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1644 River Road
Ashland City, Tennessee 37015


Cedar Valley Canine is a multi-purpose kennel providing canines and training for a variety of purposes in the civilian, protection, sport, and police & military arenas.

Keep Up with Us

Housebreaking Rules to Live By

Dave Taylor

We train and sell a lot of dogs here at Cedar Valley Canine, and one of the questions we get asked the most is: "can you help me house train my dog?" Yes, we can! Read on for some basic guidelines for housebreaking.

Food two times daily - a.m. and p.m.
Feed at meal times only and remove food after 10 minutes (even if they haven’t eaten)
Water with meals and at regular intervals during the day. Ice cubes can also be offered instead of water.

Take the puppy out:
First thing in the morning
5-10 minutes after meals
After all naps
Anytime you leave and return home Last thing before bedtime

Do not play/distract the puppy when you are potty training. Go to the same area of the yard each time. Stay in the area about 10 minutes. Praise your puppy excessively for each successful trip out.
Only correct the puppy for accidents that occur when you witness the act itself. Use verbal correction (No! No! No!) and immediately go outside.

Do not physically correct the puppy. Do not correct or punish the puppy for accidents you don’t witness.

Confine the puppy to a limited area anytime you cannot be totally attentive to his/her behavior. Use a baby gate or crate (see article below!) in the house. Small kennels are highly effective outside.
Crate the puppy overnight.
In the morning, take the puppy out immediately (you may need to carry them) to the desired area of the yard - don’t let them free on the way out, they will usually stop to go the second they step out of the crate in the beginning!

Consistency is the key to successful housebreaking. Stick to the plan!

Why We Love Crate Training

Dave Taylor

There are so many good reasons to crate train your dog and there is  really no downside to it, so it is something we strongly urge our clients to do.

A crate should be a shelter and a safe haven for your dog. He/she should feel comfortable sleeping, resting or just "hanging out" in his crate. This also helps reduce "separation anxiety" - once a puppy/dog becomes comfortable in his crate, he feels secure knowing that you will come back to get him because you always have and it can keep him from constant whining or barking. 

Safety is a huge issue as well. Traveling in a car, it is far safer for your dog to be confined in his crate. If you were to be in an accident, a loose dog can run into oncoming traffic in fear and confusion or dart off and be lost. In your home the crate not only protects your dog from small children who might be tempted to pull a tail or ear, but also keeps your dog from bothering others who might not be the dog lovers we are!

For a puppy, the crate also gives you both a much needed time out. To prevent a puppy from living a life of "no!" and constant reprimands, a little down time in his crate will give you both time to regain your patience in times of extreme puppy madness! Even dogs need their personal space and the crate is the best way to provide that. Anyone who has ever left a mischievous puppy or dog loose in their home or yard has been made aware of how incredibly destructive they can be!

A dog (like most children) needs boundaries to coexist peacefully with his pack (see earlier post on pack behavior) and this is a very effective way to reinforce desired behavior. 

Click here to see the style of crate we recommend.

Lifestyle Training Center

Dave Taylor

We are happy to announce the opening of our state of the art Lifestyle Training Facility which is a fully remodeled two story house. This will allow us to train our clients' dogs in a "real world" environment. 

The lower level of the home will be primarily used for obedience and protection work while the upstairs has a furnished living area. In this way we can replicate the type of environment your pet lives in, making the transition back into the home even easier. 

We have long been wanting a place where we can refine the training of specific in-home behavior per our clients particular instructions. This is an exciting addition for us.

We will also have a small bathing and grooming area reserved for our boarding and training clients.

As always, Cedar Valley Canine will be providing you with the best in training facilities and services - we go way beyond sit and stay!


Application of Pack Behavior to Pet Training and Social Interaction

Dave Taylor

Research shows that our modern day canine are all descendents of the ancient wolves or other wild dogs. The behavior and actions of today's pet dogs  in their families bear many similarities to their ancestral packs.

There is a clear pack order in the wild which is established by the leadership actions and presence of the "Alpha Dog(s)" and that order is strictly maintained. Discipline and correction are meted out when necessary and in the canine world, discipline is both verbal and physical and can appear harsh, but a harmonious pack is necessary for survival in the wild.  Therefore dominance is an important quality in the pack leader and is respected by other pack members.

We at Cedar Valley Canine believe that mimicking the same type of pack behavior is an important step in training your dog.

A perfect example of pack behavior. The older dog here is NOT the mother of these pups. She is actually an older cousin playing and socializing with the younger members of her pack.

A perfect example of pack behavior. The older dog here is NOT the mother of these pups. She is actually an older cousin playing and socializing with the younger members of her pack.

