Hoop Jump

Posted on June 22, 2016Categories Dogs, Great Tricks, Please Share, VideosTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Teach your dog to jump through a hula hoop! You probably have one lying around, and if not, they aren’t hard to come by, which makes this trick an easy bet for summer fun!

What you’ll need: A hula hoop large enough for your dog to jump through, treats, and an adult dog. You can find hula hoops at toy stores and dollar stores. Make sure that the hoop isn’t designed to make noise,  drain any noisemaking beads if necessary so that your dog isn’t startled by the hoop. Jumping over and over isn’t for puppies, wait until your dog is at least 1.5 years old, 2 for giant breeds.

Step 1: Hold the hoop on the ground and lure your dog through with a treat. Say ‘yes!’ and feed them as they go through the hoop.

Step 2: Hold the treat on the other side of the hoop and ask you dog to make the first move. Say ‘yes!’ and feed them once they have made it through the hoop.

Step 3: Hold the hoop an inch or two off the ground, and repeat step 2 a few times, gradually raising the hoop.

Step 4: Once your dog is jumping through with ease, add your cue to ‘hup’ or ‘jump’ or ‘hoop’ to name their new trick!

Step 5: Have your dog ‘sit’ or ‘wait’ and step a few feet away, hold out your hoop give your cue to ‘hup!’ Stare at the hoop, not your dog, and show them the treat on the other side if they struggle.

Bonus Step 6: The double hoop jump trick! Add another hoop, and teach your dog to follow your eye by looking toward the hoop you’d like them to jump through. They will learn to jump around you in a continuous loop!

Bonus Hula Hoop tricks: You can also use your new hoop jump trick to teach your dog to jump over your back, your leg, through your arms, and much more!

Ring of fire: Cover your hula hoop in tissue paper and cut a hole big enough that your dog will still jump through it. Repeat the process with increasingly smaller openings until you have a dog that will jump through the covered hoop, with just a small hole at the centre! Draw some cool flames on it, or maybe your dog’s name, and let him jump through it to begin your show, even if it’s just for grandma and her friends at the nursing home. Your dog will delight and amaze!

We think you and your dog will love this trick!








Group Classes at The Bark Lounge

Posted on February 8, 2016Categories 100 Reasons To Love Wag The Dog, Dogs, News And UpdatesTags , , , , , , ,

BarkloungelogoHave you heard of The Bark Lounge? It’s a 24 hour dog daycare/indoor dog park located on Barnett Highway in Coquitlam, next to Trail Appliances and across from Bosley’s, and we think it’s great.

They have several rooms for the dogs to play in, and they take the dogs out for active urban agility hikes. They are a great option for folks who work night shifts because they have staff there overnight.

You should check it out, especially if you or someone you know has a new puppy, because trainer Carol Millman will be running a Puppy Play School group class there, starting February 27th!

Check out our new Group Classes (Tri Cities) page to learn more about this fun, family friendly group class, and please do look up The Bark Lounge!

And check back often, because once Carol is off of her maternity leave she will be offering Leadership Classes for adolescent and adult dogs, Trick Dog Title classes and more!


The Key To House Training Success Is Supervision

Posted on November 2, 2015May 22, 2019Categories DogsTags , , , , , , , , ,

Total Supervision

Outside of sleeping, puppies really don’t do too much; you can expect that unless they are eating, chewing, or playing, they are looking for a place to pee. Don’t let them wander off behind the couch or up the stairs without you, don’t let them out in the yard or to hang out in the kids’ room without your total supervision. Use a leash tied to your waist, kennels, crates, and exercise pens to accomplish this. Don’t let that little pup out of your sight for a moment! Dog training is about timing. In order for your dog to understand that going inside isn’t right and going outside is –you need to be there, every time they go, giving your very clear and consistent input on the subject.

Schedule the Event

We will use what we know about our pup’s limited schedule to determine when they will need to go. If your puppy isn’t asleep, they are peeing now and/or will be soon. You’ll be taking your new puppy for a walk roughly every waking hour. 8-week-old puppies can’t be awake for more than 75 minutes without going pee, by 12 weeks of age they have a 90 minute bladder capacity, and can hold it in for just 2 hours at 18 weeks.

