Monday, May 30, 2016

Dog In Hot CarHeat, Dogs, and Safety  
As I left my house to watch the annual Memorial Day parade in Sherman, I could see in the distance that the road was already closed to traffic - not a problem.  I have walked it without issue many times, but today was a bit different.  
The temperature was the equivalent to a mid-August “horribly hot heat-wave” day and the sun was extremely strong.  I kept thinking this is only May!!  Before I found my spot on the parade route I stopped at the IGA bought a water and took a few minutes to hydrate and cool down in the air conditioned store. I then found a place in the shade to enjoy the parade.  However, that wasn’t entirely the case….the parade was awesome, but I was bothered by what I observed.   
I saw a dog walking as part of the parade in direct sun on the hot asphalt.  I saw dogs with their owners watching the parade pass by in full sun.  Although I’m happy to share many dog owners tried to keep their dog in a shaded area and happier to say that it appeared less dogs attended the parade than usual.  During the after-ceremony, I saw a dog heavily panting (in full sun) while pulling on a prong/pinch collar thus constricting the ability to breathe even further.  Given the extreme heat and the strength of the sun, each of those situations could have quickly become a canine medical emergency.  So what do owners need to know help keep their furry canine companions cool, healthy and happy during the heat of summer?
Anatomy and Physiology 101:
A dog’s ability to tolerate heat is based on their anatomy (how the body is structured) and physiology (how the body functions).  

Factors such as, age, physical condition, coat type and breed, and how accustomed your dog is to a particular climate influences a canine’s tolerance to heat.  Very young and old dogs are more sensitive to heat. Brachycephalic (dogs with short muzzles) such as Bulldogs and Pugs tend to have more difficulty breathing due to their facial anatomy.  Black dogs seem to tolerate heat less as their dark color tends to absorb heat faster. Light colored, fair skinned and hairless breeds can be as susceptible to sun sensitivity as fair-skinned people.

People sweat through their skin and sweating is what helps us cool when the body overheats. Dogs don’t sweat like people, as they do not have sweat glands distributed over their entire body.  Dogs are able to sweat through their paw pads, but that is not their primary way of staying cool.  Actually, their primary means of staying cool is through panting.  Essentially, panting is rapid, shallow breathing that speeds evaporation of water from your dog's tongue, and inside the mouth and upper respiratory tract.  As the water evaporates, it helps your dog regulate his body temperature. If a dog cannot effectively cool his body, it may lead to a condition called heat stroke.

What can canine heat stroke look like?
Some of the top indicators your pet might be becoming overheated or experiencing heat stroke are the following:
  • Excessive panting
  • Increased salivation
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Listlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of control of body movement
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency.  Seek out veterinary attention immediately.  Rapid decisions can save your pet’s life and believe it or not - a rapid decision can save your dog’s life without extensive medical expenses. (Dr. Dale Krier, DVM - Creature Comforts Mobile Veterinarian)

Too Hot for Fido:
Every year, hundreds of pets die from exposure to heat because they are left in a parked vehicle. Perhaps you have heard or have even said, “Oh, it will just be a few minutes while I go into the store," or "I’ll crack the windows..." According to research  - on a 78-degree day the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.  A parked car can be a death trap for dogs.  This one is easy - don’t take a chance with your dog’s life - leave him home.
Limit exercise on hot days:
When exercising your pet on hot days take it easy.  Adjust the intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature outside. On very hot days, you may want to limit exercise to the early morning or evening hours.  Or maybe offer your dog and opportunity for mental stimulation by practicing basic obedience skills in a dog friendly air conditioned store.  I know this seems like a no-brainer - always carry water with you to keep your dog properly hydrated during exercise no matter the what the weather is presenting.  
Have you ever been at a public event and noticed that your dog is pulling unusually hard on the leash?  Or maybe he just plops down and refuses to walk?  If that is the case, did you ever think that it may be more than your dog being obstinate or stubborn?  Perhaps it could be in response to your dog being uncomfortable with his paws touching the hot pavement. The pads of a dog’s feet are not any thicker than our feet, so if it feels hot to your bare feet then it’s just as hot to your dog. Here’s a simple test to determine if the street temperature is safe enough to walk your dog.  Put the back of your hand on the pavement, if you can't keep it there for a minimum of five seconds - it’s too hot.  Walking your dog in the shade and on cool grass is a much better option than the hot asphalt.

