Oh Behave! Would you like your dog to walk politely on a loose leash? To come when called? Need help with puppy training? Do you have a fearful or anxious dog? Is your dog suffering from separation anxiety or home alone distress?

Worry no more. Oh Behave! can help with all that and more.

Owner/Trainer Lisa-Anne Manolius, an honors graduate of the renowned San Francisco SPCA's Academy for Dog Trainers, works with you and your dog privately to bring out the best in your dog. She specializes in puppy training and socialization, fearful and anxious dogs, and separation anxiety/home alone distress.

Veggies-Before-Dessert Approach to Dog Training

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | November 04, 2009 ~ Be the 1st to Comment

Veggies-Before-Dessert Approach to Dog Training

We recently returned to Willowside Ranch for Vinnie’s first herding lesson. He started panting and pacing in the car as soon as we turned off of Highway 1 to Pescadero. The closer we got to the ranch, the more excited he got. By the time we parked the car, he was emitting short quiet whines and scratching at the window. I was certain he knew exactly where we were – the glorious place where he gets to herd sheep.

My husband gamely agreed to be the handler – the human who goes into the pen with dog, sheep and herding trainer. I watched, curious about how you train a herding dog to do his thing under human direction.

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Happy Howl-o-ween!

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | October 30, 2009 ~ Be the 1st to Comment

Happy Howl-o-ween!

Happy Howl-o-ween! Hope you and all your loved ones and critters have a festive and safe one.

Here’s a picture of Vinnie in costume. Note his “natural” black mask . . .

To the Bat Cave!

To the Bat Cave!

. . . and one of Ted, who needs no adornment to look perfectly ghoulish. . .

Don't even think about dressing me in costume!

Don't even think about dressing me in costume!

No Halloween parties for us this year. My husband, Vinnie and I are taking a few days off for some much-needed R & R in one of our favorite haunts in the universe, Mendocino County in Northern California. Although we’re just a few hours north of San Francisco, things are very different here. The air smells cleaner and sweeter, the light is often an eerie pearly lavender, and the landscape’s mostly wild and unfettered. Some locals say this is a place of ancient spirits. I’ll let you know if I run into any. In the meantime, here are some suitably spooky pictures of the natural landscape around here — no costumes necessary:

Ghostly Cypress Trees

Ghostly Cypress Trees

What lurks in those dark depths?

What lurks in those dark depths?

Patience, A Necessary Virtue in Dog Training – Lessons From Kids Training Dogs

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | October 27, 2009 ~ 2 Comments

Patience, A Necessary Virtue in Dog Training – Lessons From Kids Training Dogs

Several times a week, I drive from San Francisco to Oakland to teach dog training in an exciting pilot program called Teaching Love and Compassion (TLC). My human students are fourteen Grade 8 students, and their students are seven shelter dogs from the East Bay SPCA in Oakland. The first of its kind in Northern California, TLC is a humane education program designed to teach kids love and compassion through a combination of classroom material and hands-on positive reinforcement dog training. The idea is that the children learn and practice empathy, compassion, non-violence, love and respect through their relationships with the dogs.

The drive is usually a nerve-wracking slog over the Bay Bridge and through rush hour traffic, and I’m often frazzled by the time I get there. But at the end of each training class I’m in another mood entirely. Continue Reading

APDT Conference – Here I Come!

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | October 19, 2009 ~ 3 Comments

It’s a wet dreary Monday in San Francisco, I didn’t get much sleep last night and I’ve got loads of work staring me down. But I’m in a terrific mood. This week I’ll be attending my very first APDT conference in Oakland!

APDT stands for Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the largest professional association of dog trainers in the world. APDT was founded in 1993 by Dr. Ian Dunbar, a veterinary behaviorist, expert dog trainer, and a giant in the field of positive dog training. APDT’s mission is to promote caring relationships between dogs and people by educating trainers in canine behavior and emphasizing professionalism and reward-based training. The annual conference is attended by thousands — trainers, behaviorists, shelter workers and other dog service professionals — from all over the country and the globe.

Confession time: I’m a doggy geek and I’m proud! I love to learn. High up on my list of favorite subjects is dog behavior, animal learning theory and the science of applied behavioral analysis. That’s one of the reasons I’m so jazzed about attending the APDT conference. It’s an educational mecca for doggy geeks like me. For five packed days, expert trainers and behaviorists will present the best most state-of-the-art information on dog behavior and training. We’ll learn about the latest research on canine cognition, the present and future of positive dog training, strategies for modifying aggressive behavior, and an entire day will be devoted to exploring the complex arenas of canine fear and anxiety.

Besides the seminars there’s a trade show showcasing the latest dog gear, products, toys, food, and training equipment. And last but certainly not least, the conference will be a great place to meet fabulous dog trainers.

I’ve come a long way since I first picked up a clicker years ago and trained my cat Ted to sit, head butt me, and wave. Since then, I’ve racked up countless hours as a shelter volunteer, worked in puppy day care, graduated from the SF SPCA’s Academy for Dog Trainers, worked as a shelter dog trainer, taught many dog training classes, and worked with private training clients. I’ve learned plenty, but there’s always more to learn. Much like my dog when he sees the clicker, I’m practically salivating at the thought of attending the conference. I can’t wait to learn all that I can there, and to share it here with readers, with my lovely canine clients and their human guardians.

As I count down to Wednesday, I’ll try hard not to drool.

PerfectDog Part 2 – Dogs Will Be Dogs

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | October 09, 2009 ~ Be the 1st to Comment

PerfectDog Part 2 – Dogs Will Be Dogs

In my last post I pondered the legend of the PerfectDog and suggested adopting a different perspective on dog behavior – a “bowl-half-full” approach. Part of that bowl-half-full approach is having realistic expectations for dog behavior. This means realizing that like humans and other species, no dog is perfect, and accepting that dogs are after all, dogs.

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