Potty Problems

One of the most difficult challenges a dog owner may have to deal with is a problem with their dog’s potty training. From potty training an adult dog to dealing with marking or submissive urination, there are all kinds of potty problems that you might be facing with your dog. The first thing to do Read More

Puppy Health Problems

Puppies are highly vulnerable to disease and other health issues. Every puppy parent should be aware of the most common health problems to affect dogs in their infancy. Parvovirus Parvo is a highly contagious virus that is potentially fatal for puppies, especially if not caught and treated immediately. Symptoms include lethargy, depression, diarrhea, vomiting, and sudden Read More

Preventing Behavior Problems

The wonderful thing about positive training is that when used correctly and at the beginning of a dog’s life, it can prevent all kinds of common behavioral problems from ever developing. If you are about to bring home a new puppy, you have the opportunity to get started on the right track by utilizing positive Read More

Behavior Problems

While nuisance behaviors like barking, jumping, and nipping can be troublesome, they generally do not carry the same damaging potential of some more serious behavior problems like aggression and separation anxiety. If you have a dog that suffers from a more severe behavioral issue, the best thing you can do is to avoid the use Read More

Nuisance Behaviors

Dogs can bring so much joy and happiness to people’s lives, but they also have the potential to wreak major havoc. Lack of training and socialization, pent up energy, and stress can all cause a dog to act out and engage in various nuisance behaviors. From potty problems to chewing, and nipping, there are a Read More

The Importance of Remembering That You Are Only Human

Through my work as a trainer and behaviour consultant I work with a lot of dogs. I also work with lots of humans, more humans than dogs, as most dogs have several humans in their lives. I have spent time sharpening my people skills and feel that I do a good job of making people Read More

Consider the Source

Before I started my career as a dog trainer, I studied broadcast journalism in college. I remember one of my professors constantly repeating the phrase "consider the source." That phrase has stuck with me throughout the years, and I've found it to be quite relevant to my work as a trainer. 

No Need to Declaw

Saving cats claws may also save their lives. There’s increasing data to demonstrate that once declawed, cats wind up at animal shelters due to behavioral problems. Or they may wind up in animal shelters because they do have their claws and are scratching in all the wrong places. To declaw remains an emotional issue, and Read More

Reality Check: Nine Things That Your Dog Wants You to Understand

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

Positively Dog Training Episode 703

What’s the real reason so many people won’t adopt rescue dogs, and what happens when fosters or adoptions don’t go well? Also, a discussion about ‘foster failures’, bullied dogs, dogs that don’t like kids, dogs that lean on guests, and dogs that won’t potty outside.

Train Proactively Instead of Reactively

The problem I frequently observe is that people train reactively instead of proactively. Clients call after a serious behavior issue already exists. Understandably, clients want to know how to stop the dog from doing something they don’t like.

What To Do When a Dog Hates Being Contained

Some dogs may whine, cry, or bark in the crate, while others may go so far as causing real damage to a crate or a room. This type of behavior is often attributed to separation anxiety. But is that always the issue? Here are some training tips for dogs that don't do well being contained.

How To Change How A Dog Feels About Scary Stuff: Step Two

Many dogs are constantly scared and startled by objects or events in their environment. Sometimes we have control over those things, often we don’t, but we can still help the dog learn to feel better, safer and more comfortable, around them.

The Post-Puppy Panic

Feeling overwhelmed after bringing home a new puppy? I'm going to call this phenomenon the "post-puppy panic."

Medical Before Behavioral

When veterinary behaviorists and well-schooled trainers are attempting to understand a behavioral issue, they will always be thinking "medical before behavioral". Why, you ask? Well, because our dogs are just like us. When we are uncomfortable or in pain, we tend to behave less appropriately then we might otherwise. Same for our pups.

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

Paper Training

Paper training is a highly effective and popular way to housetrain puppies. When done correctly, paper training teaches the puppy to eliminate on progressively smaller areas of paper (or training pads) until you are able to direct the puppy to specific areas where you want him to toilet. For some rural or suburban households, this 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

Incontinence

Many dogs eventually develop issues with bladder control. More commonly referred to as 'urinary incontinence', this can be a bothersome yet easily-treated problem. No matter the red flags it may raise for the owners, it is imperative that veterinary assistance be sought for this issue. Urinary incontinence can be caused by many factors, including: Urinary Read More

Spay/Neuter

Whether or not to have a dog spayed (removing the ovaries and uterus) or neutered (removing the testicles) is an important decision you must make with the help of your veterinarian and the collective advice of other animal care professionals. There are many different opinions when it comes to spaying and neutering, and some people Read More

