Show Off Your Dog’s Command Performance

Show Off Your Dog’s Command Performance

dog tricks, obedience trainiing

Sit pretty! Roll over! Jump! Teaching your dog tricks might not seem like the easiest thing in the world, but it’s highly beneficial to you and your dog. Teaching your dog tricks can help strengthen your relationship with your beloved pet in many ways. Below are some great reasons why you should start teaching your dog tricks.

1. Make everyone safe- While learning to teach your dog tricks, you learn many training techniques which can also be used to help manage your dog. Tricks can allow your fearful dog to be around people and other dogs at a safe distance. Also, people who are afraid of dogs can still enjoy dogs without having to get too close to them.

2. Give your dog something to do- It doesn’t take long before your dog gets bored and decides to take on a new hobby like chewing anything in sight, including your brand new sofa. Teaching your dog tricks will keep him focused on the task at hand, and will entertain him and you!

3. Help keep your dog’s mind sharp- Teaching your dog tricks will keep his mind active, responsive and alert. Teaching your new and challenging tricks gives your dog the mental stimulation it needs to avoid boredom.

4. Help create a better bond between you and your dog- Tricks are fun to train and learn, so the tricks you teach become their own reward. Best of all, once your dog learns tricks you two become a team when training or performing.

5. Show off- You can show off your dog if you teach it some cool tricks, and your dog will get people’s attention. Dogs love attention and they love being in the spotlight so they will enjoy performing in front of your friends and family. Of course, you will also get the recognition of being a star trainer.

6. Make Vet check ups easier- Both the veterinarian and you hate it when your dog can’t control itself during a check up. If you teach your dog to be calm during the check up, it will make both of your lives easier, and you won’t be embarrassed that your dog is acting up. Wouldn’t be nice if your dog could lie on its side on cue to be examined (“play dead”) or offer its paw for nail trims (“high-five”)?

7. Give your dog a hobby- We all have hobbies we enjoy like watching TV, gardening or playing games, but dogs also need things to do. Teaching your dog tricks is a great thing to do on rainy days when you can’t take him for a walk.

If these reasons have inspired you to teach your dog tricks, then you’ve come to the right place. I am a Certified Trick Dog Instructor available for private and group lessons. I offer a Tricks for Fun and Fitness class in Ft Lauderdale at Auggie’s Doggies Learn more about trick training at or call me at 954.507.7524 for help training more fun and creative behaviors.

Certified Trick Dog Instructor

Do more with your dog!

DIY Tips for Dog Improvements: Leash Walking

DIY Tips for Dog Improvements: Leash Walking

Here are 6 dog walking tips to try today:

dog walking in park

Lexie practicing leash walking in Plantation FL


  1. When your dog stops to sniff or look for a place to potty, don’t wait behind them. Continue to walk past them as far as the leash allows without pulling them. It causes your dog to have to catch up with you instead of pulling to let you know they are ready to walk again.
  2. Avoid retractable leashes because they encourage your dog to pull. Even if you usually keep this leash locked. If your dog has ever reached the end of a retractable leash, they will try to get that far again. This trains your dog to pull continuously.
  3. Don’t start your walk on the wrong foot by letting your dog charge out the door. It rewards over-excited behavior and sets the tone for the rest of the walk.
  4. Treat your walks with your dog like a training session; bring your treats or toy and clicker and practice the basics or whatever new skills you learned in class. If you walk your dog every day, your dog could be trained in no time. And even if you don’t have to walk your dog every day, you really should.
  5. Make your walks together not just about allowing the dog to eliminate. These trips outside should be about you and your dog. Be sure to pay attention to your companion. It’s a great time to praise every bit of eye contact from your dog.
  6. Practice close to home. Don’t feel silly walking back and forth in front of your house. You are trying teach your dog something that can be difficult amidst distractions. Reward your dog frequently in the familiar environment close to home before you take the show on the road.