Bottom-line: The first step to keep your dog from getting overheated and avoiding heat-stroke in the summer is to be aware that canines anatomically and physiologically cope with heat different than humans.  Owners need to understand that heat stroke is a medical emergency and recognize the symptoms.  Finally, owners need to be aware of situations which could put their dog at-risk and become proactive to keep them safe.  

I offer a personal thank-you to those dog owners who made the decision to keep their dog(s) home because of the weather.  We’ll see you next year - weather permitting!!
Donna Gleason CPDT, CDBC, MA - TLC Dog Trainer resides in Sherman. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with a Master’s Degree in Behavior Modification.  Donna is a Paws for Friendship and Pet Partners Therapy Dog Evaluator and Head Trainer/Evaluator for K9 First Responders.  Donna offers professional in-home dog training as well as group classes.   To reach Donna, call 203-241-4449 or visit her website @

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to Develop a Safe and Effective Exercise Plan for you Dog (Part 1 of a 2 Part Series) By Donna Gleason CPDT, CDBC, MA

You have decided to begin exercising your dog regularly.  Good for you!!  According to current research; dogs who have opportunities for daily exercise are typically healthier, present fewer behavioral issues, and have a deeper bond with their owners.  There are many ways we can exercise our dogs - hiking, loose leash walking, swimming, going to the dog park, attending a training class, organized sport competitions and playing games...the list is endless.  With so many possibilities available, what do owners need take into consideration so that the program they design is individual and sustainable?  

The first step is to consult with your veterinarian and have your dog’s current level of fitness evaluated with a thorough medical examination.  This assessment will help you figure out which activities may or may not be appropriate for your dog.  Once you have an understanding of your dog’s medical status, the next step is to look at your dog’s age, breed and temperament as each may influence your decisions.  Finally, and perhaps the most importantly, develop your program so that you are able follow through on a regular basis.   

Let’s take a look at how your dog’s age, breed, temperament and ability to “Stick With It” can influence your exercising options:
  • Older dogs can sometimes develop medical conditions which can be aggravated by overexertion.  This may mean that marathon hikes in the woods may need to be replaced with leisurely walks in town.    
  • Younger dogs need to be exercised regularly, but did you know that too much exercise can cause damage to their bones and joints?  According to the ASPCA - Exercise can be a great activity for energetic young dogs, but sustained jogging or running is not recommended for dogs under 18 months, as damage could be done to their still developing bones.
Note:  When introducing an exercise program to an older dog or puppy it’s important to always build up their stamina gradually.    

  • Breeds that are prone to bloat that is, deep-chested, narrow-bodied breeds, such as German Shepherd dogs, Doberman Pinschers and Great Danes should not be exercised right before or after meals.
  • Small or short-legged dogs usually don’t need as much walking as larger dogs.
  • Breeds with short or flat noses (brachycephalic breeds) can have trouble breathing when exercised vigorously.  
  • Large dogs who are more prone to cruciate ligament injuries, arthritis and hip dysplasia should not engage in sustained jogging or running  as it can be hard on their joints and bones.
  • Sighthounds, like greyhounds and whippets, are built for short-distance sprinting, not long-distance runs.
  • (Courtesy of WebMD)

When determining which exercise plan is best for your dog in terms of temperament, here are some questions you should think about:

  • Does my dog like to be in a group of dogs/people or like to be alone?
  • Does my dog get along with people or other dogs?
  • Does my dog have high energy or is my dog more of a couch potato?
  • Does my dog like to participate in organized activities, such as training classes or sport competitions?
  • Does my dog appear to be more  “high strung” or “relaxed” when introduced to a new or  different environment?  

“Stick With It” Factor
The final piece when developing an exercise program for your dog is to make sure you can be committed and consistent to the plan on a daily basis.  It’s important to have alternative exercise options for your dog when the weather might not be so cooperative.  Here are some suggestions:  teach your dog to use the treadmill, visit and train in stores that are dog friendly, and take time to step up on your dog’s basic obedience skills within the home.  According to Mary Oquendo,  nationally recognized Pet First Aid and Reiki Master, dogs who receive daily doses of exercise as opposed to being weekend warriors tend to be more physically sound and emotionally balanced.  

Bottom Line:  Being mindful of your dog’s medical status, age, breed and temperament when developing a exercise plan are all important to the plan’s success.  However, the most important factor, is that you as the owner can follow through with the plan each and every day.

