Canine Body Language Seminar

Posted on Dec 6, 2013 in Certified Dog Trainer, Dog Training, Pets, Positive Reinforcement, Puppy, Rescue Dog, Safety | 0 comments

Presented by
Judy Moore ACDBC
Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant
When:    Saturday, January 4, 2014
Where:   Poetic Gold Farm 
              7 Trillium Lane, Falmouth, ME 
Time:    10am- noon
Fees:    Dogs attending for evaluation $75
            Attendees for audit $25
who is the most worried here?

who is the most worried here?

I’ll will review how canines communicate with each other and how they try to communicate with us. You will learn to identify signs of canine stress and fear which can assist you in preventing unwanted behaviors such as a snap or bite.  Many dogs offer distance cues, however we as humans miss them; therefore many dogs resort to a level 3 bite because no one respected the level 1 or 2 distance cue.
If you work with, own, or live with a dog who exhibits shy or skittish behavior, you will benefit from a basic understanding of how they “speak” to us with body language. 
Live Demo dogs and Q&A discussion included!
For more information or to attend contact Judy at
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Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant now available in Portland Maine

Posted on Dec 4, 2013 in Aggression, Canine Good Citizen, Certified Dog Trainer, Child, Dog Training, Dominance, Positive Association, Puppy, Training, Veterans | 0 comments


I am very proud to announce my hard work and continued education has earned me the title ofAssociate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant- ACDBC.  I am the only ACDBC south of Bangor, and the only one in Portland, Maine.  My desire to better understand dog behavior and behavior problems is on going and I will continue to study and learn to better help my clients.

For clients in the Bangor area, please reach out to Don Hanson, of Green Acres Kennels as he is a CDBC and a person I myself reach out to.  Welcome to Green Acres Kennel Shop – Green Acres Kennel Shop

Already have a dog trainer?  Please be sure you are using someone certified by a recognizable organization such as:

APDT  the Association of Pet Dog Trainers 

IAABC  International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants

CCPDT Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers

For help in setting you and your dog up for success, I certainly recommend a Certified positive reinforcement trainer.  

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Pets for Vets Program Launched here in Portland, Maine

Posted on Nov 25, 2013 in Canine Good Citizen, Dog Training, Pets, Rescue Dog, Socialization, Training, Veterans | 0 comments

I am happy to announce that Portland, Maine has an official Chapter for the Pets for Vets Program and I am the official trainer of the canines for this wonderful program.  I will be assessing, training and matching dogs with Veterans in need of a companion dog.

Tom Targett, Chapter Director is to be recognized and thanked for his dedication in getting this Portland Chapter off and running.  Tom is an ideal Director as a returning Veteran himself and his understanding and love of dogs.

Our mission at the Pets for Vets program is to help support veterans while providing a second chance for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with veterans right here in our community who could benefit from a companion animal.

I am pleased to inform you that we will be introducing our first match early in December!  I am not sure who is more excited about this upcoming match?  Tom, my self or our Veteran, we are all simply joyful to be a part of this first match!

For further information about our new Portland, Maine Chapter, contact:
Thomas Targett –

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Good Things Happen…

Posted on Nov 2, 2013 in Dog Training, Positive Reinforcement, Rescue Dog, Training, Unleashed Control | 0 comments

When I introduce a new rule structure to my dogs or to my clients dog, I make sure good things happen when the dog performs the wanted or desired behavior. We can all agree that consequence drives behavior in all of us, but I really want you to think of the consequence as a positive and rewarding one.  It is not just that I believe it works, it is scientifically proven that if a dog does a behavior and what follows is rewarding, the behavior will be repeated.  This repeated behavior performed several times per day and continued over a few weeks becomes a desired habit.  Is that not what we all are trying to do?  Shape our dogs behavior into good habits?Here are a few examples you might want to try:

1. Good things happen when you are on your mat! 

Good things happen when you go to a mat,
these two are chewing on stuffed kongs.

Simply have your dog near you with a handful of treats and your dog’s mat.  Lay the mat on the floor and when your dog sniffs it, looks at it or step on it, say “yes” and drop a treat or two between his paws.  Ask your dog to get off the mat, pick it up and walk a few steps with it in your hand.  Repeat the process of laying the mat down and rewarding your dog for moving onto the mat.  You can initially walk around the mat and stop while facing your dog with the mat between you two.  When he steps onto it, say “yes” and reward generously.  Initially, put the mat away between sessions and play this game a few times per day.  When you see your dog get excited that you are about to lay the mat down, add a cue like “go to your mat” just before you lay the mat down.  Once your dog is walking on the mat quickly, wait on the “yes” and see if your dog offers you a sit, then say “yes” and reward.  Eventually your dog will offer you a down and then you can jackpot this behavior.

