Dear Canine Enthusiast,

I started blogging last year because I tend to get so many questions from clients and friends about how to instill good manners in their dogs. So it only seemed natural for me to start a weekly doggie advice column to share my dog training expertise and philosophy with you, the inquisitive pet owner.

Joan Mayer and her sidekick, Poncho

Joan Mayer and her sidekick, Poncho

In 2005, I founded The Inquisitive Canine to empower dog owners with a rewarding education that helps them further develop and enhance their everyday relationships with their dogs.

So, yes, I am a canine behavior coach and a certified pet dog trainer. But more important, I’m also a dog owner — so I understand the challenges humans and dogs each face in everyday life. Therefore, I try to infuse my canine coaching with realistic expectations.

In addition to teaching dog owners positive ways to reinforce real-world manners in their dogs (like sit, stay, coming when called, greeting people politely, walking nicely on leash), I also help them learn to address specific behavioral issues such as resource guarding, digging, chewing, separation anxiety, and eliminating (house training).

I envision this column to be a fun place where inquisitive dog owners (and their dogs!) can seek practical guidance and solutions for making any situation work. These days we all tend to lead remarkably full and busy lives, but I strongly believe that no matter how much or little time you have, you can take steps toward better understanding your dog and positively reinforcing the behaviors you want, while limiting and preventing inappropriate habits.

And while I encourage you to take advantage of the training tips, tools and advice you read here, it’s important to keep in mind that this column is not intended to be a substitute for meeting with a dog trainer in person. However, it is a great resource for supplementing any training you have undergone or any education you plan to embark on with your dog. I encourage you (or your dog!) to e-mail questions about behavior, training or life in general to My trusty canine sidekick, Poncho, and I hope to respond to as many e-mails as possible.

In the meantime, click here for more coaching tips at my dog-training blog.

Woofs and wags,

Joan & Poncho

Ask The Inquisitive Canine is written by Joan Mayer and her trusty sidekick, Poncho. Joan is a certified pet dog trainer and dog behavior counselor. Her column is known for its simple common-sense approach to dog training and behavior, as well as its entertaining insight into implementing proven techniques that reward both owner and dog. Joan is also the founder of The Inquisitive Canine, where her love-of-dog training approach highlights the importance of understanding canine behavior. If you or your dog have questions about behavior, training or life with each other, e-mail

Joan Hunter Mayer

Joan Hunter Mayer

Joan Hunter Mayer is a certified canine behavior consultant, certified professional dog trainer, and founder of The Inquisitive Canine. She and her team are devoted to offering humane, pawsitive, practical solutions that work for the challenges dogs and their humans face in everyday life. Joan offers training and behavior consulting services both in person and online, dedicated to strengthening the human-canine bond. If you are feeling inquisitive and have dog training questions, email and click here for more training tips. The opinions expressed are her own.