Donna Gleason - TLC Dog Trainer resides in Sherman, CT.  She is a certified professional dog trainer and canine behavioral consultant with a Masters in Behavior Modification.  She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) as well as group puppy/basic obedience classes at New Fairfield Animal Hospital.  Donna is a member of APDT, Pet Partners, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, and consulting trainer for Paw-Safe Animal Rescue.  To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @

Friday, December 7, 2012

Finding that perfect gift for your pet....Priceless!!

Did you know that 63 percent of dog owners and 58 percent of cat owners give their pets gifts during the holiday season? Sometimes when owners buy gifts for their pets, they tend not take into account that a gift can be an opportunity to strengthen both their pets’ emotional and physical well-being as well as a means to increase their current pet/owner human/pet bond.  The Gloucester County Times (NJ), interviewed one man about how he celebrates Christmas with his golden retriever, Rue:  “She gets a pretty Christmas Eve outfit that she tugs and pulls off within 10 minutes,” he said. “That’s a $75 waste of money each year.” (

This year when seeking out that perfect gift for your pet, ask yourself these two questions:

  • Can  this gift improve our relationship?
  • Does this gift help strengthen my pets emotional and physical well-being?
Keeping the above questions in mind will help you provide that perfect gift and that is ...priceless.  

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Remember to schedule an annual wellness exam for your pet. An annual physical examination is one of most important gifts to help your pet live a longer, happier, and healthier life.   
  • Do you or your pet get stressed thinking about going to the vet?  A good gift would then be to have your vet come to you.     
  • Spay or neuter your pet. Spaying and neutering can provide major health benefits and helps to fight pet overpopulation.  If cost is an issue, consider finding a veterinarian who supports a Low-Cost Spay/Neuter program.  
  • Does your dog suffer from cracked paws or dry noses during the winter?  Consider a product like Doggie Wellness BowWow Butter Balm.  Products like this significantly help those dogs whose paws and noses are more sensitive during drier weather.
  • Instead of buying packaged dog treats, think about making your own.  The benefits of making your own treats are numerous.    
  • Take your dog for a Reiki Treatment - Reiki is a form of spiritual healing that helps harmonize the mind, body, and soul of your pet.
  • Offer your dog a hydro massage with essential oils - These massages are designed to help our canine friends who may have joint, skin and/or relaxation issues.
  • Love to pamper your dog? How about treating her to a manicure complete with nail painting?
  • SHHHH...!!  The newest accessorizing trend for our dogs...feathers.  It’s not only for humans anymore...!
  • Having trouble bathing your dog in the winter?  Consider a do-it-yourself doggie wash to get the job done.
  • Looking for a way to give a gift to a friend or neighbor's dog?  How about a gift certificate?  Gift certificates are a thoughtful way to help others pay for veterinary, grooming, training or any other service you think their pet may benefit.
  • Do you have difficulty finding the time to regularly exercise your dog?  Consider hiring a dog walker to help you out.  
  • Is your dog is home alone for long periods of time?  Think about giving the gift mental and physical stimulation by bringing your dog to doggie daycare a few times per week.  
  • Support fundraisers hosted by your local shelter and rescue organizations. Chances are you will probably find some fun items for your own pet.  It’s a win-win for everyone!
  • The gift that keeps on giving...make a donation to your local shelter in your pet’s name.
  • If emergency responders came to your home, would they know that you have animals inside?  Give the gift of safety and affix a pet alert sticker on all entrances to your home.  
  • Would you know what to do in the event of a medical pet emergency? Take a Pet first aid course so that if you are ever faced with a pet medical emergency you will be more prepared.   
  • Do you feel that your dog could be better behaved when out in public? Enroll your dog in a basic obedience class.  I recommend NFAH and will be leading these classes!! Our next session is scheduled to begin 1/16.  For more details call:203.312.9000.
  • Having difficulty with canine behaviors in your home?  Consider hiring TLC Dog Trainer!  Call 203.241.4449, visit my website @ or check out my Facebook page - TLC Dog Trainer - you will see that I am equipped to help you with any behavioral issue that you may experiencing and can help you improve the current human-canine bond you have with your dog.

Still looking for that perfect gift for your pet?  
Listed below are some great companies who can help.  All of their products are manufactured in the USA and have recommended to me by clients or which I have personally used.  

