CPT Trainer Patricia King Appears In National Interview for Sharecare.com

Sharecare.com is a national health and wellness resource and information website that includes platforms for both personalized and general health programs and information.  The company was founded in 2010 by Jeff Arnold, the creator of WebMD and television’s Dr. Oz (Mehmet Oz) in collaboration with several large corporate investors:  Harpo Studios, Sony Pictures Television, and […]

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The Importance of Dog and Litter Evaluations

Evaluations for Service Dog Programs When CPT designs a client’s service dog program the first step is a Phase I- Introductory Meeting. During the Meeting, we: a) obtain medical details regarding the recipient’s disability, b) discuss the limitations and effects posed by the disability, c) outline the overall goals and objectives of the program, d) […]

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The Music of Quebec City

Quebec City is a great place to live or visit during the summer months.  Quebecois become festive while relishing the warm weather months.  Festivals abound that feature street entertainers, comedians, and/or live bands.  Moreover, as in Montreal, the entertainers are highly talented and the music covers multiple genres.  We saw jazz, reggae, rock, and African […]

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CPT Visits Quebec City, Canada

During late July CPT traveled to the province of Quebec, Canada. CPT Head Trainer Mark Spivak, in a quest to expand CPT and to find multiple locations to reside and work, scheduled a 10-day visit that included both Montreal and Quebec City. A previous CPT article described our business interest in Montreal and the sites […]

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The Festivals and Music of Montreal

Montreal is a happening city during the summer months.  Festivals abound that feature street entertainers, comedians, hypnotists, and live bands every night of the week.  Moreover, the entertainers are highly talented and the music covers multiple genres.  We saw jazz, reggae, rock, African, and disco bands that excited packed outdoor crowds on outstanding stages that […]

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CPT Visits Montreal

During late July CPT traveled to Montreal, Canada. CPT Chief Executive and Head Trainer Mark Spivak, in a quest to expand CPT and to find multiple locations to reside and work so that he can experience optimal weather throughout the year, scheduled a 10-day jaunt that included both Montreal and Quebec City. Montreal quickly became […]

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Clarice The Great Pyrenees Therapy Dog

Dr. Ellis Dixon is benefiting from CPT’s private lesson program in preparing his rescue Great Pyrenees, Clarice, to become a full-time therapy dog at Egleston Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Dixon is a sedation physician.  Unfortunately, the application of sedatives, as well as the forthcoming medical procedure, often causes noticeable anxiety to Egleston’s pediatric patients.  Therefore, Dr. […]

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Sarah Ann Using Play Training to Teach Kona Heeling

Sarah Ann requested an outdoor private lesson with CPT Head Trainer Mark Spivak. Sarah’s objectives were teaching her 12-month old, female Doberman, Kona, how to: 1) attention heel, 2) stay more reliably in either the sit or down position, 3) come more responsively from a distance amidst distractions, and 4) drop her toy on command. […]

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Jenna and Yoshi

Jenna loves her 8-week old Labradoodle Yoshi. However, she would also love him to quickly become housebroken and to learn proper household manners. Therefore, she contacted CPT for an in-home private lesson on housebreaking, chewing, mouthing, jumping, socialization with the older household dogs, general socialization, and imprint obedience. We covered a lot in our 2-hour […]

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Puppies Galore- A Nighttime Litter Evaluation

Litter evaluations are best when puppies are approximately 7.5 weeks of age. However, with a packed schedule we couldn’t visit during the day. No problem. We evaluated the puppies at night, which ended up much better, as they were much more active during the cool evening temperatures than during the daytime heat. We started at […]

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Intermediate Agility Is Great Fun for People and Dogs!

