Don't let cold temperatures keep you from working with your dog.  Indoor training during the winter months will keep your skills sharp, and your dog entertained.  And, as we all know, a tired dog is a happy dog.  Train now, and watch your pup shine when warmer temperatures roll in.
Now What?
   This was planned to be an article about what to do with a new pup AFTER all of the newness and excitement wears off. has turned into an article about what to expect when the unexpected happens.
   There was great excitement in our house on Christmas morning when Charm (our nearly 4 year old black Lab) presented us with 3 yellow and 5 black puppies. All seemed normal for the first 2 weeks--total sleep deprivation because new-born puppies need to eat every 2 hours and need to be kept in a bed that doesn't go below 90 degrees.
   And then in week 3, everything seemed to be returning to normal--except for the one little boy who just wasn't gaining weight like the others were. (We started calling him Tiny Tim or Timmy!)
Charm and pups
So Timmy got special meals of goat's milk, special alone time to eat with just his mom, and lots of cuddling and fuzzy blankets to keep him warm. But he just didn't gain much weight--he was only 2.5 pounds when his littermates were all over 4 pounds!
   THEN, at 5 weeks old, Timmy started to lose weight and off we went to the vet. To make a long, sad story short, it was discovered that Timmy had some developmental issues and was in a great deal of pain. So, we made the very difficult decision to euthanize him to put an end to his pain.
   SO, NOW WHAT?  Lots of tears and pain for a part of us that was lost WAY too early. Lots of regrets for a life that had seemed to be full of promise. A feeling of something missing--even though there were still 7 pups in their box. A little bit of guilt that MAYBE I could have done more for the little guy. A piece of my heart missing. AND the knowledge (in my heart) that I gave little Timmy two gifts--a life full o
f love for 5 weeks and also enough love to be with him and let him go when it was his time.
   I read somewhere that when you lose a dog, it takes a piece of your heart with it. But it also leaves a piece of its heart with you. And the end result is that you end up with the loving heart of a dog. I can only wish that I can learn to be more like my pups!
   So, goodbye little Timmy. Thank you for sharing 5 weeks of love with me and your littermates and everyone you met. I look forward to seeing you again someday!                                                  
Portia's Piece

Dear Portia,


Hi! I was just wondering what you have been up to lately...

A Fan of yours! 


Hello Fan!


We have been really busy around here for the past 2 months! Our biggest news is that Charm came home for a visit and, while she was here, she had 8 puppies! Would you believe it was on Christmas Day? Sadly, one of the pups did not make it but the other 7 are a noisy, stinky bunch--just like puppies are supposed to be, I guess.


I also got to go to Wildwood, NJ with Betsy and my breeder-mom for 2 days of a dog show! The best part of the 2 days was when the judges gave me ribbons! I got 2nd place in the conformation shows both days but I also got a qualifying score in Intermediate Rally one of the days! (Betsy was pretty happy about that--she said that 87 out of 100 points was a good showing!)


I guess I did pretty well, because next week I get to go on a road trip in an RV with my breeder-mom! We are going south (where it is WARM) and will be gone for about a month!


So, stay tuned for a report on my adventures!


Love,                                                                                              Portia

Class Title Beginning Date/Time # Class Sessions
Rally I
2/9 (Sat) 9:00 am
Puppy/Beginners Class
2/14 (Thur) 6:00 pm
Introduction to Training Seminar
2/17 (Sun) 4:00 pm
Beginners Class
2/18 (Mon) 10:30 am
Introduction to NoseWork I
2/18 (Mon) 11:45 am
Canine Good Citizen/TherapyDog
2/18 (Mon) 6:30 pm
Beginners Class
2/18 (Mon) 7:45 pm
Outdoor Adventures
2/23 (Sat) Noon

Puppy Class - FULL
2/24 (Sun) 1:00 pm
Reactive Rover
2/24 (Sun) 2:30 pm
Advanced Manners
2/28 (Thur) 7:30 
4(2/28, 3/7, 3/14, 3/21)
NoseWork II - Intro  to Odor s
3/2 (Sat) 10:15 am
3/6 (Wed) 7:45 pm
Introduction to Training Seminar
3/16 (Sat) 2:30 pm 
Puppy Class - FULL
3/20 (Wed) 6:15 pm 7*
Introduction to Training Seminar
3/26 (Tue) 7:00 pm
Advanced Manners
4/3 (Wed) 7:30 pm 
4(4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24)
Beginners Class
4/4 (Thur) 6:30 pm
Puppy Class
4/4 (Thur) 6:00 pm


