Dogs Best Friend!


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The Imitation Game: Teaching Dogs To Do What You Do! EVENT POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19. NEW DATE TBD.

The Imitation Game: Teaching Dogs to Do What You Do

Presented by Irith Bloom, CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA, CDBC, KPA CTP, VSPDT, CBATI, VSDTA Faculty, DWA Faculty

Have you ever wondered if you could teach your dog something new just by showing him how to do it?  Well, as it turns out, you can!  All it takes is a little time and practice… and you and your dog can have a lot of fun along the way, too!

“The Imitation Game” workshop will give you the tools you need.  Over the course of the weekend, you’ll learn a step-by-step method for teaching your dog to copy your behavior.  Once your dog gets the idea, you can use imitation for everything from tricks to dog sports to service dog tasks.  (You probably still won’t be able to teach your dog to sing the Star-Spangled Banner, but in fairness, most humans aren’t very good at that either.)

NOTE: There are only 8 working dog spots and 24 auditor spots available, so sign up now, before the workshop sells out!

Should I audit or bring my dog?

If your dog doesn’t like group settings, growls when dogs approach him or his stuff, or gets distressed when you are out of sight or interacting with another dog, an auditor spot is the perfect choice for you.  Auditors will observe, assist, and even participate in some of the exercises.  After the seminar, you can teach your dog what you learned in the comfort of your own home.

If your dog is comfortable around new people and other dogs, has no significant history of resource guarding or separation anxiety, and is able to settle quietly in a crate or tethered on a mat between training sessions, a working spot may be the right choice for you.

NOTE: To get the most out of the workshop, working dogs should have at least three different behaviors on cue (and more is even better) that a human being can also do (e.g., down, give paw, and spin).  Working dogs should also have a solid settle on a mat or “wait” behavior. Note that due to the nature of the training process, working dog teams must attend both days of the workshop.


Auditors will need to settle quietly between working sessions.  We will provide chairs.  Please bring a notebook and a pen (or some other way to take notes), and wear comfortable clothes.


All handlers should wear comfortable clothes.

All dogs should be wearing a cloth collar (flat or martingale) or a harness.

Dog handlers should bring:

– Leash
– Crate* (if dog is comfortable in a crate; see note below)
– Mat (towel, bed, etc., for dog to lie on)
– Water bowl
– About 1000 treats, pre-cut into tiny pieces (pinky-nail-size or smaller for average-size dog, smaller than that for small dogs)
– Food toys, chewies, and other toys to occupy the dog during breaks from work
– Clicker, if you normally use one (there will be clickers available, too)
– Notebook and pen (or some other way to take notes)

*NOTE: Dogs will need to settle quietly between working sessions, so working dog handlers should either bring a crate or plan to tether their dog on a towel or other mat during human learning portions (some tether stations will be available).

About Our Speaker:

Irith Bloom has been training animals since the 1980s, and has worked with everything from chickens and rabbits to dogs and horses—not to mention humans. A biologist by training, Irith is fascinated by the science of learning, and loves taking part in conferences and seminars.  She is a sought-after presenter, and her writing has been published both online and in print.

Irith is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge & Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA), a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA)  a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), a Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT), and a Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI).  She is faculty at Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior and DogBiz’s Dog Walking Academy. She is also certified in TAGteach, a positive-reinforcement method for teaching humans.

Irith serves on the Board of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and is a past Chair of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) Education Committee.  She also volunteers with National English Shepherd Rescue, as well as the Los Angeles County 2020 Healthy Pets Healthy Families Coalition (a One Health initiative aimed at improving the health and well-being of people and their pets throughout Los Angeles County), and Wallis Annenberg PetSpace.

Irith is the owner of The Sophisticated Dog, a pet training company based in Los Angeles.


Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm each day light breakfast, snacks and beverages are providedLocation: dog’s best friend, 1501 Aviation Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA 90278 Registration fee: $275 for working dog teams (1 human and 1 dog), $175 for each auditorCancellation policy:  cancellations by June 1 will be refunded in full.  No refunds given past June 1.

IAABC and CPDT CEUs pending



  what to expect when you’re expecting…a puppy! webinar

what to expect when you’re expecting…a puppy! was created for anyone planning on or considering taking the leap into puppy parenthood.

in this 2-hour webinar, we will discuss not only the joys of being a puppy parent, but the extreme challenges that bringing a fluff ball into your home can bring.

we’ll talk about:

  • selecting a puppy (both from rescue groups and breeders)
  • pre-puppy preparation
  • the first day home
  • house/crate training
  • puppy nipping
  • puppy development stages
  • the importance of proper puppy socialization
  • how compassion and patience are required in order to raise a happy, healthy puppy


rebecca mandell started dog’s best friend in 2004 when she became increasingly alarmed by the physically and emotionally damaging methods utilized by many dog trainers.

as a positive reinforcement dog trainer, rebecca believes in training dogs with compassion and understanding, helping to build the bond between dogs and humans, so the dogs do what we ask of them because they want to, not because they are frightened or intimidated.

rebecca was voted “best dog trainer” in the 2012 south bay locals’ choice awards. she is a long time resident of hermosa beach, alongside her husband, corey, and her puppy training assistant, cooper, a calm and gentle golden retriever.