Why is Puppy Scents So Important?

by Mindy Kaleta on March 19, 2018

Why is Puppy Scents So Important? 

I was writing a parent’s guide, entitled Surviving the Puppy Stage to be published as primarily a digital e-book based on my notes and lesson plans from my years of having my own pet dog training center.  My husband Don was kind enough to give me some editing time.

As he was editing, I saw him writing some notes to himself.  I asked, “What are you writing?”  And he replied, “I’m writing a book for the kids based on your book to the parents, cuz the kids won’t understand this.”  I reminded him that my book was not geared to children, but he did have a great idea that I hadn’t thought of.

He explained that it should be for younger kids say ages 4-12 and it should be written from the pup’s point of view. And since we are advocates for rescue, it should be from a shelter pup and his ideas about coming to live with his new family, getting settled in, training and much more!  And thus Puppy Scents was born!



Our Mission

Puppy Scents, The Kids’ Guide to Puppy Care (written by Don Kaleta) was written to help children learn to help out with the family dog so as to take some of the sole burden off the parents. If kids took responsibility, created a lasting friendship with their pup, then it would be less of a chance that the dog would be returned to the shelter or rescue due to behavioral problems.  Not only do kids learn to provide proper pet care, they also start to see their pup as their forever pal so they don’t give up when puppy issues arise.

Kids learn responsibility, patience, kindness and a healthy respect for another point of view. Roc Weiler, based on our own dog Roc, is an adorable and feisty Rottweiler mix puppy whose love for treats goes unmatched.  We adopted Roc from a shelter in VA when he was ten weeks old and he is our pride and joy. CLICK HERE to read his story!

My book, Surviving the Puppy Stage, How to Get Inside Your Dog’s Mind Without Losing Your Own!, did become an e-book and is available online everywhere and Don continued to work on his book. It was a little more involved, because it was to become a hardcopy book, needed an illustrator, a publishing assistance firm and printer to get it out there.  We decided to become our own publishing company and outsource what we needed to publish it ourselves.



Surviving the Puppy Stage and Puppy Scents were a joint effort in our mission

to help homeless pets and to lessen the chaos in the family home.

Puppy Scents and Roc’s mission is this:

Post-it-blueNote - roc's Mission

It’s been a wild and wonderful ride writing and getting Roc’s Message out to the world!

From long hours of writing, editing and publishing to school visits, dog and kid events!

It’s been a real joy bringing The Parent’s Guide and  Puppy Scents to life.  We hope you enjoy them too!


Puppy Scents Project – Be Kind, Be Fit, Be Me

by Mindy Kaleta on March 16, 2018

The Puppy Scents Project – Be Kind – Be Fit – Be Me

What is the Puppy Scents Project?

The Puppy Scents Project is based on Author Don Kaleta’s puppy training manual illustrated by Helen Habel, Puppy Scents, The Kids’ Guide to Puppy Care.  It’s not only informative about how to care for and train your puppy, but has a much broader purpose; Using the concepts of the little pup Roc’s story to bring awareness to children and adults alike as to the importance of three major issues in our world today – Be Kind, Be Fit, Be Me.

Be Kind

Puppy Scents is written from the pup’s point of view. When we take the time to listen to another’s point of view, we learn so much. It changes the way we react, what we say and how we feel. Understanding and respect for another’s point of view, allows us to create loving and forever friendships; while encouraging us to Be Kind and Compassionate to others, animals, nature and ourselves.

Be Fit

Throughout the book Puppy Scents, the little pup Roc is obsessed with treats!! “I love treats! Did I tell you that I love treats? Oh, I know you know, but I’m gonna tell you anyway, I LOVE TREATS!!”

But too many treats and not enough outdoor play and exercise can be a problem for kids and pups! Roc does admit,


“I guess the bottom line is pups need plenty of good food and exercise.” (taken from the chapter on “About Those Treats”


The Puppy Scents Project encourages children to create a friendship with a furry pal and for the sake of themselves and their pet to get outdoors and play as much as possible. It’s always more fun when you have a pal to join in on the fun!

