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Win an iCalmDog… It Stopped Border Collie’s Barking in 20 Seconds Flat!


I was recently in Arizona with Gina for Cynosport World Agility Games. Highlights were running team with “Gina Follows the Golden Roula”. (The other black dog is Roula.)


Watching Steeplechase finals under the lights. Man were those Border Collies fast!


And hanging out with my Ace Dog Sports family.


The event came on the heels of our recent iCalmDog 3.0 launch. I had been working overtime to bring our newly modified, portable canine music player to market, and I was grateful to be taking frequent naps in the passenger seat during the long 2-day drive. Gina and teammate JoJo were nearby in their crates, quietly listening to iCalmDog 3.0. Good dogs!

Once we arrived, I noticed that all of the stimulation was a bit overwhelming for Gina (for me too, at times). To make matters worse, our crating area was near a non-stop barking Border Collie.


To help her reduce her anxiety and increase concentration and circulation, I signed Gina up for a canine massage with Dr. Cindy DiFranco while iCalmDog played in the background.

During the 5-day trial, I had been leaving Gina’s iCalmDog 3.0 on her crate in-between runs. But, the barking Border Collie in our crating area was driving me (and everyone around me) crazy. So, I asked the BC’s handler if I could bring over my iCalmDog 3.0 to see if the clinically tested music reduced his barking. I have to admit, Nim’s barking was so intense that I wasn’t even sure it would work, but watch the video below to see what happened in 20 seconds flat…

Want a Calm Dog? Just press and play!

iCalmDog 3.0 canine anxiety

(Sanchez not included in prize, but feel free to share his photo!)

How to win an iCalmDog…

Enter a comment below and tell us how iCalmDog 3.0 would help your dogs and where you’d take it. Or, if you prefer to donate it, tell us how your fave rescue org would benefit. You will automatically be entered to win an iCalmDog 3.0 (Standard model) by Through a Dog’s Ear. (Prize value $89.95)

Want bonus points? The barking Border Collie video is starting to go viral on Facebook. View it here and share with your friends and fans. (Remember to post as public so that all Facebook viewers can enjoy it.)

Use hashtag #iCalmDog in all posts and tag @ThroughADogsEar

For additional chances to win, share this giveaway on your social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  Also leave a comment on the barking BC  youtube video. Winners will be chosen by random drawing. The more shares and comments you post, the more opportunities to win!

Already own an iCalmDog 3.0 and want another?  (Did I mention they make great holiday gifts?) Post a review on the model you purchased at or on Amazon, if purchased there.

The winner will be announced by December 14 on a future blog post. Good luck and remember to use hashtag #iCalmDog so I can easily find all your shares, posts, and comments!

Please note: Contest is open to Lisa’s blog subscribers. If you purchase an iCalmDog 3.0 before the winner is announced and you win, you can choose to donate your iCalmDog to a rescue or shelter, or we can refund your money. Your choice. Prize value = $89.95


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Gina’s First Agility Trial

When I adopted Gina last October, I was told that she had a very strong work ethic, combined with an extremely high drive and desire to please. Combining those ingredients can often translate into a terrific agility dog. Sanchez was my first agility dog, and I had so much fun learning about the sport. But, Sanchez just often wanted to make up his own course. And, I spent so much of my energy trying to build his drive. Given the choice, he’d always prefer to be running free on the beach.

Even though they are both Labs and are both career change dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind, they have completely different personalities. While Gina is happy, happy, happy all the time, ….well, she’s like happiness on steroids running agility. When we pull up to the agility field, I can instantly hear her tail thumping against her crate.

Gina practicing her contacts at homeEverything about agility is fun with Gina. She tries so hard, and it’s so rewarding being able to concentrate on my handling skills. The clearer I am, the happier and faster she is. It doesn’t hurt that she also has a very small frame. Sanchez, on the other hand, is built more like a football player, with very broad shoulders. Looking back on my agility career with Sanchez, it now feels like I was trying to make a football player be a ballerina. Gina is more like a female gymnast ~ petite, strong, muscular, and energetic!

What I love most about agility is learning about my dog and becoming aware of how much they notice every thing about my body language. Moving your foot an inch in one direction can mean the difference between them taking an obstacle you want or taking an off-course obstacle.

After 10 months of agility classes at Ace Dog Sports, private lessons with Sandy Rogers, and three fun matches, we entered our first agility trial. To mark the occasion, Jeanne Luchtel, her puppy raiser from Guide Dogs for the Blind flew down from Seattle to see her. Gina with Jeanne

And what a happy day it was! She got progressively better all day and it culminated with this standard course run. She ran a clean run (scored 100) that was 28 seconds under standard course time. It earned her a second place. She was so good, that she almost covers my handling errors. We both can barely wait until her next trial in two weeks. Go Gina!!! Good Girl.


