10 episodes

I’m your host Kathy Santo and I’m here to teach you everything I’ve learned in my three plus decades of training dogs, their families, competing in dog sports, writing about dogs, and being a guest on radio and TV shows.

Kathy Santo's Dog Sense Kathy Santo

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I’m your host Kathy Santo and I’m here to teach you everything I’ve learned in my three plus decades of training dogs, their families, competing in dog sports, writing about dogs, and being a guest on radio and TV shows.

    A Day In The Life Of A KSDT Puppy

    A Day In The Life Of A KSDT Puppy

    • 23 min
    Episode 9 - What's This

    Episode 9 - What's This

    • 17 min
    Kathy Santo's Dog Sense Episode 8: On The Road Again

    Kathy Santo's Dog Sense Episode 8: On The Road Again

    Kathy: Welcome to Kathy Santo’s Dog Sense, I'm your host Kathy Santo and I'm here to teach you everything I've learned in my over three decades of training dogs, their families, competing in dog sports, writing about dogs, and being a guest on radio and TV shows. And I am with one of my trainers, Sarah out in Colorado and we are doing an episode on traveling, because I don't know about you Sarah, but I've traveled a ton with my dogs. 
    Sarah: Yeah. So specifically, we'll be talking about if you were to go on a long road trip with your dog. We'll touch on a little bit of if you are traveling on an airplane with your dog, but mainly we'll go over our tried and true tips. I mean I've traveled halfway across the country with my three dogs multiple times, and I'm sure you've done a ton of traveling with your dogs as well.
    Kathy: I have. And back in the day when I was competing a lot, there were a lot of airline flights as well. So yeah, a lot to say about that. And I think that this topic came up because we hear it really two times of the year. One is over the holidays. Everybody wants to travel with their dog on the holidays, but another popular time is during the summer. You guys get that vacation. And the first thing I always say to people is, “How much traveling has your dog done?” 
    Sarah: Exactly!
    Kathy: So you get the dog who maybe comes to class once a week or he goes to the vet once a year and now they want to go on a road trip. And I'm like, “No, you have to teach your dog to get used to traveling!” Because it's a lot. And I'm like, “Are there some dogs that'll roll with it?” Yeah, absolutely. But it's an experience they have to get used to.” People have dogs who are fearful of cars, they get that. But people who haven't had that experience don't understand that a dog who loves a trip down the block or to the dog school may not be comfortable with something that is that long in one space. So you’ve got to get them used to it.
    Sarah: Yeah, and they don't think about all of the safety, kind of, like, the preparations that you need to take. Not only just safety, but also, if it's a really long road trip, all the prep that goes into, like, their food, the water, making sure you have proper identification, emergency vet contact information. We're going to go over all of that. But there is so much prep for safety as well when traveling with your dog that's really, really important. People just think they can throw their dog in the car and go. And some dogs might be okay with that, but most of them need a little bit more prep than that.
    Kathy: Yeah. And if you think you’re going to do that and you do, you find out pretty quickly that you made a big error in judgment. Alright! So the first thing I think we would both agree on is that if you're going to take a road trip of any great length, and for me, I think anything over two hours is going to be something that a lot of dogs need to get used to. So I'm not saying go on two hour trips, but I am saying go beyond the comfort zone. If your dog only goes to pick up your kids at school, you know, you got to get some longer trips going. So that would be my first thing. Prepare your dog with the length of travel and, also, prepare them for the different environments. You know, if you're going to a hotel and they have slippery floors, or your dog's going to be in an elevator. Like these are the things that you need to get the dog comfortable with before you decide to take them out and about.
    Sarah: And also just being in the car, too. So of course, we're going to touch on this as well, but safety, whether they're in a crate or in a crash proof harness. Also, so I don’t know if you've noticed this, but my dogs, when they're in their crates in the car, they go into kind of like a trance. Like, they just go to sleep. Even if in the rare case they are in the bac