Be Me

Roc is who he is. He’s a puppy and puppies do have some pretty annoying habits that may not be tolerated well or encouraged by the human members of the family. Roc soon learns that boundaries are sometimes necessary in life, but that doesn’t have to change who he is! Roc says: “I am who I am and I can Be Me,” without giving up what makes him special. He says:

“I’m a pup and proud of it!”

Roc wants kid to know that as long as they are not intentionally hurting anyone else in the process, they have a right to be who they are!


Our Mission

Teaching kids to Be Kind, Be Fit, Be Me

through outdoor play

while creating forever friendships

between kids and animals


Our Vision

For every child to have and experience

the joy of pet animal friendships

through outdoor play and exploring nature


For more information about Ladybug Junction Farm or to contact Don & Mindy Kaleta go to www.ladybugjunctionfarm.com



Kids, Pups, Friendship & the Outdoor Connection

by Mindy Kaleta on March 14, 2018

Kids, Pups, Friendship & the Outdoor Connection

We all know that kids are not getting out doors enough these days. One way to help motivate kids to play outside, or even just “go” outside may be to add a furry friend to the family!

As a trainer, I know the words, “Mom can we get a puppy?”…can send chills through some parents! I mean, those words can ignite anxiety, fear and thoughts of “Oh, yeah – we can get a puppy and it will lose it’s charm soon when the newness wears off and the puppy will not be “our” puppy, but “my” puppy!

And that is a viable concern! I know, I’ve heard many a parent’s woes as they sat in my Puppy Kindergarten classes and filled me in on the chaos, chewed up shoes and soiled carpets while the kids were busy with other things.


Our mission here at Puppy Scents is to help parents and their kids make it through the puppy stage while encouraging the kids to take a more active role in caring for the new pup. Another important focus is in the bonding of kids & pups to become “best friends furever”! When kids see their pup as their BFF, the pup is included in activities and tends to become a true respected member of the family.


Here’s a few ways to get kids and pups outside!

Puppies need to go out to go potty…a lot!

Setting up a schedule for the kids to take turns helping Fido get outside to go potty, gets kids outside too!

Puppies need exercise to stay out of trouble!

Parents don’t realize that lack of exercise is the #1 reason that pups misbehave! They are just plain bored out of their little minds!

Giving the kids the responsibility of taking their pup for a walk or playing with Fido outside after school, and on weekends will help tremendously in keeping the chaos to a minimum and saving quite a few articles of clothing, furniture and anything else your pup may try to chew!

As parents, you know that this is true for kids too! When they have nothing to do, it can be challenging! The fresh air and exercise will help both the kids and pups be healthier and happier!

Kids & Pups can become “Best Friends Furever”!


Someone to Run with!

A Pal to Explore with!


A Buddy to Read with!

And So Much More!!!

If YOU can see the benefits of adding a “Fur”ever Friend to YOUR Family,

please check out your local shelter, humane society or rescue!

 There is someone waiting for YOU!


Your “Fur”ever Friend is Waiting for YOU!

Could use some help? 


The Parent’s Guide

The Kid’s Guide


Puppy Out of Control?

by Mindy Kaleta on March 12, 2018

Puppy Parent:  “It’s just plain crazy!! Our pup doesn’t seem to bother with the adults in the house, but can’t keep himself from play biting, chasing, nipping and tugging at the kids!”

Yup! That does sound crazy, but it’s actually quite normal. For a couple reasons.

First, your puppy is young and has a ton of energy!  And if you can’t get that energy out by other means like walking, toys to occupy his mind, going places or giving him some other playtime activity, he will provide his own! He just has to!

Secondly, lets face it, adults just aren’t as fun as kids!  Adults don’t run through the house, squeal, or talk excitedly, usually.  But kids do!  So, if you were in a little puppy’s energetic body and you had two choices of who to play with…I’m pretty sure you’d pick the kids!  Plus, adults tend to put off the energy that they are in charge or “the boss”, while kids not so much. Which really makes it fun when the chasing, nipping and tugging starts!  The kids squeal, pull away, which just fuels the tug of war game, which is exactly what the puppy was looking for!

