House Training Tips

Heeler puppy quote
First things first make a very clear constant schedule. Make sure the whole family agrees on it.   Your schedule must be the same, everyday. 

This should include:

  • A potty break as soon as they wake up.

  • Never leave the food bowl down.  Feed your dog and if they don’t eat pick up the food after thirty minutes

  • Two feedings a day

  • A potty break after each meal

  • Kennel when unable to supervise the more we can catch them in the act the better.

  • A potty break before bed time

If you have a very young dog or a puppy kennel training might be a great opportunity to address house training along with other Behavior challenges such as trash can diving and chewing too!click here for kennel training

A very old or very young dog may not be able to hold it for very long. Consider these questions when determining this:

  • Does he or she hold it in the kennel? 

Do they seem to know when they are looking for a place to go?


  • Clean accidents with an enzymatic cleanser to minimize odors that might attract the dog back to the same spot.

  • Once your dog is house trained in your home, he may still have accidents when visiting others’ homes. That’s because dogs need to generalize their learning to new environments. Just because they seem to know something in one place does NOT mean that they’ll automatically know that thing everywhere. You’ll need to watch your dog carefully when you visit new places together and be sure to take him out often.

  • Likewise, if something in your dog’s environment changes, he may have a lapse in house training. For example, a dog might seem completely house trained until you bring home a large potted tree—which may look to him like a perfect place to lift his leg!

  • Never leave your dog unsupervised, until he/she is house trained. It’s okay to give them a kong in the kennel while you take a shower.

  • Give your dog a treat after going potty outside.

  • Don’t bring your dog inside right after she goes potty, some dogs will start to hold it in hopes of going for a longer walk.
  • If you would like to teach your dog to ring a bell to alert you when they have to go out please start here:  bell training
  • Bennett Canine Training
picking dog food, puppy dog food

What Should I Feed

picking dog food, puppy dog food

Adopting a new dog as an incredibly exciting experience whether you’ve just purchased a new puppy from breeder or you adopted from your local shelter. As exciting as it is your bound to have lots of questions about properly taking care of your dog.

One of the most common questions that I am asked of new pet parents is “What should I feed my new pet?” It can be confusing navigating the waters and everyone seems to have a bias when it comes to dog food.  Many shelters and vet clinics receive kickbacks from dog food companies, so how do you know you are feeding the right product.

First understand everyone you ask will have a different opinion on the right dog food, but what is important is that you take a few minutes to research what the right food for YOUR dog is.

Choosing a dog food is a personal decision and a lot of people feel very strongly about their pets nutrition, for good reason. Some people swear by raw diets only and other swear by a good quality kibble.

I am going to give you some guidelines that will help guide you on your journey of finding a great dog food that should be easy to follow.

Choose a dog food that has meat as a first ingredient.

While there is some debate on whether a grain free diets is best for all dogs it is defiantly agreed on that meat should be the first ingredient in any quality dog food. Look at the list of ingredients not just the front of the bag. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed by weight. Ingredients that contain large amounts of moisture (such as beef, poultry, chicken, or fish) are likely to be at the top of the list because of the moisture content. Ingredients further down the list may offer even more key nutrients such as protein but may weigh less because the water has already been removed for a dry pet food. When reading the ingredients also remember that ingredients labeled “by-products” include highly digestible and nutritious organs, such as the liver and lungs. They do NOT include things like hair, horns or hooves, as advertising gimmicks would have you believe

Consider special special needs.

 A giant breed puppy will need a dog food that has the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio. Giant breeds need slightly less calcium. Too much calcium can also increase the incidence of any one of those very painful developmental bone diseases. The challenge is to provide just enough calcium to reduce the risk of bone problems while supplying levels that allow for maximum growth potential.  As long as you are feeding a balanced diet, never supplement a large and giant breed puppy with a mineral supplement.  Look for a 1:1 ratio.

An overweight dog may need a low-calorie dog food, Consider changing your dog’s food for a veterinary diet designed to tackle obesity; these foods contain more bulk and less calories, so that you can tackle your dog’s weight without having to dramatically reduce the size of their meals.

Feeding active Sporting Dog may need a high protein and high fat blend. Fat is the active dog’s primary source of energy. This should combine with highly digestible ingredients to provide the right nutrition for highly active dogs and to promote weight gain during convalescence.

What about Raw diets?

Raw diets are great they may require more prep time and it is very important that you balance the raw food that you feed. There are two primary types of raw diets BARF and PREY.

About PREY

The prey model raw diet mimics the prey killed by wolves in the wild where a wolf would eat the entire animal, meat, bones, organs and all.  The prey model does not consider dogs to be omnivores and believe that they do not need vegetables, fruits, and additional supplements.

