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Jan. 16, 2022

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Working in Clark County: Carol J. Andrew, owner, C.J.’s Dog Training

By , Columbian Staff writer, news assistant
4 Photos
Carol “C.J.” Andrew, owner of C.J.’s Dog Training uses rewards as a way to train dogs in her classes, versus punishment techniques such as shock collars and choke chains.
Carol “C.J.” Andrew, owner of C.J.’s Dog Training uses rewards as a way to train dogs in her classes, versus punishment techniques such as shock collars and choke chains. Natalie Behring for The Columbian Photo Gallery

Carol “C.J.” Andrew’s love for pups started out with a boxer-breed dog named Skipper, who she got for Christmas back in 1948.

One day, three years later, the local milk man was trying to deliver milk to the family’s house in Chicago, and Skipper wouldn’t let him come in the yard. Andrew tried to keep the dog from pouncing on the milk man, which resulted in a bite to her face. She received five stitches.

Skipper was euthanized the next day.

“My mom was so upset … because she had to sit in the doctor’s office and listen to me scream while they stitched me up,” she said.

The incident didn’t make Andrew afraid of dogs, though. (In fact, she was angry at her mother for deciding to have Skipper put down.)

She wasn’t able to keep a dog of her own for 10 more years, until she was out on her own. After that, in a bold act of defiance to her parents, Andrew became wholly dedicated to all things canine.

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Lyndsey Hewitt:; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

She’s operated C.J.’s Dog Training since 1985, where she spends her days and evenings working with people and their dogs to help them understand one another. She’s been at the location at 2129 E. Evergreen Blvd. since 1995, but will have to vacate soon, as the building’s owner recently died and the facility is being sold.

Andrew is looking for a new place but will not be halting any classes. She and her small staff have to be out of the space along East Evergreen Boulevard by the end of this month. They’re searching for a space to use temporarily by the beginning of July while they continue to scout out a permanent facility. She has more than 100 clients who attend classes and each class fits about 10-12 dogs. So, she’s looking for a building with a good amount of space.

“We don’t have it cemented yet. There are several places we’re considering. As soon as we know for sure, we’re going to post it on the website,” Andrew said. There will be a small gap in classes. The last class at the current space will be on June 27, and then business will resume at the yet-to-be-disclosed new location on July 7.

Cindy Franke, a longtime class participant with her bulldog, Rigel, plans to follow Andrew wherever she goes. She started taking Rigel to classes 12 years ago, and she’s now a part-time office assistant at C.J.’s.

“She tells you how dogs think — why they’re doing a behavior,” Franke said, noting, for instance, when a dog might, annoyingly jump up on you or your friends. “It’s really important for me. Working with my dog, I can get frustrated with bad behavior, but then (Andrew) gives you a good healthy approach to how to encourage the dog to make another choice.”

Cj’s Dog Training


Andrew specializes in using rewards rather than punishment to train. She said, with disdain, that some trainers still use choke or shock collars to train dogs.

“We’ve had people say, ‘I’ve learned that I don’t have to punish my dog,’ ‘I don’t have to yell at my dog,’ or ‘I don’t have to hit my dog.’ I always tell people, I can’t think of any reason in the world why I’d ever hit a dog, even if they bit me. It only causes more problems,” Andrew said.

At 75 years old, the so-called dog whisperer has no plans of retiring, even if she has to move to a new building.

“I just love this work. I’m probably never going to retire. I really enjoy watching what happens between people and their dogs, especially once they understand each other,” she said.

Secrets to a well-behaved dog

Ignore unwanted behavior: Sometimes, as long as they’re not hurting themselves or somebody else with whatever behavior it might be, the best thing to do is ignore them. When you ignore them, they find out what they’re doing isn’t working and then they have to figure out what to do instead, so they start offering other behaviors, and when they do, we reward them for their correct behavior. In other situations, it would take all day for them to do the right behavior, so we have to help them understand what we want them to do instead. For instance, puppies, the way they play with each other, they jump all over each other, they put their mouth all over each other, so they think that’s how you play with people, especially children. I always tell kids, when they’re old enough to understand, when the puppy runs after you and you start running, you are very exciting, so the puppy wants to chase you more. And when you jump and scream, you’re like a big squeak toy, so you’re really fun. Walk slowly and be calm. • Carry toys: We recommend that everybody in the household carries toys all the time while the puppy is young, because we’re trying to redirect the dog’s energy and his mouthing behavior to use a toy instead of people. • Keep calm: All rescue dogs have baggage. Shelter dogs usually have issues of some kind. Usually that’s why they’re in a shelter. We’ve had dogs who’ve been so abused when they first come to class, they’re trying to hide under the chair even when they’re big. We have this all natural calming gel that we try on the dogs. It’s all vitamins and herbs. Usually they lick it out of the person’s hands and it helps them feel less anxious. It’s the only thing that worked on my border collie. He was a rescue dog, and he had been shot at for chasing horses. He was never hit, but he was so petrified on the Fourth of July. The gel was the only thing that ever helped him. • Knowing the breed helps with training: If everybody got accurate information about what a breed or a mixed breed was bred to do, it would be so much easier to figure out how to train them and understand why a certain kind of training worked better than another kind of training. People fall in love with puppies because they’re cute or whatever, but they don’t know enough about the characteristics of the breed or the needs of the breed. Some dogs they just lay around all day, and a walk is all they need. Other dogs that were bred for field work or something, they need to have exercise. When that movie “Babe” came out, everybody wanted a border collie. Poodles and border collies are the two smartest dogs, but they must be busy all the time. And they not only need to have a lot of physical exercise, they need mental exercise. If they have all that energy and if they don’t have an outlet for that energy, they can have all kinds of problems. — Lyndsey Hewitt
Columbian Staff writer, news assistant