Whether it’s from trick or treaters, visiting relatives, or the other flurries of activity that come with the holiday season, a reactive dog is dealing with lots more stress during the holidays. Here are a few ways to promote relaxation and calm with your dog.
This is a great cue to teach your dog because it not only requires a stationary body position but also promotes a positive emotional response. Asking your dog to relax on cue helps in situations where you need your dog to be calm and comfortable. This cue should not be used to force a calm Read More
A new study led by biologist Ana Catarina Viera de Castro of the Universidae do Porto in Portugal reveals that shouting at dogs and using punitive methods to train them does short and long term damage, while using reward based methods yields better results both for learning and emotional health.
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.
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.
I lived with a Labrador. She was a hungry hound who was on a constant mission to find food wherever and whenever she could get it. When she reached the grand old age of 16 I thought her food obsession might diminish a little, but it remained as strong as ever.
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
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
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
We resolve to remember, if only for a moment, to observe and appreciate the joy our dogs bring us simply by being alive.
Some pups would bark “bah humbug!” if they could. They just don’t appreciate the Christmas spirit.
No one wants their pets to feel afraid – even on Halloween. The good news is that you can do something about it, which is what the international Fear Free initiative is all about.
Here’s everything you want to know but didn’t want to ask about the dog penis.
It has been something of a thing recently in some corners of the dog training world to suggest that keeping an easily over-stimulated and/or reactive dog in his own home environment for a bit of time, along with enrichment toys, is a better idea than taking said dog out into the world to be walked. Read More
To Walk, or Not To Walk – It’s Not Even A Question Is It? All responsible dog owners walk their dogs once/twice/for two hours/three hours/45 minutes… per day. Everyone knows this, it’s what responsible owners do. But have we sometimes lost track of what purpose a walk actually fulfills – I think we frequently have. Read More
Here’s why… Your puppy is a product of its parents’ genes. These provide the blueprint for appearance, temperament and behavior. This is why a Jack Russell looks and acts like a Jack Russell, and a Labrador looks and acts like a Labrador. If you want a dog that will look and act like a Labrador, you Read More
There is no lack of division in the dog world; training methodologies, training tools, cropping and docking, spaying and neutering are but a few potentially explosive topics. Complementary therapies however, are way up on the list of hot buttons to discuss. One person mentions something that even *might* fall into that category and everyone else 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
Family dog shows can be wonderful events to attend. They are great places to meet up with friends, spend time around lots of other dogs, show your own dog off and hopefully win some rosettes. Some dogs really enjoy these events and walk round the show ring with a relaxed body, bright eyes and a Read More
Imagine being hung half way out a window by your suspenders 30 stories up, or being held up at gunpoint. That’s actually how I believe many of our pets feel at the vet office, or even before they arrive, as they realize that’s where they’re headed and fear begins to ramp up.
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.
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!
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.
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 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
Sundowner Syndrome, a disorder that can affect older dogs with dementia, causes anxiety and other behavioral issues that get worse toward the end of the day.
Today is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day! Some cat parents out there might be wondering why they need to be reminded to take their cat to the vet. Doesn’t everyone take their cat to the vet regularly?
Have you noticed that there are times when your dog can't respond to a cue that is normally easy? It may be the environment is different or too distracting. Or, it may be you.
Many dog trainers and behaviorists use counter-conditioning and desensitization as part of a behavior modification program. The average dog owner often has no idea what this means.
To help people fully grasp the mechanics of desensitization, I often use the analogy of learning how to swim. In other words, "Start in the shallow end!"
Sometimes owning a reactive dog is just plain hard. The idea of getting up and taking a walk in the mornings, when I know I might end up with a whirling dervish instead of a dog at the end of my leash, makes me want to stay home under the covers, safe in bed. However, Read More
“He’s always leaping about like a mad thing,” Jan said, as her large young labrador Jimmy thudded her in the stomach with his paws and jumped to try and nip her nose. Jan dodged her face just out of his reach, so he resigned himself to scraping her arm and chewing her cuff. She squawked, waved her hands about, pushed and pulled, shouted …
There’s nothing like vacationing with your dog! My focus in this blog will be on dog behavior and the things you can do to support having a great pet-friendly trip.
Raising my puppy has been hard work. It has also been well worth the effort.
In part one of this blog series, I introduced you to what a “Naughty But Nice” dog is and shared with you the first tip to training and living harmoniously with them! Now, the next tip - calmness!
Are you guilty of letting your friendly dog jump all over other dogs? Or perhaps you daren't let your dog near others because he's not friendly? Here are some solutions for you.
While crates and pet seatbelts are important safety products that can help your dog in a car accident, most pet-related emergencies are caused by unruly behaviors displayed by untrained, uneducated dogs. Road trips with your dog can be a ton of fun if they know some important life-saving behaviors like these.
Dogs have around 700 muscles in their bodies. All movement in the body is caused by muscles contracting and relaxing. So it is no surprise that from time to time these muscles get injured!
There are many wonderful resources for you to read about whether bringing home a puppy over the holidays is a responsible choice for your family. This article is meant to help you make good choices once you have already decided to bring a new dog home for the holidays.
I have been seeing too many people misinterpreting a dog’s communication resulting in confused and worried dogs, frustrated humans, and sometimes even a dog bite.