Blogs by Colleen Safford

December 29, 2015 by Colleen Safford

It's a new year and time to start fresh. I bet a vast majority of human resolutions focus on diet, activity and fitness. Fido could benefit from a few similar resolutions too!

We're a few days past the deadline, but your dog doesn't know that!  I'd say 360 days of a new routine is a great start!

Here are some suggestions for your dog's happy and healthy new year!

1. No more low quality-commercial food!  I've said it before; just as YOU are what you eat,

October 13, 2015 by Colleen Safford

It's that ghoulish time of year!   While most associate Halloween with festivities and fun, there are some precautions every responsible pet parent wants to take to ensure their pooch is safe and out of harm's way!  

Issue 1: Costumes - I know. I know. How do you NOT dress the Dachshund up as a hotdog? It's just too easy. As a trainer, I've seen moms and dads with bitten hands because, well, it wasn't so easy. It is true that some dogs will tolerate wearing coats, sweaters, booties

August 29, 2011 by Colleen Safford

Developing a puppy and dog who feels confident when alone is a very important part of pooch parenting. Dogs who do not fee safe and confident while alone, are dogs who will bark and howl relentlessly, destroy a home and even worse mutilate their own body with obsessive licking and chewing.  These are dogs who literally feel a sense of panic when not in the company of their human. 

 Even if your intention is to work from home and take your pocket sized pooch with you on every allowable

May 11, 2011 by Colleen Safford

Oh, I am just too witty.   Go on with my bad self. Dogs hate fleas.  So do we,  but what's a blog without a teaser title? Just a blog (just like this).

 There is one type of flea that most everyone loves and that's a flea market. Today, I headed out to the Brimfield antique show. It's one of the biggest markets in the US  and a toal must-do for any lover of vintage, industrial, repurposed, reclaimed, upcycled, eco-friendly or full of lead hazardous items!   It's a must for

May 2, 2011 by Colleen Safford

 A wee bit over a decade ago, a friend of mine was riding on a subway. She saw a cute young Chihuahua riding in a bag thrown over the shoulder of a trendy Brooklyn vixen.   My dog-loving friend immediately stormed the woman and her dog, "Can I maul (ok, really she said pet) your dog?"    The woman quickly quipped, "Nope.  You can hand her this treat though.  She's fearful of people reaching at her head in the bag."     After some chat, my friend went on to say, "My friend (referring to me)

April 25, 2011 by Colleen Safford

I don't want to train with treats because....

1. I don't want my dog to get fat.

2. I want my dog to work for me - not food.

3. My dog has a sensitive stomach.


Here's why you should scrap all these silly notions and get on with training your dog - in a very effective way.

1. Use crumb size  - When using food as reinforcment - make your rewards, crumb like and very tiny in size. By doing so, your dog will never get sick, fat or

April 18, 2011 by Colleen Safford

Your dog learns from every interaction. Over time those interactions shape the habits that your dog develops and practices routinely.  

If your dog barks at you to gain attention, or to tell you that he is hungry and you respond accordingly by petting him, talking to him, or getting up and making him a meal - you are training him to bark. 

In the reverse, if each time your dog barks, you completely ignore the behavior - like you didn't even hear it - instead waiting for

April 15, 2011 by Colleen Safford
playdate cards.jpg

My last entry stressed the importance of early socialization.

Socializing with your dog  is of course a life long process  though, and that is what you can justify these brilliant playdate cards.

 While it's not completely necessary to be so hip in how you socialize - the hip pup has more fun!

 Check out these custom playdate cards available on  

April 11, 2011 by Colleen Safford

Each and every week, I have countless discussions with new puppy parents about the importance of starting training and socialization early.  

Most recently, a new puppy owner told me that her breeder instructed her to only bring in a dog walker or trainer after 16 weeks of age, when the pup would be vaccinated.  The woman and her puppy were instructed to remain holed up in an NYC apartment for over two months!  I was shocked and a bit angry. How can you give such misguided advice

March 2, 2011 by Colleen Safford

You might read the title and think, but it's the end of flu season. Isn't this news a bit late? Winter is the notorious flu season for humans, but for our furry friends, canine influenza is not a seasonal, but year round health issue. We recently had a scare at my dog camp.

Quite unfortunately, a doggy packed and brought along a very unwelcomed guest; canine influenza - H3N8. This sent us into quarantine mode and racing to best contain the spread, treat anyone that became



Dog of the Week!

Meet: Abraham