The other day I worked with one of my favorite dogs in the whole world, Bobbi the pit. In order to understand the background I have with Bobbi you can read a blog about her story on:

Anyway, suffice it to say that Bobbi has been in my life since she was eight weeks old. We fostered her until she was adopted by Giovanna who later became our friend and when Bobbi needed training she turned to me.

I have been working with Bobbi off and on for over a year now. Between that training and the time she spent with us as a foster dog I have grown to love her very much. Bobbi started having some dog/dog aggression issues and it seemed like no matter what we tried she was not getting better. I was beginning to feel that maybe I was too close to the situation and a new set of eyes was needed to get a new perspective on things. In comes Zoe. (By the way, Bobbi was in Zoe's life at 8 weeks old as well)

Zoe and I have a professional relationship that over time blossomed into friendship. I guess that the friendship cemented itself after we attended the Association of Pet Dog Trainers convention at the same time. Now days we bounce ideas off each other regarding dog training (mostly I'm picking her brain, not the other way around). Zoe is very bright, a wonderful dog trainer, and the kind of person who gives dog training a good name. Today she showed me part of what dog training is all about.

Zoe is the trainer I asked to come into Bobbi's case to take a fresh look at it. Today she gave two hours of her precious time to Bobbi, Bobbi's parents, and me. After the training was over I think we all were happy that Zoe came to check in on Bobbi's case. Bobbi learned a few things, as did her parents and I. Besides the formalities of training I also learned what an important part of training is all about. The dog.

Trainers are an egotistical lot. I think we have to be just to do this job. If we don't have faith in ourselves, and our ability, why on earth would a client or their dog. Confidence is our first tool, and maybe the most important one, in our bag of teaching aids; Dogs read confidence like a book. Because of our confidence and ego we all to often do not ask for help when we should and the bottom line is the dog loses. We have to keep in mind that we don't have all the answers, we can't always find the solution and sometimes we need to ask for help. That doesn't make us any less of a trainer. In fact it might say something about who we really think is important and it's not us or even the client; it is the dog.

Because of Zoe taking her time to come and see Bobbi I think she is on her way to improvement. Zoe is not only my friend, she is a competitor, but she took time today not to make money but to work on the bottom line. Zoe knows what the bottom line is. I hope that I do and I wish more trainers did. All of us got into dog training because we love dogs and want to help them to a better life. We need to remember this. They really are our bottom line.

Thank you Zoe. I've learned a lot from you.

More like this:


dogtown April 21, 2010 @ 2:58 p.m.

Seems to me that it's the owners need training not dogs. I get sick of seeing dogs let off leash in downtown parks. I'm also fed up with the incessant barking of dogs left on patios. I really hate seeing the damage done to paintwork and buildings by dog urine. They should be banned from downtown or a $100 a year tax on dogs established to pay for all the mess. Sorry, but I cannot understand doggie people and their sense of entitlement.


DogsLife April 21, 2010 @ 10:37 p.m.

Wow! Dogtown, talk about a sense of entitlement. I guess downtown, if not the whole world, was made for you and just for you to be happy.


nan shartel April 22, 2010 @ 9:34 a.m.

but can dogtown be happy without dogs?????


de_la_doglover April 22, 2010 @ 10:05 a.m.

Dogtown, it seems to me that you have never owned and animal and if you have you apparently are one of the owners that needs to be trained--on what owning an animal is all about. Its not just urine and leashes. Dogs are a part of our community and a part of our lives (those of us who like dogs). They are not something to be chucked out and taxed on. For many of us they are a part of our family and a part of our everyday happiness.

If you want to talk about entitlement, you seem to believe that you are entitled to a lot as an individual. We share this world and this community---why all of the hate?


dogtown April 22, 2010 @ 4:08 p.m.

Dogs are a dirty nuisance and really do not belong in a city environment. I cannot understand the need to anthropormophize them and call them "part of the family". They are pack animals bred from wolves into many ridiculous shapes until they become neurotic, fat, fixated on their owners and plagued with genetic diseases. To say a dog is part of the family is ridiculous.


dogtown April 22, 2010 @ 4:32 p.m.