Beginner Agility teaches dogs confidence and precision with each of the agility obstacles- broad jumps, single bar jumps, double bar jumps, triple bar jumps, winged jumps, tire jump, open tunnel, closed tunnel (chute), pause table, a-frame, dog walk, teeter, and weave poles.  Beginner agility is more a class for the dog than the human. However, […]

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Kristin and Dani Learn Heeling During Their Private Lesson

Kristin came to CPT for a private lesson because her Vizsla, Dani, was reacting to neighborhood dogs when walked on leash.  During the history and evaluation stage of the appointment, CPT’s Mark Spivak observed that Dani did not understand heel position, often pulled Kristin, and remained more attentive to distractions than to Kristen.  However, with a […]

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Lulu- A Dog Reactivity Case Study

Lulu, a 7-month old Pug/Jack Russell Terrier, was adopted 6 weeks before from the Atlanta Humane Society.  Since Lulu’s adoption she exhibited severe reactivity on-leash when meeting unfamiliar people or dogs.  Her hackles would conspicuously rise, she would bark incessantly, and she would pull tenaciously on the leash.  Therefore, while on walks the owners were […]

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Argus and Angie

To complete a feature article, CPT needed some video of vigorous canine play.  After consulting with CPT Trainer Alex Collier, we agreed that video of her Boxer, Angie, playing with a client’s Doberman, Argus, should provide us plentiful quality video of chase, boxing, tug, and keep-away games. We hope you enjoy the video and the […]

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Psychiatric Service Dog Hank

Hank is a 2-year old, male Rottweiler mix.  After 4.5-months of intensive training he is now also a highly proficient psychiatric service dog. Hank services a teenage recipient in Tennessee, who suffers from severe schizophrenia that includes visual and auditory hallucinations.  Hank mitigates the limitations and effects of her psychiatric disability by performing specialized behaviors […]

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CPT Hosts CCI Regional Meeting

CPT Trainer Patricia King recently hosted the Canine Companions for Independence (CCI)- Atlanta Chapter’s meeting with CCI’s Southeast Regional Directors and Trainers.  The meeting, which featured speakers from CCI’s management and training staff, provided excellent information and new acquaintances. CPT is glad to provided assistance to CCI by providing discounted classes to CCI’s volunteers and […]

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CPT Visits San Diego

CPT recently traveled to San Diego, CA for a business meeting. While visiting, CPT’s Mark Spivak took a 9-mile run that doubled as a city tour for photographing what is often labeled “America’s finest city.” During free time Mark also visited the Midway Museum, ate outstanding seafood and authentic Mexican food, and had a terrific […]

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CPT Visits Phoenix, Arizona

CPT recently visited Phoenix, Arizona for a business meeting. While visiting Phoenix, CPT’s Mark Spivak also photographed native cacti, climbed Camelback Mountain, ran through the campus of Arizona State University, and visited the incredible Museum of Musical Instruments. Phoenix is Arizona’s largest city and the state capital. Phoenix has a population of 1.56 million people, […]

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CPT Visits the Grand Canyon

While in Phoenix for a business meeting, CPT seized an opportunity to visit The Grand Canyon. When visiting the area, CPT flew to Phoenix, drove to Sedona, drove to The Grand Canyon, and then returned to Phoenix for the meeting. Sedona is a 2-hour drive north from Phoenix. The south rim of The Grand Canyon […]

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CPT Visits Sedona, Arizona

While in Phoenix for a business meeting, CPT also made time to visit Sedona, Arizona. Sedona, which lies in the Verde Valley area of Arizona, is famous for the prevalence and beauty of its red sandstone formations. Yet, the history of Sedona and recent commercial development have added even more to the town’s allure. Before […]

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Carly and Checkers Win Gold!