At the time of weaning, mother dogs commonly growl and nip at their offspring in order to stop the nursing process. Puppies then come into their new families (human pack) with a basic understanding of correction from a dominant pack member. This understanding can easily be transferred to the human pack if done correctly. In the wild after pups are weaned, older pack members regurgitate partially digested food that the cubs can eat. In addition, they play with the young pack members and begin teaching them the work/play relationship within the group. They receive a balance of positive reinforcement - playing, licking and certain verbal cues - with the negative/correction - growling and biting and nipping.

We feel that replicating this in the home is in the best interest of the dog and the family in order to establish clear boundaries from the beginning. Being in charge of the food intake - feeding your puppy it's actual meals (not treats) from your hand coupled with play (retrieving and tug-of-war) correlates with the positive while verbal correction with the right degree of physical reinforcement correctly administered balances at the other end. Dogs are genetically predisposed to pack behavior and this is a way of training that is effective and easy for them to understand.

A puppy that recognizes and lives within the rules of it's pack is a happier puppy!

The Importance of Follow Up or Why Follow up Matters (A lot)

Dave Taylor

One of the most important parts of your training program - aside from choosing a reputable trainer - is your commitment to follow up on what your dog has learned.

Despite the best efforts of a trainer, without consistent participation from the owner(s), many dogs will quickly slip back into unwanted behavior.  

Little Stella has been doing her homework!

Little Stella has been doing her homework!

As trainers, we strive to develop a program for your dog and your family that encourages an interactive relationship - with you in charge :) Certain rules and behaviors will have been imprinted on your dog and you will greatly enhance your chances of success by taking the time and making the effort to continue the exercises required. It takes daily repetition - the continued consistent rewarding of desired conduct and correction of the unwanted to ensure you achieve your goals!

Dogs thrive with stimulation through training exercises and structured play. These add a high value to the relationship between the dog and his "pack members"                            ( the owner/family ). Without this, your pet can become confused and easily frustrated as he searches for his place in the group, so do your homework and reap the rewards!!

Breed Surveys and Temperament Testing

Dave Taylor

Europe and other countries have long implemented a Breed Survey to establish health and temperament guidelines in order to control and maintain the bloodlines they recommend for breeding. 

In our 35+ years or both training and purchasing dogs from Europe, we have found that in many cases dogs with even the highest Breed Survey ratings in this area don't necessarily transition well into an everyday environment.

At Cedar Valley Canine we have developed a system of our own for evaluation that we feel both enhances the European standards of Breed Survey testing and exceeds it.

Our testing doesn't take place as a choreographed field exercise that is trained, but rather in a variety of "real world" scenarios. 

These include but are not limited to: crowds, variable and extreme noise and lighting (gunfire), startle testing, stairwells and open stairs (inside and out), dark hallways and rooms, elevators, different floor surfaces, traffic testing and exposure to multiple buildings and locations.

In this way we can assure our clients that the puppy or dog they purchase from us will work in any home or work environment they choose - a busy office, construction site,  the family home, your child's sporting event. Wherever you choose to go whether it be by car, private plane or on a tour bus, your Cedar Valley Canine dog or pup will be comfortable and confident - we guarantee it!


A Word about our Breeding Program...

Dave Taylor

The breeding program at Cedar Valley Canine is small and carefully monitored. We have been successfully breeding dogs for over 35 years, and we have taken that experience and expertise and used it to develop and raise our standards to the highest level of excellence. We proudly stand behind the Cedar Valley Canine dog.

We believe in strong genetics plus a stable and social environment. The Cedar Valley Canine dog is physically healthy, environmentally sound, confident, athletic and has strong social skills. We scrutinize the bloodlines of both the sire and dam in order to balance and enhance the the strongest and most desirable character traits of each.

We strive to produce a joyful family oriented dog, friendly and loving, ready to play but just as content to relax quietly in the home.

They possess the drive and trainability that are the key elements in the training process whether it be simple obedience for the ideal companion or the highest levels of sport and protection.

Your Cedar Valley Canine puppy's training begins at birth - from the environment (our home) to the way we feed and interact with them.

We continue to provide support for you and your dog with the availability of a variety of training packages tailored to fit the different needs and levels of the individual and the dog.

We guarantee both the health and temperament of your Cedar Valley Canine puppy or dog.

We take our commitment very seriously.

We invest in you long before you ever invest in us!


Pets Are A Big Business

Dave Taylor

Pets are a big business. In 2014 Americans spent over $57 billion on pet products which includes veterinary care, food, training and boarding, and are expected to spend upwards of $60 billion in 2015. That is a staggering figure!

With the ever-increasing trend of "pet parenting," we are seeing more and more dogs out and about with their owners. People want  to travel with their dogs, take them shopping, to parties and even to weddings. They want them included in more of their day to day lives and activities.

