Creative Training Classes @ CB

Posted by: Pack Leader | October 14, 2011 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Training

With our last training class being such a huge success, we are kicking off round two, and this time we are adding a new class into the mix!

Buddy Basics & Canine Good Citizen – This class includes all of the basic obedience cues (sit, down, off, stay, come, polite leash walking and polite dog-dog greetings) as well as prepares you to certify your dog through the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen program.  Certification is included in the cost.

Buddy Basic’s is 6 consecutive Tuesdays @ 7:30pm from 10/18 – 11/6     Cost is $130

Foundation Fido – Learn the techiques that pro sport dog trainers use to build that intense focus and stop-on-a-dime obedience that creates champion agility, flyball, weight pull, and obedience dogs.  Your dog will form a foundation of focus, self-control, and confidence that will prepare him or her for dog sports of off-leash control.  Class includes exercises like relaxed down-stays, long distance flying recalls (come!), immediate attention on cue and much more.  For specialized attention, maximum enrollment is 4 dog/handler teams.

Foundation Fido is 6 consecutive Wednesdays @ 7:30pm from 11/15 – 12/20     Cost is $120

For more questions or to enroll contact or 206.325.3525

And to see the graduates from last class click here.


Bored Dog Blog

Posted by: Pack Leader | September 21, 2011 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Health, Dog Training

Fall is here and that means back to school and back to icky nasty dark dreariness that makes getting out and walking the dog seem less than appealing (sometimes, even for Fido).  Do not fear!  We have some tried and true tips for wearing out the dog without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.

The key with tiring a dog out in the house is mental stimulation.  For those of you who have the dog equivalent of the energizer bunny (you know who you are and thank you very much for your business) regular exercise is still required, but rest assured that you can make a dent in those canine Olympians.

1)  Make your dog work for food.  Eating out of a stainless steel bowl is not only easy and fails to tap into those deep once-upon-a-time wolf genes, it is pretty boring for your dog.  Try stuffing treat dispensing toys with your dog’s dinner and hiding them around the house.  My favorites are classic Kong toys and the Everlasting Fun Ball made by Starmark.  They are tough, quiet on hardwood, and dishwasher safe.

2)  Train your dog.  You will find that brief 3-5 minute training sessions are surprisingly exhausting for most dogs as the brain burns the most calories when learning.  Plus, you will have a better behaved dog!

3)  Seek and DESTROY!  This is another game that burns calories while tapping into your dog’s inner wolf.  Step one: collect shreddable items, boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, etc.  Step two: take a handful of kibble, treats, or a chew toy, and box it inside a box inside a box (think one of those Russian dolls).  Step three: give it to your dog and encourage them to destroy the box to get to the food.  For maximum effect, hide it and have Fido find it first.*

*For any exercise that provides an outlet for your dog’s “naughty” behaviors, it is best to use a cue to start the game (like “Find-it”) so that you control when the game starts, not your dog.

Polite Dog 101

Posted by: Pack Leader | August 16, 2011 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Events, Dog Training

As I prepare to kick-off my first exciting year of training at Central Bark with my Basic Obedience/Canine Good Citizen class, I would like to give some tips to turn your very own hooligan into a polite doggie citizen.

1) Train everywhere – every room in your house, on your daily walk, in the car, at the park, everywhere!  The most challenging things happen outside of your living room so why only train there?

2) Use your environment – Big scary bearded sunglass wearing guy at the park?  Great!  Ask him to give your dog a cookie.  Dog barking at balloons outside the local pet store?  Ask for brief sit and then let your dog blow off some steam by running around like a goofball.  You get the idea.

3) Put down the cookies – Training with treats is a wonderful way to get quick reliable responses and a happy dog… but having to show your dog what you have in order to get a response is bad training.  Instead, ask for a behavior with empty hands, then when you get it, whip out a cookie.  Your dog will think you can make awesomeness appear out of thin air.

You’re off to a great start!

If you would like to know more, enroll in my Basic Obedience/Canine Good Citizen class (aka. Polite Dog 101).  It is 6 consecutive Tuesdays at 7:30pm from 8/23 through 9/20.  The cost is $130 which includes Canine Good Citizen certification.

You can e-mail me at or call 206.325.3525 to sign up or learn more.

My dog ate what?!

Posted by: Pack Leader | April 16, 2011 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Health, Dog Training, Uncategorized

In 2010, according to Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., there were many remarkable items removed from dogs’ stomachs.  Among the 16 steel wool pads, jumper cables, an extention cord, and eyeglasses, was this list:

  • Jellyfish
  • Tube of denture adhesive
  • Tent door
  • Plastic nose from teddy bear
  • Baseball
  • Glass Christmas ornament
  • Hearing aid
  • Box of pencils
  • Watch
  • Light bulb
  • Barbecue brush
  • Frisbee
  • Pin cushion
  • TV remote control
  • Fire log
  • Pine cone
  • Rosary crucifix

Wow! On my list of my own dogs, we have had a pound of coffee beans, a plastic Easter egg (Yes, my dog really did lay an egg), an entire bottle of multivitamins, and a few stolen food items as well! You can try your best to keep things away, but it’s always good to have the number to poison control on hand- it’s on our fridge with the number to the closest emergency vet. Washington State Animal Poison Control 1-800-222-1222

Going Raw

Posted by: Pack Leader | December 31, 2010 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Health, Dog Training, Uncategorized

There has been a lot of talk recently about the raw diet. I personally used to feed it to my Lab, Indra, and she had a shiny coat, looked very healthy, and did nicely on it. Then I tried it with my Great Dane Truman, let’s just say, it did not agree with him, I won’t go into the gross details. So while at an event I spoke with a representative from Darwin’s Natural Pet and he offered to give Truman an opportunity to try it again, and I took him up on it despite the consequences.

