Welcome to our Dog Blog with Free Tips!

dog blog with free tips
Welcome to our award winning Dog Blog with Free Tips on training and interesting advice with cute dog pics every week.  Learn about all topics dog related, from training and behavior advice to fun facts about dogs.  The Pooch Coach also shares her clients’ stories with you, which she hopes will inspire you to work with your dog to help them become the best dog they can be.


Never give up hope!  Whether it’s a slight inconvenience or annoyance, or a scary, huge issue, you can always get help for your pup.  Check out some of the great success stories, get some tips, and then give us a call if you’d like to join the pack!


If there are any topics you’d like to know more about, let us know!   We’re always looking for great ideas to add to our blog!


In August of 2016, Thoroughly Reviewed named The Pooch Coach Dog Blog with Free Tips one of the top 50 dog blogs in the world!  In September of 2016, Feedspot awarded us as one of the “top 100 dog blogs on the planet”! In November of 2017, we were honored with another award for Top 50 dog training blogs in the world by Mr Kortings Code.  In january, 2018, we got ranked on of the top dog blogs by Top Ranked Blogs.


top dog training blog

Dog Blog with Free Tips

Human Leash Pulling

Human Leash Pulling


Roscoe is a rare Pit-Lap-Dog.  What a lover, huh?
Pit bull training no leash pulling

One of the things we covered in this lesson was one of the most common issues & mistakes I deal with: leash pulling.  But not about the dog pulling – about the human pulling!


I have to teach & remind about 90% of my clients to not use the leash as a communication device with their dogs.  I tell them to be careful not to pull on it to have their dog “sit”, “come”, etc.

human leash pulling

Think you don’t do it?  Pay attention next time you’re walking your dog and you want him to stop sniffing something, or you want to get his attention when he sees a squirrel.  If you’re like the vast majority of dog owners, you’re pulling the leash to get him to listen.


But then you get upset when your dog pulls on the leash  to indicate where he wants to go!


A leash should not be used to tell your dog what you want him to do.  In fact, it should be used for emergencies only. If you need to get your dog’s attention, just tap him on his shoulder (or butt) with your fingertips just like you would a human. That should snap him out of his other focus.


He needs to learn to listen to your voice commands and you need to use those opportunities to practice. After all, why would he listen when he’s not on a leash if he’s used to you giving a tug with every command? Then we wonder why he’s “stubborn” in the house!


Plus, if YOU are pulling on the leash to try to get what you want, how can you expect your dog not to pull back to try to get what he wants??

stop dog leash aggression and dog lunging on leash

Dogs are just trying to communicate with us when they pull.


Lastly, pulling on a leash from either end is BAD.  It hurts your dog’s neck, throat & back as well as your shoulder, neck & back.  If nothing else we need to stop all pulling for the sake of everyone’s health.


So, please try to catch yourself next time you have your dog on the leash.  Make sure you’re not tugging instead of speaking to him.  I suggest using your other hand to hold the leash to help you break any bad habits.  Good luck!

Dog Halloween Costumes

Dog Halloween Costumes


The Halloween event at Jack London Square was fabulous!  Amazing costumes and tons of fun activities.   Check out the highlights here.  More great photos to come from Pipi at Soulful Pet Photography.  We took pics over 100 dogs today!


Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Kompis dons a witches hat

Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Greyhound AT-AT walker


Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites



Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites



Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Spaceship Dog


Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Lobster boil with chef


Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Bumble Bees


Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Fish dog


Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Super Dog


Kompis tries out the agility tunnel



Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

That other dog looks very thirsty


Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Bumble bees were popular


Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Contest finalists on stage


Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Hundreds of dogs with their people


Dog Halloween Costumes Jack London Square Boo, Bark, Brews & Bites

Kompis tries out the agility tunnel


Getting a New Dog

Getting a New Dog


Getting a new dog

Picking out a dog is not like choosing furniture. You can’t go on looks alone. And you don’t really want to just take a chance with something you find on the street.


You need to make sure a dog’s personality & energy matches yours. You also need to ensure he gets along with any animals you already have. The Pooch Coach can help take away some of the stress by helping you figure out the best fit for you and your family.


Check out our dog matchmaking service: poochcoach.com/find-the-perfect-dog/


This page also gives you some tips on finding a reputable source for getting a new dog… whether you’re looking to adopt, rescue or find a breeder, you’ll need to do your homework!


Hope you soon find your furry soulmate!


Getting a new dog

I’m waiting for you!



Coming when called

Coming when called


dog coming when called


Lucy is a 3-year-old Chihuahua who was adopted 2 years ago.  Her dads won The Pooch Coach free training session silent auction prize at PAWS’ wonderful Petchitecture  event earlier this year.


They chose to focus on brushing up on her recall, since she sometimes doesn’t listen when she’s being called to come.


