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Search Amazon and Support Puppy Tutor Dog Training

My mission is to make humane dog training accessible and affordable. Part of that entails keeping my rates down. Since I offer cheap dog training compared to other trainers, I need to supplement my income in other ways.

You can help me with this in a way that does not cost you anything. If you want to support me and my mission, all you need to do is shop on Amazon. But, before you go to Amazon, simply use the Amazon search field on this page (just below the display items under this text) to get you there. It is a “referral” link that earns me a potential commission on products that you buy after going through my site.

Alternatively, if you are looking for something dog related, you can always look at the products I have listed on my Storefront.

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What’s the Best Gear for Dog Walking?

Morgan on Leash
Morgan wearing a Halti front-clip harness with a long 30′ lead. He’s practicing his “sit” while walking.

If you aren’t doing it already, you should probably be walking your dog. There are benefits for dogs who go on walks beyond just physical exercise. Besides, walks with your canine companions can be lots of fun for you as well as your pup.

Once you’ve committed to taking a jaunt down the street, you will want to make sure you have equipment that is appropriate for the endeavor. From a modern, science-based training perspective, that means you will want to avoid equipment that causes physical or emotional harm. Continue reading What’s the Best Gear for Dog Walking?

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What are Some Benefits of Dog Walking?

Lugh on a Walk
Lugh on a Walk

All I have to do is say, “It’s walkin’ time!”, and my dogs are ready to go. Loki will run out to the front gate and pace until I get there. Lugh will run to the gate, run back to me, run to the gate, run back to me, run back to the gate….until I finally get to the gate myself. I imagine this ritual plays out in about every house where a dog gets a walk. If you don’t walk your dog regularly, you should. There are several benefits a nice thirty-minute walk will bring your dog and you.

What are Some Benefits of Walking a Dog?

Some people don’t walk their dogs because they have a nice, fence-in yard that their dogs can romp in all day long. It’s wonderful when dogs can have such a gift. It’s especially nice if they have someone who can play with them in that space. But playing in an enclosed space is not the same as being out in the world. Consider what it would be like if you had a magnificent house to live in, but you were not allowed to go outside it. It might feel like you are under house arrest. There are certain life-enriching benefits that you simply can’t get in the confined space.

Continue reading What are Some Benefits of Dog Walking?

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Conditions of Payment, Assumption of Liability and Waiver, and Promotional Materials

Whenever a client signs up for my classes, by offering payment they accept the following.

Statement of Enrollment

I have enrolled in one or more private lessons or group classes with Puppy Tutor, which may take place within and/or outside of a partner host facility (the “Services”).

Conditions of Payment

I agree that I am obligated to make full payment to Puppy Tutor for the Services. I am aware that the deposit for the Services is non refundable. If I paid in full in advance and I cancel an order, then I am entitled to a refund (minus the n0n-refundable deposit) if and only if I cancel the order for the Services more than 48 hours prior to the scheduled delivery of the services. Such notice shall not be deemed effective unless made in writing via email to or text message, unless otherwise directed by Puppy Tutor in writing to me. All other payments to Puppy Tutor for Services are non-refundable.

Assumption of Liability and Waiver

I am aware that there are inherent and potential risks, dangers and hazards associated with the Services and that I am voluntarily participant in the Services. Specifically, I understand that dogs are unpredictable animals and may cause injury or damage to persons or property. I am aware that any dog, regardless of training, handling or environmental circumstances, is capable of biting and causing other personal and property damage and I expressly acknowledge the risks therein. I acknowledge that attendance and/or participation in the Services may pose risk to me and other people who I may invite to participate in or observe the Services (“My Guests”) as well as my personal property, and the personal property of My Guests. In preparation for participating in Services, I acknowledge that I have been fully informed of the attendant risks, dangers, and hazards, and agree to assume all risks related to any such occurrence.

Therefore, I hereby waive any and all claims against, and agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Puppy Tutor and its trainers, as well as the host facility (currently Atonement Lutheran Church of Beloit) and its staff, from and against all claims or actions that I, my guardians or representatives may have, for any and all personal injury to myself, my dog, my family members, children in my charge, or any of My Guests, or harm to property or persons whether caused directly or indirectly, through action or inaction of myself or others, arising for the performance of the Services. I expressly assume the risk of any such damage or injury during training or while on the training grounds or the surrounding area thereto. I additionally accept full and sole legal responsibility for my own dog(s), and for any damage my dog(s) may cause to Puppy Tutor, its trainers, the host facility (currently Atonement Lutheran of Beloit) and its staff, other individuals, animals, or property.

Promotional Materials

I grant full permission to Puppy Tutor to use any photographs or videotapes of the Services for any purpose, to include promotional purposes.

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How Do I Find a Dog Trainer Who is Science Based?

