Tomasz Kazmierczak

Let’s not set us up for failure

By QK Owner, Jennifer Broome

Very rarely do dogs actually ‘fail’ our puppy, obedience or gun dog training programs. When failure happens, regardless of the reason, the QK trainers take it personally for the simple reason: we care; we take pride in our work and we are always rooting for the dogs!

What exactly IS ‘Failure’? On the extreme, failure may be a puppy or dog in the gun dog program that consistently has no interest in birds (no prey drive). In this instance, when a dog will not chase a bird, we will not introduce or expose him to gunfire as this could cause catastrophic noise sensitivity issues. If we cannot hunt and shoot over a dog, we ‘fail’ to create a hunting dog in our typical 4 to 6-week gun dog program. BUT…is this true failure!? It may be ‘failure’ to achieve our desired goals and in standards in a set, desired time frame however often there are factors that led to our lack of success in order to meet these goals. For instance, a very well-bred German shorthaired pointer may enroll in our program at 6 months of age. Throughout its puppyhood this guy was yelled at for chasing the neighbor’s free-range chickens, he may have gotten frightened by fireworks, or even attacked by the family pet parrot. Suddenly, this is a pup that may ‘fail’ at normal, standard introductions to birds or loud noises because this pup had negative early experiences prior to coming to us. BUT, with nurturing, patience and time this dog could certainly blossom into a fine hunting dog as long as the owner understands this dog needs more time. In 6 weeks of training, we may accomplish Foundation obedience, e collar conditioning, manners, patience and socialization with wonderful success, however, we ‘failed’ to actually be able to hunt and shoot over this dog in our normal time frame simply because we had to train the dog we were given. Forcing the dog on birds or gunshot could produce irreparable damage when the dog simply needed more time to mature, process things and overcome past issues. We often experience that if we give the owner specific rules and homework to practice obedience and off leash handling while the pup matures and gains confidence, the pup comes back to us rearing to go, and often eager to show us ‘the real dog’ and chase prey with enthusiasm and gusto. Now we can proceed with the hunting program. The dog did not truly fail, he needed more time. Again we need to train the dog we get!

Can a puppy ‘fail’ our QK Puppy Camp program? In our 2-week puppy camp program our specific goals with puppies 6 months and under are to work on crate training which involves patience, no barking, relaxed downtime and not messing in their crates. We work on leash manners, touch all over to desensitize, we teach the pups to follow us as their Leader and we work on basic obedience on leash for sit, heel, down, come to heel position and go to a kennel or place all with gentle leash cues. BUT, what if we are given a 5-month German shepherd mix that had never been crated, she can climb out of the owner’s 6-foot fence, and this highly intelligent, active, under-exercised puppy is already anxiety-ridden and is an effective escape artist? UGH!!!! Well, in our structured leash program I am pretty confident that we will achieve the leash work with the basic obedience; however, it may not be to our normal success as this pup already weighs 65# and has learned to drag her owners and bark at all other people and dogs. She has an ingrained reactive behavior due to her desire to work, guard, herd animals and solve problems. She lunges when on leash and has only gotten stronger and more effective with dominating her owners over the past 2 months. In this case, we are not only trying to teach our Foundation leash obedience, light leash cues and communication, we have to step in with authority and intense Leadership to correct the ingrained problem behavior. This is NOT going to go over well with this pup because she has felt that SHE was the leader previously, and she was very content in that role. She IS going to challenge us with biting, fighting, or bolting off. While a pup like this takes much more intensity as far as correcting the bad behaviors, they are often willing and thankful to take the role of following our structured Leadership as that gives them a job and something to burn mental energy. The other task is to work this pup intensely with physical exercise to completely exhaust her so that she can calmly, quietly and successfully crash fast asleep in a crate and accept the downtime. It is an uphill battle, and a pup like this will take longer than 2 weeks. Our goal is to ‘rewire’ her brain with lots of rules, Leadership, exercise, socialization and obedience so that the ‘real dog’ can come out. A dog that is worked physically and mentally is a stable dog and one that can easily have an ‘on and off’ switch. Sadly if they were never taught that early in life, they are stuck in an anxiety-ridden dominant state and it is stressful and exhausting to the dog. This is a dog that would most likely ‘fail’ our 2 week puppy camp because it is a project. The failure came long before our program when this pup was never crated, exercised enough or put in her place when she exhibited aggressive or obnoxious behavior.  Once again, we must train the dog we were given!

