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The Occoquan River

Peace and silence is fundamental for dogs. It is critical to groom dogs, to train dogs, and to understand dogs.  We provide our dogs with silence walks, and silent companionship times as they are necessary to happiness.  We avoid busy roads for walks, and we let them sniff as much as needed. 

We avoid cues/commands as it distracts them from their most important activity, which is to smell.  If we were to distract them with 'come here' or 'heel' they would not be able to enjoy their walk. Silent interactions with dogs are a lot of fun, it forces us to step out of our comfort zone and to cross a bridge of mutual understanding with our voiceless companions.  We frequent the beautiful Occoquan often as it provides a source of great silence and beauty. This video was taken from Laura's kayak last summer. 

The sniffy walk

This is a silent walk with our dogs, who typically like to be nearby. There are dogs that prefer to go further and sniff, and that is okay. You may notice we have a 30ft leash that allows further movement.  I typically tie one end to my waist so that I am not surprised by sudden squirrel chases. We utilize harnesses, never collars. Harnesses provide control and a right fitted harness has plenty of shoulder mobility for the dog, avoiding injuries in the neck and trachea areas.

The long leash says: You are free, I trust you, I keep you safe. He can decide where to go and how far. He does not have to stay glued to me. He has freedom to decide, and freedom builds confidence in dogs. If you have a dog who is afraid of things, offer him choices.  Small choices are great ways to help dogs build confidence and nurture trust with us.  You may wonder why we posted a picture of a calm river in our training section. It is because in order to train a dog there must be a bond. We build bonds in beautiful places like this river, or a park, or our yard.  Dogs need to know they can trust us to follow what we ask of them. So before we train a dog, we must first build a relationship with our dog, as our best friend, our family member. This will make any training more effective. 

The best tool for a walk is a well fitted harness, never a collar.  Learn why HERE

Harness for walks


we are allergic to retractables! 

Often we are asked:

What do your dogs eat?

This particular dish has sweet potatoes, salmon, parsley, turmeric, hemp seeds, beets, red cabbage and seaweed. We cook for our dogs everyday. We do not feed commercial kibble.  Health is related to food so we take it very seriously.  There are great pages online on nutrition and THESE and THESE are some of our favorites!  

Magnesium Soak 

This is a bath that Laura does often for her dogs. It includes 1.5 cup of plain (no oils or fragrances) epsom salts and 1.5 cup of baking soda. Temp in the bath is 98 degrees minimum and it lasts 20 minutes. She prepares warm towels for the dogs afterwards and it is very comforting for them. 

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