Past News…

 So…  I thought I’d start my post with how I spent the past 7 years…  I started a dog daycare in Madison in 2004, when there were only 2 other daycares in the area – Dane County even!  Since then the daycare business has grown like the crazy!  Just off the top of my head there are 12 or 13 within a 15 mile radius of Madison… Wow!  How fantastic that people love their dogs so much that they will spend their hard-earned money to allow their dogs to have a fun, social day.  Coming home tired when you’re done with work doesn’t hurt either!  They say the pet business is recession-free.  I’m not sure if that is entirely true, but I can say it was for the daycare.  I think we had some really wonderful clients that cared for their dogs like family.  Not allowing them the outlet of proper exercise and socialization was not an option!

When I started the daycare I was a single Mom.  It had always been difficult for me to balance work and home, like any mother!  But, running a start up business with 2 small children at home was tough.  Looking back I’m not even sure how I did it!  Thank goodness for a wonderful support system – my support system was named Gail, or I refer to her as “Mom” J

Helping people to better understand their dogs was my passion (still is!).  Since daycare was still so new there was a lot to learn.  I don’t regret a moment!  I learned SO much about dog behavior… I would suggest to anyone that is interested in dog behavior to spend some time in, 1 – a shelter, and 2 – a dog daycare!  Learning to manage a pack of dogs, all of leash, without their owner there.  It’s amazing.  At my daycare we did things a little different than other daycares. Since my background was in behavior I was sure to have training be a part of our daily routine. We made sure the dogs were not barking excessively (of course we had those friends that like to talk a lot, but in general we did a good job!).  Teaching the “zoomers” not to zoom, and explaining to owners why it’s cute when their dog zooms in the house, backyard and maybe even the off-leash park, but NOT good for daycare (other dogs like to try to “catch” or “stop” the dog that is zooming, and the way a dog stops another dog is with their teeth on the dogs’ side – Yikes!).   Another behavior we worked on was making sure the dogs would “wait” at the door.  When you work with your pack of dogs and effectively, without force, teach them to wait at the door – 30-40 dogs all waiting patiently for you to look directly at them and say their name before walking nicely though the door one at a time – well, that’s a moment to be proud of.   There were so many challenging, yet fun and interesting things we did.  Many I’m sure I’ll be talking about in my blog – It was a very big part of my life and I experienced so much about dog behavior – and people behavior!

I think the hardest part for me was being a boss for the first time.  I used to tell people “I’m a dog trainer, not a business owner!”.  I’ll admit I made some mistakes!  But, I wouldn’t change any of them because I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.  You sure learn a lot about people… The bad that makes you unable to sleep at night, and the good – so good you are humbled to have such wonderful people that care about you, your clients, and your business.

Building a business from scratch, putting together policies and procedures, web site, daycare, playgroups, events, full range of training classes, private lessons and behavior consults.  I worked my tail off !  But, it all worked out in the end with super-amazing dogs, fantastic clients, and being awarded with Best of Madison, Gold for 2010 wasn’t too shabby either!

I thought I would start my blog with some of my past blogs…  Hopefully you’ll learn a little about me and maybe I’ll get lucky and hear back from you too J  I’d love to hear about your dogs, what training you’re doing – what’s working and maybe even what’s not…  Figuring things out together is always helpful!

Ryan & Giene

About Dog Face

Giene Keyes, CPDT – KA Owner & Founder of Dog Face, LLC & Shooting Star Portuguese Water Dogs Giene started working with dog behavior in 1990 when she adopted a 4-year old Greyhound from the racing track. To date he is the most severe separation anxiety case that she has seen. He taught Giene about the psyche and learning process of dogs. It wasn’t until Giene was training her little pot-bellied Labrador puppy in 1995 that she really became interested in the actual training process of canines. Starting her small training business in 1997 she developed her own methods and ideas of positive reinforcement. She took what she had learned from her Greyhound, as well as positive methods she used to train horses, to create what is now the base of our training methods in the classes we teach today. Giene is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist in Southern Wisconsin. After winning Best of Madison for two years in a row, Giene sold her Madison Dog Daycare to devote her time to dog behavior and helping owners create harmony with their pets in their homes. Specializing in aggression and difficult dog cases, Giene also works with rescue groups and shelters, evaluating dogs for adoption, developing Canine Aggression Management programs, and educating staff on dog language and behaviors. She has provided behavior consultations for service dog organizations, rescue groups and dog daycares throughout the Midwest. She is often contacted by police departments to work with individuals that have dangerous dogs. As a mother of 3 young children, Giene also realizes the importance of family dog training. She incorporates realistic training methods and helps to incorporate dogs into the family. She is an Instructor with the American Red Cross in Pet CPR and First Aid, a Certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator with the American Kennel Club, and a Licensed Judge with the WI Dept of Ag, Trade & Consumer Protection. Giene routinely presents seminars on Dog Behavior, Training, and Operant Conditioning as well as educating her staff on dog body language and pack mentality. Giene is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer. Giene has been a regular guest on popular Madison radio shows and interviewed on numerous evening newscasts. Giene has also been featured in a number of local magazines, including the cover for Wisconsin Woman in 2010. Giene has also been highlighted in the Wisconsin State Journal for her work with Chicken Clicker Training, improving dog training skills along with timing and observation, and recently interviewed for a Nationwide Podcast. She enjoys holding training workshops across the state. If you would like to learn more about Giene, Dog Face and the services they offer, please go to the Dog Face web site at Please feel free to contact Giene of any member of the Dog Face Behavior Team anytime!
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2 Responses to Past News…

  1. Peggy says:

    Hi Giene,
    The Dog Den saved Glory and myself. I thought I had learned so much from my Dad about dogs and training. I have lived with dogs all my life and have always had “good” dogs who were interesting and behaved “good enough”. Then I met, fell in love and adopted Glory, a Basenji mix puppy from a rescue group. Her behavior thwarted my abilities at every turn and she was the first puppy I ever thought I might have to rehome. Through Dog Den classes I learned how to manage Glory’s high energy needs. Glory learned a lot but I think I have learned even more. Day care gave Glory the social learning she so needed. Glory’s high energy needs have pushed my corgi, Bodecea, and I out of our comfort zones but it’s been good for all three of us – Bodecea and I have both lost weight with all of our activities and Glory is happy and fun-loving. At two, Glory is a smart, happy, relatively well-behaved dog who is a much loved member of my family. Giene I really admire you for the work you’ve done. Years ago I started a business as a single mom with two young children – I know the work involved. You have accomplished so much and usually with a smile and such grace. We look forward to visiting Dog Face very soon.

  2. Giene Keyes says:

    Hi Peggy (and Glory & Bodecea!) –

    Thanks for such kind words! You have done so much work with both of your pups – I know Basenji’s especially can be tough to train! Glory has grown to be such a smart, gentle and attentive girl. You should give yourself a pat on the back for all of the positive training you’ve done with her!

    I spent *years* developing the class curriculums when I owned The Dog Den, and I’m thrilled to be teaching my same classes at Dog Face! I’m so glad that you and Glory were able to benefit from class!! The fantastic thing about dog training and behavior is that we are always learning new tips, techniques and reasons why dogs do what they do. I love being able to show owners how to effectively, and without force, train them to be polite listeners and good family companions 🙂

    I hope to see you guys soon – I miss Glory (and of course you too!!).


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