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AnimalSensibility: Making Heads & Tails of Your Canine Conundrums

 

AnimalSensibility is the place to turn to for all of your dog training answers. Collectively, our staff has more than 75 years of extensive and comprehensive experience in dog training and behavior and of course, total dedication to dogs. We are active members of several professional organizations, regularly attend seminars and conferences and are happily obsessed with obtaining the most up-to-date training and behavior information available — and then passing it along to you. This blog is our opportunity to do that on a much larger scale. Our trainers will share new training techniques, case studies from the many classes and private lessons we conduct each week all over Chicagoland, stories from our time volunteering with rescues and shelters, as well as our experiences with our own dogs.

 

Fun Canine Enrichment Toys

If you are a dog owner, you probably have heard of or use a Kong. I LOVE them… and so do my dogs, but sometimes you want to switch it up. Here are some of my favorite dog toys. The majority of these toys come in different sizes for every dog! 1. The Squirrel Dude […]

Continue Reading     |     March 2, 2012     |     Read all posts by Lindsay Rapp

The Doctor is In

Bailey and I have been making a lot of vet visits lately. Bailey does very well at the vet, but she is a nervous wreck for at least the first 10 minutes. She shivers and won’t sit still and it breaks my heart every time. I always bring a bag of her favorite treats and […]

Continue Reading     |     March 1, 2012     |     Read all posts by Erin Schneider

It’s Just Dog Training

Over the past several years, I’ve attended a lot of AnimalSense classes – as an observer when I was learning to be a dog trainer, as an assistant trainer and as a student. One of the most consistent things I see is that very few people – myself included – have as much fun as […]

Continue Reading     |     February 29, 2012     |     Read all posts by Paulette Solinski

My Dog is a Dog

I’ve finally realized the most recent addition to my family is a DOG.  And I mean, a “dog’s dog.” She may execute a nice long sit/stay but she still sniffs crotches.  She may wait patiently until I release her to eat dog food, but she still enjoys digging in our trash and eating food off […]

Continue Reading     |     February 28, 2012     |     Read all posts by Alison Spanner

Ask a Trainer Question Answered

Here’s the next round of answers for our Ask a Trainer feature on our new website. It’s your chance to get dog training advice from the pros at AnimalSense. Stay tuned for more questions & answers, and if you have a burning dog training question, just “Ask a Trainer”! I have a well-behaved 2 1/2 yo […]

Continue Reading     |     February 22, 2012     |     Read all posts by Andrea Miller

My Dog’s Gone on Walkabout!

When considering how to write about this subject, I thought about NOT telling you how it came to my attention, and focusing on the importance of knowing what to do if your dog goes missing.  As a dog professional that is also human, two things have come to my attention: 1.  This can happen to […]

Continue Reading     |     February 20, 2012     |     Read all posts by Nicole Stewart

If I were my client, what would I tell me to do?

Ever heard the phrase the cobbler’s children have no shoes?  Well, I will make a confession; my dogs do not always have the picture-perfect manners one might hope that a trainer’s dog would possess.  They know all the basic commands, a couple of cute tricks and generally respond to what I ask them to do.  […]

Continue Reading     |     February 17, 2012     |     Read all posts by Katie Moody

Ask a Trainer Question Answered

Here’s the next round of answers for our Ask a Trainer feature on our new website. It’s your chance to get dog training advice from the pros at AnimalSense. Stay tuned for more questions & answers, and if you have a burning dog training question, just “Ask a Trainer”! I’ve had Penny for a year and […]

Continue Reading     |     February 16, 2012     |     Read all posts by Andrea Miller

Dog Bites and Owners’ Responsibilities

There are more than 4 million dog bites in the United States each year. If your dog bites a person or another domestic animal, local ordinances require you to take certain steps, often within 24 hours of the incident. A case of severe injury will require emergency care and the hospital must call the police.  […]

Continue Reading     |     February 15, 2012     |     Read all posts by

Top Tellington Touch FAQ

As the only Tellington Touch practitioner for miles (and miles and miles) around, I am used to people asking me about what TTouch is and how it can help their dogs.  In case you’re curious, too—maybe you’ve seen my workshops on the AnimalSense website, or a dog-training friend mentioned it—here are my Top 3 TTouch […]