Sill Shields™ and Door Shields™ -  Designed to protect your window ledges and doors from being scratched and scuffed by doggie claws and paws.

Poochie-Bells® - Easily and quickly train your pooch to ring the bell each time your dog needs to eliminate outdoors.

Too Hot for Spot - This unique thermometer is designed to raise awareness of dog car safety and bring attention to the possible hazards of leaving pets in a vehicle during any season.

American Digs - American Digs is a premium brand of dog products and apparel. This company strives to provide products that dogs are proud to wear.

Katies Bumpers Whether you are a serious dog trainer doing land or water work or you have a dog that loves to fetch, Katie's Bumpers are great.

Ruff Dawg - Ruff Dawg has the right toy for your dog. These 100% superior-grade, rubber retrieving toys are made in the USA and are great for any size pooch.

Honest Pet Products Offers pet owners safe, quality made, truly NATURAL toys for their dogs and cats.

Bottom-Line: The most important gift you can give your pet is making the time you spend together special.  Whether it be interacting with a toy, brushing your pet, or just hanging out, enjoy the time and find that gift which will assist in making your dog and the relationship you have with him the best it can be.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Are you prepared for a pet health emergency?

According to an emergency is “a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action”.   If you have ever been in an emergency - especially involving your pet - you quickly learn the more prepared you are, the better equipped you will be in handling the situation.

Imagine coming home to, “Mom I’ve been trying to call you,  Winston (my black lab) just ate a whole bottle of Lucy’s (my other dog’s) pain medication....”  Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened this week.  So based on my recent experience with Winston and information from the experts, here are some tips designed to make you even more prepared if ever faced with a pet health emergency.  

  • Keep the name and phone numbers of your regular veterinarian and 24/7 emergency veterinary hospital (including directions) in a location that is easily accessible -  some suggestions are to have all the information posted on the refrigerator, programmed in your car’s GPS and into your smartphone.  
  • Listed below are three 24/7 emergency veterinary hospitals located in the Sherman/New Fairfield area.  
    • Newtown Veterinary Specialists
      • 52 Church Hill Rd
      • Newtown, CT 06470
      • Phone:  203.790.6383
    • Veterinary Specialty Center of the Hudson Valley (did a great job with Mr. Winston)
      • 1285 U.S. Route 9
      • Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
      • Phone: 845.632.3200
    • Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center
      • 546 N. Bedford Road (Route 117)
      • Bedford Hills, NY
      • Phone:  914.241.7700
  • Have the number of a 24/7 Poison Control Center readily available in your home (there will be a fee charged for this service).  
    • Pet Poison Helpline 800-213-6680
    • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center   1.888.426.4435
  • If you are transporting your pet to the veterinarian with an emergency always alert the staff that you in route.  This way the medical team will be ready to take action the moment you enter their facility.  When Winston and I arrived at New Fairfield Animal Hospital the staff was waiting, had all the proper medications ready and began treating him right away.  We saved valuable minutes, which are critical when facing a life or death situation.

Prepare a pet first aid kit:  Having a few items in a handy place is a great idea for dealing with a pet health emergency.  According to Mary Oquendo, Master Pet Tech First Aid Instructor, the items listed below should be part of every standard first aid kit.  

  • Non-stick gauze pads

  • Gauze rolls
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Adhesive tape
  • Scissors with blunt ends
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Blanket (foil emergency blanket) for warmth or to assist with transport
  • Sealed sterile saline solution – once the bottle is opened it is no longer sterile.
  • Plastic cards such as old library or used gift cards – they are the perfect size to cushion pad injuries. You can also use them to flick out bee stingers. Place the card under the stinger and lift up and out.
  • Chemical cold packs or instant cold gel packs
  • Large Syringe (no needle) for flushing wounds or administering medicine. Handy hint:  A squirt bottle or turkey baster can be used in place of a syringe
  • Current medical information about your dog - including proof of rabies vaccination, current blood work, medications and any medical issues your dog may be experiencing.    
In Mary’s on-demand webinar, Making and Using A Pet First Aid Kit,  you will learn how to put together a more comprehensive first aid kit and how to use the contents stored inside.  For more information go to

Bottom Line: Cindy Smith, staff manager at New Fairfield Animal Hospital sums it up:  When facing a health emergency with your pet, it’s important to get to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.  Do not waste time trying to diagnose your pet’s condition by going on-line, call your vet and describe the situation.  In a true emergency the difference between the life or death of your pet could be a matter of minutes.  Finally, If you ever have to transport your sick or injured pet to a veterinary hospital, make sure the staff is aware that you are on your way - just as in Winston’s case - the team can be waiting and have everything ready to begin treatment the moment you arrive.  

