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Posts Tagged ‘Training’

Summer Dog Behavior Internship At AnnaBelle’s Pet Station!

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011


Book Signing with Kathy Goodman, author of “Puppy Possibilities”

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Join us on 4/2/11 at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station for a book signing with author Kathy Goodman. Kathy will be offering signed copies of her new book, Puppy Possibilities for only $20 (CASH) – almost 25% off the list price!

The 2nd edition of this popular show-n-tell book is hot off the press and available for purchase! Join puppy specialist and class instructor, Kathy Goodman, as she takes you on a delightful romp through your pup’s first year of schooling.

Author’s summary:

Puppy Possibilities guides you and your puppy along the path of building a life-long relationship by encouraging you to teach your pup, rather than command obedience of him.  The schooling of the pup is presented in a simple, straightforward manner, engaging you to make the most of your puppy adventure, and have some fun along the way.  My approach to training offers the pup every opportunity to succeed in his efforts to please you and your family.  Each training session is given life through the use of 200 color photographs and illustrations.  My canine cast of puppies brings their unique personalities to every game, trick, or training technique.  I am honored to have the foreword written by author Rachel Page Elliott.  As the puppy’s advocate it is my goal to educate the general public in a user-friendly fashion. This enables the family to actually have the pet they always dreamed of, and have some fun along the way!

Read a review of Puppy Possibilities today at

AnnaBelle’s Training Assistance Tools!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

We offer select products to help you with your dog training efforts.  Training is the foundation of your relationship with your dog.  Our trainer-recommended products will give you the essential tools to make the training process easier for you and your pooch!

Select an item below for more information or see our website:
The Premier Collar

Premier’s® No. 1 selling collar! Used with a leash or with your hand, the martingale-style Premier Collar® tightens to give greater control and reduces the risk of a dog “backing out” and escaping. Because it offers limited closure, it’s safer than a traditional choke collar. Wonderful for use in training classes, on walks, or around the home.

Sizing information. The Premier Collar® is “sized” differently than other collars. The measurement is taken from round the top of the neck behind the dog’s ears. This looser fit provides firm control yet reduces matting and bald spots, and allows for seasonal coat changes.

Price: $5.99
Terry Ryan Treat Pouch

The Treat Pouch features a super strong hinge, water resistant lining, two pockets and a ring attachment. Perfect for all your training activities in classes and on the go!

Price: $14.99
The Snack Sack

By PlanetDog! The trainer’s best-friend. The inspiration for this little gem is those nifty chalk bags carried by rock climbers, but this one holds treats or kibble. Attach around your waist or sling it over your shoulder to have snacks at the ready. Perfect for positive training outside or in the house. Comes with an adjustable nylon belt to strap the Sack onto your waist. 4” x 6” with drawstring closure.

Price: $12.99
The Easy-Walk Harness

The Easy Walk® Harness is designed to gently discourage dogs from pulling while walking on a leash. Unlike traditional collars, our harness never causes coughing, gagging, or choking because the chest strap rests low across the breastbone. Its unique front-chest leash attachment stops pulling by steering your dog to the side and redirecting his attention towards you. And, its patent-pending martingale loop provides extra leverage for easy, relaxed control and prevents the harness from twisting and gapping.

Price: $19.99

The Gentle Leader Headcollar

Millions of dog owners today enjoy the benefits of stress-free walks thanks to the Gentle Leader Headcollar. Designed so that owners can communicate with their pet in a way they instinctively understand, the Gentle Leader painlessly and effectively removes the dog’s natural tendency to pull by placing gentle pressure on calming points and eliminating uncomfortable pressure on the throat. In addition to reducing a dog’s desire to pull away, the Gentle Leader is also a very effective tool in combating lunging, jumping, excessive barking and helping to calm an aggressive and/or anxious animal.

Price: $19.99

The Gripper Leash 3/8 in. width

3/8″ Gripper® Leash
For the small but mighty!
This leash features a single row of rubber and is our most light-weight offering. It is ideal for smaller dogs and other pets such as cats, ferrets and iguanas.