All training classes denoted with an asterisk have a prerequisite of the
Introduction to Training Seminar.  This seminar is designed for trainers only, no dogs are permitted. For additional class information, visit

What's the Introduction to Training

Prior to beginning any Puppy or Beginner or Reactive Rover training program at Redfern Canines, we hold an Introduction to Training Seminar. This required session is all about you, no pups allowed.  Here's why:
  • We want to introduce you to how we train.  It's all about positive reinforcement.  And we use clickers to get started.  We'll show you how.
  • The introduction goes over the nuts and bolts of the process, so we don't lose any time once you have your pup in hand.
  • We set realistic expectations.  You know exactly what to expect of us, and you'll have a firm grasp of what you need to do to make your team of two successful.
  • And finally, here's where we have your full attention.  That's not so easy to do with a roomful of curious canines.  But it is exactly what we need to get started off on the right foot.
  • We can't wait to meet you!

       A Well-Trained Dog is a Happy Dog!
Chiron:  The Training of a Service Dog, Part II

You'd be so proud if you could see him.  If you could know how far he's come on his journey.  Chiron resisted.  He resisted walking up and down steps, despite kind voices, repeated cajoling and the best treats we could muster.  Considering he's a labrador, that's saying something.  And then there were the elevators.  Nope. Not going in. Done. Period.

But he wasn't done.  He just needed time and opportunity.  Just like us and every one of our dogs, Chiron had to learn at his own pace. Just like the main character in  Green Eggs and Ham, Chiron learned to do all these things.  In a car.  On an elevator. In a store. In an office.  Elevators small and elevators tall. Elevators quiet and elevators bumpy.  Stairs by himself and in a crowd.  With his trainer and an abundance of folks who are committed to seeing Chiron go to his forever home with Tim.  Many thanks to all of you who have stepped up to help Chiron be successful.  Thank you, Girl Scouts. And Memorial Eye Institute. And Skelly & Loy. And Boyer & Ritter. You are all amazing; words cannot express our gratitude.  The journey continues, and we'll be there soon.  Thanks to you. 


Take a look at how our boy is doing so far.   Chiron: Practice Makes Perfect
Reactive Rover: C'mon Over

Afraid to sign your dog up for class because he seems overly reactive?  Worry about going to the local dog park?  We may be able to help. Reactive Rover is a specialized training class to help dogs that have trouble dealing with everyday social interactions.  Class size is extremely limited to provide plenty of hands-on training, and it's only offered a few times each year.  Prior to class, Betsy evaluates each dog for suitability and safety.  Get started now, and give your dog a chance to be in the swim of things by summer. For more information, contact
Final Call: Nosework Workshop

In February, Redfern Canines will be hosting a nosework workshop for dogs working through either the NACSW ORT (Odor Recognition Test) or the AKC Novice Scent Work program.  Only a few spots left! And don't underestimate how much you can learn by watching!  

February 16th 
1:00-4:00 pm
Active Participant $60 
Auditor                  $30 

Want in on the fun? Contact

Need a Great Indoor Party Space This Winter?  
Look No Further. 

Our Redfern Canine Center is available for party and meeting rentals.  We have a perfect open space for musical chairs and games of tag.  We also have an ADA restroom, lots of tables and chairs, and free parking.  We're conveniently located at 7540 Allentown Boulevard, with easy access to Route 81, and just minutes from Hershey, PA.  Rentals start at $50 for two hours. For more information, contact
And the Award Goes To... 
Our Students!

Congratulations to the Redfern teams that have worked so hard together.  We recognize the work and effort that goes into working                                                together.  Nicely done! 
     Cheryl Daily & Bentley
     Karen Hamill & Dilah
     Lori Potteiger & Gambit
     Tracy Sullivan & Olive

Canine Good Citizen
       Karen Hamill & Dilah                 Lori Potteiger & Gambit
                            Tracy Sullivan & Olive

STAR Puppy
     Kevin Adler & Milo                        Sari Bailey & Holly
     Kim Doerr & Snoopy                    Todd & Nancy Fisher & Ziva
     Margaret Hahn & Claude              Nichole Kyle & Willow
     Mark Mendlow & Freckles           John Mohn & Millie
     Mary Jane & Murphy & Pepper   Jenny Nicolosi & Mac
     Stephen Nicolosi & Zeke             Derek Pollpeter & Benjamin
     Bonnie Roberts & Kalli                Jama Wampler & Max
                           Kathryn Wolford & Finn
Redfern Canines