Nov 2017, E-Collar Class Graduates earn CGC

Canine Good Citizen, CGC, CGC testing


On November 29, 2017 at the conclusion of the E-Collar Excellence group class at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan; three dog teams earned their Canine Good Citizen title.  Congratulations to the following teams:

  1. Shannon Denton and Luna, a Labrador Retriever of Canton, Michigan.
  2. Shannon Denton and Marleigh, a Collie mix of Canton, Michigan
  3. Theresa Williams and Riley Williams, a Pit Bull Terrier of Ann Arbor, Michigan

Canine Good Citizen, CGC, Michigan Dog Training, E-Collar trainingMichigan Dog Training, E-Collar, E-Collar training, Canine Good Citizen, CGC

Rosebud -SDIT earns Adv. CGC

Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan, Service Dog, Service Dog in Training, Mobility Service Dog, Advanced Canine Good Citizen, Advanced CGC, Community Canine Good Citizen

On February 25, 2017, Rosebud a Golden Retriever and her handler Laura-Jean Siggens of Ann Arbor, Michigan earned the American Kennel Club Advanced Canine Good Citizen title at Michigan Dog Training (MDT) in Plymouth, Michigan.

Rosebud is is participating in MDT’s Train Your Own Service Dog (TYOSD) program as a Mobility Service Dog. The TYOSD consists of 24 private and group class lessons and prepares dogs to become a Service Dog. Congratulations to Rosebud and Laura-Jean!

May 2016 Advanced CGC Dogs


Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan, Advanced Canine Good Citizen, CGCA

Advanced Canine Good Citizen

On May 26, 2016 three dogs and their owners passed the American Kennel Club’s Community Canine Good Citizen evaluation also known as the Canine Good Citizen Advanced (CGCA) at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan.  To prepare for the CGCA, the dog teams practiced their new skills in MDT’s Advanced Manners/Therapy Dog Prep. class.  Congratulations to the following:

  • Kris Wolfe and Rosie Gella, a Golden Retriever of Livonia, Michigan
  • Marcy Rodwick and Philo a Weimaraner of Plymouth, Michigan
  • Sara Cosgrove and John (Bubba) Scripps with Merry Scripps, a Pit mix of Ann Arbor, Michigan

Michigan Dog Training, CGCA, Advanced Canine Good Citizen, Plymouth, MichiganMichigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan, Advanced Canine Good Citizen, CGCAMichigan Dog Training, Advanced Canine Good Citizen, Plymouth, MichiganMichigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan, Advanced Canine Good Citizen


S.T.A.R. Puppies and More

Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan, Canine Good Citizen, CGC, Puppy STAR, Puppy S.T.A.R., puppy obedience, puppy training, dog trainingOn April 26, 2016 numerous puppies and dogs earned their American Kennel Club S.T.A.R. Puppy Certificates and Canine Good Citizen titles at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan. Congratulations to the following dog teams on their accomplishments:

Puppy S.T.A.R.

  1. Rochelle Kirzhner and Kir Kirzhner, a Sheltie/American Eskimo mix of Northville, Michigan
  2. Erin Moulton and Bowie, a Labradoodle of Ypsilanti, Michigan
  3. Sandra Enoch and Lucy, a Labradoodle of Livonia, Michigan
  4. Angela Olandese and Luna, a Standard Poodle of Okemos, Michigan

Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

  1. Sara Cosgrove and Merry Scripps a Pit Bull mix of Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. Kris Wolfe and Rosie Bella, a Golden Retriever of Livonia, Michigan
  3. Kriss Layne and Luna, a Golden Retriever of Riverview, Michigan














A new set of group dog training classes start next week.  Go to Michigan Dog Training and click on the blue icon entitled, “Book Online” to register.  Classes include:  Puppy Manners, Basic Manners, Intermediate Manners, Tricks and Fun Agility, NoseWork and Protection Sport Dog Class.



