The “Emotional Support Dog” Scam

Adam talks about the latest scam people are using to take their dogs into bars and restaurants and the difference between emotional support dogs vs. true service dogs as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Our position is that: People with legitimate needs should be allowed access with their dogs. The problem lies with those just looking for a free ride. Adam explains it all in this video:

[Guest Post] Continuing Education For Your Dog

Just like exercising your mind and body will help you live longer and healthier, the same is true for dogs. Dogs need mental stimulation on a daily basis just like they need physical exercise every day. Studies have shown that dogs who play and interact with people on a regular basis are healthier, smarter and live longer than those who do not. So, how can you keep your dog in top shape? Here are some of the things I prescribe for my clients.

continuing education for your dogThe first rule of thumb is something you’ve undoubtedly heard before: “make your dog work for everything,” or “Nothing in life is free.”  A more positive spin that I like to put on this is to: “Use every opportunity to train and interact with your dog.”  This means that if your dog wants affection, teach him to sit politely next you – not to jump up, paw at you, or bark and whine. Those behaviors should be ignored so that they diminish. Reinforce the good behaviors instead. [Adam adds: Some behavior will never stop by ignoring them… just like in life.  To eliminate unwanted behaviors, I recommend learning how to give a motivational correction with the leash and collar.]  When your dog is playing well by himself, go join in! Reward him for being a good dog and grab the toy and start a game of fetch – or make him sit or lie down to get it back. Believe it or not, your dog will love this. Dogs used to work for a living, so we need to give them jobs to keep them satisfied and to keep them out of trouble. So, create work for them!

Some assignments I give my clients are:

  • Ask your dog to sit and stay for every meal. By waiting a minimum of 5 seconds to a maximum of at least one minute, your dog gets to practice “stay” twice a day for the rest of his life.
  • Ask your dog to sit and stay before opening the door to go outside. Once the door is wide open, wait up to one minute before releasing him to walk behind you out of the door. Training him to do this means that he’s more calm starting out on the walk, he learns to never run through an open door and, lastly, he learns to ignore distractions, such as people or dogs or cats running by out front.
  • Teach your dog to ask permission to come up on the couch, bed or enter other special areas. He must sit politely and wait to be asked to jump up or enter the room. This also avoids problems like a glass of red wine being thrown from a guest’s hand when your dog decides to jump up and visit.
  • Any time you want to give the dog a treat, bone, pet, put on a leash, or any other desired activity, make him sit or down or even shake or rollover first. Making it a fun game to get a toy or treat will enhance its value to your dog even further… he worked for it, so now he really wants it!!
  • Be consistent with your rules so that there is no question in your dog’s mind what you want and expect from him.


Another way to look at this is that English is a foreign language to a dog. And, just as with any new language, practice makes perfect. Plus, if you do not practice, you will get rusty very quickly. So, keep your dog’s vocabulary growing and keep talking to him throughout his life.

Lastly, it’s also important that we keep our dogs in shape with respect to safe handling. Most people learn that you should touch a puppy everywhere – especially paws, tail and mouth – so that she will be comfortable being poked and prodded by veterinarians, groomers and children. You also might have heard that it’s good to pet a puppy while he’s eating or chewing a bone… and even take away the food or bone to ensure that she does not snarl, bite or otherwise try to protect it. This is commonly known as “resource guarding.”  The problem is that most people stop after ensuring the puppy or new dog is OK with these actions. Then, a few months or years go by, someone goes to pet your dog while she’s next to her bone and… SNAP! The reason? The people didn’t keep practicing. My guidelines are to mess with your dog’s food at least once a week for her whole life, and take every chewy (rawhide, bully stick, Greenie) away from her at least once during her chew. This ensures you can safely take away items that are dangerous as well as enables your pet to be around people in all circumstances with no fear of her snapping at anyone due to trying to protect her property. They key is to teach her that nothing is her property to begin with, so there are never any misunderstandings. A great way to work on this is to teach your dog to “drop it”. You can learn how to do this by watching a simple video on my website.

To help you remember to do all of these things, just think of requesting actions from your dog as being like teaching a child some basic responsibilities and politeness. Even a spoiled dog (mine certainly is!) can be polite and well-mannered. For instance, there is no reason why a dog should believe that everything that falls on the floor or is sitting on a table is hers for the taking. In fact, that is dangerous. What if you drop Tylenol or chocolate? Her grabbing it could mean a visit to the emergency room… or worse. So teach your to dog to be patient and give her consistent boundaries to live within and she will be happier and healthier for your efforts. Learning, growing and improving should be an ongoing pursuit for both you and your dog!

