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2015 Has Come To A Close

Happy New Year, Friends!

Hard to believe that 2015 has come to a close and we are now moving into a brand new year! Every year seems to go faster and faster.

The month of December was a busy one, but oh so much fun!

Photo By: Garry WerraDecember 9th I hosted a program with Racine County Deputy Sheriff Dave Fisher and his K9 partner, Murphy. They demonstrated a variety of tasks that Murphy performs when on duty. I was able to be an active participant. That is always fun!

As a comparison to show how a K9 Nose Work dog searches and alerts atPhoto By; Garry Werra odor compared to a law enforcement dog, I brought out Turbo. Turbo's alert is to paw a container and then lie down. In the envelope was the odor, Clove. This is one of three odors Turbo has been trained to search for in the sport of K9 Nose WorkTM . In this sport, we do not want our dogs to do an aggressive alert. In law enforcement, the dogs will do this type of alert. In order to train these dogs to do such high intensity alerts, they use a Photo By: Garry Werrascratch box which the dog aggressively scratches at to get the reward inside. 

When Murphy found the marijuana hidden in the blue bag, he did a high intensity alert. As a reward, Deputy Dave immediately pulled out Murphy's favorite toy and gave it to him.

Murphy is trained to do a variety of tasks. There was one demonstration where Murphy had to locate me. I brought out my coat and laid it on the floor so Murphy could get my scent. I then disappeared and hid in one of the bathrooms. Murphy had to locate which room I was in. He found me Photo By: Garry Werraquickly and barked at the door as an alert. I opened the door and tossed his tug toy to him for his reward.

One of the last demonstrations we did, was bite work. Last year, when I had Deputy Ed Drewitz and K9 Friday come to Paws-A-Tive Choice, LLC to do a program, I wore a full bite-jacket. This time, all I wore was a bite sleeve. Just the sight of that sleeve got Murphy excited. There is a lot of intensity behind the bite of these dogs, but I was not concerned. These dogs are highly trained and I felt completely confident with Deputy Fisher's handling. To Murphy, all of his work represents a game and an opportunity for reward. Murphy's reward for his bite work demo was to get the sleeve, which I released and Murphy proudly pranced off with.

As part of a mini fundrasier, we sold the 2016 Racine County Area K9 Unit calendars. Paws-A-Tive Choice, LLC is a proud sponsor. Our sponsorship is listed with Dozer in the month of March. We also sold B&C Law Enforcement Appreciation Bracelets made by Brittany  Mueller and Cortnie Schattner. Between the sale of the calendars, bracelets and generous donations by the attendees of the program, we raised $350 for the K9 Units. Every dollar is needed for the care of each K9 in the program.

I am in the early planning stages of a possible fundraiser for the Racine Photo By: Garry WerraCounty Sheriff Office K9 Units to be held in the early summer. This will be a much larger scale fundraiser. We are in the planning stages to see if it will be possible to do this. More details will be posted as plans are underway.

I'd like to thank everyone who came out to support Deputy Dave and K9 Murphy. We had a great audience!

My K9 Scent Work-Fun 501 students surprised me with a wonderful Christmas party on December 23rd. I was teaching a private K9 Nose Work lesson and afterward, when I went into my office, they had everything set up! Delicious food and beverages ready to go! That was a heartwarming surprise! I am so blessed to have such thoughtful students. From left to right: THANK YOU, Nikki, Scott, Kevin, Sandee, Tija, Tami, Angela and Maria! You all are pawsome!

So what's in store for 2016? I am adding a few new classes to the roster and I am very excited! Starting in February, we will have two brand new specialty programs: Shy Dog Class and Reactive Dog Class. Both programs are being taught by my new instructor and colleague, Jean Jahnke, CPDT-KA. We are holding a MEET N GREET with Jean on Saturday, January 16th at 1 p.m. There is still time to sign up for this. You can meet Jean and learn all about these specialty programs. If you would like to attend, please email me: SPACE is LIMITED, so sign up now for this complimentary MEET N GREET.