Suppose I walked around the streets of downtown twice a day with a spray bottle full of acid. Everytime I passed a wall, trash, can, hydrant etc I gave it a quick spray. You'd call me a vandal, demand that I be given a ticket, and even made to pay for the damage. But the dog owners sense of entitlement makes them feel that their animal should be able to do this all day long and I should be happy about it. What should happen is that you should be taxed heavily for the priviledge of damaging our city.


SurfPuppy619 April 22, 2010 @ 4:54 p.m.

Dogtown, you need a new name.

DogDork has a good ring to it!


petlover April 23, 2010 @ 9:12 a.m.

Ahh Dear Dogtown:

Dog owners do pay license fees for their animals.

Also, MOST dog owners take the task of picking up after their pets to heart - but as I'm sure you know, there will always be a small percentage who can ruin it for the rest of us pet loving, poop picking up folks who consider our animals as family. Dogs also give back to the community in many ways - assisting the blind, bringing comfort to those left without families who are terminally ill or in nursing homes, helping the handicapped live more independent lives. . . just to name a few.

So - give the dogs and their owners a little break would ya - we really are a good group!


nan shartel April 23, 2010 @ 1:49 p.m.

git that frickin doghater everyone!!!!

nah i don't mean it dogtown..everyone who need to wear a mask..washes their hands 100 times a day and is squeamish about bodily functions hates dogs

and before anyone asks to remove me...this is of course....hahahahahahahaha



nan shartel April 23, 2010 @ 1:51 p.m.

and was that u i saw walking around town with a spray bottle of acid dogtown??????????


DogsLife April 23, 2010 @ 11:02 p.m.

Dogtown, At the end of it I want you to know that I want you to be happy. It is a big world full of all kinds of things. Some piss us off, some don't, but we all have to learn how to live here. Please have it in your heart to forgive those who upset you and realize that we all upset someone. Peace to you. Always.


nan shartel April 24, 2010 @ 7:59 a.m.

ur a nice nice person DogLife...i commend u for ur patience..ur the kind of person a dog would love

sorry i got so irritated with dogtown on ur thread..his words were like the kick stray dogs get from those who simply can't appreciate them

"did u watch "Thru The Eyes of a Dog" on PBS this week??

it was wonderful

i won't apologize to u dogtown...and may another good dog never cross ur path...for their sake and ur sake


dogtown April 24, 2010 @ 10:33 a.m.

I don't hate dogs. I can't understand fawning inadequate people who put all there love and attention into them, but if you want to kiss an animal on the lips and sleep with it in your bed knock yourself out. What I object to is that you aren't prepared to pay the economic cost to society of keeping them. In Germany people pay a substantial tax on dogs and take it seriously. I think if you were prepared to do that instead of ruining our city we could afford the dog parks you want and everyone would be happy.


nan shartel April 24, 2010 @ 2:32 p.m.

u may have an argument there dogtown...about the costs

i really don't know

the Irish have a saying u may or may not appreciate

"each to his own passion said the old lady as she kissed the cow"

but as u know

dem Irishers drink a lot...hahahahahahahahaha

i know my vet bill sometimes cost me more per year then my own medical bills for this that or the other

Roscoe my terrier was country dog half of his life..and i'm sure he'd agree with u that it was a better way to the country no ones dog lived indoor...except in very bad weather..and all dogs were expected to work for a meal

most herded cattle or sheep (working dogs)many people had Great Pyrenees who lived with the sheep from birth

my Terrier was a barn ratter..and a good one too

he stayed in the house at nite because he couldn't take a coyote on and we didn't want to lose him...that's the reason he stays in the house at nite here now too

i inherited my love for terriers from my Da who's dad ran a dairy and preferred terriers to cats to keep the rats out of the milking barn

dogs did use to have a higher purpose dogtown..i know they'd like it if they still did

i live in the East county now..that helps...but a dogs life is certainly not what it used to be


nan shartel April 24, 2010 @ 2:43 p.m.

and most of the valued dogs in Germany r working dogs... Pinchers.. Shepherds..bird dogs... German short haired pointers ..Weineraimers...all dogs who have a purpose

did u have a dog in Germany dogtown???


dogtown April 24, 2010 @ 3:27 p.m.