Price: $15.95
The Gripper Leash 3/4 in. width

6-Foot Gripper® Leash
Two rows of rubber! This is our most frequently requested length!

This leash is suitable for any pleasure or training activity. It comes standard with a solid brass bolt snap.

Price: $21.95
The Super Gripper - 1 in. width

The Super Gripper®

When only the strongest will do! The Super Gripper® is our ultimate gripping leash. It contains two extra rows of rubberized stitching for a total of 4! This leash is ideal for anyone with limited mobility or suffering with arthritis. 6 ft. leash.

Price: $23.95
Clik Stik

Effective training begins with positive reinforcement. Mark desired behaviors with a “click” and treat to reward the desired behavior. Clicker products include the Clik Stik – an all-in-one clicker & retractable target stick – and the Clik-R, a hand-held clicker. From Premier.

Price: $19.99

Your Dog Nose Fun! SEEKING: the Master Emotion

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Author: Dawn Archer Pizzoferrato, ABCDT; owner of Arrow Dog Training – Get Your Dog on Target! and clicker trainer and Nose Work Instructor at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station.

seek |sēk|

verb (past sought |sôt|) [trans.]

attempt to find (something): they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds.

• attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something): the new regime sought his extradition | [intrans.] her parents had never sought to interfere with her freedom.

• ask for (something) from someone: he sought help from the police.

• (seek someone/something out) search for and find someone or something: it’s his job to seek out new customers.

This is what most of us think of when we here the word “seek.”  But what many of us don’t know is that SEEKING is a basic animal emotion that drives much of the behaviors we see in our dogs.

In her book, Animals Make Us Human, Creating The Best Life For Animals, Temple Grandin discusses the work of one of her mentors, Dr. Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist at Washington State University.  Dr. Panksepp wrote the book, Affective Neuroscience, where he identifies and names the core emotional systems of the animal and human brain.  He called these systems the “blue-ribbon emotions,” finding that well-organized behavior sequences can be generated with electrical stimulation of localized areas of the brain. So, when you stimulate the “fear” system, you get a snarling, biting animal and when you stimulate the SEEKING system of the brain, you get a animal that starts moving forward, exploring and sniffing its environment.

These core “blue-ribbon emotions” are SEEKING, FEAR, PANIC, LUST, CARE, and PLAY.  Some of these are well known, but SEEKING is probably new to most of us.

So what exactly is SEEKING?  Dr. Panksepp defines SEEKING as “the basic impulse to search, investigate, and make sense of the environment.”  It’s a combination of things we usually think of as different concepts: “wanting” something good, “looking forward” to something good, and curiosity. Both Dr. Panksepp and Temple Grandin speculate that SEEKING may be a type of “master emotion.” SEEKING is about looking forward to something good, not having something good. This system is probably to blame for most of the marital infidelity in us humans, but it’s about survival in our dogs.

So, now think about your dog.  Is this SEEKING “emotional system” strong in your dog?  I would dare to guess that it is.  Would you like to give your dog a safe outlet to practice and fulfill this emotional system?  If so, there’s a new dog sport sweeping the nation that centers on your dog’s natural scenting ability and desire to SEEK good things like food or toys.

The training for this sport is simple and immediately rewarding.  With “Box Games,” your dog is allowed enter a secured area with no other dogs and encouraged to SEEK, explore, and search for their favorite treat, toy or ball among mostly empty cardboard boxes.   As handler, you take the back seat, only intervening to keep your dog in the designated area, while your dog does what it does best … use its nose to find food.  Trainer/Helpers will work to keep your dog interested and help them learn to rely on their noses instead of their human “tool.”  All interactions are positive and non-threatening.  And your dog will come away happy, satisfied, and often tired.

Learn More About Dawn & How to Get Your Dog On Target!

Dawn is an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer, an experienced Nose Work Instructor, an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator, and the owner of Arrow Dog Training.

