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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!


How to “Talk Dog”- Learn to Communicate with your Dog

shutterstock_107501672-smMany people know that for companion dogs to understand what we want from them, it is important to communicate differently than we do with one another. Our language, using many words together in full sentences, is not clear or discernible to dogs. We can help dogs learn certain words or commands by making those words meaningful, but simply talking to dogs and expecting them to understand is asking way too much of them. So, how do we learn to “talk dog“ to our best buddies so we can better communicate our needs? To be honest, it’s not that difficult.

Body Language, Facial Expressions and Tone

The old saying, “it’s not what you say, but how you say it” is a really good thing to keep in mind when attempting to communicate with your dog. Dogs are not complex thinkers and simply see the world in terms of “what’s good” and “what’s bad”. A high voice is good, so when the dog does something you like, tell them “great job” in a high pitched, happy sounding voice with a smile on your face.

shutterstock_105853361_smConversely, when the dog does something naughty like counter surfing, or jumping up on you or someone else, simply say “OFF” in a very deep voice with a grimace on your face to communicate clearly that he or she has behaved badly. It is important to note here that the dog’s attention span is very short and can work to your advantage. So, if the unwanted “jump” can be followed quickly with a “sit” command, you may replace the wrong behavior with the right one. To seal the deal, reinforce the correct behavior by popping a treat in the dog’s mouth and change your tone to a happy and high pitched one. Dogs also respond best when we are dramatic, so it is extremely important to pull out the stops and be very expressive about your “likes and dislikes” with respect to their behavior.

By rewarding or reinforcing the right behavior at the right time using the proper tone, body language and facial expressions, you and your dog will start to learn the same language and you will be amazed by the transitions the dog can make once you no longer have a failure to communicate.

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see

5 Ways to Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with your Dog

valentine corgi webAt Best Bully Sticks, we believe every day should be treated like Valentine’s Day!

After all, Fido deserves love, affection, good exercise, chews, and toys to keep him happy year round.

But if you truly want to celebrate, here are 5 ways to make this Valentine’s Day extra special for you and your canine friend:


1. Make some delicious treats in the kitchen. If you enjoy playing in the kitchen, show your dog some love by whipping up treats that he’ll go nuts for!

For some sweet decadence: Valentine’s Day Carob Dipped Dog Biscuits

For a cheesy, easy, gourmet snack: Chock Full of Cheese Cookies

If you don’t have the time to make drool-worthy dog treats for Valentine’s Day, you can show your canine best friend(s) some love in other ways.shutterstock_237411067_web

2. Get some exercise — it will benefit both of you! Take him for a longer than usual walk. Does Fido like to fetch? Get out that squeeze toy, ball, or Frisbee and wear him out — fit, healthy dogs make happy dogs!

3. Give him a new toy. Keeping your dog entertained is vital for his health and happiness.
Best Bully Sticks’ selection of chew, rope, plush, and ball toys

4. Buy some of his favorite dog chews or treats or maybe one he hasn’t had yet. Browse our large supply of bully sticks, chews and treats, and dog bones.

shutterstock_129944051 web


5. And last but not least, cuddle! What better way to spend quality time together than a neck or belly scratch, a massage, or relaxing on the couch together?


From Best Bully Sticks, wishing you and your pooch lots of love this Valentine’s Day!


For tips on how to make more appetizing dog treats, see our Weekly Drool Recipe collection here on our Healthy Dog Blog or Follow our Drool Dog Recipes board on Pinterest.

Does “sit” really mean “sit”? Dog Training Tips by Deborah Rosen

Does “sit” really mean “sit”?


webdog 1There is something that most dog owners don’t know.  Dogs don’t generalize!  I will explain more about that a little later, but before doing so, some background might be helpful.

Although we know dogs are considered highly intelligent animals, they are not deep thinkers.  Their intelligence lies in their senses. Their sense of smell is off the chart and their hearing is extraordinary. So, while we appreciate these characteristics in what makes dogs both smart and special, their senses also help to distract them and make it extremely difficulty to train them at times.

For this reason, it is important to practice training your dog in novel places and at different times during the day.  For companion dogs, outside distractions pose the greatest obstacle in learning and in building attention and focus.  It’s always best to start your training indoors where there are fewer distractions.  Put anything that might pull the dog’s attention away.  Make sure there is no food being cooked or other distracting smells, turn off the television or radio and, if there are other dogs in the house, put them outside or in another room.  In order to build attention and focus with your dog you must be able to give him your undivided attention.

webdog1In our Puppy Kindergarten as we begin the learning process for both the puppy and the owners, I urge dog owners to use a verbal command just once.  If the puppy fails to do what you ask the first time, I urge the owners to simply lure the puppy into place by holding a treat right over the pup’s head until he or she “assumes the sit” position.  By repeating the verbal command over and over, the verbal command becomes meaningless.  At first, only say the word “sit” the moment the pup’s butt hits the ground.  If the puppy breaks out of position to reach for the treat, pull it away with a firm “uh, uh” and take the treat back.  Then, try again and see how well the puppy maintains his or her position. 

