Chibi Pushodigy/L2 Treibball Title!

Congratulations to Chibi for pushing his way into a PUSHODIGY / Level 2 (PL2) Title from World Treibball League! There are 4 Tasks in Level 2, a clip of each is below.  Time limit: 2 minutes per Task. TASK 1: 5 balls PARALLEL to goal line, 1st ball 5 second WAIT.   TASK 2:  5 balls PARALLEL, 1st-4th balls 3 sec WAIT, REDIRECT, 3 sec WAIT, PUSH.   TASK 3: 5 balls DIAGONAL to goal line, 1st ball 5 second WAIT.   TASK 4: 5 balls PERPENDICULAR to goal line, 5th ball 10 second WAIT. 16 years young and non-herding Continue Reading →

New Year, New Certification – CSMC

First news of 2015 – happy to announce I’m a Certified Stress Management Coach!   Helping people manage the stress in their lives has always been crucial in my work at SMART DOGS.  Why?  Stress affects all of us – for better and for worse!  Stress affects learning & behavior – for better and for worse!  Mismanaged stress feeds undesired behavior and decreases wellness in dogs and in people.  Stress from the human end of the leash causes stress at canine end of the leash.  Stress from the human end of the leash affects progress at both ends of the Continue Reading →

Thank You, 2014!

As the start of the New Year approaches, I’m grateful for all the learning and growth of the past year.  Wonderful new students, returning students, and visitors from far away places – including Kay Laurence who shared her time and knowledge in a Clicker Revolution workshop – contributed to my learning and growth in 2014.   I’m grateful for the uniqueness of each person, each dog, and each lesson exchanged.  Because of each one, my eyes see more clearly. Each year at SMART DOGS new programs are added and ongoing programs live in a healthy state of revision.  One notable new Continue Reading →

Too many mind

“Too many mind” is a favorite quote I often share with students.  It’s from “The Last Samurai”, a 2003 movie directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick.   The quote is about mental control, maintaining a mental state free of distraction, it’s about performance, focus, being in the moment.  Being truly and utterly IN the moment. The storyline takes place in 19th century Japan during the Meiji Restoration, details on the movie here.  Captain Nathan Algren (played by Tom Cruise) is taken captive by Samurai and held in their village.  They treat him very well and he is free to walk around Continue Reading →

Why I Train

My training (personal and professional) is based entirely on my desire to build healthy relationships and lifestyles for humans and canines.  How?  By reducing stress and increasing wellness for both ends of the leash.  How?  By building trust and confidence at both ends of the leash.  By eliminating force, pain, fear, aggression, intimidation.  By empowering human and canine with skills for controlling impulse and arousal levels.  By establishing a flow of learning and clear communication between both ends of the leash.  By nourishing body and mind of human and canine. Cute or Fancy “Tricks”.  Dog Sports.  Those are just some Continue Reading →

GP’s K9 Cart in action

Following up to my post on GingerPeach’s Rear Support Wheelchair ordered from K9 Carts, the Pet Mobility Experts since 1961, I’ve uploaded several videos of GP and her Cart in action. The videos are embedded below and also listed in our youtube playlist called GP’s K9 Cart.  Playlist will be updates if/when I upload more videos. First, a video of the cart itself: Day 1 her rear legs were not much help, she wasn’t used to lifting them, her rear paws knuckled under *frequently* and her steps were weak, short and choppy.  Not only was she learning to move in Continue Reading →

GingerPeach Gets a Grip

Another in the series of ongoing modifications to help the senior Posse dogs stay in the SMART Zone… GingerPeach has lost a lot of strength in her hind end.   She has experienced ataxia for many years due to epileptic seizures and anti-seizure meds but her hind end was still strong and she moved around quite well.  That’s all changed now due to the addition of hip and joint issues of arthritis & aging (her age is approximately 12-13 years), and weakness & muscle loss due to current medical issues. As a result, she is now experiencing loss of traction on Continue Reading →

Pet Dogs / Performance Dogs

              What comes to mind when you think of “performance dogs”?  Perhaps you think of dogs who perform in Dog Sports and Activities such as Agility, Freestyle, Herding, Hunt Tests, Obedience, Rally, Schutzhund, Treiball, Water Rescue, etc.? Dogs who perform jobs, for example, Search & Rescue, Service Dogs, Therapy Work, Scent Detection, Law Enforcement, etc.?  Maybe you think of dogs who perform Training Demonstrations for Educational purposes?   What about your very own pet dog?  Do you think of him when you think of a performance dog?  You should! I remind all my students, Continue Reading →

Letting Dogs be Dogs

          I think many of us have heard or used a phrase like “letting a dog be a dog.”  I myself have used the phrase “dogs being dogs” in reference to pics and clips of the Posse enjoying miscellaneous activities of daily life (running in the yard and/or our field, digging for moles, picking apples off our tree, playing with each other, tracking rabbits/deer/critters, etc.).  Students sometimes ask questions relating to “when should I let my dog be a dog?” The last few times I’ve heard this phrase it struck me in a different way… What Continue Reading →

Each Interaction Matters

Each interaction you have with your dog matters, none is trivial.  Each interaction either enhances your relationship, or damages it.  Each interaction either builds cooperation or causes resistance, builds trust or destroys it, creates harmony or conflict. Consider how many times a day you interact with your dog.  Be aware that each look, each word, each touch, each action and, yes, each thought contributes to and impacts your relationship. Think about all the interactions you have had with your dog today alone and consider each one’s effect.  With each interaction, were you enhancing or damaging your relationship? What type of looks Continue Reading →

Meet the Plumwood Posse

Meet the Plumwood Posse, my dogs who bring inspiration, delight, laughter, friendship, lessons and knowledge to each and every day!  Shown L to R in the photo below are: Chibi-chan RN, Penelope, GingerPeach CRO-I CGC retired Therapy Dog, Geronimo CRO-I CGC, Rocky CD RA and Piglet P-CRO-III. I coined the name “Plumwood Posse” over a decade ago, the group shown below is version 7.0.  As for their ages and breeds: Chibi-chan is a senior gentleman and a mix of toy breeds, Penelope a ~3 year old rat terrier, GingerPeach and Rocky are ~10-11 year old Golden Retrievers (perhaps with a Continue Reading →

Welcome to our blog!

Hello and Welcome to SMART DOGS‘ blog, where Dogs are beloved Friends, Family Members and Teachers! Whether you already know us from SMART DOGS facebook page, our Plumwood Posse youtube channel, taking Classes at SMART DOGS Training Center, or are meeting us for the first time, we hope our blog helps you Think, Learn, and Grow.  We also hope it helps you understand and use positive reinforcement and two-way communication to build strong, healthy relationships. Our blog emphasizes Learning, Behavior and Health – learning about yourself as you learn about your dog, with your dog, and from your dog; understanding Continue Reading →

Waiting your Turn

In the photo above, Geronimo and Rocky wait in the background while Piglet practices a tunnel. Being able to calmly, pleasantly, patiently “wait” is a crucial skill for Life in the SMART Zone where health, safety, harmony, and low stress levels prevail.  This skill is important not only for your health & stress level but also your dog’s health & stress level. Whether you share your home with 1 dog, or 2 or more dogs, there are numerous situations in your everyday life where a wait is useful.  The dog’s position while waiting might be a stand, a sit or Continue Reading →