Reprinted with explicit permission: Beverly Ulbrich, “The Pooch Coach” is an expert dog behaviorist and trainer in the SF Bay Area.  Visit her site for more info:

Woman Leaves Dog In Hot Truck On A Sweltering Summer Day In July, Adam Throws A Fit

It’s 102 degrees outside. A woman in a pickup truck parks next to me at the bank. She’s got a submissive, sweet natured yellow labrador inside the truck with her. She tries to put a leash on the dog to take him out, but he moves to the passenger side. The woman says, ‘Okay, fine!’ and rolls the window down 2 inches and then locks the dog in the truck and goes into the bank. (I was pretty sure she went into my bank, but wasn’t sure).

The ditzy blonde manager is alarmed to see me, a crazy guy with a long beard, running into the bank and sweating. I tell her about the dog locked in the truck and she replies with, “Uh, I think she left the truck’s engine on with the AC running!” Wait… did I miss that? I run back out to the parking lot. Nope. Truck engine is off, dog is panting with his muzzle stuck out the window.

I run back into the bank, flash the manager a Deniro and then spot the owner: “You can’t leave a dog locked in your truck in this kind of weather, lady! You just… can’t… do it!” She replied, “But he wouldn’t let me put the leash on him to take him out!” Me: “Then you need to climb in there and get him! No excuses!”

She followed me out to the parking lot and opened the driver’s side door. Again, the dog jumped over to the passenger side. She then closed the door and walked around to the passenger side, opened the door and the dog just sat there and let her put the leash on. So, basically– she was willing to risk her dog’s life because she was too lazy to walk around to the other side of her truck to put the leash on her dog and take him inside the bank with her.

What would you have done?

Housebreaking A Dog

For housebreaking a dog, you’ll need to know these five things:

housebreaking a dogI call them the, “Five keys to housebreaking a dog (or puppy) in a hurry.”  If you want to get the most bang for your buck with the least amount of hassle and effort then you must use all five of these house training techniques together, in tandem.

1.) When housebreaking a dog, correct your dog every time he has an accident in the house. Keep him confined to either a crate, or a dog run outside when you can’t supervise him.

2.) When housebreaking a dog, praise your dog anytime he eliminates outside.

3.) When housebreaking a dog, establish a specific spot, and use a command that you repeat (such as “Get busy! Get busy! Get busy!”) while you’re waiting for your dog to eliminate outside.

4.) When housebreaking a dog, set up a precise feeding and watering schedule, and take him out immediately after he eats or drinks water.

5.) When housebreaking a dog use an enzymatic odor neutralizer, such as a product called “Nature’s Miracle” (You can buy this at your local pet store or through a mail order catalog.) You’ll need to make sure that whatever product you’re using is an enzymatic cleaner, meaning that it actually ‘breaks down’ the urine or fecal mater on a microscopic level, rather than just masking the scent.  Or, you can make your own using some common household ingredients that you can purchase for less than $2.

So… now that you know WHAT to do, you’re probably asking yourself “HOW do I do it?”   We’ve found that the best way to start housebreaking a dog in the least amount of time is to take a look at my video in the video vault titled, “Housebreaking In A Hurry!”

I can honestly say that “Housebreaking In A Hurry!” is the tool that will allow you to get your dog housebroken in no time at all.

You’ll learn everything you need to know
about housebreaking a dog or puppy:

– How to correct your dog when he eliminates in the house.  (You’ll see me demonstrating how to give a motivational correction on a hungry Rottweiler that’s trying to get to a pile of hot dogs.)

– The proper way to size, fit and use a training collar.

– Which leashes and tabs to use.

– The best type of crate or kennel run to buy.

– A home-made solution you can use to clean up accidents, and actually ‘lift’ the stain out of your carpet, rather than ‘masking’ the scent.

– How to make and use a tie-down that will assist in your housebreaking efforts.

– How to establish an ‘elimination’ command, so that you can tell your dog where and when it’s okay to eliminate… even if your travel, or move.

– You’ll see how Adam’s dog ‘Forbes’ will actually eliminate on command!

