Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted by: admin | March 17, 2012 | Posted in Dog Training

Here is the winner of our Leprechaun Photo Contest – Cooper!

When Cooper is not spreading his Irish charm as a Leprechaun, he is a Yellow Labrador Retriever.

Cooper’s favorite things are: food (of course), car rides, going anyplace where he can meet people, Maymoor dog park, street fairs, dressing up, sniffing new smells, and he loves his over-sized comfy crate – with removed door.

His dislikes are: cats, getting shots in his nose, and the blow dryer.

What his people have to say about him: Cooper if a wonderful sweet dog who has a great smile. He is very laid-back and very tolerant of almost everything. Cooper will be your best friend for the smallest piece of food. We also love his goofy personality, he still has a puppy brain in an adult body (he turns 7 tomorrow). He loves all people and other dogs, and they all love him back. We are always amazed when we meet someone who met him a year ago and still remembers him.

Congratulations to Cooper and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Ask the Trainer: Recalls

Posted by: admin | March 15, 2012 | Posted in Ask the Trainer, Dog Training

Our little terrier mix Sophie is a great dog but she doesn’t always come when called.  We have been though basic training but she still ignores us.  What can we do to make her recall more reliable?

This is a great question and one I love to answer!  Emergency recalls are easy and fun to train and very effective if you follow a few simple rules.

What is an emergency recall?  I use the term “emergency” because I train a recall specifically in case I need to call my dogs out of some dangerous situation.  I need them to turn and fly back to me immediately.  I also need to be able to catch and leash them when they return.

Are there non-emergency recalls?  Absolutely!  I train a formal obedience “Front” for my competition dogs and I use a casual leg pat to let my dogs know that I am changing directions or pace and they need to pay attention.

Here’s how you train it…

Step 1.  Call your dog loudly once “Fido COME!”

Step 2. Reward your dog for atleast 5 seconds.

Step 3.  Repeat once every few days in different places.

The rules to keep your dog coming…

Always reward.  I like to continue rewarding for my emergency recalls to keep the behavior strong.  Use different toys, treats, and games.  Switch it up to keep it interesting.

Never punish.  Always calling your dog for a nail trim, to leave the dog park, or go in the dreaded crate are all great ways to make your dog run away from you when it hears the word “come”.

Rewards should be engaging.  Playing tug, tossing treats up for your dog to catch, or pulling out a spoonful or wet dog food are all ways to get your dog to stay with you, not just check-in and then disappear off again.

Now you’re on your way to an amazing emergency recall.  Good luck and happy training!

St. Patty’s Day Photo Contest

Posted by: admin | March 9, 2012 | Posted in Uncategorized

Submit a picture of your dog dressed in St. Patty’s Day attire & enter to win!

The winner gets…

– A free one-hour private training session at Central Bark
– The winning photo posted on our Facebook & Twitter account
– A creative Leprechaun bio blog entry

Send your wee Leprechaun’s photo along with their name and breed to info@central-bark.com before Friday March 15th to enter

May the most festive dog win!

Popular Dog Breeds

Posted by: admin | March 5, 2012 | Posted in Uncategorized

As usual, after reading Pet Product News’ yearly article about most popular dog breeds, I think to myself “that is a lot of dog!”  It seems that we American’s still love our big hairy rambunctious digging barking chewing dog breeds.  Maybe I am jaded by my experience as a dog trainer having to deal with families overwhelmed by the size and activity level of their household Lassie, but it never fails to surprise me which breeds regularly top the list.

This year the trend is to go even bigger!  Labs, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Bulldogs, & Rottweilers still hold their place in the top ten as expected but quite a few of the up-and-comers are in the “wouldn’t look bad in a saddle” category like Bernese and Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Bullmastiff, Rhodesian Ridgeback, and the Irish Wolfhound.

Despite the trend toward more dog, the Beagle moved up to number three last year, and the Yorkie and Dachshund still stand at the top so not everyone wants muddy paw prints on their forehead after a dog park trip in this Seattle rain.

As someone who shopped for a car solely based on how easy it would be to load my pack of dirty hiking buddies into the back, I can honestly say power to you devoted dog lovers out there!  As someone who runs a doggie daycare, we all thank you for bringing more “whole lotta dogs” into the world.  We wouldn’t be here without you.