Interview with Danette Johnston, CPDT & Owner of Dog's Day Out
Danette Johnston, Certified Professional Dog Trainer
Owner, Dog's Day Out
[PupPod] Tell us about your experience training dogs.
[Danette Johnston] I've been training for 16 years. I've done lots of different types of training in that amount of time. I teach regular basic obedience classes for normal pet dogs. I teach intermedia level classes for canine good citizen & tricks class. I teach a reactive dog class, puppy classes, and then I also do lots of private lessons. I also teach a bunch of different seminars. One on preparing dogs for a new baby, a reactive dog seminar, & lots of family dog training.
[PupPod] What did you think about PupPod?
[Danette Johnston] It's really interesting. I like seeing a dog have to figure out what they have to do. And I like that we just let me do it and figure it out on their own. I think it's great. I think it's wonderful to get some mental stuff going on. There's tons of new research now about their brains and how important it is to get their brains going. And that's a great way to do it. And it's easy to do.
[PupPod] What kind of advice do you give your clients about brain work and mental stimulation?
[Danette Johnston] Most trainers, myself included, in the last few years have really ramped up the amount of mental stimulation we want our dogs to have. And so we put a really big emphasis on puzzle games and training games and anything that's really fun. I think for many years we were very focused on giving our dogs exercise, exercise, exercise and for a lot of dogs I think that amp'ed them up more. I think now were turning that focus and letting clients know the importance of using their dog's brain and nose.
[PupPod] How do you get your clients to follow through?
[Danette Johnston] I think we like to push lots of puzzle games. I'm a big fan of any game or toy that also involves food because most dogs will be most interested. We start with just toys that we can put food in. This is neat because it's interactive and they can interact with the toy and then the treats are coming from somewhere else and they're learning that association.
[PupPod] What kinds of benefits or problems could PupPod help solve?
[Danette Johnston] I think it's a stress reliever for most dogs to be able to do this, especially the reactive dogs who I see who have a hard time going out in public. So those dogs can't go to daycare and do other things that are socially interactive. It can give them something else to do to use their mind in their home is particularly useful. Especially for those types of dogs that can't be around other dogs or whatever the issue is.