Category Archives: Dog Training

Why K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is Better for Your Dog: Part 2

Courtesy: UPWARD Dogology

Welcome to the second part of “Why K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is Better for Your Dog!”

Our guest blogger, Billie Groom, is the Founder of UPWARD Dogology. She is an expert in K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the past 30 years helping 1000s of dog parents, rescued dogs and organizations prevent unnecessary surrenders, rehoming or worse, euthanasia.

Now, the second part of “Why K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is Better for Your Dog!”

What is UPWARD Dogology?

UPWARD Dogology, a formula working with dogs over the age of six months, was developed out of the need to find a solution for the enormous number of dogs being surrendered and euthanized for behavioral reasons.

K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CCBT): What is It?

Courtesy: Zoosnow / Pixabay

Over three decades ago, Billie Groom began rescuing and fostering dogs. She noticed people, even those experienced with dogs, were stumped by behaviors common during the adolescent stage, approximately 8-18 months. Dogs in shelters, rescue organizations and “less-than-desirable conditions” were often challenging to integrate into their new families and homes.

Behaviors commonly associated with anxiety and aggression deterred many people from adopting since these dogs proved difficult to rehabilitate. Good people, with the best of intentions, were frustrated and felt out of options. Sadly, these problems still exist today; however, many people are discovering the benefits of Canine Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

“Essentially, people hire me because they want to fix behaviors,
but what we really do is create a bond, change perception, and
develop skills that allow my client to build a relationship with their
dog. In doing so, we prevent, and address, behaviors that lead to
surrenders, returns, unsavory methods, or euthanasia.”
(Billie Groom, Founder of UPWARD Dogology)

The Principles of Canine CBT

Next, let’s learn about the 5 priceless benefits behind K9 Cognitive Behavior Therapy!

Canine Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CCBT): The 5 Benefits

Courtesy: Pezibear / Pixabay

As mentioned in Part One, Canine CBT supports the human-canine bond by changing perception, which changes behavior. In the last post, we explored how CCBT prevents and addresses K9 behaviors with the K9 CBT principles.

Canine CBT is proven to offer the five priceless benefits below.


Statistics have shown the number one reason for surrendering or rehoming dogs is behavioral. People with good intentions, who follow the advice of experts, believe they have tried everything and when conventional methods are ineffective, feel they are simply not the right home for their dog.

In some cases, the decision to surrender or rehome may be the best option. However, in most situations, once we switch from conditioning methods to CCBT, the dog stays in the home and lives a fulfilling life. The issue was not the home, it was the method to address the unwanted behaviors.

A Common Example

Courtesy: UPWARD Dogology

Dogs in the adolescent stage (approximately 8-18 months of age) that started life in a loving environment with responsible people. It is scientifically proven that dogs in the adolescent stage develop their cognitive abilities causing changes in their behavior. So, training techniques that were successful during puppyhood can fall short, or even backfire, as their cognitive skills develop.

To effectively work with these dogs, we need to recognize and harness, not suppress, K9 cognitive abilities. By applying exercises that harness the cognitive skills driving these behaviors, we change the dog’s perception of us and our ability to calmly manage and relate to them. By recognizing what is important to them and providing them with options, they choose to change their behavior. When behaviors causing stress and frustration are eliminated, people commonly choose to keep their dogs.


Courtesy: UPWARD Dogology

We all want to help dogs in need. Rescuing, fostering, and adopting dogs with disadvantaged pasts is a great way to help a dog in need. Yet many people feel ill-equipped to effectively bring these dogs into their homes and lives. The “unknowns” as to the behaviors caused by emotional stress, or a less-than-desirable upbringing, often deter good-hearted people from taking in these dogs.

Mainstream educators encourage patience with adopted dogs. Patience is good; productive patience is better. Simply relying on the “decompression period” (waiting three months before a bond or communication is established) can deter people from adopting and is also unfair to the dog.

Not all dogs need a decompression period. In fact, three months commonly recommended for “integrating” a dog can backfire (and also discourage people from adopting). Although it is recommended (and common sense) to allow dogs time to rest, especially if they traveled a distance to their new home, it is important to adapt the integration process to the individual dog.

For Example

Courtesy: Leo_65 / Pixabay
  • If you adopted your dog from a foster-based rescue organization, and the foster home found the dog to be friendly, well-socialized, good on walks, with no signs of anxiety (including separation anxiety), then we apply exercises that establish platform skills in the first four to ten days. These exercises acknowledge the dog’s skills, intelligence, and personality. They create a bond and establish a communication base allowing you to easily integrate your new dog into your lifestyle.
  • If your dog shows signs of fear, anxiety, or behaviors associated with aggression, we apply exercises that respect the emotional intelligence driving those behaviors and create the necessary bond to change perception to change behavior. The program is flexible, allowing you to work at the pace of your dog and your schedule.
  • If your dog has been living independently (on the streets, for example), and it is challenging to bond with or the dog is showing behaviors they feel are necessary to achieve their goal, we apply exercises that harness those cognitive abilities driving those behaviors. The exercises show your dog:
    • You acknowledge the reason for the behaviors; and
    • Offers a reason for your dog to trust you. Therefore, your dog learns the value of bonding with you, and you learn to “read” your dog.

The UPWARD Dogology integration program is flexible, adaptable, easy-to-apply and, most importantly, dogs love it! Help rescues and shelters by increasing their adoptions!


When common methods prove limiting or unsuccessful, it is human nature to search for alternative approaches. Unfortunately, this can lead to people unwillingly feeling forced to apply methods or use products which can cause physical harm or emotional stress to their dog (and often themselves). The reality is these “quick fixes” can be effective in the moment, and people may see no need to discontinue using them.

It is commonly ineffective to simply tell people it is wrong to use these methods or tools when, essentially, they are solving their problems. Also, if they feel pressured, this can push people farther in the “wrong” direction. As with dogs, we cannot tell them what is right or wrong, we need to provide them with options that achieve their goal. We need to respect the reason why they feel the need to use these products or approaches and provide them with options that allow them to make ethical decisions.

To eliminate unsavory tools and methods, we need to provide people with force-free, effective alternatives. Although there are many styles of training included in conditioning methodologies, the platform and principles are not intended to change perception to change behaviors. Refer to Part One for more information. UPWARD Dogology, using K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is a proven effective alternative when conditioning methods fall short.


