Lights, Camera, Action….

June 24, 2011

At Denver Dog Works we primarily train working dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, and obedience.  This week I received a phone call and an invitation IF I could produce one or two dogs who could handle a photo shoot/commercial production.  I immediately thought of a wonderful Blue Merle Australian Shepherd that I’ve had the pleasure to train off and on for two and a half years.  His name is Buck and he is owned by a client I’ve come to call my friend, Julie Guarino.  When I notified Julie and asked if Buck could join us she was more than happy to help us out.

As soon as I hung up with Julie, I attempted to contact one of my favorite little Westie owners Noel Nail.  You see Arthur, I thought would be perfect, sitting on the lap of the star.  Turned out he nearly stole the heart of our star.

I received this invitation on Monday afternoon, the shoot was today (Thursday)!  That didn’t give any of us much time to prepare.  The scripts and scenarios weren’t received until the eve before the shoot.  We had nothing to worry about, Arthur and Buck are spectacular dogs who will do anything for their “Moms”.

The star of the shoot was Ms. Betty White. She flew into Denver just for this event.  Ms. White is a spokesperson for The Morris Animal Foundation and they are sponsoring a walk to benefit canine cancer research.  Orvis was also on set promoting the event but also promoting a contest where a dog can win a chance to be the cover dog.  Ms. White was assisting with this campaign as well.

Ms. White arrived and entered the room she immediately focused in on Buck and stopped listening to everyone else and just gave one hundred percent of her energy and attention to Buck.  It was refreshing.

Buck and Arthur were joined by two beautiful Irish Setters who represent the Morris Animal Foundation.  The shoot began and the hustle and bustle began.  Arthur and Buck, as well as, the Setters remained calm and professional. Ms White insisted that every scenario included one of the dogs.

One scenario asked Ms. White to do a mock interview sitting alone in a chair while speaking about Morris Animal Foundation.  She said, “This is about animals, it seems silly not to have one in the shot.”  She promptly went over to Noel and asked if she could hold Arthur on her lap but before Noel could say “of course!”  she scooped him up and went to sit down.  Arthur was still wearing his service dog vest and collar.  So Noel removed his vest and carried Arthur over to Ms. White and sat him in her lap.  I then was instructed to remove his collar.  Ms. White ensured that Noel be as close as possible, without being the shot, so that Arthur could continue to do his job as a service dog.  During the shot on camera Ms. White likes to ad-lib a bit, “This is my new friend Arthur and he’s a service dog!” What an honor!  I had never felt so appreciated and proud of my career then in that very moment.   During a photo shoot each scene is filmed two, three, sometimes five times.  Not because of mistakes but because of different camera angles and voice inflections.  At one point, the director moved in between Ms. White, Arthur, and Noel making it so Arthur couldn’t see Noel at all. Ms. White quickly but politely interrupted him and said, “Could you please move over here so Arthur can see his Mommy.”  I smiled from ear to ear.

Ms. White was very professional.  She was a joy to watch while she worked.  She is amazing because while she’s working the entire time her concern and focus was on the four dogs in the room.  Not once was she concerned with herself.  She refused drinks being offered to her graciously.  It was all about the dogs.

Buck was picked to be the Orvis representative.  He got to lay on the couch while Ms. White stroked his head and shoulders and kissed his nose.  She told Buck that he could be on the cover of the Orvis catalog, all they had to do was send in his picture.  Buck did his part with Ms. White like a gentleman.  Then half the room left.  Buck got to stick around with Julie and I and the crew doing his “goofy” commands.  You see we had to portray Buck not sitting still while he was being photographed by Ms. White.  Buck is well trained in obedience and works as a Therapy dog.  He did everything Julie and I asked of him!  It was great!

The representative from Orvis, James Hathaway, was very pleased with Buck.  He mentioned Buck would get the huge dog bed he brought in but everyone got busy and I’m still not sure where that dog bed ended up.  That’s alright Buck learned how TO get up on the couch this week!

Denver Dog Works, Julie Guarino, Buck, Noel Nail, Arthur and I had a wonderful time and we’d like to thank Michael Robert of De Ja vu Media Inc. for having faith in us and what we could do!


Michele Forto is the lead trainer for Denver Dog Works and the co-host for Dog Works Radio Show.