Don’t wait to see if they show signs they need to go like circling, sniffing, or going toward the door –it’s already too late! Pick that puppy up and get a pair of slip-on shoes because you’ll need to take them out the moment they wake from naps, immediately after drinking or playing, and within 20 minutes of eating. A consistent feeding schedule and removing water at night can be helpful. Feed your puppy 3 times a day, for exactly 10 minutes. Don’t leave food out to be eaten all day.

Teach your pup to go on command

  1. Say your cue, such as “better hurry” when you expect the magic to happen
  2. Pair the cue with calm, reassuring praise as they urinate or defecate
  3. Once your pup has finished doing their business, say ‘Yes!’ and offer a treat to seal the deal

1-2-3, it’s that simple, why not? With repetition, the sound of your cue will be a reliable command to pee/poo, which comes in handy on a rainy day.

What to do when accidents happen

Even if you are a vigilant supervisor and an adept scheduler, an accident or two is likely to occur within the first 2 weeks. So long as you are right there to interrupt them, these incidents will be teachable moments. Interrupt, saying ‘ah!’ is more than enough, the key is to interrupt them, not to punish or startle. Don’t let them finish emptying their bladder or bowel, pick up your puppy as quickly as possible and rush them outside. Hopefully, they will finish what was started outside and earn a reward.

Don’t rub their nose in it!

Punishing or startling could result in un-wanted behaviours like coprophagia (eating feces) and trying to hide to avoid punishment. The key is to keep them from enjoying the reward of emptying their bladder or bowel in the house, and of course, to teach them that going outside is awesomely rewarding. Imagine that every time you sat down on the toilet, someone burst into the washroom and interrupted you. Now imagine that every time you peed in a bush outside, someone waited patiently till you were done, all the while singing your praises, then handed you candy. Dog training should be consistent and clear. Would it have made it any more clear if the person bursting into the washroom had shoved your head in the toilet? Probably not.

What if I don’t catch my puppy in the act?

If you find a cold turd behind the couch or dried urine under the dining room table, you should go roll up some newspaper and smack yourself with it. You’ve failed to follow the most basic rule of house training, which is that TOTAL SUPERVISION is key to success. Your pup has learned that so long as they’re alone–it’s okay to pee and poo in the house. When you first begin giving your pup brief periods of freedom in the house after 2 solid weeks of accident free living, you’ll need to spy on them with mirrors and convince them that you are always watching, catching everything in the act!

Is my puppy totally ‘house-trained’?

Visiting someone else’s home or a public place like a bank can be great for socialization, but Fido won’t be welcome for long if he can’t hold his bladder. Treat each new location as though your pup isn’t house-trained at all, because until they have had experience in many locations, they simply cannot generalize the concept to all indoor spaces, or even to the identical townhouse next door. Take your puppy to an appropriate spot outside, use your cue word to eliminate and reward if they do. Once inside, watch your puppy carefully,


Puppies don’t choose the best places to pee! Supervise accordingly.

keeping them engaged, walking around, checking things out briefly, doing an obedience command or two. Within the first few minutes of arriving, return to your outside spot and give your cue to pee and poo. Hopefully you’ve had success, but in any case, you’ll bring your pup out again within the next 20 minutes. Giving the puppy so many chances to see where the bathroom spot is at this new location will help ensure success. Do not to allow your puppy to explore the new place alone, and bring along a cleaning kit for just in case!

Why does my puppy need a small crate?

Using a crate or kennel is important for many reasons, but for house-training, it is indispensible. Your pup will need a space to be safely kept while you can’t be watching them, and the space needs to be exactly the right size. The space should be large enough that they can stand and turn around, but not so large that they feel comfortable urinating or defecating in one corner and lying in the other. Dogs and puppies raised in clean homes have a wonderful natural instinct to keep the environment where they eat, sleep, and play clean. They will gradually learn to see your entire house within that realm but for an 8-week old puppy, a kennel is the right size environment to trust them with. As they get older, exercise pens and baby gates can provide stepping-stones toward freedom in the household.

