on all furniture. He seemed to be well exercised enough in the garden to avoid destructive behavior inside. If Helen had sought professional dog training in Savannah some of Beau’s behaviors would have been better managed, and his socialization would have been conducted in a more organized manner.

A few additional questions revealed that Beau would bark and growl when the mail was delivered to the front porch. He would also bark and growl at either the windows or from behind the garden fence if there was “too much commotion” in the form of noisy people or dogs in the street. He continued vocalizing until the commotion stopped. Beau was described as “a good little watchdog”.

Beau exhibited anxiety during thunder storms, shaking, whining, and hiding under furniture. He howled if there was a thunderstorm late at night and he was alone in the kitchen.

Several months ago Karen’s mom moved from her home due to issues with stairs. Her new one-level living situation does not provide her with a place to potty and exercise Beau and Karen has agreed to take her mother’s pet.


Beau has been living with Karen, her husband, and her 13 and 16 year old boys for a little over three months. During this time Karen reports his house training has taken giant strides backwards and he is displaying ‘dominance’ behaviors by growling at her husband and sons. Karen works part time, mostly from home, and Beau is rarely left alone for more than two to three hours at a time.

Karen’s husband, Patrick, had been brought up with ‘outside’ dogs and has strong feelings about dogs on furniture and begging at the table. Beau has been banished to the laundry room during meals. Patrick also became impatient with newspapers on the kitchen floor. At his request, the potty-newspapers were also moved into the laundry room which is just off of the kitchen. Beau is gated in the kitchen at night with access to the laundry room. He has stopped using the papers, his night time accidents are becoming more frequent.

Beau is not allowed on furniture in his new home. Karen says Patrick yells at him when he catches him on the furniture, and Beau has taken to running out of rooms when Patrick enters. Twice when Patrick entered the den to find Beau on the sofa, Beau has “looked Patrick in the eye and urinated on the cushions.” Karen said she and Patrick both feel that this is Beau’s way of expressing his anger at not being allowed on furniture. Karen feels sympathetic towards Beau’s distress over his life-style change; Patrick feels the dog is attempting to take an ‘alpha’ position in the family. Beau avoids Patrick as much as possible and growls if Patrick reaches towards his collar. Once his collar is held he allows himself to be picked up or leashed without growling, but he does tremble.

While we were talking, Beau hopped up on a chair several times to look out of the window. Karen did not acknowledge this behavior.

Finally, Karen’s two sons are in charge of walking Beau on leash when they come home from school. Beau hides under the dining room table when they pick up the leash and come to get him. He has growled when they grab his collar, dragging him out from under the table. Once he is leashed he is happy to go with them, though he is ‘nervous’ outside when he sees, moving vehicles, dogs, bicycles, or hears loud noises.

A little additional questioning reveals that the only way Patrick can catch Beau by his collar is to corner him in a room or under a piece of furniture.

My Theory:

Beau is not in any way ‘dominant’ or ‘alpha’. In fact the poor fellow appears to be frightened and confused by his new, relatively boisterous, partly male, house hold. An inconsistent application of rules has Beau in a state of uncertainty about which behaviors will result in being grabbed or yelled at by a human.

Beau’s reaction to thunder, yelling, and in his former home ‘commotion’, indicates there may be some noise sensitivity. To test this I ask Karen to leash Beau.

Beau shrinks backward as Karen’s hand reaches over his head. I ask her to hold a treat in the left hand and take hold of Beau’s collar from underneath. Beau seems more comfortable with the hand coming from below his head and readily eats the treat while her other hand gently takes his collar.

With Karen’s permission I turn on the dryer in the laundry room and ask her to lead Beau by the leash into that area. Beau stops about six feet from the laundry room door. I ask Karen to drop a treat on the floor about a foot closer to the laundry room while she cheerfully says, “Find it!” Repeating this action several times brings Beau somewhat closer to the running dryer. Three feet from the laundry room entry he stops, unwilling to take the treat just beyond his reach.

I turn off the dryer and we try to lure Beau closer. He takes several treats but will not cross the thresh hold into the laundry room.

At this point I can see Beau has a fairly strong aversion to the laundry. The aversion is stronger when the dryer is running, but present even when it is not. We have three choices. We can use counter conditioning to teach Beau that the laundry room is a wonderful place, we can move the newspapers to another, less aversive location, or we can do away with the newspapers all together by putting Beau in an appropriately sized crate at night.