To maintain this behavior of “go to your mat” you will want to randomly reward your dog when you see him go to his mat without being asked.  This can be a good massage, kong time, bone time, yummy treat or a good scratch, whatever your dog finds rewarding.  I use this each morning as we enter the kitchen, each of my dogs will move towards their mat and I will eventually feed them while they are on their mat waiting patiently.  I no longer ask them to go to their mat, they know going to their mat predicts they will get fed, which is rewarding to them and nice for me not to have 12 paws under my feet!

2. Good things happen when you look at me!
Training your dog to perform a simple behavior is nearly impossible without first having your dog’s attention.  If your dog is not quick to look at you, teach your dog that looking at you is ALWAYS followed by a reward.
Again, begin with a handful of your dogs yummy treats and your dog near you, maybe on a leash if necessary.  Say your dog’s name, and when he looks at you say “yes” and toss him a treat.  Wait a few seconds and repeat, saying his name, and marking the moment his head turns towards you and rewarding.

Another game that works well to get your dogs attention is to simply sit in a chair with some treats in hand.  Toss a treat on the floor and when your dog eats the treat he will most likely look at you to see if more food is flying.  When he looks your way, say “yes” and toss another over his head.  When he eats the treat he will come near you again and you can smile and say “yes” when he looks at you and repeat the process.  Your dog will learn that looking at you predicts Good things happen, and will repeat the behavior.

If you are reading this Blog, then I assume you have a dog or are thinking about getting a dog.  My hope is that you are a positive influence in training your dog and not one who feels they need to dominate a dog.  Consider how effective science-based training is, and how your dog “feels” when you are training.  I hope your dog feels good when you are near, when he looks at you and when you reach to touch him.  If not, read more of my blog to learn how to train your dog while also having a happy, healthy and trusting relationship.

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Puppies First Impressions

Posted on Sep 28, 2013 in Dog Training, Positive Association, Puppy, Rescue Dog, Safety, Training | 0 comments

When you bring your puppy home, you want to raise him or her to be the best Family Dog possible.  We all have good intentions when raising a puppy, however there are some mis-guided and uneducated people who will tell you that you need to dominate your dog so they respect you.  This is not only poor advice, once it is done, you may not be able to take it back.


I am bonding these small pups to human contact.

Imprinting is life long and can not be overcome; Dr. Konrad Lorenz first studied imprinting in birds, primarily geese in 1935, so this concept is not new.  What he found was that different species of animals have an early/critical period in their learning development which cannot be reverse

In addition, Evolutionary Biologist Kathryn Lord at the University of Massachusetts Amerst suggests that different behaviors are related to the animal’s earliest sensory experiences during the critical period of socialization.  This critical period in dogs is from 4 weeks to about 8 weeks; during this critical time, puppies begin walking and exploring without fear and will remain comfortable throughout their lives with environmental stimuli they encounter during this time with low levels of fear.  But as the period ends at 8 to 10 weeks, fear will increase and after the socialization window closes, new sights, sounds and smells will elicit a fear response.  

Imprinting establishes an individual animals preference for a certain species.  Hence, if a puppy in its later stages of his critical period is subjected to a traumatic event such as rough handling by its breeder, vet, or trainer, it may result in a defensive attack or behavior pattern when the animal is touched in a certain way — even a year or more later in the dogs life.
Helping puppies associate hands as being gentle is crucial for a soft mouth

Helping puppies associate hands as being gentle is
crucial for a soft mouth

Common to trainers is the puppy that is fine with Dad, but bites hard at mom or the children in the home.  This scenario is all too common when Dad has used his hands to reprimand the pup in a forceful way for biting (which is a normal way for a pup to interact).  While the pup does obviously require feedback on what to sink his teeth into, too often Dad holds the pups mouth shut, pushes his lip onto a tooth, scruffs the pup or holds him down.  All of these actions will make this puppy bite others in the family more often and with greater force.  Another negative side effect is the 10 month old puppy who cannot sit still for petting.  He is too nervous and worried to just sit, so he wiggles and wiggles his body in an “over the top” appeasement behavior pattern, all the while turning his butt towards the person and lowers his head to ward off the scary behavior which he had to endure as a young pup.
Now that you know how important First Impressions are to your puppy, always be a Positive influence in your puppies life.  Not only for the well being of your puppy, but for those who may be learning from your example also.
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