Summer Time Dog Training

Three Dogs Training class enrollment.

Okay maybe summer cooking school is not for your dog. But…

Three Dogs Training is.

Summer session starts Saturday June 3rd 2023
  • Basic – 9:00 am
  • Distract O Doggie – 10:10 am
  • Intermediate – 11:20 am

Then… Your dog will get to wear this kind of hat!

For more information:

click here or contact

Stressed or Anxious dogs?

Stress is a biological response to external stimuli. Stress is the body answering the question – should I fight, flee, freeze, or fawn when in the presence of a real or perceived threat?
Puppy Porthos’ first day in his new home – very scared.
He didn’t know how much he was going to be loved 🥰
Things that stress our dogs can include:
  • Separation/being alone.
  • Sounds – like thunder, fireworks, or one of my dogs was terrified of the sound fire alarms make when the batter is low.
  • Strangers – in the home, approaching the home, or out on walks.
  • Other dogs – your dog can be afraid of other dogs idiopathically or because of some incident(s) involving other dogs.
  • Anything new or things moved to a different location.
  • Cars – this could be idiopathic or because of an incident. This could also be about the sound and/or the movement of the vehicles.
  • Unusual surfaces – those of you who live in a city know how often our dogs scurry around sidewalk grates to avoid walking on them. I’ve had clients whose dogs would not walk on tile or linoleum.
  • Being kenneled for the family’s vacation or in a shelter environment, or rehoming
  • There are many more.
It’s important to remember each dog has their own idiosyncratic stressors. You will want to learn your dog’s stressors so you can help them when afraid or anxious.
A dog’s response to stress can be any or many of the following:
  • Whining
  • Heavy panting
  • drooling
  • Inability to follow simple directions.
  • Sudden dander (usually only visible on dark short-coated dogs)
  • Hiding or freezing in place
  • Running away or towards (remember flight or fight)
  • Growling, barking, baring teeth
    • Stress facial signals like tight commissures, whale eye, tension below the eyes, and more
    • Flat or overly perked ears
  • Tail wrapped low or the opposite, straight up high.
  • Stomach upset including diarrhea.
  • More…

This list is not complete. And you can see from this list that many of these signals can mean a number of things besides stress. How do you know which is which?

You need to know your dog by observing and registering their typical behaviors when happy, worried, or downright scared and note the differences.
What can you do?
  • Hire a certified behavior specialist. The AKC has an article outlining the different type of behavior specialists.
    • I am a CDBC (Certified Dog Behavior Consultant)
  • This behavior specialist will help you begin desensitizing/counterconditioning (Ds/Cc) your dog, implement management strategies to help your dog avoid triggers before they are ready to face them, and work on other training skills that will help your dog overcome their fears.
  • Supplements – sometimes our dogs need help to simply be around their triggers. A dog who is riddle with fear cannot learn so sometimes we need to help them internally. There are some helpful supplements that are proven effective and easy to find.
    • L-theanine and L-tryptophan are both amino acids that are very safe.
    • I advise my clients to use these two links above, so they are giving their dog nothing other than the amino acids indicated. Compounded anti-anxiety products will have a number of other components many of which can cause issues, and with compounded products we won’t know which element is doing what.Here is a great Overview of Behaviour Supplements for Dogs and Cats. Remember to check with your vet before starting any supplements.
    • If Ds/Cc is stalling or not working and the supplements are not helping your dog work through their stress and fears, it is time to consult a veterinary behavior specialist.
There is a lot you can do to help your dog process stress in their environment to give them a happier and safer life.
Pax’e in her happiest place –
four flights up on her balcony watching the firetrucks go by.
To each their own…

Spring Dog Training

Three Dogs Training class enrollment.

Pax’e is using the dictionary to learn more words for
treat, food, goodie, pizza crust, and others…
Spring session starts Saturday March 4th 2023.
  • Basic – 9:00 am – 3 available spaces
  • Distract O Doggie – 10:10 am
  • Intermediate – 11:20 am – 1 available space
Pax’e learned the word for donut
But forgot to specify what kind of donut…

For more information:

click here or contact

What To Expect During A Dog Behavior Consultation?

