DogBoy's Dog Blog

DogBoy's Dog Trainer teaches Dog Boys and Girls at Career Day

Posted by Courtney Emken on Wed, May 15, 2013 @ 13:05 PM

There were lots of little dog boys and dog girls at Graham Elementary this past Friday! Jon Campbell, Alice Akridge, client Mark Kay Bode, and I presented for Career Day the 3rd year in a row. Graham Elementary is a National Blue Ribbon School  which means they have shown significant improvements in students’ academic achievements. It also means students are performing at high academic levels.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Training, News & Press

DogBoy's Goes High Tech

Posted by Courtney Emken on Fri, May 3, 2013 @ 16:05 PM

You may have already heard that DogBoy’s is switching to a new software this weekend.  All of our records, reservations, and other data will be moving from our old software to a new, more dynamic system. We’re very excited for this switch, and we hope you’ll like the changes in the coming weeks and months. While our staff has had training for this software, we also will be learning a lot as we go.  What does this mean for you in the short term?

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Topics: Articles & Info, News & Press

DogBoy's says, "Happy Dog Year!"

Posted by Courtney Emken on Sun, Jan 1, 2012 @ 07:01 AM
Noodle and I would like to welcome you to 2012!  What an exciting year it is going to be!  Let's see if I can catch you up on all the news:

First of all, if you haven't already heard, DogBoy's has been invited to try out for a reality TV show called Doggy Day Care!  We are sending our video submission today, and can't wait to hear back to see if we get chosen.  We spent the Christmas holiday capturing video of puppies, staff, customers and doing our best to capture all the wonderful people and parts that make up DogBoy's.  Whether we get picked to do the show or not, making this video has reinforced what a special place this is, and how much we have to teach and share with all of you.  Thank you to our clients and staff who were able to participate, and we promise to keep you posted on this exciting adventure!

Next up, our new Spring Classes have been posted on the website, and there are 30 to choose from!  You will never find a better way to bond with your dog, learn about dog behavior in a fun environment and get the results you want than with one of our classes taught by our top notch trainers.  Our team works tirelessly to keep their own behavior knowledge and training skills honed, so that you can be sure you're learning from the best.  Visit our schedule of dog training classes to see what might be fun for you to try!

Along with the wonderful work we do with the dogs of the Austin Humane Society, DogBoy's has also begun working with the Friends of Austin Animal Center 's Hard Luck Hound program.  These are the 15 dogs who have been in their shelter the longest, and are having trouble getting adopted.  So our up and coming trainers Lydia, Jeanie, Kelly and Alice are taking on these special projects to see if we can teach them some manners and coping skills.  We will be giving these dogs some much needed training, lots of one on one time, furthering the behavior knowledge for our trainers in training, and hopefully increasing the chances of a successful adoption for these forgotten animals.  Giving back to our dog loving community is a win-win for everyone involved!

Tomorrow is the day to make your 2012 holiday reservations!  I know, I know, it seems too soon!  But DogBoy's has been filling up for holiday slots a year in advance for many years now, so we want you to have every opportunity to get those much coveted spots!  Call, email or fax in your request, and we will make your reservations as quickly as possible.  With the new year, we are also adding a few new services, like our Private Dog Park opening in February, self-service dog wash appointments, and discounts with multiple days of Doggy day care and Chelsea's Charm School!  See the Our Prices page of our website for all the latest details and prices.

Thank you all for a wonderful year, and we look forward to enriching the lives of you and your dog for years to come!  We are truly blessed to have each of you and your dogs in our lives.

With joy,

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Topics: News & Press

Become a DogBoy's Ambassador

Posted by Community User on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 @ 07:11 AM
As the holiday season approaches, Noodle and I have been talking about how grateful we are to have so many wonderful people and pups in our lives.  We love seeing all of your warm smiles and wagging tails, and we want to think of ways to thank you for all you do to keep the DogBoy's family alive and well.  Noodle had an amazing idea, and I want to share it with you.

We want to invite you to become a special part of the DogBoy's community - an elite group of dog-loving ambassadors who want to be a part of building the future of DogBoy's services and products.  You can be an integral part of growing DogBoy's the way you want to see it grow.  Do you ever walk into a restaurant or other local business and think to yourself, "This place would be so great if they asked me what I think and what I would do differently"?  I know I do.  Well I am here today to invite you to do just that.

We're going to create a Facebook group of DogBoy's Ambassadors, with only those of you who want to actively be a part of giving input about what you want for your dog.  We want to be a part of providing that for you, so please, contact me and tell me you want to be an official DogBoy's Ambassador.