I explain the basics of crate training to Karen. She promises never to let Beau out when he whines or barks, and to always give him a special treat for entering the crate voluntarily. We also decide the crate should be kept in the kitchen in sight of, but away from the table. Beau will be given his supper in his crate when the family has supper. The food will be packed into a KONG so Beau has to work at getting his food.

I coach Karen on how to teach Beau to GO TO BED, targeting Beau’s dog bed. When the crate comes Karen will use the same technique, only teach Beau to GO TO CRATE. Beau should be left in his crate when everyone goes to bed. He will be taken out first thing in the morning, on leash, to be sure he has eliminated before he is let loose in the house. The laundry room, with its strong negative association, should not be used to confine Beau.

GO TO BED and GO TO CRATE will also give Beau something more appropriate to do when he is on the furniture, begging for treats or otherwise behaving in a way that is not appreciated. After all, you can’t just tell a dog what not to do; you have to give him an alternate, acceptable behavior.

The next thing we tackle is reaching for Beau’s collar. From what I have learned, every time Beau has growled someone has him cornered and is reaching over his head for his collar. Once they have his collar they can drag him by his neck out of his secure corner. We need to stop the dragging and make Beau welcome people reaching for his collar.

Karen and I sit on the floor with bits of chicken taking turns calling Beau and, when he arrives, gently holding his collar from underneath while praising and treating. Karen promises that everyone in the family will do this exercise, very gradually moving the hand from under Beau’s chin, to the side of his head, finally getting Beau used to having a hand come over his head for a collar grab.

Karen comes to understand that collar grabbing is not the best way to deal with maneuvering Beau. We decide Beau should drag a leather leash from a chest harness when he is indoors. This should only be done when Beau can be supervised. If Beau jumps on the furniture, begs at the table or transgresses in any other way he can be given a brief time out by stepping on the leash for approximately one minute. The leash, used gently, will also give a better way to remove Beau from corners and under furniture. We discuss Beau’s sheltered first year, and plan strategies to help Karen and her sons ease Beau into a world filled with vehicles, animals and people.

Finally we come to the ‘dominance’ issue. Karen listens while I explain that fear is a more common cause of aggression in dogs than any desire to dominate. Poor Beau, caught on the sofa and being yelled at is not expressing defiance, he is demonstrating total submission in a way that would be completely understandable to a fellow canine but has been grossly misinterpreted by Beau’s human family. Beau, growling and cowering under the table, is also not aggressive; he is afraid and begging to be left alone.

As diplomatically as possible I ask Karen to request her boys and husband be more gentle with Beau; refraining from yelling, grabbing, and dragging. If Beau must be moved simply pick up the leash he is already wearing. A happy voice combined with gentle use of the leash will be less threatening than a collar grab.

I ask Karen to take over discipline for Beau until he trusts the male members of the household entirely. We also discuss the need for consistency. It is not fair to let Beau on the furniture when Karen is home alone and then correct him when Patrick is present. Karen needs to provide firm, fair, consistent guidance for Beau so he understands the rules.

I promise Karen a written report and make sure she has my contact information for follow-up questions.

It has been a long morning. Karen and I both did a lot of talking, a lot of listening, we did some training, and made changes in Beau’s environment.

Hopefully things will improve rapidly for Beau and his human family. I will call in a few days to check up on Karen's dog training success.

Case Closed!

Claudia Black-Kalinsky, CPDT-Ka
Phone: 912-677-2861
Savannah, Georgia Dog Trainer
Bluffton and Hilton Head, South Carolina Dog Trainer

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Dog in the House - Tips and Rules for Welcoming an Adopted Adult Dog into Your Home

New Dog in the House – Adopting an Adult Dog

New dogs come to us in many ways. Sometimes we have the luxury of preparation, sometimes they literally show up on our doorstep. One of the best dogs I ever owned was nearly named Pumpkin. One bright fall day my husband and I went out to get a jack-o’-lantern and came home with a terrified shepherd mix. We never did get the pumpkin.

Your new dog may be adopted from one of many excellent Georgia or South Carolina shelters or foster groups such as Coastal Pet Rescue. They may be the dog of a friend or relative who can no longer care for their pet; they may have simply been found, hungry and alone. It does not matter; they are now your dog.