I am also looking at offering a Rally Obedience class. More details to come on that over the next few weeks.

We may be doing more special events and programs in 2016 as well, so keep checking back and especially on the Paws-A-Tive Choice, LLC Facebook page.

I will be posting all updated information on Facebook as it becomes available.

Thank you for being a part of our year at Paws-A-Tive Choice, LLC. I am very blessed to have had the opportunity to train with so many wonderful people and amazing dogs! I look forward to what 2016 has ahead for each of us!

Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy and Safe 2016!

Stay pawsative and keep training happy!





Shy and Reactive Dogs - You Have a Safe Place to Train

Hello, Friends -

I’m pleased to announce that Jean Jahnke, CPDT-KA, will bring her fearful dog program, “Getting On Board When Your Dog Has Issues” to Paws-A-Tive Choice, LLC in 2016. Designed for fearful dogs who respond to stimuli with either reactivity or shyness, the program includes an Orientation Session, One-on-One Individual Session, and then two 6-week tracks: a Calming Track for reactive dogs and a Confidence Building Track for shy dogs. Watch for more details on this wondeful, upcoming program.

I'd like to welcome Jean M. Jahnke, CPDT-KA to the Paws-A-Tive Choice, LLC Family:

Jean has been training dogs since 1999, specializing in helping fearful and aggressive dogs. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, member of the Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin, and the Pet Professional Guild, and an AKC-certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator. In addition to helping shy and reactive dogs, she also teaches agility, CGC, obedience for adult dogs and puppies, and provides behavioral consultations.

Additionally, Jean provides behavioral assistance to rescue groups. To help with this effort, Jean created My Dog's Tutor to assist those with shy dogs who need help at all hours and may live anywhere across the states. Her client base includes residents of Illinois, Michigan, Florida, and Northern Wisconsin.

Jean was instrumental in establishing the shy dog program at the Wisconsin Humane Society and has presented dog behavior and shy dog seminars for the Discovery World Youth Camp, Burlington WI Pet Wellness Fair, Sheboygan Dog Training Club, BREW Midwest (Beagle rescue), and Wisconsin Sheltie Rescue. She also presented clicker training sessions, including one for Heartland Farm Sanctuary where she worked with a 400-lb pig!

Jean has been a strong advocate for getting the word out to help fearful dogs enjoy agility. To do this, she contributed to an article in Clean Run magazine May 2012 article, "Competing with a Shy Dog," and documented her dog’s journey in the Fetch Magazine article “Agility for Fearful or Reactive Dogs.”

In October 2012, Jean brought Therapeutic Agility to the Midwest by hosting Michele Godlevski’s seminar "Specialized Agility Instruction for Fearful, Reactive, or Distracted Dogs."

Jean's canine family members include: 13-year old Mini-Aussie CT-ATCH "KC" (TChFH, CGC) and 7-year old Mini-Aussie C-ATCH2 "Theo" (ChST, ChCL, ChFH, CGC, NW1, HIC). It was her 12-year old German Shepherd "Rudy" who inspired her to focus on dogs with issues.  Rudy was genetically shy, yet travelled with Jean and her husband, Ron from the East to West coasts. He will always be remembered as the loving boy who taught them how to help him shine through his fear.

Jean and Ron and their dog family enjoy travelling, agility, boating, K9 Nose Work, and just having fun together!

WELCOME, JEAN! We are so happy to have you on board as an instructor at Paws-A-Tive Choice, LLC.


December Fun

Hello, Friends -

The holidays are upon us. That is always a busy time of year for everyone. However, let's not forget about our canine companions. They need attention and fun too!

December 9th, Paws-A-Tive Choice, LLC is hosting our third K9 Unit Program. This year, Racine County Deputy Sheriff Dave Fisher and his K9 partner, Murphy will be doing a presentation and demonstration of the work he and Murphy do when called to duty. The demos are always fun and everyone has a good time, including the K9!

We will have the 2016 K9 Unit Calendars for sale. Each calendar is $15 and all funds go to the Racine Area K9 Units.

