Apps we love

July 21, 2016
Need help training your dog?

There's an app for that.

Here are our favourite training related apps.

Sound Proof Puppy Training - iTunes , Google (Paid app.)

Soundproof Puppy Training app allows you to condition your dog to a variety of sounds.
The app includes thunderstorms, kids playing, crowds, dogs, grooming tools and more.

The app even has a grooming feature that includes the sound of hair clippers, as well as vibration.

Dog Decoder - iTunes (Paid app.)

Canine body language at your finger tips and on the go. Dog Decoder has categories for Emotional States (fear, anxiety, confidence, etc), Greetings, Calming Signals (blinking, tongue flick, yawing, etc), Stress Signals (panting, paw lift, etc), Play Signals, and more.

This app will educate you on the various body language signals your dog displays throughout the day. The app also includes a short quiz to test your current knowledge on canine body language (kids love this quiz).

Pet Poisons App
- iTunes (Paid app.)

This is a commonly used app on my phone. The app includes a very long list of various poisons that your dog or cat may get into.
The list includes various plants, human food, human medication, cosmetics, fertilizers, and much more.
Each poison is graded on how toxic is it, lists symptoms, and provides a detailed description of the poison.

You can also call the Pet Poison Hotline from within the app (there is a charge).

Finding Rover - iTunes, Google (Free app.)

Finding Rover brings facial recognition to the dog world.
Using facial recognition the app can help locate the owner of a lost pet based on a photo of the dog.

The phone can also use your current location to search for lost or found dogs in your area.

Users create profiles for their pets which includes a photo, description, markings, and additional information.

Fenzi Dog Sports Reinforcement
- iTunes (Free app.)

A Facebook suggested app. The Fenzi Dog Sports Reinforcement app allows you to customize the rate and types of reinforcement during your training.
The app has a timer and gives you cues of when to reward your dog, and what type of reward to use based on your preset parameters.

We have yet to use this app but it would be perfect for building duration and changing up your reinforcement schedule.

Dogsafe Dog in a Hot Car Checklist (Google) Paid app.

"Get step-by-step guidance to respond and document your actions, then send date to police, animal control, and veterinarians."

We hope you enjoy these apps and find them as helpful as we do.
Do you have a favourite dog app? Let us know on Facebook.

*iTunes links for paid apps are affiliated links*


Are your pets prepared for an emergency?

May 2, 2016
It's wildfire season again. This time of year always gets me thinking and planning.
At the time of writing this there are about 18 fires in the province of Alberta. Most are considered 'Under Control', but 3 are 'Out of Control'. Within the last 24 hours there has been a mandatory evacuation issued in Northern Alberta (Wildfire Status).

Of course wildfires, or the threat of a wildfire, are not the only reason we may need to evacuate.
A gas leak in your home may require you to leave for a few hou...
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I am afraid of the Dentist

November 17, 2015
I am very afraid of the Dentist, and I do not know why. Nor do I know when it started exactly.
As a kid, and even a teenager, I could have my teeth cleaned, poked and prodded, and even filled with only a small amount of anxiety.
These days, however, I require sedation for most procedures.
I do not remember any specific visits that were more traumatizing than others. Perhaps the Dentist touched a particularly painful tooth, or those little wedges were left in too long and I started to panic. 
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All About Nails

October 15, 2015
Nail trimmings are an essential part of your dogs health. Nails that are too long can change your dogs posture, putting additional strain on their joints. Long nails can also be extremely painful. 

Most dogs do not enjoy having their feet touched. Many dogs require training and patience. Making the process a positive experience will help reduce the stress of nail trims for you and your dog. 

Part 2 can be found here.

The next steps in having successful nail trims is the equipment you choose.

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What's all the barking about?

July 28, 2015
Do you have a vocal dog? A dog who likes to voice their opinion on just about everything? Or maybe they bark just for the sake of hearing their own voices? 

We can easily teach our dogs when barking is appropriate and when it is not.

But first, let's look at why dogs bark.

Dogs bark to communicate with other dogs. If you live in a neighbourhood with multiple dogs you've probably noticed one dog barks and soon after every dog for a 2 block radius is chiming in. 
We can only speculate as to what th...
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1000 Treat Challenge Pt 2

March 23, 2015
Full Disclosure: I have not been very consistent. I knew when I started that this would probably be the case, hence why I never made a solid schedule or time frame to complete The Challenge in.

That does not matter. What does matter is that we are trying :)

In the past week we have worked on behaviours that Symka does know. This helps to increase the reinforcement history of behaviours that are sometimes neglected or forgotten about.

The biggest one is probably giving her eye drops. She does not...
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The 1000 Treat Challenge

March 16, 2015

A recent Facebook post inspired me to take part in The 1000 Treat Challenge. Original Blog is Here.
I confess, I don't always take the time to work on strengthening current behaviours, I tend to spend more time training new tricks and fun things.
The Treat Challenge was the perfect excuse to get Symka and I doing the real work. 

I sat down Friday night to cut up 1000 pieces of lamb lung so we could begin Saturday.

Our first stop was the pet store, the perfect place for Symka to sniff and explor...

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Resource Guarding

February 6, 2015

Does your dog growl, snarl, or snap to control access to valuable resources such as food, toys, or sleeping areas?

Before we look further into this increasingly common problem, let us first imagine a simple scenario.

Imagine you have a 6 year old child and have recently had a new born baby.

This new born baby obviously does not speak, does that mean they can not communicate?

Of course not. Babies do what babies do best, they cry. Spend enough time around a newborn and you will become ...

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You were told to do WHAT?

July 17, 2014
A recent discussion on Facebook among fellow dog trainers has resulted in a long list of various techniques owners have been told in order to get compliance from their dogs.
These myths range from silly, abusive, to downright disturbing. 

New puppy owners tend to get bombarded with 'advice' from anyone and everyone. There are TV celebrities, friends, family members, fellow dog owners, even complete strangers on the street.
Before implementing any type of advice first ask yourself "Would I feel c...
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Is your pet info up to date?

July 17, 2014
Warmer weather tends to get us moving. Whether we're camping, visiting a long distance relative, or heading out on a road trip.
Many of us love to take our dogs to share in these adventures with us.

Losing a pet is heartbreaking enough. Losing a pet in an unfamiliar area can make your search more difficult.
The most reliable and loyal pets can easily go missing in strange places. Something as simple as a storm can cause a dog to panic and run off.

As I prepare for my summer vacation I have also d...
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About Me

Sheena Neil Owner/Trainer Keystone Training