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Kingston's web page


First contact: Nov 9 2023

Session descriptions

Set ONE Session __ of ___

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Training Plan

Collect information

Initial conversation

UCDavis Canine consultation form.

Fill out the UCDavis form and send a copy to me. It's a comprehensive form. I want it to be ready for them should you choose to use a Board Certified Behaviorist to help with Kingston's challenges.

It's a lot of work and I don't want to ask you to do my form and their form.

UCDavis Canine consultation form.

I. Initial Consultation

Brief overview of the dog's issues

Importance of addressing these behaviors

Goals of the behavior modification plan

II. Preliminary Assessments

A. Health Evaluation

Vet Check-Up: Rule out health issues influencing behavior

Nutritional Assessment: Ensure a balanced diet supporting behavioral health

B. Behavioral Assessment

History of the behaviors

Triggers and patterns

Assessment of the dog's environment

III. Addressing Specific Behavioral Issues

A. Nipping Children

Understanding the behavior: Fear, play, or learned behavior?

Establishing Boundaries: Teaching the dog personal space and gentle interaction

Positive Reinforcement: Reward-based training for gentle behavior


Safe Interaction: Educating children on interacting safely with dogs


B. Food Guarding

Understanding Resource Guarding: Possessive behavior and its roots




Desensitization: Gradually reducing the dog's guarding response

Counter-Conditioning: Changing the dog's emotional response to someone approaching their food

Safe Feeding Practices: Guidelines for feeding time to prevent guarding

C. Aggression Towards Housemate Dog

Understanding the Aggression: Dominance, fear, or resource guarding?

Establishing Hierarchies: Clear, consistent leadership and rules

Controlled Introduction: Structured interaction sessions

Professional Intervention: When to seek help from a behaviorist

IV. Training and Intervention Strategies

A. Establishing a Routine

Consistency in Daily Activities

Controlled and Positive Environments

B. Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Rewards-based Training

Redirecting Negative Behaviors

C. Involving the Family

Consistent Rules and Boundaries

Active Participation in Training Sessions

V. Monitoring Progress and Adjusting Strategies

A. Keeping a Behavior Diary

B. Regularly Assessing Behavioral Changes

C. Adjusting Techniques Based on Progress

VI. Professional Resources and Support

A. When to Involve a Professional Dog Trainer or Behaviorist

B. Support Groups and Community Resources

VII. Conclusion

Summary of Strategies

Importance of Patience and Consistency

Encouragement for Continued Effort and Professional Guidance

Free sample session.

Nov 10 2023 2:00


Hold your water bottle behind your back.

Hold a treat in the other hand behind your back.


Bring bottle out from behind your back, and hold it next to Kingstons's nose.

When he touches your hand with his nose, say GOOD in a happy tone, then give him a treat from the other hand.

Put treat and bottle behind your back again.

Practice a couple of times a day for 3 minutes.

Make this a fun game.


you can work with his food. Using his meal as treats allows for a lot of repetitions.

Do this with both dogs separately.




You and Kingston did a great job with this training.


You are observant and your timing is good.

You were able to put yourself in Kingstons... paws... and adjust the exercise so he would be successful.

It's you're responsibility to keep your family safe.

Don't put Kingston in a situation in which he may feel the need to protect, lunge or attack anyone in your family or the other dog.

He needs a break.

We need to help him feel safe, confident, and happy, so he does not "feel" the need to display behaviors related to aggression.

We'll teach him some skills to create a choice to do something else.


Notes for me:

Structure, seizure log, separation, thyroid, playpen.

Thank you for caring so much for your dogs.


Sherry Clark


I would like to start before Wed. if possible.

Safety first.




I suggest looking into or just buying all of the calming items.

I'll buy them from you if they don't work.

Don't use them yet.

Do research first to search for adverse reactions related to seizures.

Check with vet, and when/if we decide to use them, suggest micro-dosing and observe closely before increasing dose.

Each dog is different.

The one I would be comfortable with now is Adaptil.



Any of the play pens would be a great management tool and allow us to work with both dogs while being safe.



The last item on the page is an air horn.

They will usually interrupt anything dogs are doing.  

You would ONLY use it for a fight.

Otherwise, you'll annoy your neighbors and desensitize the dogs so the horn has no meaning.

Session 1 of 8

Monday, Nov 13 2023

Other dogs name is Finley


with treats between pets



Put dogs on opposite side of sliding door.


Pet one, then the other.



Kingston inside Finley outside screen door closed.

Put treats on floor next to door with glass or screen door between the dogs.


Finley outside, Kingston inside. 


As soon as Kingston eats his treats off the floor, by the door, call him away, into the house, using a super fun happy tone, and treats. These treats should be high value. 

Do this ONLY with high value treats. Something he only gets for this exercise.



Make a slip leash out of a leash that has a clip and a handle, not a retractable leash.

