Earthdog Tests

As the name suggests, earthdog work tests a dog’s natural instinct to delve underground in the hunt for small game (foxes, badgers, otters) or vermin (rats, rabbits). One step at a time, dogs are introduced to quarry, are encouraged to follow a scent trail, and finally learn to negotiate underground tunnels until the quarry is… Read more »

Home Alone & Not Happy

Dogs are intensely social creatures that find it hard to spend hours alone each day. Often, problematic dog behaviors can be directly attributed to boredom and loneliness: Chewing, digging, barking, and separation anxiety. Avoid these pitfalls by giving your dog activities to keep him happily occupied in your absence. The ideal combination is one of… Read more »

How to Pill Your Dog

If you can, sneak pills into your dog either by getting chewable medication from your vet, mixing the meds in with your dog’s meal, or sticking the pill inside a soft treat like cheese or hot dog. If that doesn’t work, the procedure is: 1. Hold the pill with one hand. Place that hand on… Read more »


  Few things are more satisfying than knowing you’ve put in a good day’s work, especially when you get to do something for which you feel uniquely suited. And herding dog breeds and breed mixes? Made (literally) to herd. People who share their lives with these energetic and intelligent dogs report that no amount of… Read more »

Work for Food Toys

I know we talk about Work for Food toys A LOT at Happy Dog Institute, but we want you to understand the value these toys have! Not only do work for food toys keep your dog from getting bored while you are away, but they can buy you some “puppy free time”. It also develops… Read more »

Raising a Puppy

Are You Ready For This? In addition to being joy-spreading, frolicsome, heart-stealing little creatures, puppies are also a great deal of work, and preparation is key to making your puppy’s entry into your life a success all round. Buy puppy equipment. At a minimum, you will need: Food (everyday meals, chews) and bowls. Puppy crate.… Read more »

Summer School 2011

  Click here to download the full PDF version of Happy Dog Institute’s Summer School 2011 Newsletter. Will Work For Food. Does your dog scarf down meals in mere seconds? Then both of you are missing out. For dogs, eating should be work. First of all because searching and hunting for food is natural for… Read more »

August & September 2010 Newsletter

TRAINING HIGHLIGHT Creating a Focused Dog in Distracting Situations   What Influences Our Dog’s Behavior?Dogs are dogs.  That’s what we love about them, right?  As clichéd as it may sound, they win us over with their unconditional love and happy-go-lucky attitude.  It’s not so fun, however, when we end up in a situation where we can’t… Read more »

June/July 2010 Newsletter

BEHAVIOR HIGHLIGHTSetting Up for Success: Building a Solid FoundationWouldn’t it be nice if your dog sat and stayed, without hesitation or confusion, while you were in the waiting room at the vet office?  How about if they waited to jump out of the car until you released them, or greeted visitors at the door with… Read more »

April 2010 Newsletter

BEHAVIOR HIGHLIGHT Is Your Dog a Grouchy Dog?Does your dog growl, bark or lunge at other dogs or people when you’re on walks?  How about when people come to the door or pass by the house?  Do they compulsively chase or “bully” other dogs in play or during on-leash greetings?  Do they “spill over” into… Read more »