Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dog Basic Obedience Group Classes in Nassau County, NY

Smarty Paws Dog Training in New Hyde Park, NY...
Well, I haven't blogged for a while becasue there's really not much to tell. I took a few days off last week and we are between group classes. This Saturday (6/28) @ 9:30am begins the next Basic Obedience course. We have at least 4 confirmed participants and a possible 2 more. I will be closing the class at 6 students. The Wednesday evening group class had a week off last week but met again last night. We had two absences so it was a very small class. Loose Leash Walking & Recall were on the agenda. Axl, the Chesapeake Retriever puppy, is quite the puller and leaper so I did some one-on-one work with him. By the end of the session he was doing much better but, of course, he was also tired. Sasha, the Yorkie, was walking off-leash and doing quite well. Both Sasha and Axl did very well practicing their Recalls in a game of Doggie Ping Pong.

In the land of private clients, Honey, the mini Dachshund, completed her basic obedience course and graduated yesterday. Yay! Daisy, the Berner, has yet to have her final lesson - we just can't seem to coordinate on a date. Maxie, the Standard Poodle, missed his lesson on Tuesday because I wasn't feeling well but, that's ok, his mom & dad will have more time to work on the behaviors we already covered.

That's all the news in Smarty Land! Check our website at for class schedules, helpful tips and fun photos.


I dream of a world where every home has a happy dog and every dog has a happy home.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dog Basic Obedience Training Group Classes at Smarty Paws in Long Island

New Hyde Park, NY... Saturday morning's group class at Smarty Paws graduated with flying colors. I was very proud of everyone and everydog in the group. It really was a great group class. Everyone enjoyed seeing each other every week, the dogs were all small so they all played very nicely together and the owners really practiced with their dogs. I'm taking one weekend off and then the next 8-week group class starts on June 28th at 9:30am. I'm still taking registrations for the Saturday moring Basic Obedience Group class. You can visit for more information.

Sunday's class went very well with our last lesson being "Leave It". Next week is graduation for the Sunday class and everyone will have to perform for the group. Oh, the pressure! I hope they've been practicing with their dogs! I scheduled another Sunday afternoon Basic Obedience group class to begin on June 29th but I will probably reschedule it to begin mid-late July.

Wednesday evening's class has a week off this week so I can have a much-needed little getaway - yay! Unfortunately, I must leave my monsters home with the house/dog/cat sitters. You gotta love the friends that come to your rescue when you need help with the furkids.

The Tuesday evening Puppy Kindergarten is scheduled to begin July 15th. I have had several people express interest in the class but only one has sent in a deposit so far. If I don't get at least 4 participants, I will have to cancel the class.

Looking forward to a rest this week with only one private client scheduled! I won't be blogging again until next week.

I dream of a world where every home has a happy dog and every dog has a happy home!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Dog Obedience Group Classes Start Soon!

Smarty Paws starts a new round of Group Classes at the end of June and middle of July!

Basic Obedience Group Classes:
Saturdays @ 9:30am Starting June 28th
Sundays @ 5:30pm Starting June 29th

Puppy Kindergarten Group Classes:
Thursdays @ 7pm Starting June 26th
Tuesdays @ 7pm Starting July 15th

Check the website for details or to print registration forms!


Dog Obedience Group Classes & Private Lessons

Summer came in this weekend like an angry dragon. We have been experiencing record-high temperatures and the heat wave continues thru today. Looking forward to some relief tomorrow.

Saturday morning's Basic Obedience Group Class took place before the heat became too oppressive. The group learned "Leave It" and really enjoyed the lesson. I just love the "oohs" and "aahs" and general looks of awe when I take a dog that has never even been introduced to the concept of "Leave It" and have him "Leaving It" within minutes. In case they thought it was a fluke, I did it again with another dog. I love that lesson. I think it best demonstrates "Operant Conditioning" to the average person. Every instinct in the dog is screaming to take the treat (that's the hind brain in action) but the dog reasons it out (that's the fore brain in action) and the dog "leaves it" in favor of an earned reward. I probably should start with that lesson instead of closing with it.

I cancelled Sunday's Group Class due to the excessive heat. It's too much for the pooches and the humans don't like it either. Unfortunately, now my Sunday group classes will run an extra weekend - right into the one week I had planned on taking off! Oh well!

My last lesson with Daisy, the Berner, was due to take place last night but that was also cancelled due to heat. It was just too hot for Daisy to be out practicing her Loose Leash Walking.

Today I'll be seeing Honey, the Mini Dach, and Maxie, the Standard Poodle for private lessons. We'll be conducting those lessons indoors for sure!

