What Makes a Great Training Treat?

By |2022-08-15T19:43:45+00:00August 15, 2022|Helpful Hints, Training|

Dog Eating Treat Be sure to pick a training treat that your dog enjoys!

The number one question I receive from owners learning to clicker train their dogs: what makes a great training treat? Here are the things I recommend you consider when choosing treats to use while training your dog.


You will be using a lot of treats when training your dog. In order to avoid weight gain, cut your training treats into the tiniest pieces possible. My rule of thumb is that treats should be no larger than the size of a pea; […]

Myth Busting: Dogs That Aren’t Food Motivated

By |2022-08-09T21:11:48+00:00August 9, 2022|Myth Busting|

Strata Gets a Treat We once thought Strata was “not treat motivated” when actually, he needed to lose a bit of weight and be offered tastier treats!

When dog owners find out that clicker training requires using a lot of dog treats, some express concern. They start to tell me that their dogs are not food motivated. I have good news: all dogs are food motivated!

Dogs have to eat. If your dog wasn’t motivated by food in some capacity, they would be dead. While this seems obvious, but many people don’t see the […]

Is your dog a Canine Good Citizen? (May 2022 Update)

By |2022-08-09T21:50:13+00:00May 9, 2022|Canine Good Citizen, Training|

Puppy Day School alum Ursus passed the CGC test! Will your dog be next?

Find out this summer! We’re excited to announce two new training opportunities this summer at Crossbones: a new format for our CGC Prep class and an AKC Canine Good Citizen testing event!

Not sure what the AKC Canine Good Citizen test is all about? Check out our blog post about it!

Commit to classes

Our spring experiment with Intro to Agility as a linear class has been very successful! We were inspired to use the format […]

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What to Expect at Your Dog’s Educational Daycare Evaluation

By |2022-08-09T21:46:13+00:00October 23, 2020|Educational Daycare|


Curious about what to expect when you sign your dog up for an Educational Daycare evaluation at Crossbones? Here is what you can expect, and what our team members are looking for from you and your dog.


Getting Started


The evaluation starts as soon as you and your dog arrive at Crossbones. Educational Daycare attendees must be under their owner’s control in the parking lot and lobby. A member of our […]

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Now Enrolling: Educational Dog Daycare in Providence, RI

By |2022-08-09T21:49:53+00:00April 29, 2019|Educational Daycare|

Educational Dog Daycare at Crossbones Dog Academy in Providence, RI

After four years of offering Puppy Day School for puppies in Providence, we’re thrilled to announce we now offer daycare for all dogs! Our Educational Daycare program launched April 1st and our team is having a blast working with the dogs each day.

What is Educational Daycare?

What does Educational Daycare mean? Each dog in our program is expected to demonstrate basic manners every day, like sitting for attention […]

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Spring Forth Dog Academy is now Crossbones Dog Academy!

By |2022-08-09T21:47:40+00:00January 6, 2019|Blog|

Crossbones Dog Academy in Providence, RINew year, new name. (Same shade of orange.) New for 2019: Spring Forth Dog Academy is now Crossbones Dog Academy!

So much has changed since Dan and I chose our business name “Spring Forth” in 2010. It was a play on words (think Springer Spaniel) accompanied by my pencil drawing of Tessie jumping. The logo was very personal.

Crossbones is a business name and logo combination I originally came up with in 2013. For a period of time, […]

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Remembering Tessie

By |2022-08-09T21:48:40+00:00March 30, 2018|My Dogs|

Tessie the English Springer Spaniel | Spring Forth Dog Academy in Providence, RI Tessie at 3 weeks old.

This started as an Instagram post but quickly exceeded 2200 characters, despite my best efforts to keep it brief! I hope you enjoy it. –Katherine

March 30th is always a special day at Spring Forth HQ. Today would have been Tessie’s 19th birthday. Tessie is the dog in our logo and the reason I became a professional dog trainer. Without Tessie, there would be no Spring Forth Dog Academy.

From Humble Beginnings

We did everything wrong with Tessie for […]

The “Don’t Do It” List: Common Dog Training Mistakes

By |2022-08-09T21:48:55+00:00August 14, 2017|Training|

Even though we focus on the positive here at Crossbones, there are some behaviors (performed by both people & dogs) we recommend you avoid. Here are a few mistakes we see frequently enough to complain about them!

#1. You’re using low-value treats in high-distraction environments.

The "Don't Do It" Dog Training List | Spring Forth Dog Academy, Providence RI Not training treats, you guys. Bedtime snacks, perhaps, but not training treats.

The value of your rewards needs to match the distraction level of your environment. Kibble and store-bought dog treats are great for your living room, […]

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Why “Paw” is Problematic

By |2017-07-14T19:15:32+00:00July 14, 2017|Training|

Why "Paw" is Problematic | Spring Forth Dog Academy in Providence, RI Photo by Bonner Springs Library (Flickr Creative Commons)

Many of you know that I enjoy teaching my dogs tricks, so today’s post might come as a bit of a surprise. However, there’s one behavior that dog owners love to teach that often interferes with their progress in Day School and makes their training path harder. That behavior? “Paw” or “shake.”

Teaching your dog to put his paw on you to earn praise or a treat is easy and seems like fun. But if your […]

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Restricting Water Intake: A Dangerous Housebreaking Trend

By |2020-07-09T13:34:57+00:00May 9, 2017|Puppies, Training|

Restricting Water Intake: A Dangerous Housebreaking TrendAt Crossbones Dog Academy, we work with a lot of puppies! Over one hundred puppies come to us each year for Puppy Day School and group classes. As a result, we get to talk to a lot of people about puppy raising.

Over the past few months, we have noticed a very concerning trend. Some of our clients were deliberately restricting their dog’s water intake as a potty training strategy.

Generally speaking, most pet dogs have access to water whenever they are not confined to a crate. They naturally limit their […]

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Training Your Dog to Come When Called

By |2017-02-27T16:15:50+00:00February 27, 2017|Puppies, Training|

Coming when called is a behavior that dog owners almost universally desire. A great recall means the difference between participating in a lot of fun activities – such as romps on the beach, playing at the dog park, hiking off-leash in the woods, competing in dog sports – and sitting on the sidelines. We get asked about it so often that we have a class, Come This Way, devoted to building and maintaining this skill!

It is also the behavior that dog owners take for granted in their new puppies, or inadvertently punish by making simple mistakes. Building a strong recall means avoiding […]

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