CPT client Carly Gill and her Rat Terrier, Checkers, recently achieved a first place finish in the New Rattitude Rat Terrier Jamboree Tricks Contest. In a very nice email, Carly credited her victory to the instruction she received in CPT’s group classes. Checkers acquired excellent basic obedience skills during the classes. In addition, Carly learned […]

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Beginner Agility Graduation

A happy CPT Beginner Agility graduation! What an awesome group! The class consisted of sizes from a Pomeranian to a standard Goldendoodle and ages from 9 months to 10 years- and the old guy held his own. Beginner Agility introduces dogs to all the agility obstacles, including the broad jump, single-bar jump, double-bar jump, triple-bar […]

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Shadow- A Behavior Modification Story

Shadow’s owner contacted CPT due to concerns regarding aggressive posturing between Shadow and persons and dogs residing within the household. The behavior became prevalent after Shadow’s owner relocated from South Dakota to Hall County, GA. To ease the financial burden of her move, Shadow’s owner moved-in with her sister, her sister’s adult son, her sister’s […]

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Molly the German Shepherd- A Future Service Dog

Molly is just 8 weeks of age. Yet, Molly is not just any German Shepherd puppy. Molly is a future service dog that has a long and fulfilling life ahead of her. CPT selected Molly from an outstanding litter of German Shepherds bred in North Georgia. She excelled in the Friendliness, Restraint, Dominance, Tolerance, Energy, […]

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Winston- the Story of a Service Dog in the Making

Winston is an 8-week old, male Labradoodle that is starting his journey to become a service animal for a CPT client in Texas. The client is a teenage female who suffers from seizure disorder and complex regional pain syndrome. In October, we completed a Phase I Introductory Interview that designed customized specifications for the client’s […]

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Experiment 8- Jealousy

Many dog owners insist that their dogs behave anxiously, cloyingly, or aggressively due to jealousy emanating from owner attention provided to something else (e.g., another person, the phone, the newspaper, et al.), but especially attention given to another dog. The Dog Project responded by designing Experiment 8- Jealousy, which examined the brain responses of subject […]

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CCI Puppy Raiser Class

In addition to operating our own service dog program, CPT also operates the Puppy Raiser Classes for the Atlanta Chapter of Canine Companions for Independence (CCI).  CCI is the nation’s largest and most respected nonprofit service dog organization. CCI breeds puppies from specially selected sires and dams.  The breeding dogs are either Golden Retrievers, Labrador […]

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Our Last Research Trip to California

CPT’s Mark Spivak is also co-owner of Dog Star Technologies, LLC.  DST conducts canine neuroscience research and develops canine performance and behavioral products. Recently, the DST research team completed its final data acquisition trip at the University of California, Berkeley.  During the past year, DST has visited UC Berkeley’s research scanner to collect fMRI data […]

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Dog and Litter Evaluation Services

Finding a dog that is an optimal match for your household and lifestyle is a key to maximizing the joy of your pet-owning experience. Fortunately, CPT has terrific dog and litter evaluation services that boost the probability that the dog or puppy you select will be the ideal dog for you and your family. For […]

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Jaildogs Excelling at Their MRI Training

As detailed in the November 19, 2015 CPT News post, entitled “CPT Participates in Gwinnett Jaildogs Program,” since early October 2015 CPT has been educating prisoners how to train rescue dogs to participate in the The Dog Project’s MRI program. The goal of CPT’s participation is threefold:

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Experiment 9: Olfaction and Cross-Sensory Interactions

The Dog Project is moving forward with some new and exciting experiments. Presently, our local dogs are learning scent discrimination for an upcoming study, titled Experiment 9- Olfaction and Cross-Sensory Interactions.

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CPT and CCI

In addition, CPT has maintained a close to 15-year relationship with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), the nation’s largest and most respected nonprofit service dog organization. CPT has operated CCI’s Atlanta Puppy Raiser Classes for more than 14 years. And via Dog Star Technologies, a company co-owned by CPT President Mark Spivak and Emory University neuroscience professor Gregory Berns, CPT participates in bi-coastal research that studies methodologies for improving the identification and training of service animals. CCI is a partner in two of Dog Star’s studies.