I am pleased to have two young ladies, Brittany and Cortnie, both aspiring to become law enforcement officers, will be at the program selling their bracelets and key tags. These bracelets are for law enforcement appreciation. They will donate a portion of the sale of each bracelet and key tag to the K9 Units.

If you are not able to attend, but would like to purchase a calendar or bracelet, email Kathy: All orders can be picked up at Paws-A-Tive Choice, LLC.

The week of December 21st, the EARLY WINTER SESSION of classes will begin. Watch for the schedule, as that will be posted soon.

Don't forget about your dogs. They need to have fun during the holidays too! Spend an hour a week with your dog doing something fun! Your dog will thank you for that gift!

I will see many of you at the K9 Program on December 9th and I hope to see many of you at the EARLY WINTER SESSION of classes.

Stay pawsative and remember to always train happy!



So Long Summer ... Welcome Fall!

Hey, Friends!

Can you believe summer is over? I can't! It went much too quickly, but time flies when you're busy, busy, busy!

The weekend of July 11-12, I attended a fabulous workshop with Jacy Kelley. The focus was working exteriors, containers, vehicles and interior searches for K9 Nose Work. The entire weekend was wonderful! I learned a lot about my handling and was a lot more observant of my dog when he is searching.

The weekend of August 22nd-23rd, I attended an incredibly fun seminar with Amy Herot, Co-Founder of NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work). The entire focus was on container searches. Wow! Who would have thought you could spend an entire weekend just working containers? I took 12 pages of notes and came up with  so many exercises for my students, that I think we'll be set this winter once the cold sets in. I have LOTS of fun container exercises planned out.

On September 5th, I hosted a cook out for my terrific K9 Good Neighbor volunteers. This group of people comes the last 3 weeks of each of my K9 Good Neighbor classes. They assist with the various exercises to help dogs learn the necessary skills to behave appropriately around strangers; how to accept handling and grooming practices, along with the skills needed to behave well when out in public. The K9 Good Neighbor Program is a success with the help of Kathy and Frank Erickson; Nikki Zass and Ralph and Linda Sanders. I appreciate these folks so much!

Kathy and Turbo with our L1V TitleSeptember 19th, I entered my German shepherd, Turbo in a K9 Nose Work Level 1 Vehicle Element Trial. I was quite proud of him. Turbo placed 3rd and we got our L1V Title. It had been a year and a half since I last trialed with Turbo. He got his NW2 title in March of 2014 and took 2nd Place in containers and 3rd Place in vehicles. We don't enter trials with the mindset for placing. We just do it for fun. It is always a special surprise when I find out we place at a trial.

I did my best to not allow my nerves to interfere with Turbo's performance at the Vehicle Element trial. I just gave Turbo his space and let him do what he loves doing, sniffing and finding the hide. Turbo had no idea he was at a competition. All he knew was he was there to have a good time.

We both had a lot of fun, plus we saw many of our K9 Nose Work friends, so it felt like a party all the way around.

So what's ahead? I'm doing a special K9 Nose Work session at Waterford High School on October 11th. The dogs will have the opportunity to search class rooms, lockers and containers.

We will also use this location to help dogs work through anxieties of doing stairs and waiting in stairwells. This can be a frightening thing for some dogs. I found that out when I trialed with Turbo for his NW2. We had to wait in a stairwell and because of the open rails, Turbo was quite frightened and was pulling to get away from that area. This taught me that I had not exposed him to something of this nature.

Now we can take the opportunity to work with dogs to help them if they are afraid. But we can do this in a relaxed environment without the pressure of a trial. They will also have the opportunity to work their dog riding in an elevator if the students want to try that.

October 17th and 18th - I'll be attending another K9 Nose Work workshop with Leah Gangelhoff. She was the CO for Turbo's NW2. Leah has a great sense of humor, so I'm very much looking forward to learning from her that weekend.

The Fall session of classes will begin the week of October 26th. I will have the schedule posted soon.