Courtesy: UPWARD Dogology

Shelters that do not uphold a “no-kill” policy, kill thousands of dogs across North America every day. Statistics show the most common reasons are behaviorally related. Euthanasia is justified by outdated assessments, which often do not respect the emotions or intelligence of individual dogs.

Veterinarians commonly provide behavioral advice, suggest resources, and/or recommend medication before suggesting, or agreeing to, euthanizing a dog. People do not want to euthanize their dogs and it can be extremely emotionally stressful for both parties.

It is common to justify euthanasia when conditioning methods fail to address behaviors consistent with anxiety or aggression. No one wants to see dogs suffer, live a life in fear, or endure emotional discomfort. Homing dogs with behavioral issues can be challenging and unsafe. Unfortunately, the majority of shelters and veterinarians are not aware of CCBT and dogs are euthanized before being exposed to Canine Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Dog lovers are not satisfied with succumbing to the fact they must simply cope or manage, avoid situations, permanently rely on medications, or rehome, surrender, or euthanize their dog. They want to live life to the fullest with their dogs and provide their dogs with the best life. UPWARD Dogology is successfully spreading awareness and hundreds of people every year, for three decades, have enjoyed the benefits of CCBT!


All forms of positive interaction are bonding. From walking our dogs to canine enrichment games to agility training or scent detection. Conditioning methods, using positive reinforcements, are bond-creating, but differently from that of CBT.

K9 Cognitive Behavior Therapy takes:

  • A holistic approach.
  • Addresses the reason for the behavior (not the behavior itself), and;
  • Changes the dogs’ perception.
Courtesy: Sven Lachmann / Pixabay

By communicating through exercises that:

  • Harness cognitive skills
  • Respect thought patterns; and
  • Recognize emotional intelligence

dogs begin to view their humans differently. This bond is noted through changes in behaviors that the dog chooses to do. For example, he may look at his person more (without being cued by a command or a treat), or he may follow his person less (if he followed due to anxiety) or follow more (if he was aloof).

The bond that is created through CCBT is, admittedly, challenging to explain. But it is like a “light-bulb goes on!” My clients literally feel it take shape. They feel:

  • Less controlling, yet they have more control.
  • More relaxed along with their dog.
  • Their dog trusts them more.

It is truly amazing! Once a bond, based on communication and mutual respect, is developed, we can creatively and effectively apply CBT to address behaviors associated with anxiety and aggression, and other behaviors common with adopted and adolescent dogs!

Meet Billie Groom, Founder of UPWARD Dogology

Award-winning author, member of the Dog Writers Association of America, Animal Behavior Society and the Comparative Cognition Society, and a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (B.A.). Billie developed the UPWARD Dogology formula from working with thousands of dogs over 3 decades. Her clients include veterinarians, psychologists, animal experts, canine professionals, rescuers, fosters, adopters, and first-time dog peeps.
In 2002, The Humane Society of Toronto awarded Billie for her work with challenging dogs and she has continued to develop her methodology over the decades through hands-on application.

Billie’s Mission: I am motivated to spread awareness of UPWARD Dogology because every day I help people who are at their wit’s end. The most common response is, “Why is this methodology not “out there?” It grinds my gears when I hear about dogs being put down because of behavioral problems that Conditioning Methods were unable to effectively address. C.B.T. needs to be a part of mainstream dog rearing, in addition to positive reinforcement training and other non-aversive Conditioning methods, to effectively address the needs of dogs of all ages, personality types and backgrounds.

Purchase “Rescued Dogs: The Misunderstood Breed” by Billie Groom here!

Why K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is Better for Your Dog

Courtesy: UPWARD Dogology

In today’s guest blog post, you’ll meet Billie Groom, the Founder of UPWARD Dogology; an expert in K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the past 30 years. Billie has helped thousands of dog parents, rescued dogs and organizations prevent unnecessary surrenders, re-homings or worse, euthanasia.

Keep reading to learn why YOUR dog, if he could, would ask to learn through CCBT!

Dog Training is Evolving

Courtesy: UPWARD Dogology

The landscape of teaching and communicating with our dogs is evolving right alongside the advancing science of how people really learn, feel and behave. Human Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (also known as CBT) reveals the relationship between one’s beliefs, thoughts, feelings and why humans behave the way they do. CBT is a more natural form of behavioral treatment which holistically changes thought patterns, problem-solving and decision-making and the actions/behaviors that follow.

These same principles and practices can be used with dogs – over the age of 6 months – to effectively prevent and address unwanted or negative K9 behaviors through K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: What is It?

Courtesy: UPWARD Dogology

Canine Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CCBT) is a scientifically-proven and evidence-based methodology that adheres to the principles and practices of human CBT and is designed for dogs over six months of age (the point at which K9 cognitive skills develop to a higher level).

The UPWARD Dogology formula offers a non-aversive alternative to determine which method is best for individual dogs at different stages in their lives.

As with humans, not all canines think and learn the same way!

The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy behind UPWARD Dogology, does not use aversive, harsh or negative techniques. The ONLY tool used is the dog’s brain, meeting him where he is at developmentally. The Canine CBT methodology is, above all, calm, logical, creative, flexible, adaptable, and most importantly, dog-approved!

Canine CBT and K9 Behaviors

The UPWARD Dogology methodology of CCBT prevents and addresses K9 behaviors:

  • Common during adolescence.
  • Associated with anxiety, fear, and aggression.
  • Common with rescued and adopted dogs, and dogs with disadvantaged pasts
  • Resulting from change in lifestyle or a specific incident.

The Principles of Canine CBT

Courtesy: UPWARD Dogology

CBT (again, not only for canines), changes perception, which in turn, changes behavior.

The application of CBT principles assumes dogs:

  • Know right from wrong behavior and as such, is choosing the unwanted behavior.
  • Understand their human is discouraging certain behaviors.
  • Have preconceived thought patterns.
  • Employ emotional intelligence to determine behavior.
  • Do not feel there is a valid reason to change their behavior.
  • Do not trust the alternatives, if they change their behavior based on reinforcements.
  • Have employed cognitive skills to make decisions, often ones which have saved their lives.

The design and intention of Canine CBT makes it effective with dogs over six months of age whose behaviors are stemming from cognitive abilities and driven by emotional intelligence. To effectively work with these dogs, we need to harness – not suppress – their cognitive abilities.