Group classes or private training can help you reach your polite dog walking goals. Contact 954.507.7524 for details about classes or in-home training or day training for your dog.

Pokemon Go: A Dog Fitness Craze?

Pokemon Go: A Dog Fitness Craze?

dog sees a pokemonEveryone has seen the meme’s of the tired dog laying in the middle of the room exhausted after their Pokemon Go walk with their pet parent.

I say embrace it.

Not only is it great exercise for both of you, but it can be very fun and a great opportunity for training.  Teach your pet pal to sit while you work to get that Pikachu in the ball.  Have them stay while you work your Pokemon out in the Pokemon Gym.  Work on “loose leash” walking so you can react to that sneaky Charizard when it appears.

Bottom line: an exercised dog is a happy dog and Pokemon Go is a great excuse to get out at a local park and work on some of your training goals.  Sammy and I are up to 3 miles a day on our morning Pokemon Go walk!

Train Your Dog Everyday, the Easy Way

Train Your Dog Everyday, the Easy Way

Pembroke Pines Puppy class

Vida loves to train

There is no such thing as no time to train.  Actually, you’re already training your dog all this time.  Because whether you know it or not, your dog is learning from every interaction with you.  You just have to make sure your dog is learning what you want it to learn not just the bad behaviors it learns because you’re nor paying attention.   Good thing you have a very powerful training tool at your disposal that you should be using every day: food.  All dogs will work for food. It’s a survival instinct. Your dog is always thinking, “What do I need to do to make sure I get fed?”  Your dog will do whatever works best.  So it’s is up to you whether that means tipping over the garbage, making “puppy eyes” at your sandwich, or sitting politely until given permission to eat. To a dog, the leader of the pack is the one who controls access to things it wants.  And that includes food. They love the person who feeds them. You can use your control of food to enhance your dog training efforts — every day.

Following these suggestions will help you establish your role as benefactor, reinforce your dog’s compliance and enhance your relationship overall.

Be consistent

Dogs learn things they practice every day the best.  You feed your dog every day so why not use that daily ritual to create a consistent training schedule? It’s the perfect time to train.  Most people do it already.  But don’t make the mistake of doing the exact same routine every meal. Change it up. Be sure to raise your standards as your dog becomes reliable at each skill level. A ten-second sit could soon become a thirty minute down-stay or a chain of a dozen behaviors in a row before you finally give your dog permission to eat.

It’s not a buffet

Don’t free-feed your dog. Your dog’s meals shouldn’t be an all-you can eat buffet, where food is available around the clock.  This is actually a pretty common feeding program in many homes because it’s convenient. So why not do this?  One reason is food loses value as a reward if it is always there. You want the dog to see that its primary necessity in life comes from you. Free-feeding just means one less thing your dog needs you for if its food is just sitting out.  Believe me, a dog is not grateful for the constant presence of food if it means less time with you.  Free-feeding could also lead to an obese dog who doesn’t listen to your commands, respect your leadership position or play by your rules.

Mealtime is Doggie and Me Time

Let your dog know wonderful things happen at mealtime. You get the opportunity to have your dog perform for his meal.  Your dog gets more quality time with you. Win-win.  It’s just another dog training opportunity for you.  If your dog is jumping, yipping, and pawing at you for food, you can teach her to be calm at mealtime using these steps.  While holding the food bowl in your hand, say a command once and wait for your dog to offer the behavior. When your dog complies, you can place the food dish on the floor. Then you can give the dog a release word that gives him permission to get the food. But if your dog starts to get up, put the dish right back on the counter. Repeat this the moment your dog tries to get up, every time as you lower the food dish.  If your dog stays put then start raising your standards and changing the commands.


Training doesn’t have to be a chore.  Pick up the dog dish and make meals an interactive and bonding experience. Take advantage of your dog’s dinner to make time to work with your dog everyday.  Throw in a little training with meals.  Be creative and challenging. It’s the effortless way to train.