Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm on a new path, developing a new class for the school called "Partnership" and "Partnership Plus". There's been some bad press on dog training and daycare in our region. It made me think hard on some things. Although I am a strong supporter of positive reinforcement, including clicker training, I decided I wanted folks to do more than just train their dog to sit/down/stay. I want them to connect. Dogs that are connected to their humans (and visa versa) love to learn, love to listen and are overall a joy to live with (and we're a joy for them!).

The partnership class is going to take a team that has been through a basic Level 1 class with us (have to have a foundation to start with) and bring them together as a team. The class will be off leash - after all, the first piece is to have your dog WANT to hang around you! For dogs who can't handle other dogs in their space, we'll have a Partnership Plus class, where we'll do the same exercises but dogs will be on a soft, long leash. My goal is to have people and dogs LIKE being around each other. Where there is a relationship - after all, isn't that why we all got our dogs...to feel like they enjoy us as we do them? This class will have no force training, no dominance exercises. But, fun will be had, and respect and love will flourish!

You can bet I'll keep you posted as I develop this new program and it hits the "mats" in the school!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving - and as always, be sure to know exactly where your emergency vet is before you need them, as pets always get sick on Sundays and holidays!

The best of the day to you all!

Deb Schneider
Everee, Corky, Eli

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to Make a Border Collie Sleep!

Had to add this fun piece. We had a bad storm here in Minnesota on Saturday. I was home alone with my two dogs, Everee the Border Collie and Corky the yorky. My husband was at the Bloodhound Nationals in Georgia with his boy Eli.

It really was an intense storm. So, I decided it was time for our first fire in our beautiful wood burning stove in our living room. It's such a lovely, warm thing for sure. Heats our whole house for hours and hours. Anyway, I get a fire going, and because it's like 34 degrees outside it doesn't take much to heat up the house. Ends up getting to about 76 degrees at it's warmest. It felt great although I usually keep it at 70. I was watching a movie, and suddenly realized Everee was sleeping in front of the woodburner. She slept for like 5 hours, non-stop. This never happens! That warm, wood heat just knocked her out. I actually watched a movie without any interruption of "play ball" or had any toys tossed in my lap. Amazing! I can't wait to try it again soon!

Deb Schneider
Everee, Corky and Eli

Positive Training

Saw a news piece on Fox 9 about a training/daycare center. It was very disturbing. I was sad for the dogs, and also sad that this definitely put a dark mark on my profession - that of dog trainer and daycare facilitator.

Be sure to read my post on finding a good trainer. Although this was horrible, there were still alot of people there training their dogs, where I heard a dog scream in pain, ears being pulled, etc. If people didn't pay this business, they wouldn't stay in business. Remember, YOU sign the check, your dog doesn't have a say.

That said, one thing to remember is that when an obedience school or dog trainer says they use positive reinforcement, be sure to ask them exactly what they mean by that. In this news piece I saw dogs being harshly corrected on a pinch collar, and then food was shoved at them. Ok, so they can say they use food, which means they can say they use "positive" reinforcement. I think this word is sorely misused in the dog training business. So, again, be sure you know exactly how a school runs before you write the check! Training styles vary widely - be sure you check them all out - we are NOT all the same!

Good training!
Deb Schneider
Everee the BC, Corky the Yorky, Eli the bloodhound (who earned his Rally Novice Title at the Bloodhound Nationals last week at the age of ten months....yaaaah Eli!)