Playing with your dog provides great exercise and is a great way to increase the bond between you, but it must be done safely. Some dogs get overly excited during play, which can sometimes lead to impulsive behavior or play aggression, so it’s important to stop the game before it gets to that point. If Read More
The world that we live in, especially in the United States, is a scary world for many dogs but none so much as the exceptionally fearful dogs out there. The expectations placed on dogs here can be exhausting to their emotional state. The amount of fear/anxiety that dogs who are worried about people/things/animals in their Read More
We as humans have made such progress with how we view dogs, but it seems with so many steps forward, we take a few more steps back At one time, dogs were given far more freedom than they have now, many having at least the daytime run of their neighborhoods. But that freedom also came Read More
Those of us who get paid to help dog parents with their dog’s behavior issues need to be able to accurately and understandably convey to those dog parents that how they respond to each situation helps determine the outcome.
Heart dog. Say those two words to any dog lover and their eyes will go soft. They will look wistful. They will be fondly thinking of a dog they currently share their life with if they are lucky. If they are less than lucky, there will tears in their eyes. They will be thinking of Read More
You’ve been planning for months, and at last your new puppy is here! Your expectations are enormous: this is going to be the perfect dog you’ve always wanted. And maybe that’s right, and your little puppy will become your Brilliant Family Dog. But for many of us - and for many of our puppies - Read More
Got a reactive dog? A fearful, anxious, or aggressive dog? A dog who barks and lunges at everything she sees? This is just for you!
We can actually make our dog’s feel both calm and confident about their surroundings AND teach them a better way to cope when they do experience those emotions of overexcitement and overarousal.
“Should I send previous clients thank you cards?” “How often should I send them?” “What should I say in a thank you card?” I often hear these questions from new or even experience dog trainers. While they are well intentioned, we can and should strive to create better ways of showing our support than a thank you card every once in a while.
Sundowner Syndrome, a disorder that can affect older dogs with dementia, causes anxiety and other behavioral issues that get worse toward the end of the day.
A wonderful relationship between kids and dogs can be facilitated by knowing what your dog is saying when interacting with kids, while teaching kids how to respectfully and safely interact with your dog.
In part one of this blog series, I introduced you to what a “Naughty But Nice” dog is and shared with you the first tip to training and living harmoniously with them! Now, the next tip - calmness!
I did not wear any clothes with my logo on it for the first month after moving to New York City, horrified that people would see this dog trainer with a “bad dog.”
Something that I see happen frequently is the dog happily grabbing the leash and trying to turn the leisurely walk into a game of tug. This can lead to frustration and a sore arm. So how do we solve this problem?
Many perfectly wonderful dogs with lovely temperaments are being euthanized regularly for space while extremists spend time battling online about why one dog that mauled a child should get another chance.
Adopting a dog? Work in animal rescue? This is the ultimate guide for adopting a dog and successfully and safely acclimating that dog to your family and home.
Some highly active dogs need a helping hand to settle down before going to sleep at night. I have a highly active sport dog, and we often do training, tricks, and play in the evening to engage his mind and body to keep him out of trouble. This helps to keep his active mind and Read More
Dogs are animals. Without proper training, (teaching) a dog will act, for lack of a better way to describe it, like a dog. This means that they will jump on counters, run away from home, eliminate where they please, bark, chew things, and the list goes on. When we bring dogs into our homes, we Read More
VSPDT Laura Brody discusses the topic of dog socialization and why modern domesticated dogs are showing more signs of dog-dog aggression than ever before.
A guide to Doggy Daycare. How to choose a safe, fun, behaviorally sound, doggy daycare so your dog will have a Positively good time!
Ouch, My Puppy is Biting Me! The Importance of Attending Puppy Class to Teach Bite Inhibition and Play Skills
Kari Bastyr, Denver-based VSPDT and owner of Wag and Train, discusses puppy mouthing and the importance of attending a puppy class to ensure proper socialization and bite inhibition before your puppy grows into an adult.
September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month. Do you fit the bill of a responsible dog owner? Check out Victoria Stilwell's article highlighting five ways you can spot a responsible dog owner.