Group Classes at Denver Dog Works

June 19, 2011

Group Classes at Denver Dog Works

At Denver Dog Works we our group class is non-traditional. It is a continuation class for those who have signed up for Camp Works or Lesson programs.  Clients have the option of participating in this class that meets once a week for an hour for the lifetime of their pet.  It’s a great class to keep your skills up to date and to keep your dog’s socialization, manners, and focus in tip-top shape.

Every week group class is different!  It’s been called the doggie-robics class because our trainers not only keep your dog stimulated they keep YOU moving!  No excuses! Come work out with us every Saturday afternoon.

If you haven’t signed up for a program but you’d like to come give us a try – this is your class!  Drop in rates $25.00.

Service Dog Training in Denver

June 18, 2011






Service Dog Training at Denver Dog Works

Each and every service dog that is trained through Denver Dog Works and Michele Forto and her team has an individualized training plan. Michele trains for autistic, mobility, medical alert, and psychiatric service work. In each case, the needs of the individual are met and training of each dog is specialized for their handler’s specific needs. It takes approximately two years to train a service dog and takes a tremendous amount of patience, handling and work from everyone involved, including the family members of the service dog recipient. While on occasion we can train a dog that you already have, we have found over the years that there are several breeds that work better than others. In the past, we have found that German Shepherds make good service dog candidates for autistic, psychiatric, mobility, and medical alert service dogs because of their temperament and protective tendencies. German Shepherds have been used for hundreds of years as service dogs and have proven bloodlines. We have found Labradors to be well suited for service as well. Some mixed breeds make good service dogs and recently we have found that Labradoodles work well as service dogs.

Do You Know Animals……

June 15, 2011

If you talk to the animals they will talk to you and you will know each other.

If you do not talk with them you will not know them, and what you do not know you will fear.

What one fears one destroys.

–Chief Dan George

Canine Good Citizen @ Denver Dog Works

June 8, 2011

At Denver Dog Works we offer the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen and AKC Puppy S.T.A.R. programs.  These are group classes that teach you and your dog ten specific commands and maneuvers to keep your dog under control in public places, like parks.  We also use this program as a “pretest” of sorts for anyone looking to do any type of advanced training with their dogs; including but not limited to; advanced obedience, therapy, service, rally, agility, etc.

Remember that we evaluate all dogs BEFORE entering into a training program. Please give us a call at 303-578-9881.

Dog Works Training Centers: Camp Works Dog–Vodka

June 7, 2011

Client’s Name: Alexis T.

Dogs Name: “Vodka”

City: Denver, CO

Breed: English Bulldog

Likes: being the center of attention

Pet-Peeves: other dogs – “who needs ’em”

Favorite Toy: Stuffed Giraffe

Favorite Treat: rawhide bone

Favorite Walk: I don’t walk much but so far I like walking wherever there’s shade

Best Trick: Camp Counselor “Qyain” says I’m a bit full of myself, but my trainer Michele will teach me manners in no time and I’ll be fitting right in.

Arrival Story: I’m at Denver Dog Works in the Camp Works program for three weeks.  I am here to learn manners, obedience, socialization, and leadership skills. More importantly I’m here to learn how to be better behaved around other dogs, people, and especially small children.

Bio: I’m 4 years old – my Mom and my Grandma enrolled me in camp so I can be the best dog ever!

Motto: “Bottoms Up”

We proudly feed and recommend

Michele Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works | Daily Post


Michele Forto is the lead trainer for Denver Dog Works and Alaska Dog Works and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You HuskiesandDog Works Radio Show

Dog Works Training Centers: Camp Works Dog–Bandit

June 6, 2011

Client’s Name: Jeff N.

Dogs Name: “Bandit”

City: Denver, CO

Breed: Alaskan Husky

Likes: talking


Favorite Toy: I have lots – but could really careless!

Favorite Treat: rawhide bone

Favorite Walk: loves the people park as long as there’s lots of people to watch.

Best Trick: Camp Counselor “Qyain” says that in a former life I may have been a sled dog.

Arrival Story: I’m at Denver Dog Works in the Camp Works program for six weeks.  I am here to learn manners, obedience, socialization, and leadership skills. I’m excited to be at school, while my family is attending camp – while my family is in Asia, I’m here to learn how to be my best. My brother is joining me in three weeks I can’t wait to show him how things work around here.

Bio: I’m a nearly 2 years old – I have a great life, but I do get a way with lots of stuff.

Motto: “East Bound and Down”

We proudly feed and recommend

Michele Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works | Daily Post


Michele Forto is the lead trainer for Denver Dog Works and Alaska Dog Works and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You HuskiesandDog Works Radio Show