As for Mr. Winston his 48 hour blood test just came back normal and we are hoping that his  second set of results will deliver the same news.  

Donna Gleason - TLC Dog Trainer resides in Sherman, CT.  She is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with a Masters in Behavior Modification.  She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) as well as group puppy/basic obedience classes at New Fairfield Animal Hospital.  Donna is a member of APDT, Delta Society, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, Delta Society and consulting trainer for Paw-Safe Animal Rescue.  To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @

Friday, July 20, 2012

Volunteer, Donate, Foster and Adopt

“Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats).” - ASPCA

There’s a tale used by some rescue and shelter organizations intended to put the above statistic into perspective.  Although you can find many variations of this story on the internet, the message is always the same.  It is about a man who walks the beach and tosses the starfish that have washed upon the shore back into the ocean.  One day he was asked why he did this as there were miles of beach and numerous starfish along each mile.  How could this possibly make a difference?  As the man bends down to toss another starfish into the ocean, he replies, “It made a difference for this one.”   

Logically we know one person can t save all of the 5 - 7 million companion animals that enter  shelter and rescue organizations, but there are opportunities for everyone to make a difference in the life of one.  Let’s look at some of those ways:

Misconception:  “I can’t volunteer, I am not comfortable working directly with the animals.”
Reality:   There are many volunteer opportunities within any shelter or rescue organization that does not involve direct contact with animals.”

  • Help design and maintain a monthly newsletter
  • Volunteer in the office (answering phones, filing etc)
  • Arrange and participate in fundraising events
  • Website maintainance
  • Put together informational packets for new adopters
  • Assist in screening new adopters
  • Handyman work around the facility
  • Landscaping and gardening

Misconception:  “Shelter and rescue organizations are only looking for financial donations.”

Reality:  While cash donations are always appreciated, the supplies needed for the day to day operations are just as important.

Note:  To determine which items your favorite shelter/rescue organization is in need of, take time to visit their website.

  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Dog or cat food
  • Litter
  • Laundry detergent
  • Newspaper
  • Food dishes
  • Cat and dog beds

Misconception:  “Fostering is only for children.”
Reality:  Did you know that you can work with your local shelter or rescue organization and temporarily foster one of their companion animals within your home?

Many times there is a screening process that occurs prior to fostering a shelter or rescue animal in your home.  However, once approved, the overall goal would be to assist in preparing the animals from the shelter into their forever home.      

Misconception:  “Most shelter animals are not good pets, that Is why they end up in the shelter.”  
Reality:   According to the Humane Society of the United States the most common scenarios as to why animals end up in shelters are due to “people reasons” as opposed to behavioral issues.  

  • Their owners have passed away
  • A divorce
  • Owners have to move
  • Owners did not spay or neuter their pets and could not keep the litter of puppies
  • Owners did not have enough time to take care of their pet.  
  • Owners could not take care of their pet financially

Bottom-Line:  As you can see, there are many opportunities in which you can help your local rescue or shelter organization.  Now it’s up to you to find that special way to make that difference in the life of one.    

Local Canine News:
Puppy classes
The next session of  canine basic obedience classes are scheduled to begin on Wednesday August 1, 2012 at New Fairfield Animal Hospital.  Please call New Fairfield Animal Hospital for more details 203.312.9000

New Fairfield Sherman Dog Walk and Pet Fair
To celebrate International Homeless Animals Day, the New Fairfield/Sherman Animal Welfare Society’s First Annual Dog Walk and Pet Fair will be held on Aug. 18, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., on the Sherman Green and the Naromi Land Trust’s Mallory Trail, on Route 39 in Sherman.

Donna Gleason - TLC DogTrainer resides in Sherman, CT.  She is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with a Masters in Behavior Modification.  She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) and group puppy/basic obedience classes.  Donna is a member of APDT, Delta Society, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, Good Dog Foundation and consulting trainer for Paw-Safe Animal Rescue.  To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @

Monday, May 7, 2012

Every Dog needs a job - but what exactly is a job?

