Abigail New York State of Mind vom Französisch Wald- Therapy dog

Abby with her official badge.

Well it was a bit of a road to travel, I have never certified a therapy dog before and Abby was the first i decided to work at it. She is naturally a sweet girl, with the personality to match that of a therapy dog. She has been working with the kids for more then a year at the school and is always a welcomed canine in all the offices. So if she is already doing the job why not make it official?

Thats just what we did! I am please to announce Abigail New York State of Mind vom Französisch Wald certified wildnerness airscent, human remains detection, water HRD, CGC, THD,    Certified Bright and Beautiful therapy dog, through one of only 5 nationally recognized therapy dog organizations.

Abby’s certificate

Interested in training a therapy dog??? Elite Instinct Canine can help! We will get you evaluated, and if you pass ready and prepped for the Canine Good Citizen, walk you through all the training necessary for a therapy dog certification and then help you fill out all the paperwork and after 50 vistits you can get your therapy dog title from the AKC! Contact us today eliteinstinctcanine@gmail.com

Never fear a dull weekend is not near!

The eyes that melt my heart

The summer always seems to bring about a busy time, between dog training, kid training, searches (which we have had keep us busy this last week or so) and the ever necessary paperwork that surrounds it all (which i am currently drowning in) a relaxing weekend is just not in the cards.

This past weekend was no different. Saturday the plans were to load up the dogs and finish out a search that we had attended last week in Rockaway NJ. It was called off after the subject was located on friday. Raina’s alerts had proven to be correct in our area that we searched thursday, he was found outside our search area but within half a mile attributing to her long distant scent alerts during a lot of her work.

Then the plans changed back to attending the schools annual house picnic at the local park. It would have allowed all the dogs to spend time with their favorite students and meet their parents too! But alas that was not in the cards either and our final destination put us south of Albany NY searching for a missing man. The girls worked their areas and we were home by 11:30pm.


It was destined to be a busy but non emergency day sunday, and the focus was getting the puppies out into new situations to continue desensitization and socialization.  That involved swimming in a few locations, some work on the agility equipment and some basic obedience.

Abby, Raina, and Soren with toys playing in the water

The pups got some play time with each other (very limited since they have arrived with us, you never want to raise to puppies out of the same litter togther or else you will have “dogy” issues with them being more reliant and focused on each other then you the handler) and the big dogs controlled what they needed to or participated as they saw fit!

A little back and forth bite inhibition training between puppies


A nice soft correction from an adult member of the pack, assisting in teaching the pup acceptable body language and when you have crossed the line.

All in all, a weekend that couldn’t be complained about. Busy weekends are not always bad, just pass by to quick! Hello work week!



NJ water weekend the visual story

A few pictures from our water weekend hosted by NJ SAR


Sören swimming out of the water, happy to have 4 on the floor.


Brother and sister (Sören and Jordis) take a break from socializing and play together on the dock ramp into the lake.


Abby on the boat and on the go for her first shore search of the day

Jimmy and Raina swimming back during a break in training

Flashback Friday

Abby, Kara, and I receiving the check from the AKC grant i wrote in 2011

Puppy Raina searching in winter 2011

Puppy Raina with her subject Tim, from the school

Explaining the search process to a new prospective K9 flanker.




First day of the fall semester

I teach a dog training class at The Family Foundation School, a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens, 3 days a week. This semester i have written all new curriculum and I have 15 students enrolled.  I also write for the blog linked to the Dog Corps. program there.   Below is the post written for the other blog.


Today was the first class day of the fall 2012 semester. We had 13 Dog Training students in class, ready and eager to learn! I always get excited about passing on my dog training knowledge to other people because i believe every person and every dog deserve to have the ultimate relationship, and i have the tools to do it!

It was orientation day, meet the book, meet the cirrculum, meet the dogs, and see what its like to enter the world of dog training. For me i know once i stepped foot into it i never looked back, and i can honestly say my recovery was successful because of the canine companions in my life.

So everyone got a small lesson in obedience commands, what they are (in the german language) how to give them, when to give them and they even got to practice with a few of the shepherds.

Charles working with Ripley

I explained the importance of having good focus, and how when working with high drive shepherds you need to control your situation and not allow any unsightly obbessions develop!

Teaching Raina to target without obessesing on the object she is targeting.


Where have you been

Abby displaying her ever growing commitment to me that i swear i do not deserve.

I ask myself many times a day, where have you been? Whether i’m questioning the students at school, the dogs and why they smell like dead road kill, myself when i realize 45 minutes have gone by and i’m still staring at the same spot on my kitchen wall. It makes no difference, the answer is always the same, checked out. If your not where you should be focusing on what will benefit you then you are checked out, plain and simple. For me checking out is a means of escape just like training my dogs but with little effort demonstrated. I don’t want my dogs to check out when they are working with me, why should i get to do the same? Every day i think they teach me a little bit more about myself then i know. All it really takes is an emotional situation, one glance down, and i get lost in their chocolate brown eyes that seem to only know 2 emotions, happiness, and extreme happiness. Happiness is of course you being their owner, but extreme happiness, well now thats you being their owner, coming home from work, and having a T-Bone steak for dinner with them!!!!!

Of course there is always that questions, where have you been, all my life?