For example, if a dog rips apart the garbage because she does not know it is wrong
to do that behavior, then non-aversive forms of operant conditioning can be
effective in teaching “right from wrong.” On the other hand, if the dog knows the behavior is wrong and is doing it in response to getting an “unacceptably short walk”, then Canine CBT is recommended.

Canine CBT Supports the Human-Canine Bond

Courtesy: UPWARD Dogology

Thankfully, the narrative of mainstream dog education is, finally, changing and progressing toward a more holistic, proactive approach, while recognizing the importance of creating a foundation that allows the human-canine bond to flourish.

Industry leaders are recognizing the need to address the reason for the behavior, as opposed to the behavior itself, while respecting the emotional intelligence of all animals. To effectively embody these mindsets and approaches, it is necessary to move beyond traditional dog training or conditioning methods and incorporate a methodology designed to embrace these mindsets for the ultimate benefit of dogs and those who love them.

To learn more about Canine CBT and UPWARD Dogology, subscribe and stay tuned for more blogs by our guest blogger, Billie Groom of UPWARD Dogology!

Look for Billie’s next blog to learn the irreplaceable benefits behind K9 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy!

Meet Billie Groom, Founder of UPWARD Dogology

Courtesy: UPWARD Dogology

Award-winning author, member of the Dog Writers Association of America, Animal Behavior Society and the Comparative Cognition Society, and a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (B.A.). Billie developed the UPWARD Dogology formula from working with thousands of dogs over 3 decades. Her clients include veterinarians, psychologists, animal experts, canine professionals, rescuers, fosters, adopters and first-time dog peeps.

In 2002, The Humane Society of Toronto awarded Billie for her work with challenging dogs and she has continued to develop her methodology over the decades through hands-on application.

Billie’s Mission: I am motivated to spread awareness of UPWARD Dogology because everyday I help people who are at their wits end. The most common response is, “Why is this methodology not “out there?” It grinds my gears me when I hear about dogs being put down because of behavioural problems which Conditioning Methods were unable to effectively address. C.B.T. needs to be a part of mainstream dog rearing, in addition to positive reinforcement training and other non-aversive Conditioning methods, to effectively address the needs of dogs of all ages, personality types and backgrounds.

OUCH! How to stop your puppy from biting!


They are cute, adorable and cuddly WITH tiny little razors for teeth! If you are dealing with a new puppy who is biting, this blog is for you!

While a biting puppy is hardly the perfect picture you had in mind before you adopted your cute little bundle of fur, it’s first important to understand the following about your puppy.

  • Biting is a normal part of puppyhood, learning and maturing;
  • It’s not personal; and
  • You can teach your puppy how to control his biting!

Our friends at Arkansas Bear Creek Goldens and Doodles have a LOT of experience with puppies as breeders and in their latest blog post, they share valuable tips and tricks to get you through your puppy’s teething period without becoming a human pin cushion!

Click here to learn more about how to teach your puppy to stop biting!

Is Board-to-Train Right for YOUR Dog?

White Dog Relaxing on Patio
Think of it as a Boot Camp for Canines! But is it the right choice for your dog? If …

~ you find it difficult to find enough free time to attend dog training classes;

~ you lack the discipline to effectively train your puppy or dog; or

~ your K9 has behavioral or obedience issues which need to be addressed immediately;

Board-to-Train Program might be perfect!

Click here to learn more from our friends at East Valley K9 Services on one of their most popular dog training programs!


Guest Blog: how to resolve K9 separation anxiety!

Image by Cherie Marquez

Anxiety can develop in canines at any age. Separation anxiety can lead to negative and even destructive behaviors and will only worsen with time. So it’s important to address any separation anxiety early whether it’s a puppy or a newly rescued adult dog.

Start with a dedicated space for your dog. It could be:
~ A crate or playpen.
~ A small, confined room in the house.

If you rescued a dog with separation anxiety, it will take some time and patience, but the problem can be solved. Please be patient!!

Never see confinement as a negative thing (your dog will pick up on this energy). Dogs are like wolves and see their “den” (i.e., a confined space) as their “safe place” when introduced slowly and properly.

Never use a crate, or any other space, as “punishment.” A crate also offers you peace of mind when you can’t be there that your dog cannot destroy your home. I have seen some horrible home destruction done by a dog.

Resolving K9 Separation Anxiety: Steps One and Two

Photo by Julissa Helmuth from Pexels

FIRST, put the crate in an area of the house where the dog cannot see you getting ready or leaving the house. You might also want to use a plastic-covered crate, so the dog does not hurt themselves trying to get out.

Slowly introduce and acclimate your dog to their crate over an extended period of time before leaving them on their own for several hours or all day. The more time you spend on this training phase, the better the results will be for your dog.

In the beginning, let your dog explore the crate on his own leaving the door wide open. Once he is comfortable, put him in the crate with a deer antler or empty marrow bone with a little bit of (xylitol-free) peanut butter in the middle to create a happy and pleasurable association for your dog. Your goal is to get your dog’s attention on the bone instead of the fact you’re leaving him alone. Quietly close the door.

SECOND, go outside for 3–5 minutes (and increasingly longer) then come back in and quietly let them out of the crate. DO NOT say anything, just let the dog out, so they realize that they can be comfortable and happy in the crate. Every dog is different so be patient and work on your dog’s timetable and never force them to accept being confined.

Resolving K9 Separation Anxiety: After Training

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

Remember, dogs are very perceptive and quickly learn our daily routines. So, before you start getting ready to leave, put your dog in their crate (where they cannot see you) to avoid leaving your dog in a very high state of anxiety from knowing you’re leaving. Many owners misinterpret any accidents as being done on purpose; this is not true. With all the pent-up anxiety and fear, your stressed canine can no longer control its bodily functions. It’s just like a person with a nervous stomach, who cannot help but throw up or have a bowel movement.

If you are a stay-at-home parent or work from home, DO NOT have your dog with you at all times. Encourage your dog to be able to be on their own even if you are home. This is a good thing, no need to feel guilty! If you have the chance to leave the house for a little bit, even if it is for 15 minutes, please do, so your dog will get used to you leaving and coming home. When you do leave and come home, do not make a big deal because that will raise your dog’s anxiety.

K9 Separation Anxiety Begins Early!

