Laurie C Williams CPDT-KA

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Laurie C. Williams CPDT and her 6 year old Maltese dog Andrew may have been runners-up on the CBS summer reality show Greatest American Dog, but they are America’s designated champions in demonstrating the beautiful, mutually respectful relationship that can result from positive, dog-friendly training.
A canine education specialist, dog behavior counselor and trainer for over 25 years, Laurie is the owner and Director of Training and Behavior Counseling at Pup ‘N Iron Canine Fitness & Learning Center in Fredericksburg, VA, 45 minutes south of Washington, DC.  The 11,000 square foot, state of the art dog training, daycare and fitness and rehabilitation facility is the only one of its kind in the country. 

Laurie is the host of the radio podcast show DSPN – Dog Sports and Performance Network on Pet Life Radio and a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).  Laurie was one of the first dog trainers in Virginia to receive the CPDT (Certified Pet Dog Trainer) credential issued by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and is an A.K.C., U.K.C. and APDT Rally Obedience judge.  A nationally published writer, Laurie’s work has been featured in Fitness, Good Housekeeping, Shape, and 9-1-1 magazines.  She is a Contributing Editor for the APDT Chronicle of the Dog, is a weekly columnist for the Stafford County Sun newspaper and is a featured author in the newly released book Dog Trainer’s Resource 2.  Laurie is an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator and a Delta Society Pet Partner therapy dog evaluator.  She has participated in both Animal Assisted Therapy and Animal Assisted Crisis Response with her dogs since 2003.

Blog posts by Laurie C Williams CPDT-KA


Oprah Hearts Cockers!

If you are an avid Oprah-watcher like me, you witnessed her introducing her new rescued, purebred Cocker Spaniel puppy Sadie to the world. Yes, you read it correctly. From my observations, Sadie appeared to be a purebred American Cocker Spaniel, not much older than 10-12 weeks old. According to reports, Winfrey and her longtime S/O Stedman Graham visited the shelter completely unannounced the previous weekend and adopted the puppy on the spot. But wait, there's more, according to the PAWS Chicago shelter, the puppy was one of a litter of six purebred Cocker Spaniel puppies that were all up for adoption the day Oprah and Stedman came in. Hmmmmmm, okay, I guess this is possible. Unfortunately it's a fact that thousands of purebred dogs end up in shelters every year, but entire litters? And on a day when a high powered celebrity just happens to drop by?


Consequences and Repercussions

Even though we spend a lot of time studying, discussing, and dissecting learning theory and various training methods, the fact of the matter is, training dogs really isn't rocket science. It would be ludicrous to suggest that any one, specific training method is the only way or even the right way to train in terms of getting a dog to perform a certain behavior. However it would be equally ludicrous to suggest that the methods we use and manner in which we get a dog to perform a behavior is not going to have consequences and repercussions, not only to the dog, but to the relationship we have with him. I've always considered it my good fortune to have experienced the progression of dog training and to have utilized many different methods and tools.


The Antithesis of Marley

Meet Oliver, a 6 month old yellow Labrador Retriever who just graduated from our 12 week Ultimate Puppy Program. His family planned a long time for his arrival, even before he was born. In fact, his mom tells me that she waited years for him. Like most of us, they are a busy family and waited until just the right time in their lives to add a dog to the family. And even when they decided on a Labrador Retriever, they researched breeders, found one, and then waited again until that breeder had a litter with an appropriate puppy for them.


Politically correct dogs?

I kind of feel sorry for the Obamas. Well, not sorry sorry, but I do feel a little badly for them, Malia and Sasha in particular. Most of us are able to select the dogs we share our lives with based on our own personal needs and desires. It's usual a very private decision and we don't have anyone else to answer to other than our own family members. One thing is certain, we've never had an entire nation waiting with bated breath to see and scrutinize what dog we pick. However Malia and Sasha didn't get that chance. The moment the soon-to-be President announced he was getting a puppy for them, (ha!


It's Guys Like You, Mickey!

I endured approximately 2 hours and 55 minutes of the Golden Globe Award telecast last night before the highlight was revealed. It wasn't seeing Steven Spielberg deservedly win the Cecile B. DeMille lifetime achievement award for his incredible body of work. It wasn't the rare appearance of Brangelina or seeing gazillion time winner Meryl Streep. It wasn't the gowns, the glitz and all the glamour. No, it was Mickey Rourke accepting the Best Actor award for his starring role in "The Wrestler." For one, he was almost unrecognizable from the 80's/early 90's version of himself. If you were around during those days, come on, you remember 9 1/2 weeks, right?


Vick's Dogs

Let me start out by saying that I'm truly happy about what's happened for the dogs of Bad Newz Kennels, infamously dubbed Vick's Dogs. Not many dogs have been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. But these famous dogs with the famous name are the cover story in the Dec. 29 issue of Sports Illustrated. However, as happy as I am for their outcome, I can't help but wonder what the future holds for the Rive/Sledge dogs, seized during a dog fighting ring bust in Enfield, North Carolina a couple of months ago. I wonder if they've all been euthanized like the article in the Rocky Mount Telegram said they likely would be?


VP Elect Biden to get second puppy

This morning on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," VP-elect Biden revealed he will be getting a second dog from the pound, preferably a Golden Retriever.


Purebred Puppy Guilt

I used to breed and show Irish Terriers 20 years ago but boy am I glad I don't breed dogs anymore. Currently there is such an anti-breeding sentiment regardless of what a person's breeding practices are, to the point of where even suggesting that you want a purebred puppy brings backlash.


Oops I did it again!

Mr. and Mrs. Wellington and their dog "Rebel" were in week seven of our 12 week Family Dog Program. "Rebel" is a 9 month old Lab/Shepherd mix, rambunctious, excitable, but exceptionally trainable and very food motivated. He was a quick learner and was very reliable on the basics, sits, downs, recalls, and was coming along with his loose leash walking. He really was quite typical for a dog his age. The Wellingtons are a middle-aged couple, likely empty nesters, and seemed very committed to his training and wanted him to do well. That's why I was shocked when they showed up in class on week 7 with Rebel wearing a choke chain. To make matters worse, the choke chain was about 3 sizes too big to boot.

The conversation went like this:

Me: "Um, what's going on here?"
Mr. Wellington (looking bewildered): "With what?"
(I looked over at Mrs. Wellington who looked like a deer caught in the headlights.)


Girly Dogs?

Hello everyone! This is my first blog at Dog Star Daily and I'm so excited to be a part of this educational forum and discussion group. I'd been pondering what to write about in my first blog and was going to write something about the holidays, but then a more pressing issue came up that I simply had to address. I was relieved when President-Elect Obama and his wife Michelle announced a few weeks ago that they probably wouldn't be getting a puppy for at least the first few months after moving into the Whitehouse. As dog trainers we all know that the absolute worst time to add a new dog to the family is during hectic, busy times, like the holidays or right after a big move. I was also hoping this revelation would give people time to calm down a bit and allow the Obamas an opportunity to reflect a bit more on their decision, do their own research, and ultimately select the best dog for their family. Ahhh, finally, the clamoring would die down.



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