We're also going to have a special Holiday Open House this year to say thank you in person. Come celebrate the season with us on Friday, December 9th from 6-8 pm at the TWC.  We will have yummy homemade appetizers and adult beverages, invite local vets and our wellness practitioners, and have wonderful door prizes to give away.  This party is just for humans, but we will have presents for you to take home to your pups!  Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

For our Christmas boarders, we will be celebrating the holidays again this year with our Second Annual Santa Paws! Purchase any retail item from DogBoy's, and we'll wrap it and open it with your dog on Christmas Eve.  Last year we had so many presents under the tree!  If you are boarding over the Christmas holiday and would like to participate in this fun event, just purchase a gift and leave it with the front desk.  We'll make sure it gets labeled and to your pup, and will hopefully get a good picture or two of the fun, which we will gladly share with you after the holiday.

For those of you who have been patiently waiting for our Private Dog Park, we are almost ready!  We are in the process of ordering the signage and making the final arrangements.  We hope to be open by the first of the year.  We will have an official Dog Park Open House in February.  Thank you so much for your patience!

Enjoy this beautiful weather, give that pup of yours a belly rub, and we hope to see you or hear from you soon!

With joy,

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Topics: Articles & Info, dog boarding, Dog Events, News & Press, Wellness Facility

True Blue Leadership - Book Signing Tuesday September 27th

Posted by Community User on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 @ 05:09 AM
Noodle, I believe it's story time!

Once upon a time, there was a short-legged, furry little Aussie Basset mix named Mr. Blue. A blue dapple guy with a friendly face, Mr. Blue loved coming to DogBoy's to run and play, and to show other dogs how to play nicely too. Blue was a great leader in playgroup - a True Blue leader, if you will.  He made sure all the other dogs minded their manners, and didn't get snarky if he had a bad day. Tracey, his mom, loved the days he came to DogBoy's as well, because that meant that she could focus on her work and Mr. Blue would come home tired and happy at the end of the day.

One day though, Tracey got a job in another state. We were so sad to see them go, but we knew Mr. Blue would go on to do great things no matter where he lived.  Turns out that when they went away, Mr. Blue got so inspired that he decided to write a book - and True Blue Leadership was born.

Tracey and Blue authored True Blue Leadership—The Top 10 Tricks from the Chief Motivational Hound, a leadership bookwritten from the perspective of her 10 year-old rescue dog, Mr.Blue.  Tracey's book is inspired by her father, the late Charlie "Tremendous" Jones.

Please join us Tuesday, September 27th from 4-6 pm at DogBoy's Training & Wellness Center for Mr. Blue's  True Blue Leadership - Stop Playing Dead Tour. It will be a fun evening of festivities, a book signing (paw print!) by Mr. Blue himself, and a pawtography photo opp. Come meet Mr. Blue and his mom Tracey, and see what all the awesomeness is about. A portion of the proceeds from this special evening will be donated to the Austin Humane Society.

Watch Mr. Blue's Video

To find out more, visit Tremendous Life Books on Facebook, or email DogGirl.  Hope to see you this week at the event!

And they lived happily ever after.

Stay cool, and see you soon!


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Topics: Articles & Info, Dog Events, News & Press

Central TX Fires - DogBoy's Update

Posted by Courtney Emken on Mon, Sep 5, 2011 @ 07:09 AM
Sunday was a pretty scary day for us here in Central Texas. A severe drought, mixed with high winds created the perfect storm for fires to erupt all over the surrounding areas, including Pflugerville. Understandably, you were worried, so Noodle and I are here with answers.

The Texas Forest Service told of 63 fires yesterday that burned close to 33,000 acres. Community Impact has all the details of the fires in our area.  Everyone at DogBoy's is keeping a close eye on the news, the dogs and the property.  Currently, and thankfully, there are no fires in Pflugerville at the present time.

Here's what we know:

DogBoy's continues to maintain a defensible barrier to fire by cutting all the combustible materials away from the buildings and property, clearing surrounding brush, and cutting grass down to 1/2".  Many neighboring farms have plowed their fields, leaving little to burn.  DogBoy's kennels and training buildings are made of concrete, cement board, aluminum and tin, so the buildings are at low risk for catching fire.

Other pet care facilities in Austin such as Hip Hounds and Barking Springs have graciously offered up space for us in case we need to evacuate.  If that ever were to happen, however, we would need extra help for transport.  If you would like to join a call list of people nearby who could quickly help in a situation like this, please email me at with your current email and cell phone.  Ideally, we'd like to start a Google Huddle (group text alert), so if you're on Google +, all the better!