How can a dog ‘fail’ our 4 week Foundation Obedience Program!? Well, I will bring up some examples. If you fill out our Obedience Assessment form on our website and check off things like: I rough house and wrestle with my dog, I leave food out all of the time, I have a doggy door, my dog has full run on my home, my dog just exercises in my yard, I have sibling dogs or two dogs the same age, I admit I don’t have time to train or even exercise my dog, my dog is destructive in my house, my dog is already over 3 years old and is aggressive/fearful/overweight/not well-socialized/bit people…. Well then YOU have already failed your dog. The above comments are just a few of the things that put a dog into the Leadership role, or ones that give the dog too much freedom and not enough rules and structure. Unless YOU drastically change the way you interact with your dog and the rules that you set, both you and your dog will fail. Why did the dog have all of these allowances? Did you not know any better, did you not care, or did you think that these allowances were perfectly fine?

The QK Obedience Program is extremely successful for many reasons. As soon as we get a dog, we evaluate it physically and behaviorally taking diligent notes. We then put the dog into a very structured lifestyle with lots of exercise to physically exhaust them, we use a patience chain to tie them out while as a pack while we work dogs all day. The dogs learn to lay around and be calm and still, waiting their turn, and then individually we interact with strict obedience and use patience, persistence and repetition to teach leash work to go, stop and come. Each day the dog has a job, an exercise regime and usually great social interaction that is strictly supervised to deflate any red zone or dominant behavior right away and enforce human leadership.  The recipe…. “A Tired, Trained Dog is a Happy Dog!”

We use these practices over 4 weeks and typically accomplish wonderful leash and off leash obedience, rules, manners and respect. We train the dog that the owner gives us. We train with lightness however we increase our intensity to enforce when the dogs fail to comply with our lightness. Firm but fair, we hold the dogs accountable. When we gain the dog’s trust and respect through our consistent Leadership, many of the behaviors that the owner complain about go away. Resource guarding, not coming when called, lunging at other dogs, pulling on the leash, anxiety about…(a,b,c), jumping, etc. are all behaviors that arise from a dog acting in a Leadership role. Are they being bad… or are they being really good at what you failed to provide so they simply take over?

The QK 4 week off leash Obedience Program teaches a dog to follow our Leadership. The dog learns better respect of humans and is given a job to behave. The human must hold the dog accountable at all times. The dog learns to walk politely with us on and off leash, come to us, be still and go lie down. The structured obedience combined with the appropriate age/breed/athletic ability exercise requirements make nearly all dogs happy, healthy and stable.

The clients and dog who ‘fail’ this program are those that do not carry out the teachings and consistently enforce the obedience. If an owner enabled a dog to pull on the leash, jump, bark, or do ANY undesirable behaviors for any time longer than 4 weeks, then more often than not that same owner is going to be complacent about carrying out the training. A dog is not a robot and 4 weeks will not produce behavior that is automatic. The 4 week program teaches the dog the obedience, rules and structure that was never learned. Only then do time, patience, consistency and diligence produce a dog that is actually consistent in its new behavior. It is a TEAM effort with the trainer, the dog and most importantly the owner. We train the dog we get, and you must follow through and train the same way with new-found structure, rules and Leadership.



Dog Park or Day Care!?

Four years ago I attended a Sue Sternberg seminar which brought to light the dangers of dog parks. Sue spent years traveling the country visiting dog parks studying the dynamics of dog to dog interactions. Sue explained how the dogs are always communicating with each other and often what owners perceive as play is often not play at all. For detailed information and explanations watch Sue Sternberg’s dog park videos

Most importantly, much of what is seen at dog parks is not playing! Sue specifically calls out five “Red Alert” behaviors that dog owners should be watching for when taking their dog to the dog park. Owners NEED to be intervening IMMEDIATELY when they see these behaviors:

  1. Tail Tucked – tail under or between the legs
  2. Pinning- one or more than one dog on top of another dog and not letting them up
  3. Rolling- knocked over or flipped from impact of another dog
  4. Yelping- the dog is frightened and can trigger other dogs
  5. Group Chase – 2 or more dog chasing one dog

Sadly, many owners do not pay close attention to their dogs, they do not understand what to look for, or the wrong pack of dogs is already occupying the park. Just like all humans do not get along, many dogs have no desire to socialize with all other dogs! The willingness to interact is often influenced by breed, age, sex, temperament and energy level. Therefore a mixture of a dominant 5-year-old 85# dominant male bulldog, a cocky 3-year-old intact male Labrador, a 1-year-old submissive sheltie coming into season and a 5-month-old puppy mix could be a recipe for disaster!

Not only do dog owners have to worry about the dog interactions and potential for fights… what about health issues? Even if dogs were required to be up to date on their vaccines, who is enforcing the policy? Dogs are susceptible to deadly diseases, parasites and a host of other sicknesses as dog parks are unmonitored and not disinfected properly. These are important points to consider.

So what about Doggy Day Care!?? Well, depending on where you choose to bring your dog, daycare can be a much safer alternative to the often ‘free-for-all’ dog parks. Day care is not completely without risk because any time dogs congregate (like humans on an airplane) one sick dog can easily spread a bacteria or viral infection. Dogs running and playing could certainly get minor bumps, scrapes, cuts and even injuries, however, the benefits of healthy group play and exercise can be a great outlet for many athletic, energetic dogs.

At QK, we offer Play Care Monday through Fridays from 7 am until 5:45 pm. Our Play/Day Care program is extremely structured and well supervised at all times by experienced kennel care employees. All dogs at our facility must follow our strict vaccine protocol and we pick up feces and disinfect with hospital grade cleaners daily. These practices help to reduce the spread of illnesses.

Each morning our QK Manager or Kennel Care Lead will make playgroup lists to create packs according to each dog’s temperament, size, sex, age and energy level. New dogs are always evaluated and tested until we know them. Every day we can get different dogs, so it is important to assess the individuals and plan appropriate packs. Our skilled day care attendants will take the time to correct inappropriate behaviors and diffuse potential issues before they turn into problems.

This diligent interaction and strict supervision are often needed and important to help nurture safer, more healthy play. Simply put, the human is the leader and the dogs must learn to play nice. If at any time a dog cannot play nice or is just not thriving in a group, the dog is immediately removed. All QK employees carry radios so a quick call for assistance gets us all running to help.

We will work with problem dogs, try them with other playgroups, we will leash a problem dog and step in abruptly to correct bad behavior so that the offender learns better manners and social interaction. If our kennel care interaction cannot resolve the behavioral issues, then we recommend our training program to the owner in order to instill better structure, respect, rules and obedience. We will not tolerate aggressive dogs in our daycare packs!  Some dogs simply cannot socialize, they may be too frail or injured and cannot play, they may be too shy or submissive or maybe even just too old and or grumpy. No worries, in these cases we will hand walk, do individual play, use our indoor land treadmills, or our higher intensity ATV roading exercise. We also offer aqua therapy for added exercise for dogs that need to burn more energy or for the old-timers who love the warm water, buoyancy and reduced stress on their joints.

In closing, dog parks are a great concept and they may be wonderful options for dog owners! If you are going to utilize dog parks, just take the time to watch the dogs first, watch the body language and make sure it is safe for YOUR dog. Always interact if you see RED ALERT behaviors!

QK Play Care is offered Weekdays 7 am until 5:45 pm.

$40 per dog per day or $35 per day if twice a week or more.

Spring and Summer Classes at QK

Beginning April 22nd and running into late summer:

Mondays: 4:00 to 5:30 pm walk in Puppy Class.

This class is strictly for pups 2 months up to 1 year and will focus on Patience Chain Training, Manners, Leash Obedience and Socialization.  Vaccines and Wonderlead Leash required. $25/dog and handler team, $15 additional dog with the same handler. Observers are $10.