I’d like to address something that’s been really bothering me lately. It’s also been a very big problem this year especially with all the new COVID puppies. Many breeders are selling puppies too young. There is no reason why puppies should leave their mom and littermates at less than 8 weeks old. They learn so much from their mother and littermates and this is negatively diminished when they are sold too young.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Not only are many breeders selling puppies too young, but then many are put into a crate and travel long distances in an overwhelming airplane cargo area. This causes major crate anxiety and fear from the loud noises and unknown smells. Then, when they finally land, these poor puppies are typically handled by people who are not gentle or even knowledgeable about these impressionable little creatures. Imagine being traumatized like this at less than 2 months old along with the fact that these puppies are usually covered in pee and feces!

Once traumatized, it is very difficult to fix crate anxiety and separation anxiety because these puppies typically pee and defecate from overwhelming anxiety as soon as they are put in a crate. This is because the confinement now represents a bad and even terrifying experience. Even if you switch to a playpen, which gives them more space, it can still cause major anxiety from what they’ve been through. This early trauma causes issues like:
~ Hurting themselves from trying to bite the cage or dig their way out at the bottom.
~ Unwanted and extreme barking, whining and crying.
~ Extreme shyness and fear making even a simple walk impossible once they hear loud noises.
~ Constant attempts to slip out of their collars from their natural response to flee when afraid.

So when is the ideal age to adopt a new puppy? Between 10-13 weeks.

K9 Separation Anxiety: Obedience Training is Priceless

Image by Katrin B. from Pixabay 

Obedience training is so important for creating – and maintaining – routines along with daily peace and balance in your household. It establishes you as your dog’s leader and also helps tire out your dog from the mental stimulation of regular dog training sessions.

The best part is that training does not take long when done daily. Even if you work with your dog for just 10-15 minutes before you leave, that’s perfect! Also, take your dog out before you leave and remember to give them a bone in the crate and quietly walk out without making a big deal!

Remember, A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog!

K9 Separation Anxiety: Severe Cases

For severe separation anxiety cases, a Bootcamp program is the only effective training because the dog is separated from the family and stays at a training facility for several weeks. While the dog is being re-trained, the family is also learning how to change some of their own habits before the dog comes home. Remember, K9 anxiety and separation anxiety does not resolve on their own, so reach out for expert help, as soon as possible, for your dog’s overall happiness and well-being!

Meet Our Guest Blogger: Cherie Marquez

Image by Cherie Marquez

Cherie Marquez is The Dog Mystic and gratefully living her dream!

Cherie’s motto is Happy Dogs = Happy Owners and it’s her mission is to keep dogs in their forever home.

The Dog Mystic instructs dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds, and does not discriminate against any K9 breed. Cherie works on problem-solving, commands, and exercises to strengthen your bond with your dog(s) on the soul level, so they will always be family.

You can learn more about Cherie Marquez here:

Together, We Honor American K9 Heroes!

Did you know dogs have served our country as far back as World War I?

And each story is as extraordinary as each individual dog.


American K9 Heroes Logo

American K9 Heroes is dedicated to highlighting and supporting the training, service, expertise, heroics and well-deserved retirement of our police and military dogs.

Each K9 hero selected will be honored with a limited-production plush toy replica with their story and available for sale to support the dogs who protected our freedom.

Just like their handlers, our military and police K9s go to work every day not knowing if they will ever see their home or loved ones again.

These dogs are trained to save American lives and sacrifice their own lives if asked through a handler’s command. Since WWI, these dogs have performed heroic acts.


Click here to learn more about US War Dogs.
Click here to learn about the 9 movies honoring military canines.



Smoky, the Tiny World War II War Dog Hero

Monument to Smoky the War Dog

Courtesy: Facebook

Smoky, a four-pound, 7 inches tall Yorkshire Terrier, proves war dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Found in the New Guinea jungle by an American soldier during WWII, Smoky was later sold to another soldier, Corporal William A. Wynne from Cleveland, OH. Wynne and Smoky stayed together for the next two years of the war and Wynne credits his dog with saving his life by guiding him away from the incoming fire on a transport ship. In addition, Smoky survived the relentless heat, limited food rations, typhoons, air raids, combat missions and even a 30ft parachute jump (she had her own special parachute)! Smoky has also been credited with saving 250 US soldiers during World War II.


Smoky Goes On to Serve as the 1st Therapy Dog

Smoky is also now recognized as the first therapy dog, as she spent many hours both during the war and back home visiting veterans and entertaining them with the varied collections of tricks that Wynne taught her. After the war, Smoky and Wynne made numerous TV appearances together, performing tricks and telling their amazing story. Smoky lived in Cleveland with Wynne and his family until her death in 1957 at age 14. On Veterans Day in 2005, a memorial for Smoky was unveiled in the Rocky Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks in Lakewood, Ohio. The statue features the tiny dog sitting inside a combat helmet, smiling her trademark smile.


Click here to Rent the Short Film “Angel in a Foxhole” about Smoky.


Our Heroic Police and Military War Dogs

It wasn’t until I was in the service that I really appreciated dogs. I saw firsthand the loyalty that they had for their trainers and their handlers. These dogs were special, highly trained K9s unlike the ones that I had when I was younger. They were trained to do one job … to save American lives through various duties.

After I got out of the service I continued to have dogs as my pets. But it wasn’t until I met a veteran who had adopted his dog after both of them had served two tours in Iraq. We met a few times and he told me about military dog training. It is a rigorous training very few can pass. His dog sniffed out bombs. He would walk with his dog who would alert him if dangers were apparent and he would trust the dog’s instincts explicitly. He also told stories of dogs in the act of performing their duties being maimed and killed in action (KIA). These are dogs dedicated to their handler and would do anything including risking their lives for a treat and a little love.


American K9 Heroes is Born

My background is in the toy industry and one day while waiting to get my hair cut I looked out the window and noticed a big burly guy walking a dog on a leash that was no bigger than a hamster. That immediately got me thinking about making a small replica dog to honor the many dogs and handlers that served our nation in the military and police.  We needed to bring to the forefront the many stories of the bravery these dogs showed daily. We needed to tell stories of the dogs who gave up their lives so military personnel could go home to their loved ones once again.

When I got home, I called a veteran friend of mine who is also in the plush animal toy business and told him about my idea and he was ready to go. Our biggest hurdle was to find a manufacturer that could make our product in the USA. After a lot of research and phone calls, we finally found a manufacturer who could work with us at a reasonable price.

