Casey Lomonaco KPA CTP


Casey Lomonaco is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy and proprietor of Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training in upstate New York.  Casey offers a variety of services to clients both in home and at the Clicking with Canines facility in Endicott, NY; including private lessons for a variety of species, off leash play groups, dog bite prevention education for various professional and children’s groups, as well as a number of group classes (puppy, foundation, scentwork, games, tricks, On the Town, etc.).
Casey offers seminars for dog trainers and training groups on establishing membership programs to maximize training revenue and profit as well as seminars on positive training for other dog professionals (veterinarians, groomers, shelter/rescue workers, dog walkers, pet sitters).
Casey enjoys writing about science-based behavior modification and training, and has published with,,,, and Tails Pet Media Group; and is also the 2009 Dogwise APDT John Fisher essay award winner (soon to be published in the APDT Chronicle).

Blog posts by Casey Lomonaco KPA CTP

Give Them What They Need

Everyone has a different definition of what constitutes a "good dog."  For trainers, it may mean a dog that can take home an OTCH, or a "bomb-proof" dog that can be used in behavioral consults with reactive dogs.  For an agility devotee, it would be a structurally sound dog that has the drive to compete.  Some people think a 300 yard stay and a bomb-proof recall makes a good dog.  For a hunter, the ability to work off leash in the fields and woods amidst extreme distractions constitutes a good dog.  Others think good dogs are those that will let children climb on and ride around on a dog with nary a calming signal.  Whether you want your dog to be a therapy dog, enjoy living happily in a home with many children, a multi-dog or multi-animal household, or whether you have competitive goals, whether you are a trainer or a devoted pet owner, we all get to define what a "good dog" is, and therefore, what level of investment we want to make in training a dog


When "Humane Societies" are anything but

Martha is an 83 year old woman.  She's a lovely lady, but after losing her husband, is a bit lonely.  Her children are grown, with children and agendas of their own.  They're busy, they don't call as often as they used to.  Martha wants a friend, desirous of the companionship she so misses.  She gets in her car and makes a trip to the local "humane society."  "May I see the dogs?" she asks. 

She is brought into the kennel area.  Looking over all the dogs, she finds one that tugs at her heart strings.  Enter Beau, a seventeen month old black Labrador Retriever.  Beau looks a lot like the first dog Martha and her husband George had adopted together.  "That's the one,"  she says, pointing and smiling at Beau.  The shelter volunteer nods, "that'll be $150 adoption fee and you can take Beau home today!"

Martha makes out the check and walks out to her car with Beau.

Crazy times with my angel, Monte

Yes, I really AM that crazy!

I choose to avoid violence in all my interactions with animals.  I don't use oxygen deprivation as a consequence to undesirable behavior, I don't grab dogs by the scruff, I don't spank dogs, I don't pinch ears or toes, I don't knee dogs in the chest, I don't do anything to try to mimic a bite.  I try to avoid the use of auditory aversives as well, including shouting at a dog.  Personally, I find those things to be disrespectful.  My human interactions have taught me that it takes respect to get respect, and I can't yet find evidence that this does not hold true in our relationships with canines as well.


Cryptozoology 101: The Hunt for the Elusive Prong-Collar Loving Dog


In my own practice, I don't condone the use of coercive training tools like prong collars, choke collars, and shock collars.   My experience and education has led me to the conclusion that such tools are not necessary and that at best, they are a band-aid and at worst, they are fraught with side effects, often worsening the problems they were supposed to correct. 


Seven Seeking Games with Madison Moore

Ah, January.  The time for resolutions and my Southern friends to scoff at my discomfort in a perpetual twenty below wind tunnel.

Alas, not this year!  The winter of 2010 is leaving much of the country in a deep chill, and the effects of this arctic blast have put dog owners in between the proverbial rock and hard place.  We want to provide our dogs with plenty of exercise, physical and mental, but in many areas, there are advisories indicating that folks should not stay out in the frigid temperatures any longer than is necessary.


The Life of the Party: holiday entertaining success for dog owners

The holidays are here and many of us are expecting to welcome company into our homes to celebrate the season.

While the holidays are a wonderful time, they can also be stressful for dogs and their people.  When we entertain, we hope to enjoy a nice, relaxing time and provide our guests with the same enjoyable experience.  A significant contributing factor to the likelihood of accomplishing this goal is the behavior of the family dog.  At our holiday parties, our dogs can be a significant source of pride if they are well-behaved, or can turn the fun quickly into a nightmare if they are behaving at their worst.


Attention: Facebooking Pet Pros

Hi all!

Occasionally I get emails from both established and new companies asking for pet professionals (trainers, groomers, rescue professionals, pet sitters, veterinarians and veterinary technicians, etc.) to test new dog training products - including but not limited to:  treats, food, harnesses, collars, toys, backpacks, etc.

While I am generally happy to help these companies out with feedback on a great (or dismal) new product, I would also like to help manufacturers get new products into the hands of pet pros for testings both pre- and post-product launch.

I am sure I am not the only positive training nerd/pet professional who is willing to help these companies develop new products which will directly improve the training and living relationships between dogs and the people who love them. 


Who's Training Whom?



Recently, I went down to the classroom with my Chow mix Mokie.  I had invited Mokie's best play pal Leila and her owner Nicole so that the girls could play while I vacuumed the classroom.

Mokie has absolutely no fear of the vacuum whatsoever.  In fact, she frequently expects you to vacuum around her and will remain napping even if the vacuum is bumping against her.  After she and Leila had played until they could hardly move, Mokie relaxed for a nap while Leila busied herself contently with her favorite classroom toy, the Nylabone.

As I was vacuuming, Mokie was napping directly in my path.  I tossed a treat to the side to get her to move out of the way.  She rose to get the treat and I continued vacuuming.

Two rows later, I found her directly in my path again.  Again, I tossed a treat to entice her to move.

The next row, the same thing happened.


Think your dog can walk politely on a loose leash? Put them to the test!

A desire to teach the family pet to walk politely on a loose leash is one of the most frequently cited reasons pet owners seek the services of a training professional. 

I'll put together a more extensive post on the methods that I like for teaching loose leash walking (hopefully with video) in a future blog entry for DSD.  For the time being, let's talk about putting your dog's loose leash training to the test.

Believe it or not, some students aren't even sure what loose leash walking truly looks like.

A good loose leash will look like the letter "J".  The top part of the letter will be where the leash meets the owner's hand, the bottom starting point of the letter (where you would start writing the letter "from the bottom up") should look like where the leash meets the collar.  I tell my students, "if you couldn't carry a full cup of coffee in your leash hand, the leash is too tight."


On Shoddy Clicker Training and the Importance of Premack


"The other day my puppy was outside off leash.  She took off chasing a deer.  I called and called and she didn't come back.  I clicked her a few times and she still didn't come back.  She returned about an hour later, breathless.  I put her in her crate when she came back to punish her for running off."

Every time I hear things like this, I get a few new grey hairs. 



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