Please know that we are doing all we can to stay on top of these events, and your dogs and their safety have our full attention now and always.  Be safe out there, Y'all, and we will keep you informed if there are any changes.

With care,

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Topics: News & Press

A Whole Lotta Howlin' Goin' On

Posted by Community User on Thu, May 26, 2011 @ 10:05 AM
If you’ve lived in Texas any length of time, you’ve probably come to see that passing bills when the Legislature is in session doesn’t resemble the old Schoolhouse Rock classic “I’m Just a Bill” so much as a brutal contact sport. The current session is just about over and has had no shortage of controversial bills, some of which have even made national news like House Bill 1451, better known as the Puppy Mill Bill. You can read the text of the bill and all amendments, and see more, at the Texas Legislature Online. The bill would require licensing and inspection for any facility having more than 11 breeding female dogs or cats, mandating humane conditions such as proper ventilation, food, water, and enough space.

Passions have run high on both sides. Supporting the bill is Texas Humane Legislation Network. Opposing it is the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance.  Our aim here is to present both sides as fairly as possible.

It is undeniable that something needs to be done to curb the problem of puppy mills in Texas. We here at DogBoy’s have seen the tragic health and temperament consequences of puppy mill dogs, as well as the heroic efforts of customers who have helped rescue these dogs to give them the best and most dignified life possible. It is a wonderful thing to rescue a dog in need of a home from a good shelter or rescue group, but responsible breeders produce good pets as well. Unfortunately, not enough people investigate where they are buying their puppies from, or simply may not know what separates a good breeder from a disreputable one.  We covered this in part in a previous blog entry, “Getting A New Dog.”

Opponents  of HB 1451, led by the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, say that the aim of the bill is to eliminate commercial pet breeding altogether, in service of a radical agenda that seeks to eliminate meat eating and pet ownership.  Additionally, RPOA says that the bill would be the first step down a a path which would prohibit livestock farming; hunting, trapping and fishing; zoos, rodeos and circuses. There have also been claims that the bill would dictate training methods, especially for hunting dogs.  In light of that, it is worth noting that State Rep.  David Simpson of Longview, a leading opponent of the bill in the legislature, received approximately $500 from the NRA and another $300 from the Texas Deer Association in the period covering the 2010 campaign (view Rep. Simpson’s filings online at the Texas Ethics Commission's website). Furthermore, opponents of HB 1451 say that existing state and federal standards and anti-cruelty laws are more than adequate to police puppy mills.

On the other side, supporters of HB 1451—led by the Texas Humane Legislation Network argue that criticism of the bill is overblown or outright false. In their FAQ section covering HB 1451, THLN asserts the following: that only commercial breeders with 11 or more intact female animals which ALSO sell the offspring of those females will be subject to the bill’s licensing requirements and standards, and subject to inspection. Boarding facilities like DogBoy’s would not be affected; trainers would not be affected; so-called “hobby breeders” who may only have one or two litters in a year would not be affected. THLN also argues that the inspection and standards give the state the leverage to seize animals before they die from neglect, instead of charging the people responsible for animal cruelty after it's too late.

As with many bills the Legislature considers, the good intentions behind the puppy mill bill have been lost in a system that seems to value controversy over sober analysis. Hopefully we were able to shed some light on this subject, and we’ll be sure to follow up on HB 1451 if anything new develops.
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Topics: Articles & Info, Dog Training, News & Press, Rescue Dogs, Texas state legislature, facts, HB 1451, puppy mills

Go Local Austin Card Now At DogBoy’s!

Posted by Community User on Tue, Apr 6, 2010 @ 14:04 PM
[caption id="attachment_201" align="alignleft" width="236" caption="Support Local Businesses and Save!"] [/caption]

Back in the day I worked for a national book chain that will remain nameless (despite having gone to Retail Heaven a few years ago) and we had to sell the chain’s discount card. It was an okay deal, but only if you spent enough at that particular chain over a year to make it worthwhile.

So when it comes to discount cards, I tend to be skeptical, especially when you have to pay for them. At DogBoy’s the card will get you 10% off any of our retail products or services, so the $10 purchase price pays for itself with a four-day boarding stay, or just 5 daycare visits. And that’s if you just have one dog. In the words of one DogBoy’s customer, it might as well start printing money. And unlike the cards I used to have to sell at the national bookstore chain, you can use the Go Local card at dozens of local businesses, from BookPeople to ToyJoy. Even better, other cities with their own Go Local cards (such as Boulder, CO or Portland, OR) will honor the Go Local Austin card.