Continue Reading     |     February 14, 2012     |     Read all posts by Betsy Lane

Benefits of Teaching Your Dog Tug

I am a big fan of teaching dogs to play tug. It not perfect for every dog, but don’t believe the fallacy that it “makes” dogs aggressive. That simply isn’t true. In fact, when played with strict rules, quite the opposite is true. Its many benefits include:  Building your relationship with your dog.  Teaching excellent […]

Continue Reading     |     February 13, 2012     |     Read all posts by Sally Bushwaller

Warning: Construction Zone

As some of you may know, I not only work for AnimalSense, but I also work for CanineLink (formerly AnimalSense Academy). CanineLink is a new company founded by Jamie Damato Migdal, who founded AnimalSense. We teach people to become dog trainers. Being a new business, we got new everything: new name, new website, new collateral […]

Continue Reading     |     February 10, 2012     |     Read all posts by Sarah Gaziano

Ask a Trainer Question Answered

Here’s the next round of answers for our Ask a Trainer feature on our new website. It’s your chance to get dog training advice from the pros at AnimalSense. Stay tuned for more questions & answers, and if you have a burning dog training question, just “Ask a Trainer”! What’s a good way to drive alone […]

Continue Reading     |     February 9, 2012     |     Read all posts by Andrea Miller

Canine Myth Buster: Vision

During my time in AnimalSense Academy (now CanineLink), I did a presentation about Canine Myths.  One myth I busted was that dogs only see in black and white.  I found it very interesting, so I thought I’d share my findings with all of you!  Hope you enjoy! So do dogs only see in black and […]

Continue Reading     |     February 7, 2012     |     Read all posts by

A Healthier New Year

The New Year is often a time for creating resolutions for ourselves, but how successful are they? We live in an age of self-gratification.  We eat too much because it makes us feel better. We smoke because it helps calm us. We are too busy, so we don’t exercise. So, at New Year’s we promise […]

Continue Reading     |     February 6, 2012     |     Read all posts by Erin Schneider

There’s a Puppy in My House

A few years ago, Sony developed a robot dog .  The dog supposedly did all the cute things dogs do but I personally thought it was a pretty stupid idea.  However, a few nights ago when I had my fourteen-week-old puppy out in the freezing rain at two in the morning I finally understood the […]

Continue Reading     |     February 3, 2012     |     Read all posts by Paulette Solinski

Sit, Down and Stay a While

Last week, I was asked about my favorite thing to teach.  Since I am still fairly new at training, I didn’t have an immediate answer.  But after thinking for a few minutes, I said “Stay.”  I didn’t say that so much because I like teaching it; I said it because I like seeing it. To […]

Continue Reading     |     February 2, 2012     |     Read all posts by Greg Raub

One Big Happy Family

I’m sure most of you know that I have three dogs in my household. I know what you are thinking… that’s crazy! I have two little ones I call the ChiChi’s, short for Chihuahuas. Dolce is 10 and is the perfect angel, but Moxie has issues. The first day I brought him home he would […]

Continue Reading     |     February 1, 2012     |     Read all posts by Lindsay Rapp

“Hey Rex, I’m Over Here!” – The Importance of Attention Exercises

If you have ever taken more than one class with us here at AnimalSense, you have likely noticed that the first week of class is pretty similar, no matter if you’re taking Puppy Pre-School or Recall and Leash Manners.  We almost always teach or review what we call “attention exercises”.  Attention exercises consist of “The […]

Continue Reading     |     January 31, 2012     |     Read all posts by

Combatting Canine Cabin Fever

I love walking my dog… in nice weather. Living in Chicago in the winter makes me dread going outside at all, let alone for long walks. However, my Westie, Bailey, could stay out in the cold for quite a long time. She lives for the winter. She especially loves the snow. So to keep me […]

Continue Reading     |     January 30, 2012     |     Read all posts by Erin Schneider

