Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fast Pup Dog Training Tacoma Sunday Classes

Sunday Afternoon Obedience Classes

Obedience Class
Thanks to Danny Phillips for taking this and many other pictures at class.

Imagine how wonderful it would be to be able to walk down a busy city street with your dog off leash and listening to your every command! Your dog walking beside you and not straying into traffic. You walking with your dog in the most relaxed state--even though cars are whizzing by just feet away. Most people just shake their heads in disbelief when we talk to them about such things. But check out our blog to see all the testimonials about what happened when people took a chance to learn our training methods.

Please be our guest! Fast Pup Dog Training holds classes twice a week in the Federal Way--NE Tacoma area. We offer no cost, no obligation demonstrations with our dogs and a free assessment of your dog immediately following our classes. We specialize in off leash control around severe distraction. We offer dogs the opportunity to live a full, rich life with off-leash privileges and we offer owners the greatest peace of mind about their dogs' safety. If your dog pulls on the leash, jumps up on people, runs away or has other more severe behavior problems--we can help!

Tacoma Dog Trainer Trains Chihuahuas & Pomeranians


Tacoma Fall Home & Garden 2009
This is a digital painting Dana created of her dog Lily, a tiny Chihuahua

When Dana first came to us, she brought her big Shepherd mix Xena for help with her training. After having Xena in our program for several months, Dana decided that she wanted Lily to have the same freedom and quality of life that Xena enjoyed after learning to be reliable both off leash and on leash. By teaching dogs focus and self control, the dogs develop confidence they never had when driven to distraction. Whether you have a four pound Chihuahua, or a 200 pound Mastiff, Fast Pup Dog Training can help your dog live their best life.

What Dana Said About Lily's Training

Last night, I took Lily, my 4 1/2 pound long haired Chihuahua, on an off-leash cross-country walk we do with our trainer, Kate, from Fast Pup Dog Training, along with about 12 other grrrreat big dogs of all kinds: a giant Cane Corso, a energetic young Doberman, lots and lots of various rambunctious retrievers lurching and leaping through the brush around her.

We crossed many streets where all the dogs had to sit/stay and wait to be commanded, one by one, by their names, to cross the street and sit/stay on the other side. People often say that Chihuahuas are bad candidates for obedience training and at the very least you have to start very young. But there was Lily, doing her sit/stays and distant recalls and following at my heel and dodging and weaving as those heavy dogs shot past her. Yes, she was intimidated! No, not once did she snarl or launch herself as so many defensive Chihuahuas do.

Lily has always had a pretty calm temperament for a Chihuahua but she has learned to contain herself much more in the Fast Pup Dog Training.

I wish more people could have seen her, dainty little thing, trucking along at a steady clip in the middle of that pack of big old rough doggies, delicately sidestepping them and running under them when they came charging out of the underbrush straight at her, always returning right to my side! And sitting in a firm sit/stay at the side of the road despite the distraction of passersby and bicycles and loud children. I thank Kate, our terrific trainer at Fast Pup Dog Training.

This is the little dog who almost gave us a heart attack when she ran between our feet and out into the busy street one day. Now I do not worry about that because when I say "Lily, sit! Stay!" She does it. I have been able to have her do a successful sitstay reliably in front of our open gate now and trust that she will not set one foot outside our yard.

That peace of mind is worth a great deal to me. And on top of that, I'm able to take my favorite companion everywhere with me and nothing fazes her. She's never the nervous Chi people expect. She's always calm and open to the world. She does not shiver and freak out when meeting other dogs. She's a perfect intimate companion! The trainer is great! The training is fabulous. But let's give the balance of credit where it really belongs: to the dog!!!!!

Dana Sitarzewski

Another digital painting by Dana of Jaguar Woman Designs. This one is of Corky, a nine pound Pomeranian--one of the Fast Pup dogs.

Corky Painting

At Fast Pup Dog Training we work with dogs of all sizes and temperaments. We believe all dogs deserve to live a rich, full life with the freedom that comes from excellent training.

To see more of Dana's fabulous paintings and designs, visit

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tips For Success With Puppies


CHOCOLATE PUPSWho does not LOVE a little puppy? But we have to remember that puppies quickly grow to be dogs. It is important that we start setting boundaries and rules on the first day. I make all my dogs sit and stay until I release them on their name to go to their food. I start that training the very first meal the pup has at my house. By the second or third day, the pup usually understands sit and stay for food.

We get many calls for help with house training. I always tell the caller that there is no "silver bullet" for house training. The greatest success comes with using a crate only big enough for the pup to stand, turn around, and lie down. So for a Labrador Retriever pup, I use a very small crate to begin with--one about the size of a cat carrier. The pup will outgrow it in one to three weeks, and then I replace it with the next biggest size. I progress through four to five different sizes of crates as the pup grows.