About BARF

The Bones and Raw Food (BARF) diet was developed by Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst. Billinghurst suggest that dogs would thrive on a diet based on what canines ate before they became domesticated. The BARF diet is more balanced and provides your dog meats, bone, fruits, vegetables, and supplements .

Just as important as what you feed your dog you should consider how you feed your dog. If you just purchased a new puppy or dog consider hand feeding through the first three weeks.  This not only is a great way to build a bond, but it allows you to practice important skills like obedience, luring or shaping.

enrichment feeder

Enrichment Feeder

Don’t waste meal times by just tossing your kibble in a bowl and food bowl and a enrichment feeder cost about the same. By using a enrichment feeder you will be turning meal time into a opportunity to provide your dog with a mental workout.


Check out threes excellent resources:

Click here for help picking quality kibble

Click here to learn more about raw food.

shelter dog adopted food



Escaping Dog

I’m often surprised that people are not more concerned when their dog escapes.  Besides fear of receiving a summons from Animal Control there are a lot of dangers present even in a calm neighborhood.  Dogs may run into suburban wildlife like raccoons and coyotes.  They may be hit by a car.  There is also a strong possibility they may have a run in with a leashed neighborhood dog.   Most dogs act very different if they are running loose and their owners aren’t around. If your dog is escaping you should take corrective action ASAP.

Management (making him want to be in the yard)

Dogs need activities to keep them busy. If we don’t provide them appropriate activities and keep their minds stimulated, your intelligent, healthy dog will find things to do on his own. Normal dog behavior includes chewing, jumping, digging, running the fence line, and tearing things apart.

Bringing your dog inside when you aren’t home is a sure fire way to keep your dog from getting out as well.  If you feel bad about leaving your dog in all day then a dog walker or doggy daycare might be just the solution for you!

Games that utilize your dog’s nose are great exercise.

 A very large portion of a dog’s brain controls their olfactory function, therefore, the more we create activities where they get to use their nose, the more stimulated and tired they will get.

-Keep lots of different things for him to do in the yard.  Fill your rubber kong with goodies, and have the treat dispensing toy outside too.  Change what they are filled with daily, so they don’t get bored.

 -As he gets better and better at finding and playing with those goodies, you can hide them in more and more challenging locations.  This will help tier out his mind much faster.

-A tired dog is a good dog.  Add exercise into your dog’s daily routine and make sure that he has plenty of time to run. Maybe go to a big fenced in baseball field, use a longer leash when out for walks, or try flirt pole training for your dog.

Fencing should be able to keep your dog in even if he wants to get out.

Check your gate regularly and teach your kids to as well.  If your kids are not good about securing the gate consider using a lock with a key, so you know when the gate is being opened. (The kids will have to get the key from you)

Inspect your fence and look for broken pickets.  These can be replaced pretty easily and you can replace the single picket.  If one picket is broken your dog can easily break more while you are at work for the day. I’m sure you have heard the saying good fences make good neighbors.

If your dog is going up and over the fence coyote rollers maybe a excellent solution.

For information about coyote rollers: click here

Keeping your dog safely secured in your home and yard is one of the most important responsibilities of being a responsible pet owner and depending on where you live there maybe low-cost options for help with building fence for your dog.

Canine Good Citizen

I love the Canine Good Citizen test and I know my students that have earned the title love it too. We have a lot of fun in these classes and it is the first title that most people earn with their dogs.    Any dog regardless of if they are AKC registered can earn the Canine Good Citizen certificate.

This is a title that handlers of all ages can participate in.  Our youngest for handler I’m the last testing event was just nine!

This is a great title if your goal is to have a well-behaved family dog or if you’re interested in moving on to Dog Sports like Rally  or IPO.  

Week 1 in our Canine Good Citizen package starts off with a mock test allowing us to evaluate where each dog is in their training.  We work with each dog and handler then the week before our test day we actually go out and enjoy a patio lunch with our dogs after class.  This allows dogs practice holding a down stay while their pet parents enjoy a lunch.  It’s a great opportunity for dogs to practice their training in a real life scenario, plus it allows students to show off the skills with their dogs learned.

There are other benefits to earning a Canine Good Citizen as well such as free City Licensing, discounts on renters insurance and discounts on hotels when you travel with your dog.

Here’s a little about the test!

1: Accepting a friendly stranger
2: Sitting politely for petting
3: Appearance and grooming

4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
5: Walking through a crowd
6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
7: Coming when called
8: Reaction to another dog
9: Reaction to distraction
10: Supervised separation

This intermediate obedience class is designed for dog’s who have already completed formal beginner obedience and formal intermediate obedience classes, or have a very solid training foundation at home.

 Not sure if your dog is ready for this advanced obedience class? Just ask us, we are happy to help! 

