Check out Janine’s training tips on “Dog Tales”, a nationally syndicated television series all about dogs and the people who love them!


  • Taking your dog out and about town to experience new sights, sounds, smells, surfaces and humans is one of the best things you can do for him. And if you’re in a J9’s K9s Puppy Head Start Class or Beginner Obedience Class, you can even win a prize if you photograph your adventure! Be sure to make these sojourns positive for your pup by bringing along things he loves, like yummy treats and toys. Urban socialization outings are a great way to spend time with your best friend!


  • Play with your dog every day! Mixing play into your training sessions is a great way to improve your dog’s learning. Research has shown that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain unless it’s done in play, in which case it sometimes only takes 10 to 20 repetitions…

  • Play fun games like “Hide And Seek” with your dog as “It” as described in the video above to improve your dog’s recall skills. As your dog catches on, make the games harder (hide in more difficult places, etc.). Be creative!  Make a big, silly fuss when your dog finds you/the treat/the toy!

  • Be patient, especially around distractions. One of the most common mistakes you can make is moving ahead too fast. Give lots of upbeat praise and recognize even small successes. If your dog is having trouble, go back a step.

  • You may have heard people say, “A tired dog is a good dog.” A tired dog is actually just a tired dog, so be careful you don’t overdo this. Teaching your dog behaviors and tricks and playing games with him can be an even better way to burn off that excess energy.


  • A place that is familiar to your dog, with no distractions – the easiest and best for teaching new behaviors.

  • A place that is familiar to your dog, with distractions – a little more difficult…

  • A place that is unfamiliar to your dog, with no distractions – a lot more difficult…

  • A place that is unfamiliar to your dog, with distractions – the most difficult!

Always be aware of the comfort level of your dog, and how challenging an environment may be for him. As he begins to respond confidently and reliably to your cues, try practicing in more difficult places. Be sure to make yourself and your training methods FUN – keep your training sessions very short and take lots of breaks to play!