Just as our children must be taught to behave so must our dogs, and liability alone makes this a necessity in our lawsuit-happy culture!

Pets are a serious business. The number 1 reason that dogs are relinquished to shelters is because of behavioral problems. This makes them harder to adopt out and subsequently becomes the number 1 reason that dogs are euthanized, so you can see that training your dog is the most important thing you can do for him or her!

Dog training is a commitment and is not a one time thing. There is no one hit wonder and no matter how well a professional may train your dog, if it is not reinforced and followed up on a regular basis, it is not going to stick. A problem won't stay fixed without consistent owner follow through over the course of your pet's lifetime. Dogs need direction, practice, feedback and a payoff in order to motivate them. In other words, a dog must learn how to learn.

Pets are a family business. Dogs become a part of our families and we love them but just loving them is not enough. Love alone will not turn out a stable well adjusted pet. You and your family need to be a part of the training because a dog reacts differently with different people.  You may teach it not to jump on furniture but your teenager may encourage it to, and it is not fair to expect your dog to differentiate between the two. Dog training needs to be a family affair in order to give your pet the consistency it needs to learn effectively! I cannot overstate this enough!!. 

There are many methods of training out there, so familiarize yourself with what fits best with your family and your pet and then MAKE THE COMMITMENT!

Dogs are a good business :) The research is overwhelming about all the wonderful ways that dogs enhance and strengthen our lives, our health and our relationships. They bring endless joy and amazement not to mention unconditional love. Invest in your dog and your family and train him well.

Everything You Need to Know about Dog Training but Were Afraid to Ask

Dave Taylor

Well, the Obedience and Drive Building Clinic with Margaret and Sheri Trudrung was an overwhelming success!

We covered a multitude of topics including the importance of: engagement - a dog that wants to be with you and knowing your criteria: having a clear picture of the behavior you are trying to train.

I think it's important to first establish that this type of training is for EVERY dog. Your basic household pet and your high level protection dog can and should be started the same way. 

Engaging your dog is a key component of training.

Engaging your dog is a key component of training.

Margaret and her dog Leo vom Reeboch

Margaret and her dog Leo vom Reeboch

Even a puppy as young as 7 weeks can and should begin training.

Even a puppy as young as 7 weeks can and should begin training.

As we all know, having a dog is a big responsibility, and training them to be obedient greatly enhances their life as well as yours. A small amount of time consistently put in each day can achieve the results you want.

Drive building, which is a key component of training is really only another way of saying that you are encouraging your dog's natural desire to learn. You are maximizing their learning potential!


The goal is a dog that actively seeks our attention. The "active" dog offers behavior hoping to engage his owner as opposed to the "reactive" dog who is worried about doing something wrong and inhibited in his behavior. Better to teach your dog that they can be rewarded by sitting and looking at you rather than punishing them for jumping up on a guest. Your puppy or even your older dog will learn that offering certain behaviors (like sitting quietly) will earn them a reward and more and more they will begin to "offer" that behavior. When they realize that there is such a thing as being rewarded, you can begin the correction phase of training because they will understand that there is an alternative.

 The easiest way to do this is by feeding them their actual meals by hand. Say your pup gets a cup of food in the morning, put that cup in a small baggie and use little bits of the kibble to reward them as you do your training routine. They will naturally be hungry as it is meal time, so they are at their peak of wanting to please you and thus get their breakfast! If you are in a huge hurry, you can always do some short "sits" or "downs," and then they can get a big reward, meaning you give them the remaining food as the last reward. You can feed them half of their meal and then train them using the second half a little later if you don't have time first thing. This can be done effectively either in the morning and again in the evening or even for short bits of time throughout the day; whichever fits best with your schedule. After a few weeks their focus will be very much on you as the provider of food, so that even with other people around your dog will remain "engaged."

A dog happy to see what his owner has to teach him!

A dog happy to see what his owner has to teach him!

It's hard to describe without the addition of the live training as a visual, so you will just need to come out to the next clinic. Trust me, if you have any interest in a well behaved pet, and you should if you have one, you will benefit from a day of hands on work with the experts!

Follow Up from the PPD Trail

Dave Taylor

A word or two or more about last weekend's PPD trial with Dave playing the part (almost too well) of the home invader.

First off, let me say that Mark Leamer puts on a spectacular event. This is the second one we've attended, and he always has a perfect venue and keeps things running smoothly and on time. I suspect he even may have some say over the weather!