Who can resist getting your pup and family outdoors to catch the surf and rays and get some exercise this summer? Dog beach and dog parks can be wonderful places to exercise and play with your dog, however, they come with some built-in caveats as well. Make the right decisions at the right time for Read More
It has become somewhat common for dog owners to leave music or TV's on when they leave the house in the hopes that the constant sound will help soothe their lonely pets. While the intention behind this technique is noble, behavioral science has now uncovered enough about the way our dogs process sounds to know Read More
What's in a name? Potentially a life! Animal shelters all over the country are using a clever new tactic to help facilitate adoptions and increase the bond between animals and potential adopters--they're naming the animals after celebrities. This new marketing strategy helps potential adopters empathize with the homeless animals and hopefully see them in a different Read More
Bringing home a new baby to a household with an existing dog (or dogs) should be done with great care and a good amount of foresight. Too often, new parents are so consumed with the needs and exhilaration of the new baby that they overlook the impact that this new tiny, loud, smelly creature may Read More
Dog-to-human aggression can be unpredictable and dangerous, especially when there is an extensive history of aggressive behavior. Dog bites account for a large number of hospital admissions each year and cost insurance companies millions in claims. While most dogs live in harmony with their families, dogs of all breeds and breed mixes have the capacity Read More
Many people return home after a day at work to a household of destruction and mayhem, and their first assumption is that their dog suffers from acute separation anxiety. Sometimes this can be the case, but in many cases, the dog has destroyed the house as a cure for another very common problem in the Read More
Teaching older dogs that have not been taught to toilet appropriately can be a challenge. Most dogs raised in a normal domestic environment respond well to a good housetraining schedule, but those that have lived in compromised backgrounds, such as puppy mills, may be more difficult to teach. Before you begin the housetraining process make sure Read More
Keeping your dog physically stimulated and in shape is an important part of dog wellness, but it is also crucial to provide mental stimulation and enrichment for your dog. Thanks primarily to our collective commitment to better understanding our dogs through the study of behavioral science, modern dogs are very fortunate to live in a Read More
People used to think that dog training was only about teaching dogs obedience commands, usually through the use of heavy-handed punishment-based techniques. It was viewed as somewhat of a luxury for pet parents and was often wrongly considered to be something so straightforward and simple to achieve that anyone could do it on their own without Read More
For the majority of modern dog owners, choosing the right dog trainer is one of the most important decisions they will have to make regarding their dog. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult decisions to get right. Assuming you have already determined that you need the help of a trained professional Read More
A dog's body and mind are deeply connected. If you want your dog to be able to enjoy the world around him, whether you're taking a walk around the block or competing in agility, it's important that your dog's body can keep up with his brain. Our friends at Dognition and Richard Hawkins, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, have teamed up to outline some great tips on dog cognition and how to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Defining what aggression means is not easy, because there are so many variables associated with what is a highly complex behavior. But by investigating the function served by an aggressive act as well as why it occurs and what result it achieves from the dog’s point of view, we can begin to gain a better understanding.
I know I don’t always hit the mark for my dogs, but where enrichment is concerned, I do my best to make sure they have as many outlets as they need. That is why I waited so long before I had dogs of my own, because I wanted to give them the best life possible. Sure, my dogs complete me and make my life better, but I work as hard as I can to do the same for them.
The Dog Bite Prevention and Awareness Conference presented by VSPDT (DBC) is a one or two-day multi-speaker seminar designed for and open to all animal industry professionals, child educators, shelter workers, medical professionals, first responders, police and animal control officers, lawyers, lawmakers, public safety professionals, delivery personnel, trainers and dog lovers. The DBC is a Read More
Just because someone starts the process correctly by asking the question, 'May I pet your dog' doesn't mean that they will follow through with good results or even listen to the answer. I think it's vital that we not only teach our kids to ask first before petting, but also that we encourage them to listen to and respect the answer that the dog's owner provides.
Punitive training techniques that center on gaining control of your dog by dominating her into obeying can damage the human/animal bond and cause your dog to mistrust you and essentially switch off. You want to ‘matter’ to her by being the source of good things in her life, so that whenever you need her attention, she will give it to you.
Dog/dog Aggression: There’s nothing pet parents like better than socializing with their dog in the summer sun. There are, however, two important questions to ask: “Is it safe?” and “Is my dog really having fun?” Your dog speaks to you through body language--ear and tail carriage, stance, behavior and vocalizations. Perhaps your dog is telling Read More
This animation may seem shocking to some; however according to studies published in the journals American Surgeon and Pediatrics a majority of injuries in kids are to the neck and face. Furthermore dog bites are not uncommon. Nearly a million people—both adults and kids—are bitten badly enough to require a hospital visit. To some people Read More