Here are some tips I gave my clients for better recall:


  • Make sure you teach your dog the command “come” in the house and practice it to perfection before expecting him to listen outside.
  • Don’t punish your dog for coming! If your dog comes and gets leashed & taken home from the park, put in his crate, or gets an unwanted bath, he’s going to learn that it stinks to come. Make sure you make all “come” commands happy with positive outcomes for your pup.
  • Always make your dog come all the way to you and sit.  He should be comfortable having his collar grabbed so that anyone can read his ID tag & call you. This can be a life or death issue, as explained in this video from a Meetup earlier this year.  See below.


Dog Friendly Travel – Sonoma Wine Country Part 1

Dog Friendly Travel – Sonoma Wine Country Part 1



Kompis & I hit the road last month and tried out some new and some familiar wineries.  We made sure and grabbed a pic from each one to show you how fun they were for both us humans as well as our pup.


All of these first places we visited were right in the downtown area walking distance from each other.


Here are the first few places we visited:


First stop – Enkidu tasting room.  Nice wines.  Kompis wanted to move on and smell more stuff…

enkidu winery - dog friendly

Kompis enjoying our first stop


Next, we tried some nice wines at Rumpus Cellars.  There were more things to smell.  Plus, we bought some “balls of steel” as a gift for a friend.  They are great for keeping drinks cold without watering them down.. and some of the profits go to a good cause.

rumpus winery - dog friendly

Kompis checking out the space at Rumpus

Since, we are pros, there was no stopping us!  On to Adobe Road Winery, where they advertise their love of furry visitors.

Adobe Road Winery - dog friendly

Kompis felt very welcome here. There was even a dog bed for her to rest in!

We felt bad for Kompis not being able to taste the wine, so we stopped off at Three Dog Bakery and let her do some tasting of her own and bought a few cookies for the road.

three dog bakery - the pooch coach

So many yummy things to choose from!!

And, our last entry for this post, MacLaren Wine Co. literally welcomed Kompis with open arms!

maclaren wine co - dog friendly

Kompis with Ms MacLaren!


The only disappointing part of this part of our trip was that the town square, a grassy park, does not allow dogs!!  We snuck Kompis on for a little time of feeling grass under her paws.  But it was very sad that she wasn’t welcome there.


Look for more places you can bring your dog in Sonoma in another post later this month.

wine barrel dog bed - dog friendly travel

Kompis relaxes in style while her mom tastes some vino

Dogs can jump!

Dogs can jump!


Lucy makes her mom laugh.  But she also frustrates her at times because she jumps up on everyone to say hello. She muddies people at the dog park and even scares some people who are not so dog friendly.


Dogs can jump - How to stop them!

Lucy makes her mom crack-up

I always say that having an overly friendly dog is a good problem to have.  It’s easier – and more fun –  to curb enthusiasm than to have to help a fearful or aggressive dog learn to trust people. That can be heartbreaking!


But a dog jumping people to greet them is not only impolite, but can also be dangerous.  I’ve been involved in numerous court cases where people have been knocked over by a well-meaning dog and gotten horribly injured. I’ve seen broken arms, broken hips, and even fairly severe head injuries.   Then there’s also the court time and costs to deal with it all.  Not fun.   You need to fix the situation.


You don’t want your dog to injure anyone.  So how do you train your dog to stop jumping on you and others to say hello?


It’s easy!


Teach them what to do instead: Sit to be petted.


In fact, if you make it a rule that your dog never gets petted unless he’s sitting or lying down, then he will learn to request pets in this fashion rather than by jumping, pawing, whining or mouthing.


Here’s a short video with a quick tip for getting your dog on his way to sitting for greetings.



Happy & safe petting everyone!


Dogs & Baseball

Dogs & Baseball


Well, the season might be over for the SF Giants this year (Go Mets!).

But here are some great pics & memories of dogs & baseball from Dog Days at the Park earlier this year.






Dogs & Baseball



Levels of Dog Training

Levels of Dog Training


levels of dog training


Malakai is starting to catch on to basic commands, and now his mom needs to take him outside to get to the next level.


So, also following up from yesterday’s post… How do we get our dogs to listen to us all the time… no matter what is going on around us?


You have to do training in baby steps.  If you want your child to be a great baseball player, for example, you can’t just throw him out in left field and hope for the best.  You have to start with basic throw & catch practice and build up to longer throws & catches and then finally try hitting him some balls.  After a ton of practice, he still might drop a few under the pressure of an actual game, but he’s much more likely to catch some if he’s had time to gain the skills and confidence needed to perform.


It’s much the same with dogs. They can’t learn “down” or “stay” before learning “sit”.  And, if they barely listen to you in the house, they definitely aren’t going to listen to you at the dog park.


Here’s a short article with examples of different levels of dog training you can attain – from grade school to PhD! Check it out and see where your dog fits in and get some ideas for some new challenges for you to try.



Dog training levels

What grade is your dog in?