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Dog Walking Tips & More from Professional Dog Trainer Lulu Clarke

Lulu Clarke Yellow Brick Dogs_sm


To celebrate National Walk your Dog Week, October 1-7, we talked with a professional dog trainer in our city of Richmond, VA. Lulu Clarke, KPA-CTP, owns Yellow Brick Dogs, a dog training and walking program. 


1. What inspired you to become a dog trainer?

I grew up on a small farm surrounded by all kinds of animals! Horseback riding and horse training were my first passions, but when my family’s German Shepherd developed aggression toward other dogs as well as strangers, I became deeply fascinated with canine behavior. Helping her feel more comfortable and confident was all I could think about. After much studying, and then working with other trainers, I was on the path of becoming a professional dog trainer. My business name, Yellow Brick Dogs, was inspired by how I see dog training: it’s a journey, not a destination, and how you travel the road is important! 

2. What is one of the most common complaints or concerns you have from clients?

Pulling on leash is easily the number one issue my clients have with their dogs. While it’s a complicated issue, a big part of the problem is our expectations. We want to be able to take our dogs out for a stroll in straight lines on concrete, with no pauses for sniffing, barking, or playing. To be perfectly blunt, that’s boring for dogs! When we walk outside, we look around to take in visual stimuli–our dogs do that, too, but they are also receiving a lot more information via their incredible sense of smell! We can’t expect them to just ignore all of that.

Dog walking 150dpi3. What steps can dog owners take to create a better walking experience for both dog and human?

Practice! However, if you practice by taking your dog for a walk, you may be practicing pulling, lunging, and uncontrollable sniffing! Set your dog up for success, and start by teaching your dog to walk next to you in the house. Rewarding is key! Use small pieces of food to let your dog know when he is in the right spot. When your dog can walk next to you in the house, move to the back yard or the front sidewalk, but increase the difficulty gradually or else your dog may revert to prior habits.

Take treats on your walk in a training pouch so you’ll be ready to reward good walking behavior! If you’re really struggling on walks, a front-attach harness or a head halter may be a good idea to keep your dog from practicing pulling. However, equipment is NOT a substitute for training. Also, give your dog opportunities to sniff– the mental stimulation is worth the pause. 

4. What is the best success story you’ve seen in your time as a dog trainer?

Years ago, I was just starting out, and I received an e-mail from a man with a Pit mix named Ruby. Ruby was an athletic, spry, and energetic dog, but she was also highly dog aggressive. Her owner was absolutely terrified to walk her, and she never got out of the house. He had tried methods from TV shows and used a prong collar when it was necessary to take her out (to the vets). I was his last resort, and after working together, Ruby was able to walk around other dogs happily and without special collars. She eventually even learned to swim and play off leash with other dogs. Helping Ruby gain confidence was rewarding, but watching her owner walk her successfully after years of being afraid to so…that was amazing. Ruby recently passed away, at the age of 16, but the last years of her life were full of fun walks at the river.

5. Tell us about your dogs and foster dog!

I have two rescue dogs, Galley and Pinot, both around 3 years old. I adopted Gal, my Border Collie mix, as a puppy; she was practically feral when I brought her home! It’s hard to believe she’s come so far, but she still has more to learn. Pinot, my terrier mix, was a street-wise stray, and is now a Karen Pryor Academy graduate and future agility dog. Simone is my ever so sweet foster dog through Eastern Herding Dog Rescue. She’s a 3 year-old Border Collie mix and is available for adoption! (as of 10/1/15)


Many thanks to Lulu for sharing her story and tips with us!


Lulu Clarke is the owner of Yellow Brick Dogs, a dog training company in Richmond, VA. Yellow Brick Dogs offers private lessons, group workshops, and daytime exercise and training for your dog while you’re at work. Lulu is a Karen Pryor Academy graduate, and all training is based on solid science, positive reinforcement, communication, and fun for both dogs and their owners. To find out more about Lulu, visit and follow Yellow Brick Dogs on social media for free training tips and advice.


