Train Your Dog

We're sure that most dog lovers would agree that training your dog is always a good idea, but what is the best type of training for you and your dog? The answer depends, of course, on what it is you want to achieve. Perhaps you would like your dog to have agility training, in which case you would seek out a trainer who specializes in that type of training. To begin with, however, most of us would like our dog to be trained in the basic rules of behavior, rather than to be taught a bunch of tricks. At the root of most dog training is the fact that it's mostly about training dog owners how to communicate with their dog. Most professional dog trainers favor a training model that focuses on positive reinforcement, which tends to result in a happy, healthy dog.

There are so many wonderful dog trainers out there and UKUSCAdoggie loves to be able to feature some of the best.

We are so happy to be partnering with Paige Graham, a dog trainer at Brown Dog University. 

In her own words, let's meet Paige!

My name is Paige. I grew up in a small town in Eastern Washington called Roslyn. Growing up, my family always had dogs and other critters. This fostered a love and appreciation for animals, especially our canine companions! I am excited to have them not only be a part of my personal life, but my professional life as well. 

When I was thirteen, my parents helped me adopt my dog, Kenai. He introduced me to the world of dog training and joined me through high school as my service dog, before retiring as a happy pet. Together we have competed in sports, such as dock diving and frisbee throughout North America.

Through dock diving, I met Kristi Baird, and was given the opportunity to intern with her and expand my knowledge and skills with regard to caring for dogs and training them. Working with Kristi allowed me to gain experience and become proficient in various aspects of dog training. Upon graduating high school, Kristi hired me on as resident staff, working as an Assistant Trainer and Dog Caretaker at Brown Dog University. 

What is Dock Diving?

Dock diving is a sport in which handlers and their dogs go onto a forty foot dock that is butted up against a forty by twenty foot pool. The handler throws a toy into the pool and the dog jumps off the dock to retrieve the toy and are scored on various factors. Teams compete in different disciplines that are scored by the dog's speed, height, distance, and overall performance. I am most involved with North America Diving Dogs and Dock Dogs, however, there are many different organizations within the sport that vary on how they score and run events.

Competing in dog sports promotes a strong bond between dog and handler - the excitement I see in my dog, as soon as he sees the pool is incomparable to anything else. Being able to make him that happy, allow him a place where he is allowed to be crazy and have fun is invaluable.

My favorite part of dock diving is not the competition, the travel, etc. The part of this sport that I enjoy the most is when I am on that dock with my dog and it is just he and I. The world stops and nothing else matters but our bond and communication. However, when we are on the dock there are rules, he sits and stays forty feet away and waits for my release word to come running at me full speed to get his toy. Dog and handler must be completely in synch with each other to connect all the pieces and make the magic happen! Just some of the variables involved are timing of the toss, a good sit stay, striding to ensure the dog is taking off safely, height of toy in air, and the correct amount of excitement in the release.

The dock diving community is extraordinary and people are there to compete, but mostly, we are all there to have fun with our dogs. These friendships go far beyond the dock. I have seen the positive impact we have on each other's lives numerous times, whether it be a time of excitement and happiness, or a time of hardship, fellow competitors are always there to offer support. Whether it be celebrating a new personal record or helping fundraise to cover medical costs. Additionally, being able to meet and watch some truly amazing teams experience the joy of dock diving and grow is so rewarding. The time we have with our dogs is limited and I believe one of the only things we can do is just savor these moments. This sport has given me many moments that I will cherish forever.

Paige Graham, Trainer

Brown Dog University

You can reach Paige at paigeandkenai@gmail.com or follow her on Facebook


Based in Bellingham, WA, K9 Track NW is the PNW's leader in K9 training, offering specialized training for search and rescue via courses, workshops, seminars, retreats, and classes.

If you're looking to find the trails, K9 Track NW can help! 

For complete beginners, the company's course "Tracking - The Groundwork" is a great starting point. What exactly is tracking? It's learning how to follow the path that someone walked to find that person. In this eight week fusion course, you and your dog will learn the basics of tracking. The course includes a weekly online lesson, and four hands-on classes, working directly with the trainer in a small group setting. You are able to tailor the classes to fit in with your schedule, choosing from a listing of available classes. There are normally four Sunday and eight Wednesday classes from which to choose, or if you prefer, you can choose four one-on-one Zoom training sessions. 


Another option is the company's "Tracking - The Foundation" course, a twenty-four week fusion course, which will pave the way for you and your dog to spend many years of success in finding trails, enjoying all kinds of adventures along the way. Then, when you're both ready, there's the Ultimate Adventure course, or "The Apex", culminating in a five-day tracking retreat in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Together with 4-6 other dog teams, you'll explore a variety of trails, listen to exciting guest speakers, and so much more!

Recent seminars have included topics relating to tracking in an urban setting and a session designed especially for novices to see if a tracking course would be a good fit.

Why not check out K9 Track NW today - adventure awaits!