Dog Fancy Magazine Features Kevin Behan, Neil Sattin and Natural Dog Training

I always look forward to opening up the mailbox. Sure, email is great – but there’s something magical and mysterious about having physical, tangible items delivered to you from somewhere beyond. The other day was no exception, as I happened to receive the latest issue of Dog Fancy magazine (November 2011). And in the “Natural Dog” section is a feature on Natural Dog Training, including interviews with me and Kevin Behan, along with a couple people who have had some very positive experiences with NDT. (Cliff Abrams and Sang Koh).

The article is entitled “Push Away Stress” – and I think it does a great job of zeroing in on one of the central principles in how we interact with our dogs – that the key to establishing a rock-solid connection with your dog is to recognize that life for your dog, especially in a human world, creates stress. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to give your dog ways to relax that tap into their innate mechanisms for releasing stress. By doing so, you are teaching your dog that no matter how the world makes them feel, you are uniquely capable of helping them get through it.

Neil Sattin Heeling With His Dog Nola

This might all sound a little mumbo-jumbo-y, but I’ve seen it now time and time again, how tapping into your dog’s primal circuitry changes things for the better. My DVD set (and this website, and Kevin’s books, and Lee Charles Kelley’s articles, and…) gives plenty of examples of how once you’re plugged in with your dog you can turn that relationship into enthusiastic “obedience.”

Note that the reason that I put the word “obedience” in quotes is because the concept becomes almost moot. Your dog doesn’t “obey” you – because there’s no need. What happens is that you learn how to communicate with your dog in a language that they understand. So your dog listens, and responds.

Not because they are suddenly blindly obeying you, or because you’ve become the “authority” in their lives – but because they care what you have to say. It makes sense to them. Even more, it FEELS good to act in harmony with your desires. Because now you both want the same thing.

Neil Sattin and His Dog Nola Sit-Stay

If reading the Dog Fancy article is your introduction to Natural Dog Training, welcome! I’m sure you’re intrigued to know what “pushing” is all about – as the technique was essentially the focus of the article, without any detailed instruction on how to actually do it! As you might expect, I do explain thoroughly how to do it on my DVDs – but I also provide written instruction here on my website on How to Push with Your Dog (and the follow-up – Why to Push with Your Dog).

Thank you to Dog Fancy magazine (and writer Susan Chaney) for an open-minded article about what we do. And thanks, once again, to all of you. It’s your attention, questions, and feedback (yes, keep sending emails with your stories of your success!) that help remind me why I’m doing this in the first place.

Natural Dog Blog – Training and More

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Don’t Miss Thanksgiving’s National Dog Show

It’s that most wonderful time of the year once again: the National Dog Show is on the horizon! As we’ve written many times, we are unabashedly in love with mixed breed dogs. The more mixed, the…

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From The Dog Lady’s mailbag: The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for all dogs, is excited to announce that the first-ever AKC/USPCA K9 Detection Dog Challenge will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday, November 28th at 10pm ET. The event, hosted by the AKC and the United … Continue reading INAUGURAL AKC/USPCA K9 DETECTION DOG CHALLENGE COMING TO ESPN2 Dog Blog

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Easy Plant-Based Meal Idea: Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks, The Rustik Oven, and Gardein.

I’ve talked before about how challenging it is to figure out easy meals that every person in my family will actually eat. It’s an ongoing battle, and I know from talking to you guys that I’m not the only one. That’s why I just had to share one of our favorite meal ideas that is quick, super yummy, perfect for cozy season, and as a major bonus, totally plant-based: Gardein Soups and The Rustik Oven Sourdough Bread Bowls. It’s not a made from scratch at home recipe, but it tastes like one (without the work), and I love that I can grab all of the ingredients at Meijer and then prepare a truly delicious meal in a few minutes that all four of us love to eat. 
The first time I had soup in a sourdough bread bowl was many, many years ago in Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I was hooked. The combination of hot, flavorful soup literally inside of a loaf of crusty bread is the definitive comfort food. Being able to be a satisfying plant-based version at home for my family is the best!
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
I’ve been a Gardein fan for many years. As a long time vegetarian (I made the switch over 30 years ago!), I was thrilled to discover them and their incredible line of plant-based foods for every meal and every occasion. My vegan and flexitarian friends and family all love Gardein too, and for good reason. They have a huge variety of yummy meatless foods to choose from with really great taste and texture. Their products also contain no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives, no dairy or egg ingredients, have 0mg of Cholesterol, and are NGP Verified. 
My daughter and I love soup in general, and being Gardein’s #1 fans and all, we always have lots of their soups on hand. My daughter’s favorite is Gardein Plant-Based Chick’n Noodl’ Soup (filled with tender chunks of yummy plant-based chick’n, vegan noodl’s, carrots and celery with 13 grams of protein per can!). My son’s favorite is Gardein Plant-Based Chick’n & Rice Soup (loaded with tasty chunks of plant-based chick’n, white rice, wild rice, thick-cut carrots and celery with classic spices). My husband loves Gardein Plant-Based Be’f and Country Vegetable Soup (tender plant-based be’f in homestyle broth with carrots, potatoes, and peas). And my top pick is Gardein Plant-Based Saus’ge & Minestrone Soup (thick slices of plant-based Italian saus’ge, vegan noodl’s, chickpeas, green beans, tomatoes, kidney beans and more). 
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
We were already enamored with Gardein Plant-Based Soups, and as soon as I saw The Rustik Oven Sourdough Bread Bowls at Meijer, I knew it was going to be, as my daughter describes them together, a match made in plant-based heaven. I’d had bread from The Rustik Oven before and knew how good it was (I love how it has an artisan taste and texture but with long-lasting freshness), and combined with Gardein soups, it genuinely makes the ideal fall/winter meal. The Rustik Oven uses a traditional European baking process, which creates a rich flavor and perfect crusty texture, and it’s really apparent in the bread bowls. Breads from the Rustik Oven also contain no artificial colors/flavors and are Non-GMO Project Verified. Their bread is amazing in recipes too!

Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
To create this simple, comforting plant-based meal that the whole family loves, I just have each person choose a Gardein Soup, then heat it up and pour into a The Rustik Oven Sourdough Bread Bowl. My son loves to top his with vegan oyster crackers, and sometimes we’ll add chopped scallions or a little parsley. That’s it. In minutes, we have an easy lunch or dinner that is customized to each person’s tastes. The best.
You can grab all four of these tasty, plant-based Gardein Soups in the soup aside at Meijer, and Bread Bowls from The Rustik Oven in the bread aisle. I know you’ll love this easy, comforting meal as much as we do!

Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Shelter Sunday: Ruger / James River Humane Society / Jamestown, ND

Meet Ruger! This handsome fella is up to date on vaccinations and neutered. Here’s what his rescuers have to say about him: Ruger is a 10 month old german shephard/doberman mix. He loves attention and likes to chase a ball. Don’t overlook this one of a kind find. He wants desperately to find a family. … Continue reading Shelter Sunday: Ruger / James River Humane Society / Jamestown, ND Dog Blog

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Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference

You may have already heard about the worldwide Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference hosted by Kristin Morrison.

What you might not have heard is that we are sponsoring this event!

And…it’s a no-cost conference and you can watch, listen and learn from wherever you are in the world.

There are so many great speakers lined up to speak including Victoria Stilwell and Ian Dunbar as well as Patti Moran plus many other top pet business experts.

We at PetsitUSA would love to have you join us and the thousands of pet business owners who are ready to make big shifts in their pet businesses by attending the (no cost!) Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.

This conference has the capacity to shift you from feeling stuck, stressed, or confused to moving forward in your pet business and your life in an empowered and fulfilling way.

The purpose of this conference is to help you make more money in your pet sitting and dog walking business as well as have you experience more ease and freedom in running your business.

Imagine being able to tap into the minds of successful pet business experts at no cost. This online conference is equivalent to a mentor mastermind worth thousands of dollars, and it’s your gift for NO COST.

If you are ready for real change in your business and your life, we invite you and all pet business owners to join me for the upcoming conference.

Please join PetsitUSA, the many pet business speakers and thousands of pet business owners just like you at the NO COST Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.

PetsitUSA Blog

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The Dog of the Highlands: West Highland White Terrier

At around 1700s, the Isle of Skye and other highlands in Scotland were already producing lots of small terriers. Scottish breeds were separated into two: the Skye terriers and the Dandie Dinmont terriers.

The Dandie Dinmonts were categorized as a separate breed. The Skyes included the Scotties, the Cairns and the West highland white terriers or the Westies.

It was also noted that these terriers were the hybrids among the crossed Cairns, Scottish, and Dandies terriers. One could assume that the hybrid would really be loyal and its hunting instincts could not be belittled. In fact, many royalties in Scotland owned terriers that were very similar to the Westies of today.

Another remarkable story is about a Westie that stopped a mother from constantly yelling at her daughter. Every time the mother would yell at her teenage daughter, the Westie would attack the mother. The aggression of the dog got worse over the years that resulted in the mother’s complete inability to scold her teenager.

It turned out that the girl was actually rewarding the dog for his protection by calming and soothing him down after every “threat” from her mother. Many would perceive that the daughter was able to help her mother to change her ways when in fact she was helping herself by rewarding the dog for its behavior.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Westies:

Category: Terrier
Living Environment: indoors (highly recommended); outdoors (fenced yard)

Coat: about two-inch coarse and wiry outer coat and soft, dense, and furry undercoat
Color: white

Height: between 10 and 12 inches

Weight: between 13 and 22 pounds



•    they like to bark and dig
•    they are not as willful like most terriers
•    they love companionship

When properly trained

•    they can become fairly friendly towards strangers
•    they develop close affinity with behaved children
•    they love to chase cats but they do not hurt them
•    they can become a very good watch dog
•    they can become very lively

Breeders should note of the following health issues:

•         Chronic skin problems
•       Perthe’s disease (hip problems)
•       Jawbone calcification
•       Cranio mandibular osteopathy (lion jaw)
•       Patella luxation, a disorder in the kneecap
•       Liver ailments
•       Deafness
•       Congenital heart disease

Care and Exercise:

•    Their coat should be brushed regularly using a brush with stiff bristles.
•    They should bathe only when necessary.
•    Their whole coat should be stripped at least twice a year and trimmed every four months.
•    The fur on the eyes and ears should be trimmed using blunt-nose mirrors.
•    They will surely be more agile and healthy after regular sessions of play and/or walk.


