Archive for the ‘Dog Training Classes’ Category

Let me introduce myself, My name is Marilee Cole

Hi ! I’m Marilee Cole.  If I am going to ask you to entrust me with training you and your dog, you should know something about me.Cheeky Dog Bio pix with Indy and Quinn 1

I have always been a dog lover but over the course of time have learned there is a difference between dog lover and one who is in a relationship and is a protector of their dog.  I am proud to say,  I am in a relationship with all my dogs and it is an evolving one.

I enjoyed a long career in Medical Management and while this paid the bills, my pleasure and passion was and always  is the time spent working with my dogs. I trained and trialed my own dogs for over 12 years to titles in Agility and Herding.  During this time, I became a very active volunteer in Arizona Border Collie Rescue and now serve on the Board and I am currently the Foster Care Coordinator for the Rescue.

Over 13 years ago, I wanted to learn about agility and I knew that Australian Shepherds were a smart and active breed that did very well in the sport.  So, I found Spooky, who quickly became one of my best friends.  We trained together, we traveled together, we did everything together and she is the first of my dogs to teach me about the joys of having a true bond with my dog.  Spooky is now 13 years old and while she no longer competes in agility or herding because of a medical condition, she is my buddy and we still have a connection that cannot be broken.
Spooky was an easy teacher. Some of my dogs are tremendous teachers and, while, I am not always a consistent student,  I am always learning.  I am learning to listen, to read what they are “saying” to me and to not only love them, protect them but to honor them, as well.  My dogs will never know the pain of a shock collar, a prong collar or a choke collar… my relationship is too important and so are they.

Four years ago, I met an incredible trainer, Debby Bohem, to whom I will always be forever grateful.  She taught me how to train with more fun , positive motivation and creativity than I ever imagined.  She also taught me how to view things from  the dogs knowledge and thinking.  Debby opened up a whole new world to me.

Then there is Quinn, who came to me as a 7 week old foster puppy with Arizona Border Collie Rescue.   Quinn was born severely visually impaired, he is blind in his right eye and his left eye is very limited and unable to focus with an optic nerve the size of less than a thread .  But, you know, Quinn doesn’t know the difference !  He loves life, he is full of fun and adventure, he has herded ducks and sheep, he has been to the snow, the river, the ocean, hiking, he loves his bike ride, he LOVES to retrieve,  he knows his basic obedience and he is now (because I have become brave enough to teach him) learning agility.

Quinn and I were blessed to have spent the first year of his life together 24/7 and he trusts me, and has no fear !  He is reactive to dogs that come up on him and we working on that and there is progess !  I realize that not everyone is able to spend the amount of time with their dogs that I have been able to over the last few years and for that I am very fortunate.   Quinn has never had a harsh word spoken to him, he has always had nothing but positive and fun training – anyone, can learn to train in this manner and have success.  Training with fear, pain and intimidation doesn’t build a bond and actually has the opposite effect.  All of my dogs have benefited from the lessons Quinn has taught me to….. be quieter with  a much happier tone of voice and look for fun, motivational ways to achieve what task I  have asked my dogs to perform.  Who wants to listen to a grumpy dictator ?!

Cheeky Dog Obedience Training trains you and your dog with fun, motivational and effective positive methods.  I am a dog lover whose passion is the relationship I have with my dogs and I would enjoy the opportunity to share this with you.

Contact me at :




Albert Einstein could have been a Dog Obedience Trainer ! by Marilee Cole

“Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Albert Einstein

I wonder if Albert Einstein had a dog ?   This certainly pertains with training your dog.

Everyday scenario:   You (hypothetical) take your dog out for a walk.  Sunshine is walking along nicely, enjoying the company of his BFF and the beautiful day.  You stop at the mailbox and ask Sunshine to “sit”.  Sunshine is watching the cars go by and doesn’t “sit”.  You ask , again…. Sunshine still doesn’t “sit”, you then ask a third time… still no response.  By this time you are irritated because you know that Sunshine knows how to “sit”, he does it all the time at home, so you jerk on the leash, raise your voice and say “Sunshine, I said, sit.”  Sunshine looks at you and sits.

Same scenario:  but with a different ending.  You take Sunshine for a walk , stop at the mailbox and ask Sunshine to sit and he sits !  You praise him … what a great boy !!!  pet him, get your mail and walk home.