A Valentine to Dogs

In my last blog post, I wrote “when breeding together dogs who….”. The word processing spell and grammar check feature suggested that I revise it so say “dogs that.” I didn’t think about it beyond my immediate reaction to leave it the way it was. Several days later in reading Suzanne Clothier’s Bones Would Rain […]

Continue Reading     |     January 27, 2012     |     Read all posts by

Ask a Trainer Question Answered

Here’s the next round of answers for our Ask a Trainer feature on our new website. It’s your chance to get dog training advice from the pros at AnimalSense. Stay tuned for more questions & answers, and if you have a burning dog training question, just “Ask a Trainer”! We have two 5 year old miniature […]

Continue Reading     |     January 26, 2012     |     Read all posts by Andrea Miller

Moving On Up

My boyfriend Josh and I are moving to Portland, Oregon next month.  Although I will miss my amazing friends and work here in Chicago, we have been looking forward to a move out west for over a year.  Since this was the plan, we have been looking for a place to live throughout the month […]

Continue Reading     |     January 25, 2012     |     Read all posts by

They Can’t Be Perfect

Even good dogs have bad days. My girls, Cassie and Hope are great house dogs. They generally have excellent house manners, although in typical Weimaraner fashion, they are counter surfers when I’m not around. Cassie is quite fanatical about getting to any food left on the counters, but with good management that is not a […]

Continue Reading     |     January 24, 2012     |     Read all posts by Sally Bushwaller

The Wonderful Kong

As the mother of two, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have made it through the exhausting newborn period without the help of my good friends the infant swing and the vibrating bouncy seat.   Usually one or the other worked to give me enough time to do something requiring two arms, like showering, and kept my […]

Continue Reading     |     January 23, 2012     |     Read all posts by Katie Moody

To Know Bailey is to Know Happiness

I wanted to write something more upbeat and helpful, but I can’t think of anything else but the recent news my husband and I received. A few weeks ago, we learned that our Westie, Bailey, has inoperable bladder cancer. We were very upset by the news, and because she is only six years old, we […]

Continue Reading     |     January 20, 2012     |     Read all posts by Erin Schneider

Working 9 to 5

Some of you may already know this, but I am the Office Assistant at AnimalSense. I’m a bit of an organization freak, so files and spreadsheets are basically my domain, and I love it! However, one of my favorite things about this job has nothing to do with the job itself: we can bring our […]

Continue Reading     |     January 19, 2012     |     Read all posts by Sarah Gaziano

Mmmm… Poop

“Mmmm” and “poop” in the same sentence?  I know.  Seems, well…  gross, right? Well, that’s because it is for us humans who have not embraced the nutritional goodness of what is left over once it comes out of our bodies.  Dogs are, however, very versed in the poop varieties.  Let’s see, there’s rabbit, deer, goose […]

Continue Reading     |     January 18, 2012     |     Read all posts by Nicole Stewart

Ask a Trainer Question Answered

We have enjoyed reading over the submissions to our Ask a Trainer feature on our new website. It’s your chance to get dog training advice from the pros at AnimalSense. Every couple of weeks, we’ll answer some questions submitted. We got too many submissions to answer in one blog, but here’s our first round. Stay tuned […]

Continue Reading     |     January 17, 2012     |     Read all posts by Andrea Miller

Communication is Key

What if you didn’t have the ability to speak? How would you function in this world? It would be different, but you would be able to use sign language. Well, that is how your dogs communicate with each other and us humans. They use body language called “calming signals”. Norwegian dog trainer, Turid Rugaas wrote […]

Continue Reading     |     January 16, 2012     |     Read all posts by Lindsay Rapp

Fright Night Take Two

A few months ago I noticed unusual behavior in my 10-month-old puppy, Sonar.  During the months since we adopted her, I’d come to associate fetch as her game of choice.  She would hop hop hop after anything.  However, one morning I picked up her favorite rope and, as usual, I lifted it over my head […]

Continue Reading     |     January 13, 2012     |     Read all posts by Alison Spanner

If I Had Only Known… Lessons from a New Trainer

As a dog owner getting my second Westie puppy, I thought I was totally prepared and knew everything I needed to know about caring for a puppy.  Well, I quickly realized I had forgotten how much work a puppy is.  And now, ten years later, I realize I am still learning.  As a new AnimalSense […]