Every other Sunday Mr. Socrates goes to work and performs a job.  His job is to assist Paula Gallo, Lead Manager at the Home Depot  - New Milford, Connecticut - in finding customers who would like to receive a free-estimate for any of their home renovation needs.  When at the store, associates always go out of their way to welcome Mr. Socs and their Home Depot customers.  No matter who is interacting with Mr. Socs, he knows the rules when working:  he is expected to behave in a certain way till his hour long shift is over and then off to the car he goes for a tasty treat.  That’s the routine and it never changes.  When returning home from work, Mr. Socs is tired and usually takes a long nap.  All dogs need a job.  However, some owners may have difficulty finding the right job for their dog.  Typically, the reason(s) why owners don’t find their dog a job can boil down to one of the following:  
  • They may not realize that finding a job for their dog doesn’t need to be complicated.     
  • They may not realize the importance of giving their dog a job.    
  • They may not realize that all dogs can be given a job with a bit of time and effort.

Finding a job for your dog doesn’t have to be complicated.  A job doesn’t mean your pet has to become an AKC champion or to learn to sniff out bombs.  The good news is that a job can be much simpler and all dogs, no matter what issues they have, can learn a job.  Here’s the criteria to think about when finding a job for your dog:   
  • A job is an activity or series of activities that provides an opportunity for mental and/or physical stimulation.  
  • A job is performed regularly and routinely.  
  • The behavior(s) that are expected when your dog is performing his job are consistent.
  • A job well done is always reinforced/rewarded.

Why is it important to find your dog a job?  We have all heard the saying - A tired dog is a good dog!!.  Dogs who have a job tend to display less behavioral issues and are calmer due to the additional mental and/or physical stimulation they receive.  A job creates the opportunity for your dog to become a thinking dog.  Thinking dogs tend to display less behavioral issues.  Many dogs who live in an environment lacking of mental and/or physical stimulation often find their own creative ways to stimulate their mind and body - digging, barking, chewing, hyperactivity, attention seeking behaviors, chasing the cat and much, much more...  

Every dog can have a job: 
Use your imagination and the tips below as a guide to begin finding a job for your dog today.      
  • When going for a walk, have your dog sit at all curbs, stop signs and when greeting new people.
  • Have your dog sit and wait before exiting a door or their crate.
  • Teach your dog go to his crate or a special place on cue.  
  • Have your dog sit and wait before eating his dinner.  
  • Teach your dog to go to a specific spot while you are eating your dinner.
  • Teach your dog to eat his food out of interactive toys. Premier Pet Products offers some great products for this.
  • Teach your dog to bring you his leash when going on a walk.  
  • Have your dog pick up and place their toys in a toy box or basket.
  • In the morning, establish a routine to have your dog greet and wake everyone up.  
  • Teach your dog to find which cup the treat is hidden under.  Start with one cup and then increase the number of cups once he has mastered the previous level.  
  • Teach your dog to find objects hidden in the house.
  • When playing catch with your dog  - have him sit and wait before retrieving the ball.
  • Enroll your dog into a group training classes (Basic Obedience, Canine Good Citizen, Agility and Rally are some great ways to help your dog become a thinking dog).

Bottom-Line:  Every dog needs a job.  Dogs who have been given a job tend to be more emotionally balanced and calmer due to the additional mental and/or physical stimulation they receive.   

Doggie Tip 101:  If the brand of dog food you give your pet gets recalled would you know the lot number?  Sometimes owners place their dog’s kibble into a dry storage container and throw away the bag.  When emptying the bag into its dry storage container, simply, cut the lot number off the bag and place it in the container.  This way you will never wonder if the food you are feeding your dog may be the one being recalled.  

  • If you would like to see Mr. Socs at work, please join us at the New Milford Home Depot on 5/20 @ 11:00.
  • The next session for my puppy/basic obedience class is scheduled to begin at New Fairfield Animal Hospital on June 6, 2012 @ 6:00 p.m.  For more details, call NFAH:  203.312.9000

Donna Gleason - TLC Dog Trainer resides in Sherman, CT.  She is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with a Masters in Behavior Modification.  She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) as well as group puppy/basic obedience classes.  Donna is a member of APDT, Delta Society, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, Delta Society and consulting trainer for Paw-Safe Animal Rescue.  To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @