Category: Service & therapy dog training

10/22 – Mutt-i-grees Curriculum – Teaching Kids Empathy and Diversity with Shelter Pets

Great conversation with Christina Capatides of Mutt-i-grees Curriculum.

Northshore Animal League America teamed up with Yale University to develop a curriculum of 25 lessons that teachers, guidance counselors and librarians can use.

Mutt-i-grees Curriculum teaches kids about empathy, compassion and diversity by telling stories about shelter animals.

Check ‘em out online at:

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8/6/14 – International Assistance Dog Week – Jeanne Hampl

Jam-packed with information about Service Dogs.  Great show!

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6/18/14 – Do You Believe in Dog? Julie Hecht and Mia Cobb, hosts of SPARCS 2014 this weekend!

Julie and Mia met at a conference in July of 2012 and have since started an excellent blog, “Do You Believe in Dog?”, where they take turns posting about topics related to their own research, the work of their research groups and other random dog science themes.

Julie Hecht is the author of Dog Spies and is a canine behavioral researcher  and manages Alexandra Horowitz’s Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College in New York.

Mia Cobb is in a Ph.D. program researching the effects of social and environmental enrichment on welfare, stress and performance of kenneled working dogs.  She co-hosts a podcast called Human Animal Science – Human Animal Science is a regular podcast hosted by Tim Adams and Mia Cobb that takes a scientific view of the world of humans and animals.

Check out Mia and Julie’s links below!


Do You Believe in Dog? – Julie Hecht and Mia Cobb

Dog Spies – Julie Hecht

Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab – Julie Hecht

Human Animal Science – Mia Cobb

Anthrozoology Research Group – Mia Cobb

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6/4/14 – SPARCS presenter Simon Gadbois, PhD – Scent detection training and olfaction!

SPARCS Speaker interview – Dr. Simon Gadbois

Visit to learn more about SPARCS Conference 2014 and how you can listen either in person or via their live streaming.

One of my favorite topics to discuss is dogs’ incredible sense of smell!  I can’t wait to hear what Dr. Gadbois has to say on this matter, given his experience specifically researching this topic, and how it can be applied.  Whether it be hypoglycemia, or invasive insects, Dr. Gadbois is doing some great work around this topic!

Find him at

And watch this great clip of some his program dogs being trained to detect scent.  Notice the positive, encouraging tone!

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5/7/14 – “For the Love of Dogs” – documentary about a boy with Aspergers and his passion for dogs

I talk with Heather Gould, Mom of Cory, a boy with Aspergers whose passion for dogs helps him to connect with people socially.  Great conversation!

Watch the movie’s trailer here:


Then an update from a busy weekend of helping people and saving lives – literally!

My wife, Darcie, and her service dog club: The Assistance Dog Club of Puget Sound paid for an urgent surgery to save the life of Lil Bit – a pug who is an emotional support dog to a local veteran who suffers from severe PTSD and depression.

Lil bit was hit by a car and his pelvis was badly broken, requiring an almost $5000 surgery.  Hear about the four days, 85 people and $4700 that the community rallied to gather to keep these two together.  Incredible story.

Here is the news clip!


Also last weekend – Julie and Darcie opened their home to an Old Dog Haven foster who they’ve named “Lois”.

Lois is at least 10 years old and has labored breathing.  Lois ended up in a local shelter with a questionable amount of time left in her life.  Through Old Dog Haven, a local non-profit that gets old dogs out of shelters and pays all vet bills associated with their care, Julie and Darcie picked Lois up from the shelter on Saturday and have been working to restore her health and settle her in.  Incredibly fulfilling work!


Fundraising Event on June 12th in Ballard for the APA SPCA – an organization that provides and emergency veterinary care fund for people who haven fallen on hard times.  Check out the org and the event!

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4/23/14 – Seattle Pet Expo, Independence Guide Dogs and HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response

Jam-packed show today!

First an outline of the Seattle Pet Expo coming up this weekend.

Then I talk with Independence Guide Dogs about their placing of their first two guide dogs and their events coming up.

Last but not least, I talk with HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response

HOPE’s Mission:
To provide comfort and encouragement through animal-assisted support to individuals affected by crises and disasters

They’ve been to sits like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the recent Oso Landslide.  Incredible work!

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4/16 – Happy Day-After Tax Day! (ruff!) Today: SmartMat inventor, leash walking and more!

Check out Andrew Clark’s invention called the SmartMat.  It sends you an alert to tell you when your dog is standing on it…by the door.  I’ll talk with Andrew today to hear his ideas about how this technology can be applied to help dogs and their owners in real life.

Here’s the link:

Also!  Independence Guide Dogs is celebrating the retirement of Founder Toby Willis’ guide dog, Zakai, and they are getting ready to place their first two guide dogs.  Join them for their fundraiser coming up on the 26th in Seattle’s Mt Baker Neighborhood.

Click this link to view the poster: IGD_Poster_022014

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1/5/14 – Surf Dog Ricochet

Encore of my interview years ago with now-famous Surf Dog Ricochet and her handler Judy.  What a long way they’ve come and have done such great things as a team!

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8/7 – Celebrating International Assistance Dog Week with Jeanne Hampl

Talking with Jeanne Hampl, president of the Assistance Dog Club of Puget Sound.


Everything you need to know about service dogs!

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4/24 – Introducing Dr Erica Anderson of Jet City Animal Clinic! Also, Independence Guide Dogs.

Be sure to come by Jet City Animal Clinic’s Open House this Saturday the 27th from 10am-4pm.  So much going on!

I’ll be there between 2-4 for a Q&A to answer all your dog training and behavior questions!


~$2500 worth of free raffle prizes

~Book signing with Lola Ball, author of “When Your Dog Has Cancer”

~Polly Klein – animal communicator and cranio-sacral practitioner

~Natural Pet Pantry

~Dr Nels Rasmussen

~And more!


In the second half of the show, I talk with Toby Willis, president of Independence Guide Dogs, a Seattle-based guide dog training organization for the visually impaired.

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