You can find a full listing of Austin metro area businesses who honor Go Local at their website. You can purchase a card the next time you come in to see us and start getting the DogBoy’s discount right away!

contributed by Jay Robison
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Topics: Uncategorized, DogBoys, Articles & Info, News & Press, save, local

Famous Dogs of the Big and Small Screens

Posted by Community User on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 @ 07:02 AM
In honor of DogBoy’s Movie Night—beginning February 26 in our beautiful new Training and Wellness Center—here are some famous movie and t.v. dogs: real, animated and robotic. Some you may remember from your childhood, some you can see on t.v. now, and some you’ll be seeing at our movie nights!

Rin Tin Tin: He’s one of the earliest canine movie stars, and might just be the most famous German Shepherd in the world. In fact, the breed’s current popularity is largely thanks to this talented dog. The original Rin Tin Tin was rescued by American Corporal Lee Duncan from a bombed out kennel in Belgium in 1918 in the waning days of World War I. Duncan took Rin Tin Tin and a littermate he named Nenette back to the U.S. after the war. Both dogs got very sick, and only Rin survived. He was discovered at an exhibition thrown by a German Shepherd club (Shepherds being a relatively new breed at the time) when he jumped an astounding 11 feet, 9 inches. By comparison, the current Olympic high jump record is just over 8 feet in the men’s event. Charles Jones happened to be at the exhibition with his movie camera and filmed Rin Tin Tin and his amazing jump. The rest was cinema history. The original Rin Tin Tin made 26 movies before his death in 1932 and was credited with saving a little studio called Warner Brothers from bankruptcy. Ten generations and counting have carried on the first Rin Tin Tin’s showbiz legacy; you can read more about them and see what Rin Tin Tin XI is up to at

Asta: Getting to co-star in movies with the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, William Powell and Myrna Loy in the Golden Age of Hollywood would be any actor’s dream, and a wirehaired fox terrier named Skippy got to live it. He got his big break as Asta, the intrepid sidekick to socialite crime-solvers Nick and Nora Charles (played by Powell and Loy) in the movie The Thin Man and its first sequel, After The Thin Man. Skippy starred in a number of movies in the 1930s—often credited as Asta—and the biggest aside from The Thin Man films was the classic comedy Bringing Up Baby, where he played the mischievous dog George. George’s theft of a dinosaur bone causes big problems for Cary Grant’s awkward paleontologist but helps pave the way for his falling in love with Katherine Hepburn’s daffy heiress. Skippy was owned and trained by Henry and Gale East and the Easts were assisted by Frank and Rudd Weatherwax, who would soon find the biggest dog star of all—Lassie. Skippy’s fame endures on the internet where Asta still has an active fan club (

K-9: You don’t have to be a robot dog to be on a science fiction series—see Captain Jonathan Archer’s beagle Porthos on Enterprise—but it helps. The English science fiction series Doctor Who ran from 1963-1989 originally and is still going strong after a successful re-launch in 2005. Ten different actors have played The Doctor, the time-travelling hero and the robotic K-9 (voiced by John Leeson), a dog-shaped supercomputer with a laser bite, is one of only two characters from the original series to reappear in the new one. K-9 Mark I first appeared alongside Fourth Doctor Tom Baker (the one with the long scarf) and his companion Sarah Jane Smith (played by Elisabeth Sladen). K-9 Mark III had a cameo (again with Sarah Jane) in “The Five Doctors,” Doctor Who’s 20th anniversary special, and went down fighting in the 2006 episode “School Reunion,” saving  Tenth Doctor David Tennant and Sarah Jane from evil aliens—just as a heroic dog should. K-9 has even appeared in two Doctor Who spin-offs: the special K-9 and Company in 1981 and the current series The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Benji: This lovable mutt with a heart of gold has been starring in movies and television series produced and directed by Joe Camp since 1974 and has been played by three different dogs. The first was Higgins, a poodle/schnauzer/cocker mix. Higgins was already a Hollywood veteran by the time Camp cast him as the original Benji; he’d been on the t.v. series Petticoat Junction and Green Acres, and starred in a movie called Mooch Goes to Hollywood before coming out of retirement at 15 to star in Benji. Higgins even did all his own stunts for the movie—not bad for the equivalent of a human 76 year-old. Higgins’ daughter, named Benji, starred in three movies, several specials, and a Saturday morning series from 1977-1989. The current Benji was adopted by Joe Camp and his wife after a three-month search and starred in 2004’s Benji: Off the Leash!