Dawn is AnnaBelle’s resident clicker training specialist and she can help you Get Your Dog on Target! Dawn uses scientifically proven “clicker training” and “free shaping” to teach your dog all the basics plus other fun, useful behaviors. She uses operant conditioning and positive reinforcement, without correction, to help you and your dog build a bond of trust and respect.

In addition to presenting Doggie Do Good clicker classes, Dawn also offers Nose Work classes, TDI® (Therapy Dog International) classes and in-home private training. Dawn’s group classes are taught at AnnaBelle’s on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Click here to see her complete class schedule!

Follow Dawn on Twitter!Find out what’s going on in Dawn’s clicker and Nose Work classes.

Join Dawn on Facebook! Get clicker training and Nose Work updates and advice.

“Dogs Enjoy Second Home” at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station in #LoveLansing!

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Author: Ameerah Gillespie • • December 21, 2010 • From Lansing State Journal*

If there’s one thing that Benny loves to do, it would be taking care of his pack.

Out of a class of 80, he’s established his spot as the popular pint-size in the room.

“I love Benny, the little Chihuahua that started with us,” said Ann Andrews, 59, who is one of the co-owners of AnnaBelle’s Pet Station in downtown Lansing. “He’s so funny when his dad comes to pick him up, his dad will hold his little crate and Benny literally jumps from there right into it.”

Benny is among many cool city dogs that attend AnnaBelle’s for training, grooming and regular day care. Thus the name @coolcitydogs on Twitter, a regular pro-Lansing voice in social media.

The one-stop pet drop dream turned to reality in 2009 with the help of partner Angela Brown. Andrews and Brown were lawyers at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn law firm in Lansing. But the distance to take her dogs to day care became an issue for Andrews.

“We were both in the litigation section doing arbitrations and trials and depositions and all the things that litigators do,” Andrews said.

Andrews stated that she and Brown have new jobs in law, but they’ve freed up enough time to work at AnnaBelle’s during evenings and weekends.

Andrews said one of the main reasons people give up their dogs are due to behavioral issues. Both Brown and Andrews said they want to change that by teaching dogs social skills.

No matter how big. No matter what kind.

“The thing that touches my heart is to see a dog that comes in that’s fearful, reactive and to finish up the six-week class you know, happy and anxious to come here,” Andrews said.

Pele is an 11-month-old Keeshond and spends time at AnnaBelle’s several times a month. His owner, Kara Schmitt, says she has seen positive changes in him.

“As many challenges as we’ve had, we’ve been so lucky with the staff that we’ve found,” Brown said. “A lot of that was really personal connections we all had long before we were even thinking about AnnaBelle’s … and to me that’s just been the amazing thing.”

“I’m a happy camper,” Schmitt said. “Pele’s very smart, so when they would be working on the second or the third night of class, he’s already on the fifth night of class.”

Brown says she feels lucky their company has done well even in a depressed economy.

“As many challenges as we’ve had, we’ve been so lucky with the staff that we’ve found,” Brown said. “A lot of that was really personal connections we all had long before we were even thinking about AnnaBelle’s … and to me that’s just been the amazing thing.”

*Reprinted with express written permission.

AnnaBelle’s Winter 2011 Dog Behavior Internship Program

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Tips and Guidance on Canine Good Citizen Test Item 10: Supervised Separation

Monday, October 11th, 2010

In the sixth and last part of a multi-part series, Carol Hein-Creger, lead trainer at AnnaBelle’s, and Erinn Hadley, trainer and professional handler, and certified CGC evaluator, takes you through each of the CGC exercises and offers tips and guidance for practicing and for successfully passing a CGC evaluation.

Test Item 10: Supervised separation

This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.

Tips and Guidance:

The dog is not required to “sit” or “down” during this test. However you may at your discretion command your dog to “sit” or “down” prior to leaving the dog. Understand that at this level of obedience testing, it is neither expected nor required that a dog maintain formal obedience in the absence of the owner. However, the dog may not become excessively agitated (for example, barking excitedly, lunging or straining on the leash, bouncing about); the dog is expected to remain well-behaved and in control while with the Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.

Check the Canine Training Center’s page to see when the next Canine Good Citizen class starts! Sign up today on-line or call 517.599.0995.

Tips and Guidance for Canine Good Citizen Test Items 8 and 9: Reaction to Other Dogs and Reaction to Distraction

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

In the fifth part of a multi-part series, Carol Hein-Creger, lead trainer at AnnaBelle’s, and Erinn Hadley, trainer and professional handler, and certified CGC evaluator, take you through each of the CGC exercises and offers tips and guidance for practicing and for successfully passing a CGC evaluation.

Test Item 8: Reaction to another dog

This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of 20 to 30 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

Tips and Guidance: While the Evaluator can’t require that the dog sit or down while the two handlers are greeting each other, you may at your discretion command your dog to do so. (I recommend that the dog be under the formal “Heel” command at the Handler’s left side for the approach to the other handler/dog team; given a formal “Sit” command while the two handlers are exchanging greetings; and again given the formal “Heel” command to resume their walk after the greeting.)

Test Item 9: Reaction to distraction

This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The Canine Good Citizen evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane.

Tips and Guidance:

The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.  The Canine Good Citizen Evaluator has the option of combining test exercises. For example, the Evaluator may elect to provide the distractions required in this test while the dog is completing a different exercise, such as Test Item #5, Walking Through a Crowd. If the distractions are provided in conjunction with another test during which the dog is supposed to be moving (heeling), then you may not command your dog to sit or down during distraction. If the Evaluator elects to conduct the Reaction to Distraction test as a stand-alone test, then you may at your discretion instruct your dog to “sit” or “down” during the distractions. Choose the option that best ensures your dog’s comfort level during distractions.

Stay tuned for tips for Test Item 10 – Supervised Separation. Check the Canine Training Center’s page to see when the next Canine Good Citizen class starts! Sign up today on-line or call 517.599.0995.

Barney Rubble’s Story

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Barney Rubble at his home in Detroit

Barney's old dog house and the new dog house Mary bought for him

We’d like you to meet Barney Rubble, a 100 pound Rottweiler, who despite living outside on a chain in Detroit, was pretty well-cared for and has a super-sweet, loving disposition. His family saved him from being a guard dog at a local business, but they didn’t have the means to care for him. A kind soul named Mary, driving through his neighborhood in Detroit on her way to work, stopped by and asked his family if they needed help caring for him. Thankfully, they said yes. For over a year, Mary stopped to see Barney Rubble twice a day, feeding and watering him, changing the straw in his new dog house that she got for him, giving him love and affection, and playing ball with him – his very favorite past-time!

Guardian angel Mary took Barney to the vet, and had all his vaccinations done, as she had done with other dogs in this neighborhood. She made sure Barney was very well-fed and he was even a little chubby – she liked to call him her “little cow.” Between Mary and his family, Barney was loved.

All in all, Barney didn’t have such a bad life. Until his family’s house burned down. His family, under their dire circumstances, left Barney in Mary’s care. Unfortunately, Mary could not take Barney home with her because she lives in a small apartment. Mary’s mother, another guardian angel, had already taken in three large stray dogs and could not take another. Mary could not bear the thought of Barney Rubble being picked up by animal control or being taken by someone with bad intentions. She contacted the Rottweiler Rescue to see if they could help. Coincidentally, the folks at the Rottweiler Rescue knew that AnnaBelle’s was looking for a foster dog to go through training classes, be socialized in day care, and turned into a upstanding member of the community.  And so the match was made! Barney became AnnaBelle’s first foster dog.

Barney's Family Home After it Burned to the Ground

Barney’s First Day at AnnaBelle’s

Erinn Hadley, trainer and professional handler, temperament tested Barney Rubble and found him to have a sound temperament, with no toy or food aggression. Thankfully, Barney does not have any fear of people and clearly views them as the source of all good things for him. He has a true affection for people and just wants someone by his side. After giving Barney some time to adjust, our groomer and professional pet stylist, Michelle van Kleef, gave Barney a good scrubbing. Michelle reports that Barney was a very well-behaved during the grooming process, despite the fact that he’s probably never had a bath before!

