Supply Sunday- Wing a Ball

This weeks supply sunday post features a little toy we plan on stocking up on prior to our “A” litter

The Booda ball (called wing a ball) comes in 3 different sizes, featured here is the smallest, which we use with puppies and small breed dogs. (Kaze LOVES this thing!)


The nice thing about the wing a ball is that its soft for puppy teeth, and really imprints the ball on a string concept for obedience, searching, or whatever your doggies job might be. While not for the adult GSD or Mali (we usually move the working dogs off these once teething has been completed and the reward system has been instilled) it holds up excellent to numerous pups and small dogs, and we have yet to replace any of ours!


Soren practicing self control

Flashback Friday

Enjoy a few pictures of previous foster dogs, and dogs in for training.

The gang

The gang
























Olive and Snoopy in the front, and rescue dogs Alicia a BC mix, Webster a mastiff/st  bernard mix, Vee a beagle, and Wendy a black lab with our little Valentine our English bulldog cuddled into webster. These days we had 15-20 dogs living in the home as a pack, either our dogs, rescue dogs, or boarding and training dogs.

















Star a GSD mix pup

Star a GSD mix pup

Meet the newest member of our pack



Charchen’s Mama’s Broken Heart (call name Frannie)  arrived on Tuesday December 17th and the pack welcomed her with open arms. Born October 11th (the day after Raina) this little 9 week old spit fire walked into a house with multiple German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and more and acted like she owned the place. Her future here at EIK9 holds a bit of a double duty, not only will she continue in her mother and fathers footsteps and become a champion in the AKC ring but she will also be working as a therapy dog alongside Kaze and Franky. Her personality is perfect, and she really does hold true to the statement that therapy dogs are born and not made. Having already met over 100 people this sweet angelic little girl has a kiss and tail wag for every person she meets and every dog she sees. A true respectable breeder in the pug world shows it makes all the difference to do your research and purchase a dog responsibly, if not go rescue, doggies like Anna, Franky, Kaze, and Mia thank you for it!!

frannie 2

Pride, every dog owner and dog trainers downfall. Post #3



This wonderful snowy Saturday brings us post number 3 in our series this week of Positive training, Pitbulls and Pride.

I chose pride for a few reasons, mostly because of my past experiences and observations of other trainers and handlers and after analyzing myself and the areas i could improve upon as a trainer, owner, and K9 handler.

The definition of pride is as follows

a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

Don’t get me wrong, pride has a place everywhere in life, and defiantly in dog training. I hold tons of pride for my dogs and what they have achieved. The big difference is, i try not to be prideful. I try to accept what i know and can teach others, and always keep in mind that i can learn something from EVERYONE and from every interaction i have. I cannot tell you how many times my kids at Allynwood Academy have taught me something about my training, or my dogs even when they have only been in my class for a few days! I also make sure that i do not place pride into my interactions, that i deliver the information and the suggestions or advice i have in the most direct, emotionally free way i can as factual information based on what i have seen, done, or experienced.

You see pride tends to scope people into the I AM RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG till death niche. What I mean is you become so prideful in what you just stated that you push it to the end extreme very frequently making a mountain out of a mole hill and causing undue stress on dog or worst yet if your a trainer a client, family, and dog! We have opposition reflex’s too!!

So in tying together positive training, pit bulls, and pride we see that the mountain that has been made about aggressive pit bulls and the rift between “positive only” and “bad negative trainers” is really a result of to much pride.

Meet my dogs and i for 15 minutes and ill spend 2 telling you about their and my accomplishments, and 13 about our faults, and for that I am becoming a better trainer, handler, and dog owner! 🙂

Terrific Tip Tuesday- How to train a solid sit

Abby and I

Abby and I

A simple obedience exercise right? I mean every dog knows how to sit, all they do is put their butt on the ground…..right????

Well i guess it depends what type of sit you want, for my Fugly the pug all i wanted was him to sit when given a hand or voice command so that he could pass his CGC and Therapy certifications. Now the girls need to have fast sits, and from any distance away from me for safety reasons. Soren on the other hand has to have a perfect square sit, not rolled back onto his hips, not sloppy in any way, and it needs to be immediate and even while in motion.

So i guess the first step in a solid sit is to think about what we want, and have a plan.

One of the first questions i ask my clients is “what do you want to achieve?” For the sake of this post we will be going over how to train a reliable sit for a pet dog. Knowing this allows us to outline our plan, we want Fido to sit the first time, every time, in all situations we ask him like we want any dog to do so we can keep clear communication with him. We do not care if he rolls onto his hip or if he does it while we are walking or while out working, we just want a solid sit!

So know our thinking is out of the way we can continue with a small outline of a plan and then get started.

We will start with 4 short 5 minute sessions a day. With a bag full of hot dogs we will lure the nose up so the butt hits the ground, feeding as soon as its on the floor.

Once he has mastered this, and is offering it or performing it as soon as the cue (the hand getting the hot dog usually ends up being the cue) happens, we will  begin to pair the word “sit” with it while his butt is dropping to the ground

now depending on the dog, this will occur quickly or slower, dogs with a good reward system and moderate or high food drive will breeze through this.

Once he understands the new cue (the word sit) coincides with his butt hitting the ground, we will stop reaching for the food, give the command sit and mark (with a yes or a clicker) as soon as he sits, then reaching for the treat to reward. THIS IS THE HARDEST PART. Almost everyone inadvertently reaches for the food first or in the middle, instead of waiting till the behavior has occurred and you have marked it. This little mistake is HUGE in the learning of the dog.

