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New Dog: 101
Just Four Ounces
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Bo's eyes
Spring is here
Start slow with your canine athlete
Warm up for a few weeks before summer fun
Shout Out

Bo's eyes

A big shout out to Integrative Pet Care and Dr. Julie Mayer
Thank you

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Integrative Pet Care
The Best Vet In Town
Bo's eyes

Love is stronger than anger, silence more profound than wild words, or sharp slaps.
Anchor your actions in Tao, act in harmony, and catch yourself,
Success comes by solving problems from within, when you know why puppies eat sprinkler systems,
you won't need discipline. Understand a puppy's needs,
adopt them as your own, and lead with loving kindness.
from "Tao of Puppies"  by  Krista Cantrell
Issue: Six March 2010
kona's touch
Happy Spring

Well, I guess it really is spring. I can tell because my phone is starting to ring with interested new puppy and new dog owners looking for training. The good news is more people are interested in positive training and are abandoning the "old fashioned" techniques of traditional aversive training.  YAY!  We want to take this issue, and the next few, to provide lots of information about researching, acquiring, training and just general living with your new family member. We start at the beginning with our loose leash walking section on options for getting your dog. Also, it's time to get your couch potato up and shed some winter weight. Have fun, take your time, get the right dog for your family,  enjoy your new dog and of course, the one's you already love.  HAPPY SPRING from kona's touch

NEXT MONTH:  Now that I got the new pooch, what do I do now????

Laura and the dogs of kona's touch

Be gentle, after all isn't that what you would want for your best friend,
Laura Dorfman, CPDT-KA
Owner and Founder
Loose Leash Talking
CooperstownNEW DOG: 101
We welcome spring, the flowers are blooming, the trees are turning green and of course mother nature is everywhere. The puppies are here and the neighborhoods are buzzing, or barking to be more precise. There are cute little puppies, young shelter dogs and every once in a while an adopted senior. So, if you're getting a new canine, please do your homework. Don't know what your homework is?  I'LL HELP
Educate, educate, educate yourself. I used to put out a flyer every Spring that said, "people spend more time researching buying a new car then they do getting a new dog in their house." The average life of a car in your home, I don't know. The life of a dog, with any luck, can be ten to fifteen years. Getting a dog is a huge commitment. Isn't it worth a little time? There are so many ways to access information these days, you almost can't go anywhere without hearing the opinion of every expert, relative neighbor or latest and greatest Facebook friend. Use the technology of our times. READ.

Start Here: Read more of this article >>
Healin' News
We had the dogs to the vet yesterday and Lhotse' lost four ounces. We were thrilled. That may not seem like a big deal, but when you're dealing with a seventeen pound dog, four ounces is great. It's always been important to me to keep the dogs thin and therefore able to exercise. It's about both keeping them active and watching their calories.

I like to use the treats that are one calorie each and then I like to break them in half and give them 1/2 calorie treats. When I train I always have a variety of treats with me and I pay attention to what I feed. If it's a heavy treat day, or especially a heavy cheese day, their dinner reflects their intake during the day. If they didn't have a very big exercise day, their dinner reflects that. On those days, you can take out a few tablespoons of food for a large dog or a few teaspoons for a small dog. If you keep track of your dog's weight and how her ideal weight looks, you can make sure she doesn't get bigger. If you notice she is gaining weight, you can respond right away, before it gets out of control. 

"Winter weight" can happen to us all. I played many sports in the summer and then winter came and for me I was a couch potato. The same can happen with our dogs in the north, midwest and northeast. We ease off the outdoor activities and slowly and steadily our little friends get bigger.
If fetch isn't happening outside, use fetch as a reinforcement instead of using a treat.  Ask for a sit and send the ball down the stairs as her reward. Three birds with one stone here: 1. dog performs cued act, 2. dog gets reinforced with no calories, and 3. the dog gets exercise by fetching ball. It's important to use ALL that is reinforcing to your dog and not just food. Anything that your dog loves can be used as reinforcement- a ball, a fetch, a toy of any kind as long as your dog loves it. Life rewards can be as easy as a release to some place wonderful, a chase of a squirrel (as long as you don't let him catch it) or a walk. And don't forget praise. Often, dogs will do anything for a little lovin' from their favorite human. A good belly rub can save three or four calories.
For a seventeen-pound dog who isn't overweight, four lost ounces becomes good maintenance. It not only means she's lost a little, but it also means she hasn't gained any. I'd say a good belly rub is in order here. If she gets her feet moving, who knows she may just use up some calories.

kona's touch offers positive dog and puppy training or consultation for Chicago's North Shore. Our positive training and consultations help you and your dog to create a respectful, loving relationship.
At kona's touch, we use peaceful clicker training techniques based on scientific knowledge and years of experience in canine behavior for fun family dog training. For dog training or your personal consultation, call 847-204-7100 or email me at


Laura Dorfman, CPDT-KA
kona's touch, inc.