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Posts Tagged ‘Training Tips’

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.

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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.

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.

Tips and Guidance for CGC Test Items 4 and 5: Loose Leash Walking and Walking Through a Crowd

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

In the third 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 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)

This Canine Good Citizen test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.

Tips and Guidance:

The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired. Strive to maintain a loose leash throughout these exercises. At the CGC level of testing, your dog is not expected to deliver a flawless, focused heel; however, the Evaluator will not want to see a significantly lagging, forging, side winding, or out of control dog, or a handler who must physically force their dog to remain under control at their side.

Test Item 5: Walking through a crowd

This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.  If your dog is already trained in such commands you may use a “leave it” or “no sniff” command, followed by repeat “Heel” command and praise, to prevent your dog from unnecessarily approaching or investigating the people in the crowd.

Tips and Guidance:

If your dog is already trained in such commands you may use a “leave it” or “no sniff” command, followed by repeat “Heel” command and praise, to prevent your dog from unnecessarily approaching or investigating the people in the crowd.

Stay tuned for tips for Test Items 6 and 7 – Sit/Down on Command and Staying in Place and Coming When Called
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 for Canine Good Citizen Test Items 2 and 3 – Sitting Politely for Petting and Grooming

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

In the second 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 2: Sitting Politely for Petting

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler’s side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Tips and Guidance:
You are to command your dog to “sit” for this exercise. I recommend that you courteously instruct the Evaluator to approach your dog from the side and to pet your dog under the chin or on its chest, in keeping with generally acceptable protocols of human/dog interaction. Under no circumstances should your dog be expected to tolerate a fast, direct approach from a stranger making direct eye contact with your dog, with the intent of “patting” your dog on the head. This exercise, and Test Item 3: Appearance and Grooming, are the only exercises when the handler is allowed to physically touch their dog. You may place your hand gently under the collar of your dog to encourage it to stay in the sit position while being touched or groomed by the friendly stranger, and you may repeatedly give the “Sit” command and praise. However, you may not force your dog to maintain its sitting position by placing your hands on its body or pulling on the leash.

Test Item 3: Appearance and grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

While the Evaluator can’t require that the dog sit or down, you may command the dog to do so for this exercise. This exercise, and Test Item 2: Sitting Politely for Petting, are the only exercises when the handler is allowed to physically touch their dog. You may place your hand gently under the collar of your dog to encourage it to stay in the sit position while being touched or groomed by the friendly stranger, and you may repeatedly give the “Sit” command (or trained grooming commands, such as “Brush,” “Ears,” “Feet,” etc.) and praise. However, you may not force your dog to maintain its sitting position by placing your hands on its body or pulling on the leash.

Stay tuned for tips for Test Items 4 and 5 – Loose Leash Walking and Walking Through a Crowd!
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.

Clicker Mechanics: How to Correctly Use a Clicker When Training

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Those of you who have taken a clicker training class know the importance of “timing” when using a clicker. But there are a few other important aspects of clicker use that you should know. Brushing up on these skills is as important to the experienced clicker trainer as it is to the beginner. And, if you haven’t taken a clicker class, what are you waiting for? Sign up now to learn the most advanced, scientific method of animal training available today. Here are some exercises to help you get started:

1.  Get comfortable with the clicker and make sure your dog is too.

clickerClickers come in many shapes and sizes and every brand sounds different. Click the clicker near your dog. If he flinches or is frightened in any way, try a different brand. Some clickers come with different sounds such as “pings” or “chirp” that may be less intimidating to your dog. Get a wrist coil or lanyard to keep your clicker conveniently attached to you and within easy access.

2. Practice keeping your clicker and treat hand motionless until after the click. Your dogs will quickly start focusing on your treat hand or clicker hand if it is moving. Keep it stationary until you click. Be like a statue … click, then go for the treat in your treat bag or give a treat that’s already in your hand.

Remember, your clicker is NOT a remote control. There is no need to point it at your dog for it to be effective. So keep it still.

