Having Fun AND Building A Relationship With Your Dog

December 16th, 2012

Today’s dogs have joined the unemployed population. They are bored and looking for things to do. We, as dog owners, need to give them something to do. To do this, we must build our relationship with our dogs. There are many ways to build a relationship with your dog. All these ways revolve around communication and learning how to communicate with your dog. Some ways are more fun that others. One of the favorite ways among dog owners are teaching tricks! Dog tricks are entertaining and they help teach your dog to think. Tricks will also give you a way to enjoy your dog in the coming winter months.

The following dog tricks are not listed in any particular order. Some are pretty easy to teach and others are a bit more work. This list is not all inclusive but is intended to give you some ideas. To teach a trick, use your dog’s favorite treat or favorite toy. If you know of more trick ideas or have a funny story about dog tricks, please feel free to post them in the comment section. I’ll post a funny trick comment about Catch in the comments area after this blog post.

Answer the Phone


Jump Through a Hoop

Jump Over Your Arm/Leg/Stick

Jump Into Your Arms

Roll a Barrel

Drag a Box

Carry The Leash/Walk Yourself

Walk Another Dog

Shell Game



Take a Bow



Wipe Your Feet




Stick Out Your Tongue


Turn On/Off Lights

Sit Pretty

Give Me a Kiss

Wag Your Tail

Shake Your Head Yes or No

Find The Ball/Toy/Treat/Keys/Person

Carry a Message

Shake Hands

Play Dead

Roll Over


Say Your Prayers

Balance a Treat and Catch it

Bring the Newspaper

Get the Mail

Walk on Hind Legs

Push a Carriage

Poor Puppy!

February 3rd, 2012

What a great winter we have been having! Nice temperatures – not to hot, not to cold. Catch and I have been able to stay on the road without worrying about the weather affecting the temperature in the vehicle we are driving.

After the terrible weather last winter, I wanted to be ready for this winter. I started in September looking for an other car with 4 wheel drive since the Bravada was on it’s last leg. The TDT (The Dawg Trainer) van does great in the snow but it only has so much clearance. I bought a used Ford Explorer. Nice truck. Sits high enough that I can clear any snow drifts in the 1/2 mile driveway to the black top so that Catch and I can get around. Plus, I can still get up to 4 crates in there to carry more dogs.

Usually, if you see me, you see Catch. He’s kinda hard to miss. Catch is a 90 pound Giant Schnauzer pup. Even though he is 1.5 years old, I still call Catch a pup since he is not done growing yet. I did find it interesting when Catch and I would take the Ford, that I would find more people around the Ford than the TDT van. I guess the windows are not as dark in the Ford as they are in the van. And maybe it has something to do with the van having signage on it and the Ford does not. I suppose in the winter time, people do not hear me approach the vehicle as well as any other time of the year either. I started hearing things like “poor dog”, “poor puppy”. At first, I just let it go. Then finally, I had to ask. I apparently was missing something! Why were people feeling sorry for my pup?!? You would be surprised at the answers! At least I was surprised. People felt sorry for my dog because he was left in the car. They felt he would have been better off at home. I was at Rural King one day and see 2 separate people approach someone else’s vehicle and do the same thing. Their reasoning? They felt sorry for a dog trapped in a car. Let me throw in a disclaimer here too: every time this has happened the temperatures were nice. Both vehicles had their windows down enough for ventilation. In the case of the dog “trapped” in the car at Rural King, his windows were all the way down and the people were actually petting the dog (that is for another blog post :-)).

Trapped? To me, trapped means to not be able to get out of. Like a land slide or a collapsed building – maybe being in jail or even house arrest! Catch must not be under house arrest since he is not in the house, right?

Catch is a trained dog. He is reliable on and off leash. Catch likes to go for rides. In fact, you can not say the “G” “O” word in front of him or he runs to the door and is ready to go! He will race you to the car and then dance around watching you to see which car you are headed to so he can beat you to that one. He then sits and waits at the door he normally uses to enter the car until you release him with the command he knows which tells him to get into the car. He rides well – rather the trip is only 10 minutes long or 10 hours long. I can leave him in my car without worrying about him eating a seat or the dash! Life is good!