We now had the mission, product, manufacturer and a network of salespeople! The next step was getting our cause out on social media and finally found someone who was as passionate as we were about paying tribute to these incredible and heroic dogs.


Join our Mission to Honor American K9 Heroes

We are looking for just 10,000 supporters to donate $5.00 each!

Part of our profit will be donated to police dog foundations and the organizations that reunite military dogs with their trainers/handlers; or if necessary, find new homes for them after their service and throughout their retirement.

Join our mission, share with your friends and help spread the word about the valorous stories of our beloved military and police dogs and the veterans who were their handlers.


We need your help in honoring these K9 veterans by telling their stories.  Who doesn’t love dogs? Who doesn’t love veterans?

Donate through our website: American K9 Heroes Today!


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Jim Blankshain is the President of American K9 Heroes since 2018.


LinkedIn: Jim Blankshain

Facebook: American K9 Heroes




Guest Blog: Is Your Puppy Too Excited Around Other Dogs?

Dogs are naturally social creatures that enjoy attention. As a matter of fact, nothing more can make them go gaga than chancing upon their own kind, regardless of breed. That should not come as a total surprise because dogs came from a long line of ancestors who had thrived living in packs.

Photo by Eva Blue on Unsplash


Why You Need to Teach Your Puppy to be Calm

Unfortunately, some puppies and even adult dogs find it hard to contain their excitement and go completely overboard when around other canines. A dog may bark, whine or lunge at other dogs when they are giddy. These actions may come from a friendly standpoint, but the other dog might perceive it as a threat, especially if their personal space is being violated.

If your puppy or adult dog acts this way, he might be in danger of being attacked by another dog. Also, if this hyperactive behavior is ignored, it may progress into aggressiveness. This tendency is more evident in dogs that show signs of fear and anxiety. But, addressing the issue should be done in the right manner. Yelling will not help and will only impose a sense of negativity to the dogs involved. Also, if you pull your leashed dog close to you when he is about to interact with another dog, this can create unwanted tension. If you reprimand your dog for acting this way, it will lead him to think negatively about associating with other dogs, fueling unwanted and negative behaviors.


Is Your Dog Excited or Stressed?

Did you know that dogs often look the same way when they are excited or stressed? This can be a shocker for most pet parents to realize what they once viewed as a happy behavior is actually a cry for help.

It is not bad for dogs to get excited, but there are key differences between:

  • Stressed and anxious energy; and
  • Happy and enthusiastic canine energy.

A dog’s energy depends on their mental state at the time. As owners, we often observe their physical behavior without understanding the true energy behind it. Dogs are “cute” when they are over-excited or over-stimulated, but this attitude is not ideal for your dog. Also, when we match this type of excited energy from our dogs, they respond with more excitement, heightening their already intensified feelings which can lead to unwanted behavior.

To identify whether your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety or excitement, take note of how he behaves when he is in a relaxed state. You can see how comfortable a dog is based on his posture and behavior. It can also be characterized by a soft gaze with squinted or rounded eyes and ears slightly erect and placed forward (does not apply to dogs with floppy ears). When you talk to him, he acknowledges you by moving his ear backward and relaxing his mouth.

Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash


Other Reasons Your K9 is Overactive Around Other Dogs

  • Aside from anxiety, your dog might be displaying fear. So when he acts in a reactive manner, other dogs and their owners may walk away in avoidance or fear, which is your dog’s intention if he is fearful.
  • Another reason is frustration. Many dogs feel restrained due to the leash wrapped around their neck that holds them back whenever they are excited to see other dogs. You also see this type of dog behavior with closed fences and gates.

Defining Your Role as a Canine Parent

Your dog might be too overeager upon seeing other dogs. Acknowledging your dog’s need to be with other dogs is essential. But, he has to learn to approach potential friends – and even old friends – with confidence and calmness. To protect your furbaby and ensure that he is capable of handling different social situations, you need to identify the root cause of this excitement. As mentioned earlier, some dogs act all gung-ho when seeing other dogs to mask their anxiousness or fear. If this is the case with your dog, you will need to address potential issues with anxiety, fear or frustration when training your dog to be calm.

Prevention is better than cure, many would say. The easiest method to prevent your dog from acting out when they see another dog is to go the other way. But do not wait until your dog gets all riled up.  Properly socializing your dog as soon as possible will also help avoid unwanted, unsocial and overexcited behaviors.

The following methods below can help your dog learn:

  1. To channel their extra energy into something positive; and
  2. Help them learn how to stay calm and collected when hanging out with his peers.


Two Ways to Calm Your Puppy Down

During training, use a well-fitted harness to protect your puppy’s neck if he lunges forward upon seeing another dog. You might also want to ask a friend to help out and lend you his or her emotionally-stable and mature dog that will not overreact to your puppy’s over-eagerness or unbridled playfulness. Always reward your puppy’s good behavior with his favorite treat!

Method #1: Calm to Me

  • Enlist the help of a friend with a calm dog. Meet them in a park or have them join you and your leashed puppy for a walk. Keep all training short and fun
  • Once you see your friend and their dog, ask them to stop at a distance where your dog is still comfortable and not becoming overexcited. Tell your dog to sit or stay.
  • Ask the other dog to slowly approach. As soon as you notice your dog starting to go into a frenzy (timing is very important), ask your friend and their dog to stop, turn around, and walk away.
  • Wait until your dog is calm once again and repeat the process. As long as your dog remains calm and remains in the sit and stay position, the other dog can continue to move toward him. But the moment he begins barking, lunging or getting aggressive, your friend and their dog should stop, turn around and walk away.
  • Repeat the process for a few days until your dog fully grasps the concept and use this process to introduce to him other dogs.

Method #2: Sit and Stay

  • Have your friend bring their calm dog over to your home. Before the dog and his owner come, place your dog on a leash.
  • Once the new dog enters your premises, command your dog to sit or stay. Tug the leash gently to the side if necessary to get your dog’s attention (but refrain from pulling back).
  • If your dog maintains a composed demeanor and obeys your orders, hand him a treat. Repeat several times with different dogs for several weeks until your dog automatically calms down without any command when seeing a dog.
  • Once your dog has learned how to act properly when there is another dog, have him socialize with all kinds of other dogs.

