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labrador-puppy leash training

Leash training is a marathon, not a sprint.  It can be achieved with consistency and  practicing every day, several times a day.

  1. Choose a 4 ft. dog leash, leather or fabric.  The leash is an extension of you and theme of successful leash training is keeping your pup close.
  2. Choose the right harness or collar for your dog. Choke chains  shouldn’t be used on a dog until they are 1 year of age, and if you do decide to use one, use it as a training tool for 2 weeks.
  3. You go first.  This includes walking in and out of your home and while walking on the leash. If you let your dog lead, you’re basically saying in her language that she is the leader.
  4. Allow at least 20-30 minutes for each walk.  I don’t know why, but in all my years of doing this, the first 10 minutes of each walk usually starts out disheveled.  They are so excited about going for a walk, they have zero attention span.  When you get a puppy, they ideally need an hour outside in the morning to minimize accidents in the house.  Most people have responsibilities with work during the week, so try to make up the time on the weekend.
  5. Choose a side.  I like the left, but you choose what works for you and try to stick to that side.  You want your dog’s stride to follow yours, not the other way around.  Walks are also for checking “pee mail’ and socializing, so if your dog walks on your left for half the walk, consider it a success.
  6. When holding the leash, allow the leash to be relaxed in a “u shape” or a valley, as I like to call it.  When you need to pull on the leash for guidance, pull back, right or left.  Do not pull up,  Pulling up puts the dog’s head and body language in a defensive position and in the long run will make the dog aggressive while on a leash. Don’t let puppy bite the leash while you walk. (Even though it’s adorable.)
  7. Walk around your block and neighborhood extensively.  This will serve your dog in the long run.  At some point in their life, someone will forget to close the door or gate all the way and your dog will get out.  If a dog gets lost, it’s because they don’t know their neighborhood and they get turned around.  If your dog gets, out, they will most likely stay close to home or even return after escaping.
  8. Safety is key.  Never approach dogs you do not know when your dog is a puppy.  It’s that simple.  Most dogs, especially big ones play rough and scare puppies and therefore do emotional damage because of one negative interaction.  Just cross the street until you’ve seen the dog 4 or 5 times and feel comfortable.  Never put yourself in an unknown situation.
  9. Give lots of praise when your pup does #1 & #2 outside.  Treats are good praise too if you want to carry treats for every walk for a year.  I like to start the way I want to finish.   Praise is just as affective and it’s more convenient.
  10. Give your pup a reward for a walk well done!  When they come home from the morning, feed them breakfast and they will have a nice long nap afterwards, and you can have some time to yourself.  The other walks, give them a treat and in the evenings, it’s dinner!


Training family dogs is my speciality and it’s also something I have first hand experience in. This is a long list for small dogs and a short list for big dogs. Picking a great family dog boils down to energy level, playfulness and safety.

Corgis are great family dogs as well if you want a smaller dog. They’re cute and happy all the time. Corgi’s are playful and since they’re a working breed, they usually love to play fetch or other games that work out their body and mind. They’re great with kids and other dogs. The Queen of England has 5 of them, so if anyone would be a testament to the greatness of this breed, there ya go!

Pugs are great family dogs because even though they are small dogs, they are hearty and very social. They don’t need a lot of walking, because who are we kidding here, our kids say they want a dog and yet they don’t want to walk the dog. Even though they aren’t going to participate in a marathon with you, they are very social and can’t be left alone for more than a short period of time. Disclaimer: they shed to the equivalent of being in a busy hair salon.

If you decide to go with a terrier, which many people choose for their non-shedding breeds couple things you should know: plan for a budget for their haircare/ grooming needs. They’ll need to go every 4-8 weeks if you like a shorter cut, which is also known as a puppy cut. Terriers are also great because they are portable and you can travel with them with relative ease. There is only one small downside to terriers: they take longer to potty train than most breeds. There are always exceptions, but just know you have to be militant when it comes to successful potty training, especially for terriers. Give yourself an extra 6 months with a terrier.