– How to confine your dog, so that he doesn’t have accidents when you’re not around to correct him.

– How to make your dog understand that eliminating in the house is something he should NEVER DO!

– Three Keys To Successful Behavior Modification: Timing, Consistency and Motivation.   And how to use these three keys to speed up the housebreaking process.

– Tips for housebreaking a new puppy.

– Why correcting your dog for submissive urination will actually make it worse.

– A cleaning solution that many of the dog training books still recommend that will actually SABOTAGE your housebreaking efforts!

– And much, much more

If you think that this video might help you with your housebreaking woes, you can watch it almost immediately, after gaining access at  In fact, I’m so confident that this information is the absolute fastest way to get your dog housebroken that I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that if this doesn’t work, then your dog must have a bladder or urinary tract infection.  In other words, if your dog isn’t completely housebroken in less than 30 days (and in some cases… less than 3 days!) then there must be something wrong with YOU (not your dog!) or you’re someone who is merely incapable of following instructions.  Watch this housebreaking video now by clicking on the link, below.

But first let me warn you: This is a guerilla video.  If you’re looking for fancy animations or slick scene-to-scene dissolves and special effects… then this video is not for you.  Nor will you see dogs or puppies that are left in the house to eliminate, just so that we could get it on camera. That would be cruel.

What you will see is ME explaining what you need to know in order to get your dog housebroken, quickly.  It’s as if I was meeting with you, face-to-face and explaining what has worked to housebreak literally thousands of dogs.

These techniques work!  All you need to do is log in and watch the video on your computer screen and then follow the simple instructions… and you’ll know how to leave your dog in the house without worrying that he’ll defecate or urinate on your expensive rug or new furniture.


Adam G. Katz
Author, “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!”


P.S.  Once you fully understand these five core concept you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can finish housebreaking a dog or puppy.

Is Your Dog A Smart Dog… Or Just A Big Dummy? Here’s How To Tell The Difference

I’ll admit it: My dog is a dumb blonde. And not just because he’s
a Golden Retriever.

Let’s be honest: Mr. Juan Valdez (yes, that is his real name!) is
riding the canine equivalent of “the short bus.” And as the author
of two dog training books, I’m in a position to know the difference.
So,you can imagine how humorous it is when people approach us and
exclaim, “Wow! Now that’s one… smart… dog!”
He’s not.

He’s a big, happy dummy. But he’s my big, happy dummy… and he

just happens to be very… well… trained.

So, how do you know the difference between a smart dog and a dumb
dog who’s just… well-trained?  The answer is:

Years Of Experience Comparing Different Dogs

Here’s what I look for: I’ll pick a couple of different exercises
to teach the dog. A good one is boundary training, for example. I
know from working with (literally) thousands of dogs over the past
20 years that the average dog will need to be corrected five or six
times in one given area/boundary before he starts to really “get it.”
But a smart dog will typically take two or three times before he
catches on.

Of course– we need to discount for each individual dog’s drive,
breed,age and past level of training. But all things being equal:
When you compare dog-to-dog and exercise-to-exercise… you’ll start
to get a feel for which dogs pick things up faster and which dogs
don’t. From the example above, a truly dim-witted dog will take 9
to 10 corrections before he really starts to “get it.”

The perceptive reader might ask, “Doesn’t the motivation of the
correction come into play? If your correction is more motivational,
won’t the dog learn to avoid the boundary faster?”

My answer is: Not exactly. A good dog trainer will recognize that
he only needs a motivational enough correction to get his point
across. Giving the dog a more firm correction if he doesn’t understand
what you’re asking of him is not going to move you(or your dog)
closer to your goal. It’s just going to create frustration and a
poor working attitude. So, what we’re aiming for is just enough of
a motivational correction to communicate to your dog that he made
the wrong decision. We’re not trying to punish him or make him feel
bad. He just made the wrong decision and our leash correction is our
way of communicating to him, “Nope… please try again.”