January 2016 Puppy STARS and CGC Titles

DSC_0930On January 26, 2016 six dogs and their handlers earned American Kennel Club (AKC) dog titles at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan. Three puppies passed the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy evaluation and three dogs earned their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) titles.  Congrats to the following dog teams:

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy:

  1. Erin Harris and Korra Harris, a Labrador Retriever of Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. Mary Stanisz and Riggins, a Border Collie of Brighton, Michigan
  3. William Valencia and Cross Creek Kiloshailstorm, a Dogo Argentino of Romulus, Michigan

Canine Good Citizen:

  1. Timothy Kowaleski and Willow, an Old English Bulldog of Ypsilanti, Michigan
  2. Jeremy Pinter and Sirius Pinter, a Labrador Retriever mix of Canton, Michigan
  3. Jeremy Pinter and Lily Pinter, a German Shepherd mix of Canton, Michigan

Classes to prepare puppies and adult dogs to pass the S.T.A.R. Puppy and CGC evaluations as well as learn good dog manners for life are held monthly at Michigan Dog Training located at 1031 Cherry Street, Plymouth, Michigan 48170.  The next set of classes commence the second week of March. To begin your dog’s transformation, visit Michigan Dog Training.

Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan, Canine Good Citizen, CGC, Puppy STAR


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DSC_0823 Michigan Dog Training, Puppy STAR, Canine Good Citizen, CGC DSC_0831 DSC_0833

Puppies are Stars at MDT

otonColorsTMagAd9-06On June 23, 2015 five puppies who completed the Ultimate Puppy group class (Pup 1 followed by Pup 2 group classes) at Michigan Dog Training (MDT) in Plymouth, Michigan earned their American Kennel Club (AKC) STAR (Socialization, Training, Activity, Responsibility) Puppy certificate.  The STAR program measures the owner’s responsible behaviors in raising a puppy, the puppy’s temperament behaviors (free of aggression and fear) and the puppy’s Pre-Canine Good Citizen behaviors which includes:

  1. Allows petting by a person other than the owner
  2. Grooming – allows owner handling and brief exam by owner (ears, feet)
  3. Walks on a leash – follows owner for 15 feet or more in a straight line
  4. Walks by other people
  5. Sits on command
  6. Downs on command
  7. Comes to owner from five feet away
  8. Reaction to distractions without fear or aggression and
  9. Stays on leash with another person while owner walks ten feet away and returns

Congratulations to the owners and their STAR puppies!

  • Alexa Rickert and Reggie, Beagle of Canton, Michigan
  • Michael King and Olive, Labrador Retriever mix of Northville, Michigan
  • Satheesh Rajagopalan and Groot, Australian Shepherd mix of Canton, Michigan
  • Kathy Borden and Louie, Bolognese of Ann Arbor, Michigan and
  • Parul Luthra and Neo, Cockapoo of Westland, Michigan

MDT offers on-going Puppy 1 and Puppy 2 group socialization and training classes. Each class is four weeks in duration. Or, students can elect to sign up for the Ultimate Puppy program which includes Puppy 1 and Puppy 2 classes at a $60 discount. The next set of puppy classes begin July 7, 2015. For those who completed Puppy 2 or the Ultimate Puppy, they normally are ready to jump ahead to the Intermediate Manners class which also begins July 7, 2015.

Body language tips when meeting a dog

Michigan Dog Training, meeting a dog, Plymouth, Michigan

Annie turns sideways to give treats

“What is the best way to introduce two dogs together”? This is a very common question asked of dog trainers. What isn’t asked frequently is, “how should people introduce themselves to a dog?” That is because people think they instinctively know how to approach a dog. When it goes wrong, they ask, “why did that dog do that” (bark, growl, lunge, snip, or bite) without considering their own actions that triggered the dog to act in a fearful, defensive and aggressive manner. So let’s talk about some points to consider when encountering a dog in regards to your body language and movement. It is need to know “dog bite prevention.”

Dogs are very spacial creatures. Like you, they have personal comfort zones. Some dogs such as goofy friendly Labs (Labrador Retrievers) seem to have no personal space issues.  Whereas many dogs do have a distance they like to keep until they begin to trust you. That distance can be different for the individual dog as well as due to the person it’s encountering and the environment where the encounter occurs. Dogs with trust issues will usually move backwards to your frontal approach until they understand you offer no threat and/or you have a treat to entice them to come closer and be rewarded with same.