Now for my two favorite breeds for families and single people alike. Keep in mind, even if you are getting a dog while you’re single, it’s most likely that your dog will transition into marriage/ domestic partnership and kids with you. I love Golden Retrievers. By far the best dog I’ve ever had is my White Golden Bridget. I never understood the obsession people had with this breed… until I had my own. She’s a real dog. She loves being outside more than inside. She is gentle and will approach people and give you her head. She’s also a good watch dog and keeps the house safe. She has regular visits to the spa and the shedding is minimal. Bridget is also 50 lbs, which is small for a golden.

Labrador Retrievers are the other favorite. The English Labs in particular. I love their calm and mellow demeanor. I love their big block head and chunky body. They’re easily trained and healthy dogs. Great with kids, adults and other dogs. Downside: In my opinion they shed the most of any breed. Solution: They can make regular trips to the beauty shop and get a buzz cut. This reduces the shedding to almost nothing and it doesn’t even look like they are shaven. #boom #done

One word of advice, as much as we all love to replicate the dog we grew up with, which in my case was a German Shorthaired Pointer, so I went and got a hunting dog- a Beagle mix, which was a hug mistake because I live in the city where there’s not a whole lotta huntin goin on. #ipayedtheprice Pick a dog that suits your lifestyle. Even if you have a backyard, dogs like to WALK WALK WALK. So make sure walking is a part of your lifestyle. You can always call me for a quickie 15 minute consult and I can help you objectively assess the breed that suits you best. #goodvibesonly

Pets in the Workplace Benefit Work-Life Balance

According to research done by USC, companies such as Inverse-Square, a custom application development company, have been open to pets in the workplace due to their affect on work-life balance. Both employers and employees stated it helps them pass long work hours happily, and the pets remind them to take necessary breaks.

Spending too much time too close to a project, problem, or other work can inhibit productivity and cause unnecessary stress. Pets remind people to pause and step back from whatever they are involved in. Short walks, a little playtime, and temporary distractions allow mental breaks so as not to overwork and become stressed. Other companies, like Etsy, allow pets in the workplace to keep spirits high and add a little comic relief. Laughter and positivity is just as contagious as negativity and stress, but come with benefits like great morale and better communication. Studies prove that pets have calming effects, reduce blood pressure, lower stress, and make employees more cordial and productive.

Workplace stress causes negativity, which can create a tense work environment for employees. Pets in the workplace create benefits for employers and employees alike. While pets have been seen as an employee-only benefit in the past, factors that positively affect employees correlate with improved office morale, absenteeism, and a healthy work-life balance.

Pets in the Workplace Reduce Stress and Nurture Productivity

More and more frequently, employers and employees are discovering that pets at the workplace make them happier, lower stress levels, and create a comfortable, flexible environment. Pets can create camaraderie within the workplace and trigger interactions that may not have happened without them.

Better communication leads to more trust, a key component in a successful work environment. Trust and communication rival stress and promote productivity, causing improved morale and reduced absenteeism. Furthermore, reduced stress means less stress-related ailments and the healthcare costs that accompany them.

Tips for Pets in the Workplace

Pets in the workplace are beneficial, but the proper steps should be taken by employers to ensure a healthy environment for pets and employees.

– Maintain good hygiene. Not only should employees be healthy at work to avoid spreading sickness, but pets should as well. Pets should be groomed, cleaned, as well as free of contagions and fleas or ticks.

– Confirm vaccinations are up to date.

– Introduce new pets slowly. Pets are still animals, and need to be acclimated appropriately to new environments. Especially when there are other pets and people involved. New and unique environments can stress pets out and cause unusual or destructive behavior

– Inform all employees of training and dietary needs. Employees have to respect and appreciate that their pet is not the only one in the workplace. They also need to understand just how well their pet is trained and what their dietary needs are. Some pets eat anything and as much as they can, leaving little to nothing for the less enthused pets. Respecting the workplace by training and observing pets can prevent any unseen issues.

