Friday, May 23, 2008

Dog Training Group Classes in New Hyde Park, NY

Current group classes conducted on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons have been a great success. Encouraged by that success, Smarty Paws added additional classes on weekday evenings!

Smarty Paws offers the following dog training group classes:

Basic Obedience for puppies & dogs 6 months and older - Weds evenings @ 7pm, starts May 28

Puppy Kindergarten for puppies 4-6 months - Thurs evenings @ 7pm, starts May 29

Puppy Nursery for puppies 10-16 weeks - Tues evenings @ 7pm, starts June 3

For more information visit us at:

Well, it seems that folks are either too busy or just not ready for group classes starting next week. We've had very few registrations and, while we hate to disappoint interested clients, it looks as though we may cancel the classes. But, fear not! We will reschedule and try again for next month! However, we are holding our breath and crossing our fingers that history repeats itself and we have a late rush to register.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dog Obedience Group Classes at Smarty Paws in Long Island

New Hyde Park, NY... This weekend's group classes at Smarty Paws Dog Training went off without a hitch. All the students (both 2 and 4 legged) are doing really well and improving nicely. In Saturday's class Gizmo continues to be a bit of a tough customer in that he's difficult to motivate. We are still trying to find that one thing that will really get him going. He's such a little cutie we are convinced that he plans to just get by on his looks. Juliette is still commanding her personal space and becomes a little grouchy when the other dogs get too close for her taste. Most of the other dogs don't seem to care all that much - they seem to know her bark is worse than her bite. Molly led the chase during free time and loved every minute of it. Phoebe and Sophie preferred to sit it out with mom on the bench but I said, "No Way!" and sat there instead. Of course, the 3 monsters were right in the thick of things, as usual.

In Sunday's class, Brutus entered sporting a new head collar and seemed pretty comfortable with it. The head collar will help Brutus' mom control her leaping love-bug until proper taining can take hold. Sasha's behavior around male dogs is improving but still needs work. We tried to let her and Brutus off leash for some playtime but had to end it before things turned nasty. Still, she managed a couple of minutes this time. Mogli is adorable and, unfortunately, very much into leaping. Her owners will really need to do their homework on that if they want to see any improvement. Mogli's playmate, Amber, was absent for the 3rd time so, again, she had no one to play with. She tried to play with Brutus but, being a rambunctious puppy, it was more than Brutus could handle. On a positive note, Mogli's training is coming along very nicely.

Visit us at for photos, tips and information on training.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Brady's Aggression Counseling

I just had one more aggression counseling session with Brady and his humans. Brady is doing really well and he has improved dramatically. He's come a long way from that barking, snarling, cringing dog I first met a few weeks ago. Of course, Brady and I are best buds now and he's much better with strangers coming into the home. He's really a great dog - full of energy and loves to play! He's quite the good-looking muttigree. He is jet-black and his lab genes are very evident. I'm hoping Brady's mom brings him to group class on Sunday so I can see if he will "play nice" with the other dogs. You can see Brady on the website:


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Honey's Basic Obedience Training Going Nicely

Yesterday was Honey's second lesson in basic obedience. I showed up and she was on the front porch, excited and waiting. She barked at me a little when I approached but then immediately did a submissive pee. No more big hellos for Honey!

She was readily sitting on command so I know her mom worked with her. We moved on to sitting in the "Heel" position and "Down". She had some trouble with "Down", at first but, of course, I am used to this and soon she had the idea and was going "Down" reliably so I could begin to name it. Her mom did the exercises very well so I left, confident that next week she will be "Heeling" and going "Down" with no problem.

She's just too cute! Right now she's coming when her name is called with no problem at all - in fact she can't get to you fast enough. Working on "Recall" should be a breeze! Of course, I forgot to take her picture yet again. I swear my memory is completely shot! All-in-all my two latest students for basic obedience are bright, eager and sweet tempered. It doesn't get any better than that for a trainer. I just LOVE when owners start them young!

