Hawaii Dog Training

Are Tennis Balls A Good Thing For Your Dog?

You just got home from a stressful day at work. Nice. Home. Even better… you are greeted at the door with a huge wag and your dog, tennis ball dog toy in mouth! Seriously you can’t help but smile. Play time.

Dog Tennis BallAfter all we all need to live a little more in the play mode like our dogs do so often. It is what makes our dogs so dear to us. Unconditional love and the insatiable idea of play.

But Wait, Are Tennis Balls A Good Thing For Your Dog?

Dog Tennis Ball ToyMost dogs have a favorite toy and high on the list seems to be the age old tennis ball. Yet there is the concern that tennis balls aren’t safe for your dog. While nothing is absolutely fail safe, let’s take a look at the tennis ball and is it safe for your dog.

Tennis Balls and Dog Teeth

One of the big reasons tennis balls are touted as bad for your dog is tooth wear and tear. After doing a little research it turns out it might not be the ball but the dirt.

Tennis players tend to get new balls frequently due to the fact that after a short amount of play the ball’s diameter is smaller. Tennis players will tell you that the racquet strings will quickly abrade the softer surface of a tennis ball which is covered with a substance made of wool and nylon or a felt type surface.

Dirty Balls

Tennis players who play on clay courts will tell you that the strings on their racquet will get worn down quickly by the tennis ball due to the fact that clay, ultimately dirt and/or sand picked up on the surface of the ball is very abrasive.
Dog Tennis Ball Toy

Go ahead, get an affordable toy your dog loves. Like the bestest thing ever… My Lab finds them at Baldwin Beach on Maui all the time. Score. Big score. Favorite toy of all time!

Arrow Soft RightOther considerations are if your dog chews a tennis ball to pieces and ingests them big danger could make for a really bad play session in the end. As well there is latex in the “ingredients” of a tennis ball and like people, some dogs could have an allergic reaction.

So, ultimately it’s up to you to decide if you feel it’s safe enough to continue your dog’s obsession with the tennis ball or deprive your dog of the wild wagging that starts with a mere glimpse of that tennis ball.

Personally, my dog’s a Lab, she LOVES and I mean absolutely loves the tennis ball. Luckily she doesn’t chew them up, she’d carry one to he end of the earth though.

And your dog, is the tennis ball way up on the toy priority list?

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The Ugly Truth About Fireworks and Dogs

Does your dog really dig fireworks?

Dog Fireworks WarningThat’s what I thought. Hell no. Nope. No way.

Even dogs who seemingly don’t have a reaction, I’d be willing to bet would really prefer fireworks weren’t a part of this particular celebration.

What Do Dogs Really Hear When it Comes to Fireworks

Hearing callout5 Things to Consider for Your Dog 4th of July Safety

Maui Dog 1Exercise your dog big time the morning of the 4th of July. Whether you are cooking in, or going out, a huge exercise session for your dog does great things to take the edge off. *Come to think of it, probably true for you too!

2 BlueKeep your dog in a secure place whether you are home or not.

For many dogs this may mean a crate or kennel, or “a room of their own” if you plan to be away.

3 BlueNever leave your dog unattended in the yard or outdoor run. Even the most balanced dog can have a reaction. A scared dog can get out of amazing high or secure fences or small openings you aren’t aware of.

4 BlueTaking your dog to a fireworks event is not a good idea. You might think it’s fun but read the deal above about their hearing and vibrations. They may tolerate it, or they could freak out, in either case, not a good idea.

5 BlueHave identification tags on your dog. 4th of July is notorious for dogs getting out and lost. ID tags make it easy for anyone to find who to call and how you can quickly be reunited with your dog.

So, tell me… what does your dog do on the 4th of July?

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Why Your Maui Dog Should Not Drink From Mud Puddles

It’s Maui. It’s hot. Keep your dog hydrated. All things we already know.

Dog Mud Puddle Drinking Warning

It also rains. It’s tropical. There are mud puddles.

Dog Mud Puddle

It’s Called Leptospirosis

There are only 100-200 cases of leptospirosis reported in the United States every year. But here’s the deal, 50% of those cases come from Hawaii!

Because of the tropical climate the disease is much more prevalent, giving good reason why Maui dog people should know how to recognize the symptoms and when to get medical attention.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection transmitted by contact with water or soil that has be contaminated through infected animal urine. More cases occur with heavy rainfall and tropical environments. It is often found in areas with waterfalls and freshwater ponds where bacteria can live for long periods of time.

What are signs of Leptospirosis in Maui Dogs?

The symptoms of leptospirosis are similar to many other viral and bacterial infections. Mis-diagnosis can easily occur.

Be aware of the signs and pay attention to water sources your dog may have drank out of.