Photo by MaggieLovesOrbit On Insta on Unsplash


Dogs are naturally sociable and reprimanding or pulling them back when they get excited will not resolve the underlying issue. Use the tips and methods detailed above to train your dog to be more social and less reactive with anxiety, over-excitement or even fear. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for expert help! A dog trainer or behaviorist can help identify behavioral issues and design an effective plan of action to create a happy, confident and social dog!


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Brian Larsen is the Co-Founder and CEO of RejuvaPet, LLC — the creator of RestoraPet and RestoraPet Hemp. He spent nearly 10 years developing these products to rehabilitate and protect pets at the cellular level, for a vastly improved quality of life.



K9 Etiquette in Public: 101

Dog ownership is a popular way of life in the United States. With an estimated 89.7 million dogs owned (as of 2017 according to American Pet Products Association (APPA)), chances are you have seen plenty of dogs out with their owners in public. Some of them are well-behaved and unfortunately, some are not. If you enjoy bringing your pooch to dog-friendly public places and businesses, make sure they earn a good reputation! Below are a few ideas on how to practice good doggie etiquette.

Know Local Regulations 

In many places, keeping your dog on a leash while you’re in public isn’t just good manners – it’s the law. A good leash (including retractable ones) should be long enough to allow your dog some freedom while you walk, but not so much that you lose control. Leashes also help let others know you are in control – many people will become uncomfortable if an unleashed dog is running toward them.


As you walk your dog, keep safety at the forefront of your mind. Use sidewalks if they are available; if not, always walk on the left side of road, facing traffic. If you are walking around daybreak or dusk, bring a flashlight and/or wear reflective clothing so you stay easily visible. Remember, darkness can fall quickly in the winter months so be prepared. Also make sure your dog is wearing identification tags so you can get him back in case he gets away from you.

Personal Space and Training

Make sure your dog maintains a respectful distance from other people when you are in public. Many people are afraid of dogs and others don’t want to be bothered or licked. It’s also important to realize that not all dogs you meet in public are friendly and letting your dog run up to them can cause negative reactions and possibly even a fight.

A leash is the best way to control your dog’s behavior coupled with training some basic voice commands. The basic commands should include:

  • sit;
  • stay;
  • heel;
  • leave it; and
  • come.

It’s fairly easy to teach these basic commands using your dog’s favorite treats. For example, to train your dog to sit, hold a treat by his nose and slowly raise your hand up, which will cause his head to come up and his bottom to go down. Once he is in a sitting position (and holding it for a few seconds), say “sit” and give him the treat, along with some affection. Repeat until he can do it on command consistently (each dog learns differently, so be patient). You can follow the same basic procedure for other commands as well. If you want some help with training these basic commands, research training methods, attend an obedience class or hire a dog trainer for one-on-one training.

Waste Patrol

This is pretty simple – always scoop your dog’s poop. It’s a good idea to bring extra plastic baggies every time you go out to make sure you have enough. Letting your dog urinate in public is fine, but don’t let them go on anything a human might touch – flower beds, mailboxes, trash cans, etc. Your neighbors will appreciate it if you keep your dog from peeing on their lawns as well.

Be Aware

No matter what happens when you’re out with your dog, be aware of others around you. Know when your dog might do something inappropriate and always be ready to head him off. If you can’t stop him, at least acknowledge the issues and explain that you will take care of the problem. Sometimes, a simple apology or acknowledgement goes a long way toward defusing a potentially difficult situation.

If you are like many dog owners, you want to have your dog out in public with you as much as possible. Remember that good pet etiquette starts with owners (that’s you), so make sure you are committed to keeping your dog’s behavior within the bounds of acceptable social behavior. Follow the tips above and you’ll be able to enjoy years of socialization and fun with your dog.


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Jessica Brody is an avid dog lover and passionate advocate for rescue pets. She created to offer an online place for animal lovers to share their favorite pet photos and stories about their furry pals. Jessica believes dogs are the best creatures on earth and enjoys writing about and sharing photos of dogs (and other pets!) on her website.


Antler Chews: Are They Safe for Your Dog?

Should you give your dog antlers to chew?
Are antlers a safer option to other chews on the market?
Are all antlers the same?
How are antlers “graded” and what does it mean?

Dogs are natural chewers. Whether it’s a puppy exploring his new world through his mouth, or adult dogs chewing to release pent-up energy and/or stress, most dogs enjoy this instinctive behavior.

While almost anything is better than your K9 destroying your expensive leather shoes or couch to indulge their need to chew, are all chew treats created equal (and safe)?

Are all Chews Created Equal?

After the shocking revelation in 2007 about the toxic, Chinese-made dog treats sickening and even killing pets (dogs and cats); dog owners everywhere became more concerned and vigilant about the treats they were offering to their dogs.

When even more information came out about all the potentially deadly chemicals used to mass-produce rawhide in China, “safe” choices became even further limited for canine guardians. (Not to mention numerous horror studies about rawhide pieces becoming stuck or causing obstructions requiring surgery to save a dog.) Click here to learn the harmful truth behind making rawhide.

Are Antlers a Safer Option?

So, what about something more “natural,” like antlers from wild deer or elk?

Like most subjects about dog health, “expert” opinions about whether antlers are a completely safe chewing option falls between both ends of the spectrum. From slick marketing campaigns raving about the wonders of antlers for your dog’s chewing pleasure to so-called dog experts decrying even the thought of offering an antler to your dog to chew. While the controversy rages on, educate yourself on the pros and cons of antler chews for your dog.

Factors to Consider

Deciding whether an antler chew is good (or not) for your dog involves a number of factors, including:

  • What kind of chewer your dog is;
  • Your dog’s current dental health;
  • The “grade” of antler you are planning to give your dog to chew; and
  • The supplier/distributor of the antler chews and whether they sell cheaper, low-grade or inferior products.

When you know better, you can make better choices for what to safely offer your dog to chew. Knowing your own dog is the first place to start. Is your dog a heavy or aggressive chewer? The chewing needs or habits are vastly different for a Chihuahua versus a Rottweiler. Smaller teeth and jaws cannot stand up to extremely hard objects like antlers.

Also, consider your dog’s current dental health. Have they suffered from dental issues that would rule out giving them hard items to chew?

Not sure if your dog’s teeth are healthy? Click here to learn more.

If you have determined your dog’s dental health and chewing needs can tolerate hard chewing, keep reading to learn more about antler chews.

What IS an Antler?

