Genie Tuttle CPDT-KA CNWI

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Genie Tuttle is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Professional Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).  Genie has a Bachelor's degree in Communication from California State University, Northridge and has been training dogs of all breeds for more than 25 years.  A lifelong dog lover, she has worked for private training companies, Parks and Recreation departments and a big box pet supply chain prior to launching her own business, Dog Genie in 2003.  Dog Genie is a training company specializing in teaching people how to successfully use positive communication techniques with their dogs for a lifetime of happiness and understanding. From group clicker training classes, to customized private lessons, Genie enjoys teaching people in and around Southern California the power of positive reinforcement.  Her background is in Corporate Communications, Public Relations, Marketing Operations, Fundraising and Event Planning.

Genie has been a greyhound owner since 1993 and serves on the Board of Directors for Homestretch Greyhound Rescue & Adoption, an official 501(c)(3) charity located in Fillmore, California where she serves as the Director of Media Relations and Training.

Genie can be reached at:  [email protected] or www.doggenie.com

Blog posts by Genie Tuttle CPDT-KA CNWI

What if We Practiced Dog Ownership First?

 

We’ve all heard the familiar pleas: “Can we get a dog?” “I want a dog, look how cute he is!” Dogs are tons of fun and having a canine companion is great, but what’s involved with owning a dog can catch a person off guard.

So how about this rogue idea for first timers or parents teaching their children – set up practice sessions (think training trials for humans) and actually do several of the things involved with being a dog guardian BEFORE actually getting a real live dog? Test the waters so to speak. A stuffed animal dog would be a light and funny surrogate, a form of “successive...

Shelter dog, "Cowboy" is a K9 Nose Work superstar!
Cowboy searching vehicles for the target scent, birch

K9 Nose Work® for Shelter Dogs - Enrichment for Both Ends of the Leash

K9 Nose Work® for Shelter Dogs – Enrichment for Both Ends of the Leash

by Genie Tuttle, CPDT-KA, CNWI

The thought of visiting an animal shelter, much less regularly volunteering at one is daunting for many animal lovers, especially those of us who sense the animals’ pleas to find a new home as we walk past kennel after kennel of ever hopeful eyes. Up until recently, I was that person during visits to my local shelter, walking around in tears wearing dark sunglasses, while avoiding eye contact with other “two-leggeds”. It felt so overwhelming and hopeless.

Times have changed! The animal shelter...

Empathy for the Reactive Dog – Keepin’ it Real

Living with a reactive dog is a humbling experience on many levels. The understanding of the world that humans gain via language, experience and rational explanations for nearly everything are not part of the reactive dog's natural repertoire. However, we might be more similar at a basic level than we choose to admit. Taking time to shake off the clinical topography and protocols now and then and just reconnecting with how fear really feels can make us better trainers.

One of my dogs, Niki, came to us at 2 years old from the greyhound racing industry where he grew up and raced his entire

The Importance of “Paying it Forward” – Mentoring New Trainers

Out of the blue one day I was contacted by a professional dog training company to see if I was willing to become a “mentor trainer” for them. I have to admit, at first I did not jump at the opportunity.  My first thought was, “Why would I want to do that? Why would I want to share what I know with someone else just so they can compete with me?” I let those thoughts roll around in my head for a while, but something about them didn’t feel right.  After all, where would most of us be without the intellectual generosity of Dr. Ian Dunbar, Kathy Sdao, Jean Donaldson, Pat Miller, Karen Pryor,

Party with Premack!

One of my clients recently adopted a sweet, 70 pound, two-year-old mixed-breed from the shelter named Nicky, and I’m thrilled to be working with her. We don’t know much about her past other than that she has clearly had a litter of puppies, but she is delighted to be in her forever home with her Beagle pal Koby. After a nasty initial bout with Kennel Cough and intestinal parasites, Nicky got back on her paws and was ready for some training. We mastered basic skills inside her home and conquered problem barking and moderate separation anxiety. She did well with her “Watch” focus

Black greyhound doing nose work at a park

How Nose Work Classes Helped to Rehabilitate my Dog-Reactive Greyhound

Judging from the scars all over his body, and the chunks of skin missing from both ears, my retired racing greyhound, Niki, must have been quite a target for the other dogs at the greyhound track he was rescued from. It’s not a stretch to understand why he was so dog-reactive. As a dog trainer for more than twenty-five years, I’ve seen quite a bit of reactivity, but none as wild as Niki’s. He would flip, spin, bark, lunge, growl and in general cause quite a scene at the sight of a dog from any distance away. From a cosmetic standpoint he is “funny looking” at best. His face is

Animal Shelter Team Gathered for a Meeting About Postivie Dog Training

Shelter Enrichment - Not Just For Dogs

Yesterday was a great day, a day when I felt like I had gotten in the game and put action behind my convictions. I’m passionate about keeping dogs in living rooms and out of shelters. I’m passionate about teaching people that behavioral issues can be solved humanely and positively. I’m passionate about spreading the word of positive training techniques far and wide. But passion is pointless when kept to yourself, and I honestly believe that actions speak louder than words.

When asked to put on a workshop about dog training for staff and volunteers at a local no-kill shelter, I wasn’t quite

Greyhound dog stretching on a fit ball next to cavaletti poles

Fitness Routines for Dogs

It happened one day when I wasn’t looking. Time snuck by and suddenly my “new dogs” turned into my “aging dogs” seemingly in the blink of an eye. We adopted them from a greyhound rescue on the same day 9 years ago, when both were 2 years old. The thrill of getting to know them and show them the world was captivating and certainly something all dog-lovers understand. So much to learn and do, so little time. But we never looked at it that way.

 
Greyhound participating in a Nose Work Class

A Sighthound's Adventure in Nose Work

When you are the parent of an older, somewhat impaired dog, it can sometimes seem like the fun and games are over for the most part and that all you can do is love them to pieces while you can. Enter K9 Nose Work for companion dogs. This sport has been around for about 5 years now and is a fun activity to do with dogs of various abilities and skill levels.

 
Dog Owner in Crate with Dog Relaxing Outside Crate

Time Outs for Dog Lovers

Dogs are amazing, we all adore dogs but how much is too much? Is there such a thing? Some dog/owner teams get the balance just right while others seem to be in need of an intervention. We talk about “hyper vigilance” in reactive dogs but many owners act the same way when it comes to fussing over their canine’s every perceived need or behavior. Much of the time dogs would be just fine if not for the stress cues of their owners. Can humans make their dogs more neurotic/aggressive/fearful or anxious by behaving a certain way? Is there such a thing as a codependent relationship between an owner and his or her dog? Most dog behavior professionals would say, “Yes” on both accounts.

 

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