Mondays: 6:00 to 7:30 pm walk in Intermediate to Advanced Obedience

This class is for current clients who have worked with us and have a FOUNDATION of Obedience with their dog using the Wonderlead and or E collar. Class will focus on transition from leash to e collar, high-level obedience for family pet, hunting or competition dogs, off leash work in a pack environment, fetch training, patience and steadiness training. $25/dog handler team, $15 additional dog with the same handler. Observers are $10.

Wednesday, April 24th Dog Seminar: Introduction to Handling

This class will explain handling in the field, specifically hand signal work for duck searches and blind retrieves for Pointing Dogs and Retrievers.  This is a lecture and demonstration only, no handlers with dogs. We will cover fetch to a pile, T and double T, and Pattern Blinds. $30/person.  Class will begin at 5:30, run until done or dark!

Wednesdays: Dog Handling 6 Week Course

May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th and June 5th.  Makeup class June 6th.

Handlers should have attended the Dog Seminar: Intro to Handling. Dogs MUST be fetch trained and e collar fetch trained, they must enjoy retrieving bumpers and return to a heel position with bumper. EIGHT dog/handler teams maximum. Six-week course $240 (must pre-pay to enroll) Observers $10/class walk in.  Start at 5:30 pm, run until done.

Wednesdays: Swim By Class (Handling in the water) 6 week Course

Proposed dates June 12th, 19th, 26th, July 3rd, July 10th, 17th (subject to change) Start at 5:30, run until done.

Handlers must have gone through the Dog Handling Class on land. This class teaches dogs how to take handles signals in the water as well as a proper Foundation for Duck Search work by teaching dogs to get in the water and stay in the water when commanded. Six Week Class $300 (Must pre-pay to enroll)

Puppy and Dog Talk Seminar Lecture and Hands-on Training with demonstrations, Q & A, and information about proper dog care, exercise, patience, manners, obedience and behavioral training. From puppy needs to active young dogs, older dogs and problem dogs, they all need a job, they need structure, and the need to keep physically and mentally active in order to be happy and stable. “A TIRED, TRAINED DOG IS A HAPPY DOG!” This is HIGHLY recommended to handle your dog or come observe BEFORE any QK Boot Camp or Training Program!

May 5th 10 am to 2 pm. $120/dog handler team. Observers $50/person. Children $25 ages 8 to 16. This is a lecture series with demonstrations and demo dogs only. Maximum 10 dog/handler team.

June 2nd, July 7th, August 18th Tentative repeat Dates for Puppy and Dog Talk Seminar Lecture and Hands-on Training.


Following Filly

By Jennifer Broome, QK Owner

We would like to officially welcome the newest member of our QK Pack! Quinebaug’s Sweet Filly in the Ferns arrived in CT on May 23rd. I had the pleasure of pick-of-the-litter for this amazingly bred pup whose Dam’s side comes from an incredible lineage of Search and Rescue Dogs as well as field trial dogs, and whose Sire was the 2016 National Field Trial Retriever Champion. Based on pedigree alone this little girl is impressive, however, my trip to Florida to pick her up was equally impressive. Her breeder is Jennifer Brown, DVM, DACVS-LA, DACVSMR, CCRT (read more about Jennifer’s career here).

Dr. Brown whelped and cared for the litter at her home and her veterinary sports rehabilitation practice. These puppies had the great fortune to be around awesome dog people as well as enjoy the interactive toys once they got mobile and started to really get active. From vacuum cleaners to rehab equipment, obstacles, and many play toys, these puppies had the upbringing that I wish all puppies could enjoy. Noises, new exposures to objects, a few lucky people to socialize with, Dr. Brown’s own Labradors (the litter’s Dam, Aunt and Grandmother), and daily travel in crates from Dr. Brown’s home to the vet clinic during the week enabled them to really learn wonderful lessons in patience, travel, social skills and great fun play and exercise time. Each of the pups in this litter of 8 was bold, confident, well-adjusted and there was no bad choice. They were ALL keepers and potentially future Champions!

The blue collared girl captured my heart from the moment we met, and after spending 24 hours with the litter (they were all so wonderful) I made my decision. Blue collared girl traveled in a soft carrier with me flying back home to CT where she never made a peep during the 3+ hour flight! Not only did I make sure she was EXHAUSTED before the flight, I was pretty confident that her well-balanced upbringing with lots of crating and travel would have prepared her for this journey. She was a trooper.