Me with Sonic
Me with Sonic

Trying to find a dog trainer is serious business. Consider for a moment the significance of the event. You are choosing someone to be your guide with regards to “raising” your dog. Their methods are going to help shape your dog’s life from that point on. You want to find someone who uses an approach that facilitates not just acceptable behavior, but also nurtures your canine companion’s emotional health. Science-based dog training does just that.

Science-based dog training leverages canine learning theory to facilitate a dog’s development. It uses tools (store link to gear) and methods (link to behavior issues page) that target the specific needs of the dog being worked with. I would presume that most dog trainers are in this day and age at least partially informed by the recent research done with dogs. Just because they are influenced somewhat by science doesn’t make a trainer a “science-based” dog trainer. A good, science-based dog trainer will also consider the wider consequences of those tools and methods before using them, as revealed by research. While working with one issue, you don’t want to be developing others.

Before you hire anyone to work with your dog, make sure to ask questions. Here are some that you might find helpful. After you have your answers, you will have to determine whether the trainer meets your standards.

Continue reading How Do I Find a Dog Trainer Who is Science Based?

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How Can I Calm My Stressed Dog?

Lip Licks are a Sign of Stress
Lip Licks are a Sign of Stress

Separation, isolation, loud noises, and even old age. Those are just a few of the many reasons dogs experience stress. Sometimes, stressors are minor. But sometimes human companions want to reduce the stress levels of their stressed dog, because they are concerned about the dog’s health and well-being.

Continuously elevated stress levels can damage a dog. The regular rush of adrenaline through the system can cause digestion issues, arterial damage, and increased susceptibility to disease.  Consider the times that you have been locked into a situation for an extended period of time. Now consider the long-term effects those situations have had on your life. Going beyond that, try to imagine how you might have felt if you didn’t have the more “rational” human brain to help regulate those stress levels. Too much stress can and does cause both physical and emotional damage. As your dog’s guardian, it is important that you consider how you might reduce those stress levels.

Continue reading How Can I Calm My Stressed Dog?

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What are the Benefits of Play for Dogs?

Loki in a Play Bow
Loki in a Play Bow

Loki came into my life as a puppy, a very high-energy puppy. His favorite things were play, play, and more play. He had so much energy, I didn’t know whether I would be able to keep up with him. We played at the dog park. We played in our back yard. We played running around the house (my house goes in a circle, which makes for a never-ending track). It felt like it would never end. Back then, the main thing I wanted was for him to burn energy. I thought that was what play was for. 

Little did I realize at the time how important play was for his developmental process. By playing with Loki as a puppy in a variety of different ways, I was doing much more than just burning energy and having fun. I was actually laying a solid foundation for a well-adjusted, healthy dog. 

Oh, how we loved to play together. As I look back on that time, I can see some of the wonderful side-effects of our playtime had on him. Here are a few.

Continue reading What are the Benefits of Play for Dogs?

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Science and Dog Training ABC’s

Dory, Gytha, and I
Dory, Gytha, and I

When I train dogs, I use a clicker and treats. I think a lot of people balk at the use of treats in dog training because they don’t understand the science behind the approach. I understand why: they don’t want their dogs to get to the point where they will only do something if they see the treat ahead of time. The potential for “bribery” is a valid concern. However, I think that the concern is generally misplaced. The use of treats in dog training goes back to the school of “behaviorism”, which is a branch of psychology. I’m going to briefly explain the science behind this approach to illustrate that training with treats isn’t really about the treats, it’s about the conditioning.

Continue reading Science and Dog Training ABC’s

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Benefits of Early Dog Training

Working with my very first student, Murphy!
Working a few years ago with my very first student, Murphy!

Many people don’t even think of getting professional training for their dog until behavioral issues have become unmanageable. They balk at getting their new dog into training early probably because they don’t think it’s worth the time and money. I encourage people, however, not to think of dog training as an expense, but as an investment in the quality of life for the whole family.

The earlier in life you start training your dog with force-free methods, the stronger you are making your dog from the inside out. Puppyhood is a formative period, and the lessons learned during that time shape who the dog will become as an adult, and it will affect who the dog is once a senior. 

If you’ve adopted a dog, again, it’s best to start the positive-training process early. Since you don’t know the history of the dog and are unaware of any issues that may arise, the transition period is a critical time that sets the pace for the rest of the family’s life together. Ideally, you will have training set up so start during that first week together.

Here are some key rewards you can reap by working with a science-based dog trainer as soon as your new canine family member enters the home.

Continue reading Benefits of Early Dog Training

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Booking, Cancellation, Make-Up Policy, and Last-Minute Sign Ups

I only have so much time in the day, and every time slot is valuable to me. Therefore, I need to make sure that clients are committed to working with me when they schedule appointments. I believe this is fair, since I am committing my time to them. This has led me to institute the following policies for my business.

Continue reading Booking, Cancellation, Make-Up Policy, and Last-Minute Sign Ups