Catch is not trapped in life. Being a trained dog opens the door for many adventures for the dog and his/her owner. Catch is able to go into stores that allow dogs, sit on a patio and have dinner with me or go to a BBQ with friends or family. I can be gone for hours and not have to worry about whether Catch needs out – has enough water – is hungry – all because he is right there with me, enjoying life, meeting new people, going on adventures.

All dogs should be as trapped as Catch.

Canine Easter Egg Hunt and Open House!

April 10th, 2011

Hop on over and visit us on April 23rd! We will be holding what we hope to become an annual event! Tour the kennels and the grooming shop. Enjoy free demos with your dog or watch demos with our dogs starting at 2 PM. At 3 PM, we will be holding a race between Catch from The Dawg Trainer and Dee from Canine Life Skills on who can find….well, maybe we’ll leave that as a secret for now. Then we will be on to the Easter Egg Hunt to when dog treats and coupons! Group class will start at 4 PM so feel free to stick around to see how group classes work here at The Dawg Trainer. Things will wrap up around 5 PM. We look forward to seeing you all!


March 3rd, 2011

Hannah has a new home!

Dog Bites Increase

December 3rd, 2010

Headlines read: “Man’s best friend? Severe dog bite injuries have increased”1

The article goes on to state that dog bites incidents grew by 86% from 1993 to 2008. We really need to be asking ourselves why this is happen. Dogs are our best friends. No other animal can be the companion that a dog can be. Reading stories like this is very upsetting to me. A dog can be everything to us, given the opportunity. Is that where we are going wrong? Are we not giving the dog’s the right opportunity?

Our lives have become so complicated. There seems to not be the time for a dog. This actually makes it even more important to train your dog. Start that training at a young age. Help to bring your dog up correctly so that he/she fits into your lifestyle so that he/she can be part of that lifestyle. Make a commitment and follow it through.

Using a dog trainer that teaches you how to teach your dog is important. That way, you have an understanding on how to communicate with your dog in all situations. Communication leads to understanding the role your dog needs to play in that situation.

Then we, as humans, have become used to having everything happen quickly in this electronic age. We have failed to progress in how we raise our dogs though. We now use computers and cell phones to help raise our children but we still expect to give the dogs a treat and expect them to follow though with the rest of the communication. I’m not saying that treats do not work, what I am saying is that a treat needs more than just giving it to the dog for it to work. It takes more time to communicate with that treat. Why should we not move forward in the electronic age with our dogs?

The technology is available. Remote (shock) collars are are a great way to communicate with your dog. You just need to find a trainer that uses them as a communication tool. There are many trainers out there that have studied to expand their knowledge on how to use the remote collar as a communication tool.

Let’s start working on decreasing the bite statistics.
1.) Make the commitment to your dog – train him/her to fit your lifestyle.
2.) Do not leave your dog unattended unless in a kennel.
3.) Teach your children not to approach a strange dog.

These 3 things will decrease the bite statistics considerably.


What is the definition of humane?

November 20th, 2010

What is the definition of humane?

According to Merrian-Webster Dictionary, Humane means:
1: marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals
2: characterized by or tending to broad humanistic culture

How do you define the word humane? Does the above definition seem fair?

When we do a “good deed” it makes us feel better. Is being humane something that means you are humane if you treat someone in the way that makes you feel better or the way that makes them feel better? To me, humane means being considerate of what makes someone else better and is better for them.

Living out on the farm has given me a whole new prospective on life. I’ve lived in cities, suburbs and the country off and on my whole life. I prefer the country. Each individual area has positives….and negatives. I have learned a ton about the humane treatment of animals due to my time on the farm.

It’s the little things that eventually add up to the big things. This morning, my son was helping me let out our dogs after they had eaten their breakfast. Hunter, my 11 year old lab, ran to the kitchen and then to the back door. My son walks over to the door to open it. I stopped him and asked him to put water in the water bowl. He looks at me and says “But Hunter is ready to go out. He’s at the back door.” I said, no he’s not, it just looks that way. You see, Hunter went to the kitchen first. Since he turned around and went to the back door, he must not have found any water in the water bowls the kitchen. So, if let outside, what do you think he would have done? He would have went in search of water. If he could not find water in the back yard, then where would he have went? That is the problem you want to stop. You do not want him to wonder off looking for water. Plus, it is dear season. You really wish to keep him close to the house. “Oh” my son says. Hunter has an excellent off leash recall. I could have called him home. But, why go through all of that if you can stop it before it happens? My son filled the water bowls and Hunter had a drink, went outside and took care of business and returned to the back door. No problems, no yelling, no need to call him home.