So, the kids try their best to get the pup to stop, to no avail and that’s when the adults get involved to try to protect their kids from being mauled by the pup, and emotions start to escalate.  Then everyone is screaming and the puppy doesn’t understand what’s gone wrong.  He was just having a very good time and all of a sudden, he is whisked up and placed in his kennel, shipped outside or some other kind of punishment ensues.

Ok, let’s see what we can do to proactively approach this issue.

Fade in…Mom has been home with the little pup all day. She can’t understand why it has been such a struggle to get all the members of the family on the same page with this dog!  I mean, why does it always seem to be the Mom who ends up really taking care of the dog! Now, I know that in some families, it can be the Dad, but I would venture to say that at least 75% of the time, Mom will end up being the primary caregiver.

Ok, Mom is tired, and has spent a good deal of her “me” time with the pup, feeding, watering, pottying…maybe a walk or two. She needs a break. Here come the kids off the bus, they have book bags, homework, they are hungry and guess what?  The puppy is super pumped because the kids are home!!

But the kids have had a full day of school and they are somewhat tired also. They are happy to see the pup too, but he’s jumping all over them, pulling and tugging and wanting them to play.  The kids start complaining and the pup again, doesn’t know why NO ONE wants to PLAY with him!

Here’s a few things to do:

  • Set up a daily routine for the pup – keep it simple.  Wake up time, potty time, feeding schedule, light playtime, naptime. Just like you would for a human baby.  Seriously, having a puppy is soooo much like having a new baby in the house.  And just as a routine is critical for a newborn baby, it is just as important for this little furball.  And dogs learn by repetition. So, anything done over and over again, that’s your golden ticket to a more contented pup!
  • Make it special when the kids come home.  “Pass the baton” of “Puppy Watch” to the kid/s.  Have a special activity, like a walk, special toy to play with, a quick training session with special treats…anything to make the “coming home” time special for the little pup.  I mean think about it.  It sounds kind of cheesy, but when you see those pictures of the sad dog and it says, “spend some time with me, you have your friends, but I only have you” it’s still true!  He doesn’t have that much of a social life and unless you do have other animals in the house, your family members are pretty much his playmates!
  • Keep the “coming home” routine short.  I know families are busy and they have alot to do! No need to play for an hour, unless you have the time, then by all means, wear that puppy out!  If right after school, you have sports, appointments, etc…still try to get that short special playtime in before you have to go.  If you can’t take the pup with you, then put him in his safe place until you get back. You may have to have a quick playtime session when you return, but the point is to distract the pup from him initiating the playtime.  His playtime is playbiting, nipping, pulling and tugging.  Yours will be more structured with a game that YOU initiate, a walk, chase the ball, throw the frisbee.  Get the difference?  But he won’t care, because he is getting what he wants too…time with you!
  • Have the kids practice some of the puppy training games such as “Focus”, “Upstairs, Downstairs”, the “Wait”.  These games establish pack leadership and gives the dog clear boundaries as to who is in charge.  For safety’s sake, having these boundaries between the kids and the pup, will save many a heartache later, when the puppy is older and the bad behavior is not as well tolerated.

In the middle of a mauling of playbiting, nipping and tugging?

  • Keep emotions low
  • Say Ouch! – in direct proportion to the nip.  If it’s a light one…a quick and light “Ouch”… if it’s more intense, then the “Ouch” would be more intense as well.  We are teaching the pup to understand that nipping hurts humans and they are very fragile indeed!  He won’t know if you don’t tell him.
  • If pup is completely out of control…stop the nipping by a distraction. “Hey, let’s go for a walk!”  Grab the leash, put it on the pup and head out the door!  He will be so surprised and probably delighted that he gets to go somewhere! If that doesn’t work and he’s still completely out of control, then put him in a safe place, without emotion, calmly and deliberately contain him so he can’t hurt himself or the kids and leave the room.  I also recommend for children that if they are experiencing a scary situation with their pup/dog and no adult is around, to go to a safe place, like another room or bathroom and close the door until the pup calms down.