We arrived in CT at 11:30 pm and did not arrive home until 12:30 am. My husband Jason and I were smitten right away with this gorgeous little girl. We played with her for about an hour and then put her in her own puppy crate for the night. She cried for about 20 minutes then settled off to sleep until 6:30 the next morning. Let the adventure begin!

We started by carefully introduced this new puppy to our other 5 adult dogs, however, we would not let them be loose together to interact as a pack. If they wanted, they could kill her in a flash. Instead, we go on walks together with one or two of the older dogs under a very watchful eye that she does not get trampled or harshly corrected by an adult dog not wanting to deal with a needle-toothed annoying puppy.

It took a few days of getting to know her before her name came to fruition. The breeder’s line of dogs often starts with an “F” sound, and many use “Ph” for the names such as Phallon (Mom), Phanesse (Grandma), Phame, etc. I had hemmed and hawed for months to come up with a creative “F” name before she arrived. Given my horse background and love for horses (along with the “Y” ending that I like for my dogs), I came up with Filly, which is a young female horse. If I spelled it Philly, Jason said everyone would think Philadelphia or cheese steaks… so I decided on Filly with an F. Her entire name came about on our first pack walk with Treat, Peety and Elsie. We were hiking through the woods out back of our farm just as the sun was setting and lighting up the woods and forest floor. The ferns were glowing chartreuse green and little Filly kept diving into them, disappearing and then emerging with exuberance. And so she came to be: Quinebaug’s (our kennel name) Sweet Filly in the Ferns.

We have now owned her for 13 days and I would say things are going well. She is on a great schedule sleeping from about 10 or 11 at night (last let out) until 6:30 or 7 in the morning. She loves her crate toys to include puppy nylabones, Yak chews, Whimsies chews and some marrow bones. They keep her busy to help with patience time and self-entertainment in between play time, pack walks and naps. If she is not immediately with us, she is in her crate. I also have a crate in my dog truck and she comes to work, stays in the truck crate (in the shade plenty cool), and Jason and I walk her multiple times during the workday.

After work, we typically go for a big 30 to 45-minute hike in the woods crossing stone walls, over streams and through lots of ferns. I tired puppy is a happy puppy is a happier owner!

Filly stays away from the kennel dogs, most people and all other dogs. She is only 9 weeks old and needs several more round of vaccines so I do not want to expose her to possible illnesses. She attended our recent Rick Smith seminar and spent several days learning about the patience chain (learning neck pressure to be tied) as well as some introduction to leash work. She also traveled to upstate NY with me for an overnight trip and stayed at a client’s house with me safely confined to her cozy, comfortable puppy travel crate. She spent the entire day with me in NY on the patience line, under my careful supervision, while we worked another 12-week old puppy and some adult labs.

Again, this training teaches her to accept pressure on her neck and to give in to pulling against the chain since she cannot win. This tied confinement allows for leash work to systematically follow since she is learning to move into the pressure and not fight it. In no time she will be walking with me on leash following light leash neck pressure, moving as I move and stopping when I stop.

We feel pretty darn lucky to have Filly join our pack. I am not sure what her future will hold just yet. I know that she will be my hunting dog and I am sure that I will pursue other work and competitions to challenge her mind, her athleticism and to put titles to her name for her pedigree. For now, it is awesome to watch her grow, experience new things every day, and to enjoy each step of the lifelong training process.

Rick Smith Seminars at QK 2018

By Jennifer Broome, QK Owner

We just completed the 5th visit in 4 years for Bird Dog Hall of Fame Inductee, Mr. Rick Smith, to come to QK. What an honor to not only host this incredible man and extraordinary dog trainer but also to call him my mentor and friend. Over the past 4 years, Rick has changed my outlook on dog training and has changed the way I train. Rick’s knowledge of canine behavior, his explanation of physical cues that the dogs show us, and his training techniques are truly incredible and he has opened my eyes to so many things as a dog trainer.