We have a barn cat. Yes, he lives in the barn. He has a job. He is to keep the rodents down in the barn. He has food, water and over 400 bales of hay to hang out in and keep warm. He is checked on every morning and evening while taking care of the other barn animals. His vaccinations are up to date and his is neutered. Someone felt sorry for him because he lived in the barn. So sorry for him, that they talked about taking him home but the other person they lived with was not interested. So, this individual started bringing out can cat food as a “treat” and would feed the cat. This person felt they were doing something nice for the cat and it made the human feel good. This caused problems in many ways. Can you think of a few ways? Can food spoils. Any food left in the dish would spoil and make the cat sick. The cat was not use to can food as he had only been given dry food his whole life; so this did not help his belly problems. The can food also attracted other’s – more rodents and other cats. These cats then started to beat up on the barn cat. All of this could have been avoided just by thinking this through. Instead of making the human feel better, let’s think about the animal and what is best for the animal.

Most animals were bred to do a job. Sitting around the house is not the job they were bred for. When we try to turn those animals into house animals, they end up finding a way to do “their job” inside of the home. You have to ask yourself what is the most humane way of living with these animals.

Over the years, I have watched many things happen in the human world and in the dog world. Remember when we were told not to tell our children “NO”? Remember how that turned out? We ended up with more children in trouble. The children did not understand right from wrong. More people than ever are in jail or dead from making the wrong decisions in life. Our work ethic is declining.

I am very happy to see more animals being brought into the family. Of course, there are always pitfalls to that as well. Is it more humane to crate them when you can not watch them? It is. This not only saves your home but it saves their lives in many way. The dog’s owners will not get to the point they no longer like their dog because of the destruction to the home and furniture, so then the dog does not end up in a shelter. The dog does not end up ill or dying from the ingestion of an object it swallowed but can no longer pass through it’s system. We, as humans, think of the crate as a “cage” or “jail”. That is not how a dog thinks of the crate. They think of the crate as their home – the area they go to for some quiet time. Bite statistics are on a rise. One of the reasons is people believe that leaving their dog alone in the back yard for “just a few minutes” while they ran to the store because it was so pretty outside is more humane than a crate. Rather the dog has a structural problem or because the dog is guarding it’s home does not matter. The dog has an opportunity to make the wrong decision. Put the dog in it’s crate if you can not watch the dog until the dog has matured and proven himself when you are around.

More dogs die today because they do not have a solid and reliable recall. The dogs run away and the owners can not call them back. Next thing you know, the dog has been hit by a car or attacked by another dog. Our job is to make sure that dog understands that when we call him, he needs to come. It is for his safety. It is in his best interest. We need to lay the ground work to help make him successful – even if that means telling the dog “no”.

So, what is the definition of humane? Doing what is best for that animal, not what makes us feel better or what makes our lives easier. If we want to have animals in our lives, we need to educate ourselves on what is best for that animal. Do not take the word of other’s. Do your research. Remember, even humans need balance in our lives. We need schedules, we need consequences – rather good or bad – to be well rounded. We need to be told “No” when it is not in our best interest.

St. Louis Gateway Chapter – Delta Waterfowl’s First Annual Banquet

September 2nd, 2010

Good food, good people and a wonderful way to make new friends and learn about hunting opportunities. I hope you can join the St. Louis Gateway Chapter of Delta Waterfowl for their 1st Annual Banquet.

St. Louis Dog Trainer Sponsors Disc Dog and Agility Workshop!

May 10th, 2010

Remote Collar Training at St. Louis Dog Trainer, The Dawg Trainer

May 10th, 2010

Agility Fun at St. Louis Dog Trainer, The Dawg Trainer.

May 10th, 2010

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