For many people the 4th of July is a time to celebrate; family, friends and fireworks make the holiday. For many dogs and their owners the experience is quite different.

More dogs regularly run away from home, escape and are lost during this time than any other. The stress of the day’s activities, the chaos of crowds and the barrage of firecrackers are just too much for our best friends to bear. How we handle them, and ourselves, can make or break the holiday.

At THE ZEN DOG our goal is to help you be able to be in right relationship through all kinds of circumstances. The 4th poses a certain challenge; our dogs only have this experience maybe twice a year (the other being New Year’s Eve) so they don’t have the benefit of repeated exposures that could make the festivities more tolerable.

Based on our experience here are some tips that’ll help you and yours “paws when agitated”.

  1. ID STANDS FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY. Make sure your pups have current tags, IDs, licenses and microchips with accurate contact information. In the event your pal gets lost you’ll want to be reached as soon as possible, the window for finding a dog gets much smaller after the first 48 hrs. An alarming number of dogs are never returned to their loving homes because their owners could not be located.
  2. RESIST THE URGE TO PROTECT AND CORRECT. If you pity, coddle or baby your dog during this stressful time you may be reinforcing its state of anxiety. They will, in effect, be rewarded for feeling weak. Remember, they are safe with you, carry yourself that way and use your energy to communicate as much. And never punish a dog for being scared. This will not only cost you their trust it will reinforce their idea that bad things happen at times like these.
  3. MENTAL EXHAUSTION TRUMPS PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION. Make it a point to spend some quality time with your faithful before things get crazy. Physical exercise is a great way to lower a dog’s stress level. Be sure to combine that workout with brain work, otherwise you’ll have a tired dog who’ll bounce back more amped up than before. A good walk using THE ZEN DOG exercises (focus / pace / name + focus + praise) can exhaust your dog’s mind while reinforcing the bond that you’ll want when the poop hits the fan. During this time you can also use treats for tricks, or even practice recall work (in a safe, confined space, of course).
  4. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT rather than what you don’t want. We encourage our clients to “work in the realm of the positive”. Energy is your principle means of communication; dogs will pick up your attitudes based on what you hold in your mind. We’ve seen a remarkable number of dogs become immediately less reactive by changing the way we react – or respond – to times like these. Some of this will seem like Jedi mind tricks. It is, we’re all about using the Force.
  5. NO ‘HOME ALONE’. Your dog is a part of your family. Maybe this year you’ll consider staying home with her to create the sense of safety or comfort that you would for any other family member. If you really do need to get out (which we all do at times) see if you can follow the suggestions above, limit your time away and crate your dog safely until you return. The crate should be draped on all sides except the front and placed in a cozy corner. When you return don’t make a fuss about letting him out. If she is freaking out and just can’t sit still long enough to be released then let her out but play it cool. Detachment is one of THE ZEN DOG Alpha Tools. Remember, “it’s no big deal”. However, if your dog has not been crate trained, DO NOT use this holiday to start.
  6. CALMING AIDS. Many vets recommend Melatonin and THE ZEN DOG's Health & Wellness consultant Stef DiOrio says: My go-to supplement is Just Food for Dogs' CALM. It is a combination of Valerian Root Extract (145mg), Passion Flower (145mg) and Magnesium. The ingredients are USDA certified human-grade. These three ingredients have a synergistic effect that can naturally and safely reduce stress and induce relaxation for isolated events (i.e.: vet visits, fireworks, car rides, strangers in the home) or over long periods of time.  You can't give too much, it's just about finding the right dosage for your dog’s level of anxiety or desired level of relaxation. (Increasing the initial/recommended dosage by a half capsule or full capsule(s) is 100% safe.

This year we look forward to spending the howliday with our dogs, and many of yours. Whatever you choose to do we hope you can enjoy the true freedom that comes with being in right relationship with all the ones you love.

Happy Indepawndence Day from all of us at THE ZEN DOG.

Dayplay & Boarding announcement


THE ZEN DOG is now in full swing at our beautiful new DTLA location, 1754 N. Main Street, Los Angeles 90031.

The summer howlidays are here! We still have room for Boarding / Dayplay during your dogs' days of summer. Reserve your spots now by e-mailing us your potential away dates at If it's your dog's first stay at THE ZEN DOG please CLICK HERE to fill out the Boarding / Dayplay form. 

