Sully a Rottweiler earns CGCA Title


CGCA, Rottweiler, Rottweiler puppy, puppy training, private dog training lessons

Sully, CGCA

On November 25, 2017, Sully a five month old Rottweiler puppy earned the American Kennel Club Advanced Canine Good Citizen title at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan.

Sully’s handler is Spencer Schiftar of Plymouth, Michigan. They prepared for this accomplishment by completing 8 private dog training lessons with Michael Burkey.

This is a huge accomplishment especially for a five month old puppy!  Congratulations Spencer and Sully.

October 2017 Dog Title Earners



Canine Good Citizen, CGC, CGC testingMichigan Dog Training (MDT) is always proud of its students and their dogs accomplishments. Our October 2017 title earners include:

On October 24, 2017 the following puppy teams passed the AKC STAR Puppy program evaluation:

  • Morgan Spencer and Breland, a Black Lab of Plymouth, Michigan
  • Nadine Medley and Kevin, a ShihTzu / Bichon mix of Plymouth, Michigan
  • Sarah Smith and Emmy, an Australian Shepherd mix of Detroit, Michigan
  • Alyssa Alessanorini and Dove, a Pit mix of Redford, Michigan


On October 24, 2017 the following dog teams earned the Canine Good Citizen title:

  • Maria Boraniec and Gunner, a Besenji of Farmington Hills, Michigan
  • Richard Miller and Tank, a German Shepherd Dog of Taylor, Michigan
  • Ronald & Theresa Merbler and Tango, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon of Canton, Michigan
  • Angela Austin and Lexi Austin, an English Lab of South Lyon, Michigan
  • Lisa Brunette and Alyce, an English Lab of South Lyon, Michigan
  • Deborah Buzzy and Odin, a German Shepherd Dog of South Lyon, Michigan

Congratulations to all!

Join a dog training group class and teach your puppy or dog to be a Canine Good Citizen.

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Key Cabinet Positions for your Dog

U.S. Capitol Building, Michigan Dog Training

Whether you agree with President Trump’s Key Cabinet Appointees or not; it is interesting to watch the selection and confirmation process. It would be interesting to know how President Trump goes about making his selections. How much of the decision process is related to the person’s skill sets and prior experience? Was the person crucial in supporting his bid for the presidency or was he willing to consider those who did not? Are they like minded or willing to question each other for the greater good? And, the confirmation process, what are their agendas in asking specific questions? Is it to further their own agenda or is it truly to ensure the right person is confirmed for the position?

So too it’s crucial to consider each family member’s agenda, skills, and prior experience when selecting a new dog or puppy. Will the right puppy or dog be confirmed to best suit the family’s lifestyle? Are the family members like-minded or willing to listen and compromise on important issues such as:

  • Is this the right time to bring a new dog or puppy into the home?
  • Why are we getting a dog or puppy?
  • Should we adopt or purchase our new family member?Golden Retriever, puppy, pup, puppy training, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan
  • Should we get a puppy or an adult dog? Male or female?
  • What breed of dog will best fit our lifestyle?
  • Is it a “should” that we get a puppy or dog or is it a “must” decision? (To be fair to the dog, it must be a “must decision.”)
  • Who will be the primary care takers?
  • Who will train the dog?
  • Where will we take our dog for dog training?
  • How will we properly socialize our new loved one?
  • Who else will take care of our dog and in what way?
  • If there are children, are they mature enough to interact safely with a dog?
  • How will the puppy or dog impact and add value to our life?
  • How will we add value to our pet’s life?
  • Who will be our veterinarian?
  • Can we afford the financial cost of a puppy or dog? (purchase price, training, veterinarian, food, grooming, boarding when away on vacations, etc)
  • Do we have enough time to spend with our puppy or dog?

So, who are your dog’s Key Cabinet Appointees? Do they want the job(s)? And, how will the family (department) carry out the mission and value of bringing a new puppy or dog into the home? And, what are the other considerations your family must consider before obtaining a new family member? Please comment below.

First Puppy S.T.A.R. of 2017

puppy classes, puppy obedience, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan, Canton, Labradoodle, American Kennel Club, Puppy S.T.A.R.On January 3, 2017 Floyd a sixteen week old Australian Labradoodle became the first Puppy S.T.A.R. of 2017 at Michigan Dog Training (MDT) in Plymouth, Michigan. Floyd is trained and handled by Lindsay Shoemaker of Canton, Michigan.

She and Floyd participated in puppy classes (Puppy 1 and Puppy 2) at MDT and then successfully completed the American Kennel Club Puppy S.T.A.R. evaluation.