Healthcare Savings and Pet Ownership

Vets have recently obtained quantitative data to prove pets are good for your health. Prior to this information, studies were comprised of qualitative data that reinforced pets’ benefits on people. Now there is data that actually shows how pets have saved American dollars.

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) found that pet ownership is responsible for saving $11.7 billion yearly. 132.8 million pet owners save $11.37 billion on physician office visits, while 20 million owners who walk their pets 5 times a week show lower obesity and save $419 million in healthcare.

Pets can now be identified as a proactive method of staying healthy and avoiding health issues, thus saving money on a personal, professional, governmental, and medical scale.



Why make dog food at home when you can just buy it at the store?”

​The #1 reason is simply this: ​Control. You have full control over every single ingredient with no surprises. Dog’s with allergies, sensitivities, or intolerance can live a happy life and you can live worry free.

The second reason is money savings! ​When it comes to healthy dog food the top brands are quite expensive, but you can simply use the same ingredients at home and save an absolute ton.

​Of course, the next biggest concern is time investment. But surprisingly this isn’t as bad as it looks, and with just an hour or less per week you can make enough food to last for several days. We recommend you make use of a some big ziplock bags or containers and freeze what you’re not immediately using.

​Each recipe allows for customization based on your dog’s individual nutritional requirements and tastes. But, before you get started you must speak with a Vet to see what your dog should and should not eat, as each dog’s diet will vary.

​Finally, always check to see what dog’s can and cannot eat​ before adding ingredients.

Here is a simple recipe to get you started.  If you don’t have a Slow Cooker, than get one or use a pot on the stove on low. Cooked dog food is healthier because of human quality ingredients and it’s freezer friendly! Buon Appetito!!


  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned


  1. Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed.
  3. Let cool completely.


LA is one of the best cities for exploration on all budgets. One of the few things Angelenos love more than In  ‘N’ Out, organic anything, and a day magically free of traffic is their dog. But you shouldn’t have to feel pigeon-holed in your exploration of the city when choosing to bring fido along an adventure.

The following list includes pet-friendly (on-leash unless otherwise stated) activities, fitness classes, doggie dining spots, hikes and pretty much everything else that your pooch will be begging to do with you. And let’s face it, when your dog begs, we all know you won’t be able to resist that face.

1. The Grove

The outdoor mall often frequented by celebs also offers a few dog-friendly shops. Take a break and enjoy the water works show at the fountain then visit Sprinkles and indulge in a red velvet cupcake (for you) and a sugar-free cupcake for your pup. The Original Farmer’s Market is full of international food options as well as organic produce but round the corner is The Dog Bakery aka doggie dessert heaven.

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2. Third Street Promenade

When people think of Los Angeles they probably envision something like Third Street Promenade, a shopping center near the beach. Check out the various shops or enjoy the street artists providing one-of-a-kind performances you’ll only find in L.A. After you’ve worked up an appetite, visit the Blue Plate Oysterette, and get your fill of sea food (with scraps for Fid0).

3. Dog Friendly Hikes

Your dog will love the outdoors as much for the incredible variety of smells and stimuli as he/she will for the exercise element. There are a host of great hikes around the greater Los Angeles area that are good for beginner level hikers/dog owners that I’ve previously catalogued, including Sandstone Peak, the Bronson Canyon Trail, Eaton Canyon, and Runyon Canyon. Check out the full list if you think your pup will love a little outing in nature!

4. The Backyard at  the W Los Angeles

For those days when you want to spoil yourself and your fur baby visit this restaurant at the luxury hotel where they’ve developed a menu exclusively for dogs. The six-item menu at Fido’s Kitchen was developed by Chef Dakota Weiss and  includes mutt’za balls, seafood goulash, and apple crunch cakes. Gourmet dog menus are right up there with kale smoothies and a decent avocado as things you’ll probably only find in the City of Angels.

5. Beachwood  Brewery & BBQ

The famed brewpub is home to bleu cheese grits, fried green tomatoes and finger-lickin’ good barbecue whose scraps are dog-worthy. The covered patio is perfect for pets and you can walk the promenade after indulging in good (m)eats.
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