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CPT Participates in Gwinnett Jaildogs Program

On October 14, October 28, and November 19, CPT President and Head Trainer Mark Spivak visited the Gwinnett Jail to instruct prisoners on proper dog training techniques to better prepare rescue dogs for adoption into permanent homes and for participation in the Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsored CPT/Emory fMRI projects.

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Murphy Learns to be Calm Around Unfamiliar Dogs

If you have a dog that is reactive to people or dogs when on-leash, we encourage you to contact CPT. A properly designed and implemented behavior modification program can quickly work wonders in creating a dog that is a much more pleasant walking companion. As a result, you will become happier with your dog and your dog will have a happier quality of life, since you will likely walk him/her more frequently- without sneers, grimaces, and snide remarks from the neighbors, who will appreciate and admire the progress achieved by you and your dog.

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CPT and Emory Want You- And Your Dog- To Tryout for Our fMRI Research Team

CPT and the Emory Canine Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory are enrolling a new team of dogs for our safe, noninvasive, fun, and exciting fMRI and behavioral research projects. The projects, which are funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) examine canine cognition, emotions, sensory perception, receptive communication, and inhibitory control. In addition, the team plans upcoming studies on reward systems and jealousy relevant to improving the training protocols for pet owners and studies on olfaction relevant to the performance of police narcotics detection dogs and military explosive detection dogs.

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Our Research Trip To California- The Fun Stuff

Over the past 1.5 years, CPT Head Trainer and Dog Star Technologies co-founder Mark Spivak has traveled to California bi-monthly to complete a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contracted canine neuroimaging project that uses fMRI biomarkers to better identify high-potential service dog candidates.  The project incorporates leading-edge science to improve dog training technology. Mark […]

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Our Research Trip To California- The Work Stuff

Over the past 1.5 years, CPT Head Trainer and Dog Star Technologies co-founder Mark Spivak has traveled to California bi-monthly to complete a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contracted canine neuroimaging project that uses fMRI biomarkers to better identify high-potential service dog candidates.  The project incorporates leading-edge science to improve dog training technology. Mark […]

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Sylvie Completes Her Service Dog Training

Sylvie is a 3.5 year old, spayed, female Standard Poodle. Her owner, Charlotte, suffers from a condition called neurocardiogenic syncope (NCS). The condition occurs when an identifiable trigger, such as sudden standing, rapid movement, long period stationary positioning, dehydration, fatigue, stress, or sometimes no identifiable trigger (idiopathic), elicits an autonomic brain stem response that affects […]

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Fezzik and Kody

Fezzik the Great Dane was banned from day care for “play biting too hard and aggressively for his age,” which the day care operator attributed to the breeder removing him from his mother and littermates a few days prior to 8 weeks of age. His owner was concerned by the day care operator’s actions and remarks. Therefore, she scheduled a behavioral observation at CPT when Fezzik was approximately 12 weeks of age.

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CPT Considering Expansion- Washington, DC Metro Area

The Washington, DC metro area consists of the nation’s capital city, along with neighboring land in northern Virginia (15 neighboring counties and independent cities), southern Maryland (5 counties) and the far eastern corner of West Virginia (1 county).

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CPT Considering Westward Expansion- Park City, Utah

Due to the city’s proximity to Salt Lake and the income level and celebrity of many of its residents and guests, Park City poses an interesting location for expansion. While visiting Park City, CPT’s Mark Spivak engaged in a 16.2 mile combined trail run and hike that started at 7,300 feet elevation and climbed an additional 1,300 feet. Mark also visited a restaurant in Deer Valley and one in Park City during his brief stay.