So after gaining the dog owner’s permission to pet their dog; encourage the dog to come to you rather than invading their space. A confident person allows and even encourages others to come into their space rather than evading the person or dog’s space in this context. If the dog doesn’t want to come to you, they won’t and that is okay. We as a race understand that people have differing comfort zones in regards to standing near or far from others. However, many times people don’t stop to think and realize dogs deserve the same respect. To entice the dog to come into your space, you can offer a treat to the dog by tossing it to him or her. You can also stand sideways toward the dog. This prevents you from bending over the dog, which can be viewed as confrontational. When you stand sideways and reach out to offer a treat or pet the dog, you’ll bend slightly forward but not over the dog and thus not use social pressure.

As the dog comes into your space, place your fist down to your side so that he/she can sniff your hand.  By placing the hand in a fist, your fingers aren’t exposed in case the dog becomes frightened and tries to snip your hand.  If the dog appears relaxed, proceed to petting the dog under the chin and later work around to petting the neck and back of the head. Most people attempt to initially pet a dog by quickly moving their hand over the top of the dog’s head because they falsely assume that it is safer to do so as it is further from his/her teeth.  However, by doing this you’ve placed social pressure on the dog that he/she may not be comfortable with, as they can’t see where the hand is going. They may also have an aversion to having their collar grabbed from past experiences.

The bite may happen as the hand comes toward their head but often times they cope with the social pressure as best as they can. However, when they are no longer able to cope or when the hand retracts, the bite occurs because they are tracking the hand as social pressure is removed. And, biting is a stress reliever for the dog. The same can happen as you step away from an unknown dog. At the end of the encounter, it is best for the dog owner to call their dog away from you or stepping between you and their dog rather than you turning and walking away from the dog.

So in review, consider these body language tips when meeting an unknown dog:

  • Obtain the dog’s owner’s permission prior to petting their dog
  • Entice the dog to come into your personal space
  • Turn sideways to the dog so as not to present a confrontational frontal approach and to prevent leaning over the dog
  • Allow the dog to sniff your fist before petting
  • If the dog is relaxed, open your fist and pet under his/her chin before moving to the side and back of the head
  • At the end of the encounter, have the owner call their dog to them or step between you and their dog rather than you turning and walking away from the dog.

If you and/or your children need help learning how to greet dogs, visit Michigan Dog Training located in Plymouth, Michigan or call 734-634-4152. To learn how to read human body language and be more perceptive of what your body communicates to others, contact Janette Ghedotte, MA LLP Clinical Psychologist of Accurate Body Language LLC, “From Head-to-Toes, the Body Always Shows the Truth!!

Accurate Body Language, Janette Ghedotte

Janette Ghedotte, MA LLP


In March 2015, Michael Burkey, President and Dog Behaviorist of Michigan Dog Training and Janette Ghedotte will co-present a body language seminar regarding people – people interactions as well as with dogs in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Stay tuned to both websites for updated information regarding this fun, interactive and eye-opening seminar.

New Puppy STARS 09/30/14

On September 30, 2014 at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan; six puppies passed the American Kennel Club (AKC) S.T.A.R. Puppy Program evaluation. The AKC “designed the program to get puppies and their owners off to a great start.” Puppy STAR requires owners to attend a basic training course with their puppies of at least 6 weeks in duration that focuses on Socialization, Training, Activity and Responsible ownership. MDT offers Puppy 1 and  Puppy 2 classes that can be purchased together for a cost savings and is called Ultimate Puppy.  By completing both classes, owners receive eight weeks of training and thus are qualified to take the STAR evaluation.

Puppy class, puppy obedience

Your pup can be a STAR too.

The AKC states, “their are obvious benefits to participating in the AKC STAR Puppy Program.  Puppies that attend classes are well-socialized, and they learn the skills that are the foundation for all other learning.  But AKC STAR Puppy is really about puppy owners.  Knowing that a large percentage of dogs who are relinquished to shelters are dogs that have never received formal training, we want to do our part to encourage owners to take their puppies to a puppy class.”

