April 2019 Newsletter: Happy Spring

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

Happy Spring! 

It’s official. As of Wednesday March 20, 2019, spring has sprung! Not going to lie to you all, spring is one of my favorite times of the year. The days get longer, the weather gets nicer, and I always feel like I have more time to spend with Dustin. I often get home from work and somehow have the time and energy to get Dustin to the park for a nice long walk for the first time since the fall. I hope you all find that this nice weather gives you an opportunity to spend more time with your dog as well. 

Thanks for reading! 


Separation Anxiety Seminar

My posters were featured in the presentation by Dr. Wilhelmy

One of my March highlights was attending the Separation-Related Problems in Dogs seminar presented by Dr. Wilhelmy, at the Brooklyn Dog Training Center. I really enjoyed the presentation and learned a lot! I value going to new seminars on a regular basis because I feel that you should always push to learn more. There is something to learn from everyone. Seminars also allow me to stay up to date on the newest canine behavioral research and information that is out there.

One very cool thing that happened during the seminar was that Dr. Wilhelmy actually used one the poster that I created about Trigger Stacking as a reference during her presentation! She had no idea who I was but we spoke after and I thought it was pretty cool to be seeing my work up on the “big screen.” Link to original here. 

Easy Loose Leash Walking 

How to teach your dog to walk nicely while on leash Teaching your dog to walk nicely on a leash can really be a struggle. I honestly think it is up there as one of the more difficult obedience behaviors to teach your dog. It's challenging for your dog to walk near you when he has soooo many things to sniff and pee on. You can use a front clip harness, or a gentle leader to help you with this, but at the end of the day, loose leash walking is a skill that must be trained. Below are two of my favorite exercises to help teach your dog to walk down the street while on a loose leash. 

  1. Captured Attention

  • Bring your dog’s most favorite treats on every walk and your clicker. Things like boiled chicken and cut up hot dogs usually work great. Make sure the pieces are small- about the size of a pea. 

  • Bring your dog to a quiet area and stand still. Wait patiently for your dog to turn his head towards you or look at you. The moment that he does, click, and reward immediately. Repeat until your dog is looking at you pretty constantly. 

  • Now start moving, as you walk your dog click any time he turns his head in your direction or looks at you. 

  • You will know your dog understand this when he is looking at you every couple steps- this is good! This is what you want! 

  1. Start Inside 

  • Get your clicker and tasty, small, treats ready.

  • Lure your dog to your side, so he is facing the same direction as you. Click and treat. (Your shoulders and his shoulders should be pointing in the same direction)

  • Feed your dog with your hand next to your leg, on the side that he is on (if he is on your left side, feed with your left hand, if he is on your right side, feed with your right hand), with your palm facing your dog’s nose. This is important. If your hand is facing another direction your dog will move out of position to take the treat. 

  • Your dog is likely to take one treat, and then move away. Repeat step “B” as many times as necessary until your dog understands that standing next to you will get him heavily rewarded. 

  • Once your dog is standing next to you with duration, lure him forward as you take one step. Click and treat for taking one step with you.

  • Repeat taking one step at a time, while you lure your dog to walk with you, clicking and treating your dog for every step. 

Brunching with your Dog 

Now that it is spring many restaurants will open up their outside seating and invite your pup to join! I think that dining with your pooch is great, but there are somethings to consider before you head out on the town. 

First, going to brunch or lunch, or dinner, does not replace your dog’s need for their normal walks and exercise. Bring them to eat, but do not forget to take them on their regularly scheduled walks.

Second, consider if your dog will actually like going out to eat? Some dogs do not enjoy it, and there is nothing wrong with that. If your dog will not like other dogs in close proximity, a waiter approaching the table, or people stopping to stay hi, consider whether they will like coming to eat. Also think about whether or not your dog will enjoy just sitting there while you chat with your friends. 

Third, make sure your dog has some good table manners. Fluffy should not be jumping up on the table, stealing food, or begging other diners for bites of their food. 

Fourth, be prepared. Bring your dog a collapsible water bowl, some treats (to reward all their good behavior), a Kong or chew to keep themselves busy, and possibly a small little mat they can rest on comfortably. 

Toxic Plants

As the flowers begin to bloom ensure your dog's safety outside on walks. Watch to make sure that they do no ingest any of the plants in the below infographic. If you suspeect your dog has ingested something toxic you should call your vet right away.

Last Month's Blog Post: Quick Fixes, Buyer Beware 


The other day I was sitting at my desk throwing a ball into a glove while Dustin looked on. He was mesmerized by the ball, his head moving from left to right, staring at the ball as I threw is back and forth. Soon he approached me and started barking at the ball. Being the amazing disciplined trainer that I am, I found the behavior amusing, and I took a cute video (even posting to my personal Instagram with a funny comment about how bossy Dustin can be).


© Leash and Learn 2019