Warning: This may sound like I’m on a soap box or ranting.

As dog owners it’s our responsibility to clean up after our dogs.  I frequent the parks, walk on the trails and of course walk through my neighborhood.  It appalls me at how much dog waste I see laying around.  I’m not sure if I notice it more because it’s winter and the snow makes it or if more people really aren’t picking up after their dogs.

We live in a city that is reasonably dog friendly, I know it could be better, but at least Rochester allows dogs in their parks.  Please, I beg of of you, pick up after your dog, pick up after others dogs, and if you see someone in need of a bag, offer them one.

Thanks for reading my rant and I’m now stepping off my soapbox.

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A New Year

Who else thinks it seems crazy that another year has passed?  I like to make goals each year while;  most of the time I accomplish those goals sometimes I don’t.  I can, however, tell you that each day I work towards my goals.

With a senior dog with a degenerative neurological disease and an adolescent puppy, I’ve made one of my goals this year to spend time with my dogs.  I should clarify- I am spending intentional time with my dogs.  So frequently our dogs are just there and we take that for granted.  We walk them because they need a walk, but our minds on are on other things whether it’s work or what’s going on with the family.  As we enter 2015 I encourage you to spend time with your dog whether it’s playing a game of fetch, teaching a new trick, or slowing down to enjoy the journey on your walks.


Here’s to an intentional 2015!

Shakti Jan Blog




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How I Failed My Dog

I’ve been training dogs for a number of years and my dog Isabelle has been faithfully and willingly by my side.  I’ve had her since she was a puppy and we worked together every day practicing obedience,  agility, tricks or we would go on hiking adventures.  As she has gotten older (she’s now 8.5) and as Good Dog Camp has gotten busier, I’ve started to fail her because I’ve taken for granted that she’s ‘trained’ and that she’s an ‘old dog’ and should be allowed to relax.

Boy, have I been wrong about a few thing with her!  We recently started visiting Katie to rehab a partially torn cruciate and this is when I realized I needed to get back to my dog and give her more of what she needs.  After just 1 session of physical therapy and a week of practicing our homework I could already see a difference in her.  She was learning new things and enjoying it.  (Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?)  Each week she approaches a new task enthusiastically, although clumsily.  The biggest thing that I’ve changed between our previous training routine and our current one is that instead of working 20-40 min, we now work 5 minutes so that she isn’t too tired and doesn’t over compensate for her weak leg.

Keep your eyes open for tIsabelle water treadmillhe anti aging tips for older dogs blog post.

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Winter in Minnesota

Today feels like a heat wave!  The ambient temperature is 26 and the windchill is 10.  For some this may sound cold, but for those of us in Minnesota it a time to celebrate!  Today was the first time in a couple of weeks that I was able to take the dogs out for a nice long and fun walk.  It felt great for me to get some fresh air (that didn’t burn my lungs) and for the dogs to burn off some of their pent up energy.  Gertie did very well on her loose leash walk and is learning self control while at bootcamp, while Grace and Samwise had a blast playing with each other.  Here are a few pictures of our adventure today.  Enjoy 🙂

Gertie Leash Walk

Gertie Sit at corner

Samwise and Grace trail





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Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ll admit it, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I mean, how can it not be with the while family together and delicious food all around?  I think this might also be my dog’s favorite holiday as she gets lots of pets from family members while she waits patiently for people to drop food on the floor or turkey to be unattended so she can help herself to a leg (ok, she wouldn’t do that….).

However, for many dogs Thanksgiving can be a stressful event with people coming in and out of the house, children running around, and extra table scraps being tossed their way thus causing stomach issues.  Here are some tips to help you and your furry friend out this holiday season.

Thanksgiving 2013

1) Take a walk before guests arrive.  This will help burn off some extra energy and make your dog a little more relaxed when people show up.

2) Practice ‘Place’   Having your dog go to his bed keeps him from being under foot.

3) Put your dog in a crate or shut them in a different room and give them a toy such a Kong to chew on.  This will help them feel more relaxed and prevent them from running away when the door is opened.

4) Do not feed your dog table scraps.  If your dog is not used to this, it can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea.  Most definitely do not feed them turkey bones.

5) Have extra water available to your dog throughout the day.  This is an exciting day and your dog may get thirsty.


Most importantly, have a Happy Thanksgiving!


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067Most of the people in my life know about the fitness journey I started a couple of years ago.  I started by working out at a gym, then hired a personal trainer.  After I moved back to Rochester, I was looking for something to get me motivated to keep pushing myself.  That’s when I found a CrossFit gym.  This isn’t you’re average run of the mill Bali Fitness gym.  No, this is a gym where you go to sweat, work your tail off, compete against teammates and cheer them on all at the same time.

This past week I did something that I NEVER in a millions years thought I would be able to do.  I climbed to the top of a 20 ft rope.  Let me explain why this is was so monumental for me.  I’m scared of heights.  No change that, I’m terrified of heights. On my first attempt at climbing the rope, my feet were about 3 feet off the ground and I panicked.  So how did I overcome my fear?  I kept practicing.  Everyday when I got the the gym I practiced climbing the rope, and each day I got a little closer to my goal.  When I finally got to the top of the rope, I came back down and then climbed up again, this time faster and with less fear.

Now I’m sure you’re sitting there wondering what in the world does Annalissa’s personal workout program have to do with dog training?  Well, a lot actually!

