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, July 24, 2019

Adorable Ziggy!

  Ziggy was a terror when I first met him last year. Biting guests as they entered his home, or once in, if they dared to get up from a chair or make any sudden movement. He also felt it was his responsibility to bark at anything that walked past his house. A typical fear biter who for many years practiced his craft on a daily basis.

 Fortunately Ziggy had committed owners who worked diligently at his training and Ziggy learned a better, more appropriate way to handle his fear.  As often happens, because Ziggy was behaving in a calm respectful manner, his owners over time became lazy with his training and so predictably, his bad behaviors started reappearing. Dogs, like people will, over time, revert back to old comfortable behaviors unless the new behaviors are reinforced on a daily basis.

   The owners have a toddler running around the house and a new baby on the way. They were worried that Ziggy would bite their child. I was called back to help them get Ziggy back on track. Ziggy was a willing student who remembered his lessons well but needed the gentle guidance of his owners to remind him of what was acceptable and what was not. I came at first weekly, then every other week, and finally once a month for a few months mostly as an incentive for the owners to keep up with the training. We had our last lesson last night. The new baby is due in September. Ziggy was unperturbed by the constant motion of the adorable toddler and happily went to his raised platform when told to go to place to get out of her way. I think this family has learned how important it is to keep up with the training and I believe they will continue.   

Good luck little man. 

It was a pleasure working with you!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

What Happened to Holly? | Reacting To Cesar's Worst Bite

Sorry haters but you don't get this kind of relationship with a dog by being abusive. Cesar provides an interesting interpretation of what transpired during that infamous bite episode with Holly, the food aggressive yellow lab.

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.

Monday, June 17, 2019


I have nothing against rescue dogs, in fact I own a few, and probably always will. But I also love a well bred dog with sound temperament and form. I respect specific breeds for the jobs they are bred to do. Let's stop demonizing breeders and consider what the future would hold for domestic dogs if we continue on this slippery slope of villifying responsible breeders and their many contributions. 
I'm sharing this post I saw on FaceBook. If nothing else, I hope it makes you think.

Saturday, June 15, 2019


I fall in love with all the dogs I work with, but some, like Adie, simply steal a piece of my heart. She's one of the sweetest dogs I've had the pleasure to work with. I'm going to miss you sweetheart. I wish you a wonderful life full of love and adventure!!