November 14th - I am attending the Policeman's Ball to benefit all of Racine County (WI) K9 units. This is a fabulous fundraiser to benefit all of the working canines in Racine County, both the City of Racine and the Racine County Sheriff's Office canines. As you know, I am very active with the RCSO K9 Units, so I am very excited about participating in this fundraiser. I had a blast last year and I know I'll have the same this year.

IMPORTANT: I am looking for instructors to teach competition agility, competition obedience, Rally O and reactive dog classes. If you are experienced in any of these areas and are a force-free, positive reinforcement trainer, please email me to set-up an interview:

Here's to a beautiful Fall season!

Looking forward to having fun with many of you and your precious canine companions.

Stay pawsative and keep training happy!



Summer is in Full Swing!

Hi, Friends -

This has been a very busy Spring and Summer!

There were two K9 Nose Work trials I volunteered at in May and June. It is always interesting being a part of a trial; especially when you get the opportunity to watch the competitors. I was the Judge's Steward at the NW1 Element Trial held at the Bristol Renaissance Faire grounds in May. That was a unique location to hold a trial and a lot of fun for me.

The second trial was an NW2 held at Waukesha South High School. I was the videographer for the exterior element. I was a bit nervous about video recording, as I had not done that before and I wanted to be sure I was getting exactly what was needed. It turned out to be a fun job, as I was able to watch in detail each competitor that worked that element.

In May, I hosted a Self-Defense Class. Daniel Antolec and his wife, Faye demonstrated a number of Dan and Faye Antolec demonstrating a self-dense techniqueself-defense techniques to several of my colleagues from the Force-Free Trainers of Wisconsin group. It's funny that we are a force-free organization for animals, yet we had to learn how to use forceful techniques in this class. Dan and Faye did an outstanding job and everyone who attended had a lot of fun.

In my advanced K9 Nose Work classes, I've been taking students Duke finding a hide on a tankto a variety of more unique locations. This is to broaden the skills of the handlers and dogs. We have been enjoying our unusual vehicle searches, tanks. The dogs have not been intimated by the size and structure of these massive vehicles.

In June, Jolene Zimdars with JoZ Photography came and did outdoor portraits and agility action shots. We were concerned about the weather, as rain was in the forecast. Fortunately, we lucked out with the weather and Jolene was able to take many beautiful outdoor portraits of canines with their people. I will be posting some of the pictures that Jolene took of me and my German shepherd, Turbo.

This is also a busy time for seminars and workshops. I'm attending the Jacy Kelley "How I Do It - Search Plans and Tactics" workshop the weekend of July 11-12. August 22nd-23rd I'm attending the Amy Herot "Containers with Confidence" seminar. I will be bringing a lot more information back to my students to help them progress in their training. I'm looking forward to attending these continuing education weekends.

Deputy Ed and K9 Friday - Break time!I had the opportunity to do another ride-along with Deputy Ed Drewitz and K9 Friday on June 24th. It was an uneventful day on the Interstate, with some minor traffic violations, but thankfully no accidents.

The bond I've witnessed with Ed and Friday is just as strong as what I've seen with my students whose dogs are family companions. When Ed takes Friday out for a break, some fun playtime happens. When Friday isn't on the job, he's a typical happy, playful dog who loves to fetch balls and play tug-o-war. He is also very affectionate. Ed gives lots of hugs to his K9 partner.

On June 26th, I was invited by the Racine County Sheriff's K9 Unit to attend theirK9 Murphy locates hidden drugs under this cabinet in a vacant building training day. That was incredibly fun and at times, quite intense to watch! Each Deputy worked their dogs in a variety of scenarios: Tracking a suspect outdoors and in a large building; drug searches in a large building as well as object searches outdoors. I saw many similarities between the way my students' dogs search in K9 Nose Work and the way the professional K9s search. They are just alot more intense with their search techniques.

There is never a dull moment at Paws-A-Tive Choice, LLC. We try to pack in as much fun as we can and keep the training uplifting.

Until next time, stay pawsative and remember to always train happy!


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