What made the difference?  First scenario:  Sunshine has learned, he doesn’t have to sit until the 4th request and the tug on the leash.  Why?  Because when training Sunshine you didn’t communicate that when you ask for a command, you want the command on the first request.  Sunshine also may have been so enthralled by all the great looking cars going by that your request became background noise and a physical prompt (hand on his bottom) would have reminded him he was with you. Training with physical prompts is another form of communication.  The inflection of your voice definitely got his attention but Sunshine was probably thinking, ” Wow !  What made my BFF so angry, I had better sit.”  So, Sunshine, sat out of intimidation not out of desire to please you.

Training  with physical prompts will help the dog understand what you want and will help build the social bond with your dog.  Training with consistency will help the dog understand and respond the first time you  ask.  Remember, when your dog becomes rock solid at home, up the challenge and train in a new location… and even in the new location you are still training.  When do dogs learn ?  ALL the time, not just when we are ” training”  them.

Meet Cheeky Dog Obedience Training

QuinnSeems like a funny name for Dog Training business doesn’t it ? Well, most dogs start out not knowing or understanding what we are asking them to do and we assume that they are being stubborn or “cheeky” ! In reality, we don’t speak dog and they don’t speak people. So, we need to find a common way to communicate. Since, we provide the shelter, the food and the care, we get to decide how that communication is going to be. If we can communicate with fairness, a gentle touch, positive rewards, a kind voice and fun, we will have the foundation for a loving, relationship with our dog.

I was blessed with a Border Collie puppy a couple of years ago who has taught me more than any other dog or person in my life. I call him my Cheeky Monkey because he is so much fun and always has a smile on his face in everything he does because he was raised with love and positive rewards. He goes everywhere, does everything, will try anything and never knows he is blind. He loves life – as all dogs should.

So, Cheeky Dog Obedience is built on the simple principle that dogs are intelligent, want to please, need to understand what we are asking, need to be rewarded for the behavior we want and not be rewarded for the behavior we don’t. It is our responsibility to ensure the training is fair, positive and fun ! I have found that dogs learn much faster, if they are trained with fun ! (Kind of like kids, I am told)

I’m Marilee Cole and I  teach basic dog obedience and the classes are active and positive. The handlers must have a cheerleader attitude for their dogs and be looking forward to a true partnership. I look forward to meeting you soon !

Don’t Forget the Praise and Rewards

Remember the Praise and Rewards for Your Dog by Marilee Cole

When you have been working hard on a project, doesn’t it feel great to have someone tell you what a great job you have done ? Don’t you feel good about yourself and enjoy that pat on the back and the recognition from someone you admire ? Of course, you do! We all do … so does your dog.

You and your dog have been training an exercise for months and your best friend, finally, turns on a dime and comes running when you say “Sunshine, come…..” you praise Sunshine and tell him just how brilliant he is, don’t you ? !! Because he is and he loves you and wants to be with you more than that smelly dead thing he really wanted to roll in 🙂 ……. Time goes by and Sunshine still has a gorgeous recall …. do you still praise him and tell him how great he is ? or do you just take it for granted ? Sunshine still loves to hear how great he is and he deserves to hear it because he really wanted to go play with his doggy friends but you called him and all his dog obedience training paid off.
Don’t take him for granted – remember to tell and show him how wonderful he is and he will always want to come when you call.

Canine Conditioning for the Senior Dog – Physical Rehabilitation

When someone hears physical therapy the common thought is injury or surgical rehabilitation.  However, canine conditioning for the senior dog or physical therapy, will aid in giving your older dog a longer, increased quality, healthy and more active life both physically and mentally.

Canine conditioning for senior dogs is a great complement to their wellness examinations, bloodwork and good nutrition.  Dogs are very much like people and tend to lose muscle strength and balance with age, as well as lose mental focus.  Senior dogs benefit from shorter walks for cardiovascular health, as well as stretching and strengthening exercises and balance/proprioception exercises will aid in stability and developing core strength to help build a stronger dog. These exercises have the added benefit of providing the dog with mental stimulation and focus and keeping the bond strong with the owner.

