Kelly’s Celebrates 10 Years!

Jul 01 2014

Whew! This July marks the 10 Year Anniversary of Kelly’s Training in our North Hollywood location. We couldn’t have done it without our fantastic clients. Thank you so much for all your support!

To show our appreciation, we’re hosting a party! Come meet our staff, tour the facility and enter in our raffle with a grand prize of a 10 day of daycare pass (over a $350 value!). Existing clients, bring your dog for some agility and fun and games activities led by Kelly. New clients, only dogs who have been evaluated are allowed on the premises, so book your evaluation now! 818-985-4800

Party Date,:

Sunday July 20
10AM – 4PM

Check out some of our current clients! June 2014

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Sea World Killer Whale Kills Trainer

Feb 26 2010

Unfortunately, the smallest mistake when dealing with wild animals can turn deadly. It appears that this is what happened on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at Sea World in Orlando, Florida. Dawn Brancheau, a 40 year old veteran marine animal trainer was finishing a training session with Tillikum, a 12,000 lb. Killer Whale, when she was pulled under the water by her ponytail. Accounts are varied, but it appears that she broke protocol by laying on the ramp rather than standing on it. A small detail, but one that likely triggered the tragedy. The prevailing theory by fellow trainers is that she was laying in the water rubbing the whale’s chin as a reward when her ponytail floated near Tillikum’s mouth. It is likely that the Orca instinctively grabbed the ponytail thinking it was food and the ensuing thrashing kicked in his prey drive further.

Creating a bond with an animal is a magical thing. To do so with a wild animal must be even more exciting. When you have created such a strong bond with an animal, it can be alluring to bend the rules ever so slightly. Her desire to show the whale how pleased she was with his performance likely made her let her guard down and made her forget about her loose ponytail. Though I did not know her personally, I know the dedication and level of skill required to obtain a position as a whale trainer at Sea World. I strongly considered taking this path when I was an undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego. Several hundred people vie for a job as a trainer at Sea World every year. These are one of the most coveted positions by animal trainers, and therefore, only go to the best of the best. I am sure she deserved that title and this was simply an accident. A simple mistake, a devastating tragedy. My heart goes out to Dawn Brancheau’s family as well as her Sea World family.

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Advice for the White House’s New “First Dog”

Apr 15 2009

APDT Professional Dog Trainers Advice for the New “First Dog”
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest educational and professional association for dog trainers in the world, congratulates the President and his family on their new canine addition. We asked our members to provide their top tips for training and living with a dog in the White House (or any house!)


Greenville, SC – April 13, 2009 – The Association of Pet Dog Trainers promotes positive, dog-friendly training based on humane, scientific methods. All dogs, whether the “First Dog” or dogs who live on “Main Street,” require training and socialization to become happy, harmonious residents in a family’s household. Learning should be fun and exciting for humans and dogs alike, and all family members should become actively involved in the training process.
We queried our members about what they would teach the new “First Dog” if they became the White House dog trainer. A detailed listing of their advice is on our web site, Some highlights include:

1) Use Positive Training Techniques – The APDT recommends that you use training methods based on positive reinforcement and the latest scientific understandings of dog behavior. This will motivate your dog to choose to follow your commands, rather than doing them out of fear or avoidance. Teaching your dog with the enduring power of love, kindness and respect will create a deeper bond with your dog and family and will provide a profound example for all dog owners in the U.S. The APDT has provided an article on how to find a humane, professional trainer on the APDT’s web site at

2) Teach proper greeting behavior – Since the “First Dog” will encounter many new people, places and things, socializing to a variety of people, places and experiences on a regular basis and pairing this with positive reinforcement will ensure that he will be a good “ambassador” for all dogs in the U.S.

3) Involve the family and staff in training – Dogs learn through consistency and repetition; everyone who encounters the dog should be “on the same page” as to how to greet him, what verbal commands and hand signals to use, and what behaviors to reinforce.

4) Use games and play in training – Using games can be a wonderful way, for children in particular, to train a dog to basic thru advanced obedience commands in a positive and fun atmosphere.

5) Provide appropriate chew toys – All dogs, particularly young and adolescent dogs, need to chew. If young dogs are not given proper chewing outlets, they will easily find the wrong ones! Keep the White House furnishings secure by providing the “First Dog” with food-filled chew toys to exercise his mouth and his mind.