Congratulations to Lindsay and Floyd! He is growing up to be a well mannered puppy.

New Puppy All STARS on August 30, 2016

Michigan Dog Training, American Kennel Club, AKC, STAR Puppy, Star Puppy, S.T.A.R. PuppyOn August 30, 2016 six puppies became puppy All Stars at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan through the American Kennel Club (AKC) Puppy S.T.A.R. program. The STAR program focuses on the socialization of puppies, training good manners, engaging with your puppy through fun and healthy activities and the owners learning to be responsible dog owners. Puppy teams have to attend at least six dog training classes together prior to being evaluated. Thus owners who participate in Puppy 1 Manners (four week class) and Puppy 2 Manners classes (four week class) are well prepared for the evaluation.

Congratulations to the following puppy teams:


  1. Sheila Miller and Vesnta, German Shepherd Dog of Royal Oak, Michigan
  2. Amy Humphrey and Liberty, German Shepherd Dog of Plymouth, Michigan
  3. Amelia Sullivan and Shadow, Collie of Canton, Michigan
  4. Yvonne Nance and Zelia, White Shepherd/Black Lab mix of Westland, Michigan
  5. Kelsey Hamer and Winnie, Standard Poodle of Ypsilanti, Michigan
  6. Matthew Seigle and Rocky, Siberian Husky of Canton, Michigan

These puppies are now ready to enter the Intermediate Manners dog training class which starts next week and will help prepare them earn their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title.

PuppyStar6PuppyStar5PuppyStar4PuppyStar3PuppyStar2Michigan Dog Training, Puppy Obedience, Puppy Training, pup, puppy, dog training, dog

February 2016 Dog Titles at MDT


On February 23, 2016 several dog teams passed the American Kennel Club (AKC) Puppy S.T.A.R.  program or earned their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan. Congratulations to the all the dog teams!

A. Puppy S.T.A.R.

  1. Timothy Lease and his dog Larry, a Great Dane mix of Livonia, Michigan
  2. Jeremy and Liz Breitner and Lily Breitner, a Shetland Sheepdog of Westland, Michigan
  3. Logan Gaines and Jade, a Siberian Husky of Livonia, Michigan
  4. Heather Gilghrist and Charlie, a Golden Retriever of Novi, Michigan
  5. Gabrielle Kuziq and Lulu, a Rottweiler of Flatrock, Michigan
  6. John Weyer and Sterling, a Labrador Retriever of Canton, Michigan
  7. Iotis Even and Rook, an Old Time Scotch Collie of Canton, Michigan
  8. Kris Wolfe and Rosie Bella, a Golden Retriever of Livonia, Michigan


  1. Marcy Radwick and Philo, a Weimaraner of Plymouth, Michigan
  2. Diane Davis and Rocco Elvis Davis, a German Shepherd Dog of Livonia, Michigan
  3. Laurie Blondy and Bennington Hills Daisy II, a Golden Retriever of Northville, Michigan
  4. Michael Hurley and Dewey, a Dutch Shepherd of Plymouth, Michigan

The next round of puppy and adult dog obedience group classes start the second week of March 2016.  To register, click on the blue icon button that says, “Book Online” on the home page.

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How to teach your puppy to come

Golden Retriever, puppy, pup, puppy training, Michigan Dog Training, Plymouth, Michigan


In the below video, Michael Burkey demonstrates one way to teach your puppy to come when called. You can use your puppy’s daily food ration instead of treats which will make him more motivated to come when called when he has to work for his food instead of getting it for free in a bowl. Hand feeding through training also increases your puppy’s bond with you as he or she learns to depend on you for what they want; food, balls, toys, verbal and physical praise, etc.

As outlined in the below video, begin by tossing a piece of food away from you and label it with the word “go” to teach your dog to go away from you. Just before he returns to get another piece of food from you, say “come” and as he comes back reward with a another piece of food. This is an easy and very effective way to teach your puppy to come when called. You can practice this routine during the three minute commercials during your favorite television program. Now how much easier could that be?.

As your pup returns to you, show them a piece of food in your hand and lure them in close between your feet. This will teach your puppy to come in close proximity to you, so later when done from a standing position; your puppy will already use to coming in close to you. This makes it easier to snap their leash onto their collar.

At first, there is no need to have your puppy sit once they get to you. I like them coming in fast before you throw in a second command such as sit. The only exception to this is if you have a very fast recall already or your puppy is tempted to jump on you once they reach you. If so, add the “sit” cue to the equation. Otherwise, work on one thing at a time such as the “come” cue and later add the “sit” to the equation.