The evaluation has three components:  Owner Behaviors (responsible ownership), Puppy Behaviors (free of aggression), and Pre-Canine Good Citizen Test Behaviors (allows petting by someone other than the owner, owner can handle the pups ears and feet, walk on a leash, walk by other people, sit on command, down on command, comes to owner, reaction to distractions, and stay on leash with another person).

Congratulations to the following puppy teams!

1. Vanessa Guastella and Donny Smolenski, 24 weeks old Boston Terrier/Jack Russell mix of Plymouth, Michigan

2. Carrie Roosevelt and Oreo, 18 weeks old German Shepherd/Husky mix of Brownstown, Michigan

3. Diane Tochman and Java, 18 weeks old Chocolate Lab of Canton, Michigan

4. Stacy Downer and Makith 21 weeks old Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix of Ann Arbor, Michigan

5. Julie Basa and Lorn Stanley, 20 weeks old American Stratfordshire Terrier of Ypsilanti, Michigan

6. Courtney Ceci and Lucille, 7 month old Austrailian Cattle Dog of Canton, Michigan

If you have a ten week or older puppy, contact Michigan Dog Training now or call 734-634-4152 to enroll in the next Puppy 1 class which starts Tuesday October 7, 2014 at 7:00pm.


BNI Members learn dog bite prevention tips

Michigan Dog Training, dog obedience

Kaboom heeling with attention on Burkey

On June 27, 2014, Michael Burkey, President of Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan gave a dog training demonstration and safety talk at the Referral Business Alliance, a BNI Chapter in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Assisting Burkey was his dog Kaboom, a two year old Belgian Malinois.  Kaboom is being trained in the sport of IPO/Schutzhund, Dog Obedience, Nosework and to be a Diabetic Alert Dog. Kaboom demonstrated some of his dog obedience skills such as heeling (walking next to Burkey while looking up at him), relinquishing a ball when told to do so, when to tug and when not to tug on the ball, to sit, to lay down, to stay when told and to come when called.

Burkey shared dog safety tips such as the correct way to approach and pet a dog, what to do if running or riding a bike and being chased by a dog, as well as how to recognize a dog that is exhibiting signs of stress or fear. These tips were also recently shared with Click on Detroit/Channel 4 News Reporter Hank Winchester in a video news report called, “Experts reveal how to help fend off dog attacks.”

The purpose of the BNI presentation was to provide its members with dog safety tips and to share with them the services Michigan Dog Training provides the community such as K9 Camp (board and train), Day Camp, In home private dog training lessons, on site private dog training lessons and group dog obedience classes. MDT works with all breeds large and small, puppies and adult dogs. They help high energy dogs become ideal companions. For more information on MDT services or to request Burkey to talk about dog bite prevention to your organization, contact MDT at 734-634-4152 or email


Michigan Dog Training, dog obedience

Kaboom comes fast when called by Burkey

German Shepherd Dog headed for the pound earns CGC

Michigan Dog Training

On October 28, 2013 Starbuck Von Burkey earned his American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title. It is a ten step evaluation of dog and handler which includes items such as walking on a loose leash; doing basic commands such as sit, down, and stay; coming when called; walking politely up to another dog team, remaining calm despite the owner walking out of sight from the dog, etc.

Michigan Dog Training, School for Dog Trainers, Dog Training Academy

Michael and Starbuck CGC

Starbuck was adopted by Michael Burkey, President of Michigan Dog Training (MDT) LLC prior to him being taken to the pound by his former owner because they were moving, unable to take him with them and cited some house manner problems.  Starbuck has been a blessing to Burkey who is training him to be a Diabetic Alert Service Dog.  Starbuck has a wonderful friendly temperament so he also serves as MDT’s welcoming ambassador to all dogs trained in MDT’s K9 Camp program. He loves to play with other dogs so he is very helpful when accessing the temperament of dogs being trained at MDT.

MDT in Plymouth and Ann Arbor, Michigan offers Intermediate Manners group classes which includes the CGC testing at the end of the class series.  To learn how your dog can earn his/her CGC title, contact Amy, Program Coordinator and Client Support Specialist at 734-634-4152.