Our first mission is to acquire appropriate things for our canine companion.

Necessary things for a New Dog

1. Food. Preferably good quality, grain free kibble. Grain, especially corn, is not digested by dogs. It increases stool volume without adding nutrition. Good food is not as expensive as it seems, because you feed less per meal. If your dog is malnourished multiple small meals will sit more easily on the stomach than one or two huge meals a day. It may take a dog’s stomach several weeks to adjust to a new food. Once you have things working well, don’t be in a hurry to change.

2. Water and food bowls, and a designated, quiet place for meals. Get bowls your dog can’t chew up or move around and something that’s easy to clean. I like big water bowls that I only need to fill once or twice a day.

3. Chew toys, especially for adolescent dogs and bully breeds. These dogs need to chew and they will chew something. If you don’t give them appropriate chew objects they will find something inappropriate. Give them their new toy and let them enjoy it in a quiet place. Don’t play any ‘will the dog let me take his food and toys’ games with a brand new dog. It is potentially dangerous and breaks down trust between dog and human. That nylabone may be the first thing your older dog has ever owned, and he may be terrified at the prospect of having it taken. Let the dog settle into your home for several weeks before you consider removing valuable objects or food. Children never, ever, take anything from a dog and always allow them to eat and sleep in peace. Children need to call an adult if the dog has taken something inappropriate. Be sure your young ones and their visitors are very clear on this rule.

4. No-Chew spray. There are many brands, Phooey, Bitter Apple, etc. They are all a little different, if one does not work, try another. You can spray your furniture, kitchen cabinets and your clothing. I spray flip flops and sneakers, and leave them around the house. “Oh, ick! Sneakers taste awful!”

5. Gates and Crates to keep your dog in limited areas in your home - Too much freedom too fast will undermine every civilized behavior you want your dog to learn.

6. A good leash and properly fitted collar or harness. Be SURE your dog cannot back out of their equipment, which may be how your new dog came to be a stray in the first place.

7. A clean bill of health. Your dog must be current on rabies and distemper. If your dog comes from a shelter or rescue get their shot and vet records. If your dog simply ‘came to you’ then take them to the vet to be checked for heartworm and inoculated for rabies and distemper. Speak to the vet about spay or neutering your new dog. A good heartworm prevention program is essential, especially in the South.

I’ve got the stuff, I’ve got a dog…. Now What?

Now the interesting part begins. Every dog is an individual. Some are sensitive, some are shy, and some dogs are the life of the party. Many dogs in a new environment are naturally reserved. Their true personality can take months to surface. Your job is to show your dog what is expected in your home. Be consistent, be fair, and stay calm. Do not allow your new dog to be overwhelmed the first few days. Keep things quiet and let your dog ask for attention, don’t force it on them.

1. Reinforcing Good Behavior - More important than correcting bad behavior, is reinforcing good behavior. I keep a handful of Cheerios in my pockets when I have a new dog. If I catch them doing something good I praise them, using their name, and toss them a Cheerio. “Sparky, good boy!” Rewardable behavior may be as simple as laying quietly on the floor or as earthshakingly awesome as going to the door when they need to potty. The key to training a dog to do anything is, You Get What you Reward. Be careful of unintentional rewards. A dog who craves attention is rewarded for jumping when people push them away and speak to them, even if the words are “Stop jumping on me!” To an energetic dog this can seem like a delightful game. If your dog craves attention, simply walk away from them when they jump. If they sit politely be sure to stop and acknowledge the good behavior, you will get more of it. Use positive reinforcement to teach behaviors such as ‘come, sit, and down’.

2. Rules – Your dog needs consistent, fair rules. Have a family meeting. Is your dog allowed on the furniture? Are they allowed upstairs? Where does your dog sleep? Everyone needs to agree on the rules. Start by allowing a new dog less freedom. It is easier to let Duchess on the sofa after you’ve had her a year than to teach her that sleeping on the sofa, which was okay yesterday, is not allowed now. Remember, if you let Duchess on the sofa when you watch TV, she will get on the sofa when she is wet, or when you have parties. If you let Duchess jump on you and your friends, she will jump on your grandmother. The rules are yours, choose them wisely.

