This blog is a tribute to Belle, and all the dogs who have come before and after. They are my friends, my companions, my teachers and my students. They bring me both joy and heartache, laughter and tears. There is nothing as sweet as the smell of puppy breathe, and nothing as sad as the final goodbye.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019


This sweet boy spent most of his young life in a crate because his elderly owners could not deal with his normal, puppy energy. Fortunately for him, his owners realized he was too much dog for them and turned him over to Long Island Golden Retriever Rescue. After a thorough evaluation Leo was adopted to a family who had recently lost their Golden and were looking for a new dog to fill the void. A little overwhelmed with his new found freedom, Leo was making poor choices and getting plenty of attention for doing so, which of course reinforced the very behaviors his owners were trying to stop.  Like many dog owners who have recently lost a dog, they had forgotten just how rowdy a young, energetic dog can be, only remembering the calmer adult years they shared together.  Leo's behavior was beginning to cause havoc to his new family and there was talk of returning him to the Rescue. LIGRR stepped in and asked me to help. Leo is very smart and quickly learned new calming exercises which provided the attention he craved, but in a calm, structured manner along with some basic obedience. His owners were taught new ways of dealing with his poor choices and soon, since they were no longer being unintentionally reinforced, began to decrease in frequency. The family began to see the smart, sweet, affectionate dog that Leo is and hopefully will continue with his training, building on the foundation skills they learned.

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