Brian Griffin: The Prius-driving, smoking, frustrated writer dog of the Griffin family on the animated comedy Family Guy is a Sinatra-loving sophisticate who would hump your leg for a dry martini. Probably the sanest member of the Griffin household, he still manages to get into plenty of trouble. He also does a mean song-and-dance number—at least when evil baby (and would-be world dominator) Stewie Griffin is available as a duet partner.

Eddie:  The fourth member of the Crane household on the t.v. series Frasier, the impish Jack Russell terrier Eddie was played by two different dogs over the series’ 11 year run: Moose, and Moose’s son Enzo, who started as Moose’s stunt double. Eddie’s antics were often at the center of Frasier episodes and he frequently did visual gags during the “tag,” the portion of the show run during the closing credits. Moose played Eddie for seven seasons and 196 episodes before retiring in 2000 at age 10 and handing the role over to Enzo full-time. Sadly, like many Hollywood families, father and son didn’t get along and had to be kept separate on the set of Frasier when they worked together. Moose passed away in 2006; Enzo starred as the older Skip in the movie My Dog Skip and as Boodles in See Spot Run in addition to his work on Frasier.

Buddy: Proving that one really good trick can turn into a career, Buddy the Golden Retriever turned his skills at basketball into a movie franchise. His ability to sink baskets brought him to the attention of Disney, who put together the movie Air Bud around the trick. In the movie, Bud escapes from a cruel owner (played by New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter) and helps a lonely teen through the death of his father and moving to a new town. Although the original Buddy only starred in the first Air Bud movie, it spawned a very successful and ongoing movie franchise.

Lassie: The most famous movie and television dog of them all is the iconic Rough Collie originally played by a dog named Pal (owned and handled by Rudd and Frank Weatherwax) in the 1943 big-screen version of Eric Knight’s novella Lassie Come-Home. The huge success of that film paved the way for many more Lassie films and television series over the next 60 years and counting. Pal himself, who passed away in 1958 at the ripe old age of 18, starred in seven MGM Lassie movies and two television specials. The role was taken over by Pal’s son Lassie, Jr. and nine generations’ worth of descendents—most recently Hey Hey II in the 2006 series Lassie’s Pet Vet. More Lassie projects are in the works, but unfortunately disputes with the Weatherwax estate and the current owners of Lassie’s media rights mean that the role may not stay in Pal’s line. Among many other achievements, Lassie is one of only three animals with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—the other two being Rin Tin Tin and another German Shepherd from the silent film era, Strongheart. And like any good movie star, Lassie’s on the web at

Did we miss your favorite dog star? Nominate more in the comments section!

Contributed by Jay Robison
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Topics: Uncategorized, News & Press, Wellness Facility

It's a Dog Party! DogBoy's Training & Wellness Center Opens

Posted by Courtney Emken on Mon, Feb 8, 2010 @ 14:02 PM

It's been a week and I'm just catching my breath to tell you all about our big Open House weekend.  What a wonderful time it was - celebrating with family, friends and staff.  We're still smiling about it!

We kicked off the weekend with a pre-party, taking time to thank our builder, our bankers, our local vets, and many of the others who made this project possible.  We decided to give the Training & Wellness Center an informal nickname, Chelsea's Place after our first dog, Chelsea Garbo.  She's the reason we got into this business, after all!

We also announced some BIG news.  We have made a committment to a formal partnership with the Austin Humane Society!  We are SO excited about giving back to the Austin pet community, and can't wait to get started.  DogBoy's will be helping out some of their more active dogs - who really need to get out and run!  We're giving a free evaluation and day of day care for up to three shelter dogs per week.  In exchange, DogBoy's will have the honor of a dedicated run at the AHS, and will get to be a big part of their annual Rags to Wags gala.  We just love the work that the AHS does, and we're so proud to be a partner with them.

I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to Nicole Mlakar-Livingston of Nicole Mlakar Photography for shooting the pre-party and Saturday's Open House.  For even more of her great pics, you can read her blog.  We're really looking forward to working with Nicole more in 2010!

I'd also like to send big hugs and thank you's to my mom, dad & sister for all their help with Friday's event.  We couldn't have pulled off such a wonderful evening without their help! 

The Open House on Saturday was loads of fun too.  We had our wonderful trainers doing demos on Agility and Rally Obedience.  So impressive!  Lisa Knaggs, Owner of Bark for Peace gave some great mini-classes on canine massage.  She's teaching her second class out at the ranch on Friday, 2/12 if you'd like to join us!

Marcella and I did three FULL tours and really enjoyed showing everyone around.  Thanks to everyone who helped out and please come join us at Chelsea's Place soon!

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Topics: Dog Training, events, News & Press

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