  1. Senior  Dogs can benefit from continued activity and mental stimulation.  Encourage clients to maintain their mature dogs both with wellness examinations and activities to enrich and  possibly extend their dogs lives.
  2. Conditioning  exercises will strengthen the senior dog and help promote healthy joints and balance. The need to target the gluteal and hamstring muscles for  maintaining standing.
  3. Exercising  is important physically, as well as mentally and goes beyond just making the senior dog “comfortable.  It will possibly extend their lives and increase the quality of their lives.

Cheeky Dog Obedience and Julie Mayer, DVM ( offer a Canine Conditioning for the Senior Dog Class not only for the athlete but for the old canine, as well.

Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

Positive Reinforcement Dog Training by Marilee Cole of Cheeky Dog Obedience Training

Look at those sit/stays !

Positive Reinforcement dog training is the most effective and humane way of dog training.  Dogs are a cognitive animal and learn using their perception, attention, memory, motivation and decision making.  The basic principle is to reward your dog’s desired behavior with something pleasant; including treats, toys, verbal praise, petting and play.

I saw a car magnet the other day that read “Train… Don’t Complain”.  Wow !  What  a great idea !  How many people come home to their garbage cans raided or have a shoe chewed on ?  Is that the dog’s fault… no, the dog was just being a dog and having a good (okay, great)time !  We as owners have a responsibility to “dog proof” our house just as you would “child proof” a house.   How many shoes do you need to lose before you say, “duh, I should just pick them up and put them in the closet ” !!!… and then learn to assist your dog in being a member of the family by training.

Positive Dog Training Techniques

While your dog is learning a new behavior praise and reward them every time they are correct. If their offered behavior is incorrect, don’t reprimand or punish them…. just start over and help them with a physical touch or prompt.  After the dog responds consistently to a command, you can praise them and eventually discontinue the treats or the rewards (except the praise and petting)

You can choose any words for commands but the most commonly used are sit, stay, down (when you want the dog to lay down), and off (when your dog has jumped up ) and come.  It is best to be consistent with these commands and have everyone in your household use the same ones.

Practice sessions should be frequent (2 to 4 times a day) for short periods of time – 10 minutes at the longest and in a variety of locations.  Keep training fun with your tone of voice light and pleasant.  Dogs are very sensitive to tone of voice.  Limit your repetitions of each command to 3 in your training session.

Personal Tips for You about Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

If you are in a bad mood put off the training  session until you and your dog can enjoy the time and it can be a good experience for both of you. Training your dog is another way to build a social interaction with your dog and is best when enjoyed by all parties !!!

Cheeky Dog Obedience offers classes in basic and advance dog obedience- puppies are more than welcome, puppy socialization, Canine Good Citizen  and many more great classes to keep your dog focused, physically and mentally exercised and to assist you in Phoenix dog training.

T-Touch Seminar

T-Touch Seminar w/ Certified Trainer:  Rita Nixon

This phenomenal technique has helped countless animals around the world.

Tellington TTouch, is a unique approach to animal training and care developed by internationally known trainer, teacher, and author, Linda Tellington-Jones. Based on understanding and respect for our animal friends, this gentle method promotes well-being and adaptive behavior through an integrated approach that helps to reduce stress and build confidence. The foundation of the Tellington Method is a specific form of light touch known as TTouch®, which induces a state of relaxation and increased body awareness in animals and people alike. The combination of the TTouch body work with unique movement exercises improves focus and attention, allowing optimal learning to take place.  By using a variety of other tools that also assist the animal to experience a sense of confidence in previously frightening or challenging situations, even the most difficult problems are often eliminated with just a few sessions.  The Tellington Method also provides people with a wonderful means of deepening the bond they share with their animal companions.

This Seminar will cover:

  • Groundwork
  • Massage/Touch
  • Bodywork
  • Wraps
  • Communication

Certified T-Touch Trainer:  Rita Nixon


Phoenix Dog Training – 3 Critical Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe While Training in Phoenix, Arizona

Dog training in Phoenix allows you and your pet to experience a variety of training environments.  You can hit the mountain reserve for scent work, go into the desert for retrieval or agility work, or even work on basic heel, stay, and come commands right outside your own front door.