Mr Berner contacted me and we set up a date to meet next week. He picked up his Berner pup this past weekend. Right now he's faced with the challenge of acclimating his two Maltese to the puppy. I emailed him some tips on how to deal with it and hope he's having success. I'll check in with him in a couple of days.

Well, that's all the news in SmartyLand. Check the website for new photos of the Saturday Group Class and other information and tips.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Smarty Paws Dog Training Private Clients in Group Classes

Oh how I love the summer! I am getting lots of calls and emails from new or soon-to-be puppy owners. I just love when people start the pups when they are young. Getting your pup started off on the right "paw" with Positive Training is the best way to build your bond and avoid future problems, not to mention making your life easier.

I received an email from an interested soon-to-be Berner owner. If you read my blog, you know I love the Berners and am seriously considering bringing one into my little pack. Mr. Berner, as I like to call him, wanted references and is really doing his homework checking up on me. Good for him! Don't be afraid to ask for and contact references. Thats the way to do it if you don't know the trainer personally or have a referral from someone you trust. I haven't heard back from Mr. Berner yet but hope to soon.

Daisy, my current Berner, is doing so well with her training. She came to group class on Sunday afternoon and was such an angel. She had fun chasing Mogli, our energetic hound pup, and Brady, my shepherd/lab mix who was also at group class for the first time. I hope to see Daisy in more group classes.

Brady's mom has been understandably nervous about introducing Brady to other dogs. Brady is a bit reactive/aggressive with people due to lack of proper early socialization. Brady's mom adopted him at about 9 months of age from a shelter. I applaud Brady's mom for adopting a shelter dog and her commitment to Brady, despite his issues. We've been working together and he's really improved dramatically. In group class he was happily excited and unfocused but he was completely non-reactive and he had a ball playing with Mogli.

Mogli, the hound puppy, was all excited and just wanted to play. He really loves playing with the larger dogs and completely wore himself out running around with them.

Sasha, our favorite "muttigree" and Mogli's "sister" was somewhat stressed in group class. There were 3 more dogs in the class than is usual and she wanted to meet & greet. Unfortunately, Sasha's mom needs to keep Sasha on a tight leash because she's not always thrilled with male dogs. In this particular class, she was fixated on Brady - I think she wanted to eat him (joking, of course). Shasha's mom had the opportunity to practice working with Sasha under extremely distracting conditions and did a very good job of it.

Brutus, our Rotty Mix, was all excited with the newcomers to class but actually did very well in keeping relatively calm. We let him loose for play during free time, but he just went right over to the 2 children who were visiting with their mom and plopped himself on their feet. He's such a love-bug.

Molly, our little CockerPoo, is usually in the Saturday morning small dogs class but couldn't make it so she came to Sunday's class for a makeup. Well, she was very nervous around the big dogs and just hung around mom. But she enjoyed the attention from the children.

I had a few single-session clients recently...

Two new puppy owners concerned with puppy nipping and potty training. I talked to them about it and gave them my tips. I wish them success and hope they consider formal training.

One mom-to-be contacted me because her Tibetan Terrier barked incessantly at her infant nephew when he was visiting. She did not expect that reaction from her dog and was understandably concerned. So, I went for a behavior modification session on Sunday. Of course, the dog was wonderful with me. I left them with my tips for introducing a new baby into a dog home and instructions to practice what we had done that afternoon. I hope to hear positive feedback from them soon.

Well, that's all the news in Smarty Land! Check our website for information, tips, photos and class schedules -


Smarty Paws Dog Training Group Classes

I've been so busy with private clients and group classes that I've neglected my blogging. Shame on me! So, here's the latest and greatest in Smarty Land...

About New Group Classes:
The Tuesday 7pm Puppy Nursery class has been cancelled. I've completely removed it from the schedule because there is, sadly, no interest in a class for pups under 4 months. This is such a disappointment to me because proper early socialization is so very important for your dog to live up to his full potential as a good pet. Vets are all recommending that no one take their puppy out until after they've had all their shots and, of course, no one dares to do otherwise. I used to be one of those people too but now I know better.

The Thursday 7pm Puppy Kindergarten starting May 29th was rescheduled to start June 26th. We have 2 students registered and still need at least 2 more to keep the class.

Wednesday's 7pm Basic Obedience started on May 28th and tomorrow, June 4th will be our first class with the dogs. We have 5 students and can still take 2-3 more, if you are interested. I'm looking forward to meeting the new bunch tomorrow.

You can check the website for the complete schedule of upcoming classes and course outlines -

About Current Group Classes:
The Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon Basic Obedience Group Classes currently under way will be wrapping up in 2 weeks. We'll take one weekend off and then start up again the 28th and 29th of June. If you are interested in taking one of those classes, you can print the registration form from the website and mail it in with a deposit check.

I've posted some Group Class photos on the website for all to see. Just go to and enjoy!