Friday, July 31, 2009

Free Pupcake Friday! August 7, 2009

Join Caninestein Dog Training for our first-ever Rex in the City Training Walk, a night on the town complete with a free Pupcake at the famous Three Dog Bakery in Sherman Oaks!

Friday, August 7, 2009 from 6:30-7:30pm with optional dog-friendly dinner to follow.

Sherman Oaks, CA. Exact meeting spot will be emailed to you upon registering.

Friendly dogs and the people who love them! BRING YOUR FRIENDS! Open to all dogs 4-months and older who are both people- and dog-friendly. Aggressive dogs may not participate, and dogs who exhibit aggressive behavior will be asked to leave the group.

Spend an evening with fellow dog-loving peeps! Socialize with old friends and make some new ones! Evenings out are a great way to provide your dog with important urban socialization and it's a wonderful opportunity to train around distractions. Let us show you how to bring out the GENIUS in your pet! New to training? We can help! Don't be shy... come on out and join the fun!

This Rex in the City Training Walk is being offered at the discounted rate of $10 per dog. Pre-registration is required. Participants must register no later than Wednesday, August 5th.

Register Online Via PayPal, below. By registering you agree to the following Release of Liability:

In consideration of being allowed to participate in this Caninestein Dog Training activity, I hereby release Stephanie Colman/Caninestein Dog Training, and any person acting on their behalf or at their request, from all liability for loss, damage or injury to me or my dog, and agree to hold harmless from all liability, damage, cost or expense (including all attorney fees), arising out of any claim, demand or action based upon any occurrence concerning myself, my guests or my dog. I understand that I alone am responsible for my dog’s behavior, and that I assume full liability for my dog’s actions. Further, I understand that based on my dog’s behavior at any given time, I may be asked to remove my dog from the group activity and in such case, no portion of my pre-paid tuition fee will be refunded to me.

Handler's Name:
Dog's Name & Breed:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Making the Crate Great

Tips on how to crate train a puppy or new dog.

*Note: While panting is often a sign of stress in dogs, in this case with Quiz, he's panting out of excitement because he caught sight of the backyard swimming pool at the home where we were filming! Quiz LOVES to swim. He definitely had pool-on-the-brain!

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Food in Training - Part Two!

Using food in training - Reward or bribe? How to make sure the dog isn't actually training YOU to produce food! Ask your dog to work (by sitting, for example) for things in his life that he wants: walks, throwing his toy, providing his bowl of food, or inviting him to snuggle on the couch! This creates teamwork and teaches your dog that keeping you happy is the key to opening the door to everything great in his world. Continue to use food randomly - dogs love to gamble! Keep him guessing about when the reward is coming and what it will be, and you may just discover that your dog works even harder than before!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thoughts on Dominance...

It's such a big, big can of worms, but I thought this might get the conversation off to a good start. Dr. Sophia Yin has done a WONDERFUL job explaining the dogs' behavior in the different clips. Check it out for yourself:

The Dominance Controversy

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Using Food in Training

Part one of a two-part series on the proper use of food as a reward in dog training.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

When Good Tonsils Go Bad!

(A true story from a few years ago. I decided to pull it out b/c I just suggested tonsillitis to someone saying her dog appeared to have sudden "jaw pain.")

“It’ll hurt if I swallow!” This past April, if my dogs could talk, that’s exactly what they would have been saying.

Most of us have experienced tonsillitis at some point in our lives, likely as children. We’re familiar with that stabbing, “Get me some ice cream, QUICK!” pain that, when reoccurring, usually results in the removal of the offending glandular tissue.

Turns out, although rare, dogs can develop tonsillitis too. Like in humans, dog tonsils are an important part of the immune system. They can be found on either side of the throat – one section protruding into the throat and the other part sitting under a mucous membrane, in a pouch called the tonsillar crypt.

Because tonsillitis in dogs is considered rare, and because my dogs – both of them – experienced such extreme symptoms, I wanted to share the experience with fellow Club members so that, should you find yourselves in similar circumstances, you might not be sent on the same Wild Goose Chase that I was while in search of an accurate diagnosis.

It started innocently enough. Following a hike, I bathed both my dogs and began dispensing a post-grooming treat. When Quiz (my Golden) turned his head to eat the treat (a long, dehydrated chicken strip), he cried out. He held his head funny for a second and then proceeded to gingerly eat the treat. My immediate thought was that he had somehow tweaked his neck, which he is prone to doing, thanks to his super high-drive, Kamikaze ways. I kept a close eye on him. He’d reach out to pick up a Nylabone and cry as he tried to put it in his mouth. The same thing happened with a toy. When he would yawn, it was a definite truncated yawn. I phoned our chiropractor and scheduled an appointment for the following day. I tried to dispense Arnica, and he cried when I manually opened his mouth to pop in the pills. I assumed he had something pinched in his neck.

A trip to the chiropractor revealed little. The next morning, out of the corner of my eye, I caught Zoie (my Whippet) doing the same little, truncated yawn. Assuming I was imagining things, I called her over to me so I could manually open her mouth, certain all would be fine. Instead, she screamed!