For more detailed information about what each test involves, please visit

We offer a 6 week CGC Training Package for $130 and if you only want to test it’s just $15.00

Teaching Puppies To Let Go Of Objects

puppy Classroom
“Help!!!  My puppy is chewing on the piddle pads. He picks them up and runs
around the house like he is declaring catch me if you can. I know I
shouldn’t chase my puppy, but what should I do? Help it is making my
wife crazy!”

Your puppy isn’t the first puppy to discover this really fun way to
activate a vigorous game of chase with his owners. Everyone is
sitting in the living room playing on their phone or watching TV, the
puppy goes and picks up the piddle pad (or sock) and all of a sudden
every one’s full attention is on puppy. Oh and what a fun game of
catch me if you can is.

Let’s start by focusing by seeing this from your puppy’s point of view
and imagine for a moment I asked you if I could take a look at the
twenty in your wallet. Let’s pretend you hand it to me and I slipped
it into my pocket and walked away.  Would you show me your fifty?

We have to acknowledge that even though it is just a pee pad to us it
is a prized toy of the puppy’s. This can actually create much bigger
problems in the future. Fear of having prized objects stolen is what
creates resource guarding which is a dangerous behavior problem for a
adult dog.

Turn the tables on the chase game
Maybe don’t start this with a pee pad, but instead have play this game
with several dog toys. Toss a ball, tug or dog toy 2-3 feet away from
your feet and as soon as your puppy picks it up in their mouth run
away from your puppy while showing your puppy another toy in you
hands. Say “bring” when your puppy starts heading away. Keep your
sessions short and use different toys each session. Remember to run
away from your puppy not towards your puppy. Once your puppy is in
the great habits of running towards you with objects he picks up try
using this when your puppy has objects he shouldn’t.

Teaching your puppy to share prizes and teaching drop on request
Sharing a prized pinecone that your puppy found while out on his walk
may not be at the top of his to do list, but we can teach your puppy
that sharing prizes is actually a big win for him. If he thinks
sharing is a good idea than that’s a win for you too.
For this you will need to have 5-7 object your dog likes to pick up
like a paper towel, pine cone, stick, feather duster, slipper, ect.
You will also need high value crumbly treats like crumbled cheese or
blue buffalo dog treat rolls.
In a empty room with nothing on the floor walk around and say “drop”
1- 2 seconds after saying “drop” place 3-4 crumbled treats on the
floor. Repeat this 15 times.
Then put one of your decoy objects on the ground and completely ignore
your puppy and object. Walk around and say drop then place the treats
on the ground even if your puppy still has the decoy object in his/her
mouth. Repeat this 10 times with each decoy object. Remember don’t
try to pick up the object just leave it on the ground. It’s okay if
your puppy goes back and picks up the object.
Once your dog gets comfortable leaving the decoy object for the
dropped treats then you can say “drop” and only drop the treats once
your puppy spits out the object. Don’t try to steal the prized
possession from your puppy right away unless it is something
dangerous. Instead do three to five drops each time your puppy picks
up something he shouldn’t.

Putting it all together
Now your puppy knows “bring” and “drop” so if you see your puppy pick
something up that he should have ask your puppy to bring and then ask
for a drop. Be sure to reward your puppy well the better the prize he
has the better your should reward your puppy.
Good luck with training puppies can be a lot of work just remember
train smarter not harder. If your puppy thinks it’s a good idea he is
sure to do the behavior you want.
Teaching drop

Games For Kids And Dogs

We love having kids join our training classes a lot of time parents are unsure of how to include their children in their dogs training. This article focuses on games that can keep both your kids and dogs occupied while teaching each other appropriate interactions.

Games to encourage kids to be involved with the dog’s training.

Red Light Green Light:

Who is it good for?

It is good for any dogs or puppies that get to excited when the kids play.

Here is how to play:
Have the kids run around the back yard (green light) any time the dog/puppy gets in the children’s personal space to much such as jumping, mouthing or getting to rough yell red light. The kids freeze and you get a sit from your dog. Once your dog sit you can restart the game with a green light. This helps a dogs learn boundaries getting too close to the kids while they are playing ends the game and helps to teach puppies how to control themselves.

Make your own obstacle course:

Who is it good for?

 Almost all dogs and puppies as ling as they can take treats gently.

Here is how to play:
Supply your kids with regular house hold objects like cardboard boxes, laundry baskets, broom sticks, step stools, or kids tunnels. Help your kids use these things to make their own obstacle course. Then give your kids a treat and see who can get their dog to go through the course the fastest. This helps dogs to learn how to be lured and it helps kids understand how to get dogs to do what they want without physically manipulating them.

Hide and Seek:
Who it is good for?

It is good for all dogs and puppies that can take treats gently.