Photo by Kate Lussier, Rick Smith with Quinebaug’s Sweet Filly in the Ferns, 9 weeks

The most profound change that we have all learned from Rick when he comes to mentor myself and my trainers is to watch for all of the body language cues that the dogs clearly show us. The subtle signs of softer eyes, slow blinks, relaxed jaws, yawning, licking their lips, tail set and relaxed loose muscles are all clear signs that the dog is acknowledging our training and accepting our training.

Personally, the teaching I get from Rick is that “It can always be better,” and he pushes me to step up even more to look for the slightest signs where my dog is not following my cues, commands or leadership. These lapses in communication between myself and my dogs identify the holes in our training at times. This can mean the difference between blue ribbons or ‘tail between the legs walk back to the truck” (by me!) when it comes to field competitions.

We had a good turnout for the Foundation Seminar on Saturday and Sunday with plenty of new clients coming to learn Rick’s techniques as well as many return graduates of his previous Foundation and Intermediate Seminars coming back to practice their skills. Rick offers a wonderful option to all graduates of BOTH Foundation and Intermediate students to come back, no charge, to any Foundation Seminars to practice, demonstrate to other students and to gain more knowledge. Every time I attend a Foundation Seminar I learn new things!

The Foundation Seminar focuses on patience training for the dog, teaching them to accept being tied to the patience chain by being calm, relaxed and ready to work. This gets them in the frame of mind to concentrate and prepare to learn! Any dogs that are barking, whining, digging, growling, or carrying on with any undesirable behaviors are not mentally in the frame of mind to accept our leadership and teachings.

Once the dogs learn to accept the down time and relax, the leash work begins and students learn how to effectively walk their dogs and use their bodies to cue the dogs to respect human space. The teaching of the chain work teaches the dog to respect leash pressure on the neck, and the transition to walking a dog on leash becomes a much easier and clearer task to both dog and handler. The result is a dog that learns to follow on leash and be still when we stop. In just short time we had birds out and were doing steadiness drills with dogs that, just hours earlier, were wild hoodlums barking, pulling and carrying on!

Day 2 of the Foundation Seminar worked more with leash work, patience chain work, whoa post work (teaching to be still) as well as field and bird work. The entire focus is much more about teaching the owners how to understand their dogs, how to learn to be more effective leaders and how to learn proper leash work. Students walk away with lots of information and many new training tasks to practice in order to get their field dogs and family pets to learn the basics of obedience, leash work and following handlers as leaders.

On Monday and Tuesday following the Foundation Clinic, we offered an Advanced Handling Clinic for the first time. We had 7 client participants as well as QK Lead Trainer, Jordan Wells, and Gun Dog/Obedience Trainer, Joe Lussier, and myself, all handling our dogs.  We had a special use permit to work at Sugar Brook Field Trial Grounds for the 2 days and we got a lot of great dog training in! The participants were all very serious dog handlers looking to improve their skills and fine tune their dogs specifically for field competitions. This clinic was all about the details. From mastering the chain work, finessing the leash work, coordinating better check cord field work to finally off leash e collar work, we grilled ourselves and our dogs on drills with birds. The work was tedious, exhausting, exhilarating, challenging and rewarding. I think that each of us learned that we can ALWAYS improve our Foundation training by paying better attention to details. As Rick says, “When you take your time to get it right, it goes more quickly in the long run.” This is so true as most of us found ourselves still lacking in the basics, and the ‘holes’ in our training were very evident once we really got into field training, bird work and backing drills. The dogs did not lie… their behavior clearly demonstrated our deficiencies as trainers. It was enlightening, frustrating, and eye opening all at the same time. I think that each handler learned to pay better attention to details, basic leash skills and clearer communication with cues.  The entire two days were awesome!

We hope to see you at our next seminars!

As our friend and mentor, Mr. Rick Smith, says:

Never Settle!


What is “Included” in a Boarding Day at QK?

By Jennifer Broome, QK Owner

We have never posted our prices online for our services because people may just see those numbers and not read further about what exactly that includes. QK Dogs has always been of the belief that the ways we present our facility, our well-trained experienced staff and our rules and policies are a direct reflection on the ways that we care for your dogs. We wholeheartedly want all of our boarding dogs to feel well cared for and to be part of our “PaQK”. We never want a dog to be “bored” when at our board and wellness facility!