We need to go through several steps to desensitize Kingston to the leash so don't push him. 


Practice with Finely because he is not hand shy and you'll need to be proficient at this skill.

Run clip through the handle to make an emergency slip leash.

Lure Finleys head through the leash. 

When he is comfortable, call Finley and when he gets to you, lure his head through the leash.

This is practice for calling a dog away from a potential fight then putting the slip leash around their neck and clip it to a fence.

Now you can get the dog being attacked to a safe place.


Show these games to your Mom and other adults in the household.

Next session, I'd like your mom to be there if possible.

Can you go over everything we've done with your Mom?

I'm not comfortable having your daughter in the room during sessions.

We are doing new things with the dogs and don't know how they will react.

Good job today!


You were able to adjust exercises to make them work and thank you for letting me know the air horn would scare your daughter.

If a fight happens, sometimes throwing water at the dogs face will cause them to stop for a microsecond, then ACT FAST to separate them.


Sherry Clark

Brainy Dog Training


Session 2 of 8

Wednesday, Nov 15



Lure right, 

Take a one minute break 


Lure left,

Take a one minute break

Lure in a circle

Take a one minute break


Lure in a figure 8

Take a one minute break

Head through loop stationary.


Hold leash so it has a loop bigger than Kingstons head.

Lure his head through loop.

Take a one minute break

Head through loop moving.

Take a one minute break



COME, then head through loop when he gets close to you.


Party, sound happy, tell him how brilliant he is.

Take a one minute break.

Call Kingston into house from sliding glass door



In the house.

Put treats on floor, next to sliding glass door.


Let him eat treats while you run away from door into house.

This gives him practice running from the door (away from other dogs) into the house.


Practice COME outside with loop leash.


Let's use a gate or pen next time to work on TAKE TURNS.


Please take short 5 second videos ( so you can text them ) of what we've practiced so far.


It's important for your husband to practice all of these games.


You need to work as a team to keep everyone safe.

Next time, I want to work on his hand shyness.




Sherry Clark


Photos from Angela

Hi Sherry. Sending you pics of 2 scenarios tonight. 


First one shows Kingston laying by my feet. He was doing it because my daughter was in front of me and he was also blocking Findley from getting to me. 


He's blocking your daughter from having access to you?


Maybe? However she's in front of me and he is to my side. Probably both my daughter and Findley. 


But then get this...


Scenario two:


I was sitting on a mini stool and my daughter was on the floor in front of me and we were playing. Kingston came up from the left and stood there for a minute and then lunged at my daughters face and licked her. He has never bitten or growled but he definitely jumped at her.

Sherry's response to photos

I do strongly suggest you get one of the pens.


From Angela

No warning

I put him in his crate immediately

With it closed


From Sherry

You must do it. Get the pen.

The idea of keeping your daughter, Kingston and Findley apart at all times is for everyone's safety.

It sounds like Kingston is TRYING to control himself but putting him in that position is too much pressure.

If he does have thyroid issues, we will not be able to control his actions.

He will be in deep trouble for biting your daughter, your daughter will develop fear issues around dogs plus the trauma of going through that.

Plus, adults can be in trouble for allowing the opportunity to exist.


We need to have immediate separation for safety AND so Kingston is not triggered.

If he lunges at your daughter and there is another trigger, such as a noise, Findley near, someone trying to touch his face, he'll be so confused that he could easily lose control. 

He has to feel safe.

if he has a nice pen, it can be his apartment until we get this figured out.

He will feel safe there because there will not be things he NEEDS to guard.

Please read this a few times.

We will use the pen for training in a safe way until we are confident Finley is able to choose alternate behaviors and control his emotions.

Make sense?

From Angela

Yes 😔


So he should be in the pen whenever my daughter and Findley are out?


From Sherry



From Angela

Ok. I'll have to figure out a space. Can it be in same room or should he be in another room?


From Sherry

You're doing well with the exercises.


There are a lot of levels to go through before he can handle everyone together.

Same room seem best at this time so he can see how things are supposed to work in your family.

It will be like he is learning by watching reality TV.


That way he can have chew bones in peace.


Thank you for keeping an open mind :)


Got it, thanks so much for the advice. Talk soon.

Got pen, YAY!

Getting him accustom to pen.

What worked well.

was putting him in while answering door.

We are are concerned about what happened when Kingston bit Nova daughter.

Using the pen at all times when Nova is in house is his chance to get him through this.


Session 3 of 8

Mon, Nov 20 2023

Whats That?

Play "Whats that" using a few different objects.

Try Whats that, while he is in the pen.

Call vet again about thyroid results.

Fill out UCDAVIS Caning behavior form.


Thanks so much. For the lessons we do and for ease of printing or looking them up, is there a way they can be emailed to me instead of text? 


the forms?


they can be downloaded as pdf


its a longish form. If you don't find it, i can send link after a couple of clients today.


what email? Ill send you PDF


The lessons that we've done that you usually summarize via text. 


