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.
So often we hear that 'bad dogs’ or 'aggressive dogs’ growl. 'Nice dogs’ don't growl, surely? Well, that's a bit like saying that only 'bad' people shout in frustration when someone drives inconsiderately and nearly causes an accident or only 'aggressive' people have disagreements with their partners/ family. For some reason, it’s considered normal and Read More
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
First of all, I have certainly never referred to myself as a ‘purely positive’ dog trainer, but I have heard many others – usually pretty vocal opponents of humane modern dog training – label me and others with that description.
“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?
Do you have a dog that becomes restless in certain situations? Does she bark, whine, urinate, defecate, or vocalize inappropriately? Does she excessively lick herself, spin in circles or chase her tail? Does she jump up at you or other people, lunge towards other dogs or run up and down the perimeter of your fence?
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
Every dog lover uses labels to describe their dog’s personality – my dog is ‘aggressive’, ‘stupid’ ‘highly driven,’ ‘lazy,’ ‘stubborn,’ ‘happy,’ or ‘dominant,’ but labels can be misleading and limit a dog’s potential.
I’m a dog lover and I want everyone to be as passionate about these amazing animals as I am. I would also like to take my dogs with me to more places, and I believe if people were a little more responsible, dogs might be accepted in more public areas than are currently allowed.
As the modern dog’s role continues to evolve from that of working dog to companion animal, there is more pressure on all dogs to cope and behave well in an increasingly busy human world.
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.
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