Kong & Bone Stuffers

Does your dog have a Kong toy or an empty marrow bone? Often unless they are stuffed, dogs quickly become uninterested.

Great Kong StuffersWhy stuff a Kong or bone? Here are just a few reasons:

  • Is your dog barking or crying when left alone or do you want to prevent it? Try leaving him with a stuffed & frozen Kong or bone every time you leave. It won’t be long before your dog begins to look forward to your departure.
  • Is your dog full of energy & often bored because you don’t have enough time to exercise him some days? Giving your dog a stuffed Kong will stimulate him mentally & keep him out of your hair for a good 15 minutes or more.
  • Do you love your dog? Give them a tasty treat once in a while!

Kong & Bone Stuffers

First things first. There are a few foods that can be toxic to dogs & shouldn’t be used. NO GRAPES, RAISINS, ONIONS, OR CHOCOLATE. Also, freezing whatever you fill the Kong with will make it last much longer! To avoid stomach upset, it might be a good idea to start off by stuffing with mostly your dogs food or other treats they get on a regular basis, then slowly begin adding in small amounts of other foods (plain yogurt and rice are usually good things to start with). Some dogs adapt very easily to new foods, other dogs have sensitive digestive systems. You will need to learn what works best for your dog.

  • Dry Dog Food
  • Canned Dog Food
  • Dog Treats (anything from small training treats to larger dry treats)
  • Meat: Chicken, Beef, Pork, Fish (Cooked or Raw)
  • Plain Yogurt
  • Apples or Bananas
  • Potato or Sweet Potato
  • Pumpkin (known to firm up dog stools)
  • Eggs (Cooked or Raw)
  • Canned or Fresh Green Beans, Carrots (fills up a belly without adding many calories)
  • Organic Peanut Butter
  • Ice
  • Hot Dogs
  • Baby Food
  • Oatmeal
  • Cooked Rice
  • Cooked Noodles

REMEMBER: Freeze your Kong or Bone for the longest lasting treat.


Our Board & Train Facility (aka our home)

Here is a look behind the scenes at our home & facility for our Board & Train program. All dogs in our program get to train, sleep, eat and play in our home as if they were one of our own dogs. You won’t find dogs in kennel runs all alone here. Instead our program dogs become a part of our family for their stay here and receive access to play with our dogs, lots of love from us and are subject to our house rules too (additional learning for many)! We have a formal training space in our pole barn, but spend much of our time working in our home and outside on our property for realistic training environments (not to mention going on field trips).

Update on Guy The Leader Dog

Back in May I wrote a post about a black lab puppy named Guy that I was doing one on one training with. He was preparing to be a Leader Dog for the Blind. Guy recently went back to Michigan to be evaluated and I have been told that he did extremely well on his intake scoring and has been in training for the last three weeks. I look forward to following his progress and hopefully he will be assigned to a blind companion this summer.

What’s even more exciting is that Guy’s raisers now have another puppy named Phoebe (pictured)! I happened to see Pheobe playing at daycare while I was doing training with Sweet Lucy, a hound mix puppy with the sweetest demeanor you can find. Phoebe is next in line for training and I am looking forward to working with her! PS. She is even more adorable than the picture! 🙂

It’s a New Year!

It’s a New Year and probably time for some new years training resolutions for your dog! This January I will be holding workshops for specific problem behaviors like jumping up on people, pulling on leash, and probably coming when called too at Pampered Pooch Playground. The first Jumping Workshop is already full so be sure to book your spot.

Jumping Workshop – Tuesday, January 25th from 7:00 – 8:30pm – Register Online

Leash Walking Workshop – Tuesday, January 18th from 7:00-8:00pm – Register Online

Photo Link

Support Your Local Rescues This Holiday Season

Tis the season of giving. This holiday season, don’t forget about your local animal rescue groups that need your help. Even if you are unable to support them financially they are always looking for volunteers. Below are just a few of the local rescues that you can support! Happy Holidays!

Pet Haven Inc. of Minnesota – Pampered Pooch Playground Fosters Pet Haven Dogs

Homeward Bound Rescue – I fostered Betty through Homeward Bound

Pleading Paws Pet Rescue – Where I got my dog Sage

Whisker Rescue – Where I got my cat Sugar Pie

Border Collie Rescue of MN

Aussie Rescue of MN

MN Boxer Rescue

The Animal Humane Society – My dad’s dog Buck came from Buffalo AHS

Prepare your Dog for the Holidays!

The holidays are a stressful time, for humans and their pets. There are potentially hazardous food and plants and new things that aren’t always around at other times of year, including family and friends visiting for the holidays. To prepare your dog for a successful holiday there are a few great commands you can practice now in order to keep fido out of trouble when people arrive.

Note: Be sure to work hard on these commands prior to the big day. Once learned, the behaviors need to be practiced around distractions similar to those they will be experiencing during your holiday party (excited people). It can be a challenge, but it is possible! 🙂

Go to your bed – This is one of my favorite commands. It sends your dog to a place (typically a bed or blanket) where he or she should stay until released. Its usually a good idea to give your dog something to do while staying there (stuffed kong or bone – granted they do not guard their resources) so that moving from that spot is a little less tempting. You will have to practice this often and with company around prior to the big day, but with some consistency you will get there.

Leave it – This is a command every dog should know and will help your dog practice impulse control and stay out of trouble! The key to teaching this command is to reward your dog for leaving things alone.

Out – The out command can be taught to keep your dog out of specific rooms, typically the kitchen or dining area during the holidays. It is important that you always reinforce the out command once you have given the command. Be sure that you give your dog a release, so they know when they can once again enter that particular area.

Polite Greetings – Some dogs find practicing polite greetings very difficult. These are usually the most friendly and happy of dogs that just don’t know how to control their enthusiasm. Polite greetings must be practiced on a regular basis. Typically teaching a dog to sit for all attention is a good start as well as being sure to not allow them to practice jumping up (leash your dog for greetings).

Introducing… Ozzie!

Ozzie is the newest addition to our pack as my foster dog. He is a black tri Miniature Australian Shepherd. He is coming from a home where he had some fear issues with strangers and one of the adults in the home. So far, what I have seen from him in my home is much better than what I saw in his previous home. He takes a while to warm up to new people, especially men, but when the humans do things “correctly” for him, he is in their lap looking for love in no time.

Ozzie will be staying with me long enough to do some training to overcome some of his fears and become more social as well as some basic obedience. He quickly learned how to sit, down and stay and seemed to already know “high five.” He has also now knows to sit & wait for his food with the rest of the pack until they are released to eat and is starting to understand that the game of fetch does not involve keep away, but rather retrieving and dropping to receive another throw. He sure seems to enjoy this new way of playing! More updates to come on this handsome fellow!

If you are considering fostering or adopting a new dog, take a look at my post on Introducing a Second Dog or Foster before you make a decision.