The researchers at Dognition are making all kinds of fascinating discoveries in dog cognition. One such discovery is an interesting connection between the strategies used by mixed breed dogs in comparison to those used by purebred dogs. Their research shows that purebred dogs rely more on their owner's pointing gestures, while mixed breed dogs rely more on their own memories.
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
We're very excited to share the news that full episodes of It's Me or the Dog are now available on YouTube via the @ItsMeOrTheDog channel. It's been quite a while since we broke ground on that series back in the early 2000's, and I never would've guessed that we'd end up shooting over 100 episodes and have the show airing in over 200 countries.
Improper elimination in the home stirs up lots of emotion in humans. Bafflement, anger, frustration, are a few that come to mind. But for some, the explanation that comes to mind is revenge on the part of the dog. Once this explanation enters our thoughts, it becomes our nature to defend our view. We create stories around other events that seem to confirm our perspective and it can be very difficult to unlearn what we think we know.
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
I am sick of seeing commercials, print ads and even suggestions made on pet food packaging itself, about caring for the wolf in your dog. There isn’t as much of the wolf in your dog, at least advertised. In fact, there is very little grey wolf in any domestic dog! Several studies, including one from PLOS Read More
Every responsible dog parent who walks their dog(s) in their own neighborhood has a mental list of houses that they strive to avoid. Either because a dog is alone in a fenced in yard barking like a fiend or because a dog is often loose (and unsupervised) in an unfenced or Invisible “Fenced” yard. Either Read More
It’s nothing to sneeze at, an outbreak of dog flu affecting at least 11 states. After inundating Chicago with flu and bouncing around the country in 2015 into 2016, the H3N2 virus, which arrived from Southeast Asia, took a lower profile. Last month, the virus appeared on radar, and in a big way. The epicenter Read More
We’ve all seen it. Person and dog are walking along the street. Dog spots another person or dog and goes ballistic. Barking, lunging, ducking and diving, in a flurry of teeth and claws, looking for all the world as if she wants to eat everyone in her path. Then we see the poor owner trying 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?
As a trainer I have helped many clients prepare for their coming baby, but in going through this myself, I have adjusted my expectations, and also what I will be teaching from now on.
We’re told as dog guardians that we need to be the "leader of the pack" and let our dogs know who runs the show. But, being a true “Leader” when it comes to our dogs may be very different than what you’ve been led to believe.
Here are some pointers for dog owners about finding a home that doesn’t create problems and some ideas to prevent barking if you already live in a house with an “un-dog-friendly” yard.
First of all, I’ve certainly never referred to myself as a ‘purely positive’ dog trainer, but I’ve heard many others – usually pretty vocal opponents of humane modern dog training – label me and others with that description. It seems to be somewhat of a dog training unicorn, in that there are those who still Read More
Does your reactive dog seem to be getting more fearful, anxious, or aggressive? Here are key strategies for change that you can put in place very easily.
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)?
Got a reactive dog? A fearful, anxious, or aggressive dog? A dog who barks and lunges at everything she sees? This is just for you!
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.
“Should I send previous clients thank you cards?” “How often should I send them?” “What should I say in a thank you card?” I often hear these questions from new or even experience dog trainers. While they are well intentioned, we can and should strive to create better ways of showing our support than a thank you card every once in a while.
You may ask, “Why is that fact in a dog training blog?” Good question. Even better answer coming.
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.
The holidays can be an exciting and festive time for humans, but for many dogs, they can be a cause of anxiety. It’s important not to forget your dog’s behavioral health during this time.
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.
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.
Breed bans do nothing to enhance public safety; they ignore the real reasons why dogs of any breed attack. So where there are breed restrictions and bans – bites happen anyway.
The other day I was taking my dogs to the park. One is a rescue that had been kept in a backyard and a crate for most of the first year of his life. He is high energy and came to me with no impulse control.
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 help modify dog behavior for a living have to try and not see things during the course of our daily life.
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
The right kind of exercise is helpful to your dog's mental health, and the wrong kind can be harmful.
Now that we're into the hotter temperatures of the summer months, think about how hot sidewalks and roads can get when you take your dog for a walk.
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.
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
The mysteries of walking nicely on the leash unravelled! With no nasty gadgets or shouting.
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