Dog Training Has A Cumulative Effect

The smart dog will pick up on this, quickly. Like I mentioned
above…usually after two or three corrections. And he’ll extrapolate
the lesson to other exercises more quickly. This is why dog training
has a cumulative effect. (Even for the dumbest of dogs). The more
you train your dog, the more your dog will begin to learn how to

So, in the case of Mr. Juan Valdez, he already knows a couple dozen
commands. And he has learned how to learn. But getting him to that
point took twice as long as it would have for a smart Doberman,
Poodle, Border Collie or Belgian Malinois. There’s a reason for
that,too: The Golden Retriever breed (and many others) were bred
to work closely with humans– and specifically in the case of the
Golden Retriever– to be a very forgiving breed. In other words:
You can make a lot of mistakes with your timing and your training…
and it won’t matter so much to this breed. Whereas if you make a
mistake with your timing while training a Doberman… the old joke
among Doberman breeders is, “They’ll never forget it!”

So…dumb dog or smart dog: We love them all. And we train them all.
In the end, it’s the tortoise and the hare, and the tortoise always

Even if it’s a dumb tortoise named: Juan Valdez.


Smart Dog or Dumb Dog?
Is Your Dog A Smart Dog? ... Or A Dumb Dog, Like Juan Valdez, here

Moving With Your Dog

Last week, we moved into a new house and I thought you’d be interested in reading some random observations I had about moving with our dog.

While I’ve moved several times in past years, there are always new experiences and new observations, every time. The first is simply the reaffirmation of how important it is to use the dog kennel/crate.

Moving is stressful for your dog. Dogs don’t understand what’s happening or what’s going on. Especially with all of the big and tall strangers coming and going. Having a “safe place” where you can put your dog is essential. At no time did our dog ever wonder where he should be, or what he should be doing… because the crate has been a part of his life from Day 1, and it represents his “den” and he has already learned that “this is where I’m supposed to be.” Which
helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

If you’ve read some of my other material, you’ll know that I’m a big proponent of working your dog around every type of distraction and situation. Moving– with all of the trucks and boxes– presents some wonderful opportunities. If you have a full (paying) membership to our site, we’ll be posting some pictures that Carla took of me working the dog on the truck ramp and into the back of a box van. Dog Owners: Take advantage of every opportunity you get. The more weird and wild things you can work your dog around, the more you’ll increase the human/dog bond. And you’ll be challenging and stimulating your dog’s mind in ways that you can’t necessarily do during a regular training day.

Once we arrived at our destination house, using the “No!” command was a very useful and clear way to teach the dog from the start, which rooms he’s allowed in and which rooms he’s not. Remember: It’s important to be consistent, and teaching your dog the new house rules
from the beginning makes things a thousand times more easy, further down the road.

Another life-saver is the “Get Busy” command, which teaches the dog where and when to eliminate. The house we moved into has a decent size yard, and I don’t want the dog choosing to urinate/defecate near the pool, but rather to go over to the side yard and do his business
(where the patch of dirt is). Because I’ve consistently used the “Get Busy” command, it was easy to take the dog out to the spot where I wanted him to eliminate and tell him to ‘do his thing.’ After only three days, he’s now going to the same spot consistently. Which
certainly makes clean-up a lot easier, too.

There’s a lot of new smells for a dog to investigate in a new house, so– even for an older dog– it’s important to use your “place” command to teach your dog where he’s supposed to lay down, when you’re doing things in each room. For example, while we eat dinner, the dogs need to lay on their “place pillows” at the edge of the room. Likewise, while I’m working on the computer, if the dog wants to hang out in the same room, I don’t let him wander aimlessly
sniffing and checking things out. It’s annoying and it’s not necessarily productive behavior for the dog, either. So, I’ll use either the down-stay command or the “place” command.

One of the things I’ve also noticed is that to make the transition to a new house less stressful on your dog, it’s important to adhere to the same (or similar) schedules as you did in your old house. We have our own rituals. For example: We get up in the morning and the dog gets let out of his crate and then lays on his pillow while we have coffee. After coffee, it’s yard time. Then breakfast. (Ours, then the dogs). Etc… Adhering to a schedule allows your dog to more
smoothly adjust to being in a new house.

Remember: Even just rearranging the furniture can throw your dog for a loop. Moving to a new house is rearranging the furniture– and a whole lot more. You might see a bit of submissive “I’m not sure if I should be doing this,” behavior. That’s when having both motivational praise and corrections come in handy, because it’s a clear way to communicate to your dog when he’s doing something right and when he’s doing something wrong. So, moving with your dog really becomes a fall-back to more formal obedience routines woven around your lifestyle. And once you’ve been in the same house for awhile, your patterns (and expectations) for your dog will start to become anticipated.