Visit us at: You won't see Honey or Roxy but you'll see some of the others.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Basic Obedience Private Lessons Going Well for Daisy

Daisy, the Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, is doing so well with her obedience training. She is really such a love! Last night we introduced the "Heel" position to Daisy. It only took a few times before she got the idea and began to choose the "Heel" position all on her own. I couldn't have been more proud if she was my own! Next we began "Sit/Stay" and "Down/Stay". She did remarkably well with that too. I am even more seriously considering a Berne for my very own! If she is an accurate representation of the temperament and intelligence of the dogs produced from that particular breeder, then I know I can't go wrong with them. Just gotta talk the hubby into it. lol Good luck with that, Helen!

Happy Tails!

Visit Us:

Basic Obedience Group Classes Going Well

This weekend's group classes went very well, despite some absences. We reviewed "Down" and began working on "Sit/Stay" and "Wait".

Saturday's free time had all the small dogs in a frantic chase around the yard with Lilly as the chasee. Molly was right on her heels along with my own Pebbles. Even Bam Bam moved his butt off the back deck to join in! Phoebe and Sophie preferred to observe from mom's lap. This week Lilly was actually having fun. Her tail was midway up, she was loose and not trembling. She actually instigated the chase. I knew she would come around, I just didn't realize she would come around so fast. Can't wait to see what happens when Gizmo comes back next week!

Sunday's class was small again and everyone had to leave as soon as the lesson was over. Being Mother's Day, that was quited understandable. Mogli is making great progress! Sasha and Brutus are doing well too. I think that Sasha will be more comfortable with Brutus before the course ends.

Tune in next week for the continuing saga!

Happy Tails!

Visit us:

Friday, May 9, 2008

Avoid Canine Behavior Problems Before They Start!


Bored, under stimulated and under exercised dogs will find much needed ways to expend their energy and fill their time.

Provide your dog with the regular exercise he needs. This is very important in keeping your dog physically healthy as well as emotionally balanced, not to mention the benefits you, too, will receive from regular exercise. Lack of exercise is the number 1 cause of most behavior problems. Regular exercise not only helps prevent behavior problems from developing but also aids in resolving them. Even with access to a yard a dog may not be getting enough exercise. Regular walks, sports and games, like fetch, not only provide the much need outlet to burn off your dog’s excess energy; they are also great ways to bond with your dog.
Many behaviors that are problems to us humans are actually normal dog behaviors that can be redirected and more positively expressed through the use of toys, games, sports and organized activities. The need to chase can be satisfied with fetch, Frisbee, or flyball. Your dog’s need to chew can be satisfied with the use of proper chew toys or Kongs. The need to search can be expressed by hiding toys around the house or yard. Kongs stuffed with treats or peanut butter or liver paste are an especially good choice as they fulfill your dog’s latent instinctual need to search for food and your dog also has to work the food out. Playing a game of “hide-n-seek” with Rover also fulfills his need to search and helps you bond with your pooch. In addition to stuffed Kongs, there are also many interactive puzzle toys on the market that fulfill your dog's need to be occupied and have a job to do, particularly when you are absent. A game can be invented for every natural dog behavior - the only limit is your imagination!
Variation of the environment is also very important in channeling your dog's attention and energies. Choose 3 or 4 different routes and destinations for your daily walks and alternate them in no particular order. In addition to regular daily walks, rotate your dog toys each week, starting with 20-30 toys and swap them in groups of 5-10.
Regular walks, exercise, games and toys will not only help avoid behavior problems it will keep your dog at his physical and mental peak. It will also deepen and create a more harmonious relationship for you and your dog.

Happy Tails!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Don't Wait Until You Have a Problem With Rover - Start Your Dogs on Training When They are Young!

Most people don't call a dog trainer until they already have a problem. Sometimes they call as soon as they realize they have a problem or the beginning of a problem. More often they call after the dog has been engaging in the behavior for far too long. Usually something unpleasant or even disastrous precipitates the call. Generally, I find that for those dogs, it is too late. NOT because the dog can't change - it's the humans that can't (or won't) change! If they've waited so long to "fix" a behavior, they usually don't have the persistence and patience to adhere to a behavior modification program. Then, I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. If I don't take the case they are upset with me. If I do take the case and they don't adhere to the program, the program fails and they blame me! What's a girl to do?