3. Watch your dog! This is critical and cannot emphasized enough, you must be looking at your dog. Watch closely for the behavior you want your dog to repeat. Missed opportunities slow the learning process and can contribute to confusion and frustration.

4. Click DURING the behavior. Do not wait for the behavior to be completely finished.  If you do, you’ll probably click too late.

5. One click = One treat…if you click, you MUST treat. Even if you accidentally click, you must still treat.  The click is a promise that there will be a treat. Keep your promise and always give a treat.

buddysystem16. Practice your clicker timing without your dog present. Have a friend or family member help you practice with your clicker with your dog in another room or outside. Have them bounce a tennis ball, while you click each time it hits the floor. Or toss it in the air and click at the apex (the split second BEFORE it starts to drop). Or just watch them and clicker each time they blink their eyes. When watching the nightly weather forecast, click each time the weather person points at the national map. Any and all of these games will help hone your timing and observation skills. Now go ahead and start clicking. It’s Time to Change the World, One Click at a Time!!

Author: Dawn Pizzoferrato, ABCDT, owns and operates Pizzoferrato Pet-Care and Training Services (PPATS) and offers dog training classes at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station. Dawn’s classes, Doggie Do Good Beginner Clicker Training and Doggie Do Good Intermediate Clicker/Intro to CGC start Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Carol’s Corner – How to Reward Multiple Behaviors at the Same Time

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Dear Carol,

We have talked about rewarding Nemo as strangers approach. My concern is that I am also trying to work with him on not pulling the leash when we’re walking. You taught us to use leash corrections and/or frequently reward the dog for maintaining a slack leash. If I am rewarding him frequently for maintaining a slack leash, but also rewarding him when strangers approach, won’t the messages be mixed? Does rewarding him for keeping a slack leash diminish the excitement about a reward when strangers walk by?

Thanks, Niya


Dear Niya,

I wouldn’t worry about sending Nemo a mixed message when rewarding both a slack leash and when strangers approach. It is true you cannot shape for more than one aspect of a behavior at a time(a straight and fast sit, for example). However, once you are getting a reliably straight sit (by way of example), you can then begin to selectively reinforce the faster responses to shape for fast sits. Once the sits are straight and fast, you could then shape for another aspect of the behavior if you wished, i.e., straight, fast and with eye contact. You can however, reinforce more than one behavior when you train. If Nemo gets rewarded when the leash is slack as well as when people approach, both behaviors will become stronger. There is merit in your concern that rewarding Nemo for maintaining a slack leash could diminish his excitement for the reward when strangers walk by. If he is highly motivated by the reward, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. If that’s not the case, you may want to set up situations where you and Nemo are stationary and you’re only rewarding him as people walk past. The distance between Nemo and the passerby should be such that Nemo is comfortable enough to stay at your side and eat the reward. If Nemo tries to hide behind your legs or refuses the treat, you are too close. In time and with practice, you will be able to move closer to the approaching person while still keeping Nemo comfortable, as the rewards will have changed the way Nemo feels about the situation. There are other things that can be done to make Nemo more comfortable with people and I would be happy to discuss this further next term.

See you soon, Carol

Carol Hein-Creger
Director of Training
Canine Training Center

Carol Hein-Creger has been training dogs and their owners for over 30 years. She has trained thousands of people, including many local dog trainers. Carol is currently teaching at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station in downtown Lansing. Check out her her upcoming class schedule. Do you have a training question for Carol? Send an email to info@coolcitydogs.com with “Carol’s Corner” in the subject line or use the “Contact Us” form.

AKC Rally – No Pedigree Required!

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Rally® focuses on the partnership between handler and dog. It is all about teamwork, communication and fun. In Rally, the dog and handler proceed at their own pace through a course of  designated stations.  Rally is the bridge between Canine Good Citizen® and Competitive Obedience. Read more here: All About Rally® from the American Kennel Club®:

Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler complete a course that has been designed by the rally judge. The judge tells the handler to begin, and the dog and handler proceed at their own pace through a course of designated stations (10 – 20, depending on the level). Each of these stations has a sign providing instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience.