The Commander: Mark Leamer

The Commander: Mark Leamer

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Practical Protection Dog - or PPD - is a sport developed by the aforementioned Mark Leamer that incorporates obedience, agility, and some protection work that plays out in real life scenarios. There was the ATM robbery, the home invasion and a carjacking. It was a lot of fun and definitely had an element of fear and surprise. Let me say this: it was action packed!

The obedience portion, though not as exciting, was practical and something every dog owner should be able to do. There is heeling, a sit-stay, a down-stay, a down-recall and food refusal; i.e. a stranger tries to distract your dog with treats. 

The dogs also had to have some basic agility skills such as jumping a hurdle, scaling an A-frame and crossing a catwalk. Once again, attainable and practical skills for any pet owner.

I am putting some of the pictures up here, but also check our Facebook page for more. We have had a lot of interest in doing PPD training and trials here, so that is something we are hoping to make a reality in the near future. Stay tuned for updates!!

All in all, a great success and a fun weekend with new and old friends!!

The decoys with Mark and the PPD Champion Amanda

The decoys with Mark and the PPD Champion Amanda

Diamond Dave as the home invader

Diamond Dave as the home invader

Obedience and Drive Building Clinic

Dave Taylor

Margaret with Leo vom Reeboch

Margaret with Leo vom Reeboch

Cedar Valley Canine is excited to announce an Obedience and Drive Building* Training Weekend with the dynamic mother/daughter duo Sheri and Margaret Trudrung on March 28 -29.

Many of you may be familiar with them and their long and successful careers in dog training and handling in the sport, detection and pet dog arenas. Sheri has spent over 30 years developing her methods and was a competitor at the 1997 WUSV Championship in Lucerne, Switzerland with her dog Quik. 

Margaret has been a practicing professional for over 10 years and has gone on to become a senior trainer for a major contractor in the detection and police dog world.

Both Margaret and Sheri have titled many dogs in Schutzhund and IPO, competing successfully on a National level. In addition both have coached many handlers to success on the competition field.

As impressive as their respective careers have been up to this point, their greatest attribute in my opinion, has been their commitment and willingness to continue their skills and education through extensive training and work with such internationally known teachers as Jogi Zank, Bart Bellon, Clement Julien, Tobias Oleynik, Jenny Seefeld and Charlie Meszaros. Through this they have developed a system of training that is directed towards establishing a foundation for producing a dog that works with precision in maximum drive mode. The result is intense engagement and focus in the dog that is beneficial in all of the various areas of the sport. Many of the exercises are designed to help prepare for the protection phase of training without the presence of a decoy or helper and can be introduced to puppies as young as 7 weeks of age.

The primary focus of this clinic is to introduce this method and application to each dog/handler team in the seminar regardless of their particular area of training, whether it be to produce a well behaved family pet or a high level competition dog.

In addition to the obedience and drive training, Dave will be there to help with handler/decoy work for anyone who might want to apply the techniques in some protection training.

12 spaces will be available for each active dog/handler participant to maximize the time spent with each team. The goal being 3 sessions per team per day........................$50.00 per day

Unlimited space for auditors.....................................................................................$25.00 per day

Due to the demands of her job, Margaret is available on a very limited basis and will lead the clinic Saturday and Sunday with Sheri and Dave both there to assist. Monday March 30 Sheri and Dave will continue to be available for anyone who would like an additional day of training.

Please contact us through:


phone: 615-594-2205 


*drive building is enhancing the dog's natural abilities and desires which creates a dog more willing to learn


The Practical Protection Dog

Dave Taylor

One area of our business that we get the most questions about is the protection dog training. People want to know: What is it? Will it make my dog mean or aggressive? How will my dog know the difference between the bad guys and the good ones?

Well it's a complicated process, but there are some easy ways to tell if your dog would have the right characteristics to make a good protection dog.

The most important thing is temperament. The dog should be social, confident and environmentally sound. This means your dog would be able to perform in a variety of different surroundings. A dog should not be intimidated by a noisy crowd, a shadowy garage or any place that might be new and unfamiliar.

Our friend and fellow trainer Mark Leamer has developed a curriculum in order to create a training program/competition sport called Practical Protection Dog (PPD). It is intended to produce a well rounded and useful personal protection dog. The appealing part is that it is open to any and all breeds whether they be pure bred or just a well suited mutt! PPD training also uses situations you easily could encounter in everyday life - an ATM hold-up, a personal assault,  a carjacking or a home invasion, so as the name implies, it's practical! The competition is based on three components: obedience, agility - can your dog easily jump and climb - and the protection portion. The pair is judged on their performance in all areas.

On March 21 - 22, Mark is hosting a PPD competition in Dawsonville, Georgia and we are excited to be a part of it! I will give a full report and as always, be taking tons of pictures! Email or Facebook us if you are interested in learning more about PPD.