Hot Diggity Dog!
Dog Lover's Ezine from Martia Nelson & Rincon


WELCOME!                                          May 12, 2008      Issue #2
Spring Has Sprung.
Martia Nelson & Rincon photoHello, dog lovers!
Spring has sprung, and it's the perfect time for dogs to be taking their people out for walks.  Our dogs know that it's not good for us to be indoors for days on end at our computers and Tivo's, so they do their best to get us outside and moving.  Have fun out there!
If it's not so fun out there -- because your dog pulls on leash (which can give you shoulder and back problems) or has another behavior that drives you a little crazy -- take advantage of the coupons at the bottom of this page.  I don't think I've ever offered coupons before, but all this fresh air has made me giddy. 
And Rincon -- okay, Rincon, stop nudging me, I'm telling them -- wants me to remind you to be sure to read his column, Dear Rincon, and to remind your dog to write in for a candid canine answer.
Tail wags till next time,



P.S.  Forward this issue to other dog lovers!



Girl and Dog Have Their Day
Do you love to see an underdog (literally) triumph against all odds -- but you're only got a minute for it to happen?  Click here.
We Got Interviewed!
This week, between walks, Rincon and I got interviewed by dynamic businesswoman Robin Matuk on her Creating Impact blog about women intrepreneurs.  It might surprise you! 
Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey
Does your dog always come when you call?
Recall, or your dog coming back to you when called, is the most important command for your dog's safety when you're out and about.  Yet, whether their dogs have dashed out the front door and down the driveway, are romping at the beach, or are sniffing a fascinating section of fence in the backyard, the most common complaint I hear from people is that their dog won't come when called from a distance.
On pages 155-156 of The Loved Dog, one of my favorite introductory books on dog behavior and training, author Tamar Geller describes a technique that I have always found works wonders.  The following excerpt takes place at a dog park, but the technique can be practiced anywhere.  Treat it like a fun game.  Start at a short distance, and increase distance in increments as success becomes reliable.  (Always keep your dog in a safe environment.)  Enjoy!
paw print 
     Whenever I call Oliver at the dog park, he won't come," said Vern, the frustrated owner of a cocker spaniel...."
     "Does he come when you call him in the house?" I asked.
     "Yes, he's perfect.  I only have trouble at the dog park," said Vern.
     "Let's go back to his first visit there," I said, putting on my detective hat.  "What did you guys do?"
     Vern didn't hesitate.  "I brought him to the park, and he played with the other dogs while I watched."
     "Then what?" I asked.
     "I called him, he came, I put him in the car, and we went home," said Vern.
     "And what about the next time?" I asked.
     "It was the same," said Vern.  "But he didn't come so quickly."
     "And you're wondering why Oliver stopped coming to you?" I said.  "Why would he come when he knows that coming to you means the fun is over?  Do you see the pattern you programmed into your dog's head?  You call him, he comes, and you take him away from his pleasure."
     "Oh," said Vern. "I didn't realize what I was doing."
     The sad truth is that many dogs associate coming to their owners with pain, not pleasure.  For most dogs, the doggy park is the greatest place in the world....  Then, when they are in absolute bliss, they hear their names being called.  The fun is over, they realize.  If I go back to my owner, he's going to take me away from my greatest pleasure. I'll have to go home and be bored.  I think I'll pass.
     If you take your dog to the dog park, I suggest you call him off and on throughout his playtime to give him treats and water.  Then tell him, "Go Play!"  You'll be teaching him the pattern that coming and checking in with you is a good thing.  Use random rewards, and he'll always wonder if returning to you will mean a jackpot of treats, a possibility he can't ignore.
(c) 2007 by Tamar Geller
The Loved Dog
Published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment
Still Dancing for Dollars 
Jennifer Marshall's dog paintingHey, everybody, it's Rincon here. I'm still going full steam with my Dancing for Dollars project.  I'm busy tapping my toes, wagging my tail, and doing the Dog-Cha-Cha to raise money for the cancer support group at Arts for Healing. 
Now it's easier than ever to help me. 
Just send your friends to Arts for Healing, where they can watch my dog dancing video clips on the home page.  If they get a chuckle or feel their spirits lifted, they can click on the new online donation link and spread the goodness.
This project is close to my heart because I'm the therapy dog every week.  The group's grant fell through at the last minute, and they need our help right away.  I bet we can pass this link around the world!  Arts for Healing
Lets support the support group!