Best I can do is try to convince everyone I know to start training early and stick to it. Yes, it is a lot of work over the first year of your dog's life, not to mention the ongoing maintenance - let's not forget that. Good training is a lifelong process. Oh, but it is well worth it! You may have your dog for about 15 years - think of how much unpleasantness you will go through in the course of those 15 years if you don't work to train your dog! My monsters are a constant source of pleasure to me because I spent the time to make it so! And, believe me, they are not little robots. I have trained them to be good pets (ok, so they do a few stupid pet tricks too), not to compete in obedience trials, although Bam Bam probably could. That's all I need and all I want and we are all happy.

I also tell people that you don't always have to do "formal" training sessions with your dog. The most successful training programs are ones where the owners have built the training into their everyday life. Life with dogs can and should be wonderful and rewarding, not stressful and annoying. But, as with anything worth having in life, it takes some effort!

Happy Tails!

Honey the Mini Dachshund Starts Obedience Training with a Clicker!

Yesterday afternoon I met Honey, my newest private client, for the first time. She's only 3 months old and just the cutest little thing to waddle up to me on 4 stubby legs! She took to the clicker immediately and I just know she's going to be a fabulous student (then again, they all are!). She loves to sit on her own so "capturing" sit wasn't a problem at all. She performed our little Sit, Release, Return & Sit game beautifully. I can't wait to see her again next week! Maybe then I'll remember to get her picture for the website. Meantime, visit the site for other cool photos:

Happy Tails!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Daisy the Bernese Mt. Dog Puppy

Monday evening and it was time to head over for my private lesson with Daisy. She is so beautiful and, of course, getting bigger every day! We worked on the "DOWN" cue and, although she had some trouble with it at first, she soon got the idea so on we went to doggie push-ups. I had so much fun playing with her after the lesson. She is a big, gentle, affectionate mush! Check the website for her photos - Hhhmmm wondering if there may be room in the Del Bove household for a Bernese... I suspect for the hubby it will be a case of "It's me or the dog!" Ha ha - guess who will win! Happy Tails!

Sunday Afternoon Group Class @ Smarty Paws

We were so glad the weather cleared up on Sunday in time for the afternoon class. It turned out to be a beautiful afternoon. The class was good, if small. We had one absence and neither of the 2 Saturday absences showed up for a make up. Our hound puppy, Mogli, had no one to play with after class. She tried to play with Brutus, the big loveable Rotty Mix, but he was only interested in Sasha. Unfortunately, Sasha was having none of it but Brutus wouldn't take no for an answer. So it was this crazy kind of doggie menage a trois where everydog was trying to play with somedog else so no dog played with each other. Brutus and Sasha are adults so they know most of their basic obedience already. Their moms just want to work around distractions and give them a chance to socialize. Mogli is just a pup of 5 months so she's a real student and learning very well. All-in-all a nice class and a nice day. Happy Tails!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Saturday Morning Group Class @ Smarty Paws Dog Training

All went well at the second meeting of group class on Saturday @ 10:30am. We had two absences in class and I'm hoping they can come to the Sunday @4pm class for a make-up. So, we had a smaller group today. Class started a little late - the humans were busy working on their own socialization (lol). I actually got so side-tracked today (shame on me) that I failed to cover a topic (gasp!). That's ok, since it was merely the introduction to SIT/STAY and we are devoting next week's entire class to STAY. Free-time was a blast today with little Gizmo chasing every dog around and generally being top dog. Did I mention Gizmo is about 4lbs soaking wet? Lilly did better with socializing today, at least at first. Then she got spooked and began to hide. I'm not worried about her though, she will improve. Phoebe and Sophie were not as playful today for some reason but they were otherwise just fine. My "monsters" couldn't wait for class to end so they could get out and say hi. I keep them indoors until free-time so they are not a distraction. All-in-all, it was a very pleasant class. I have to try to remember to take photos at the next class! Meantime, there are plenty of other fun photos on the site -


Friday, May 2, 2008

New Group Classes Starting May & June!

Well, with the weather warming up it's time to get more group dog training classes under way!

We have 2 new classes starting at the end of May:

Basic Obedience - for Puppies & Dogs 6 Months and Older:
Wednesdays @ 7pm, Classes start May 28, Last Class is July 23

Puppy Kindergarten - for Puppies 4-6 Months:
Thursdays @ 7pm, Classes start May 29, Last Class is July 17

Begining in June:

Puppy Nursery - for Puppies 12-16 Weeks
Tuesdays @ 7pm, Classes start June 3, Last Class is June 24

For more information, visit us at: