Category Archives: Puppies

Make the dog trainer happy :-))

I’ve had a lot of people pay me a lot of ways over the years, but one of today’s clients did it up right!

Here’s the setup:

A great golden retriever puppy that is 14 weeks old.
A very cool client family with 2 kids which are fantastic and work a lot with the puppy.
A lot of hard work done over the last three weeks training with the puppy.

So, after the lesson today the Mrs. says “hey, we need to pay you for the lessons, let me get the checkbook” and walks inside the house. When she comes back outside Stella (the puppy) runs over to her on the front porch and waits while she writes the check. After she finishes signing everything she rips the check out, hands it to the puppy and yells at me to call Stella over. One quick “Here” command and Stella flashes across the yard to bring me the check! No chewing, no slobber, no running off with a multi-hundred dollar check, just straight to me in that wonderful Golden Retriever “I’m doing the right thing” way. Amazing.

Now, I ask you, is that a well trained puppy or not?

So, if I can have a wonderful ending to any Monday I think this would be it. A Golden puppy running across the yard bringing me a check. That makes today a VERY good day indeed.

Steve Haynes
A very PROUD Austin dog trainer
Fidelio Dog Works

Oh my goodness, dog training brings peaceful coexistence.

Proof of the power of Place command

Well, this is proof of what can happen.

This puppy, a full bore border collie was chasing the poor cats around like crazy in the house before he learned the place command. The cats were getting a bit fed up, the people were getting a bit fed up and well, the puppy was just doing what puppies do…. which is wreak havoc.

After working on the command for about 30 minutes, this little bit of peaceful coexistence came about. Can you say happy dog/cat owner or what?!

And, just to toot my own horn a bit, here is the email I got from the owners a couple of days after the lesson.


Thank you SOOOO much!!!! I think Monty had a great time with the lessons (yay treats!). He is certainly having fun practicing with us!

We were so impressed with you that we are telling all of our friends who have dogs about you. Thank you for being so helpful and friendly…we are eternally grateful! We’ll keep you updated on his progress!

Brittany, Scott, and Monty


Once again, Place command saves the day!

Steve Haynes
Austin Dog Trainer

Dog Training With Children

We work with kids all the time around here at Fidleio Dog Works. Almost every family wants their children to be involved in working with the dog and that’s a great thing. The more the kids work with puppies and older dogs, the more the relationship becomes cemented and the stronger the bonds become.

There is a downside though. Kids have short attention spans, and puppies have shorter attention spans. Sometimes this can cause a bit of friction in the house. When working with your kids, remember to keep the sessions very short, usually 2-3 minutes works great for this. These short sessions are fantastic for the dogs as well.

With puppies, it’s always better to train more times per day for shorter segments. We would much rather have you do 10 sessions of 2 minutes than to sit there and try to get the puppy to work with you for 20 straight minutes. It’s just to much for their little minds to take in most cases.

Along these lines, I’m posting a link to a video of my daughter and me working with a schnauzer pup on the “Place” command.

You’ll notice that the puppy and the daughter have roughly the same attention span on this. Still, I’m proud of both of them. The puppy learned the place command perfectly and my Daughter isn’t bad on the command either! Now, if she’ll just do that when she turns 16…..

All my best,

Steve Haynes
Fidelio Dog Works

Puppies puppies everywhere!……

This has been a puppy month at Fidelio Dog Works.

I’ve got a number of clients that have gotten new pups in the last few weeks some of them brought from as far away as northern Canada. Getting these little guys shipped is no small task and we had a number of days where we were wondering if we would ever manage to get the the little guys and gals to their new homes. But, by this past week all were here and settling in nicely and it was time to start training.

If you’ve read any of this blog you know that I’m a HUGE believer in getting puppies into training early. I really like to start with them at eight or nine weeks old as they are generally really receptive to the training we do at that time and we’ll get roughly eight weeks of training during their imprinting phase which is enormously important.

Sammy, one of the lab puppies I’ve been working with for five lessons now just graduated to walking with me off leash yesterday. He’s 12 weeks old and already has his place command, come, sit, heel, finish (come around to the heel position when you come to me). This is pretty impressive even for a 12 week old dog. Needless to say, is owners have been putting in a LOT of work with him but it just goes to show you what can be done if you start training early and do it the right way.

Hannah is a little Golden puppy that we’ve done just two sessions with at this point but she already has her sit, walk on the correct side, sit when the handler stops moving and come commands down quite well. I had worked with Hannah’s owners before with another of their dogs but they are completely amazed and how quickly little Hannah is picking up on the training we’re working on. I fully anticipate Hannah will be off leash trained by the time she’s 16 weeks old at the rate she’s going.

So, if you are thinking about getting a puppy in the next few months book your trainer now (doesn’t have to be me but book someone) so that you get the amazing benefits of working with the pups when they are young. You won’t be sorry and you and the pup will have a much happier life together.

Steve Haynes
Austin Dog Trainer
Fidelio Dog Works

Training tracking dogs….to climb trees??

A couple of months ago I got a call to work with a client that had a particular dilemma. He is a hunter and last year a deer that he had wounded managed to escape and he wasn’t able to find it. Now for hunters this is a VERY bad thing. It’s not managing the wildlife correctly and it’s wasteful.

So, Ken, being the good, responsible hunter that he is decided that he would never let that happen again so he wanted to train his new Patterdale Terrier pup to track wounded deer so that he would never loose another one.

I won’t go into detail of how we did all this tracking work (lots of time out in the cactus studded woods gives you some idea) but this little dog was a natural born tracker.

Zada, the pup, has the true traits of all great Patterdales, she is VERY TENACIOUS. That means that if the trail of the deer went over a cactus, so did Zada. It just didn’t matter what she had to go through to find the deer, she would do it!

Imagine my surprise last night when Ken sent me some pictures of little Miss Zada tracking a Squirrel. Well, now, I’ve never exactly taught a dog to track squirrels but it looks like Ken’s been working on this and, as expected, Zada is doing her dogged best to find whatever she’s told to look for.

So, take a look at the pictures below of Zada tracking her quarry and know that she is only the second dog I’ve ever seen that can literally climb trees!

And, by the way, Zada doesn’t need the fire department to come help her down from 20 feet up in the trees.



Steve Haynes
Austin Dog Trainer
Fidelio Dog Works

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