Our flat boarding rate is $45 per dog, per day. Additional dogs from the same family are $40 per day if sharing a run.

When we refer to “Boarding” we should probably rename it more like:

“All inclusive care to meet your dog’s individual needs to keep them happy!”

We do not charge extra for these services and we never have! We believe that every dog in our care deserves to enjoy the outdoors, the primal instinct enjoyment of PaQK socialization, extra exercise runs in-harness with the ATV on our nature trails, hand walks for the old timers, treadmill workouts and individually prepared meals to include owner’s supplements and medications as needed.

Are here are the Extras:

Additionally, we want to always help you by offering our dog care services to include grooming, nail care, and wellness care. Our retail products include custom supplements, superior foods, great chew toys and bones, beds and other products, and they are all about good health and welfare for your dog.

Additional canine services we offer are grooming packages from kennel baths to spa services with trims, cuts, shaves, nails and more. Price upon request depending on dog’s coat and size.

Aqua Treadmill Packages are $50 per week to include two custom water workouts. For the athletic dog that needs to burn more energy, build muscle or work endurance and fitness training, we do more challenging interval work. For the geriatric dogs, arthritic dogs or overweight dogs, the buoyancy of the water allows the dogs to move more freely, have less stress on joints and enjoy the many benefits of warm aqua therapy sessions.

Lastly, clients may choose to have us add some one-on-one training sessions while their dogs board with us. We charge an additional $45 per private training session where your dog would be part of the training dog group for part of the day for patience line training, socialization time and leash or off-leash training depending on your training goals.

We are looking forward to your visit this year! See you soon.


Photo sessions at QK Dogs

Spring provides some of the most beautiful backgrounds; green grass, blue skies, and the flowers in full bloom!

QK Dogs is offering year-round photo sessions in conjunction with Kate Lussier Photography LLC. These photo sessions are specially priced to reflect a significant discount for in-house QK Dogs clients and are done while your dog is in daycare, dropped off for grooming, boarding, or while in training. Currently we are offering 5, 15, and 30 image packages that provide you with the fully edited, high resolution photos for your own use. If you are interested in having your photo taken with your dog, we also offer family and owner portrait sessions!

Kate has a strong background in animal photography and a great love of dogs. She is a self-taught photographer and has been running her own photography business for the past three years. Kate’s primary focus in photography is canine and equine portrait work and in the past year, she has been building a gun dog photography portfolio as well. Kate is also a member of the internal marketing team and is an assistant dog trainer here at QK Dogs.

Contact Kate @ for more information or to book a shoot.

Ask the Trainer

You want a Mastiff because they look tough? You love the sleek look and beauty of German Shorthaired Pointers and your friend has a really cool one! You saw Border Collies on TV doing agility and loved their intelligence and intenseness. That Pit Bull in the shelter looks so sad you just want to help and give him a home. That designer breed in the pet store was so cute you just HAD to buy her!

Do you REALLY know what you are getting in to and can you REALLY provide the rules, structure, manners, training, and exercise it takes for the breed you think that you want!?!?

I would like to think that if you were buying a new car, you did some research. You test drove it, looked at ratings for that car, made sure it had the power you needed (Mustang or work truck) or was better on fuel mileage with a smaller engine and less power. Homework, research, thought and consideration correct?

Where is that same mindset when people get dogs?

All too often as trainers at QK Dogs, we are blown away by the forms that people fill out about their dogs, the behavioral issues that they are having, and what they want to be corrected. I can mostly say in response, I feel bad for the dogs!

One of my favorite dog books about this topic is by Dr. Ian Dunbar called “Before You Get A Puppy”, a quick read that most people could accomplish in just an hour with the kids!  This book details the many things to consider BEFORE you get a new puppy, whether it comes from a breeder or shelter.