    • 30 min
    Kathy Santo Dog Training Episode 7: Housebreaking Your Puppy

    Kathy Santo Dog Training Episode 7: Housebreaking Your Puppy

    Transcript
    Kathy: Welcome to Kathy Santo’s Dog Sense. I'm your host Kathy Santo, and I'm here to teach you everything I've learned in my over three decades of training dogs, their families, competing in dog sports, writing about dogs and being a guest on radio and TV shows. And I'm here with one of my trainers staff in Colorado. And wait, did you guys get snow? 
    Sarah: Oh my God, we got like two feet of snow right now. It's awesome.
    Kathy: Oh my gosh, I'm glad you said “Aw”, I was thinking “ful”, she said awesome. I'm like, that's why she should be in Colorado and I should be here in Jersey where it was like 52 today.
    Sarah: I know you guys have some nice weather. I got some of the pictures from the teams today. It looked really nice there.
    Kathy: Yeah, it's, it's really great. And the dogs are loving it because if it feels like spring and, you know how we have a few dogs who definitely don't like the cold weather, so we're planning some extra indoor activities at daycare for them. Fun, warm activity. What else did we do today? Oh, we did our last day of Thanksgiving photo shoots.
    Sarah: Yeah, those have been coming out amazing.
    Kathy: Aren’t they great? Wait ‘til see the holiday winter one. Oh my gosh. I'll send you pictures.
    Sarah: I can't wait for that. 
    Kathy: It's a big surprise. All right. So anyway, today we are tasked with talking about potty training.
    Sarah: Not only is potty training but realistic expectations for potty training. So of course, like, we go over what the kind of general process is, but real life training your puppy potty training is a little bit different.
    Kathy: It is. And I think I really feel like people have unrealistic expectations. My personal feeling is that it takes until the puppy is six months old to be, like, done with it. Now that said, I've had puppies much younger, be perfect. As I a matter of fact, I've never had a puppy take that long. But I'm a trainer, you know, and that's our, it's my jam. Like, I'm watching the, I know what to do. So, but I think a realistic expectation for someone who's not a trainer would be by six months you are done, and there's a lot of things that you could do to make that work easier and there is a lot of things that you could do to make it take much, much longer..
    Sarah: Exactly.
    Kathy: All right, so let's start back at the breeder. All right. So my breeder, one of my breeders, she has a litter of golden puppies and, I think, they are now seven, eight days old and she's, maybe there are two weeks old...Anyway, I think they're two weeks old, and she's introducing the concept of potty-ing in a certain area right now. So they had wee pads down and they're learning to look for that to go. And then from there there'll be moved to, in a couple of weeks, they’ll be moved to a different surface and then learn to go there. And that's one thing she really values is sending a puppy home from the litter box who already has the idea started. 
    Sarah: That is incredible. I didn't realize that they were doing it that young. 
    Kathy: Yeah, it's amazing. And that's where I got Indy from and he, I didn't have to do any housebreaking he gave into my life an 8 week old puppy, he's like, “Hey, I go outside, this is the door?” I'm like, “Oh yeah, sure dude, like, let's go outside.” When I also did was I took the same materials she used to housebreak them and I got a bag of it. So I had an area in my yard and that's where he went. So that’s, you know, your best shot is you're having a breeder who is working on that for you. Now the worst case scenario is you have a dog who's already learned, whether it's a puppy or a shelter dog, rescue dog, learn to go anywhere. 
    Sarah: Yup. 
    Kathy: Pet store dogs. It's terrible because they're in a cage, they have to go and that's where they go. And then we want you to housebreak your dog and use c

    • 36 min
    Kathy Santo's Dog Sense Episode 6: The Ultimate Dog Owner's Guide to a Peaceful and Drama-Free Thanksgiving

    Kathy Santo's Dog Sense Episode 6: The Ultimate Dog Owner's Guide to a Peaceful and Drama-Free Thanksgiving

    • 42 min
    Kathy Santo's Dog Sense Episode 5: How Many Heels Do You Need?

    Kathy Santo's Dog Sense Episode 5: How Many Heels Do You Need?

    Kathy: Welcome to Kathy Santo’s Dog Sense Episode Five: How Many Heels Do You Need? And I'm here with my trainer and good friend, Sarah, who is out in Colorado. How's the weather out there?
    Sarah: The weather is absolutely beautiful. How are you guys doing in Jersey?
    Kathy: I think it's the first official day of Fall.
    Sarah: It’s getting there.
    Kathy: Yeah, I'm not, I'm not ready for the cold weather, which I know you love. 
    Sarah: Yes, I do.
    Kathy: But anyway, so in classes lately I've been realizing that my students have lovely formal Heels. They have not-so-lovely when they're not on a formal command. And I kind of wanted to sort of flesh this out and talk about the difference between formal heel and informal heel and everything in between. So, when you tell your dog to heel, when I tell my dog to Heel, there's a message conveyed and that means, “Stand next to me, pay attention whether it's peripherally or with your head up and change pace with me, change direction with me. Basically you and I are in sync.” And to some degree or another. I mean there's competition heeling that we do that's really high level, and then there's the sort of pet student who has that, but maybe it's a little bit looser. But either way, the dog has a very strong understanding of paying attention to your body language. But I've noticed that when the dogs aren’t on a formal Heel, pandemonium breaks out, riots occur and the dog doesn't look anything like a trained dog. And I think that's a problem.
    Sarah: Absolutely. So what we had talked about briefly before is that, so when you put your dog on a leash and you start walking, what is the dog's expectation and understanding of how they should be behaving in that specific scenario when no verbal command is given. Because, like you said, we have the formal Heel where, you know, the dog sits next to us beautifully walking, heeling, looking up at us, all that. But what you're going to go into further, I think is something that most owners don't even think of, or they just think that the dogs should automatically know it and they don't. So while we're not connecting a verbal command to it, it's something that still has to be taught.
    Kathy: I feel like the leash should be the cue. 
    Sarah: Yeah.
    Kathy: Right? I clip it on you, we are now conjoined and there's an expectation I have, but it's not fair to have that expectation if you've not taught it to the dog. And so the dog is like, “Well you didn't say Heel, so that's why I'm pulling towards that tree.” And so I think there's a middle ground. I think it's not formal and it's not, “Sniff, be a dog, and go potty.” I think there's something in between. And what I've been telling my students to call it, I mean I don't care what they call it, but we were saying, “Here we go.” And “Here we go,” to me, is a moving version of what I called, “Standby.” Now, when I was teaching seminars, I would have my dog out for demos as seminar people do. And there's a point where, you know, you do this demo, people ask questions and you're going to do another one, and you don't necessarily want to put the dog on Place or in the crate. You want the dog near you, but you don't want the dog disconnecting and just going off into the raspberry bushes. So, I taught my dog “Standby” and basically what that means is, “You're off duty, but we're going to do something again soon. So sort of stay connected with me.” And then when I wanted the dog to do something, then it would be a request. So I feel like this Heel that we're talking about is the moving version of “Standby.” Do you know what I mean?
    Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. And that sounds perfect because you'd be walking with them, it would be a loose leash Heel around the neighborhood, but they would not be able to pull you to the tree to pee on it or pull you to a perso

    • 14 min