NEW! – Dog Classes

Heads Up!…I’ve moved this blog to my new website:  You can find this page and comments through mid-November here, along with current class information.  If you are subscribing, commenting, linking or sharing, please do so from the new website.

The classes below are offered in the San Diego area and are taught by Madeline Gabriel, CPDT-KA.

I’d like to keep these classes as on-going options so people can join anytime, but I also like to switch things up to meet the needs of my Dogs and Babies class participants so feel free to let me know if there are options that are a better fit for you.

In addition, classes can also be tailored to smaller groups.  So, if you have other friends planning for life with a baby or meet up with other parents in play groups with similar interests, I can put together a class just for you and meet in your neighborhood!  (This is also a great option for extended family.)

Current options:

  1. Loose Leash Walking With Stroller
  2. Loving Life With Dog and Baby!

Loose Leash Walking With a Stroller

Life with baby and dog is so much easier when you can get out and enjoy a walk together!  Young dog, old dog; big dog, little dog — everyone can get better at loose leash walking.  It’s not the impossible dream!

Reinforcement-based training methods use individual points of success to tailor the exercises to every skill level.

Summary Details:

Class length:  6 sessions

Cost: $150

Location: Presido Park Recreation Center, Old Town, San Diego

Saturdays 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Pre-registration is required to manage class size.  We are looking at a projected start date of October 22nd.  Rolling admissions may be able to be accommodated.  Contact Madeline at 619-275-3647 or enjoydog @ (remove spaces around the @).

Loving Life With Dog and Baby!

Look! I'm not eating the Cherrios!

The real life class everyone’s been asking for! Topics vary based on the interests of the individual groups, but will include the “must-haves:”

  • Lie down while baby is being fed
  • Re-orient to owner when distracted
  • Be calm and in control around food
  • Come when called
  • Relax with handling
  • Dog Safety Zone Acclimation
  • Calm Greetings

Training goals are achieved through reinforcement-based methods that build on each dog’s point of success so every dog can improve his or her skills.

Each class will include problem-solving discussions on common questions about barking, housesoiling, pestering, sleeping arrangements, etc.  We will also include ideas for games and activities to amuse both you and your dog as you adjust to life with an infant.

Classes are held in a comfortable, home-like indoor setting at Nan Arthur’s Whole Dog Training in the Carroll Canyon area of San Diego, just off the 15.  Class is especially well-suited for pre-baby preparation and post-baby support, but everyone is welcome — you don’t even have to be pregnant!

This will be a rolling admission, start anytime class.  Class sizes are limited, however, so pre-registration is required.  Contact Madeline at 619-275-3647 or enjoydog @ (remove the spaces around the @).

Cost:  Flexible attendance up to 12 lessons is $249.  Lessons need not be completed concurrently so you can do some before the baby arrives and come back to finish once you are a little more settled with baby.  Keep in mind that many dogs will benefit from more than one set of lessons because we can tailor the activities to your changing needs and continue towards higher proficiency.

We expect to start Tuesday, October 25th,  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM. Additional class options may be added where necessary.

Note:  Class will NOT specifically address leash walking (see separate class, above), but you are welcome to bring your strollers for continued acclimation.  In addition, dogs that tend to react aggressively to people or other dogs are better suited to in-home, private lessons.  I am always happy to discuss your situation and find a solution that works for you so please let me know what you’re thinking!



  1. Hi Madeline! Remember me from NC? I just ran across your blog. Awesome job!


    • Hi Jan – Yes, I remember you! How are you doing these days? What’s new?

  2. Hello, I was referred to you by Kindered Spirits and wished I would have taken the course at Scripps when I had seen it. Now I have a 6 mo. old and a 7yr old and a lovely Standard Poodle that is turning into a teenager almost 2yrs. old. I would love a private class if you offer that otherwise I would be interested in the group session. I would also try to attend a class. I am just hoping to get started with him as soon as possible.
    Looking forward to your response,


    • Stefanie, I’m sorry I missed this comment the first time around and now it’s months later! Please feel free to call or e-mail if you’d still like to talk or make a plan for your family. I do offer private sessions and I can also provide book and video references and other trainer referrals if our schedules don’t mesh. Tell you what — to make it up to you, I’ll do a free session in exchange for taking some photos and video for my book project.

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