Continue Reading     |     January 12, 2012     |     Read all posts by Greg Raub

Perennial Teenager

We covered a lot of fascinating topics at AnimalSense Academy.  Here’s one that you have probably noticed in your own dogs without being aware of the technical term or its role in canine evolution and the development of breeds. Neotony refers to retaining immature or juvenile characteristics in adulthood and includes both physical and behavioral […]

Continue Reading     |     January 11, 2012     |     Read all posts by

Take a Break

If you read my previous blog post about picking a puppy, you know that this summer my family decided to get a puppy.  So in addition to dealing with all of the energy, training needs and general craziness of a puppy, I’ve also had to cope with some of challenges of going from having an […]

Continue Reading     |     January 10, 2012     |     Read all posts by Katie Moody

Size Does Matter

Certainly all dogs should be well socialized and well trained.  That way they can live with you and your family manage-ably as well as in the outside world.  However, when you have a big dog, training becomes even more important.  Picture an off leash Yorkshire Terrier that comes hurling at you from across a park […]

Continue Reading     |     January 9, 2012     |     Read all posts by Paulette Solinski

The Magical Place

Along with hand targeting (“Touch”) and “Find It” (nose work), my other favorite command is “Place”.  There are several steps to “place” but the general idea is that your dog goes to its bed, lies down, and stays there until you tell him to get up.  The times that this can come in handy are […]

Continue Reading     |     January 6, 2012     |     Read all posts by

It’s All in the Timing

If you’ve been an AnimalSense student for any length of time, you’ve probably heard us trainers tell you over and over that you need to mark your dog’s good behavior in some way. Basically marking behavior is a communication tool between you and your dog. “Sparky, you are doing that right and I love it. […]

Continue Reading     |     January 5, 2012     |     Read all posts by Sally Bushwaller

Toddlers… Ugh! (A Guest Post by Finlay Stewart)

Toddlers are scary. To dogs. Well, as a mom, I can honestly say they scare me sometimes too. Let’s face it, they walk like they’ve had too much beer, they scream at a decibel level that might not yet have been discovered, and they come at you with no warning with a push, a tug […]

Continue Reading     |     January 2, 2012     |     Read all posts by Nicole Stewart

Hello Kiddies

We all know the perfect scenario for a meeting between dog and child:  The child would come up to you and your well-behaved dog, ask if he may pet your dog, and then, after you say yes, the child pets your dog in a totally appropriate way.  My neighbor’s children actually behave this way.  They […]

Continue Reading     |     December 31, 2011     |     Read all posts by Paulette Solinski

Living with a Reactive Dog

I have the most annoying dog in the world. At night he has to either sleep on my head or under the covers between my legs. He’s always begging for food, and he lays on every piece of furniture in the house, including the coffee table, when I’m not looking. Even at this very moment, […]

Continue Reading     |     December 29, 2011     |     Read all posts by Sarah Gaziano

Firework Freakout

New Year’s Eve is the time to pop champagne and bottle rockets. The bursts of bright color in the sky and loud noises may light up our faces, but fireworks are likely a very scary event for your dog. Those of you with phobic dogs have probably been dealing with holidays like New Year’s Eve […]

Continue Reading     |     December 27, 2011     |     Read all posts by Andrea Miller

The Truth About Gentle Leaders

Gentle leaders are one of my favorite training tools. If you have ever taken one of my classes, you have probably heard me say, “I put a gentle leader on every dog that walks into my house.” Why do I love them so much? First, it takes the pressure off of the dog’s neck. There […]

Continue Reading     |     December 26, 2011     |     Read all posts by Lindsay Rapp

Home for the Howlidays

I have a six year old Westie named Bailey, and she has never missed a family holiday. I am very lucky that she travels very well by car and also as a carry-on companion on planes. I am also lucky to have relatives who accept her in their homes. But just because my relatives are […]

Continue Reading     |     December 23, 2011     |     Read all posts by Erin Schneider