Here is how to play:
Start by having the kids hide in the same room as the dog give each kid a treat. Tell the dog find “Molly” or find “Johnny” then ignore your dog and let the child he is finding call him. When the dog/puppy finds the correct person he gets a treat. When the dog/puppy gets the hang of it you can use the whole house to play.
This helps your puppy learn to come when called and learn the family member’s names.

Round Robin:
Who is it good for?

All dogs and puppies that can take treats gently.
Here is how to play:
Everyone should have a few treats maybe five (let the children count the treats and pass them out). Everyone should stand in circle and with your dog in the middle have the first person walk up to the dog put the treat to the dog’s nose and say “Come” Once they say “come” have them run back into their place in the circle when the puppy gets to them give them 1 treat. Have the person on the other side of the circle call the dog and then take turns. It is important that if the dog comes to the wrong person the person who didn’t call the dog ignores them completely until it is their turn.
This teaches kids how to call their dog and it teaches dogs to come to everyone in the family!

Find It:
Who is it good for?

Dogs with extra energy

Here is how to play:
Hold your dog by the collar and have your child hide your dog’s favorite treat (Insight at first, once they get better the hiding spot can be harder) When your child is done hiding the treat have your kiddo come back and tell your dog to “Find it” as soon as the child cues the dog to “find it” release the collar!

Good luck with training your dog or puppy! Getting the whole family involved helps to ensure that your puppy or dog can be handled and controlled by all family members and more importantly it teaches children safe ways to interact with their dogs and builds a unbreakable bond!

Want your kids to do more with your dogs? 

For more ways to keep your kids involved with raising the dog click here

Stay in a Open Kennel

Teach Your Dog to Stay in a Open Kennel

Now that you’ve got your puppy entering his kennel like a rockstar you’re next goal is going to be teaching your puppy to want to stay in their kennel. Dogs that want to stay in their kennel will be quiet when in a kennel, they will be less likely to try escaping through the day and you can have the kennel door open while they remain kenneled.

Before you practice this one your puppy should already know that the word “kennel” means go inside your kennel. If your puppy doesn’t click here to see how to teach that.
For teaching your dog to stay in a kennel with an open door you’re going to need a lot of yummy treats. If your dog is really food motivated, I recommend just using his dinner, because like I said we’re going to use a lot of treats. If your puppy isn’t easily motivated by food may need to use something yummier like diced hot dogs or moist training treats just make sure you have them cut up into small pieces.

Tell your puppy “kennel” and when your puppy enters the kennel jackpot three treats towards the middle or back of the kennel. Be sure to toss the three treats one at a time, but one right after the other.

For the first 10 seconds your puppy is in the kennel you’re going to toss one treat for every second that your puppy chooses to stay in the kennel. Even if the only reason they are staying in the kennel is because they are looking for treats. Make sure that you toss the treats to the middle or back of the kennel. Don’t forget to only toss one treat at a time.

During this step your puppy wants to get out of the kennel before the 10 seconds is up that is totally fine. Let your puppy choose to exit the kennel if he wishes, don’t try to body block your puppy or to use the door to prevent him from exiting the kennel. Your puppy is going to learn from leaving the kennel. What your puppy will figure out that it’s less rewarding on the outside of the kennel and he will likely choose to go back into the kennel.

If your puppy decides to stay inside the kennel after the first 10 seconds, then for the next 10 seconds you’re going to give your puppy a treat for every three seconds they stay in the kennel. You’re still only tossing one treat at a time and you’re still trying to toss the tree into the back of the kennel or the middle of the kennel.

If your puppy chose to exit the kennel during this exercise don’t worry! It’s no loss to you. Your not missing out on any super yummy treats. When the puppy exits the kennel simply pause and take a step away from your puppy. Don’t pay the puppy any attention. Your puppy will eventually go back inside the kennel to see if he missed any treats. When he does say your marker word, “Yes” go back to step one where you jackpot your puppy with three treats.

Excellent job! By now your puppy is choosing to stay in the crate on his own for 20 seconds. You’ve gotten at least 5 repetitions successfully where your puppy hasn’t tried to exit the kennel after 20 seconds.
Now you can continue to gradually add duration in between treats.

Before you know it you’ll be having to talk your puppy out of leaving the kennel. The goal is to have your puppy have the mindset of “Why would I ever leave here? This is a very rewarding place to be. If I stay in here on my own choice I get treats, but if I exit the kennel I get nothing.”

As your puppy gets better at this exercise and you can add other challenges like taking a step or two away from the kennel returning and treating your puppy. Once your puppy is successful at that for multiple repetitions then you can try to take even more steps away from your puppy returning and giving your puppy a treat for choosing to stay in the kennel. Remember don’t correct your puppy if he exits the crate. It’s his choice, but he’ll learn soon enough that leaving the kennel means he’s missing out on exciting rewards.