"It's almost like you're asking him"...

Last week at class I had a student who said something that to me is so obvious after years of training with my dogs, but I take for granted that it isn't common sense. We were working on the "drop it" cue with a trading exercise where we asked the dog to drop an item, traded a treat, and then offered the item back with "take it". As we worked on the exercise I assisted each team one on one, helping everyone get the mechanics of the exercise figured out. One of the teams in particular was saying "drop it" in a not so happy tone, and then getting frustrated when the dog wasn't relinquishing the item. When I approached this team to work with them and I took over I said "drop it", and the dog gu

My Top Five Favorite Activities for Cold Weather Enrichment

Brrrr, it’s cold out there! It’s officially Winter here in Chicagoland, and with extremely cold temperatures and blowing winds come shorter walks and cabin fever! When it gets below freezing I don’t like walking with my dogs for more then 15 minutes at a time, so we have to get a little creative here to make sure that Regis and Phoebe aren't bored to tears (and Mary isn’t driven crazy!) The following list has my go-to activities for keeping my dogs entertained while we eagerly wait for spring: 1. Puzzle and Food dispensing toys (Store bought and home made!) Disclaimer: I’m a huge fan of having dogs work for their food in all seasons, not just cold weather! Regis and Phoebe rarely eat out of

Harnesses: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Those of you who have worked with me or poked around my website know that I am pretty consistent in recommending harnesses for dogs. Whereas harnesses used to be looked at as additional equipment to use if your dog couldn't walk on a flat collar, harnesses are now considered the new norm for leash walking by many trainers. I like harnesses because they prevent damage from being done to the dog's throat; many experts now are saying to avoid attaching the leash to equipment around dog's throats because they can damage the thyroid, esophagus, and trachea, and throw the dog's physical alignment off. Even if your dog walks politely on leash if they are startled they may pull forward, and it's nat

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Mary Thompson, CPDT-KA, PMCT
Phone: 312-307-6481
E-Mail: mary@happyhounduniversity.com

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In Home Dog Training serving Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Itasca, Des Plaines, Mt. Prospect, Roselle, Wooddale, Bensenville, Hoffman Estates, Park Ridge, Niles, Prospect Heights, Wheeling,  and more.
Group classes in Des Plaines.