Hot Weather Tips

Dogs generally do not tolerate the heat well. While the warm summer months can be fun for humans and dogs alike, it is important to keep your dog from getting overheated. Regardless of the size or breed of dog, you should never leave any dog outside for extended periods in the heat. Top 10 Tips Read More

Shelter vs Breeder

One of the biggest decisions you will make is whether to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group or buy a puppy from a breeder. Please choose not to support pet stores by purchasing a puppy from them – learn more about pet stores and puppy mills. If you have already decided you Read More

Crate Training

Crate training is a popular way of encouraging puppies to hold themselves for longer periods of time and of keeping them safe when unsupervised. Used correctly, a crate becomes a favorite place for sleeping and/or quiet time but keeping a puppy or a dog in a crate for too long can also inadvertently encourage them Read More

Puppy Housetraining

Successful housetraining is one of the first things parents of a new puppy need to accomplish, and even though the process can be time-consuming, it does not have to be daunting. With a combination of consistency, common sense, and positive reinforcement protocols, you can quickly train any puppy to toilet appropriately. There are a number Read More

Baby Crying Phobia

Just as the cries of a new baby may make a new parent anxious, they often have the same effect on dogs. This can cause anxiety-related behaviors such as chewing, toileting accidents, and sometimes aggressive behavior. There are things you can do, however, to minimize the stress your dog feels when your baby cries. How Read More

Light Chasing

Some dogs become fixated on lights, reflections and shadows, especially those with high chase or prey drive. Light and shadow chasers often begin their obsession with shadows or reflections as a fun game that relieves boredom.   The best way to modify this behavior is to redirect your dog onto more positive pastimes. How Can I Read More

Fly Snapping

Interestingly, some dogs appear to watch and bite at imaginary flies in front of their faces – a behavior particularly prevalent among German Shepherds and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. There are a number of suspected causes for this behavior, including partial epileptic seizures, hallucinations, and, in Cavaliers, a devastating disease called syringomyelia. How Can I Read More

Spinning & Tail Chasing

Displacement behaviors such as spinning and tail chasing normally occur as an occasional response to a stressful episode. These behaviors become obsessive, however, when they occur in other environments and situations without a particular event that triggers the behavior. How Can I Stop My Dog from Spinning or Tail Chasing? In most cases, an increase Read More

Licking

Some dogs are prone to compulsive self-grooming on a particular area of the body, causing wounds to form and making them hard to heal. This is called acral lick dermatitis or lick granuloma, but licking can also occur on objects or other materials and is usually a displacement behavior that helps relieve a dog’s boredom Read More

Predatory Behavior

Unlike other manifestations of aggressive type behavior, predatory behavior is not emotionally driven and is largely influenced by genetics. While aggression serves to increase distance, predatory behavior serves to decrease distance as quickly as possible. Many domestic dogs are skilled hunters and have been bred to exhibit certain parts of the 'predatory sequence.' Sighthounds such Read More

Territorial Aggression

It is very common for dogs to instinctively guard resources that are important to them including food, toys, beds and people. 'Territorial aggression' addresses a similar need, but on a much larger scale, and often occurs along boundaries of territory that the dog lives in, such as a yard or home. Dogs that are territorial Read More

Leash Aggression

Leash lunging, leash reactivity and leash aggression are all behaviors that are caused by a dog feeling restrained, frustrated and uncomfortable in a social situation while attached to a leash. In normal circumstances, an unleashed dog would be able to put sufficient distance between himself and a fear source. But if the same dog is Read More

Fear Aggression

When a dog feels threatened by something, the first and safest option for the dog is to run away from the threat. This is called the 'flight response.' If the dog is unable to put sufficient distance between himself and the threat, the only other options left are to either submit in the hope the Read More

Dog/Dog Aggression

Dog-to-dog aggression is a common occurrence and one that causes extreme stress for dogs and owners. Multi-dog households frequently experience some kind of 'sibling' rivalry with short squabbles and disagreements, but these are usually mild and happen infrequently enough to maintain a comfort level that allows for everyone to live safely and peacefully. If violence Read More

Dog/Human Aggression

Dog-to-human aggression can be unpredictable and dangerous, especially when there is an extensive history of aggressive behavior. Dog bites account for a large number of hospital admissions each year and cost insurance companies millions in claims. While most dogs live in harmony with their families, dogs of all breeds and breed mixes have the capacity Read More