Here’s one of his BRILLIANT ideas: BEFORE you actually buy or adopt a certain breed, go find at least TWELVE of those dogs, all ages, and see if you can handle them! This may seem like a lot of work, BUT owning a dog is even more work, and owning the WRONG dog can be life-changing.  If you are pulled to the ground by a Mastiff, then maybe you lack the leadership or strength to handle that dog. If the German Shepherd growls and you are afraid and intimidated… nope – probably the wrong dog. If you are more of a couch potato, stay away from working and field dogs! If you love to hunt and want a great field partner, go to a reputable breeder who owns titled, working dogs with superior genetics, NOT a pet store or backyard breeder. If you have small children, nipping, herding breeds might not be the best family pet. If you just think owning a dog means a fenced-in backyard or invisible fence, a doggy door, free run of your home AND you can work all day… best to just get a cat or maybe some fish.

The message here is that most dogs were specifically bred for a purpose to work, herd, retrieve, guard, fight, dig, kill vermin, hunt and more. That means that no matter our ‘domestication’, the burning desire to perform a job runs through these dog’s veins. If you do not fulfill their energy and working (intelligence and problem solving) requirements, my goodness do they make up their own jobs. And I promise you, they are NOT good!

Dogs in general really do not want to lie around all day waiting for you to come home just so that you can love on them and pet them. That is selfish on the owner’s part. Most dogs love to feel fulfilled by thinking, working and exercising. When they experience this, they are happy and can enjoy sleep, rest, relaxation, patience and they feel happy, tired and fulfilled. I am always saying:


The message here is:

Please do not get a dog based on its looks

Research the breed and understand what the requirements are to train that dog (Dominant breed? Easy to train?) as well as energy, grooming, and wellness requirements.

Do not know the breed of a shelter mutt, then spend some time with that dog first! Can you handle it, how about an evaluation with a trainer, does the dog have issues already? If so, you better be willing to spend months training and rehabilitating with lots of patience, persistence, time and repetition.

Dominant breeds (Pit Bulls, Bull Dogs, Rottweilers, GSDs) as well as rescue dogs with behavioral issues are NOT a choice for first time dog owners!!!!

If you want a good hunting dog, go to a reputable breeder and watch the parents work!

If you are getting a dog from any breeder, meet the parents. If the sire or dam is unapproachable, mean, or has behavioral issues… RUN AWAY!

Let QK Dogs help you! Reach to owner Jennifer Broome to discuss dog breeds, good places to acquire dogs, and resources to look and meet dogs in your search for your wonderful next companion.

Read more about our referral service:

Referral Service



Lyme Disease

Did you know that the black legged tick (Deer tick) is the most common tick in Connecticut?

Did you also know this very tick is known to carry and transmit Lyme Disease (Lyme borreliosis)?

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world. It not only affects animals but humans as well. It is caused by the spiral-shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi that is carried inside the tick and then gets into the dog’s or person’s bloodstream through a tick bite. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria can travel to different parts of the body and cause problems in specific organs or locations, such as joints, as well as overall illness. Some symptoms of Lyme Disease to look for are:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced energy
  • Lameness (can be shifting, intermittent, and recurring)
  • Generalized stiffness, discomfort, or pain
  • Swelling of joints
  • Bullseye

Although mother nature hasn’t quite decided what season she wants it to be here in CT, tick season is among us and it’s going to be a fierce one! We have had several dogs come in for groomings with at least 5 ticks (or more) embedded in their skin! Please begin your flea and tick preventative care process to be sure to keep these buggers off your beloved pet and yourselves. The preventatives are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of dispensing options.



K9 Advantix

Over the past 2 years we have found Seresto collars to be the most effective to repel an kills ticks. They can last up to 8 months too! We carry Seresto collars in our retail store at QK.


Summer Classes at QK

We are looking to offer some fun new classes at QK for the summer! These classes will be taught by a variety of QK trainers, each focusing on their specialties or areas of interest. Here are some of our current ideas:

Dog Obedience for Kids

(ages 6 and up welcome to learn about dog training)

Puppy Classes (pups 3 months to 12 months)

Group Obedience Classes for leash work, manners and patience

Advanced Leash and Offleash work for field dogs with Jennifer Broome

If any of these classes interest you, contact Jennifer Broome

We would like to get an idea if there is interest in these classes. These classes will be walk-in on weeknights and weekend mornings. Times and dates to be announced. Cost will be $25 per dog/handler team per class. If more than 1 family member is working the same dog, $10 per additional handler.