Why do dogs seem to want to eat everything in sight, whether they’re hungry or not? Science has the answer.
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.
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
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.
Every responsible dog parent who walks their dog(s) in their own neighborhood has a mental list of houses that they strive to avoid. Either because a dog is alone in a fenced in yard barking like a fiend or because a dog is often loose (and unsupervised) in an unfenced or Invisible “Fenced” yard. Either Read More
“Could he not SEE that my dog was upset?” “My dog was on leash and under control - it was his dog that was out of control!” “Why, oh why, do people let their ‘friendly’ dogs invade the space of my fearful, reactive dog, and then blame me for being a useless dog-owner with Read More
Since when does “just a minute” only apply to humans? We dogs say it too, except when we do, you humans get angry. You let us off the rope thing to go run around and play and then you ask us to come back at the most inconvenient of times, just when we are having the best fun – playing with other dogs or chasing small fluffies. When we don’t respond, you get mad and tell us how bad we are, but apparently you don’t understand that when we hear our name, look back at you and then continue with our game, we’re also saying “just a minute”. By the way…..how long is a minute?
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!
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
Those of us who help modify dog behavior for a living have to try and not see things during the course of our daily life.
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?
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.
Some subjects are such hot buttons that it’s such a guaranteed argument to mention them. Religion, politics and the ever popular on/off leash are way up there.
I find that new puppy-owners tend to fall into two camps - those who expect too much too soon, and those who expect too little for too long.
As a committed champion for oldies, and passionate collector of good books, when I spotted the release of one that celebrates the lives of senior canines, of course it had to find its way into my collection.
I've been asked many times, "Why deaf dogs?" and it's a good question. In searching for the right words, I’ve been thinking a lot about my deaf dog Edison and the deep connection I feel with him.
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
Information seeking behavior in dogs has many forms. Every dog can help us to become better trainers if we adapt what we do to help them learn. So... what is your dog asking?
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.
I got to thinking just how simple it should be to have a cooperative dog, so why do our dogs so often ignore us?
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.
Or trainers. I can't clearly put this in any one person's lap. Let's back up and see where we are. First off, I am not going to identify the trainer(s), the dog, or the family. My purpose is not to belittle or attack anyone. Instead I want this to be a learning experience for other trainers and a warning to owners.
LOSING HEART Why do so many clients with fearful or reactive dogs, who often have started off so well, lose heart? The reason is because they just don’t fully accept the time and work that changing fear-based or guarding behaviors in particular can take. Teaching people is the easy bit. A large part of my Read More
There is a fierce debate raging in the dog training world between traditional dominance and punishment-based trainers and the positive training movement. Common Dog Training Myths: There is more than one way to train a dog. Positive training methods don’t work on 'red zone' dogs. Dogs only 'respect' leaders who assert their 'dominance.' Positive trainers Read More
We love our pets and want them to be close to us, but there are just some places that need to be off-limits. In order to understand how to teach your pets to stay off furniture you must first understand why they climb onto it. You may have heard that dogs like to be up 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
Check your ego at the door! EGO, this funny little word has such a huge affect on people, it changes people for the worse. When working with animals you cannot have an “ego” of any kind. Animals know, they can feel the kind of love and energy your putting off and when ego gets involved Read More
Bret Michaels says he owes his life to rock ‘n roll and to a Husky named Nicholas. The year was about 1990, Michaels recalls. "It was overnight. I was having a very bad low blood sugar drop, around the high 20s or low 30s. I don't know if Nicholas picked up on a scent or Read More
While dog parks are ace playgrounds for Rovers to romp and Spots to socialize, without proper supervision, squabbles can break out like pimples on a teenager. Luckily physical injury is relatively rare, but sometimes the damage delves deeper than skin. A few bad experiences in an impressionable pooch can progress to a lifelong fear of other Fidos.
It’s a new year. Time for good resolutions, right? Let’s resolve to stop punishing our dogs by accident.
"But I'm a positive trainer, I don't punish!" you say. Well, I think we sometimes do, and don't realize it. I'm not talking about reprimand. That's a social act. A puppy gets too rough and Mama dog growls. A canine nose gets a bit too near the cheese and crackers on the coffee table, and Read More
The difference between mouthing and biting It is not at all uncommon for puppies to use their mouths in nearly everything they do. This behavior is called 'mouthing' and is a completely normal part of development. Though this is very similar to biting, the intention is different. Distinguishing between the two is very important. Why Read More
You’ve been planning for months, and at last your new puppy is here! Your expectations are enormous: this is going to be the perfect dog you’ve always wanted. And maybe that’s right, and your little puppy will become your Brilliant Family Dog. But for many of us - and for many of our puppies - Read More
As a behavior specialist, I am always thinking ahead: how does what is happening today influence how the dog may behave in the future? An always-important aspect of dog training is to teach tolerance to frustration and to build impulse control.
Raising my puppy has been hard work. It has also been well worth the effort.
The "pack leader" label just won’t seem to die a natural death. Instead of analyzing why people are so attached to being pack leaders, I decided it would be easier for me to uncover why I dislike it so much. Here is my interview with myself.
Our four legged companions have a much simpler value system based on the most basic aspects of life: food, water, shelter, territory, a mate. Then there are the secondary aspects: chasing things that move just because, following their nose because they can, shredding our belongings because it's fun, and on and on.
Q. What are some of the benefits of training my dog? A. Training makes home life more manageable and fun for you and your dog. Next to basic health care, it’s the most important thing you can do for your pup. Best of all, training the dog you love is one of the best ways Read More
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