I just got back from Little Italy Art Walk. I am sure the dog lovers here will be delighted to know that I stepped in a pile of dog poo on India Street. I admit this hardly ever happens, because most people I see pick up the feces of their dog. It just happens that today would be the day given the discussion on this article.

But, as I walked along, I could see that nearly every wall was stained with dog urine, all the trash cans were thick with rust, the parking meters were corroded, and the paint was peeling from lamp posts. This is all caused by dogs. I saw a guy with a Doberman letting his dog stream what seemed to be about a pint of urine over a parking meter outside a restaurant. Nice.

I live downtown and this is damage I see every day. Yet, you dog owners seem to be totally blind to it. In fact, if I pointed it out you would say what else were you supposed to do? Like it was a fact of life that your dog urinates over anything and everything and you think that's fine.

You spend fortunes on special food for your dog, grooming, vets fees, toys, trainers, and even psychologists, but I have to support you by having my taxes repair the damage you cause. Why shouldn't I ask that city dog owners pay an economically viable tax to fix up the streets? Also, the taxes could give you the off-leash parks you desire, instead of you constantly violating the leash laws in downtown parks.

Just try to open your eyes for minute and look at what your dog is doing to our streets and downtown parks. I don't hate your dog. I am totally indifferent to your dog. I am not indifferent to the damage you think your dog is entitled to do to our city.


nan shartel April 28, 2010 @ 9:34 p.m.

aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh dogtown...i tried so hard to engage u in a non singular focus conversation

ur brain is insulated against anything other then ur adamant bitchiness about dogs fluids and poop

i give up

bye bye Johnny one note...ur hopeless..u can't even enter into dialogue that might lead to more positive conversations and solutions

Arf Warf!!


SurfPuppy619 April 29, 2010 @ 12:08 a.m.

I just got back from Little Italy Art Walk. I am sure the dog lovers here will be delighted to know that I stepped in a pile of dog poo on India Street

That brought such warmth to my little puppy heart :)


dogtown April 30, 2010 @ 8:25 a.m.

Nan, I have nothing in common with you and refuse to engage anyone who has such total disregard for the English language.


CuddleFish April 30, 2010 @ 9:15 a.m.

On the contrary, nan has an enormous regard for the English language. She just has no use for people who insist that she follow rules she did not agree to. :)

Piss off, dogtown! Don't take that wrong. ;)


MsGrant April 30, 2010 @ 9:32 a.m.

I have refrained from chiming in on this thread, but dogtown has sorely tested my restraint.

"I don't hate dogs. I can't understand fawning inadequate people who put all there love and attention into them"

Your arrogance is disgusting. I for one am thrilled that you stepped in dog poop. It's called poetic justice. I hope they were Cole Haans.


dogtown April 30, 2010 @ 1:40 p.m.

It's interesting how much hate you animal lovers show for your fellow humans and how you delight in someone stepping in the filth you leave behind. I think it shows what kind of people you really are. It makes me laugh that you should identify with an animal so strongly that you use an image of it to represent who you are online. Nothing I have read here does anything to convince me that dog lovers are anything but selfish inadequate people with the strong sense of entitlement I mentioned previously.


SurfPuppy619 April 30, 2010 @ 2:32 p.m.

It's interesting how much hate you animal lovers show for your fellow humans

I don't think it is hate as much as it is disgust ( at least with you DT).


nan shartel May 1, 2010 @ 11:13 a.m.

dogtown #22

that's called projection sonny!!!


dogtown May 2, 2010 @ 9:21 a.m.

You find me disgusting because I don't like to see our city ruined and have a positive suggestion for fixing it that would supply you with the dog parks you want. Interesting.


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