Graceful Canine Dog Training NYC

Fun Behavior Solutions and Puppy Prep

Frozen stuffed Kongs and Toppls, help your dog settle and relax

Kongs are cone-shaped toys made of tough rubber that can be filled with food and frozen. Toppls are interlocking toys that can be used with dry treats, or stuffed like Kongs.

Your dog relaxes when he has something to chew on, and settles down after eating. Frozen Kongs (or Toppls) take longer to eat, giving your dog more time to relax.  This also will gives the dog something to do when the owners are away. Dogs often sleep after eating, so the benefits of a frozen stuffed Kong are doubled.

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Manhattan Dog Training – Recommended Products

As a Manhattan dog trainer, I try out a lot of dog products. Some have become essentials that I recommend them to every client.



Living in Manhattan you see many dogs pulling their owners along the sidewalk. Training is essential, of course, but the right harness can go a long way in helping your stop your dog from pulling.

Balance Harness – Each strap can be adjusted, individually.  It works as a no-pull harness (front hook) or regular harness (back hook).
It doesn’t chafe under the dog’s front legs, because it’s so adjustable.

Perfect Fit Harness – Thick fleece is between the webbing and the dog, so it feels like a comfy slipper. It comes in three pieces, and each piece comes in more than ten sizes. You combine the pieces to find the absolute perfect fit for any shape dog.

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Puppy Socialization – It’s more than just meeting a few dogs.

You want only the best for your puppy. As soon as he has had all his shots you’re going to take him to puppy class or find a trainer. But while you’re waiting you can get started on the very important job of socializing your dog.

Socialization is about much more than meeting and playing with other dogs. It’s about exposure to sounds and objects. It’s about learning to be comfortable alone. There’s a vital learning period where puppies are curious and unafraid, and you should take advantage of it.

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How I cured my dog’s panic attacks.

A few years ago my fearless dog Gracie started having panic attacks. She heard noises from our neighbors upstairs that sounded like marbles being dropped. Every time she heard it she would bolt, panting heavily, and scramble up into my lap with wild eyes.

Normally, if a sound was frightening a dog I would treat him or her using counter-conditioning and desensitization.

For example, If the dog was afraid of the doorbell ringing, I would make an MP3 of a doorbell, play it at a very low volume, click and treat her for not reacting to the sound. Increase the volume every day as long as she doesn’t react. If there is a reaction, start again at a lower volume.

The problem with Gracie’s training was, while I could make an MP3 of marbles being dropped, I couldn’t simulate the sound of them being dropped on the ceiling, and that’s what was triggering Gracie’s panic attacks.

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Is your dog ignoring you? How to get your dog to listen.

If you’ve been saying “come” to your dog for years, and sometimes he does it and sometimes he doesn’t, the word “come” may have lost it’s meaning. It certainly doesn’t have the effect you want it to. Choose another word, and start teaching your dog the command from scratch. I like to use “here”.

This time, make sure you never ask your dog to do the command unless you can guarantee he will do it. For example, don’t say “here” unless your dog is on a leash or in a small space where you can make him complete the command. And then make sure to reward him, with treats, toys or play and praise.

When a dog has learned to ignore a command or cue it’s called Learned Irrelevance. Read more about it here:

The Dog Trainer : When an Old Behavior Needs a New Cue :: Quick and Dirty Tips