Mychelle Blake, Communications Director
Direct: 702-966-8060 or 866-245-2742
[email protected]

* * * *

The APDT is a professional educational organization of trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through using positive, dog friendly methods based on sound scientific principles. With over 5,000 members worldwide, the APDT provides professional dog trainers with a respected and concerted voice. The APDT promotes caring relationships between dogs and people and works to increase public awareness of dog-friendly training techniques. For more information, visit the web site at

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Men and Dogs

Oct 23 2007

I found this article entitled “Why Dogs Make The Best Friends” in the Men’s Lifestyle area of MSN website. It is clearly written by a man, Jim Thorton, with an occasional jab at what he views as the typical overbearing woman, but it has a few very interesting comments worth reading about men’s relationship with “man’s best friend”. I pulled two of the most intriguing sections out to share with you, but if you would like to read the whole article, the link is

written by Jim Thorton, page 3, MSN article, Men’s Health…

In a 2003 paper in the journal American Behavioral Scientist, Alan Beck, Sc.D., director of Purdue’s center of the human-animal bond, and Aaron H. Katcher, M.D., a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania, point out that cultures like ours have very few forms of play that mold caring and nurturing behaviors in male children. “Boy children,” says Beck, “tend to be very self-conscious about having to take care of younger brothers and sisters. They don’t play tea party or dollhouse, because that’s Mommy stuff. However, taking care of an animal is a notable exception. Caring for your dog is always okay.

“This license to love persists into adulthood. In virtually every public setting, women are, by and large, much more demonstrably touchy-feely than guys are. With dogs, however, this gender difference vanishes. “Men are just as likely as women to pet and stroke their dogs, hold them in their laps, kiss them, and so on,” says Beck. “It doesn’t matter whether they’re male or female dogs, either: Men can hug them without inhibition, without feeling any less manly. It’s one of the very few areas in life where men feel truly comfortable as nurturers.”

also written by Jim Thorton, page 4, MSN article, Men’s Health…

Given dogs’ femme-fetching skills, it was probably only a matter of time before they were marketed for this purpose. In Tokyo today, more than 100 “rent-a-puppy” shops now allow customers to take dogs on walks at a rate of about $15 per hour. Though most such customers are simply seeking a pleasant dog experience in a city where dog ownership can be prohibitively expensive, more than a few male clients specifically ask for cute breeds to help them attract women.

If anything, it’s a man’s ability to form close and intimate bonds with dogs, not the dogs themselves, that women find attractive. “When a dog is showing trust in and companionship with a man,” says Alexander (the Michigan evolutionary biologist), “a woman knows that the man likely has whatever it takes to establish an affectionate relationship and keep it going.”

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Natural Balance Dog Food Recall

Apr 18 2007

Natural Balance has issued a voluntary recall on all of its Venison dog products and the dry Venison cat food only, regardless of date codes. The recalled products include Venison and Brown Rice canned and bagged dog foods, Venison and Brown Rice dog treats, and Venison and Green Pea dry cat food. Recent laboratory results show that the products contain melamine, the same contaminant found in the Menu Foods recall. A rice protein concentrate appears to be the source of the melamine contamination in this recall whereas a wheat gluten is suspected as the source of contamination in the Menu Foods recall. Kelly’s Training Daycare and Boarding does offer Natural Balance dry dog food to boarding clients by request, but the product we offer, Natural Balance Ultra-Premium Dry Food Original Formula, is not part of this recall. As a precaution, we will be asking all of our boarders to provide their own food until the melamine contamination of dog food is resolved. Melamine contamination appears to be more wide spread than originally suspected. The Menu Foods wheat gluten is no longer an isolated instance. We will keep a close eye on this subject, and keep you informed as we learn more!

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Pet Food Recall Update

Apr 15 2007

Additional manufacturers have voluntarily recalled additional pet food brands as a result of the finding of melamine contamination in the wheat gluten purchased from a Chinese company. Previously, the list was restricted to “cuts and gravy” style pet food in cans and pouches. Unfortunately, this list has grown to include more brands of wet food as well as jerky treats, beef sticks, biscuits and one dry food. To see the complete list and get the latest information pertaining to the recall status, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website,
Pet food manufacturers, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, P&G Pet Care, Nestle Purina PetCare Company, Del Monte Pet Products, and Sunshine Mills, Inc. have joined Menu Foods, Inc. in the recall of pet food brands. This is one of the largest pet food recalls in history, according to the Pet Food Institute, a trade association representing pet food manufacturers. According to Stephen F. Sundlof, Director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, manufacturers have recalled more than 100 brands of dog and cat food across the nation. The FDA has received more than 12,000 reports during the past four weeks, which is more than twice the number of complaints that are typically received in a year. Since the current illnesses and deaths affecting our pets is still a mystery, FDA scientists, in conjunction with academia and industry, are reviewing blood and tissue samples of the affected animals to understand how wheat gluten contaminated with melamine contributed to the pets’ illnesses. Hopefully, they will have an answer soon!

