Once upon a time, I was contemptuous of positive trainers. Not because I knew anything about positive training, mind you. At the time, I had two Siberian huskies, both ma...
The internet is full of simple recipes to follow to help people change their dog’s behavior. However, as the great trainer Bob Bailey says, “Simple is not easy.” “No plan survives an audience.” When you accurately follow instructions with technology it usually performs as expected. Living creatures aren’t like that. You know what ‘should’ work Read More
Many dogs are constantly scared and startled by objects or events in their environment. Sometimes we have control over those things, often we don’t, but we can still help the dog learn to feel better, safer and more comfortable, around them.
How can one expect the suits, whose business it is to look for ratings or financial success for their company, to stand up for the animals they're responsible for and take note of the thousands of voices that are telling them that what they are supporting is so wrong?
Knowledge is a fluid thing. We move forward regularly, only to move backwards occasionally, when inaccurate information becomes suddenly popular. We can only continue to repeatedly educate, with the hope that our parroting of the facts, helps them to remain solidly in the public eye. So here we are back in the saddle with more Read More
Do you have a dog that becomes restless in certain situations? Does she bark, whine, urinate, defecate, or vocalize inappropriately? Does she excessively lick herself, spin in circles or chase her tail? Does she jump up at you or other people, lunge towards other dogs or run up and down the perimeter of your fence?
Every dog lover uses labels to describe their dog’s personality – my dog is ‘aggressive’, ‘stupid’ ‘highly driven,’ ‘lazy,’ ‘stubborn,’ ‘happy,’ or ‘dominant,’ but labels can be misleading and limit a dog’s potential.
If you ask a group of dog trainers to define what an aversive means, you will get many different answers as well as some spirited discussion. Regarding behavior modification techniques, an aversive is ‘the avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior that is achieved by using an unpleasant or punishing stimulus.’
“Sit! Sit! Sit!” Have you ever asked your dog to ‘sit’ and when she does not respond you repeat the cue again and again, getting louder and louder each time you say it?
As the modern dog’s role continues to evolve from that of working dog to companion animal, there is more pressure on all dogs to cope and behave well in an increasingly busy human world.
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
After an article about the use of shock collars in dog training appears, the same questions inevitably come up. Usually, the person asking the question is not really seeking an answer. Instead, they are posing the question as a rebuttal to our position, which is that shock has no place in dog training. Here are a few of the actual questions we receive, edited for clarity, with answers.
If cats are likely to live longer and healthier lives indoors – why are we still allowing them outdoors? Surprise, living indoors – though – has shortcomings too. Sixty years ago, indoors vs. outdoors wasn’t an issue. Most cats could come and go as they pleased. It wasn’t welfare issues that changed their world, encouraging Read More
Close your eyes and think for one moment what is the one thing that you absolutely love to do? No-one has to pay you for it, no-one needs to ask you to do it….it lights you up, makes you feel alive, excites you…. and if you could do it right now you would do it Read More
To Walk, or Not To Walk – It’s Not Even A Question Is It? All responsible dog owners walk their dogs once/twice/for two hours/three hours/45 minutes… per day. Everyone knows this, it’s what responsible owners do. But have we sometimes lost track of what purpose a walk actually fulfills – I think we frequently have. Read More
Consent is a right of every living being. We expect to be asked prior to being touched. But we give consent to strangers to touch our dogs without asking the dog.
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.
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
Registration is now open for the fourth annual UK Dog Bite Prevention and Behaviour Conference which will be held on the south London campus of Kingston University on June 24-25, 2017. Now in its fourth year, this annual gathering of the leading minds in the animal world has become the UK’s preeminent dog training and behaviour-related Read More
If reactive dog owners come off as crazy, understand it's only because we've got a lot on our minds. Here's what we'd like you to know about reactive dog owners before you meet us.
Sometimes owning a reactive dog is just plain hard. The idea of getting up and taking a walk in the mornings, when I know I might end up with a whirling dervish instead of a dog at the end of my leash, makes me want to stay home under the covers, safe in bed. However, Read More
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
In 2013, a NYC shelter began an innovative co-sheltering program called URIPALS, which allows victims to shelter with their pets. New York resident Jasmine Rivera says URIPALS saved her life, literally.
Away from beach sports and tourist hustle and bustle, barking dogs greet visitors to the SPCA Puerto Vallarta in Mexico.
It's simple but not easy to be skilled at managing a reactive dog. It takes lots of practice to sharpen your own mechanics while teaching the dog various exercises to help the dog stay focused on you.
It may seem sometimes like everyone else has a “normal” dog while you struggle to make minute changes towards the better with your own. How can we cope?
The best twist that came out of this whole situation was a young man who photographed his Rottweiler being offered a peanut butter stuffed bone, with the caption that “this is what happens when you won’t shut up”. Win/win for both sides of the equation.
I find that new puppy-owners tend to fall into two camps - those who expect too much too soon, and those who expect too little for too long.
Pet parents often don’t realize that effective dog training can be very hard work, and that behavior change in their dog will only come after behavior change in themselves. Doing anything well isn’t usually easy.
What I have learned over the years is that it often takes a really long time for a new behavior to become a habit. And sometimes it’s difficult for a dog training client to change their own habits to support their dog's new behaviors.
As a committed champion for oldies, and passionate collector of good books, when I spotted the release of one that celebrates the lives of senior canines, of course it had to find its way into my collection.
Although feline infectious peritonitis or FIP is called the most devastating disease in cats, Susan Gingrich is radiant about the future. Gingrich established the Bria Fund with the Winn Feline Foundation ten years ago, after her little Birman cat named Bria succumbed to the fatal disease.
If you are stuck in your own home for who knows how long, you'd likely go stir crazy pretty quickly. Yet so many people expect this exact scenario for their dogs.
There are few things that compare to the heartbreak of losing a dog. But what happens when it's not "your" dog, but rather a dog you saved from death days, months, or years ago?
Adoption events save lives. They're usually the driving force behind rescue groups and animal shelters reaching the community and finding adopters. But while they are great for finding new homes, adoption events can be very difficult for dogs.
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.
Anyone who loves or has loved a dog fiercely understands the intense loss when a person's dog passes away.We love fiercely and completely and we need to view that as enough and not feel regrets for what we might have done differently to have our dogs in our lives longer. Dog’s lives are precious but they are far too brief and grief is the price that we pay to have so much happiness in our lives.
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.
Or trainers. I can't clearly put this in any one person's lap. Let's back up and see where we are. First off, I am not going to identify the trainer(s), the dog, or the family. My purpose is not to belittle or attack anyone. Instead I want this to be a learning experience for other trainers and a warning to owners.