Small orange ckmkWeakness and loss of appetite
Small orange ckmkVomiting
Small orange ckmkDiarrhea
Small orange ckmk
Sweating paw pads or chills
Small orange ckmkLoss of appetite
Small orange ckmkRed eyes, squinting from eye pain

If the disease is left untreated, more serious symptoms can develop, including:

Small orange ckmkKidney damage
Small orange ckmkLiver failure
Small orange ckmkMeningitis
Small orange ckmkHeart failure

How to Prevent Leptospirosis in Maui Dogs

dog vaccinationArrow Soft RightThe most effective way to prevent leptospirosis is to restrict a dog’s access to muddy marshy areas, ponds, irrigated pastures, raw sewage and standing pools of stagnant water. 

It’s often hot in Maui and we are conditioned to make sure our dogs get water. When they head for a mud puddle after one the heavy rains, it seems almost wrong to not let your dog drink.

But really, its a bad idea.

There is a vaccine for leptospirosis in dogs. Talk to your vet about those and know you should do your own discovery about how often it is necessary.

Dog leptospirosis vaccine

If you are on an outing, make sure to carry your own water for your dog.

And yes, I DO give my dogs bottled water!

P.S. How about you? What is your dog’s main water source?


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A Simple Way To Stop Your Dog From Peeing In The House That Works

Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to get your adult dog to quit peeing in the house? *true for puppies too!

Dog Pee Enzyme Cleanup TextI know you are busy. And it seems like your dog should have clearly gotten the message by now, but there’s habit and there’s enzymes….

That’s why this re-training the peeing in the house issue seems to get away from you.

Small orange ckmkEven though it’s driving your nuts.

Small orange ckmkEven though its embarrassing to have other people come to your house.

Small orange ckmkEven though you’re sick and tired of listening to the a family member go off about it.

Small orange ckmkEven though it causes you to be mad at the dog you love so much.

Here’s the thing… DON’T MAKE IT TOO HARD.

and… know there is a mistake that 99% of people make I’m going to tell you about even though you do make a solid attempt at the steps you’ve been told over and over to re-training your dog not to pee in the house.

YOU CAN get your dog to stop peeing in the house and it’s really not that hard.

Arrow Soft RightThere is indeed a secret to it.

The trouble is most people don’t follow a formula that works because they think it’s gonna be hard and they have this idea in their head that its not nice to their dog. Or that it’s not going to work before you start. Or you’ve tried everything already and it hasn’t worked.

I’m here to tell you that I’ve been training dogs professionally for over 14 years and these simple steps to retraining your dog not to pee in the house work and you can do them easily. And your dog won’t be mad at you!

 I’m also here to tell you that you MUST pay attention to the one thing most people don’t do and it has to do with clean up. But we’ll talk about that in a minute.

Here’s What To Do To Stop Your Dog From Peeing in the House

1 circle greenTake your dog out to your chosen pee spot OFTEN on a leash.

Dogs think and learn in pictures. Show your dog where to go repetitively. Take your dog out:

  • First thing in the morning
  • Last thing before you go to bed
  • Every time you come home
  • Every time you leave

2 cirlce greenDuring potty re-training – do not leave your dog out and about in the house unattended.

Ok, so this is the one people freak on. Yes, crate your dog or put them in an x-pen when you are gone or not paying attention to them.  *Note: this is for a short period of time if you just follow this formula.

It’s just like a baby crib and let’s face it, you wouldn’t leave a baby or small child to roam around without getting into something they shouldn’t if you weren’t watching would you?

Your dog will get it after repetition of doing it right, but the set up for success in the beginning is important, and then you will be able to let them roam around on their own without peeing in the house.

3 circle greenMake a big flippin deal with treats, petting praise or both when your dog goes in the right place.

No further explanation needed here. We all look for recognition. Your dog totally digs it. Encourage the behavior when they do the right thing.

The mistake 99% of people make in all of the effort of these 3 simple but effective potty training tips to ruin it all.

Arrow Soft RightCleaning up the mistakes incorrectly.

Seriously. You can do the above steps to a tee and still have your dog peeing in the house if you don’t clean up past mistake correctly.

It is a big secret and it is also frustrating because I swear dog trainers create job security by not including this most important factor in re-training your dog not to pee in the house.

Just so you know, I’m not a product person. Really. I think most of the things that we get out of life with ourselves and with our dogs, comes down to what we DO, not something we buy.

However, several years ago when I was training search dogs for scent, I learned this secret and it made me look like an absolute rock star whenever someone called me to help them with potty training of any kind.

Dog pee leaves an enzyme that then names that spot as “the dog bathroom”

Ever deal with your dog stopping at every bush, tree or post to sniff? And often times your dog pees there too, even if it’s only a couple of drops?

It’s the urine enzyme. And it calls LOUDLY to dogs. PEE HERE!

Until you remove that enzyme from your house, good luck with stopping your dog from peeing there again.

