Dog Games

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

4 Dog Park Alternatives for You & Your Dog

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.

Is Your Dog Optimistic or Pessimistic?

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)?

Create Your Dog’s Security Zone Today

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.

“Reactive” dog? It’s time to turn struggle to strength!

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!

Tips For Decreasing Reactivity in a Competition Dog

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.

Don’t Overlook Your “Easy” Dog

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?

Can My Dog Be Stressed? [Part 2]

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

Can My Dog Be Stressed? [Part 1]

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&A: How Do I Stop My Dog’s Fixation on Our Guinea Pigs?

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

2017 UK Dog Bite Prevention & Behaviour Conference

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

Reactive Dog? Play The Cone Game (With Video)

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.

What Should I Do When My Dog REACTS?

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!

What is Arousal in Dogs and Why Should I Care?

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!

My dog can’t keep still – he’s wild all the time!

“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 …

Creating & Sticking to a Dog Training Plan

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.

Confessions of a Dog Trainer: I Have a Reactive Dog (Part 3)

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.

Play With Your Dog More in 2016

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.

Teaching Your Dog Calmness & Focus

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!

Is Your Dog Naughty But Nice?

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.

5 Ways to Celebrate the New Year with Your 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!

Forcing Hugs on Dogs Can Amount to Punishment

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.

5 Things Responsible Dog Owners Do

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.

Reality Check for Carers/Owners of Dogs with ‘Issues’

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

Hero Dog Nominee: Bretagne

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

Dog Beach and Park Summer Safety Tips

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

Reports of Dog Genocide in Sochi

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.

“Nanny Dog” Cares for Baby Animals

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

Appropriate Play With Your Dog

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

Dognition

Dognition is a user-friendly, scientifically-based online tool designed to identify the cognitive abilities and key personality traits in individual pet dogs while providing users ongoing support specifically tailored to their dog’s unique strong suits. It is the brainchild of Dr. Brian Hare, assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University and the driving force behind Read More