Playing games with your dog is beneficial to his physical and mental stimulation, and it's also a great way to connect with your dog and enrich a meaningful relationship even further. It is important, however, to ensure that you don't inadvertently exacerbate potentially hidden kernels of behavior issues, so be sure to follow the tips Read More
Looking for simple and fun indoor games for your dog? Check out this list of 10 easy games you can play inside to keep your dog entertained, exercised and busy.
It’s no secret that exercising your dog can lead to a happier and healthier pup – not to mention a quieter house and a happier you. The complication is that exercising your dog takes time and sometimes we struggle to find time to exercise ourselves. However, without safe and effective exercise, your dog can gain weight, risk costly injury, and tear apart the house in response to pent up energy.
Some pups would bark “bah humbug!” if they could. They just don’t appreciate the Christmas spirit.
It has been something of a thing recently in some corners of the dog training world to suggest that keeping an easily over-stimulated and/or reactive dog in his own home environment for a bit of time, along with enrichment toys, is a better idea than taking said dog out into the world to be walked. Read More
Does your dog really love going to the dog park? In some cases, the answer is yes! For highly social pups, the dog park can be a mostly fun and stress-free experience. But if you've noticed that your dog spends most of his time at the dog park glued to your side or pawing at the exit door, it's worth considering some other alternatives.
When presented with something new or slightly unusual, does your dog respond positively, presuming it to be good (optimism), or negatively, presuming it to be a bad thing (pessimism)?
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.
Naughty but nice dogs are often termed aggressive, reactive, angry, overconfident, EVIL - but - you know your dog isn’t any of those things really, they just need to be taught to make better choices and be happier about the things in their life! In fact, many of the things that NBN dogs do are often motivated by FEAR!
You may ask, “Why is that fact in a dog training blog?” Good question. Even better answer coming.
In the competition sport of agility, there are many variables to manage. When I created a behavior modification program for my own dog, here were some of the things I considered to help set him up for success.
Have you ever seen a parent in the supermarket with two children - one perfectly behaved, and one throwing a tantrum? Which one is typically getting the attention while the other stands quietly by?
Here is the second of three excerpts from my forthcoming book - Building Confidence in your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog - which points out an area which will be affecting your dog mightily. Read the first excerpt here. While you’re doing your best to improve the situation and you take a look at what may Read More
Those of us who have a reactive, anxious, or fearful dog, work very hard to make life easier for them (and us!). We try this idea and that technique, perhaps with distressingly little success. Some days our dog just seems worse! Here is the first of three excerpts from my next book - Building Confidence Read More
Q: I accidentally caught your radio show and enjoyed it thoroughly. As a psychologist, I am interested in behavior issues, and have an interesting question for you. Molly, our 13-year old Golden Retriever, is infatuated with the two Guinea pigs, who my son recently purchased. She’s so obsessed; we need to distract her to get her to eat. What’s this behavior about? Does she want to mother them? J. F., Chattanooga, TN
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
I often get asked what games should I play with my dog if they maybe lack confidence, are anxious or fearful or reactive or just need some fun injected into their lives. Well, the answer to all of those is something I call the cone game.
When we come across a situation our dog doesn’t like, there is a huge temptation to encourage interaction with that thing. It’s human nature to feel the need to FIX the problem. This is the worst thing to do!! Here are four tips to turn worry into confidence!
In the third and final part of this series, I will share some of the games I played that involved actual equipment, as well as the foundation equipment I used to build behaviors and understanding.
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!
What would it mean to you if you could give one call, and your dog zoomed in and arrived at your feet? Every time! Hard to imagine? Maybe. Possible? Most definitely! Fun? Very much so. (If it’s not fun, your dog won’t do it. So there’s lots of fun!) Little by little The problem is Read More
“He’s always leaping about like a mad thing,” Jan said, as her large young labrador Jimmy thudded her in the stomach with his paws and jumped to try and nip her nose. Jan dodged her face just out of his reach, so he resigned himself to scraping her arm and chewing her cuff. She squawked, waved her hands about, pushed and pulled, shouted …
I spent the first two articles of this three-part series talking about Tricky’s drive, what I did that caused her to lose it, and the things I did to build it back. Now I will talk about what I’ve done to keep it and suggestions to help others to do the same.
As promised, I am going to talk about some of the things I did that helped curb her reactivity towards other dogs. These are things I did in addition to handling exercises designed to keep Charlotte’s attention on me AND the behavior modification to help her feel differently about dogs.
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.
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.
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!
A Naughty But Nice (NBN) dog is exactly how it sounds - they are nice, beautiful, loveable dogs underneath but sometimes they make bad choices! Over the following blog posts, i’ll share with you 5 tips to focus on in training, living with and enjoying your NBN dog.
Parties and other celebrations can be overwhelming and ultimately fail to meet expectations. However, our dogs never disappoint us when we chose to spend time with them. So today I would like to share with you 5 ways you can ring in the New Year with your dog!
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.
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.
As a pet parent, I feel like there is nothing more fun than celebrating your dog’s gotcha day or birthday. Therefore, I put together a list of fun ways to help you celebrate.
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.
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.
LOSING HEART Why do so many clients with fearful or reactive dogs, who often have started off so well, lose heart? The reason is because they just don’t fully accept the time and work that changing fear-based or guarding behaviors in particular can take. Teaching people is the easy bit. A large part of my Read More
Bretagne is a nominee for the 2014 American Hero Dog Award. As a former search and rescue dog in Cypress, Texas, Bretagne worked through several tragedies and now serves as an ambassador for search and rescue dogs. CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE 2014 AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION HERO DOG AWARD! Here's Bretagne's story: "Over her long career, Bretagne has Read More
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
Sickening reports are surfacing that just days before the Olympic torch is to be lit signifying the hope of a peaceful world community and enlightened relationships among people of all races, nationalities, colors and sizes, authorities in Sochi have hired a 'pest control' firm to exterminate the apparently huge numbers of stray dogs in the area.
There's a new kind of nanny in town, and he walks on four legs. An Australian Shepherd named Blakely is a special part of the Cincinnati Zoo's nursery. When baby animals at the zoo need extra attention or can't be properly cared for by their mother, they come to the nursery to grow, play, and Read More
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