While being outside and working on these training aspects can be very enjoyable for both you and your canine, there are some aspects to training your dog in Phoenix that can be quite dangerous.

3 things you should be aware of when doing any type of Phoenix dog training are provided below. Phoenix dog training

  • Heat – this for many folks you would think would be a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, if this were the case, there would be no reports of dog related death due to heat stroke.

Yet, in Phoenix there are several reported instances where dogs have died resulting from heat related injuries.  (And those are just the ones that have been reported.)

When temperatures start climbing, it’s important to take into account your dog’s health and ability to handle the heat.  Depending on the length of the training and intensity, in the majority of cases it is advisable to avoid training outside when the temperature read 100 degrees or above.  Caution should even be taken when the temperature starts getting into the 90s.

Also remember to have plenty of water on hand as well.  Your pet will require more than you.

Just think, if it’s hot for you, it is twice as hot for your dog.

  • Burning the pads of your dog’s paws – In association with the heat, Phoenix dog training also requires you to give consideration to the surface on which your dog will be standing on while training.


One of the most misunderstood aspects of outdoor dog training in Phoenix is the effect of surface heat on a dog’s paws.  And while air temperatures may only feel warm…the cement, asphalt, and even dirt are absorbing that heat and the temperature on the ground is much hotter than what you feel in the air.

Remember the saying it’s so hot outside I could fry an egg on the sidewalk?  Well, the same heat that cooks that egg is what burns the pads on your beloved pet’s paws.

One good rule of thumb to follow is, “If it’s too hot for you to stand barefoot on a surface outside, it’s too hot for your dog as well.”

  • Snakes – Although not as common a threat as the two items listed above, snakes can still be a danger to any dog training you take part in.  This holds especially true during the hotter months of the year.  That’s because the snakes come out for a little sun on occasion, but usually lurk in the coolness of the shade during the day.

Your unsuspecting pet can come upon a rattler unknowingly and out of the blue comes a venomous strike.  If the snake hits his mark, that could severely maim your pet or even cause death.

Plan your training now, contact Cheeky Dog Obedience Training at (480)488-1871.


Training a Dog to Come-How a Good Recall Can Save Your Canine’s Life

Recalls are SO Important by Marilee Cole, Cheeky Dog Obedience Training

Is the bunny, the ball, the kid on the bike or even worse the busy street ahead more interesting than you ? Training a dog to come (or recall) may be the most important behavior you teach your dog.  NEVER punish your dog for coming to you.  You want to be the most important thing in the world to your dog, so coming when called should always be positive.  Use an upbeat tone when you call your dog and make your dog the most awesome dog there ever was when he does come to you !!

Let’s think about this… you are running around having a great time and you are being called to come in.  You know the fun will end.  Would you want to go? Hmmm, probably not… entice your dog with a squeaky toy, or a bouncing ball or try running and have your dog chase you – make it a game.

Basic dog obedience is very important and training a dog to come could save your dog’s life.  When you train your dog to come, teach him in a way so that he learns that coming to you is the most important and enjoyable thing to do.

Phoenix Dog Training with Cheeky Dog Obedience  has classes in obedience and special classes in recall…. how to teach your dog to come when called.  Call  (480)488-1871 and ask about the classes that Marilee offers,so,  you can learn about training a dog to come.

Phoenix Dog Training and all the Advantages to an Indoor Training Facility

Phoenix dog trainingWelcome to a great concept in Phoenix dog training that is not new but not common in the Southwest. Indoor dog training… that means when it is 110 degrees outside or 32 degrees outside or raining outside or windy outside… well you get the idea. Cheeky Dog Obedience offers classes at AZ DogSports an indoor dog training facility.Come train your dog in obedience, agility, puppy classes in obedience and socialization,  games, canine conditioning programs for overweight and senior dogs.

We offer small group classes to our students in over 5,000 sq ft of air conditioned/heated,  padded floor space.  We have a large variety of classes,agility equipment,  water for your dogs, there are  indoor bathrooms (the small pleasures in life ), there is a small retail store that sells training equipment,collars and leads, treats and toys.

With Cheeky Dog Obedience Training, Phoenix dog training has never been so much fun!

Call us at (480)488-1871 with any questions you may have .  We would enjoy meeting you.

Overweight Dogs- Canine Conditioning Program