Arrow Soft RightSo, here’s what you should do to remove that enzyme and get your dog to stop peeing in the house.

Stop adding cleaners or liquid that cover up the smell and get Urine Out which in fact removes the enzyme, the stain, and the silent announcement to your dog that says, “The dog bathroom is here!”


Dog Potty Training
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Puppy Potty Training 3 Essential Steps

Puppy Potty Training

Puppy Potty TrainingNew puppies are absolutely adorable. So adorable that potty training gets out of hand simply because you let your puppy do whatever he wants to do from the get go.

Make life easy for you and for your puppy with 3 easy steps to a perfectly potty trained puppy.

Without following these three simple steps puppy potty training can be nothing less than frustrating. It is a bit of an exercise in patience.

Remember you just brought a baby home and like a toddler it is going to require your attention much more so in the early puppy stage then a few months down the line when you take the time to follow these guidelines the first few weeks.

  1. Get a crib for you baby, known in the dog world as a crate.
  2. Do not leave your puppy unattended, just like a baby.
  3. Take your puppy out every 1-2 hours the first week. Every 2-3 hours the second week and every 3 hours the third week.

If your puppy should make a mistake it is of utmost importance you clean it up correctly! You don’t want to smell urine in your home even if a mistake happens. Your puppy will smell it for sure and recognize it as a place already established as an acceptable potty spot. Read below for more information.

Why a crate?

Notice in the list it is described as a baby crib. No one would consider you a terrible person and you wouldn’t consider yourself unfair for putting a baby in a crib to sleep or while you aren’t watching every single move. So why is it that people have an opinion that crating a puppy is a bad thing?

Get over that one and realize you can think of it and even call it a crib or the nursery in your mind and your puppy will be safe and happy about it.

Do Not Leave Your Puppy Unattended

When you cannot watch your puppy as though it is a new born baby, put him in the crib or crate, whichever you prefer to label it. It is as simple as that.

Puppies will wander off and have an accident without you knowing it. Since a puppy learns in pictures as well as led by his nose this proves to be quite frustrating to fix if the habit is established more than a couple of times.

Take Your Puppy Out Often

Ideally taking your puppy out every 1-2 hours will ensure mistakes are impossible. Your puppy may not have to go every time but if you create the picture often enough in the beginning your puppy will without a doubt learn where to go potty.

Crate your puppy to sleep overnight and plan on getting up at least once to take him out. As your puppy grows you’ll be able to let him sleep all night and stretch the day time hours out to 4-6. BE PATIENT and spend the first couple months to get this one right. It will pay off in a perfectly potty trained puppy and you’ll be well on your way to other stellar puppy training as well.

What if I can’t take my puppy out that often?

Many people have to leave their puppy longer than 1-2 hours at a time. If this is the case with you, take your puppy out as often as possible. The first thing you should do when coming home is take your puppy out. Once the pup has done the business play time outside of the crate is on! Just remember not to get distracted and let your puppy run off on his own EVER in the beginning.

Put your puppy in the crate every single time you can’t watch. Not only is it good potty training practice it’s good chew proof practice as well.

What if I feel like I have my puppy in the crate too much?

Simple answer. Make more time to spend with your puppy. One thing you can do is tie a leash to yourself with your puppy clipped to the end. This way there is no wandering off and you can spend time with your puppy other than play time.

Make sure to set an alarm on your watch or phone as a reminder to yourself. The reminder will set a precedent of where to go potty every single time.

What if my puppy makes a mistake?

Getting mad and rubbing your puppy’s nose in a mistake is a big no no. It does nothing to teach your puppy where to go to relieve himself. Puppies and dogs are very much in the moment. Anything you are reprimanding for after the fact only goes in the puppy’s mind as associated with whatever they were doing in the moment you got mad. That could have easily been playing with a chew toy or wagging a tail at you.

Simply take your puppy outside, tell him to go potty and if he does not, put him up in the crate. Take him out later and start the process over. And over. And over.

Most Important Step in Fixing a Potty Mistake

Clean it up properly!! Any old cleaner does not work. The myth of using vinegar doesn’t work for this one either. Pet urine contains enzymes that must be removed or the super duper smell system of puppies and dogs will find the spot again, figure it’s the designated bathroom and go again.


There are several enzyme cleaners out there. From experience there is one in my personal opinion that actually works!

Planet Urine  Get it!  It is a must for any potty training program.  As a bonus there is live coaching that comes along with it!

*I’m not one to recommend anything that doesn’t work and that I haven’t used myself. Over my years of training and working with potty training as an issue this is the one thing that has made the biggest difference. One mistake could establish a built in bathroom in your puppy’s mind!

  • Crate
  • Outside potty
  • Play or stay with you
  • Potty
  • Back in the crate
  • Repeat

Have patience. Breath. Play. Take your puppy outside and most important…..enjoy all the moments. Wag more. Play more.