015Every time I’m working with a dog, I’m asking them to give a little bit more than they did the last time.  Posing new challenges to your dog helps them build confidence and trust in your leadership.  The first time you ask your dog to do something he has never done before, he may balk and try to refuse.  However, once you show him that he CAN perform the task at hand, he will do it so much more willingly the next time.   In many of my training programs I implement confidence building exercises.  For example, we will go to the local playground and walk across the bridges, go through the tunnels and climb the stairs. On many pieces of playground equipment you can see the ground, which may be scary for some dogs, the bridges can swing and the plastic tunnels may sound and feel weird to your dog.  So how do you help your dog with these challenges?  Go with him, encourage him and don’t give up.  If you give up, it will re-enforce the fear for your dog as well as allow him to question your leadership.
So my advice for you?  Go out and find new challenges for your dog.  Whether is taking them to the local play ground, climbing a riser of bleachers or using fallen trees on your hike as a jumping poles, go out and have some fun.  Your dog will thank you.


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Swimming Dogs

SebPoolSummer is upon us and, and for many of us swimming is on the top of the ‘To Do List’  For our canine friends, swimming is a GREAT form of exercise as well as a great way for them to cool off.

Some precautions should be made when taking your dog swimming.  If your dog does not know how to swim (no, not all dogs do so naturally) make sure they have a life vest on so they can feel safe and secure in the water.

In addition to a live vest, I often recommend using a long line to assist your dog if you need.  If your dog is struggling swimming, put some tension on the line and help her ashore.

Walk in the water with your dog, this too will make him feel secure as you are right beside him. If your dog like to chase toys, you can always toss a toy in the water for him to fetch.  I personally LOVE the Kong Water Wubba.

For those people who live in the Midwest and have a swimming pool precautions should be made so that your dog’s toe nails do not tear the vinyl lining of your pool.  I have had clients use boots to cover their dogs feet, and have heard rave reviews!

Do be careful where you take your dog swimming.  Look for fishing hooks and line and choose a location that has easy entry.  Lots of rocks that your dog has to climb over can cause injury.

Now go out and have some fun in the water with your pooch!

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Fit Dog Fit Nation

BlackBerry10.5.09-073Join Good Dog Camp 10 am Sunday May 2 at Quarry Hill for Fit Dog Fit Nation Day.

This is the kick-off to ‘Pets and People–Healthy Together’ themed National Pet week May 2-8, 2010, jointly founded by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Auxiliary to the AVMA to promote responsible pet owenership, celebrate the human-animal bond, and promote public awareness of veterinary medicine.

We are going to celebrate Fit Dog Fit Nation Day on May 2 by taking a hike at Quarry Hill.  We will meet at the Quarry Hill Nature Center parking lot at 10am for this free event.  This is a great opportunity  for us to spend some time with our dogs, get some exercise and help create happier healthier pets.

While this event is free and open to anyone with a dog, please follow park rules by keeping your dog on leash and picking up after them.

Here are more reasons to join us:

  • Dogs are great workout partners.  Studies show that our exercise programs are more successful when we take our dogs along.
  • For dogs, more time with you means less time home alone. Animal behavior experts agree that active dogs are less likely to become behavior problems.
  • Pudgy pets are at increased risk for osteoarthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and dental problems. They don’t live as long as their lean friends, either.

003-(4)Fit Dog Fit Nation Day is one day to focus attention on the importance of fitness for our furry friends, but we invite you to put your dog’s health on your calendar every day.

For more information on Fit Dog Fit Nation Day in Rochester, MN contact Annalissa at Good Dog Camp 507.261.3913.

Many thanks go out to JT Clough the K9 Coach of San Diego for helping promote Fit Dog Fit Nation Day! She has some great ideas about bringing out the athlete in you and your dog!

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Training Changes Expectations

BeefI just wanted to give some kudos to Liz.  Her dedication to Beef and his training as well as her desire to share his loving nature with others is amazing and deserves comment.

When I first met Beef Cake (aka Beef) in October he was a slightly out of control one year old puppy.  Liz and Andy adopted Beef in March of last year and were struggling with his training and behavior since having their daughter.  This new little bundle had Beef’s world was turned upside down and e didn’t know what to think of this new addition to the family.  When Liz would lay the baby on the floor Beef thought he needed swat her with is enormous paws.  They were also having some issues with house training and separation anxiety along with a lack of obedience especially in distractions.

At our evaluation Liz and Andy told me they didn’t care if Beef did any fancy tricks, they just wanted him to behave himself and not hurt the baby.  They decided to enroll him in a ten day boot-camp.    Beef learned very quickly and excelled at training.  He has now been back home for about two months and Liz has him walking off leash, coming when called every time she calls him,  and minding his manners around the baby.  She’s told me more than once that she is incredibly happy with his training and that he’s better behaved than she could have ever imagined.  Because of his even temperament and the joy that he brings her and her family Liz wants to train Beef to be a therapy dog so she can share him with other people.

beefheelThe most rewarding part of my job is when I work with people and their expectations change because they are able to see the amazing potential their dog has. I feel honored to be part of Beef’s life and I commend Liz for the extra work she’s put into training him.  I am looking forward to helping Beef pass his therapy dog test in August.

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Getting Your New Puppy Started on the Right Paw

PierrePuppyRaise your hand if you’re one of the thousands of people who got a puppy for the holidays. Congratulations on your new bundle of furry fun! However right now is the time to get started with your puppy’s training. You don’t want him using your house as a toilet, your children as chew toys, or your guests as a mobile bounce house. At Good Dog Camp we offer puppy consultations to help you and your pup get started out on the right paw for a great lasting relationship. The following topics and information are covered:

  • House Training
  • Play Biting
  • Handling Exercises
  • Socialization
  • Appropriate Games and Toys
  • Grooming
  • Leadership Skills
  • Waiting
  • Walking on a leash
  • The steps to take to continue your puppy’s training

All consultations are in-home and last about 2hours. Contact us today for more information and to set up your puppy consultation appointment.

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