Archive for May, 2010

Top 5 outdoor activities to do with your dog in the North Shore

May 22, 2010

North Shore Dog Training Blog – North Shore dog trainer Scott Williams is offering his nationally-recognized Doggy Day Camp soon and he wants to remind dog owners that there are many outdoor activities in Essex and Middlesex counties that can serve as fresh and interesting ways to exercise with your dog. As summer grows near, these relatively low cost options are a great way to enjoy the weather as well as provide your dog with positive experiences that lead to better behavior.

Practice the “Come” command

Whether in your yard, a dog park, or while hiking, you can always practice the ‘come’ command with your canine. It gives you an excuse to leave the house and enjoy a nice summer day, yet it can also be a productive activity both your dog and you.

Have your dog swim and play fetch at a local pond

Visiting any local pond or swimming hole is a great way to spend time with your dog and allow them to practice fetching and swimming in one activity. It gives your dog a workout and reinforces structured commands as well.

Visit a dog park with your dog

Dog parks in general allow your dog to roam free and socialize with other dogs. Dog parks in Essex County and Middlesex County are few and far between but they can represent a trip to do something special with your pet. Pet owners can choose from Leslie’s Retreat Dog Park in Salem, MA, Lowell Dog Park in Lowell, MA, and Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, MA.

Go hiking with your dog

There are hundreds of miles of trails throughout many state parks in the Northeast region of Massachusetts. Hiking is obviously solid physical exercise that will also keep your dog occupied and happy. State parks with a variety of terrain and trails include the Georgetown-Rowley State Forests, Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest, Harold Parker State Forest, Bradley Palmer State Park.

Go camping

Whether for a family with a dog or a single dog owner, going camping with your canine can be a different outdoor experience. Here are a number of camping areas in the Northeast. Always double-check to ensure dogs are allowed.

Beyond the Leash currently offers Williams’ nationally recognized Doggy Boot Camp, obedience classes, and Nosework classes, which trains a dog’s ability to search with their nose.

Beyond the Leash produces a solid group of Nosework contenders

May 16, 2010

Viviana and her Labrador Betty work to find scents on ordinary objects during a recent Nosework class. Betty passed her odor recognition test in March.

Nosework trainer Scott Williams went through his first round of odor recognition tests in the last two days of March since moving from the West Coast. His canine students produced a success rate that speaks to their abilities and reveals a positive evaluation of Beyond the Leash courses.

The odor recognition tests are a means to obtain an official certificate to allow canines to compete in sanctioned Nosework competitions or trials, which test a dog’s ability to locate a target odor within a predetermined period of time. The odor recognition test requires that dogs locate a scent within three minutes and sufficiently alert their owner. If do this they are awarded their certificate on the spot.

Despite the rainy weather, dog after dog filed into the basement at Lincoln Hall in West Boxford to take part in the tests and earn their certificate. Over the two days of trial tests, Scott ran 43 dogs of all shapes and sizes through his gauntlet of white cardboard boxes, one of which contained a birch-scented Q-tip.

With the help of one of his friends from the West Coast, Penny Scott-Fox, he gave each dog three minutes to find the birch scent inside one box. And of the 43 dogs, 39 were able to locate the scent and alert their owners sufficiently with in the three minutes, producing a success rate of 91 percent.

The four dogs that did fail do so because they either could not find the scent in three minutes, their owners did not notice that they had found the scent, or they simply alerted their owner on the wrong box.

He said that the success rate was satisfactory and that the four dogs failed for the typical reasons, i.e. new environment, human error.

Scott’s canine clients are now prepared and their owners are hoping to enter them into upcoming Nosework trials .  The next trial will be coming up soon in September at Masterpeace Dog Training in Franklin, MA.

With an official certification in Nosework training, Scott has the appropriate training to issue certificates that allow dogs to enter Nosework trials. He will soon be running another round of odor recognition tests for some dog owners in Connecticut.

Scott is beginning a new round of Nosework classes on May 23. Contact him at info@beyondtheleash.com.

‘Nosework’ classes brings dogs into their own

May 13, 2010

Boxford dog trainer has more than 100 clients hooked on ‘Nosework’

Nationally-recognized dog trainer Scott Williams has recently begun introducing the activity of Nosework to dog trainers and local pet owners in the Northeast. His company, Beyond the Leash, is currently one of a handful of training businesses in the country certified to teach the sport that is rising in popularity. While your dog doesn’t like checking Facebook and you don’t prefer sticking your nose into a pile of wet leaves, Nosework represents an activity that you and your dog can genuinely enjoy together.

Nosework involves hiding food or scented objects to strengthen your dog’s ability to locate an odor. These search-dog techniques introduce structured activities to your dog and allow him or her to grow; grow more into focus, grow closer to their strongest sense, and grow closer to you. The class begins by first incentivizing your dog to search and hunt using food hidden in one of several cardboard boxes. But in subsequent lessons, these canine students will track a birch scented q-tip under the wheel carriage of a pick up truck.

Scott Williams, of Boxford, has firmly placed himself as an east coast pioneer of the activity. Starting with classes in West Boxford, William’s Nosework training has now spread throughout New England as his students, some of whom are dog trainers, are now beginning to teach the classes in their own respective regions. Williams, however, is one of only a dozen trainers in the country with a certification to teach Nosework through the National Association of Canine Scent Work, the official governing agent for the sport. While it has been well under a year since he moved from the west coast, Williams has engaged over 100 dogs and dog owners in the activity that can bring a domesticated canine back to its primal instincts.

Dog trainers dig Nosework

Dog trainer Mac McCluskey travels down from Lebanon, Maine to attend Williams’ Nosework classes in Boxford. During a recent class, McCluskey took his 3-year-old Belgian Malinois Naiya through an advanced Nosework course. The course had the canine looking among random boxes, around the perimeter of a building, and in the various nooks and crevasses around the outside of a car using the search command “find it.”

“I do other dog sports with the rest of my dogs and I needed to find something for her. She seems to be pretty much a natural for it,” said McCluskey. “So it’s good for her and it’s a great outlet for her.”

McCluskey goes on to explain how his dog, and others, can enjoy the sport so much.

“Dogs are just like giant noses on four legs…dogs smell things the way we see things. So in a structured environment like this it really draws on what they do best. And that’s use their nose.”

To learn more about Nosework and Williams’s primary class, “Intro to Odor,” visit Beyondtheleash.net or contact Williams at info@beyondtheleash.com. Williams also offers obedience classes as well as his patented “Doggy Boot Camp.”

Welcome to the North Shore Dog Training Blog!

May 12, 2010

Welcome to the North Shore Dog Training Blog! This new and informative blog is operated by dog trainer Scott Williams and Beyond the Leash Dog Obedience classes out of Boxford Mass. The blog will feature interesting and practical information about dog ownership in the North Shore, written in a straight forward fashion. The aim is to provide convenient and useful advice regarding a variety of dog breeds and owner’s lifestyles as well as entertaining facts and articles about dog ownership. Feel free to ask questions and share personal experiences about your canine…or just send us funny pictures of dogs wearing hats and mowing the lawn!

Beyond the Leash currently offers Williams’ nationally recognized Doggy Boot Camp, obedience classes, and Nosework classes, which trains a dog’s ability to search with their nose.