Do you participate in any canine sports or activities? How has it changed your relationship with your dog? Thanks for clicking on “reply” and posting your comment.

Gina showing off her ribbon at her first agility trial

As co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear, I am offering my Care2 readers a free download from our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 3. Simply click here and enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.

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A New K9 Behavior Every Day in August

It’s August 1st and I made a decision over the weekend to teach Sanchez and Gina something new everyday during August. Since I retired Sanchez from agility, we’ve started doing more tricks and canine freestyle training. We do this in the evenings and he literally cries and begs to train with me. While I’m sure the treats help (he is a Lab!), I really think he likes being mentally challenged and learning new behaviors. I’ve also noticed that it’s easy for me to get lazy and keep training behaviors that he already knows. But, really, what’s the fun in that? It’s like me sitting down at the piano everyday and only playing what I know. It’s so much more satisfying to learn new music. So, I’ve decided to teach Sanchez something new everyday during August, even if some of it is shaping on the way to the desired behavior.

Sanchez waiting to train with the Staples Easy Button

I took a fabulous clicks and tricks class with Diane Gibbons at Camp Unleashed in June. Even though Sanchez wasn’t with me, it gave me a lot of ideas on behaviors to teach him that we can incorporate into a canine freestyle routine. I also have recently started using the Staples Easy Button to help shape behaviors. Stay tuned for a video of him walking on my feet that I taught him via the Easy Button. It’s also helping us prepare for American Dog Idol at Camp Unleashed Sequoia.

An absolutely fabulous private agility lesson with Sandy Rogers this weekend gave me some new ideas for Gina. We are working on independent weave poles – meaning she will go through 12 weave poles when directed, without her needing me by her side. Although she absolutely loves to weave and is very fast with a steady rhythm, her weak point has been doing weave poles at any venue, indoors or out, and anywhere on the course. While she’s great at them in our indoor facility, that’s not going to help at trials. Sandy gave me great trips for teaching independent weave poles, and I’ll be making it to the field to practice every day when I return from my vacation.

In the meantime, I’ve decided that saying she isn’t good at generalization is my weakness, not hers. If I want her to have consistent behaviors anywhere, it’s up to me to teach them to her. At Sandy’s suggestion, over the weekend we started tugging in a variety of rooms and outdoors. I’ve started at a time when she loves to tug (after eating) with her favorite tug toy. I’ll be adding something new to the mix daily – a different tug toy, a different room, a different time for tugging, gradually more distractions, etc. I’m happy to report that I just took a break, and she tugged outside, with a tug toy we’d never used outdoors, and she kept tugging when the neighbor’s dog came by – usually a big distraction for her.

Gina - agility contact board on piano bench

Tonight, I’ll be taking my piano bench and contact board outdoors to help her learn to touch the target no matter where I run.

Any readers want to take on this challenge with me? What new tricks and behaviors could you teach your dogs daily that would stimulate them while building relationship with you? Thanks for posting your comment and sharing your ideas.

As co-founder of Through a Dog’s Ear, I am offering my readers a free download from our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 3. Simply click here and enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.

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Unleash your Inner Dog

3-Doodles play at Camp Unleashed

A few months back, I was asked by Camp Unleashed founder Annie Brody if I would consider being the local director of the first Camp Unleashed on the West Coast. I knew of Annie’s work for years and of her passion to help provide a safe place in nature for dogs to be off leash, in a pack, with other social dogs, while bonding with their people. For eight years, she had been doing that on the East Coast in the Berkshires (MA), and had recently opened her second location in Asheville, NC. Now she was wanting to come west.

When Annie originally asked me, I had just made a huge change in my life by selling the music school I owned for 14 years. That decision was inspired by my desire to devote my time to improving the lives of dogs and their people through my co-founded Through a Dog’s Ear business. I was hesitant to add another new thing to my life, when I was trying to clear the space for my work with Through a Dog’s Ear.

When making major life decisions, I often spend quiet time looking at my image board. It’s a compilation of all of my dreams, aspirations, hopes, visions, and desires that I created at the start of 2011. When I looked at it, I read the words:

“Living with Dogs”

“Talk to the Animals”

“Responsible Dog Ownership”

“And people who love dogs almost as much as dogs love people”

How could I read those words and possibly say no to being the director of a new Camp Unleashed? It was still fulfilling my mission of improving the lives of dogs and their people, just in an expanded way.

A few months have passed and I’ve so enjoyed choosing the faculty and staff for camp. It’s been delightful being able to bring on board so many fabulous instructors that I’ve already worked with in some capacity, whether it be a group dog sport related class, private training sessions, or people who have given fabulous presentations that I attended.