Should I use a Pee-Pad?

There are few instances in which it is helpful to have a pup accustomed to using a pee pad, such as in the case of an ill or incontinent dog, but in most scenarios, you won’t require them, and in fact, they create another, more complicated step to your house-training, sometimes involving phasing out the pads by moving them back and forth to the door and eventually outside because, and hopefully, that is your end goal. Having an indoor bathroom will limit your puppy’s socialization opportunities, and prevent them from developing the ability to ‘hold it.’ Bladder and bowel control can be improved by keeping the puppy in a small kennel for an hour or two at first, gradually increasing the time spent and the size of the kennel as your pup grows older. If you must leave your new puppy alone for too long, consider arranging for a neighbour or friend to help walk your puppy. Hiring a dog walker or investing in day care could be suitable options as well.

What if I’m still having trouble?

Have your veterinarian rule out medical issues such as bladder infections and incontinence before seeking the guidance of a qualified trainer. If you are in our area, we would be happy to provide one-on-one help. We also offer help on-line and over the phone from anywhere in the world. Got a question you’d like to ask the trainer? Send your queries to team@wagthedog.ca

Martin The Deaf Bulldog: A Deaf Puppy Can Be A Wonderful Gift

Posted on April 10, 2014Categories Animal Health, Great Tricks, VideosTags , , , , , , , , , ,

If you looked at Martin, you’d say he was a perfect English Bulldog. His muzzle is long enough that he can breathe relatively comfortably. He’s lean, he’s fit, he’s adorable.

But after they brought him home, Martin’s proud owners began to notice that their puppy didn’t seem to be responding to sounds. A trip to the vet confirmed their fears: Martin was deaf.

Their vet put them in touch with our trainer, Carol, and over the next couple of months she helped them adjust to life with a deaf dog.

What does it mean to have a deaf dog?


  • Cannot hear you call.
  • Cannot hear commands.
  • Cannot hear people or other dogs approaching from behind.
  • Cannot hear cars or other dangers approaching from behind.


  • Will never bark at the doorbell.
  • Motivates you to discover your inner dog trainer.

For the dog’s safety and the owner’s sanity, deaf dogs need to learn to look to their handlers for sign language commands. That means that the owners of deaf dogs need to train their puppy to a level that many owners aren’t motivated to achieve in their hearing dogs.

Thanks to his deafness, Martin’s owners discovered two amazing things:

  • Martin is very intelligent.
  • They are incredible dog trainers.

Check out this video of Martin working at 11 weeks and again at 15 weeks. While Carol was there to guide Martin’s owners through the training process, the credit goes all to them.

We know that results like these can’t be achieved without daily hard work.

Prepare to be impressed:

Common Mistakes Dog Owners Make: Not Watching The Puppy!

Posted on January 16, 2013Categories Common Mistakes Owners Make, DogsTags , , , , ,

In this series we discuss some of the most common errors we see owners make, and how to address them.

Letting The Puppy Discover How Good It Is To Be Bad

Puppies are constantly learning about the good and bad the world, and unlike you and me, their definitions of “good” and “bad” don’t involve morality.

courtesy of dogshaming.com

courtesy of dogshaming.com

Dogs don’t understand right and wrong.

If a dog gets to eat food, and it tastes good, then that is good. If they try to get food and they can’t, that’s bad. How you feel about it doesn’t really enter into the equation.

If your puppy discovers that food in the garbage is easy to reach AND delicious, then your puppy will grow into a dog who is obsessed with getting into the garbage.

If your puppy discovers that shoes are fun to chew, then your shoes will be in constant danger thereafter.

If your puppy finds out that he can poop behind the couch and no one gets mad at him, then you will be constantly finding little presents hidden back there.

The same goes for destroying furniture, eating rugs, shredding kleenex, surfing counters in the kitchen and all of those other fun occupations that your house contains in abundance.

Once your puppy has discovered the joy of raiding your counters or eating your table leg, there are things you can do – but it will be very difficult to fix the problem.

There is one thing that will prevent all of these problems arising in the first place:

Continue reading “Common Mistakes Dog Owners Make: Not Watching The Puppy!”