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Best of Washington: Hot Dog Trainer


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Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz has been training the pets of high-profile Washingtonians for years. But the owner of Merit Puppy Training recently trained the top dog: Bo Obama.

Sylvia-Stasiewicz, who has worked with Portuguese water dogs owned by Senator Ted Kennedy—who gave Bo to the First Family—says the First Dog was a quick study: “He’s loving, very obedient, and has an excellent memory. You teach him something, and he gets it right away. He’s very bright.

“The Portuguese water dog is an easy breed to train. All dogs go through a teenage period and get into stuff. I believe once he gets through that period he will be quite laid-back.

“He’s going to have a great life.”

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