It’s Tick Season!

While we are enjoying the warmer, longer days, increasing our outdoor activities, and adventuring into nature, ticks are waiting for an opportunity to make a meal out of us, our families, and our dogs!

Most of us have encountered ticks or Lyme Disease in some fashion. Either we have seen a tick, know what a tick is, have had a tick bite, have had Lyme disease, our dog has had Lyme disease, or we know someone or someone’s dog who has had Lyme Disease. The truth is that Lyme is an endemic infection, with nearly 476,000 cases of Lyme disease diagnosed in the US each year. So, if you haven’t yet encountered a tick or the diseases they carry….you could in the future. Let’s review some tick bite prevention strategies and how to best prevent tick-borne illnesses.


Map of Lyme disease cases in the US, 2022 

Why do we need to prevent tick bites?

Ticks carry bacteria that can be passed to humans when they bite and feed on...

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Harmful Algal Blooms (AKA HABs)

Uncategorized May 18, 2024

Last summer our outdoor water program didn't end on a high note. There was a HAB (harmful algae bloom) at Assunpink Lake on Saturday, 8/26/2023, right before we were going to hold our Canine Water Sports Test.

We had been monitoring the water quality at this site all summer by working with The Watershed Institute and doing our own testing with this test kit (Amazon affiliate link). The lake had been placed at watch status (Blue) at the boat launch area. The rapid tests we performed at our swim location enabled us to continue swimming at the location while feeling our dogs were safe. Unfortunately, the algae bloom exploded during the week before our CWS swim test. At the time, we posted pictures in our 4 Paws Adrift FB Group and our newsletter. We felt that once you saw the pictures, it would be much easier for you to recognize when there is a toxic bloom.

We reported our findings on the NJ DEP HAB site. If you see a HAB, please...

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Please add handling, restraint, and husbandry behaviors to your training plan. Small things will make a huge difference…trust me!

This topic has been hitting home for me lately and I really want to make sure as many people as possible take this topic to .

I currently live with four dogs part time and two of those dogs had lovely comments from professionals this week. Let me start with Jibe, although I have spent many hours training her on husbandry skills, these results can be achieved with a smaller commitment as you will see with Beckett’s story in a bit.

Jibe is a heavy-coated Newfoundland with a full on spay coat and heavy furnishings. We have run into an orthopedic issue that will likely require surgery, conservative management, and underwater treadmill. When Jibe was young, she was not comfortable with strangers. Our handler and many of my dear friends worked with Jibe to get her used to people other than her mama taking the end of her leash.  As part of my Dremel Like a Boss program, we work on handling, chin rest, restraint and generalization of these behaviors for groomers and...

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Why You Should Consider Dremel Like A Boss For Your Puppy

This week in the 4 Paws Adrift Newsletter our featured client is a Puppy Culture puppy. It got me thinking how complementary Dremel Like a Boss is to the Puppy Culture program. Puppy Culture has a special place in my heart since my Newfoundland, Molly, and I were in the original Puppy Culture film.

Let me tell you why I think Dremel Like a Boss is a great addition to the Puppy Culture training plan for puppy owners. Your pup’s nails will need to be maintained their entire life. Following the DLAB curriculum as part of the training plan will provide problem prevention for your nail care and husbandry needs. The methodology used in DLAB follows the Puppy Culture ideals to allow the puppy to lead the dialogue and create a two way conversation between the pet owner and the puppy. DLAB like Puppy Culture meets your puppy where they are at!

How many times have I heard that my puppy does great with nails so I don’t need to train it. Here is the thing, you may have...

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Do you travel for long periods with your dog? 🐕‍🦺🌎

#4pawsadrift #dlab Oct 28, 2023

I have been traveling and I am sometimes away for a month at a time. This means I need to do some grooming on the road with my Newfoundland, Jibe. If you do not have a double coated breed, your list will be shorter than mine, but anyone traveling for a bit with a dog needs a few things just in case. I wanted to make sure I had things for regular maintenance, but also in case I ran into burrs or mud and couldn’t give her a bath. 

BTW I have run into burrs and needed quite a few things on this list.

