The Circus is Hibernating: New Classes Starting in 2013.

If you have been wondering where we have been, well it got cold a and rainy and we started to hibernate.  After an extremely productive year we fell into a deep sleep. Now we are stretching and yawning and waking up to prepare for a new year filled with new classes. We had such a great 2012 thanks to a lovely article about us that ran on the first page of the sunday SF Chronicle early edition and the front page of the home and garden section.

The exposure from the article introduced us to lots of great people, many of them as freaky as us. Some of our most dedicated students were worried that the little Canine Circus School hidden in the heart of the East Bay would cease to be the underground cool thing for those in the know.  They thought because of the article the secret was out.  We had a good run but instead of selling out we went into hibernation thereby ensuring the secret coolness of the Canine Circus School for generations to come.   Or so the legend goes.  Even though the circus is hibernating we are still doing private lessons.  If you want to arrange a time to sit down and learn some new tricks or work on a behavior problem, let us know we are never too sleepy to help.  Call us at 415- 779-6550.

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New Classes starting in 2013 stay tuned for the schedule. Until then here are a few tricks for you to work on when the weather is cold.

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OK, so a rescued Pit Bull walks into a bar…

Check out this fun video we made after finishing a set of 8 private lessons with Leslie and her Pit Bull Levi. What an awesome team, I am lucky to have such great students.

Levi the Pit Bull relaxing between takes

If dog training was high school then we are the art room set.  Other trainers can be the jocks, honor students, or the popular clique.  I’m always happiest in creative mode, and I love working with people who are interested in exploring the creative side of dog training.  If you are interested in this sort of thing come join the fun by attending our Canine Circus School, or doing some private lessons.

SF Guardian Article, A Vivid Description of What We Do

Check us out in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. I can’t believe they managed to squeeze so much into one article, but I’m very thankful they did!  The closing line, to me, is the most important. I’m super glad it got in there.

the goal is to reawaken people’s ability to dream, and to imagine what animals may be capable of.

Bubba the Eyeless Akita learns to stay in Place

Folks have commented that the writer, Emily Appelbaum, got the look and feel of Saint Roch’s exactly right.  Thank you very much to Emily and the San Francisco Bay Guardian for spending the time to get to know us and our extended family.

the goal is to reawaken people’s ability to dream, and to imagine what animals may be capable of.

The Circus Ring is a chaotic and distracting place for a dog, please come prepared by fulfilling the basic requirements listed below.

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Idle Hands are the Devil’s Workshop: A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Dog Trainer

A full day of dog training starts with a hardy breakfast. There is nothing like fresh eggs and La Farine bread. On this day my father was visiting. He played fiddle at Saint Roch’s while I danced around a blind Akita named Bubba. Earlier this year my Dad recorded  harmonica tracks for former Velvet Underground member Doug Yule. Check it out here.  To watch our Rooster do a card trick click here

Last post I talked about healing behavior problems from the inside out.  Yesterday I received an email from clients in Berkeley who were feeling the rewards of this approach to training.

We are so grateful that we found Francis Metcalf, the incredible dog trainer at Friends of the Family.  Since we have been working with him, our magnificent Giant Schnauzer has made amazing progress.  We only wish we had not waited until HH was almost five years old.  Since we got him, from a top breeder, at seven months of age, HH has tended to lunge at people (never other dogs) and intimidate them, although he has never bitten anyone.  We therefore have, over all these years, severely limited HH’s contact with other people, which has had a big impact on our lives.