No Jumping

Dogs jump for many reasons. Don’t we like to see people’s faces when we say hello? Jumping while greeting is a great way for a dog to get your attention. Some dogs will jump from sheer excitement. Ever feel so excited that you just want to leap around? Excitement produces physical energy and this energy Read More

“No” Is Not Enough Information

I like to call no a "place holder". A "place holder" cue should be something we can use to interrupt a behavior...until we gather our wits and give the dog a cue that replaces the behavior with something better or at least something incompatible.

Help! My Puppy is Deaf. What Now?

Ultimately, what I’ve realized is that living with and training a deaf dog isn’t harder, it’s just different. Here are a few tips to help new deaf dog pet parents get started. I hope these help ease your anxiety and fears during this transition.

Canine Noise Phobia Series

The Canine Noise Phobia Series (CNP) is a 4-CD compilation of specialized audio recordings and innovative training protocols specifically designed to reduce and prevent noise phobias and anxiety in dogs. “In my work as a dog trainer both on TV and in private practice over the past 15 years, I have seen countless dogs suffer Read More

Jumping

Most dogs jump on people because they are excited and it is an effective means of getting attention, but some dogs jump because they feel uneasy when someone new comes through the door, and jumping is an effective way to cope with that discomfort. Regardless, it is an unacceptable behavior for any dog, and, luckily, Read More

In Honor of Lucy…

Call it the human condition.  We often  take the ones we love most for granted.  Until she was gone, perhaps I never quite appreciated how wonderful our little dog Lucy was.  However, there are many who do – and likely will never forget the joy Lucy brought to their lives. “Wha hoo” says Lucy, our Read More

Extinction: Bad for Dinosaurs, Good for Canine Behavior

The dictionary offers a few definitions for the word “extinction.” The first is, “the death or ceasing to exist of all members of a species or family of organisms.” That describes what happened to our hapless prehistoric friends. The one that applies to canine behavior is, “the decreasing or dying out of a behavioral response Read More

How To Read Your Senior Dog’s Body Language During Walks

You may think that as you’ve had your dog for most, if not all their life, you would know them inside out and be able to predict their behaviour in any situation. That may be perfectly true. However, there are certain things to consider as your dog ages and how this can affect how he Read More

Food Issues

Follow a positive trainer around for a few days and you will quickly come to realize that we humans have food issues. Of course he is doing what you ask. You have food in your hand! (As in, I am paying you for this?) You’re sure giving a lot of treats. (Usually said in a Read More

Talking Thresholds

Talking Thresholds When working with clients, dog trainers often refer to “thresholds”. This is a common term in behavior modification work when addressing anxiety, fear, aggression, and stress levels. It is also relevant in learning situations, such as a dog park, a group class or an agility seminar. What does it mean? “Threshold” refers to Read More

Your new puppy – 9 steps to get it right from the start

“I wonder if I’ve done the wrong thing … Perhaps I’m not capable of looking after a dog.” I don’t know exactly what had caused such a devastating loss of confidence in what 30was clearly a capable individual. But Gwen voiced a sentiment I come across from time to time. Her family had left home Read More

What It Means To Be Your Dog’s Leader

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.

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)?

Positively Dog Training Episode 606

Victoria and Holly are gearing up for the holiday season, and chat about how the stress of the holidays affects both people and their pets. Victoria gives some tips for keeping your dogs happy and healthy over the holidays, and the pair chats about their thoughts on when one person tells them they prefer one of their 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

Why I Train Without Force

If we love our animals, why do people find it acceptable to cause them pain or fear just for the sake of ‘training’?

Why You Should Consider Adopting a Guinea Pig

Pet guinea pigs can bond as closely to their owners as cats and dogs. March is Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month – so if you’re thinking of a new pet, why not consider rescuing a rodent in need?

Losing a Cat to Heart Disease

I had a cat named Ricky who suddenly collapsed as a result of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in 2002. HCM is by far the most common cause of sudden death in cats, and is the most common heart disease in cats.

