If you’ve attended a dog training class at Kindred Spirits, you’ve seen the trainers’ dogs demonstrating the exercises we teach. If we just verbally explain the exercises, sometime it’s hard for people to visualize the process or end result. However, we’ve learned that when students see a dog and owner actually performing the exercise as it’s being explained, the instruction is much easier.

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“But she does everything perfectly at home!” We hear this phrase more than any other, hands down.

It happens to all of us at some point. Just when you think your dog knows a command, you ask her to do it when you’re out and about, and what you expect to happen… doesn’t happen. Continue reading →


Many of our students know Toby, the big orange puppy, he’s been demonstrating in every class for 3 or 4 months now. 

(I’m migrating this post from our old site, now in 2015. In case you go looking for Toby, he is no longer a big fluffy puppy!)

I’ve been working a little bit on agility with Toby, trying to build some confidence. Continue reading →


Imagine your first day at your new job. Your new job where you have no idea what your job is. A complicated job. You’re bound to make mistakes!  It’s not fun. How many times would your trainer need to explain things in order for you to understand what you’re supposed to do? Continue reading →


I am a dog trainer who teaches obedience classes. More and more often I’m experiencing the following conversation:
Me: “Welcome to class, do you have your sign-up paper?”
Person whose dog is bouncing and leaping around at the end of the leash, releasing clouds of hair into the air: “Yes, I’m so excited to be here, I know that Missy is going to do really well in class! She’s a purebred Labradoodle [insert any designer dog breed] and they’re just naturally well-behaved and hypo-allergenic too!”
I’m tired of being the one to say “You just paid an exorbitant amount for a puppy on the basis of outrageous expectations.” Continue reading →


Dinky’s recalls have slowed down and she takes her time getting comfy when I tell her to lay down. She hasn’t been defying me like a juvenile, she’s just been un-enthusiastic about work. If I call her and she takes too long getting her nose out of the grass, I give a gentle correction, but corrections aren’t going to make her want to work again. You can’t scold a dog into being enthusiastic!

So, Dinky is ho-hum. Alright, I’ve got tools for this.

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