Here is my list of must have grooming travel items for longer trips:

  • Dremel - I use an actual Dremel with a DiamaGroove diamond bit from Whitman.
  • Ear Cleaner- The Zymox line is one of my favorites. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
  • Eye Wash - I just use sterile solution eye wash from the grocery store
  • Hot Spot Treatment- Vetericyn is my favorite. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
  • Rake/Comb- Livestock Comb. This is literally my favorite rake of all time. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
  • Leave in...
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Consistency, Time, and Patience is the secret sauce

I have helped dozens of members get results with my signature program Dremel Like a Boss. I am not talking about small results, this is life changing results for these teams. Pet owners come into my program thinking they will not be able to do it…then by the end of the program they are doing amazing things! The dogs are happy and loving their grooming time with their owners.

Yes, I have a systematic approach that members follow. It is broken down into small slices so that teams get the results desired.  But….non of this would work if the owners were not consistent, put in the time, and developed the patience of a saint. The group coaching sessions are focused on the teams developing patience in their training for hard grooming skills. You get results with my program because I take you through it step by step, but the members that come to the group coaching sessions each week on Thursday for three to six months make the biggest changes and have...

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Pool or Underwater Treadmill? Which is best for your dog.

My clients and I are extremely fortunate that we have access to both an in-ground pool and an under water treadmill at the swim center where my business is located.  I know…..extremely fortunate.   Since I can offer both types of hydro therapy, I get asked this question literally 10 times a day.

I hope this chart is useful if you are ever trying to figure out which hydro therapy you would like to pursue with your canine.  As always if you have a serious illness or injury, speaking with your Veterinarian or Rehabilitation Therapist is a good place to start.

When reviewing the chart here are some things to consider.  The 10,000 foot view is that the Underwater Treadmill is better for hind end, swimming is a front end activity.  If a dog is recovering from an injury with any muscle atrophy I am going to suggest Underwater Treadmill hands down.  If economics is a factor and you just need some mild conditioning then the pool is your biggest bang for...

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Are we Exercising our Newfoundland Dogs Enough?

I would like to start a dialog in our community about what active exercise really is and if we are doing enough active exercise to achieve our summer goals?

One of the topics that comes across in my DMs and that I witness first hand; including my own Newfoundland, is that our dogs are not able to swim without life jackets.  In a perfect world, we would not have to worry about this, but for Newfoundlands and Portuguese Water Dog water titles they must compete without a life jacket.

I have witnessed first hand that the dogs that are struggling know the behaviors and to be honest like the behaviors.  In my opinion, I think we need to move beyond training competency as the issue and explore what other obstacles exist to achieve our goals.

I want to explore body conditioning as a potential issue that challenges us.  I would also like to add that I personally help condition many, many dogs each week in my own canine swim business and I see many breeds that regularly compete...

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Canine Swim Conditioning Games!

Uncategorized Apr 27, 2020

I know summer is around the corner and some of my clients open their pool as early as possible for their beloved canine to swim the summer away.

I wanted to give anyone with a pool four conditioning games for you and your pup to try at home.  Games keep things interesting and increase your canine’s continuous swim time for a better cardio workout.  A swim conditioning plan is also beneficial for body balance and passive stretching.  Swimming is one of the only activities where your dog cannot compensate and has to move its body through all planes of motion.

Do not fret...if you do not have your own pool, we swim clients all year around in Allentown, NJ at Marty’s Place Senior Dog Sanctuary at the Swim Center.

Here is a summary of the four games:

1. Two Toy Game

  • Dog can drop 1st toy to get second toy
  • Dog can give you 1st toy to get second toy

I created a Downloadable Training Plan for the Two Toy Game. Grab the Free PDF Here!

2. Follow the cookie

  • You...
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Three ways to increase water test pass rates!


One of my passions is to address the low pass rates in our breed water tests and why this cycle has been going on for so long.  I have seen pass rates for a single test as low as 10%.

I know this is a big topic to take on, but my goal is to identify what is important to the participants and support keeping these tests viable for the future owners and the water breeds that participate in them.

I have Newfoundlands.  I also have many clients with Portuguese Water Dogs.  Some of the same issues cross both breeds.  There are also Labrador Retriever and Leonberger breeds that will participate in these tests when opportunities are open to them.

I am not an advocate for making the current test criteria easier, I am in the camp of educating members on how to properly train the tasks using scientific methods.

I am a Professional Dog Trainer that spends time and money educating myself with the most current scientically supported training methods from many instructors...

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