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Dog and Cat Food Recall

Mar 22 2007

This recall is limited to “cuts and gravy” style pet food in cans and pouches manufactured by Menu Foods. Some of the brands sold in our area affected by this recall include Iams, Nutro, Eukanuba, and Mighty Dog. The food was sold under numerous brand names so please check the full list of dog and cat foods on the menu foods website, to be certain your pet’s food is not listed. The actual cause of the poisoning is unknown at this time, although some of the 60 million cans and pouches of food have been blamed for causing kidney failure in numerous animals nationwide and for causing the death of at least 16 pets. Signs of kidney failure include loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting. Los Angeles County officials have confirmed at least nine cases of kidney failure in dogs and cats exposed to the recalled food, said Jonathan Fielding, County Director of Public Health. Most notably is Pebbles, a local 7-year-old Yorkshire terrier who has been battling kidney failure at Sylmar’s Collett Veterinary Clinic since eating Nutro brand dog food. County health officials are concerned that the recalled foods have not been completely removed from store shelves. Menu Foods CEO and President Paul Henderson said Wednesday that the company is still investigating the cause of the kidney failure because the food linked to the deaths has shown no signs of contamination. FDA inspectors have identified wheat gluten, a protein source used to thicken the pet food gravy, as a possible source of the contamination, said Stephen F. Sundlof, the FDA’s chief veterinarian. The FDA is screening pet food samples for substances known to harm the kidneys, like toxins produced by molds.
A similar tragedy occurred in 2005 when 19 varieties of dog and cat food were recalled due to the presence of aflatoxin, a naturally occurring chemical that comes from a fungus sometimes found on corn and other crops, which can cause severe liver damage. Aflatoxin poisoning can cause sluggishness, lack of appetite and in severe cases heavy vomiting, fever and jaundice. The recalled pet food was sold under the brand names Diamond, Country Value and Professional. In the 2005 recall, the Food and Drug Administration said contaminated dog food had caused the death of almost two dozen dogs nationwide and sickened 18 others.
COMING SOON! Take the Kelly’s Training Dog Food Quality Quiz! Check back soon!

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Dr. Ian Dunbar on web radio!

Feb 23 2007

Dr. Ian Dunbar is one of the BEST dog trainers in the world. He is the founder of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and is known as the pioneer of reward-based, positive reinforcement dog training! He is less known by the general public, but hopefully that will change! He is highly educated in animal behavior and his methods are based on years of research, unlike the more widely known Cesar Millan. People tell me everyday that they have been watching The Dog Whisperer and trying to implement the techniques they see on the show. Unfortunately, Cesar’s techniques are often physically and/or emotionally damaging to the dog, but because he often recites reward-based comments, people think that they are using positive methods when they are not. This is confusing to the general public. We need a voice for the general public that we can trust to give out sound advice with clear explanations. Please check out the iWoofs site and listen to the weekly broadcasts by Dr. Dunbar (Mondays at 3PM PST). He is a wealth of information and you can be confident that you are getting the latest and most effective positive training advice! Hopefully, if there is a large enough following, we can get Dr. Dunbar to be a TV star!

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Happy Halloween!

Oct 28 2006

Our beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback client, Soul, will be greeting the ghoulies on Halloween thanks to her very talented owner who created this striking resemblance of her! If anyone else has memorable photos of their canine goblins, we would love to share them! Also, here is a fun Halloween animation created by Debra’s website design company, check it out! Check back soon to meet the new puppy, River!

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The Amazing Skidboot

Oct 28 2006

View Skidboot Video

We can all inspire trust, love and dedication in our dogs, if only we offer the same to them. Skidboot is truly remarkable, but he could have been equally problematic if he had not been shown the love and compassion that humans are capable of. Training is most effective when we focus our energy in a positive way to provide a positive outcome. Choosing to bring a dog into your family means that you are obliged to create a nurturing environment for that dog to prosper. It is true that you can tell a lot about a person by the way that person treats their dog. Thank you to Skidboot’s dad for showing all of us how truly wonderful a person can be!

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