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CPT Considering Westward Expansion- Salt Lake City, Utah

During our trip, we first scouted the downtown, the city’s neighborhoods, and some industrial areas. Then, we took time to tour the Great Salt Lake, Temple Square, City Creek Center, and the University of Utah. We didn’t stay long at the Great Salt Lake. There really wasn’t much to see. Moreover, the ubiquitous disgusting odor that originates from the salt content and bacteria from plant and animal decay made the Lake a brief and unpleasant destination. On the other hand, Temple Square had some amazing architecture and notable history. After visiting Temple Square, we viewed the city by walking several miles from the downtown to the University of Utah campus. The neighborhoods we passed were very nice for an urban area. However, the University campus was disappointing, as the architecture was consistently bland. On the walk back we visited the impressive City Creek Center, which is the downtown’s retail, restaurant, and nightlife centerpiece.

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CPT Considering Westward Expansion- Wyoming

While exploring Jackson and its business opportunities, Mark and Lizzy also took time to visit the town square, eat an outstanding locally grown meal, and go horseback riding. On the way back to Idaho, Mark and Lizzy visited the Soda Springs Geyser, the nation’s largest capped geyser.

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CPT Considering Westward Expansion- Idaho

Westward expansion- CPT Visits Idaho

Just as America expanded west, CPT is considering westward expansion. CPT Head Trainer Mark Spivak recently completed a 3-state trip to Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. The genesis to explore the west was inspired by former CPT trainer extraordinaire Elizabeth “Lizzy” Zuccala, who relocated to southern Idaho to live amongst fresh air, wildlife, mountains, and traffic-free roads.

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Distraction Down-Stays During The CCI Puppy Raiser Class

During the Friday morning CCI Puppy Raiser Class we challenged the young dogs by placing them in a group down stay while Kady retrieved a Kong. Service dogs must remain calm, composed, confident, cooperative, and focused on task regardless of the environment and regardless of the distractions or conditions present within the environment.

The distraction stay task is difficult, especially given the age of the dogs. However, every puppy remained in position. Awesome!!

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CPT Training a Deaf Dog

CPT Training a Deaf Dog

To compound the difficulty in designing his lesson plan, T-Bone is deaf. Therefore, due to a busy work schedule and the complexity of his training, our client opted for CPT’s board training program.

To compensate for T-Bone’s hearing impairment it is essential that we start the board training process with relationship building. Before we commence intense training, we need T-Bone to trust the trainer, to feel secure amidst the trainer, and to receive indisputable enjoyment from playtime and sustenance activities with the trainer.

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CPT Gives Back to the Community

Dr. Annemiek Kuik leads the CCI Atlanta Chapter meeting held at CPT's Sandy Springs Training Center.

CPT strongly supports Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), the nation’s largest and most respected nonprofit service dog organization. For the past 13 years CPT Trainer Patricia King has operated CCI’s Atlanta puppy raiser classes. In addition, CPT provides its Sandy Springs Training Center at no charge to CCI so that CCI has ample space to hold quarterly meetings and special training events.

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Watch a Structural MRI of a Service Dog- Very Cool!

Canine Structural MRI

Dog Star Technologies travels to California every 2 – 3 months to collect data for a 2-year, $1 million study of service dogs. The data acquisition includes results from interactive ball and tug sensors. DST collects the sensor data at the Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) headquarters campus in Santa Rosa, CA. Then, the team travels to the University of California, Berkeley to use the research MRI at the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences. While at Berkeley the team obtains both structural and functional MRI images of CCI candidate dogs currently in training in their adult program.

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How to Improve Your Child’s Birthday Party!

CPT Birthday Party Performance

On June 20, 2015, CPT Trainer Karen Smalley and her Border Collie, Bodhi, performed at a Dunwoody 6-year old’s birthday party. The child told her mother that she wanted “to be a dog trainer,” which prompted the mom to contact CPT.

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Tips for Relieving Your Dog’s Stress with Dog Training

Separation Anxiety- Anxious Dog Home Alone

Choosing dog training is one way you can help your dog to cope with stress. Tackling this issue by yourself can actually just add on to the stress that both you and your dog are experiencing. Dog training can help you to better identify the cause of the stress. Then, you can not only work on treating it, but also tackle the problem that is causing the stress in the first place.

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