Antlers come from moose, caribou, elk, reindeer and deer. Typically, elk antlers are the easiest ones to find.

It’s also believed that antlers do not splinter or chip as easily as some other bones or toys. While antlers may seem similar to “horns” … they are actually different. Cow horns are made from a substance call keratin; similar to our nails and hair. They also have a lining of bone inside them.

Antlers, on the other hand, are made from real bone and cartilage with a marrow core. They are actually a bony outgrowth of the animal’s skull. Since they are actual bone, they are also very hard. Antlers are typically shed each year allowing a new set to grow in their place. Antlers (unlike processed bones or rawhides) also offer nutritional value in the form of:

  • Calcium
  • Protein
  • Chondroitin Sulfate
  • Glucosamine
  • Collagen
  • Magnesium
  • Iron and Zinc

For dogs fed a raw diet, bones are important to their diet. But, it is not necessary for them to eat very hard bones (like antlers or weight-bearing leg bones).

Grading Antlers: What it all Means

Antlers are “graded” on five different levels. Before you buy any kind of antler for your dog to chew, below is what you need to know first.

Grade A+ Antlers

These are the highest quality and most pristine antlers, previously reserved for high-end craft and artisan use. They constitute less than 5% of all antlers each year. Only a few stores and distributors are focused on selling antlers of this caliber.

Grade A Antlers

These antlers comprise the top 10-15% of all antlers each year. They have been shed during the current – or previous – year. These antlers will appear a little more on the light-brown side; as they have been freshly shed and have had only minimal exposure to the elements.

Grade B Antlers

This grade of antler comprises the bulk of all antlers sold online by the “high-end” brands. These antlers are easily recognized as they will be white from sun bleaching which also means they are dried out. They may also show visible marks of rodent chewing. These antlers are approximately one to two years old. While they may be sold by well-established brands, it does not mean they are “safe dog chews.” While they are not the worst of the antlers, they are definitely not the safest for your dog based on their age and being dried out which means they could splinter or chip much more easily.

Grades C and D

The final two grades are combined together because, for all intents and purposes, these antlers are “junk” and definitely not safe for your dog. These antlers are not only white from years in the sun and exposure to the elements; but there is also a white powder that can be easily scraped off the surface. In addition, the antler has almost a coral-like porous crystalline structure to it, due to having lost too much moisture. This makes it even more susceptible to breaking, splintering or chipping even with minimal effort. These antlers are commonly sold in the big-box pet stores and outdoor sports stores.

A Few Final Cautions

  • Make sure any antler product you buy and give to your dog is sourced from the USA (preferably from organically raised animals). Note: China does chemically process and ship antlers to the United States.
  • Also, make sure you buy the right size antler for your dog (one that cannot be easily swallowed).
  • Do not give puppies any kind of antlers to chew on. (The high protein content can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.)
  • And finally, if you do decide to give your dog an antler chew (or any other chew as well), always supervise them to keep them safe! No chew product is 100% safe and healthy for every dog. Digestive or dental issues, possible choking (in the mouth or throat) and intestinal obstructions are always a risk.
  • Check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any chew product.


Additional Resources:

The Perils of Gum Disease in Dogs

Dogs Love These Chews, But They Fracture Teeth Like Crazy

Are Deer Antlers Safe for Dogs to Chew On?

Antlers for Dogs: Are Deer Antlers Safe for Dogs to Chew On?

Are Antlers Safe for Dogs?

Deer Antlers as a Chew Toy for Dogs

Are Deer Antlers for Dogs a Good Chew Toy?

© 2018. Cold Noses News. All Rights Reserved. Content may not be reproduced, displayed or published without prior written permission of Cold Noses News. Content may be shared with proper credit and link back to Cold Noses News.


Fido, I Love You; but STOP Jumping on People!

For a passionate dog lover, there’s nothing better than coming home after a rough day and being greeted by a happy and jumping Fido. This display of unconditional love makes all the woes melt away.

But, what if someone else is coming through your door? Perhaps your young child’s friend? Maybe your boss? Or worse, an elderly person?

Do you really want your dog to jump on people in your home or anywhere else for that matter?

Not everyone loves dogs (I know it’s shocking, but those people do exist!). Even other dog lovers may not appreciate dog paw prints (especially dirty ones) on their clothes or dripping slobber on their face. The truth is that “hugging,” “kissing” or any unwanted jumping is not polite, acceptable dog behavior.

Why Commands May Not Work

FACT: Our dogs want our attention more than (almost) anything else in the world! If they get any reaction when they jump on you – or someone else – they will certainly do it again.

What’s often tough for humans to understand is that our dogs don’t understand any other language but “dog.” So, even when you tell your dog to “get down,” “no jump” or even “you should know better than to jump on people,” your dog simply understands that his behavior got you to notice him … in other words, to pay attention to him! One of the things they want most!

So, even if you’re trying to get the dog to stop jumping by giving him a command such as “off” or “down,” pushing the dog down with your hand(s), or trying to hold the dog back by his collar, he is still getting attention for the behavior. It doesn’t matter to him that the attention is negative; it still counts as attention (much like young kids who will do just about anything to get your attention, positive or negative).

When guests enter your home, you want to show them you are in control of your dog, so you are even more apt to talk, touch or restrain him during these times. Here’s the problem – the more you do this, the more the dog realizes (especially when new people enter) he will get lots of attention for jumping. Score one for Fido (zero for the human).

But you can’t just do nothing right?! So, what should you do?

Patience, Consistency and Calmness are Key

First, practice all training in the privacy of your home where your dog will be less distracted. In the beginning, limit the training to just you and the members of the household. Consistently practice the acceptable behavior with every single person (adults and children), every single time anyone walks in. Remember, it takes 100% consistency for a dog to learn something new, so be patient and stick with it. If you give up, he will quickly go back to his old habits and be even more confused about what you really want.

Second (and this one is a bit harder), as much as you love those “hugs” when you come home, by allowing Fido to continue this behavior with you, he will think it’s acceptable to hug everyone. How does he know that it is acceptable for him to hug you, but not other people? Stay consistent and clear in what you do want from your dog.

It takes time to break a habit (just like for us humans), so remain patient and calm. Getting angry, anxious or annoyed will only confuse your dog and make the training process longer and harder. If you find yourself running out of patience, end the training session on a positive note and try again later.