Drool Dog Recipe: Birthday Ice Cake for Dogs

IMG_3807_facebooksizeDogs love an occasional icy treat, which is just what we at Best Bully Sticks did to celebrate the birthday of Tuesday, our resident Great Dane puppy who turned 1!

We decided to incorporate one of our new exciting products, Chloe’s Sustainable Protein Treats, into our birthday cake. These fun, start-shaped dog biscuits are actually made of cricket protein! Crickets are a sustainable source of protein, iron, and amino acids, and the crickets used in Chloe’s treats are human grade. Chloe’s Treats are hypoallergenic dog treats with no eggs, corn, grains, or soy and come in delicious flavor combinations like Sweet Potato & Cinnamon, Peanut Butter & Turkey Bacon, Peanut Butter & Banana, and Apple & Turmeric. For Tuesday’s Birthday Ice Cake, we used the Peanut Butter & Turkey Bacon variety.


Now for the Instructions!PB bacon chloes

  1. Choose a medium size mixing bowl and line with the top layer of treats. In our case we chose Chloe’s Treats for their fun shape. Put just enough water in to cover the layer of treats and freeze.
  2. Once that layer is frozen, lay the treats you have chosen for the middle section against the sides of the bowl (you want your dog to be able to smell the treat). Fill with a thin layer (1/4 in.) of water and freeze them into place.
  3. Once that layer has been frozen, add the remaining water to fill the bowl. You want to leave at least an inch of room at the top of the bowl because it will swell as it freezes.
  4. When you are ready to give the treat to your dog, you can run the outside of the bowl under warm water to loosen it from the bowl.

Pro tip: Choose a bowl with an interesting shape. Decorative bundt cake pans are a great way to do this!


Tuesday, a Happy Birthday Girl



Bone Appetit!Bone appetit!

For more icy dog treat recipes, see our Bully Flake Ice Cube Dog Treats and Pumpkin Please Pupsicles.




5 Ways to Improve your Pup’s Dog Breath

Dog with ToothbrushWe love our dogs: their loyalty, their cuddliness, playfulness, and goofiness. One of their less appealing traits, however, is their dog breath. They can’t help it, but as a savvy, caring dog parent, you can. See the 5 tips below to help your dog’s breath turn from an awful odor to a smell that’s more tolerable!

1. Have your Veterinarian do a Teeth Exam

Dogs’ teeth should be examined once to twice a year, so be sure to bring this up in his or her annual visit. Your vet is an excellent resource to help determine why your dog’s breath may smell more than usual and how you can improve it.

2. Brush Fido’s Teeth Once a Day

While he may not like having a toothbrush stuck in his mouth, fortunately for them and us, dog toothpaste comes in flavors that appeal to dogs, like chicken, vanilla, and more. Plaque tends to build on dogs’ upper teeth first, so it’s wise to start your brushing there. Establishing a daily habit of teeth brushing when your dog is young can increase your dog’s tolerance to it over time.

"<strong3. Provide your Dog with Safe Chew Toys

Chew Toys are not only an excellent way to entertain your dog, they also rub off tar and plaque and massage gums. Best Bully Sticks carries multiple varieties of chew toys for dogs both large and small.

4. Offer Natural Dental Dog Chews

Bully Sticks are an excellent way to really clean all the nooks and crannies in your dogs’ mouth. Chewing on bully sticks generates saliva, which decreases dry mouth, a common cause of bad breath.

Our extensive selection of bully sticks and other natural chews includes 6″ bully sticks, 12″ bully sticks, specialty bully sticks, and more.

12ThickOdorFree no pad5. Give your Dog Fresh, Healthy Snacks

Carrots and green beans are just a few vegetables we can give our dogs in moderation that are not only healthy, they can also help improve breath.

For a list of safe, fresh foods for dogs, see our 20 Pet Friendly People Foods for Dogs.


