It’s understandable that people in the dog training world get so agitated when the word “dominance” is mentioned, even when used in the right context. The idea of dominance in dogs has been so misunderstood by some trainers in popular media for so long that it has now become a dirty word, such that even when trainers and behavior experts use the word correctly, they risk a backlash from people that are – let’s face it - exhausted from having to continually reeducate the public about what dominance really is and what it isn’t, particularly when so much damage has been done because of the way the word has been used by some people in the dog training world.
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.
Just last week, we concluded another successful in-person intensive with the Victoria Stilwell Academy’s Dog Trainer Course students. As I sat there in the back of the room, I watched our awesome faculty member, Nichole Smith from Working With Dog, absolutely rocking this super-important lesson and content. Just about every day during our six-month course, Read More
You may ask, “Why is that fact in a dog training blog?” Good question. Even better answer coming.
Birds are amazing for many different reasons, and National Bird Day is one day each year that we can acknowledge some of the reasons these creatures are so amazing. What makes birds so incredible?
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 ageism that causes seniors to be passed over is a prejudice without merit, as oftentimes it’s the older dog that is best suited for a happy household and a lasting marriage of dog and family. Here’s why...
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.
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?
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!
We humans don’t often allow dogs to have a say in how much they interact with other sentient beings. We force interactions onto them on a daily basis.
Why do dogs seem to want to eat everything in sight, whether they’re hungry or not? Science has the answer.
If we love our animals, why do people find it acceptable to cause them pain or fear just for the sake of ‘training’?
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?
Make a pledge this year to not only tweak you dog’s diet and exercise activities but to use dog-friendly leash-walking equipment and training methods.
Almost 17 years ago, I adopted a Pit bull. Her name was Claire. She came into my life like a cannon shot and left this world the same way. BOOM! Claire made such a significant impact on me that I created a whole career out of my experiences with her.
It may seem sometimes like everyone else has a “normal” dog while you struggle to make minute changes towards the better with your own. How can we cope?
Why do so many parrots end up in shelters or have to be euthanized? Certainly, there are many reasons. But here are perhaps the top five...
The leash is one of the more neglected aspects of dog keeping, and, because of this, it is a source of problems.
I often find that people think using the word "cue" instead of "command" in dog training is just a semantic difference that doesn't have any implication on the training process. I disagree.
This series of blog posts recounts topics drawn from the Pet Professional Guild Radio Show, featuring Linda Michaels. Question: What are some of the benefits of using Positive Reinforcement (+R)? Answer: The benefits of using Positive Reinforcement training with our companion animals are pretty much the opposite of the drawbacks of using aversive punishment. Goodness, today, all progressive Read More
At a meeting about breed-specific legislation, I was struck by one very obvious conclusion. Not only does my opinion on Breed Specific Legislation not matter, neither does the opinion of anyone else.
Common household alkaline batteries can pose a real danger to pets if they are accidentally chewed or swallowed. Here’s what to do if your pet ever ingests a battery.
The numbers are so shockingly small that the president of the American Heartworm Society calls it “frightening.” Only just over a third of all dogs leave a veterinary practice with heartworm preventive.
Cats and their guardians are often the subjects of untrue stereotypes. Here are some experts to set the record straight on why you should consider adopting a cat.
I wish you would stop, but I know you won't. Where there is demand, there will always be supply. And as long as there are people willing to pay $200 for one of your "red nose pit" (your words, not mine) puppies, you will continue to successfully exploit your dogs for easy cash.
Does your dog listen to you when you ask him to do something? Does he listen half of the time? What about only when you have a treat, or only if you’re inside the house?
It’s an all too common occurrence, and it shouldn’t be happening at all. Are you guilty of the “lazy leash syndrome”?
There are two ways to get a dog to do what you want. Both ways create motivation for the dog, but according to science, one works better than the other. Can you guess which way works better?
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.
A recent dolphin training video has the public outraged. While it seems to be an accepted fact that dolphins are highly intelligent and worthy of humane training, I think the general public is still in the process of accepting the same about their dogs.
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.
Understandably we don’t like our dogs to growl and it can be embarrassing, but growling is GOOD. Growling tells us what our dog is feeling. Growling gives us the key to open the door to the dog’s emotions. When we know what he is feeling, we then know what to do about it. Colin is Read More
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
Don't despair, future pet owners! Here's why the process is such a hassle, and why that's a good thing.
How far would you go to prove a point? Dorothy Hunter is the owner of a pet supply store in Washington, and she wants the world to know just how delicious the pet food is that she carries in her shop. So she's spending the next 30 days eating nothing but dog and cat food Read More
I have been doing pet therapy with my labradoodle, Daisy, for going on two years now. It was always a dream of mine to do pet therapy, and I looked for months for the right dog. I adopted Daisy from a family who could no longer care for her, and I knew almost instantly she Read More
Zeuterin – what is it and what is all the fuss about? Zeuterin is an injectable sterilization product that is labeled for use on male dogs between 3 and 10 months of age. This sounds great, right? Sterilization without surgery? Any product that could potentially decrease the number of stray pets is fantastic. But hold Read More
Science is constantly churning out new research regarding animals of all species, not just domesticated pets. Researchers in the UK set out to answer the age-old questions of how and why birds fly in a V-formation. The most common answer is that birds fly in this way to conserve energy, but it's much more complex than that. Researcher Stephen Read More