As noted, they share the same lineage with Cairns and Scotties (from Skye terriers), and even with the Dandies. This trio was developed in the Isle of Skye, which was one of the highlands in Scotland. It was noted that white whelps were chosen from the wiry-coated Cairns, Scotties, and Dandies to produce the variety that were known as Poltalloch terriers.

Following are some items in the history that show the Westies’ reputation of being owners’ favorite companion dogs.

Records in the history mentioned that around 1620, King James 1 of England requested some small white dogs from Argyleshire in Scotland. Colonel Malcolm, who was considered as the originator of Poltalloch terriers, that are very similar to the Westies of today, accidentally shot his terrier (a dark one). From then on he vowed to have only white terriers.

In the 19th century, terriers that were very similar to the Westies were known as Roseneath terriers in honor of Duke of Argyll’s interest and patronage of this breed. Roseneath was the name of his estate at Dumbartonshire. 

In the first-ever dog show that were organized in the late 1800s, the Westies were called as White Scottish terriers. In 1904, they were classified under the name West Highland White terriers.

During the mid-1900s, breeders of the Cairns in Argyll, Scotland selected white puppies from the stock and interbreed some to obtain white Cairns. However, in 1917, the American Kennel Club ruled that Cairns could be listed if they have the Westies’ lineage.
We can say the history repeats itself for this delightful terrier is now mostly a favorite companion dog of many households.

Welcome to The Top Dog Blog!

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The Daily Treat Takes A Road Trip

The Daily Treat has hit the road for a little vacay, but will be back in action with the latest and greatest in creature culture in short order!

Happy Tails & Happy Trails

-Janet McCulley, Kiki, Zazou & The Schmoo

Dogs in Vintage 1956 T-bird

The Daily Treat Summer Road Trip


The Daily Treat: Animal Planet

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Therapy Dogs Comfort Kids Getting COVID-19 Vaccines

Our friends at the Today Show are reporting on therapy dogs being used to comfort children at children’s hospitals across the country while the kids get their COVID-19 shots. “It was the perfect distraction,” Micaela Inglese, volunteer coordinator at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., told TODAY Parents. “Dog therapy … really helps … Continue reading Therapy Dogs Comfort Kids Getting COVID-19 Vaccines Dog Blog

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Dog Training – It’s All About the Relationship

Your dog’s behavior doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase (or seen it written here): “The dog is always right”? The reason is that dogs are simply responding to what is happening in their environment. And, specifically, how their environment makes them feel.

Whatever your dog is doing, it is ALL about the relationship that you have with your dog. And the relationship that you have with the significant people in your life. And the relationship that you have with yourself.

The obvious relationship that matters here is how you are with your dog. Are you nervous? Rigid? Harsh? Grounded? What are you communicating with your body language? What is your emotional state communicating to your pup? 99% of the time, what your dog is doing is “right” – meaning that your dog is simply taking in all of the information that you’re giving (and primarily the physical and emotional information – NOT the intellectual or conceptual information) and doing what makes the most sense to a canine under the circumstances.

Guess who else’s behavior doesn’t exist in a vacuum? YOURS! You are affected by your self-image and beliefs, and the relationships that you’re having with those around you. One of the biggest challenges that I’ve had over the past 10+ years of working with people and their dogs has been helping the PEOPLE change their habits. I would see, over and over again, how the emotional atmosphere of a person’s life – their stress at work, or in their primary relationships, or their view of themselves – was affecting how they lived their lives. Their habits. And this is important, because…

Your habits are creating your dog’s habits.

A little over 5 years ago I decided to branch out and get some training, as a coach, from the Robbins-Madanes Institute for Strategic Intervention. For me it was an opportunity to not only focus on shifting my own habits of being, but to also develop more skills at facilitating change for the humans with whom I was working. In the time since then, it has truly been an honor to not only be helping people with their dogs, but also to be helping them with the overall quality of their lives.

During that time, it became a passion of mine to work with people on improving their romantic relationships. You may notice that my original site (yes, this existed BEFORE Naturaldogblog) has been revived. There’s a lot of great content there, and more in the works, that’s focused specifically on improving relationships. I’m also about to launch a podcast, called Relationship Alive, focused on helping you have amazing relationships (or easeful breakups – should that be the path that you choose). So stay tuned for more information on that.

In the meantime – think about it this way. Your dog is an emotional creature, picking up on everything that’s happening in the environment and responding from a place of heart – not head. What’s going on in your world? Where is the stress? Where is the tension? Where is the anger? Where is the love? Now look at your dog’s behavior, and ask yourself “how is my dog giving a voice to everything that’s happening in our world together?” I look forward to hearing what insights you uncover.

Natural Dog Blog – Training and More

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