Now I was really worried. This also served as clarification that the issue with Quiz was not likely to be his neck. I called my regular vet’s office and, because it was a Saturday, was referred to Animal Surgery & Emergency Center (ASEC) in Los Angeles to see a specialist. I phoned, expecting to simply make an appointment for Monday, but when I explained the symptoms, they advised me to bring the dogs in, saying it sounded as though they had tetanus!

I arrived, signed in, and gave my name, to which their response was, “The possible tetanus dogs are here!” (Insert personal panic attack here!) My dogs were immediately whisked away to the back. I should add that, by this time, Quiz had stopped eating, was throwing up, and was running a fever. Zoie seemed fine, except for the obvious pain upon opening her mouth.

We met with a Board Certified Emergency Medicine vet, who explained that they had ruled out tetanus. With tetanus, they expect to see a tightening of facial features, the ears will prick up, the lips will draw up into a “grin”, etc. However, they were stumped as to what was causing the now extreme symptom of pain upon opening of the mouth. Zoie would cry if you opened her mouth more than an inch. Quiz wasn’t much better. She had consulted with her fellow Board Certified vets as well as conducted a VetMed search, all to no avail. Her recommendation was to try broad-spectrum antibiotics for a few days and go from there.

To make this now long story a bit shorter, we spent the weekend on antibiotics. Zoie continued to show no symptoms other than this strange “jaw pain”. She’d eat as long as I watered down her food to the consistency of runny oatmeal. She was happy to run around, go outside, etc. Quiz, on the other hand, is my delicate child who became extremely lethargic, didn’t eat for more than 48 hours, was throwing up and had bouts of bloody diarrhea. He and I made another trip to ASEC on Saturday night to address the vomiting and diarrhea.

By Monday, the dogs were about the same. We returned to ASEC. By now, I was almost certain that Quiz would need to be admitted, as he hadn’t eaten more than a bite or two of food since Friday. We signed in and waited to see Dr. Bonnie Werner, a Board Certified Internist. The drawback of going to an emergency center like ASEC is that cases are triaged, so we had to wait several hours before being seen. While waiting, I finally got Quiz to eat some Koo Koo Roo turkey. As far as I was concerned, it was magic turkey and I’m almost certain that passersby thought I was insane as I cheered him on while he ate the turkey!

After waiting almost six hours, we were finally seen by Dr. Werner. By now, they had both been on antibiotics for just over 48 hours and Dr. Werner was able to open their mouths enough to see that both dogs had visibly swollen tonsils. We had our answer: tonsillitis! We ran blood work just to be on the safe side and increased the number of days they’d be on antibiotics. They were both fine within the week.

I can laugh now – about all the different things we came up with as possible diagnosis or things to test for. Thoughts ran the gamut from various autoimmune disorders to possible jaw fractures. It’s almost embarrassing to think that from the beginning, throat pain from tonsillitis was mis-diagnosed as jaw pain. However, for as silly as it sounds, I can add that all the vets I’ve spoken with – and it’s been many – have all said that they’ve NEVER seen tonsillitis dogs present with pain upon opening their mouths. It’s common for dogs to not want to swallow and thus, not want to eat, but the pain upon opening the mouth (due to the severe inflammation of the tonsils) really threw them.

I’ll never know for sure what caused the tonsillitis. My suspicion is that both dogs came in contact with some type of bacteria in standing water that they encountered while on the hike. Hopefully you’ll never encounter such symptoms with your own dogs, but if you do, remember our experience and make sure that tonsillitis isn’t behind what’s being diagnosed as “jaw pain”.
© Stephanie Colman

Canine Pool Safety

Some refresher tips for teaching your dog to safely enjoy a refreshing swim!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dogs and Babies

Training tips for a harmonious relationship between the two- and four-legged kids in your home!

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It's never too early to start! For more information on preparing your dog for the arrival of a human baby, call (818) 989-7996 and/or check out the following resources:


And Baby Makes Four
by Penny Scott-Fox

Raising Puppies & Kids Together
by Pia Silvani and Lynn Eckhardt

Living with Kids and Dogs Without Losing Your Mind
by Colleen Pelar

Child-Proofing Your Dog
by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson

Training Programs:

Dogs and Storks (Check out this Wall Street Journal article about the program.)

Emotion in Training

Mutual enjoyment of each other. Life is good!

Photo by Jeanette Oliver.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Reliable Recall Segment on KNBC Los Angeles

Key points on teaching a potentially life-saving recall! Thanks again to reporter, Jen Bjorklund, and the KNBC team for their support of humane, scientifically-sound training techniques! (Thanks to demo dog, Quiz, too!)

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Need help with your dog's recall? Call (818) 989-7996!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sit for Petting Segment on KNBC Los Angeles

Training tips to tackle "Excesive Greeting Disorder!" Aired on KNBC Los Angeles at 4am and 6am on July 6, 2009. Thanks to reporter, Jen Bjorklund, and the demo team of Apryl and Wrigley!