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How Pet Professionals Can Use the Hierarchy of Dog Needs

DVD: Learn to “Make the Case” for Force-free Dog Training

Category Archives: Basic Training

Greeting You and Visitors

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This is an excerpt from Linda’s book, Do No Harm™ Dog Training and Behavior Manual, available to download here.

Greetings may well determine the course of the relationships between you and your dog and your guests and your dog. Protect your guests and your dog by insuring that greetings go well. Your dog will thank you for not allowing him to rush to the door where he may be uncomfortable and doesn’t really know how to behave.

Dog Greetings Dog TrainingDogs aren’t famous for making reliably good decisions. Your dog should not be asked to make a decision about which of your friends feels safe.Read more

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Errorless Housetraining

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This is an excerpt from Linda’s book, Do No Harm™ Dog Training and Behavior Manual, available to download here.

If you’re reading this before you get your puppy—good for you! If possible, have everything ready before your puppy comes home. To help you and your puppy start off on the right paw from day one, I highly recommend the renowned puppy primer by Dr. Ian Dunbar, “Before and After You Get Your Puppy”. If you have a new puppy or an older dog who was never reliably housetrained, or who has regressed back to making mistakes, it is time to institute or revisit housetraining protocols.… Read more

Teach Your Dog to Stop Jumping in 5 Steps

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Teach Your Dog to Stop Jumping in 5 Steps
By Linda Michaels, M.A. Psychology — Del Mar Dog Training

Does your dog jump on you as if she’s in training for the Olympics and you are the trampoline? Squirting squirt guns and shaking cans of marbles are no fun for you or your dog, and they don’t produce lasting results. Reprimands have little effect and may backfire or cause aggression. For pet parents who prefer positive-only training, stepping on toes, kneeing the chest, electric shock, or yanking a chain are simply not options. What’s a pet parent to do?

Whether your dog has been jumping up on you for years, or you have a new puppy in training, try these dog-friendly techniques to help Sparky keep his Four on the Floor. Read more

Learn to “Make the Case” for Force-free Dog Training from Linda Michaels M.A. Psychology

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Learn to Make the Case for Force-free Dog Training DVD

Do you struggle, like so many professionals, to “Make the Case” for force-free methods in dog training? Do you want to know how you can win debates on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves — our dogs?

Good news! The seminar I presented at the 2015 PPG Summit, titled “Understanding Research: Making the Case for Force-free Training,” is now available on DVD, for those of you who could not attend the summit. This is my seminal work, and greatest contribution to the force-free training mission, bridging the gap between research, dog training and the pet parent. Read more

Del Mar Dog Trainer Linda Michaels Rated in the U.S. Top Ten. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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Linda Michaels Dog Trainer Del Mar California dog trainer positive

Photo Courtesy of Ambassador Journey and Nicole Marlin

Del Mar dog trainer Linda Michaels M.A. Psychology, was recently named one of the top ten dog trainers in the U.S. by Top Ten Magazine. Linda is the only all-positive dog trainer on the list serving Del Mar, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe and the coastal Southern California cities between San Diego and Beverly Hills. The list was compiled based on a combination of fame and experience, as well as her Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology, research experience in Behavioral Neurobiology,  Victoria Stilwell professional license (Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog fame), numerous professional dog training credentials including the Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB) coveted Professional Canine Trainer (Accredited) PCT-A credential where she was among the first 20 certificants to pass their rigorous test, plus her 15 years of experience, earning her a spot on the list.Read more

SUMMER’S HERE! DOG BEACH & PARK. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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Summer’s Here! Del Mar Dog Beach & Park

Who can resist getting your pup and family outdoors to catch the surf and rays and get some exercise this summer? Del Mar’s Dog beach and your local dog parks can be wonderful places to exercise and play with your dog, however, they come with some built-in caveats as well. Make the right decisions at the right time for your dog. Here’s how to stay safe, play safe and learn practical skills for successful dog beach and dog park adventures this summer.

Part 1. Safety Tips

  • Look for parks with separate large and small dog areas.
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New Year Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts. Linda Michaels, M.A. Del Mar Dog Training

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Top 10 Do’s and Dont’s for Your Dog in the New Year

If you’re adopting a dog this holiday season or choosing a puppy, think carefully about how you will select, socialize and train the new addition to the family.


Happy New Year! Photo Courtesy of Lyn Dubois and Tammy

Happy New Year!
Photo Courtesy of Lyn Dubois and Tammy

1. Don’t choose a pup on the spur of the moment or value cosmetics over temperament and personality. The behavioral pick of the litter is generally the middle puppy: The feistiest or the shyest may have been either a bully or a victim.


2.Read more

PET PARENTING POSITIVELY™…Part 2. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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Welcome! You’re on the way to learning the Foundations of Pet Parenting Positively™. Let’s continue on this fascinating journey discovering the scientifically-endorsed positive reinforcement training methods. Code words — Do No Harm

Containment Management: Containment as a management tool may help prevent frustration and it can speed up learning. Until your dog has learned good household manners, teach your dog to accept restrictions, such as crating at night for housetraining and accepting a baby gate or an X-pen to cordon off a room in your home until more spaced is earned. Always provide your dog with things to do…afterall, that’s only fair.Read more

PET PARENTING POSITIVELY™… Part 1. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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This is the first in the continuing series on positive pet parenting, excerpted from my upcoming book.

If you’ve made the decision to pet parent your dog positively, congratulations on your good judgement! Your decision will enhance your relationship with your canine companion and best friend. Afterall, that’s why most people get a companion animal…pet parents want to have a trusting, loving, fun relationship with their new puppy or rescue dog.

In order to communicate effectively with your dog, it’s important to build a foundation of benevolent leadership, good management, and dog-friendly training. Dogs are an unparalleled gift to humankind and to each one of us personally.Read more

WHEN AND HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PUPPY or NEW RESCUE. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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When and How to Train Your Puppy or New Rescue

Q. What are some of the benefits of training my dog?

A. Training makes home life more manageable and fun for you and your dog. Next to basic health care, it’s the most important thing you can do for your pup. Best of all, training the dog you love is one of the best ways to develop a great relationship with your dog that will last a lifetime. MP910220623

Some dogs grow up to be angels and behave as if they were just born that way. Others take a great deal of encouragement and training in order to become well-mannered members of the home and community.Read more


Linda Michaels, M.A. Psychology, Del Mar Dog Training, serves clients in Del Mar and San Diego County from La Jolla to Carlsbad, plus Rancho Santa Fe, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. Linda Michaels was recently rated one of the top ten dog trainers in the United States, by Top Ten Magazine. Linda has a master’s degree in Experimental Psychology (Hons), and is the creator of the Hierarchy of Dog Needs™ (HDN). She focuses on the psychological aspects of dog behavior that often mirror human psychological conditions, such as: fear, separation/attachment disorders, and aggression toward humans and other dogs. She also teaches private, customized basic manners/obedience lessons for dogs of all ages and every breed.

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