​There are many more ways to calm a dog gone wild.  These are just a few.  The most important thing is to keep the kids safe.  Secondly, try to understand where your pup is coming from and put yourself in his shoes.  Remember, he is a dog and acts mostly in the moment and on instinct.

I hope this has given you some ideas of why your dog may be acting in this way and how to proactively keep it to a minimum.  One more thing…a puppy is also cutting teeth and needs to chew, whether it’s on toys, shoes, bones or the kids.  Having appropriate outlets for your pup is key.  Chewing on the kids is definitely NOT ACCEPTABLE!!

Need more help?

Grab a copy of the parent’s e-book guide, Surviving the Puppy Stage, How to Get Inside Your Dog’s Mind Without Losing Your Own! with instant download for when you are about to pull your hair out!  

And for the kids, Puppy Scents, The Kids’ Guide to Puppy Care, for not only entertaining stories from a feisty shelter pup, but good information on how to lovingly and successfully help out with the family pup to become best pals always! 

Puppy Scents is Moving to the Farm!

by Mindy Kaleta on March 9, 2018

Wow! We can’t believe it’s been 8 years since the first Puppy Scents, The Kids’ Guide to Puppy Care was born! We have grown and learned so much along the way and now it’s time for some exciting new adventures for us and Puppy Scents!  (We have something else we have been working on to tell you about in an upcoming post! Eeeek!  We’ve been having so much fun!)


Puppy Scents is moving to Ladybug Junction Farm! We are in the process of moving our website information to our LadybugJunctionFarm.com website! This may take a bit of time, but it will be so nice to have Puppy Scents under the roof of the farm!

Puppy Scents will be playing an important role at the farm, with lost of programs for kids such as Me & My Pup Training, Meet & Read to the Animals and Be Kind, Be Fit, Be Me! Wow! It’s going to be so much fun!

So we will keep you in the loop as we acquire the property for the farm, start the building process and continue to bring you news of our progress! We are super excited about all that is coming to the farm! We hope you will be too!

Turn YOUR Dreams into Reality!

by Mindy Kaleta October 5, 2017

Attention all dreamers and solo-preneurs! You have a dream, a message, a product or a service… it’s something you love that is so big and beautiful you want to share it with the world… but you don’t know where to start or how to do it without shaking in your shoes and feeling scared out […]

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Puppy Scents is Joining Ladybug Junction Farm!

by Mindy Kaleta September 8, 2017

  Puppy Scents is Joining Ladybug Junction Farm!   THIS IS BIG! We are super excited to announce that our book Puppy Scents, The Kids’ Guide to Puppy Care is joining our Just 4 Kids Program roster for the farm! Puppy Scents is not your usual training manual. Roc Weiler, a Rottweiler mix puppy, boasts […]

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Ladybug Junction Farm is Gearing UP!

by Mindy Kaleta August 1, 2017

Ladybug Junction Farm is Gearing UP!   Those of you who have been following Don and I and our plans for the farm know we’ve been working non-stop “Building Train Tracks”!  If you are asking “What’s building train tracks”…here is my blog post on that.  Knowing who you are and what you want is critical […]

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You’ve Forgotten Your Why

by Mindy Kaleta July 19, 2017

  You’ve Forgotten Your Why Revisiting Our Why to Re-Ignite the Passion of Our Dream About this time last month, I wrote a blog post entitled, “Got Doubts About Your Dream? Build It Anyway.”   In that post I talked about the “why” of our dream for Ladybug Junction Farm.   I mentioned that “when […]

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Got Doubts About Your Dream? Build It Anyway.

by Mindy Kaleta June 16, 2017

Okay.  We are in the really early stages of building our dream…Ladybug Junction Farm [learn more] We’ve been searching for just the right area and property. We went to an open house last Sunday. The house was beautiful, the property was almost perfect. The realtor was enthusiastic and personable and we walked away thinking, “this […]

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