Tuesday, July 3, 2012

We discovered when we took our dog Toby for training and obedience classes that the training is not just for the dog.... it is for the humans as well. My guest on my PAWsitive Radio-All Things Pets Radio Show, Gordon Fontaine, reiterated this exact thought.

Gordon established Zen Dog Training to pursue his passion for helping people create healthier, happier relationships with their dogs. He’s a Certified Dog Trainer with a certificate in Training and Counseling from the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers. You can learn about Gordon at: www.zendogtrainingonline.com and you can listen to the interview at:

Christopher and Toby at K9 Awareness Centre.  Doggie Treadmills, squeeky toys, dos and treats, and look how well behaved Toby is.  PAWsitive Reinforcement training at it's best. 
Gordon explained positive reinforcement training as identifying the behavior you like and rewarding this behavior through connectedness/touch, attention or treats. And when your dog displayed unwanted behaviors, you interrupt the behavior or break the connection (e.g. eye contact and attention) with the dog to demonstrate this is not the desired behavior. I know with our dog Toby, that if we caught him in the middle of an undesired behavior and turned our back towards him, it did not take long for him to figure out this is something he should not repeat. We used the word Exxxxcellent when Toby was a good dog, the word was different than “good boy” and Gordon suggested that you choose a word that you don’t normally use so that it really stands out for your dog as positive reinforcement.

The most common behaviours that Gordon and his team deal with are: barking, play biting, mouthing, jumping up, and house training. Do any of these sound familiar? Gordon offers great tips on the radio show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/chammond/2012/06/30/guest-gordon-fontaine
 and on his website, he has a number of videos available.

PAWsitive reinforcement training does work, and is worth the investment of time, energy and love. It not only improves the bond between you and your four legged friend, it builds trust and consistency in expectations.

Toby and Chris out for a walk, the Easywalk Harness worked great. No leash strain.

You can also access the archived radio show interviews with great guests such as Bruce Littlefield, Kyra Sundance, Laura Petrolina, Lynn Molnar, Laura Marlowe, Susan Sutcliffe, Kerri Lake, Georgina Bradley, Craig Haverstick and more at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/chammond

 Also, don't forget to press the "Follow" button right below Toby's smiling face, that way you will get alerted to upcoming shows.

Find out about Toby's Books at http://www.ontobysterms.com/


  1. The girls and I just read this together. They are sooo excited that Toby has a kids book. Thank you for sharing the love of Toby. We believe in PAWsitive Training with our yellow lab Riggs.
    Thanks for keeping Toby's legacy, love and joy alive.
    Hugs & Love Lee xoxox

  2. Great tips Charmaine! Many dog owners will appreciate the learnings of Toby. He taught us so much.

  3. Beautiful!!! Whenever you talk about Toby or write about him, the love you have for him comes through so strong. Toby continues to inspire and heal people through your work. Thank you Charmaine for the difference you make in our world. Namaste

  4. Thanks everyone for your PAWsome comments, you are right, Toby was one amazing dog.... and a good teacher for us.


  5. Charmaine,
    It often amazes me that people treat animals different than their fellow man. these animals are your fellow man. If your child was having challenges you would go to the end of the earth to help them and postively reinforce all the good things they were doing to encourage them which in turn improves your relationship. Animals ( dogs) are the same.
    Thank you for this great reminder