Note: Our hours have expanded! We are now a full-time facility offering drop-off and pick-up times between 7a-9p M-F and 8a-8p SAT-SUN. 

Aligning with the pet care industry's best practices protocol, we require that all dogs staying and playing at THE ZEN DOG receive their Bortedella vaccination every six months. This may differ from the expiration date on your veterinarian's vaccination reminder but it will help us continue to prevent the spread of Kennel Cough in animal care facilities throughout Los Angeles. Please be sure to check the vaccine expiration dates before your dogs' next stay with us and have them updated if need be. Thank you for your cooperation and support. 

For Boarding & Dayplay inquiries email 

For Private Training and questions directly for Matt Beisner please continue to email  

Thank you, as always, for your patience and pawtronage. We look forward to seeing you and your pup(s) soon! 

Wag On, Matt, Brooklin and THE ZEN DOG Pack




We are now located at 1754 N. Main Street Los Angeles 90031.

All Boarding & Dayplay, and Socialization sessions with Matt will take place at the new ZEN YARD from now on. 

Note: our hours have expanded and we are now open on Sundays! 

MON–FRI 7am-9pm ~ SAT 8am - 8pm ~ SUN  8am - 8pm

For Boarding & Dayplay inquiries email 

For private training and questions directly for Matt Beisner please continue to email  

Thank you, as always, for your patience and pawtronage. We look forward to seeing you and your pup(s) soon! 

Wag On, Matt, Brooklin and THE ZEN DOG Pack

THE ZEN DOG turned 3!

March 6th 2015 was THE ZEN DOG's 3RD BIRTHDAY!

We can't thank you enough for your ongoing support of us and your deepening commitment to your dogs' wellbeing. All of us at THE ZEN DOG feel very fortunate to be doing what we love as a way of life. We've seen hundreds of dogs transform but one of our greatest joys is watching you, the owners come to Respect, Trust and Love your dogs for who they really are. With that in mind take a look at our past, present and future... 

LAST YEAR THE ZEN DOG contributed more than $7500 to rescues, fosters and adopted dogs. 

TODAY we officially announce our new website, created by Anela Bence Selkowitz of

COMING SOON! THE ZEN DOG will unveil its 7500sq. ft. indoor / outdoor facility offering training, group classes, dayplay and boarding in the Downtown LA area. 

IN THE YEARS TO COME... click here to view

Lastly, on a personal note, I want to express my deep appreciation for the opportunity to work with you, as clients, owners, friends, groomers, vets, volunteers, mentors, fosters, trainers, transports, organizers, rescuers, adoptees and dogs' best friends. 

Only seven years ago I was afraid of dogs. Today I am part of this incredible community of whisperers, wanderers, wonders and wags, of heroes, havens, haves and have nots, of the fearful, faithful, their freedom and new friends. I am moved and inspired by you. I may never fully embody what dogs and their humans would ask me to be; this work consistently challenges my preconceived notions, reservations and prejudices of myself and the animal world around me. It sees more of me than I expect of myself and yet my life would be un-lived without it. Above all it teaches me to remain teachable. 

I know I have one of the best jobs in the world, I am living my purpose. I've also come to realize that I, we, have some of the greatest clients in the world. We admire your honesty, humility, willingness, patience, perspicacity, love and humor. We celebrate you and your successes. For all that and more I thank you. 

~ Matt Beisner 

Wag On, Matt, Brooklin and THE ZEN DOG Pack



I AM READY FOR ADOPTION!! My name is Brogan, I am an approx 4.5 year old American Bulldog. You may have seen my amazing story on THE ZEN DOG’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.

I had a ruff start to life. I was chained up, covered in ticks, nearly starved to death and repeatedly forced to breed  (SEE MORE IMAGES). Thank Dog PRYOR'S PLANET saved me!

I needed some very special rehabilitation after years of neglect and abuse. Luckily I was sent to Matt Beisner of THE ZEN DOG. Watch my video HERE.

I learned socialization, cuddling, and how to eat like a lady. And I made lots of new friends (check out my pawsse in this VIDEO).

I finally know what it’s like to be a dog. I can’t wait to meet the furever pawrents who will welcome this ‘dozer of love.

If you’d like to be one of BROGANS HEROES, have your people call my people: Jen Pryor at PRYOR'S PLANET : 818-503-5759 or email

Please throw me a bone and spread the word. #BROGANSHEROES