For help with puppy training, check us out at Michigan Dog Training or call us direct at 734-634-4152. We have a wide variety of services to help you train your puppy the right way, the first time. Maize featured in this post is in our Puppy VIP Day Care training program and Puppy Manners group class. Doing that combination of training provides the owner with the knowledge they need to train their puppy and have it reinforced by professional dog trainers during the week-days. It’s great socialization, obedience training and potty training as well.

So in review:

  1. Sit down in a chair with a bowl of your puppy’s food
  2. Throw a piece of dog food away from you and say “go”
  3. As your puppy finishes eating the thrown kibble but before he returns, use the word “come”
  4. Lure your puppy between your feet and reward him/her with another piece of yummy kibble
  5. As your puppy is solid on the come command eliminate the lure and verbally cue your puppy to “sit” just before he or she reaches you

How to teach your puppy not to jump

Dogs love to jump! They’re excited to see you and want to explode upward toward your face. In doing so, they can get closer to be able to lick your face. So its a natural thing for a dog to do. Instead of correcting the Michigan Dog Training, Golden Retriever, dog jumping on ownerdog for “wanting to be close to you,” which is your dog’s intent; teach your puppy or dog not to jump by reinforcing the behavior you do want. You can teach your puppy to be calm and self composed by keeping four paws on the ground and later to offer a sit in order to get attention from you.

In the video below, Michael Burkey CEO and Dog Behaviorist and Eric Allport, Program Coordinator at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan demonstrate how to teach your puppy or dog not to jump. Here are the key ingredients:

  1. Tether your puppy to something they can’t move so you can stand just out of their reach preventing their ability to jump on you.
  2. Walk up to your dog. If your dog tries to jump on you step back out of reach.
  3. When your puppy is calmer, walk back to them and offer a tasty treat or petting. If they try to jump, step back again. Soon your pup will learn that jumping on you makes you move away and keeping four paws on the floor makes you come back to them.
  4. If your puppy starts to bark due to frustration, wait them out and when they are quiet mark it with the sound of a clicker or a verbal marker such as “yes” and return to them.
  5. If your puppy won’t stop barking, try walking up half way to them but stop before going rest of the way until they stop barking for a second.
  6. Once your dog is good at keeping four paws on the floor, raise the bar by giving a “sit” command (assuming they already know the sit command) prior to you walking up to them. If they break the sit, step away as before.
  7. In no time, your puppy will replace jumping on you with sitting for the attention they desire. For more puppy and dog training assistance, contact Michigan Dog Training at 734-634-4152.

August 2015 dog title earners at MDT


On August 25, 2015 six students and their dogs earned American Kennel Club (AKC) titles at Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, Michigan. The evaluations are given free of charge for students at the conclusion of their dog classes and is open to mixed and pure breed dogs.

The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program evaluates the owner’s responsible puppy raising behaviors, the puppy’s temperament, and the puppy’s pre-Canine Good Citizen behaviors. The Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test evaluates the dog’s obedience and temperament: 1. Accepting a friendly stranger, 2. Sitting politely for petting, 3. Appearance and grooming, 4. Out for a walk – heeling, 5. Walking through a crowd, 6. Sit and down on command/Staying in place, 7. Coming when called, 8. Reaction to another dog, 9. Reaction to distractions, and 10. Supervised separation.

Congratulations to the following students and their dogs!

S.T.A.R. Puppy Program

  1. Kristin Kinasz and her dog Murphy, Saint Bernard of Westland, MichiganotonColorsTMagAd9-06
  2. Matthew Shaffer and his dog Hemi Gage Shaffer, German Shepherd of Roseville, Michigan
  3. Patricia Nowling and her dog Oscar, Chocolate Lab of Belleville, Michigan

CGC Titles

  1. Tom Laco and his dog Guinness, German Short-Haired Pointer of Livonia, Michigan
  2.  Holly Tebelman and her dog Cider, Yellow Lab of Dearborn, Michigan
  3. Jason Horne and his dog Lucy, Saint Bernard of Canton, Michigan

You and your dog can also earn titles by joining puppy and adult dog classes at Michigan Dog Training.  A new round of classes start the week of September 8, 2015.  Call now and get your puppy or dog started “on the right paw” to better manners. Classes offered include:

  • Puppy Manners (Puppy S.T.A.R. Certificate)
  • Basic Manners
  • Intermediate Manners (CGC Title)
  • Advanced Manners (Advanced CGC and Urban CGC)
  • Feisty Fido (dog to dog reactivity)
  • Do More With Your Dog (tricks and fun agility)
  • Protection Sport Dog

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.