Begin with this basic exercise each time you (and others) come home. When Fido jumps on you, turn around so that you no longer face him (effectively removing the attention he seeks). He may jump on your back. Stand perfectly still and stay calm. If he comes around to your front, turn around again, so that you face away from him. He may jump on you several times, but if you completely ignore him (no eye contact, touch or talk), he will eventually get bored and try to figure out a new way to get your attention.

At first, your dog may try to get your attention in another negative way, such as by mouthing your hand, barking at you or tugging your pant leg. Remember, ignore these behaviors completely. You are teaching him that these behaviors will no longer get your attention (the thing he wants most).

If you completely ignore him for a few minutes (each dog learns at his own pace; so again, be patient), he will eventually walk away, grab a toy, sit down, or even lie down. THIS is the time to pour on the affection! You want to show him that calm behavior – with all four paws on the ground – will earn him your attention.

At first, he may get so excited by your attention that he may jump up again. As soon as he does, immediately turn your back again to remind him that jumping will not earn him attention. You may go through the process of him jumping or barking again, but eventually he will choose the right behavior again. When he does, be sure to reward him with praise and affection. Repeat this process again and again until he can handle the affection without jumping up for more.

Always end each session on a positive note. Don’t walk away frustrated. Be patient. He has never done this before. What has worked in the past is no longer working for him. You need to be patient and consistent. Give him the chance to succeed. You will be so proud of him (and yourself) when he learns what it is you really want from him!

Now Practice with Someone New

Once Fido has stopped jumping on everyone in your own household, bring in a friend to help.

Inform your friend ahead of time not to talk to him or pay any attention to him if he jumps. Have the guest turn around if Fido jumps. As hard as it will be, you will need to refrain from talking to Fido, pulling him or addressing him at all. He (again) needs to figure out how to properly earn attention on his own. Ok, so jumping doesn’t work with my family, but when I sit down, they give me love. Maybe if I stop jumping on this person and sit down, she will pay attention to me too. 

When Fido gives her the desired behavior, have your friend reward with either verbal praise or enthusiastic petting. Remind her, however, that if he jumps, she will need to repeat the process. Then start inviting more and more people to come over and practice. Soon enough, with practice, consistency and patience, Fido will stop jumping on guests!

The most important part of this exercise is to remember to reward Fido when he is calm with all four paws on the ground. Many people remember to ignore when he jumps, but then they forget to give affection for the desired behavior. This defeats the training purpose. Fido needs to learn what he should do to get attention. Remember, he just wants to please you and get you to pay attention to him. So show him how to politely get your affection and give him those “hugs” when he is on the ground.

Trust me; your bad day will still get better when you come home, especially when you see him so well-behaved and calm!


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Shannon Sumner, MA, CPDT, is a dog behaviorist and owner of Polite Paws, LLC in Downingtown, PA. You can find her at and also at


Summer and Rattlesnakes .. Protect Your Dog!

Just in case ticks, mosquitos, blue -green algae, composts, mulch and fertilizers don’t pose enough dangers to your dog, now there’s one more warm-weather-K9-danger: rattlesnakes.

While rattlesnakes always pose a potential danger wherever they call home, according to experts, large amounts of rain are now driving the snakes out of their natural homes and into our (dry) ones!

Click here to listen to the story by San Diego News, CBS 8; featuring K9 Resort & Spa in Escondido, CA.

Learn more about the types of venomous snakes and what to do in the event of a snake bite to your dog, click here to read more at PetMD.

To learn about snake aversion training, click here to read an article by Victoria Stilwell.

Dog-lovers: Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

At Cold Noses News, we are always working our paws to the bone to figure out how to best Happy-Dog-Pictureserve you, our readers!

So here’s our question: if our K9-exclusive newsletter was offered to you, the dog-lover (not just to business owners), would you be willing to pay a small fee to receive it each month in your inbox? And … what if we told you that each month, in addition to the useful content, there would ALSO be a valuable coupon that would more than cover the monthly cost?

Let us know your opinion in the poll below!

Click here to see our latest issue for August.

Even as May Ends, Dog Bite Prevention Never Does


As May comes to a close with the Memorial Day holiday, Dog Bite Prevention Month is also coming to an end; although preventing and avoiding potential dog bites never expires.

Preventing dog bites is a year-round, full-time commitment and mission.

To further help educate people about understanding canine body language and why dogs bite (critical in avoiding and preventing unnecessary dog bites), we offer this great graphic illustrating the process (or ladder) of how canines react to a perceived threat or stress.

Remember, the more we know, the better we can all do.

Please share this post with other dog-lovers, parents and their children and even non-dog-lovers to help more people better understand and interact with our canine companions.  WhyDogsBiteInfographic

There’s Boy and Girl Scouts … but also DOG Scouts?

DSA-LogoI usually consider myself a pretty well-read, well-informed human being under most circumstances. But I have to confess, I had NEVER heard of The Dog Scouts; and seeing how they have been in existence since 1995 … well, I just might have to reconsider that “well-informed human” label.

But I digress.

The Dog Scouts of America, or DSA, is dedicated to enriching the lives of dog guardians and their dogs. Their mission is simple and focused on enhancing the human/dog bond: “To improve the lives of dogs, their owners and society through humane education, positive training and community involvement.

While there are no cookie sale campaigns (yet), there are plenty of fun events and even badges to be earned! Yes, you heard me correctly. There are merit badges that, once earned, can be displayed on the dog’s backpack, Dog Scout uniform, crate cover or travel bag.  Badge categories range from Obedience to Agility, Trails & Outdoors to Nose Work and Pulling to Water Safety.

DogScoutsAnd there’s even Summer Camp (remember yours?)! Currently held in Maryland, Texas and Michigan, activities include backpacking, hiking, biking, kayaking, water sports, agility, canine massage and more … all with your dog.

Any dog can become a Dog Scout as long as the dog is well-mannered and does not pose a threat to other dogs or humans. (For all you Cujo-like K9s out there, there is a test; so don’t even try to sneak in!)

If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and would like to see some Dog Scouts in action, drop by Southside Park on March 19th at 3pm and watch the 1st Annual Doggy Easter Egg Hunt hosted by Dog Scout Troop #230.

It should be a PAWsitively woof-tastic time!

To learn more about The Dog Scouts of America, visit their website at or their Facebook page at Questions? Email the Founder, Lonnie at

All images from the website.