Regardless of whether you have a new puppy or an older dog, it is never too late to start teaching your dog basic cues. From beginner cues like 'sit' and 'touch' to more advanced cues like 'stay' and 'heel' which require more impulse control, your dog should be taught using fun, force-free methods and every Read More
A puppy needs a good learning foundation in order to be a confident adult. But learning is more than just teaching your puppy basic cues such as sit and stay. The most important aspect of the learning process is to introduce your puppy to the environments and situations she is likely to experience throughout her Read More
In the late 1970s, I was living in Brooklyn, New York. Most weekends I could be found at a rock club called L’Amours, which featured local bands. Between sets, customers would mingle and have a few drinks. Each time a band was about to play, the management would broadcast a song that began, “Welcome back Read More
Victoria and Holly reconnect after a few months away and discuss how to recognize signs of pain in your older dog, keys to curbing rambunctious dog play, managing noisy nighttime behavior, overcoming anxiousness when guests visit your dog, and how to get dogs used to water.
Bringing a new puppy home is a very exciting experience from your family, and it's very important that from day one, you're armed with the best possible positive training information.
Keeping a dog from playing, running, and jumping for a few weeks is no easy task. Here are some simple tips to keep your dog calm after surgery.
This podcast is all about Dog Bite Prevention Week! Victoria and Holly chat with State Farm's Heather Paul to discuss why being a responsible pet parent is much more important than a dog's breed.
If I had to think of an example of a dog that was truly "balanced," it would be a dog that - regardless of age, breed or drive - was confident, had been guided into making the right choices, and was allowed to think and learn without constantly being corrected.
I see dogs that truly enjoy meeting new people and other dogs, and find myself wishing the same for my not-so-social dog. It's easy to get discouraged, but know that many people are experiencing the same things with their dogs as you are.
There are few bonds stronger than the one between a child and a dog. EPIC Pals (standing for Early Prevention Impacts Community) is a program that's taking advantage of that special relationship and helping both at-risk youth and shelter dogs. The program helps the kids improve their communication skills and better manage their emotions, preparing them Read More
I have been doing pet therapy with my labradoodle, Daisy, for going on two years now. It was always a dream of mine to do pet therapy, and I looked for months for the right dog. I adopted Daisy from a family who could no longer care for her, and I knew almost instantly she Read More
Successful positive training relies in large part on determining exactly what motivates your dog the most. While each dog is different and some may be turned on by praise, play, toys, or life rewards like going for walk, very often food is that primary motivating force and can be a powerful tool for shaping new Read More
Last week, I highlighted a shelter dog named Marley who I met at the SPCA of Central Florida. This week, I want to tell you about another adoptable dog I met at the same shelter. Maya is a beautiful pit bull mix who has waited for her forever home for quite some time. Being a Read More
When I visited the SPCA of Central Florida in Orlando last weekend, I had the opportunity to spend several hours there looking for adoptable dogs to join me during my presentation at their yearly fund raising event, Paws in the Park. The criteria I was looking for was simple, but not always easy to find Read More
If you are looking for a way to help homeless dogs in your community, fostering is a wonderful way to get involved. Fostering involves taking an animal into your home and caring for the animal until it finds an adoptive home. Fosters may be with you anywhere from a few days to a few months, Read More
The wonderful thing about positive training is that when used correctly and at the beginning of a dog’s life, it can prevent all kinds of common behavioral problems from ever developing. If you are about to bring home a new puppy, you have the opportunity to get started on the right track by utilizing positive Read More
Fears and phobias are relatively common and can affect dogs of all ages and all breeds. But there is a difference between fear and phobia. Fear is a normal response to an actual or perceived threat or situation, while a phobia is an exaggerated fear response that can completely overwhelm a dog. Some dogs are Read More
Separation anxiety is one of the most difficult behavior problems to deal with in dogs because successful modification relies on people being present at all times during what can be a long training process. It is a hugely important problem to solve, both for dog and owner, as separation anxiety is one of the main Read More
