A Dog's Dharma
Resources, tools, handouts and links for dog behavior counseling


At A Dog's Dharma we start out with food rewards. You'll want a food item that your dog loves and is willing to work for. Depending on the situation and how critical it is for your dog to focus immediately will determine the level of treat to use.

  • High Level: hot dogs, cheese, roasted chicken, deli meats, salmon jerky. Use these for when you need to get their attention immediately (e.g., before reacting to another dog). This level of treat can also be used for potty training.
  • Medium Level: most “training” treats and dog food rolls. These treats are used for most training situations. They tend to be lower in calorie than a “regular” treat, smellier and softer for dogs to easily consume.
  • Low Level: dog kibble. You can use this as a transition from food to no food rewards. Plus, in a pinch, grab a handful of dog food!

Treat Bag

Sometimes called a bait bag, these pouches can clip on your pant or have a strap that goes around your waist. Alternatively, you can have the treats in a plastic bag in your loose-fitting pants' pocket.

Collars & Harnesses

Toy and small dogs: a harness is preferred since their throats are more sensitive to pulling.

Medium to large dogs: a regular flat quick-release collar, martingale collar, shoulder clip harness or front clip harness (for pullers).

We do not use choke collars, prong collars or electronic collars; we are a force free company. These devices use aversive methods, which can lead to aversive behavior in your dog. We teach your dog by setting him up for success, rather than teaching your dog through fear based methods.

Also, no retractable leashes. These require the dog to pull, are counterproductive to teaching loose leash walking and can cause injuries.


This one is a must! People ask all the time what dogs have taught us: patience. Remember dogs do not inherently know English. We must find a way to communicate effectively with them. Sometimes this requires more time than expected. Bad habits are hard to break. But so are good ones!


The handouts below are not meant to replace a professional pet dog trainer. They are intended to get you started with common issues. Please contact us for your individual challenges.

Potty Training

Crate Training

Bite Inhibition



KONG Classic Toy

Kong toys are great for teaching your pup appropriate chewing habits. Stuff a Kong with your dog's dinner and he won't be gobbling it up before you've set the bowl down.

Front Clip Harness
The recommended training harness for dogs who pull: SENSE-ation Dog Harness (for mild pullers), Balance Harness or Freedom No-Pull Harness (for extreme pullers).

Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
Tons of information on dog training & behavior via positive reinforcement

Whole Dog Journal
Great resource for health and well being for your canine companion

Washington Heights Veterinary Clinic
Unparalleled level of patient care in a compassionate and positive setting. They strive to exceed the expectations of their clients and staff by focusing on high quality medicine, attention to detail, and ultimate patient comfort.

NOTE: The Web sites listed above are intended as resources only. They are not a substitute for professional dog training or behavior modification.

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