(Dog above was painted in the support group by Jennifer Marshall. Copyright Jennifer Marshall 2007.)

Save the Dates.
The next series of Obedience and Dog Dancing classes will start in June:
6 Wednesdays, June 18 to July 30 (skip July 2) 
Interacting with Your Dog as a Spiritual Practice.
Do you sense that you and your dog have a spiritual relationship?
You're right -- you do! 
Do you want to love yourself the way your love dog?  Or the way your dog loves you?
You can!
Will being more present with your dog make you more present in your life?
And that's just the beginning of the fun.  Join this special class to discover how to use all interactions with your dog -- including play, training, discipline, and even your most exasperating moments -- to deepen your ability to live from your true self and unconditional well-being.  It's so easy!  Most people simply haven't thought of it.
Click for details and enrollment:
Interacting with Your Dog as a Spiritual Practice
(Don't have a dog at this time but want take the class?  No problem -- the principles apply to your relationships and interactions with dogs in general.)
Questions Dogs Only Dare to Ask Each Other
Rincon, closeup  Dear Rincon,


  I really related to the subject of meal time in your last column.  So I've

  gotta know, what's the deal with the pile of little squares of compressed
  cardboard my people keep putting in my bowl?  Are they kidding?
  Your curious friend,

                               Jesse,  Jack Russell Terrier/German Shepherd mix


Dear Jesse,


Stop -- you're making my mouth water.  I totally love those little cardboard squares!  Sometimes I sit by the drawer they're in and just look at it.  You'd think someone in my house would get the hint.  But oh, no, there's all this talk about waiting till dinner.  I tell Martia that linear time is just an illusion and that all events are happening in The Now, including dinner time, so open the drawer already.

But that's about me.
Seriously, dude, count your blessings.  They may be little and square, and taste like they've been in the bag awhile, but some of us can't get enough of 'em.


Your pal,


The Candid Canine


Editor's note: Jesse is the Official Public Greeter at Art and Soul, the fun and fabulous art store in downtown Sebastopol.

Dog readers, Send your questions to Rincon at  Be sure to include your name and breed or mix (if known).
That Is the Question.
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You are welcome to reproduce this issue of Hot Diggity Dog!, in part or in its entirety, as long as you include the paragraph and copyright immediately below.  (Also please send me a copy of the reproduction or a link to the webpage.  Thanks and Enjoy!)


Martia Nelson is a dog trainer, life coach, and author of "Coming Home: The Return to True Self."  Go to for her dog training and dog dancing classes, private lessons, phone consultations, and video clips.  Go to for her life coaching classes, private sessions, phone consultations, and CDs.


Copyright (c) 2008 Martia Nelson. All Rights Reserved.

Hot Diggity Dog!
Dog Dancing & Obedience Training
Martia Nelson & Rincon
PO Box 1932, Sebastopol, CA  95473      (707) 823-4403
Get $10 off your next 1-hour private session. 
But call now! 
This offer is good for only ONE WEEK.
Choose obedience training, dog dancing,
or dog behavioral issues -- or get a combo!
(707) 823-4403
Don't live nearby?
Many issues can be solved by phone consultation.

 Offer Expires: May 20, 2008

Save 25%
Get 25% off your next private session--
Refer a new client. 
Know someone who hasn't worked with Martia & Rincon?
Refer them!  After your referral has a one-hour private session, you will receive a 25% discount on your next private session of one hour or longer
Refer as many friends as you like: Refer 3 friends, and get 75% off, refer 4 friends, and get a free session!
(707) 823-4403
Offer Expires: June 12, 2008              
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Or do you want to change from the company you currently use?  I'm very happy with Constant Contact.  If you think you might want to use Constant Contact, too, let me know.  If I officially refer you, we'll both get $30 credits to our accounts. 
Martia Nelson, or (707) 823-4403