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
Finding the right food to feed your dog has never been more difficult. Ironically, this is because we live in an era when we have never had so much to choose from in the dog food aisle. Manufacturers both giant and small are producing more and more variations of foods theoretically targeted at everything from Read More
The door is the epicenter of some common nuisance behaviors in dogs, particularly door dashing and unwanted barking. With positive training and a little patience, these are both behaviors that can be improved and potentially eliminated. Door Dashing Door dashing is a very common behavior that can have obvious dangerous consequences. The first step in Read More
In my holistic veterinary practice, I’m continually striving to educate my clients that by feeding their pets "nutritionally complete and balanced" dry or canned food, they may be involuntarily providing a daily dose of toxins that otherwise unlikely to appear in foods consumed by humans. With this knowledge, I challenge them really consider why they are feeding pet foods containing “feed-grade” ingredients in the first place.
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
A trainer’s most important job is to help people live harmoniously with their dogs and sometimes the only thing that is needed to create harmony is effective management.
The Human-Animal Bond is the connection between a human and a pet and includes the development of emotional attachment to that pet, with genuine feelings of affection and a sense of responsibility for their well-being.
The benefits of good exercise for dogs and people are well known. Exercise improves physical fitness and releases endorphins and opioids in the brain, promoting an overall feeling of wellbeing.
If you live with a dog that displays aggressive behavior (lunging, growling, or even biting), using management to keep everyone safe is the first priority, along with a good behavior modification plan. What Is Management? One of my favorite descriptions of management is from the book “Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0: New Practical Techniques for Fear, Read More
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
What is Resource Guarding Resource guarding (also known as 'possession aggression') is behavior a dog may display in order to control access to a valued item or space. A valued resource includes anything of value to that particular dog. Just as people value different items, so do dogs. A dog may feel the need to Read More
The difference between mouthing and biting It is not at all uncommon for puppies to use their mouths in nearly everything they do. This behavior is called 'mouthing' and is a completely normal part of development. Though this is very similar to biting, the intention is different. Distinguishing between the two is very important. Why Read More
Possession behaviors, also known as “resource guarding”, is a natural survival behavior that all animals display, including humans. These behaviors can be normal and mild, but they can escalate and become quite dangerous if not addressed appropriately.
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
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
How to be prepared for natural disasters with your pet, what happens to dogs rescued from dogfighting rings, how to help your dog want to go out for walks, how to get your dog back inside after potty breaks, stopping barking in shelter dogs, and whether to adopt littermates into a single household.
I spend much of my time as a trainer working with young puppies. They’re little sponges, absorbing every bit of information we send their way – both good and bad. You’ll hear the same puppy training advice over and over: make sure to socialize your puppy, start potty training immediately, and the like. But in Read More
It’s understandable that people in the dog training world get so agitated when the word “dominance” is mentioned, even when used in the right context. The idea of dominance in dogs has been so misunderstood by some trainers in popular media for so long that it has now become a dirty word, such that even when trainers and behavior experts use the word correctly, they risk a backlash from people that are – let’s face it - exhausted from having to continually reeducate the public about what dominance really is and what it isn’t, particularly when so much damage has been done because of the way the word has been used by some people in the dog training world.
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 it possible that that today’s elephant species – long persecuted by man – will one day go the way of the mastodon? Sadly, the answer is yes.
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.
Feral cats aren’t a new issue; they existed for thousands of years – likely since the domestication of cats somewhere between 5,300 to 9,000 years ago.
Planning in dog training is an important skill to master; this skill applies to basic life skills, to obedience, to behaviour modification and also fun tricks.
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
Those of us who work professionally with dog behavior cannot turn off our skills. Sometimes the things that we see make us twitch and want to intervene.
Desensitisation and counter conditioning are valuable skills to use with fearful dogs and great care must be taken when using these tools in order to make sure that we don’t push dogs beyond their limits, making their fears worse
It’s Because of You that We Need to Drink For some pretty obvious reasons, living with a deaf dog is different than living with a hearing dog. Communication is an important example. Humans instinctively depend on our voice to communicate but since our deaf dogs can’t hear us, we forge ahead and learn to use Read More
I thought I knew how to train dogs. Then I adopted a Terrier/Chihuahua mix puppy and named her…..Tricky! People warned me when I named her Tricky, jokingly and affectionately telling me she would likely embody the name I gave her. They weren’t kidding.
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.
The "pack leader" label just won’t seem to die a natural death. Instead of analyzing why people are so attached to being pack leaders, I decided it would be easier for me to uncover why I dislike it so much. Here is my interview with myself.
“We’re now discovering loss of kidney function in lots of middle aged cats before the cat becomes sick. This is extremely important to potentially slow the disease progression and help us to monitor kidney loss.”
There is only so much you can address behaviorally in a shelter environment, and it takes very committed people working together to make the biggest impact.
With a little commonsense and mindfulness, our cats can enjoy summer as much as we do. There’s nothing like a cat on a lap to help us slow down to smell the roses. Have a safe, happy and healthy summer!
Adopting a dog? Work in animal rescue? This is the ultimate guide for adopting a dog and successfully and safely acclimating that dog to your family and home.
Depending on what geographical location you are in, you may or may not think highly of your local Animal Control Officer.
The primary form of communication for dogs is body language. It is important that you learn more about this language, especially if you are caring for senior dogs, in order to understand their changing needs.
I recently became the proud owner of a 10 week old Border Collie. Having had two previous Border Collies that passed away at the age of 14 I surmised I was savvy enough to do it again. The reality of my decision bit me pretty hard!
For many of us, an official "Love Your Pet Day" might seem a little unnecessary. We love our pets every day! But every year on February 20th, Love Your Pet Day serves as a little reminder to give our beloved pets some special attention.