Next, Barney went to see veterinarian and good friend of AnnaBelle’s, Dr. Joyce Heideman at the Southside Animal Hospital. Dr. Joyce said Barney was in pretty good shape – except, he was heartworm positive. Not surprising news, but a little disappointing. The Rottweiler Rescue offered to pay for his heartworm treatment and soon, Barney Rubble was on his way to good health.  He is now nine weeks out from his heartworm treatment and doing very well!


Barney just started his beginning obedience classes. Our wonderful interns from the Michigan State University Pre-Veterinary Medicine program, began working with Barney in classes with Carol Hein-Creger and Erinn Hadley of the Canine Training Center this week. This is no easy task. While Barney is sweet and kind, he is also 100 pounds of determined Rottweiler and has had no previous training whatsoever! But our interns are doing an amazing job. They have even volunteered to work with Barney on the weekends so that he gets practice, activity, and positive reinforcement.

Barney also loves other dogs. He still gets a little over-excited when he meets new dogs, but loves to romp and play with other large dogs, especially other Rottweilers and pitbulls. Last week, he spent several days at Carol Hein-Creger’s house and got to play with her long-haired foster Rottweiler, Skye, and another Rottweiler, Amos. Barney had so much fun! Soon, Barney will be neutered (Skye and the rest of us will be very thankful) and the AnnaBelle’s Team will continue to work on his house training and getting him well-socialized in AnnaBelle’s Day Care Depot. We hope that Barney will be ready for adoption in a few months, after he completes 12 weeks of training classes.

This is been such an amazing team effort at AnnaBelle’s. All of our staff (and many friends) have pitched in, cared for Barney, worked with Barney, loved Barney, and fought over who he loves best. When we find the right family, it will be difficult to let him go, as anyone who has fostered a dog knows. But making Barney Rubble the best possible canine companion and finding him the right forever home is our goal, even if it makes us tear up and sniffle … a lot.

UPDATE: After only week on Petfinder, through a courtesy posting by Voiceless-MI, Barney Rubble found his forever home! He was adopted by an experienced Rottweiler owner, who lives in Grand Blanc, MI on a large property with plenty of room for Barney to run and play with his new Rottie sister!

Tips and Guidance for Canine Good Citizen Test Items 6 and 7: Sit/Down on Command and Coming When Called

Friday, September 17th, 2010

In the fourth part of a multi-part series, Carol Hein-Creger, lead trainer at AnnaBelle’s, and Erinn Hadley, trainer and professional handler, and certified CGC evaluator, takes you through each of the CGC exercises and offers tips and guidance for practicing and for successfully passing a CGC evaluation.

Test Item 6: Sit and down on command – staying in place

This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). Prior to this Canine Good Citizen test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

Tips and Guidance: This is a 3 part test item. If your dog is properly trained that “sit means sit” and “down means down” (single command only), you may command your dog to “sit” or “down” only; the stationary exercise of “sit” and “down” should be practiced at varying leash lengths for distance control.

Test Item 7: Coming when called

This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to “stay” or “wait” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

Tips and Guidance: This Canine Good Citizen exercise tests only the dog’s ability to return to handler upon a recall command. The Evaluator can not require a sit or down prior to the recall command. However, you may command your dog to sit or down at your discretion. Note that this exercise does not test whether the dog stays in position — the “stay” is a separate exercise (Test Item #6). If you are concerned about your dog’s ability to stay in place until recalled, the Evaluator can stand by your dog and hold the leash while you walk 10 feet away. After recalling your dog, you may at your discretion command the dog to sit or perform another finishing exercise.

Stay tuned for tips for Test Items 8 and 9 – Reaction to Another Dog and Reaction to Distraction. Check the Canine Training Center’s page to see when the next Canine Good Citizen class starts! Sign up today on-line or call 517.599.0995.