Walk This Way

I have been seeing a trend lately that I don’t like very much like. I live in Chicago and walk my dog every day, and I would say 3 days out of 7, I see an owner walking their dog off leash. Now, I could get into how it is against the law to walk […]

Continue Reading     |     December 21, 2011     |     Read all posts by Erin Schneider

My Dog Did A Cool Thing

We recently posted about our Nose Work class. Not long ago I saw my dog do a really cool thing that shows the power of his nose. Oz, my 7-year old Rottweiler was with me and my husband outside of a house we were staying in for the weekend.  Oz was busy sniffing our car […]

Continue Reading     |     December 20, 2011     |     Read all posts by

Animal Assisted Therapy

A number of AnimalSense clients tell us that they’re interested in getting their dog into an animal assisted therapy  program (AAT – informally known as pet therapy) so I thought I’d share some personal experiences and a few lessons learned. In 1999, I decided I had the perfect dog for AAT so I did some […]

Continue Reading     |     December 19, 2011     |     Read all posts by Paulette Solinski

Rescue Me

Since the passing of our beloved Pit Bull mix, Piper, in November 2009, my boyfriend and I have had a slew of fosters and rescue dogs come into our home.  Each one had a different personality, temperament, variety of past experiences and most of the time, a little bit of baggage – whether it be […]

Continue Reading     |     December 16, 2011     |     Read all posts by

Getting Nosey

K9 NOSE WORK® is a great new dog sport. I absolutely love it and have been working towards becoming a Certified Nose Work Instructor so I can help others learn how fun this sport is. The three people who developed this sport are all police canine trainers and handlers with many years of experience. They […]

Continue Reading     |     December 15, 2011     |     Read all posts by Sally Bushwaller

Pick a Puppy, Not a Picture

As some people know, my family decided to add a new canine member this spring.  The journey through picking a puppy was a really eye-opening one and left me with one bottom line piece of advice to share – pick a puppy, not a picture. My two previous dogs were chosen the way that I […]

Continue Reading     |     December 14, 2011     |     Read all posts by Katie Moody

Dinner Paw-ty Etiquette

I am officially a married woman. On October 15, 2011,I became a wife. Everyone keeps asking me if anything has changed. “How does it feel to be a married woman?” The answer: exactly the same, except for one small thing. My house is now filled with lots of new STUFF. I have new dishes stacked […]

Continue Reading     |     December 13, 2011     |     Read all posts by Sarah Gaziano

In Memoriam

Losing a pet is devastating, especially for those of us who treat our animals like our children. It’s been a little over a year since I lost my beagle, Rayme. She was fifteen years old when she passed, so I take great comfort in knowing she had a long, full life. But I still think […]

Continue Reading     |     December 12, 2011     |     Read all posts by Andrea Miller

Rub a Dub Dub

I read an entire article by respected Illinois veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, the other day on how to give your dog a bath.  Initially, I thought it funny that an entire article could be dedicated to such a basic activity.  I mean, in classes, we talk about how to get your dog used to be […]

Continue Reading     |     December 9, 2011     |     Read all posts by Nicole Stewart

Can’t Touch This: Teach Your Dog to be Handled

One of the most important but often overlooked skills to work on with any puppy or new dog is handling.  Handling refers to your dog being comfortable being touched and manipulated by people – both their owners, and other people.  This is an incredibly useful and important tool to have in your kit.  You need […]

Continue Reading     |     December 8, 2011     |     Read all posts by

A Conference Puppy

I attended my first APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) Conference last month. I went to the conference excited and ready to learn. Since it was my first APDT, I didn’t really know what to expect, but the minute I arrived I could feel the energy from the crowd. It was wonderful being surrounded by […]

Continue Reading     |     December 7, 2011     |     Read all posts by Erin Schneider

Welcome to AnimalSensibility

Welcome to the new AnimalSense blog! We are very excited to launch AnimalSensibility: it’s the place for all of our clients to come for advice on all of their canine conundrums.

Continue Reading     |     November 30, 2011     |     Read all posts by Lindsay Rapp

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Having never trained a dog before I knew I was out of my depth with our puppy and AnimalSense threw me my life preserver.

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