When training your dog, there are a number of easy ways you can get her to perform the desired behavior. One of the easiest force-free ways to teach your dog a behavior is by 'catching' her in the act of the behavior. The concept of catching a behavior is that you identify and reward behaviors Read More
A dog’s behavior is deeply rooted in the way he is bred, socialized, and trained. You can have a social, confident dog that is able to cope in a human world if you take the time to teach basic cues and recognize the difference between minor nuisance behaviors and more serious behavior problems as they Read More
It used to be standard operating procedure for some dog professionals to advise new rescue dog parents to hand feed said dog in order to effectively create a bond. In some cases, it still is standard. It depends on who you ask. The same protocol is also suggested by some trainers for dogs who resource Read More
Here’s why… Your puppy is a product of its parents’ genes. These provide the blueprint for appearance, temperament and behavior. This is why a Jack Russell looks and acts like a Jack Russell, and a Labrador looks and acts like a Labrador. If you want a dog that will look and act like a Labrador, you Read More
And they all lived happily ever after… I’m a sucker for those stories too. I love to see the heroes and heroines overcome adversity and wander off into the sunset for their fabulous forever. Sadly we all know that happy ever after is just a fairy tale ending to a fairy tale. Neither are real, Read More
We’re told as dog guardians that we need to be the "leader of the pack" and let our dogs know who runs the show. But, being a true “Leader” when it comes to our dogs may be very different than what you’ve been led to believe.
As a dog trainer, what I can do is teach you how to set your dog up so that the right choice becomes more obvious and comfortable to him. What I need for this is your help.
The ageism that causes seniors to be passed over is a prejudice without merit, as oftentimes it’s the older dog that is best suited for a happy household and a lasting marriage of dog and family. Here’s why...
Say the phrase "animal rescue" in any given circle of people and watch for a variety of reactions. Some people’s eyes will light up with hope and delight and others will start backing away with narrowing eyes, faces drawn with suspicion. The latter is unfortunate, but the truth cannot be denied that some of the Read More
When we train mindfully, we pay attention on purpose. We're aware of what’s happening during the session: mechanics, timing, location, the dog’s internal state.
The loss of K-9 Eiko left our entire "Guardians of the Night" family in pieces, but seeing the positive impact he continues to have even after his death gives us all just a bit more peace.
Have you noticed that there are times when your dog can't respond to a cue that is normally easy? It may be the environment is different or too distracting. Or, it may be you.
A "Naughty But Nice" (NBN) dog is exactly how it sounds - they are nice, beautiful, lovable dogs underneath but sometimes they make bad choices! In fact, many of the things that NBN dogs do are often motivated by high arousal!
Cue the wistful music before starting the video rolling and many dog lovers just see what they want to see in a video making the internet rounds. When you accompany sweet music with an overlay of words meant to convey what you want people to see, as long as the opposite isn’t glaringly obvious to Read More
People go to great lengths to try to achieve what they see as a "gold star level" of leash control using all kinds of questionable methods. But here's the thing: true leash control isn't about control at all.
As someone who has volunteered with many different organizations, I have gained perspective on the ways they can best attract, maintain and support their volunteer base
Playing is an important part of your dog’s life. Beyond the daily walk, playing with your dog has a number of positive benefits. Here's why you should play more with your dog in 2016.
There are many wonderful resources for you to read about whether bringing home a puppy over the holidays is a responsible choice for your family. This article is meant to help you make good choices once you have already decided to bring a new dog home for the holidays.
Does your dog pull you over in his eagerness to greet another dog? Here are 5 ways to change your hooligan to a well-mannered dog.
Hiking is not only good physical exercise for your dog, it’s a great mental stimulation experience as well. It’s also a really fabulous bonding experience.
We have a new game at my facility called “cue fasting” and we now require a “cue fast” for all of our clients when they begin training with us. We’ve decided to take the game up a notch in what we are calling “No Cue November.”