If Fido doesn’t sit upon the first command, you ignore, move a few feet away re engage him and re command again in a new trial. This why he never learns to wait for your second, third or fourth command! He only gets his reward if he listens the FIRST time.

Once he is reliably performing the command in your training area you can take it on the road and add little distractions, and other environments so he can begin to generalize! (I see reliably as 4 out of 5 commands correct the first time, then i will begin to push forward, if i encounter a session where he does 1 or 2 out of 5 then i drop back again so he fully understands before challenging him to much)

And yes, all that work is just for one sit command. Training dogs is not simple and quick, it requires time, patience, and consistency!

Supply Sunday- The Kong Wobbler

Today’s supply Sunday post is a the quick and easy way to wear your dog out and feed him dinner………..

The Kong Wobbler

The Wobbler

The Wobbler

The beauty of this $16 toy is that you can easy dump your dogs breakfast and dinner (if kibble fed) into it and Voila you have a mind amusement for 20 minutes. If they are anything like my dogs, after a few weeks it widdles down to 5 minutes but still a wonderful way to amuse them.

It also simulates the “hunt” for food which any dog enjoys.

Dishwasher safe!!!

The only slight downfall is after about a year of use the place where the toy meets can get worn down (it has threads) and may need to be replaced.

You can buy it online, at petsmart, or most any local pet store. I suggest all owners start to feed their dogs in this as part of my training program.

4.5 paws out of 5

Flashback Friday

Today’s flashback friday post for this wonderful friday the 13th of December! We are featuring K9 Max and handler Buddy and K9 Emeline and handler Jenn at a 2010 disaster workshop.   Enjoy!!!

K9 Emeline and Jenn getting ready to do a send out for a directional

K9 Emeline and Jenn getting ready to do a send out for a directional


K9 Max and Buddy working directional excercises

K9 Max and Buddy working directional excercises

Pit Bulls- Post number 2 on our P’s

Olive, Snoopy and Me

Olive, Snoopy and Me

After our widely successful post on positive dog training we move on to our second P- Pit Bulls.

Now i can speak on this subject mostly because of a story about the first dog i ever owned named Olive. I don’t like to think of myself as an “expert” because frankly i do not think anyone is an expert at anything, we can always learn if we keep our ears open and our pride down. However i do owe most of my knowledge and relationship with dogs to my pit bull Olive.

To keep a long story short Olive was 8 months old, and living at the local humane society after being picked up from a dog fighting operation. I was 18 years old, in love, and we wanted our first dog. I did what most responsible semi-knowledgeable albeit young people do and ventured to the local pound with my boyfriend to pick out our first puppy. Having been bit by plenty of dalmatians and dachshunds in my life i steered away from them, and towards what was the vast majority of dogs impounded in concrete run after concrete run. I found a wonderful 2 year old brown and white pitty, and the boyfriend fell in the love with the unsure, scared black and white young pit  from the dog fighting bust. He won, and we brought her home the next day after being spayed.

According to the shelter she was sweet, a  bit shy, and loved everything. Well she was fear aggressive, guarded whatever she had within 5 feet of her, and wanted to kill every dog she saw. I chalked it up to the fact that most pounds cannot really distinguish a dogs personality without allowing it to live in a home and bond, hence why there was a very high failure rate. That would be addressed in the coming year when I founded and incorporated Life Long Tails a 501(c)3 not for profit foster based rescue for dogs, cats, and small animals.

But anyway, i digress, after adopting Olive i not only found my love for teaching and training dogs for fun (competing in obedience and agility with my troubled girl), but also how to rehab extreme aggression issues and really try to understand how the canine mind works. This brought me years of traveling all over the USA taking classes, learning how to run an effective rescue, certifying as an animal rescue technician, and assisting at large scale disasters both natural and man made. It also led to me a large amount of work with bully breeds, and other high drive, high strung, misunderstood dogs.

Each animal species i work with comes with its own set of assumptions or automatic conclusions. Cats like to sleep, dogs like to play, horses enjoy grazing, and cows give us little affection but good milk. That being said  each breed of dog also gives us natural tendencies which have been manipulated over the generations by humans breeding without discretion or knowledge, and further more, each dog within its breed has a unique set of characteristics that make him or her form an identity. We all know that Pit’s have been the “fad for discrimination” now for a few years, and the breed holds its place after Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Dobermans to name a few.  What i think has forced this breed to hold the spot for not only a lengthy amount of time but also with severe consequences is humans. The general lack of understanding of the breed, its purpose, and it’s identity as a canine has caused humans to place it in less then optimal conditions resulting in the severe consequences both behaviorally and genetically. In order to work with a dog you must first understand him as a breed, and then him as an individual. All breeds, and all dogs have limitations and as humans have indiscriminately bred dogs they have altered many of these negatively. Combine this with the breeds popularity, the fact that we are really dealing with 5 plus “breeds” that are considered pit bulls, the media and celebrity ownership, and the status that has come with owning them and a recipe for disaster was imminent. There is no quick fix (which i swear is what almost everyone who contacts me about dog training wants) or answer to this problem. We need to educate, train, cease breeding indiscriminately, and correctly read and interpret their strengths, weaknesses, and limitations.

Olive is still alive, and on her way to almost 13 years old. She doesn’t live with me anymore, and i miss her like crazy but in the settlement after divorce it was agreed that she needed to live out her last years in the home she was used to and happy in. That girl is responsible for pushing me to become a better dog owner, and in turn a dog trainer, canine behavior consultant, and many other paths in my canine-human relationship over the last decade. She is proof that dogs can change, and you should never judge a book by its cover, or a dog by its breed.