All too often, dog owners misread the language of dogs interacting with one another. Whether it's incorrectly defining innocent play as dangerous fighting or taking too lightly what is actually aggressive behavior, it is important to learn what dogs are saying to each other through their play. Dog-to-dog play is a series of active and Read More
I have learned so much over the months I’ve been enrolled in VSA's Online Dog Trainer Course. My dog and I have both grown in confidence and I’ve been able to live my dream of helping adopted dogs stay at home by working with shelters and training dogs and their families in my community. I marvel often about how my dog has blessed my life with love, challenges and a new career. I could never have imagined that day I walked into the shelter that I’d be writing this today.
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
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.
Preparation is key. Start by picking up any toys or chew items from common areas. Then decide where the puppy will be during rest times or times in which you cannot supervise. Depending on the size of the puppy, this can be a repurposed playpen or an ex-pen with a crate inside, or even a small room.
Heart dog. Say those two words to any dog lover and their eyes will go soft. They will look wistful. They will be fondly thinking of a dog they currently share their life with if they are lucky. If they are less than lucky, there will tears in their eyes. They will be thinking of Read More
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.
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
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.
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!
I spent the first two articles of this three-part series talking about Tricky’s drive, what I did that caused her to lose it, and the things I did to build it back. Now I will talk about what I’ve done to keep it and suggestions to help others to do the same.
Living with him has been a great learning lesson for me. He is helping me to gain a better understanding of what a typical dog owning couple deals with.
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.
How much do dogs really comprehend us? Lots of work at dog cognition centers around the world are attempting to grasp how much dogs really know.
When I attempt to research about deaf animals, either for articles or for my own information, there are always numerous sources that only show the negative side of caring for a deaf dog. So let's look at the positive side.
Looking for simple and fun indoor games for your dog? Check out this list of 10 easy games you can play inside to keep your dog entertained, exercised and busy.
If you live in an apartment complex or condo, dog barking can become an issue quickly. Not to mention, living in a complex increases the chances that someone will walk by your front door and cause your dog to bark. So today, I want to discuss a few ways to train your dog not to bark at the neighbors.
Many perfectly wonderful dogs with lovely temperaments are being euthanized regularly for space while extremists spend time battling online about why one dog that mauled a child should get another chance.
Clients frequently ask me what to do when their dog is humping. First, look at the situation. Why is your dog humping? The whys becomes important, because it will determine how we will work with the behavior.
Why is it that our pet dogs are struggling more than ever to cope in our domestic world? Resource guarding, leash aggression, aggression towards other animals, and aggression towards people are some of the most common aggression examples that dog trainers see on a daily basis.
This is not about dog training and behavior. This is about human sympathy. And a mission. And justice. A couple of days ago, I was forwarded a public YouTube video of a dog trainer working with a dog who had previously bitten and shown aggression, especially while being bathed and groomed. I'm writing this to express my sympathy for the trainer. I mean that without an ounce of insincerity – I truly feel bad for him and what he has gone through since the video of him working with that dog has gone viral.
Scenario: A pleasant neighborhood on a sunny day, we observe a human and her dog taking a walk together. All of a sudden, the dog strains on leash, barking and lunging. The human tries to calm the dog down to no avail. She keeps looking around and sees nothing that should make her dog react Read More
It has become somewhat common for dog owners to leave music or TV's on when they leave the house in the hopes that the constant sound will help soothe their lonely pets. While the intention behind this technique is noble, behavioral science has now uncovered enough about the way our dogs process sounds to know Read More
Dognition is a user-friendly, scientifically-based online tool designed to identify the cognitive abilities and key personality traits in individual pet dogs while providing users ongoing support specifically tailored to their dog’s unique strong suits. It is the brainchild of Dr. Brian Hare, assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University and the driving force behind Read More
A recent study revealed that over two-thirds of all American pet owners have left their TVs or radios on for their pets. The problem is that the television channels our pets end up watching or listening to often do more harm than good, because constant talk becomes an overpowering irritant, or the programming contains loud Read More
In Her Own Words: Victoria on Dog Bite Prevention: As a mother and a dog trainer, I am dedicated to raising awareness about responsible pet ownership and preventing dog bites. My public platform helps put a spotlight on the issue and my Dog Bite Prevention Task Force, comprised of veterinarians, lawyers, canine bite investigators and Read More
Tension between dogs that live together is very common, especially when a new dog is introduced into the mix. Existing dogs are not able to choose their new ‘brothers and sisters’, so it is up to you to ensure introductions go as smoothly as possible by following some general guidelines. Tips for Safe Dog-to-Dog Introductions: Read More
Dogs and children can make great companions, and children can learn a lot about responsibility by caring for the family dog. At the same time, there is an alarming increase in the number of dog bites in certain parts of the world. Most victims of those bites are from dogs the children know. Why are Read More
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
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
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
Keeping your dog physically stimulated and in shape is an important part of dog wellness, but it is also crucial to provide mental stimulation and enrichment for your dog. Thanks primarily to our collective commitment to better understanding our dogs through the study of behavioral science, modern dogs are very fortunate to live in a Read More
Jump to: Dog Safety Dog Enrichment Exercise Nutrition Health Issues Health Knowledge The health and general wellness of our dogs plays a huge role in their behavior and the nature of our relationship with them. An integral part of responsible ownership, dog wellness is a commitment to the health and the highest level of nutrition Read More
The first and most important step to building a strong, healthy relationship with our dogs is to truly understand how they think, feel and learn. Thanks to the ongoing advances in the scientific community, our understanding of our canine companions is constantly evolving, providing us the opportunity to look deep inside the dog’s mind and Read More
People used to think that dog training was only about teaching dogs obedience commands, usually through the use of heavy-handed punishment-based techniques. It was viewed as somewhat of a luxury for pet parents and was often wrongly considered to be something so straightforward and simple to achieve that anyone could do it on their own without Read More
For the majority of modern dog owners, choosing the right dog trainer is one of the most important decisions they will have to make regarding their dog. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult decisions to get right. Assuming you have already determined that you need the help of a trained professional Read More
9-year-old border collie "Chaser" may know more words than the average toddler. Chaser has a profound conceptual understanding of words and the meaning behind them. Even with more than a thousand words under her belt, Chaser and her owner, emeritus professor of psychology John W. Pilley, haven't stopped there.
Even though I spent a good portion of my younger years around horses, I don’t know them as well as I know dogs. Dogs have been my life’s work, while horses were my hobby, but while I was out west spending so much time on horseback, I found myself wondering how the relationship between human and horse differs to that of a human and domestic dog, if at all.
Who was to blame for the recent fatal attack by a pitbull on a six year old boy in California? The dog, the child or the parent or relatives that were responsible for the child’s care?