Unlimited communication from the handler to the dog is to be encouraged and not penalized. Unless otherwise specified in these Regulations, handlers are permitted to talk, praise, encourage, clap their hands, pat their legs, or use any verbal means of encouragement. Multiple commands and/or signals using one or both arms and hands are allowed; the handler’s arms need not be maintained in any particular position at any time. The handler may not touch the dog or make physical corrections. At any time during the performance, loud or harsh commands or intimidating signals will be penalized.

What is Rally?

AKC Rally is the new dog sport that is taking the nation by storm, a successful stepping stone from the AKC Canine Good Citizen® program to the world of obedience or agility. Rally offers both the dogs and handlers an experience that is fun and energizing. The canine team moves at their own pace, very similar to rally-style auto racing. Rally was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind, but it can still be very challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition.

A rally course includes 10 to 20 stations, depending on the level. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience. Communication between handler and dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required, but there should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler. The main objective of rally is to produce dogs that have been trained to behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs, in a manner that will reflect positively on the sport of rally at all times and under all conditions.

Eligibility – No Pedigree Required!

To be eligible to compete in AKC Rally trials, a dog must be registered with the AKC or listed with the AKC Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP) program, or a Foundation Stock Service (FSS) recorded breed that meets the eligibility requirements for competition and 6 months of age or older. The Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP): Dogs of any breed recognized by the AKC that do not have registration papers or known parents may qualify for a Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP). PAL/ILP dogs may participate in certain AKC events, such as obedience, agility, tracking, rally and many performance events. Photos are required to prove the dog is a registerable breed. The dog must be spayed or neutered. For more information about the PAL/ILP program, visit the PAL/ILP section on the AKC web site, or e-mail questions to PAL@akc.org.”

UPDATE: As of April 1, 2010, the AKC, through its Canine Partners program, now allows mixed breed dogs to compete in Agility, Rally, and Obedience events.

*Note:  The UKC (United Kennel Club) allows mixed breed dogs for either agility or rally, and some other performance based events: UKC Agility Rulebook and UKC Rally Rulebook.

Want to learn more and get your dog involved in Rally?  Carol Hein-Creger of the Canine Training Center is offering a beginning Rally class, starting September 20, 2011! Five week class is only $79. Sign up now – space is limited!

Carol Hein-Creger has been training dogs and their owners for over 30 years.  She has trained thousands of people, including many local dog trainers, and is a seasoned competitor and handler.  Carol is teaching at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station in Downtown Lansing.  Check out her her upcoming class schedule.

Carol’s Corner – Is Corrective Training Necessary to Train Effectively?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

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Dear Carol:

Do you believe in using choke chains on dogs to teach them to obey?

Thanks for your time.

Kim B.

Hello Kim: Do I believe they can work? Absolutely. Dogs have been effectively trained for years using correction as an incentive to change their behavior. My initial background was based primarily on corrective training. However, in order for a correction to effectively change behavior, it must be consistently applied, timed correctly, and also be something the dog finds unpleasant enough that he wants to avoid it. Those criteria can be hard to meet.
Do I believe corrections or choke chains are necessary? Absolutely not. I learned years ago that the most effective training involves focusing on and reinforcing desired behaviors. I feel my responsibility as an instructor is to teach my students the most effective, humane training techniques possible. However, I try never to lose sight of the fact that the student’s background and personal beliefs will always have an impact on their training tendencies. My background is such that I can teach and discuss the pros and cons of each method or philosophy, enabling each student to determine which methods are right for them.
Thank you for your interest,
Carol Hein-Creger
Director of Training
Canine Training Center
Carol Hein-Creger has been training dogs and their owners for over 30 years.  She has trained thousands of people, including many local dog trainers.  Carol is currently teaching at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station in downtown Lansing.  Check out her her upcoming class schedule.
Do you have a training question for Carol? Send an email to info@coolcitydogs.com with “Carol’s Corner” in the subject line or use the “Contact Us ” form.