Yes!

People with challenging dogs that seem to be constantly up to mischief don’t need any in-depth training course. It is really quite simple to make a huge difference. Just constantly look for, and reward, every little bit of behaviour that you like. That’s it.

Why Rewarding Behaviors Works

If your dog does something, and then gets something he enjoys directly after doing that thing, he is very likely to do it again. This is what is referred to as Positive Reinforcement. Using this system appropriately can come in very handy for teaching your dog what you’d like him to do. Unfortunately the same Read More

Positively Success Story: Paisley

First off, thank you so very much for being a ray of light in such a dark world of training methods. I'm 20 , and I've had dogs my whole life, Boxers. So when I decided to get a dog of my own, it had to be a Boxer. To me, it's just not home Read More

You Can’t Fool the Dog: Kids Are Litter Mates

Some trainers (or television personalities) will tell you that you can teach your dog that your 6 year old is a “Pack Leader”. For the love of kibbles and bits! It’s good to help your child learn to give cues to the dog. Teaching a simple hand signal for sit is a great way for Read More

The Truth About Pit Bulls

With the amount of fear mongering that exists currently regarding pit bull-type dogs, I feel it's important to publish the truth about these dogs. Although most dogs labeled as pit bulls are actually a mix of different breeds with similar physical characteristics, anything that has the appearance of an American Pitbull Terrier is incorrectly labeled as Read More

Mr. Licks-A-Lot

   Do you live with a Mr. Licks-A-Lot? You know what I mean - a dog who, for reasons that he is not readily sharing, will suddenly and obsessively begin to lick the floor, the couch, the wall? Note that I am not referring to the dog who licks you, a behavior that usually communicates appeasement, affection, or in some cases, Read More

The Crossover Child

I have often wondered which side I would take in the greatest historical injustices throughout history. Would I have been for slavery or against it? Would I have fought for civil equality or against it? If I had grown up in an upbringing that encouraged immorality, would I have gone with the social norm or Read More

Rescue Dog Watches Over Girl During Surgery

One little girl had a four-legged guardian angel watching over her as she underwent kidney surgery. 7-year-old Kaelyn Krawczyk was born with mast cell activation disorder, which causes her to have reactions ranging from mild discomfort to life-threatening symptoms when she gets too hot, too cold, or stressed. Her service dog, 2-year-old rescue dog JJ, Read More

The Truth About Pit Bulls

Every dog has their own set of personality traits that make them unique, so you cannot predict a dog’s behavior solely on its breed type. There are many myths surrounding bully breed dogs or 'bullies,' that instill fear in the general public and can cause devastating misunderstandings. Bully breed dogs, such as pit bull type Read More

Introducing Dog To New Baby

Bringing home a new baby to a household with an existing dog (or dogs) should be done with great care and a good amount of foresight. Too often, new parents are so consumed with the needs and exhilaration of the new baby that they overlook the impact that this new tiny, loud, smelly creature may Read More

Flyball

Flyball is fast, furious and fun! This sport is a relay race between two teams of four dogs each. One at a time, each dog runs down a lane of four hurdles, retrieves a tennis ball from a special spring board box, runs back to the start over the hurdles and then the next dog Read More

Dock Diving

Dock diving is a fun and exciting dog sport in which dogs compete in jumping for the greatest distance or height from a dock into a body of water. The sport started in the late 1990’s and has become increasingly popular in the US. There are several different variations of the sport. One form of Read More

Dog Sports

Dog sports are a great way to bond with your dog and give your canine companion exercise and mental stimulation. From the unbridled fun of dock diving to the quirkier but thrilling sport of skijoring, dog sports offer a fantastic opportunity to build and enhance the unique relationship we share with man's best friend in Read More

Introducing Puppy to Equipment

A puppy’s paws can be very sensitive so teaching him to walk on different pieces of equipment, surfaces and terrain will help him gain confidence when walking in all kinds of environments. This is something that people don’t often think about for their puppies, but becomes an issue when puppy decides to put on the Read More