If your dog is still experiencing unusually bad breath, another visit to the veterinarian may be in order, as it could be the sign of a medical condition. Best Bully Sticks, hopes though, that with a healthy diet, active lifestyle, and a daily bully stick or other natural chew, your dog’s dental hygiene and breath are pawsome!


Dogs of America

To celebrate Memorial Day, and all patriotic American holidays, we at BestBullySticks created a fun infographic on the Dogs of America! These 9 nationally notable Dogs were some of the coolest furry four-leggers to walk the USA. There is Sergeant Stubby who was a Military Working Dog in World War I, even awarded the Purple Heart for his service. Buddy, the German Shepherd who was the 1st formally trained guide dog for the blind, and has a statue in his honor in New Jersey today. Then there is Balto, a Siberian Husky who ran the last leg of the Serum Race to get a much needed antitoxin to the village of Nome! Just more examples of the selfless service and bravery of man’s best friend! Read our infographic for more fun facts about these amazing All-American Dogs!


BBS Celebrates: Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

BestBullySticks hopes you’re making the most out of this history-rich and important holiday. Originally celebrated to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the American Civil War, this holiday has grown to honor the men and women who’ve died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Memorial Day celebrations usually consist of visiting cemeteries and memorials of fallen soldiers. Often, these memorial services are followed by a potluck style meal or cookout. The common practice among many Americans to have a potluck-style dinner or cookout originated from a pre-Civil War tradition to have a “dinner on the ground” as part of a religious service.

People all over the country have family members proudly serving in our military. And while these fine folks have earned great respect for their duties, there are some heroes who often get overlooked — dogs!

Military Dogs

Dogs have played pivotal roles in the military dating as far back as 600 BCE. Trainable, loyal and fearless, many breeds were well suited for military service. While there are few breeds entirely excluded from becoming a service animal, there is an explicit preference for certain breeds. German and Dutch Shepherds are the most common because of their high intelligence, dependability and trainability.

Officially called Military Working Dogs (MWD) or K-9, service dogs fill a huge variety of roles and bravely stick by the sides of their handlers. Ancient military dogs were even seen in the front lines of battle, often covered in armor and charging the front lines in an attempt to break enemy ranks! However, the role of the MWD has changed as militaries have evolved. Now, militaries now use dogs as scouts and sentries because of their comparatively heightened smell, hearing and sight. read more…

101 Dog Care Tips: Young Children and Dogs

Kids can be rough. They also have trouble showing empathy. If your child is acting too rough with your dog it is likely that your child does not even realize s/he’s hurting the dog. Young children do not understand how rough and boisterous behavior can aggravate a dog. As a parent it is important to step in and make sure the relationship between your children and dog is functional and happy.

Three common kid behaviors that annoy dogs are:

(1) Shouting

I don't like a rough wake up

 (2) Grabbing

i don't like it when you grab my ears or my tail

 (3) Rough wake ups

i don't like when you shout at me

 To effectively correct this behavior, you should spell out the rules and consequences for your children. You will need to revisit these rules and be consistent in your punishment. It is important to note that you should never threaten to get rid of the dog when punishing your kids for breaking the rules. Instead, use positive reinforcement. Praise and reward your children when they treat the dog in the appropriate way.

Looking for more tips on dog ownership with young children?

Choosing the Right Dog for Your Children

Dogs & Kids: Introducing your Dog and Baby

Dogs & Kids: Introducing your Dog and Baby Part 2

Dogs & Kids: Introducing a New Dog into your Home

Weekly Drool Recipe: Banana Pumpkin Dog Treats

Today brings you an easy, but nutritious banana pumpkin dog treat recipe that will stand up to your pooch’s taste test. Paul from Sweet Paul Magazine lent us this fantastic recipe, which his dogs readily approved of and yours will, too! Aside from their great taste, these banana pumpkin dog treats offer a variety of health benefits. Bananas are chock-full of amino acids, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins, potassium, fiber and manganese. Pumpkin provides your pup with a variety of nutrients that are thought to support digestive health, weight loss, and urinary health.

banana pumpkin dog treats sweet paul


  • 1 very ripe banana
  • ½ can pumpkin purée
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

For instructions on how to make these banana pumpkin dog treats, visit Sweet Paul Magazine.