Dogs are naturally denning animals. They seek out small, dark places to sleep and for safety. Many people tell me they think that using a crate is "mean," or "cruel." It is definitely not! The first night home, I put the pup in the crate and set it on a chair--right next to where I sleep. This helps the pup feel safe. She can see me and hear me breathing. If she is fussing a lot, I might even move the little crate next to me in bed. She feels part of a pack and does not feel alone. But she can not go off in a corner and make a mess. Then, early in the morning I carry the crate with the pup in it to the sliding glass door and open the door to the crate to let her go outside. And praise her like crazy when she goes outside.

I start teaching the dog to come, sit and lie down, using food and praise for treats. (Most dogs love food, but enthusiastic praise is even more exciting for most dogs.)

Socialization around people and other dogs is super important. If you can find another puppy owner, it is a great idea to get together and let the pups play together.

Never hit or shake a puppy. This will only cause her to fear you, and possibly create fearful or aggression problems in the adult dog.

If you have a dog that you want to play retrieving games with, remember to keep retrieving super fun for the dog. And remember to quit playing with the pup before she gets bored or tired. Always leave them hungry for another play session.

Thanks For Stopping By The Fall Tacoma Home & Garden Show

Tacoma Fall Home & Garden Show
Tacoma Fall Home & Garden 2009
Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at the show! We loved meeting all of you and we are looking forward to seeing everyone again.

Be sure to call us to get on the schedule. These are fun demonstrations of our dogs' training. You will get to see retrieving demonstrations, agility and obedience with our dogs. The demos are great fun for the whole family. We will have you bring your dog out for a free assessment and go over all of our programs and methods at that time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tacoma Family Breathes Sigh Of Relief With Fast Pup Dog Training

As I sit down to write this letter I have to chuckle; I never thought I would be writing a dog trainer to tell her how well behaved my yellow lab has become!
Murphy, our 11 month old yellow lab has been in three homes from birth to the young age of 15 weeks. We considered ourselves his permanent family and we were determined to train him ourselves and have him meld into our family. After a month or so of having Murphy we realized he had some behavioral problems. Jumping, snapping, clawing the door, digging holes all day long, and knocking people over, pulling on a leash, barking at the fence and listening only to the sound of a food bowl rather than our requests.

Hailey Placing Murphy

After 6 months of having Murphy I was placed on bed rest due to complications in my pregnancy-With an 11 year old, a 4 year old, a baby on the way and many people in and out of our home (helping hands!) Murphy became increasingly difficult to deal with. My parents (self titled lab lovers!) took Murphy to stay with them while I figured out how to deal with our new life. Murphy continued to cause trouble and act out-We were faced with bringing home a new baby, a hectic family life and still another lab at home-We decided we should give Murphy to a better home. When we decided to look for a home for Murphy we felt like failures and it dawned on me that he would be the same dog just in a different home, how would someone else handle this situation? What if we were sending Murphy into a home that was also un able to deal with him and ended up harming him in some way?

Hailey Walking Murphy

I got online and began to research dog trainers-There were so many! I then called our vet to get a recommendation-they faxed me over your (Kate) website. I contacted Kate and talked for a long while over the phone. After talking with Kate I realized that she "knew" Murphy-She knew what was going on and she was so positive about his potential. My husband and I set up a consultation and within minutes we were stunned, impressed and convinced. Kate's dogs not only listened to her and obeyed but they were able to relax, be silly and play! We immediately enrolled Murphy in Kate's program. We have now had Murphy working with Kate for over a month. Murphy continues to have his normal lab puppy moments (pulling on my bathrobe in the morning, bringing me a tennis shoe as a gift and knocking his food over when he gets excited) but Murphy is also able to walk down a busy street with another dog, a toddler on a bike, neighbors waving hello and other animals passing by- all OFFLEASH! The off leash aspect lends itself to many other successful moments with your dog-Not only are you on a peaceful walk but your dog is able to get their exercise which leads to less negative behavior-Off leash also allows your family to enjoy the dog instead of kicking them outside for the day-Off leash allows the dog to learn to have fun and be attentive-Murphy is able to walk out the front door, go to the car, wait to get in and hop in calmly. Murphy is able to go to people's homes and wait at the front door while I chat, regardless of what they have going on inside. Murphy is able to sit and wait for our guests to come in the door, set their coats down and get settled before he says "hello"
We loved Murphy when we first brought him home-Now; we enjoy Murphy and look forward to many years of friendship. I would recommend Kate and Fast Pup to anyone with a puppy or even an older dog. If you consider yourself a dog lover give yourself and your loved dog the best gift, talk with Kate-The results are amazing.
Perry and Erin Smith