“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” In the film ‘The Blues Brothers,’ Aretha Franklin sings about her need for some respect. The words of the song are as applicable today in human relationships as they were then, but what does the word actually mean?
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
Aggressive dogs. What a trigger topic for so many! Humans, as a species, are so often attracted to danger. You see it in our hobbies and our choices of heroes. For many dog lovers there is so often nothing more attractive than an aggressive dog. This scenario not only appeals to our nurturing instinct, but Read More
There are many hot button issues in the dog world that cause spirited conversations and disagreements, including what training methods you should use and when you should or shouldn’t use words such as ‘dominance’ and ‘pack.’
But I bet that most of you knew that already. The dogs who live in fear or with anxiety, over people/things/animals that they see in the environment, are reveling in the fact that there are far fewer people who are trying to be up close and personal with them now. Their owners probably feel the 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
Be a leader. Not a phrase that you would expect to be uttered by a positive dog trainer, right? We spend so much time preaching about how to listen to your dog, give your dog choices, respect who your dog is, that it’s unexpected that I should be talking about leadership. It’s the elephant in Read More
Knowledge in all forms seems to wax and wane according to the dynamics of the times that we live in. This is consistent on all subjects but in particular, with dog behavior knowledge. We have come so far with an understanding of dog behavior and how to modify it, yet old school techniques and thought Read More
“Could he not SEE that my dog was upset?” “My dog was on leash and under control - it was his dog that was out of control!” “Why, oh why, do people let their ‘friendly’ dogs invade the space of my fearful, reactive dog, and then blame me for being a useless dog-owner with Read More
Since when does “just a minute” only apply to humans? We dogs say it too, except when we do, you humans get angry. You let us off the rope thing to go run around and play and then you ask us to come back at the most inconvenient of times, just when we are having the best fun – playing with other dogs or chasing small fluffies. When we don’t respond, you get mad and tell us how bad we are, but apparently you don’t understand that when we hear our name, look back at you and then continue with our game, we’re also saying “just a minute”. By the way…..how long is a minute?
Those of us who help modify dog behavior for a living have to try and not see things during the course of our daily life.
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
As a society, humans revel in their ability to make choices. We make them every day, many times a day. Cream or sugar or both? Hot or iced? Shower or bath? Do you want fries with that? Walk this path or hike that trail? TV or book? Cable or Netflix? We decide what time we Read More
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.
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.
I've been asked many times, "Why deaf dogs?" and it's a good question. In searching for the right words, I’ve been thinking a lot about my deaf dog Edison and the deep connection I feel with him.
You know that life for your newly adopted dog has just taken a turn for the better, but your dog needs you to demonstrate it for her. Here are a few tips for helping to make the transition from shelter dog to a adored member of your family.
I often find that people think using the word "cue" instead of "command" in dog training is just a semantic difference that doesn't have any implication on the training process. I disagree.
Any additions and changes to a routine can add a layer of stress that creates a reaction that is not typical of the dog in question.
If you're thinking about adding a deaf dog to the family, or you already have, you will find that there is very limited information on the internet for you. A lot of it is conflicting and confusing. One site will tell you something, and another will say the complete opposite. So what is true and what is false?
At a meeting about breed-specific legislation, I was struck by one very obvious conclusion. Not only does my opinion on Breed Specific Legislation not matter, neither does the opinion of anyone else.
When it comes down to it, the most common explanations for dog bites are either related to fear (perhaps as a result of a lack of socialization) or resource guarding, such as dogs guarding their toys, food or property.
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.
When we hug our dogs we are sending out our affection and sharing our love. What we are giving out isn’t necessarily what the dog is receiving. To a dog, a hug is very bad canine etiquette, pushy behavior associated with establishing social status, an invasion of space, threatening.
A guide to Doggy Daycare. How to choose a safe, fun, behaviorally sound, doggy daycare so your dog will have a Positively good time!
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.
Scenario: A pleasant neighborhood on a sunny day, we observe a human and her dog taking a walk together. All of a sudden, the dog strains on leash, barking and lunging. The human tries to calm the dog down to no avail. She keeps looking around and sees nothing that should make her dog react Read More
In episode 3 of 'Arson Dogs,' we learn more about Roman Ray, Arson Investigator with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office. Roman was paired with black labrador 'Billy,' and the pair had an instant connection that was captured on camera. Find out what Roman and Billy are up to today, and find out how Roman Read More
If you’ve ever had a leash reactive dog, you know the feeling of dread that I had before going on a walk. Learn how I stopped my dog's leash aggression--positively.
Dogs and children can make great companions, and children can learn a lot about responsibility by caring for the family dog. At the same time, there is an alarming increase in the number of dog bites in certain parts of the world. Most victims of those bites are from dogs the children know. Why are Read More
Positive training does not only work on small dogs with minor obedience issues – it is also by far the most effective way to treat severe anxiety and so called ‘red zone’ aggression cases. (The term ‘red zone’ has become synonymous when describing severely aggressive or reactive dogs.) On It’s Me or the Dog, her 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
We all have fears. Every single person has them, even the toughest of the tough and the baddest of the bad. We're supposed to have fears, it's what allows us as a species to survive. The problem is that many of us are mocked, or worse, for our fears, which only begets a higher level of fear or creates new ones. However, if we had the opportunity to work with someone we TRUST, who could TEACH us how to CHANGE our perception of what we fear, we could lessen or overcome that fear, thereby ENJOYING life even more.
Even though I spent a good portion of my younger years around horses, I don’t know them as well as I know dogs. Dogs have been my life’s work, while horses were my hobby, but while I was out west spending so much time on horseback, I found myself wondering how the relationship between human and horse differs to that of a human and domestic dog, if at all.
Everyone knows I use positive reinforcement in my dog training. You’re probably sick of hearing me go on about it. But an issue that comes up more frequently than you might think is the idea of using positive reinforcement in the human side of dog training – and let’s be honest, the human aspect is the biggest part. The dogs are usually pretty easy – it’s the humans that need the most help!
Check your ego at the door! EGO, this funny little word has such a huge affect on people, it changes people for the worse. When working with animals you cannot have an “ego” of any kind. Animals know, they can feel the kind of love and energy your putting off and when ego gets involved Read More
There are over 78 million owned dogs in the U.S., and 39% of all American households include at least one dog. This Sunday, August 26th, is National Dog Day, giving many of those dogs and the people that love them reason to celebrate. As someone who has dedicated my life to helping people build healthy relationships with their pets based on mutual trust, respect and love, I have one of the best seats in the house on days like this and I honestly believe that I have one of the best jobs in the world.