The freezer box showed up with 20lbs of food and I was instructed to give Truman tripe to start out and adjust his body… I am not sure if you have ever smelled tripe, but it is the most unexplainable worst smell ever. The smell aside, Truman did not have any bad reactions. The tripe lasted a few days and then we began to start him on the meats. I had an assortment of duck, turkey, beef, buffalo, and chicken. Truman gobbled up the food immediately! My other dogs were very jealous. Truman had no stomach troubles and, as the owner of 2 dogs over 150lbs, one of the best benefits was that I picked up less poop. I am half embarrassed to say that, but it was a benefit! We encountered only one hiccup and that was when Tru began to lose a little weight, but I just upped the amount and he put the weight right back on. His coat looked nice and shiny and as a dog who is not always crazy about gobbling up his food- he couldn’t eat this fast enough.  I was very happy with this trial.

If I could afford to feed all my dogs raw I would because the benefits are great. Darwin’s has been so great and they were nice enough to offer this special to all our CB customers. Central Bark Coupon

I decided to add this little bit about Salmonella. If you have any questions comment below and I will be happy to answer based on my experience and knowledge.

There have been many pet food recalls lately for both dry and raw foods. And with the recent decision by the Delta Society to not allow dogs that eat a raw diet to be service animals there has been a lot of hype. What you need to know- no pet food is immune from salmonella. The good news is that common sense measures will help to prevent your risk of infection.  Wash your hands and bowls after every meal and do not leave raw meat out.  Do not prepare pet foods with the same utensils you use to handle human food. These instructions will help to minimize the risk for infection.

What is DOG STOP at Central Bark?

Posted by: Pack Leader | October 10, 2010 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Uncategorized

 What is DOG STOP?

THINK bus stop for dogs! 

At a location near you, our DOG STOP will be waiting to take your pooch for a fun filled day of play at Central Bark!This service is to be used in conjunction with doggie daycare.


Single Day $36.00


5 Day Pass $160 ($32/day)

10 Day Pass $300  ($30/day)

20 Day Pass  $580 ($29/day)


CALL for DOG STOP locations near you and to schedule a pick up! (206) 325-3525

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Pet Product Every Dog Owner Must See!

Posted by: Pack Leader | August 1, 2010 | Posted in Dog Behavior, Dog Training

Over the last few months I have been testing out new products, as a dog trainer and dog owner, I am always searching through the new and latest products appearing in the dog world. The ThunderShirt has revolutionized the tools I use to train dogs, my own personal dog, and is taking the dog world by storm!

This is by far one of the most exciting products I have seen in the last 15 years as a trainer (If I were a dog- I would be full body wiggling right now)! As an owner of a rescued dog with severe anxiety, I was pretty skeptical that a jersey knit t-shirt would turn my world upside down and let my dog, Brinks, learn to just be a dog.

Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. It is this pressure that has a calming effect for most dogs. As for WHY Thundershirt’s gentle pressure works to calm a dog, experts believe that pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system. Until now, there just hasn’t been a well-designed, inexpensive pressure wrap commonly used for dog anxiety and fear. I had to put this product to the test!

My dog, Brinks, is a 185lb. Mastiff/Great Dane mix, he was surrendered to Idaho Great Dane Rescue in June 2007, and my husband and I adopted him a few months later. When we adopted Brinks, I was fully aware of his fear and anxiety behaviors. He was considered unadoptable, but as a dog trainer, I was up for the challenge.

When Brinks was surrendered, he had been badly abused and malnourished. We were not able to touch his lips, ears, feet, and back end. I spent many hours doing massage therapy on him to build trust and help Brinks learn that touch is positive. He would pace constantly and whine, and if left, he would destroy doors, walls, etc. and for a big guy that is a lot of damage. In his dog run he would scratch and bite the gate until his feet and mouth were bleeding. I wish I had a ThunderShirt! It took me about a year to get him comfortable with touch by strangers, especially on his face and ears, and help his separation anxiety so he did not hurt himself in his kennel. Brinks still struggles with pacing and whining, as well as, separation and leash anxiety.

I had heard of the ThunderShirt from a dog training colleague and decided to put it to the test (And yes, they come in XXL)! When I received my ThunderShirt I tried it out right away– I was shocked by the difference. No crying, pacing, or anxiety of any kind. Brinks laid down and fell asleep, although he still followed me if I moved around the house, his anxiety level had dropped significantly. I thought this must be a fluke. The next day when I left for work, I left the ThunderShirt on him in his kennel, and when I came home he was not doing his usual screaming howl/bark, and when he came out of his kennel he was excited, but not manic. For the next few weeks I took him for walks with it, and used it on and off in the house, and when he was in his kennel. I was astounded by the difference. It was as if he was finally comfortable in his own skin.

Since finding the ThunderShirt, I have referred many clients, colleagues, and pretty much anyone who will listen to me about ThunderShirts. Everyone has said the transformation is incredible. It works for sound sensitivity, car anxiety, social anxiety, separation anxiety, barking, etc. The greatest thing is that ThunderShirts are completely user friendly, $36.00 for any size, and 100% guaranteed. You can find them at or most specialty pet stores. For anyone who has a dog with anxiety- this product will change your world!