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.Around Town:...Common Dog Training Myths
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Beluga feeding
Beluga encounter: Laura trains a beluga whale. Learning theory applies to all species with brains.

Beluga Ecounter 
Star sleeping
All dogs are smart, it is up to us to educate them.

                  kona's touch  
Vol. 2, Issue 5 February 2011
kona's touch

kona's touch Blog Wins APDT's

Train Your Dog Month Contest for Best Social Media Entry

Dear Friends,
How exciting to open my email last week and find that we had won this contest.  As some of you know we got up close and personal with our blog series, "at home with the dogs of kona's touch".
Contest info and blog  It was a hard series to write because Star had dental and eye surgery and I was worried, as we all are when our pets go to the vet for a problem. It's funny, when they're at the vet for a check-up I notice that they worry, when we take them when something's wrong, we worry.

I've shared one of my award winning blog posts in healin' News. I went to the Shedd Aquarium for a wonderful Beluga Encounter with Puiji, a 23 year old, Beluga mother of three. We had a wonderful morning together. Training with positive reinforcement goes back a long way with marine mammal training. Now all species benefit, especially our canine best friends.

From all the dogs and human's at 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 Talkin'
Around Town:  Common Dog Training Myths


3 Dogs walk Alison

A few common myths about dogs and dog training have been coming up lately so I thought I'd use this space to talk about dogs.

1. When you train with treats, you have to have them always and use them forever.

Actually it works against you if you continue to give treats for every behavior asked for in his lifetime. Continuous reinforcement is only suggested for a new behavior or for a puppy or new dog learning positive reinforcement training for the first time. After your dog understands the learning strategy, he will be happy to work for whatever you are offering as long as you paid attention to your dog's needs and desires and reward him with what he loves. Toys, praise, attention, tennis balls, or even other people or dogs can be more important than food to some dogs. Even the ability to perform a valued behavior can be a reinforcement. Learn what's important to your pooch and then work to use his favorite squeaky toy to reinforce a "roll over".


2. A dog who pulls wants to be the alpha.

A dog can pull on the leash for a number of reasons, wanting to be the alpha is not on my list for why. Dogs pull on leash for a variety of environmental, learned and instinctual reasons. One reason is they never learned to walk next to a human with a long string attached to them.

See more

Healin' News

One of our award winning blog posts from the contestLittle StarHappy Anniversary, Little Star White Dog: Your Picture Changed My Life


From "At home with the dogs of kona's touch" series celebrating
APDT's Train Your Dog Month


Ten years ago yesterday we made a decision. I consider that day one of the best of my life. I didn't want another dog, I wanted the one I had just lost, Kona, our ten year old Beagle. She was my heart, she was a life altering part of me. And now she was gone, in a flash. All I did for months was search the Internet for her. No, I didn't want another dog, I wanted her. I thought I would never be able to breathe again and I was pretty sure I would never smile again.

So, when I saw this dog on Petfinder I was curious. I had been staring mindlessly at dogs, thousands of them, for months, looking for my dog. She had died 3 months before, rather suddenly. I was stuck in grief and misery, stuck in a fear and an emptiness I couldn't comprehend. I had my family, close human bonds and the love of our lab Bo, we'd had since he was 49 days old. He was lost too, we all were.

So, as I said, when I saw this dog on the net, I was curious. A few hours later I looked again. She was the first dog in three months of web surfing that I actually looked at twice.....

  Full Article 

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.