You’ll want to do this when teaching any new skill.  By requiring the puppy to maintain the position, you are beginning to teach the puppy “impulse control”.  This is a very important lesson to learn, and the earlier you teach it, the easier it will be to extend this skill to other areas.

web dogDogs, especially puppies, are not terrific at remembering what they’ve done before.  Their very short attention span, along with their amazing senses, creates a world of distraction. This can make training your puppy a challenging and frustrating experience.  Train for only a couple of minutes several times throughout the day and if you’re feeling tired or edgy, the puppy will know it.  If this is the case, stop and begin again later when you are in a better state of mind. 
So, when you ask a puppy to sit, each individual occurrence of that action is a new experience until the pup finally “gets it”You’ll  know when the puppy is able to do a skill in both distracted and non-distracted circumstances, inside and outside, that skill has become generalized! 


Tune in next time for more dog training tips on basic obedience and achieving “peaceful living with your dog”.


Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see

Drool Dog Recipe: Peanut Butter Bones from In the Dog Kitchen

Bartleby hound1We recently shared with you an easy dog treat recipe from In the Dog Kitchen by Julie Van Rosendaal.

Of course, we wanted to try out another for our doggie friends and decided on Peanut Butter Bones. We searched high and low for our dog bone cookie cutters, but you know how it goes, they weren’t to be found when we needed them. 

So we bring you Peanut Butter Pineapples instead!

Little tip: If your dog is guilty of enjoying his own feces from time to time, add some chunks of canned pineapple to his food, and that should prevent it!


2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional)- We opted to leave these out for a smoother texture

1 cup peanut butter (we used natural peanut butter- just peanuts and salt)

1 cup water or milk

2 Tbsp honey


Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, and peanuts (if using). Add the peanut butter, water, and honey and stir until you have a stiff dough.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until well blended, then roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into bones, shapes, or strips and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. 

Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Let the cookies cool on the sheets, or turn off the oven and leave the cookies inside to harden as they cool. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Here’s what Bartleby the Hound, rescued from the Richmond SPCA, thought of them!


bartle treat

 bartle eat

Bone Appetit!Bone Appetit!

Training Treats on Sale During Train your Dog Month

Best Bully Sticks Chicken Nuggets Ruby the AiredaleThis week at, save on training treats for your good dog!
Choose from Beef Chip Snackers, Beef Puffs, Chicken Nuggets, Dried Bovine Gullet Cookies, and more!


Quick Facts on these Snacks: 

Beef Chip Snackers: These beef snackers can easily be broken into smaller pieces to teach your dog commands and test his memory!

Dried Bovine Gullet Cookie: high in chondroitin and like most of our beef chews and treats, sourced from free-range cattle.

Best Bully Sticks Chicken Nuggets Ruby the Airedale2Chicken Nuggets: This lip smackingly-good dog treat is made from premium USA chicken with no fillers or preservatives.

Training just became a whole more fun with treats like these to motivate your dog!

For more pawsome dog treats, view our full selection of Natural Dog Treats.

Thanks to Ruby the Airedale for sharing her photos! Take a look at her Best Bully Sticks product review!


To learn more about Best Bully Sticks natural dog treats, see the Healthy Dog Blog Product Spotlight.


Choosing a Dog Trainer for your Fur-baby

dalmatian puppyMany of you were lucky enough to bring home a new puppy for the holidays. Now your days are filled with the joy of puppy love along with the chore of trying to do what’s best for your new addition.

If you’re a savvy new puppy owner, you’ll go straight to the best trainers in your area and enroll in a reputable puppy kindergarten class. Getting started with training and socializing early will help you mold your puppy into the adult dog that will become a fully integrated family pet —one that can go everywhere with you and receives compliments about his or her behavior.

How do you Choose a Trainer?

Most folks know enough these days to read reviews and ask for referrals from friends with dogs. Go a step further and interview trainers to feel safe that you’ll be receiving the best training with the most current methodology. So many trainers out there are still utilizing old school, aversive training techniques. There is no reason in the world to employ techniques like “yank and pull” using choke or pinch collars. These methods went out long ago and have been replaced with better tools, like front clip harnesses or the head halti. I prefer the harness because dogs often dislike the material around their noses.

Deb Rosen training GR

Many of the aversive trainers complain about having to give puppies treats and try to convince new puppy owners that they do not want their dog’s performing only when there is a treat involved. In this case, know that treats are only required in the beginning, while the puppy is learning. It’s important to reinforce the behaviors you like and most puppies will understand what is expected if a treat is delivered quickly. Once the behaviors that you feel are important are learned, the treats are “faded out” and the puppy learns to perform without them.

While you are doing your research, look at trainer’s websites, and be sure they talk about the science of canine behavior and the use of reward-based and positive methods. Training puppies using anything other than kindness will only create fear and fear may inspire aggression.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more puppy obedience how-to’s and dog training basics!


Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see

Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits by Lola the Pitty



We’re going to say it– sometimes dogs’ breath is just rank! Odor-free natural bully sticks can help in that department, but between chew time and teeth brushing, what else can help?

Parsley and mint are two ingredients that can help freshen breath, which is exactly what is in this week’s Dog Treat by Lola the Pitty

Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits.

We were intrigued by the use of buckwheat flour in this recipe, and mint and parsley– well, that’s something doggie breath can always use!



  • 1½ cups buckwheat flour (She used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon pure honey
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • water (approx. 1-3 tsp)

For instructions on how to make these delicious treats, see Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits by Lola the Pitty.

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


For other Parsley recipes to promote good doggy breath, see these posts: 

Peanut Butter, Banana, & Parsley Dog Biscuits

Parsley Breath Bits


Bone Appetit!Bone Appetit!

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