Maui Dogs | Most Favorite of All Time

Maui Dogs

Maui Dogs | My Most Favorite Of All Time In The History of Ever

Favorite things in the world. We all have them. Most of us don’t celebrate them enough. Unless of course you have “that dog” in your life.

Many times no matter what is going on, that certain dog in our lives constitutes, “My Most Favorite of All Time In The History of Ever.”

I’m called upon a lot for two things:  Dog behavior and dog health. What to feed? What’s the healthiest thing that could possibly make my dog live longer? How much and what kind of exercise could lengthen my dogs life? Those kinds of things. Which I truly love answering and being helpful for people and their dogs.

Sure, behavior can be a problem. But let’s face it. We all got issues! And sometimes quite honestly the dog’s issues are really our own issues. But what are we really worried about in life?

Small orange ckmkWhat quality of life do we have?

Small orange ckmkHow happy are we day to day?

Small orange ckmkHow long are we going to live?

Small orange ckmkIs this all there is?

Things to Add To Most Favorite Of All Time Daily List

PawsLife is short. In the last couple of weeks I’ve had two really cool people I know diagnosed with cancer. Another dog, a Chocolate Lab went to rest forever, hopefully in some dog wonderland. He had cancer too, and he leaves behind a Dude that loved him dearly.

So, make it a commitment.

  • Do your most favorite things as often as possible
  • Be with your most favorite people as often as possible
  • And spend as much time with your most favorite dogs as often as possible
  • Exercise as often as possible
  • Eat whole food as often as possible
  • And love yourself all the time
  • And of course love your dog
  • Drink water… and sometimes wine… laugh, enjoy, live every moment to it’s fullest as often as possible
  • Be grateful for your health and every little thing you have

HeartsDo you ever tell your dog, “I love you more than anything ever?”

There’s a reason. Its called unconditional love. Acceptance. Do that for yourself too. Its the hugest lesson ever you can get from your dog.

Get 17 Things Maui Dog People Should Know

Jt Clough Running Dogs Jt Clough lives in Maui, Hawaii and practices health, happiness, natural remedies and training for dogs and their people. Her work at Maui Dog Remedies is for people looking to live healthier and happier lives through their dogs and her passion for it has helped so many to find and do that thing they’ve been talking about or wishing to happen for so long. She is a dog whisperer for our best friends. Her latest publications are Pumpkin Dog Food + Treats Recipes and 5K Training Guide | Running with Dogs.


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There is a Difference Between Letting Go and Giving Up

Stella Woodard *photo credit Alex Woodard

*by Alex Woodard For the Sender Love Is (Not a Feeling)

There’s a difference between letting go and giving up.

Last year we had mudslides and a flood on the heels of a wildfire that came within feet of our house. The flood washed away shoes, lumber, and anything outside that wasn’t nailed down. And some things that were.

To most of us, a small missing soccer ball wouldn’t be a concern. But to Stella, that ball was everything, and when the water took it she searched for days in all of its usual hiding places, until she finally gave up.

Except she didn’t.

A few days ago we were running down the asphalt road, frozen in places and still bound by snow on both sides. We were a couple of miles from home when Stella suddenly took off to my right, disappearing behind the drifts of plow-pushed snow piles. She was heading towards the creek, which had a thin layer of ice still clinging to its surface.

I yelled at her, because I didn’t know just how frozen the creek really was and didn’t want her falling in. A few moments passed and I couldn’t see her, so I started to make my way over the drifts when she almost knocked me over coming back out to the road.

With that soccer ball in her mouth.

It’s the same one, I recognize the scuff marks and small tears around the seams.

I have no idea how that dog found her ball two miles from home, after a flood took it away and a season of frozen winter covered it.

But I do know there’s a difference between letting go and giving up.

*Alex is a good friend of mine. He just released a new book and album of 13 songs For the Sender Love Is (Not a Feeling) I trained Stella a few years back while we were in San Diego CA. I loved training Stella. And amazingly enough, as it turns out when I think back to those days it wasn’t about a feeling, it was about what I did. It was about what she did. Stella’s a lucky dog, her dad is Alex Woodard.

Jt Clough Running DogsJt Clough lives in Maui, Hawaii and practices health, happiness, natural remedies and training for dogs and their people.  Her uncanny way of communication with both dogs and people is healing and her training is effective physically and emotionally. Her work at Maui Dog Remedies is for people looking to live healthier and happier lives through their dogs and her passion for it has helped so many to find and do that thing they’ve been talking about or wishing to happen for so long. She is a dog whisperer for our best friends and studies natural dog remedies, nutrition and communication. Her latest publications are Pumpkin Dog Food + Treats Recipes and 5K Training Guide | Running with Dogs.

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