When I first adopted Gina, I had some private clicker training sessions with Marissa Martino, the Behavior and Training Manager of the East Bay SPCA. She helped us learn loose leash walking. Marissa is in training for Off Leash Behavior Director at Camp Sequoia and will be speaking on “Dynamics of Dog Play” and “Understanding Canine Body Language”.

Nancy Campanile is one of the agility instructors at ACE Dog Sports, where I train. Every class of Nancy’s is fun and playful, while still being educational and informative. Nancy has the rare ability to help you laugh at yourself when you make a mistake, while still inspiring a bonding experience for you and your dog. I am thrilled to have her as the Camp Sequoia agility instructor.

Roy posing on a fire hydrant

Dianne Panarella CTC has been a fellow agility classmate of mine for a few years. I started with Sanchez and she with Truman, and now we are in class with our younger dogs – Gina and Roy. What a pleasure it is to see her interact with her dogs. She’s always so positive, happy, funny, and engaging so it’s no surprise that dogs react to her in kind. Dianne will be teaching Intro to Treibball at Camp Unleashed, in addition to a class called “Canine Household Chores”. OK, your dog may not be vacuuming any time soon, but she just might be mopping the floors and picking up things that you drop before you know it. And based on the picture of Roy on the fire hydrant, I’m wondering if she should add a class called “10 Best Uses of a Fire Hydrant for Dogs!”

Sanchez and I learned musical canine freestyle from Ruthanna Levy. Coming from a background of both dance and positive reinforcement dog training, she is the perfect freestyle teacher. Her ability to help students choreograph music that is fitting for both the person and the dog is beyond measure. She’ll be a great addition to Camp Sequoia, both as a freestyle instructor and clicks & tricks teacher.  And I’m hoping Ziggy will make an appearance with her on closing night at American Dog Idol.

I first heard Heather Sanders present on canine nutrition and massage about a year ago. I knew she’d be the perfect person to bring on board to speak about a variety of canine holistic therapies. But, I didn’t realize that she offers so many classes and seminars that it would be hard to choose. So far, she is scheduled to teach Doga, a canine acupressure clinic, canine nutrition, and she’ll also be holding private canine massage sessions. Stay tuned to see if she’ll also be teaching scent games, yet another skill of hers, from her Search & Rescue volunteer work.

Earlier today, Dogster’s blogger, Maria Goodavage, posted a blog on a Camp Unleashed contest. Entrants have until August 1st to post a comment on the Dogster blog stating why they and their dog deserve to win the prize of a full scholarship (travel not included) to the camp of their choice – in Massachusetts, North Carolina, or California. It’s heart-warming reading all of the comments and, as a contest judge, it’s going to be extremely challenging choosing a winner.

Can you help me decide? Any comments on the Dogster blog that particularly stand out to you? Or maybe you want to win the contest? Post your comment on Dogster, and then come back here and tell me why you feel you and your dog should be chosen as the lucky winner.

Good luck! I’m not sure who will be happier, the human or canine winner!

As co-founder of Through a Dog’s Ear, I am offering my readers a free download from our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 3. Simply click here and enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.


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The Dog Lady

This past weekend, I attended a local “Yappy Hour”, a growing popular term for a happy hour that welcomes dogs, usually in an outdoor setting. Gina spent the time retrieving balls and Sanchez was very content with his eyes glued to the food table, waiting for any morsel of food to drop to the ground to claim. I enjoyed meeting many new people and their dogs. One woman referred to me as “The Dog Lady”, as I was supplying her with information on Camp Unleashed (where I am the local director of a new branch in California), information on ACE Dog Sports – the fabulous agility school where I train, and Through a Dog’s Ear, music clinically demonstrated to relieve canine anxiety issues.

The Yappy Hour took place in my hometown of Half Moon Bay, California, where I recently sold a music school that I owned here for 14 years. I was talking about my upcoming Elegant Dinner Concert celebrating American Music, and have an identity as “The Piano Lady” to many long-term locals. However, I was instantly known as “The Dog Lady” to a new friend. How did that happen?

For one thing, probably by combining my love of music and dogs when I co-created Through a Dog’s Ear. I don’t love music more than dogs or visa-versa, they just have merged into this magical alchemy. I often perform for people. I sometimes perform for dogs. And my recordings are now heard by as may dogs as people. So, it just is a natural progression.

You can call me “The Piano Lady” or “The Dog Lady” or Lisa. Regardless, my mission is the same ~ to help improve the lives of dogs and their people worldwide by combining my love of dogs and music.

As co-founder of Through a Dog’s Ear, I am offering my readers a free download from our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 3. Simply click here and enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.

Facebook coach, and local director of Camp Unleashed California. By combining her passion for music with her love of dogs, she co-created Through a Dog’s Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to relieve anxiety issues in dogs. She shares her home and her heart with her two adorable “career change” Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa’s blog here. MAXCOWCOMICS PRESS