 Many thanks to Paul for sharing this great recipe! We hope our canine fans enjoy.

Bone Appetit!Bone Appetit!



Looking to try some more pumpkin dog treat recipes?

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Grain-Free Pumpkin Dog Treats

Blueberry Pumpkin Dog Treats

Weekly Drool Recipe: Sweet Potato Dog Biscuits

shutterstock_139005761Sweet Potatoes are a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals that your dog can benefit from! 

Sweet potato, an anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory food, offers a wide variety of health benefits. For one, sweet potatoes are rich in amino acids which are essential for your pup to maintain healthy lean muscle. They are also full of fiber which supports digestive health, and are packed with antioxidants. These antioxidants are great for an upset stomach! And Best Bully Sticks knows that dogs LOVE sweet potato. We’re happy to feature My Baking Addiction’s Sweet Potato Dog Biscuit recipe for our furry fans!


Yield: About 2 dozen biscuits

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes


Ingredients:my baking addiction sweet potato biscuit pic

  • 1 cup of canned sweet potato (you can sub fresh if you want)
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, or gluten free flour
  • 1 egg (beaten)

*1/2 tsp of salt can be added to these treats to help extend the shelf life but, it is optional.

For instructions on how to make these sweet potato dog biscuits, visit My Baking Addiction.


 Many thanks to Jamie for sharing this great recipe! We hope our canine fans enjoy.


Bone Appetit!Bone Appetit!


Want to try other sweet potato dog treats?

                        Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Dog Treats

                        Sweet Potato Nothings Dog Treats 

                        Layered Sweet Potato Frosty Bones


St. Patrick’s Day Green Mint Dog Treats

st. patrick's day green dog treatsHappy Saint Patrick’s Day! 

If you plan to celebrate the holiday with your furry friend, these green St. Patty’s themed dog treats from Minnie in Manhattan are perfect!

These treats have no artificial color. Their beautiful vibrant green color is actually from mint and parsley. Mint and parsley not only provide the treats beautiful green color, these ingredients also help freshen your pup’s breath. On top of improving doggy breath, mint is believed to help alleviate nausea and stomach ache. Parsley is believed to ease arthritis pain and promote digestive health. 


  • 3 1/2 cups organic brown rice flower
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water

For instructions on how to bake these St. Patrick’s Day green mint dog treats, visit Minnie in Manhattan

Many thanks to Christie for sharing this great recipe! We hope our canine fans enjoy.

st. patrick's day green dog treat 

Bone Appetit!Bone Appetit!




Looking for more breath-freshening dog treats?


Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits 

Drool Dog Recipe: Turmeric and Flax Dog Biscuits

turmeric and flax dog biscuitsLooking for a healthy treat to pamper your pooch with?

These turmeric and flax dog biscuits, created by Tod and Diane from White on Rice, are a delicious and healthy treat for your pup.  Turmeric is thought to have pain relieving, cleansing, and anti-inflammatory properties. Along with the healing qualities of turmeric, flax is fantastic for your pup’s skin, coat, and immune system.

The pain relieving qualities of turmeric and the immune system boosting properties of flax make these dog biscuits a fantastic choice for a senior dog or a pup with a painful ailment.


  • 3/4 cup (180ml) hot Water
  • 1 teaspoon Beef or Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • 1 1/3 cup (175g) all-purpose Flour
  • 1 1/3 cup (175g) Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (55g) ground Flax Seed
  • 1 Tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 cup (130g) Peanut Butter
  • 1 Egg

 For instructions on how to make these turmeric and flax dog biscuits, visit White on Rice.

 Many thanks to Todd & Diane for sharing this great recipe! We hope our canine fans enjoy.


Bone Appetit!Bone Appetit!

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