I offer both Remote or In-person sessions

For either remote or in-person sessions:

You will fill out a behavioral questionnaire prior to any scheduled appointment.  

I will also need some video which usually shows me more than what I can see in person. 

If a situation is dangerous, I do not need dangerous video. I just need to see your dog in action vis-a-vis family, other dogs, etc. to the best of your ability, safely.

I work with you and your family to set goals and teach you how to implement a plan to modify and/or manage your dog’s behavior. Depending on your family’s needs.

Both Remote and In-person Sessions offer great instruction and sometimes one is more effective than the other.

There are times when a remote session is a great alternative to in-person either because of

  • Covid restrictions
  • Distance
  • Scheduling difficulties
  • Need for expediency
  • Less expensive

And often in remote sessions we can dive deeply into the videos which allows you a better understanding of your dog’s signals, needs, and triggers.

Here is a video that demonstrates how sometimes when we observe in real time, we miss a lot of signals that can help us help our dogs.

In-person sessions allow me to physically interact and demonstrate with your dog and if necessary work with you and your dog in an environment specific to your dog’s issues.

Regardless of remote or in-person sessions, I send notes to help you follow the stratagies we go over in our session.

To set up a private session or get more information, email me.

Does your dog think sit is just the beginning of down?

Sometimes our dogs chain behaviors in ways we didn’t plan, so here’s a way to help your dog from becoming confused about what your commands really mean.

If so, you are not alone!

All too often we teach sit easily — it is a calming signal dogs tend to throw our way in the early stages. When our dog sits, we get very happy and excited, praising and rewarding the dog and – voila! – we have a sit command!

Sometimes we have to work a little harder at getting that sit by either luring or shaping it, but again once the dog complies we get very happy and excited, praising and rewarding the dog and – voila! – we have a sit command.

No matter how we get to it, we have established a basic skill that is used as a stepping-stone to so many other commands: sit/stay, sit/wait, sit/paw, sit/down.

The sit/down (and sit/paw) are the two combo-commands most commonly chained together by our dogs.

All too often folks start training the down command with the dog in a sit position and for some dogs it comes easily and for others it can take a while. Again no matter how we get there once the dog does his/her down, we get very happy and excited, praising and rewarding and soon we have a down command.

Here is where it gets tricky: if we only ask for a down from a sit position our dogs can begin to chain the two together. They begin to be conditioned that down always comes after sit and it is not long before they believe sit always comes before the down and voila — we have a dog who believes sit is just the beginning of down.

Okay — how do we break or avoid this? Easy.

Begin teaching the down cue from a standing position. The lure is the same: a stinky treat in a closed hand at the dog’s nose, slowly bring treat straight down to the floor (slowly enough so the dog’s nose follows the treat), wait for the dog to begin to lie down and then completely lie down — then get very happy and excited, praising and rewarding.

There are a few dogs who will not go all the way down — no problem, just pay for half a down, then three-quarters of a down, then nine-tenths of a down (you get the idea). You can also shape down from a standing position by simply rewarding it each time your dog does it (more on that in another blog). And if your dog already knows down from a sit, the same procedure applies as above. But you may not ask them for a down from a sit for a complete month (or more if they already think sit is just the beginning of down) because we need the dog who believes sit is just the beginning of down to let that notion extinguish from their behavior pattern.

Remember the biggest pitfall here is when we are not committed to the requested behavior.  So often we are just happy the dog is stationary that we just take the down when in fact we asked for a sit. We have to commit to the behavior we have asked for.

There is however no need to punish — no need to vex.  Just walk away if you ask for a sit and your dog slides into a down or ask the dog to stand and try again.

Remember we just want our dog to stop something and ask for a sit but when the dog slides into that down we have to get the dog back up into the sit or stand and try again—but do yourself and your dog a favor—remember to ask for the behavior they are most likely to offer reliably until you have fixed that sit-is-just-the-beginning-of-down issue. That puts fix for the lack of reliability back on us.

In the end so much of dog training is, “mean what you say, say what you mean, but don’t be mean about it.”