Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dog & Puppy Training, Behavior & Group Classes in Nassau County

Smarty Paws Dog Training, New Hyde Park, NY...

Life has been hectic in SmartyLand the last couple of weeks. We lost our cat of 18 years last week as well as a moderately close family member. My poor cat was definitely showing her age but her rapid decline in the course of just a couple of weeks took us by surprise. We are very saddened to have lost her but we know she is in a better place - hopefully lounging in the sun. To add insult to injury, the SmartyComputer crashed last week and I was unable to get to my calendar and email for a while.

The Puppy Kindergarten Group Class kicked off on Tuesday with just the humans. It looks to be a good group (of course, I think they are all good groups!). Coincidentally, all the pups are of small to medium sized breeds. I can't wait to start with the pups this Tuesday. The class is totally filled - yay!

The Saturday morning Basic Obedience Group class (also filled - yay!) had the first class with the dogs. It was hot and uncomfortable in the sun so everyone was gathered in the shade. We covered "Focus", "Sit" and "Sit in Heel Position". The dogs were, of course, distracted by each other but the class went very well for a first class. We tried to let the 2 larger dogs, a Lab mix, Willy, and a Pitbull mix, Liger, have some free playtime but Liger, although very friendly, was a little too rambunctious and rough for Willy. Interestingly enough, when the Pugle, Chuleta, approached Liger, he was a total mush. He went down and showed his belly right to her. It was so cute and funny. Our Cairn, Daisy, was not pleased with the clickers and so we had to put some distance between her and the rest of the class. Our Italian Greyhound, Mia, and the Australian Shepherd, Sasha, were both very nervous in class but I am confident that they will adjust.

The Wednesday evening Basic Obedience Group class had their last lesson yesterday. The lesson was "Leave It" and the group was, at first, skeptical that their dogs would learn the behavior. Of course they did and fabulously so everyone was happy and duly impressed. I absolutely love teaching "Leave It". Next week is the last meeting of the class where everyone gets to "strut their stuff". I sure hope they've been working their dogs on the behaviors!

We have a Sunday afternoon (4:30pm) Basic Obedience Group Class that is scheduled to begin on August 3rd. I have not had time to properly advertise the class or otherwise get the word out. I may delay the class start date by a week or two.

Well, that's all the news in SmartyLand. Be sure to check the website at for tips, photos, class schedules and other information.

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

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dog Training in Nassau County, NY - Basic Obedience Group Classes

Smarty Paws Dog Training, New Hyde Park, NY...

Wednesday evening's group class went well, despite missing one student. Yesterday's lessons were "DOWN" and an introduction to "STAY". Axl, the Chesapeake Retriever was somewhat reluctant to go into the "DOWN" position but, of course, I got him there with the aid of a food lure. It still took some time but I was patient and persistent and soon he got the idea. It was a beautiful thing to see. Sasha, our tiny Yorkie, was a little nervous in class yesterday so we really couldn't get her to do much of anything. I thoroughly explained the exercise to her parents and told them to work on it at home. Amber, the Wheaten Terrier, was a perfect "fitness" model doing her doggie pushups. Amber and Axl had a good romp after class. Axl is still quite the jumper so I spent some time explaining to his dad how to curtail the behavior and I even gave him my written tips, usually reserved for my private clients. I'm truly hoping that he and his family work with Axl to discourage the jumping behavior. He's still a puppy, only about 5 months, and he's more than 60 lbs! As an adult, his jumping will not only be annoying, it could be hazardous to one's well being! Speaking of which, I took quite the graceless fall in class yesterday. Oh the embarrassment of being taken down by a mere 30lb Wheaten. Amber was headed full charge around the yard and careened right into the back of my leg, just below the knee. Well, I went down in a flash, after doing some twisting & contorting to avoid landing on Amber. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not exactly a lightweight and landing on a 30lb pup would not bode well for the dog. Well, I successfully avoided landing on Amber and hit the ground like a ton of bricks. Fortunately, it was on the grass and not the concrete. Despite the soft surface, I'm sporting 2 new black & blue bruises today.

On another note, I received a call this week from the director of the Locust Valley Adult Education Program - how very exciting! They were looking for a trainer to conduct a 4-lesson dog obedience course at the high school. Well, of course, I said, "Look no more!" I am very happy to be doing that in October. Much thanks to Dr. Brickman who knows my work and referred them to me.

Anyone who is a patient at New Hyde Park Animal Hospital may know Dr. Brickman by her maiden name, Dr. Hurowitz. She moved on from the NHPAH practice to the Locust Valley Veterinary Clinic and I wish her much success and happiness.

Well, that's all the news in SmartyLand! Of course, don't forget to check our website at for information on courses, tips and fun photos. Stay well and have a Happy Fourth!

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