3. Exercise is key. The majority of homeless dogs are adolescents or young adults, past the point of being puppy-cute and not yet arrived at steady adulthood. This is when most dogs are brought to shelters or abandon. We spend a lot of effort keeping our adolescent children busy, sports, camp, school, church groups; it keeps them out of trouble. The same is true for young dogs. Dogs do not self-exercise. A dog alone in the back yard is likely to either sleep, saving energy for when you return, or practice things you don’t want them to learn, barking, digging, and eating things they find laying around. Exercise your dog. A walk is not exercise. Play ball, swimming, hike, jog with your dog, get them running. Schedule a minimum of two or three 20 minute sessions a day of vigorous exercise for an adolescent dog. A tired dog is a good dog. A dog without an energy outlet is like a bored teenager, they are going to get into trouble.

4. Barriers – Your dog needs to be kept in a safe, comfortable, and restricted environment when you are not supervising them. Crates or gated kitchens are perfect overnight or when you leave home. They are also a great help with house training. Bring your dog to their designated potty spot, on leash, as soon as you let them out of their area. Praise and treat them for eliminating in the appropriate place. Have an outdoor play session, then bring them inside and keep them where you can watch them. Allowing them to drag a leash inside your home when you are supervising is ideal. If they should put their head in the trash or get on a sofa you can calmly take the leash and move them away from the place they do not belong. You can also step on the leash using 30 second mini-time outs if your dog misbehaves. Simply step on the leash close enough to your dog’s collar that they cannot move about and totally ignore them for 30 seconds or until they are calm. Wearing their leash inside means you do not have to drag the dog by the collar if you need to move them. You don’t want your new dog to associate hands coming over their head and holding the collar with unpleasant things.

5. 12 Rules for New Dogs and Child Safety

Most dogs rapidly learn to love the children in their family. But until the bond is formed and you, as a parent are satisfied with your dog’s reliability, follow these rules and if you think something is wrong, trust your instincts and end the scenario that is making you unsure.

1. Children and dogs are supervised by an adult when together.

2. Children do not bother any dog, new or old, when they are eating or sleeping ever.

3. If a dog brings a toy or other object to the child and drops it the child can, with adult permission, play with the dog. Fetch is a great game for dogs, use two balls to keep it interesting.

4. The child does not touch objects while the dog has them in their mouth.

5. Some dogs are overly excited by fast motion; small children should not play running games with unfamiliar dogs.

6. Children do not lie on the floor with new dogs.

7. They do not put their faces next to the face of new dogs.

8. Do not let your child grab the dog’s collar to move them.

9. Children never follow a dog into a crate or under a table, chair, or other cave-like area. They never put any part of their body in a dog’s crate or bed. Every dog needs a place to rest undisturbed.

10. Have your children call the dog to them. If the dog does not move to the children it is asking for space. Respect that. Don’t let children mob a dog that needs is unsure or needs a break.

11. Hugging is a human display of affection, to a dog it is restraint and often perceived as a threat. No hugging.

12. Every new child who visits your home is an entirely new animal to your dog. Always supervise your dog when you have young visitors.


This seems like a lot to think about, but following these suggestions will help your dog become a loved, well adjusted family member.

DO join a well-run training class, or seek a qualified private trainer to help you teach your dog that listening to you is fun and rewarding.

DON’T use aggressive training techniques such dominance rolls, pokes, and other physical threats or punishment. Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and other universities have shown these techniques can backfire badly, frightening a dog to the point where they bite because they feel endangered.

If your new dog should do something which makes you nervous; perhaps you hear a low growl when you come near their bowl, or they stiffen and stare at you when you touch their collar, or seem furious when they see other dogs; end what is happening, back away, and contact a qualified professional dog trainer. Stopping a behavior early is easier than waiting until it is entrenched. You can find an excellent dog trainer in the Savannah, Georgia and Bluffton, South Carolina Areas. A good trainer should have experience and be happy to provide you with references, their qualifications and tell you what they will do to motivate your dog. Be careful where you get your advice.

If you want your dog to be a family member; you must treat them with the same love, fairness and respect you’d give to any other member of your family.

Claudia Black-Kalinsky, CPDT-Ka
Phone: 912-677-2861
Savannah, Georgia Dog Trainer
Bluffton and Hilton Head, South Carolina Dog Trainer