Thank you!




Well this is annoying. I called and asked for labs for Kingston. It shows as "normal" but if you look, he's on the verge of low and it says right there to do a Free T4 if under 1.0.


They just say, oh it looks normal.


These were in Aug 23


Ah HA!!!!


Good detective work!!!


I'm so happy about this.


Hopefully we are on to something!




Articles on natural treatment of hypothyroid for information only.









I'm working on emailing info


I'm sending a PDF of our actual TEXT messages and I'm working on something more in-depth.


Thank you!


Looking forward o session.


I've transferred texts to my email.




just need to format them for you.


Awesome! Thanks so much.


SESSION 4 of 8

Mon, Nov 27 2023



then run to pen.


Put a tiny amount of cream cheese on outside of Kong and give it to him inside of pen.

Make it a happy place anytime he is concerned and feels like he needs to be guarding you.

The cream cheese Kong ONLY happens inside the happy pen.

Monday, November 27 2023


on right side, try spoon with cheese.


We can work on heel Wednesday for our next session


I also want to work on take it and give.

Session 5 of 8

Wed, Nov 29 2023


with cheese on a spoon

be happy


Get him comfortable on putting leash on

Heel in house and fenced yard with leash

Do not use flexie leash.

Put leash on collar or harness and hold leash in leaf hand with him on right side.

leash is in front of your body

Quick turns.

Session 6 of 8

Muzzle training using a surgical mask.

Phase 1:

  1. Put mask on the floor with treats on it.

  2. Hold mask with treats on it.

  3. Stretch mask out and hold on each side so Kingston needs to stick his mouth further inside mask to get treats.

  4. Move mask so Kingston follows it to get treats.

  5. Cut a large slit in mask so he has to stick his muzzle through slit to get treats.

Phase 2:

Do same exercises. Change is you:

say GET DRESSED then let him get treats out of mask.

This week:

Husband to feed dogs.

This is one step towards independence for Kingston.

Session 7 of 8

Progress since last session:

Husband is feeding.

Kingston is going to crate on his own.

Challenges since last session:

 Kingston was uncomfortable while husband was playing with daughter, however his is automatically going to crate or pen when things get hyper, like when husband is tickling daughter Nova.

Kingston has gone back to chewing Nova's toys

Anything that Nova touches is chewed when they get home. Toys, ink pen, seems to be that most things that were chewed were last touched by Nova.

Nova Scent training with a sock.

Purpose of this exercise is:

A. Testing to see if Kingston is trying to destroy Nova's things, indicating negative feelings toward her or...

B. If Kingston is trying to establish a more positive connection with Nova.

Either way the exercise is likely to establish a positive association with Nova and establish a safe way to interact with Nova to replace the unsafe nipping that has happened in the past.

The same TOUCH game we played with the bottle but instead of a bottle, use Nova's sock. This is intended to create a positive association with Novas scent and create an alternate way to interact with Nova.

Sock in hand, hand behind back.

Treats in other hand, hand behind back.

Bring sock out and hold next to Kingston's muzzle.

When he sniffs it or touches sock, say good and give treat.

Do this 15 times or so, then start holding sock in slightly different location, 2" up, down left right and sit sock on the floor. Wait until Kingston chooses to interact with sock, say good treat.

Break, wait at least 2 hours to resume this game so Kingston has time to process, nap and begin to build a new pathway in his brain on how to interact with Nova's scent.

I suggest Nova does not attempt to pet Kingston at all for now.

Reason one is because is only takes a 10th of a second (approximately) to bite a hand that is petting a dog.

Dogs plan. If Nova pets Kingston in the same way repeatably, Kingston may see a pattern and an opportunity for a planned bite.

Just because a dog allows other to pet, does not mean dog "likes" it. Dogs tolerate a lot from us and we don't even notice.

Watch this video. There are signs the dog is not comfortable.

A) Count the yawns.

B) Count the times you see the white of the dogs eyes.

C) Count the times you see the dog lick the baby.

D) Count the times the dog put distance between dog and baby.


Kisses are not always affection.

Kisses from dogs can be:

"Give me food."

"I love you."

"You can go now because I'm thinking about biting you."

Since we don't have a video of Nova interacting with Kingston and I do not want you to create one for safety, at this time, we do not know what he is thinking.

We will be doing exercises with Nova and Findly to show Kingston that she means no harm.

We want to create a safe way for Kingston to interact with Nova by using her scent only. Creating a new pathway and strengthening it will give Kingston a CHOICE on how to interact.


1. Please send me a copy of the UCDavis Canine Behavior form for Kingston. It's important we have This filled out.

2. Please send a photo of the new thyroid results.

Safety First



Gates Pens Fences






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