The Everything Dog Blog

Denise Mazzola

Dog Training is Broken

“Our dogs are not broken. Dog Training is a broken and an outdated concept for helping modern dogs & their families.” – Kim Brophey, author of Meet Your Dog. I couldn’t agree with her more. There are more dog behavior problems in the 21st century than ever before. And there are even more dog trainers, and behaviorists trying to help

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Denise Mazzola

Is Your Dog Stuck In An Emotional Dysregulation Cycle?

Do any of these situations sound familiar? When you take your dog out for a walk, she is pulling you down the road while she is barking, lunging, and growling at almost every dog and person she sees. It’s so embarrassing. You’ve become a member of the midnight dog walkers club, walking your dog in the wee morning hours or

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Denise Mazzola

Your Dog is Talking, Are You Listening?

Observing Canine Behavior As a dog trainer, I observe behavior. All kinds of behavior. People behavior. Birds at our bird feeder. And of course, dog behavior. When I’m in a client’s home I’m always observing the dog, watching the dog, “listening” with my eyes as well as listening to the client with my ears. Most of your dog’s communication is

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How Dogs Learn
Denise Mazzola

How Dogs Learn

And Why it Matters! Whether you want to be a high level competitor in dog sports or your goal is just to get your dog to sit nicely while company comes in the front door, it is important to understand how your dog, and really all living, breathing, eating animals learn. When you understand how animals learn you are in

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Denise Mazzola

Hope and Help for Your Reactive Dog

What is a Reactive Dog? Reactive is a term used to describe a dog who overreacts to the sight or sound of a specific trigger. The reaction may include barking, growling, snarling, lunging, spinning or some combination of these behaviors in response to seeing a trigger like another dog, a person, a bicycle, a child, etc. The reaction is usually

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private dog training
Denise Mazzola

Come When Called

Want a Great Recall? Then Practice for a Great Recall! Dogs that come when called enjoy more freedom; running loose on trails, playing in the back yard, or even visiting a beach. Owners who take the time to practice and train a reliable come when called can enjoy many fun activities and outings with their dogs.  Starting Your Dynamite Recall

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dog time out
Denise Mazzola

Time Out Protocol

An Effective and Humane Way to Change Behavior Our training focuses primarily on teaching dogs what we want them to do. We work to place heavy value on sits, downs, stays, come when called and other behaviors we want the dog to perform reliably. There are instances where ignoring a behavior we don’t like will reduce and eliminate that behavior,

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dog barking
Denise Mazzola

How to Stop Barking

Is Your Dog’s Barking Driving You Crazy? Read On! We are often asked by clients, “How do I stop my dog from barking?” Interestingly, people who cannot tolerate barking tend to have dogs that bark, a lot. Seems counterintuitive doesn’t it? The fact of the matter is, from the dog’s perspective, barking is often reinforced by the person who hates

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dog crate training
Denise Mazzola

Crate Training Your Dog

Give Your Dog a Safe Space of Her Own What is a Crate? A crate can be made of plastic or wire, and can be purchased at almost any pet supply store. Size is important; your dog’s crate should be just large enough for your dog to lie down comfortably, fully stand up and turn around. You can make the

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Denise Mazzola

Starting Off Right

The First Week with Your New Dog Congratulations on your new dog! We’ve put together some helpful tips to get you and your new best friend started off on the right foot together. Keep in mind that the transition into a new home is potentially stressful for any dog, so keep the environment quiet and predictable for your new pet

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Long Term Confinement

Keep Your Puppy and Your Belongings Safe What is Long-Term Confinement? Long-term confinement is a strategy for confining your puppy when you will be away for longer than she can be crated for. See the guidelines for ages and crating times here. This type of confinement prevents destructive chewing and potty accidents, provides boundaries, and teaches your puppy that alone

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Denise Mazzola

Crate Training Your Puppy

Give Your Puppy a Safe Place of His Own What is a Crate? A crate can be made of plastic or wire, and can be purchased at almost any pet supply store. The crate should be just large enough for your puppy to lie down comfortably, stand up fully and turn around. Size is important; if the crate is too

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Denise Mazzola

House Training Your Puppy

A Few Weeks of Work for Long-Term Success The Key is to Limit Her Space The most efficient way to house train your puppy is to limit her space using an appropriately sized crate, 6-foot leash, or a small area of confinement in your home. By limiting your puppy’s space, not only will you drastically reduce the number of accidents

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Socialization

Don’t Miss This Time Sensitive Opportunity Teaching your puppy the world is safe prevents problems in the future. What is Socialization? Socialization is the developmental process whereby puppies familiarize themselves with their constantly changing surroundings. It is how they work out what is safe and good as opposed to what is dangerous and not-so-good. Having a puppy who has been

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Day 2 of the Extreme Mutt Makeover Transport

Annie the beagle needs emergency vet care…. Tuesday August 17th, 2010 Pinson, Tenn. This morning started with Sally jumping on the bed, licking my face. Yes, this was affectionate, but it’s also her way of saying “Yo, you in bed. I need to go out!” So, out we went. I think it was 7 am. Rachel and Olivia were still

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Extreme Mutt Makeover Transport of 22 Dogs

I’m reposting my journals from the 22 dog transport we did from Dallas, Tx to NH in 2010. Day 1: Monday August 16th 2010. Arrived at HSNT at 8:00 am. Had to completely unload the van to reach the first set of crates. To say it’s hot in Texas is the biggest understatement ever made. 100 degrees in the shade.

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Choosing the Right Dog

A Dog is a Friend for Life; Choose Accordingly! We don’t get to pick our family members. You are born into a family unit with all the history, traditions, warts and all. Even our life partners are selected, carefully (hopefully). We watch for red flags, such as abuse or alcoholism, (being dramatic to make a point.) We hope to find

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Holiday Tips for Your Pup

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT – KA Five Sanity Saving Tips to Make the Holidays Happier For You & Your Dog The holidays are upon us. It’s a time filled with of love, joy and peace, yet it can be a very stressful time for everyone including our pets. With house cleaning, gift buying, wrapping, food shopping, the in-laws, small children,

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What is a Brain Toy

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT – KA Exercise is so important for our dogs and also for us. There is very little that can replace a good romp through the woods or chasing a ball in the back yard. Dog’s need the large muscle movements. If you live in the northeast you know all too well how cold it can get

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Loose Leash

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT – KA Please keep the leash loose, please. Today on my early morning run, I saw a woman who was walking her dog on the trail. I was running with, Frankie, he was loose, dragging his leash so I could get him quickly if needed, well, that was the plan. He torpedoed past me in route

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Resource Guarding

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT – KA Resource Guarding is the ultimate culture clash between dogs and humans. In the world of survival of the fittest, she who gets the best bed and the most food wins by living, by surviving to pass on her genes. After all, reproducing and passing on genetics is the purpose of life. However, living with

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The Importance of Exercise

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT – KA So many times we want the quick-fix. How many advertisements are there for weight loss magic, just take this pill or avoid a certain food. Need to stop cigarette smoking? Use the patch, want your children to behave, plop them in front of a video game, you get the idea. There is no magic

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Puppy Training

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA When Should I Start Training My Puppy? Recently I’ve had several phone calls from new puppy owners asking when they should begin training their puppy. The conversation is full of how wonderful the puppy is, how cute and friendly. These puppy owners emphasized that there are no behavior problems. My response is always: “begin training now!”

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Hardwired to Focus on the Negative

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA I think the question I get asked the most is, “how long do I need to use treats?” and my answer, “how long do you want to get paid for working?” Humans are stingy. Scientists have shown that humans are hardwired to remember the negative. When we were dragging clubs and slaying dinosaurs, we needed to

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Problems with Doggie Day Care

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT – KA Have you ever been to a party with too many people? It’s only tolerable because you are there for two to three hours. It’s a huge relief when you get home, take your shoes off and stretch out on your couch. When was the last time you flew? Talk about crowded. Flying from Boston

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It Takes More Than Love

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT – KA I have worked with hundreds of family’s and their dogs, maybe even thousands of rowdy, barky, peeing in the house, run away dogs, but surprisingly, the most challenging dogs I’ve worked with are the shy, fearful ones. These are the puppies that were curled up in the corner when the family went to select

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Senior Dogs

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA Thor is 13 years young. He’s a yellow lab that has been with me since he was a puppy. He is what we call my heart dog. My daughters all grew up with him, playing, running, chasing tennis balls, hiking together and vacationing together. Thor and I have earned numerous titles in Rally Obedience. He’s slowing

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Rooting for The Underdog

Published on the Ledger Transcript (http://www.ledgertranscript.com) Why I Love The Underdog By Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA Monday, November 4, 2013 (Published in Print: Tuesday, November 5, 2013) Looking back on my life, I’ve always rooted for the underdog, literally. As a high school student, I would take the city bus downtown to volunteer at the local shelter. Stray dogs found their

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What is Behaviorally Healthy?

Published on the Ledger Transcript (http://www.ledgertranscript.com) Tips on Raising Behaviorally Healthy Dogs By Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA Monday, October 21, 2013 (Published in Print: Tuesday, October 22, 2013) Physically healthy means keeping the body healthy. It means the same for our dogs. Living in the Northeast means living with mosquitoes, so we give our dogs’ a monthly heartworm preventative. As puppies,

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No Remorse

Published on the Ledger Transcript (http://www.ledgertranscript.com) Dogs Have No Remorse By Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA Monday, September 30, 2013 (Published in Print: Tuesday, October 1, 2013) Being a professional dog trainer, I should know better than to expect a dog to show remorse. I think I’ve shared that Jubilee, as well-trained as she is and having won numerous awards and titles,

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Concept Vs Context

Published on the Ledger Transcript (http://www.ledgertranscript.com) Concept versus Context: When it Comes to Dogs By Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA Friday, August 30, 2013 (Published in Print: Tuesday, September 3, 2013) Every year, I work with hundreds of people and their dogs. When I ask them what behaviors their dogs know, they proudly list them: sit, down, paw, the other paw, stay

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Why Training is Important

Published on the Ledger Transcript (http://www.ledgertranscript.com) Pet Corner: Why Training, Structure and Rules are Important   By Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA   Monday, April 22, 2013 (Published in print: Tuesday, April 23, 2013)   How and why are training, structure and rules important to a dog’s health and well-being?   We love our dogs. We love them so much, that we

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Is Your Dog Dominating You?

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA   He’s being dominate. Don’t let your dog out the door first, she’s dominating you. She never comes to me when I call, she’s being dominate. Sound familiar? I’ll be honest here, I cringe at the word dominant. It’s misused; especially by some well liked, commercially popular dog trainers. It’s over used and gives dogs a

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Has Your Pet Got You Trained?

By Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA   Monday, July 1, 2013 (Published in the Ledger-Transcript: Tuesday, July 2, 2013)   In the more than 20 years that I’ve been training dogs and people, I’ve never once met a dog that was stupid. No, not possible. Dogs are simple creatures, determining minute by minute what is in their own best interest. Most dogs,

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All About Motivation

by Denise Mazzola, CPDT-KA   Motivation and Your Dog When you touch the hot stove as a child, or as an adult, it is usually so painful, so aversive, that you avoid touching it again. That is motivation to avoid the unpleasant feeling. If you’re like me and have gotten a two hundred dollar speeding ticket you pay attention to

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