Shelter Work: It Takes a Village

There is only so much you can address behaviorally in a shelter environment, and it takes very committed people working together to make the biggest impact.

Progressive Zoos Don’t Use Punishment. Why Should You?

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” in Dogs

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?

Holistic Summer Guide To Safe and Happy Cats

With a little commonsense and mindfulness, our cats can enjoy summer as much as we do. There’s nothing like a cat on a lap to help us slow down to smell the roses. Have a safe, happy and healthy summer!

Becoming a Bite-Free Nation

This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The purpose of this week is twofold: to bring awareness to the problem AND to provide information on how to prevent dog bites from happening to you and those you love.

Can (and Should) Every Dog Be Saved?

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.

Positively Success Story: Aaro

I hope Aaro's story gives hope and inspiration to all who struggle with a more demanding dog. Positive methods DO work.

5 Things I Want Anyone With A Fearful Dog To Know

I see dogs that truly enjoy meeting new people and other dogs, and find myself wishing the same for my not-so-social dog. It's easy to get discouraged, but know that many people are experiencing the same things with their dogs as you are.

Why Does My Dog Hump Everything?

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 I Sympathize With the Grooming Dog Trainer

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.

On Dieting and Dog Training

I have a lot of habits to break and a lot of new behaviors to learn. This got me thinking about my work in animal behavior and how amazingly similar it is to what I am trying to accomplish with my diet.

Positively Success Story: Maggie

Maggie came into my life almost six years ago, when I was hired by her owners, of that time, to teach her basic obedience. Maggie was an untrained dog, who had already been adopted by several other families and she eventually proved to be “too much” to handle for her then adopted family. I was Read More

The Post-Puppy Panic

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

Positively Success Story: Chief

This is Chief, a German Shepherd I rescued March 30, 2012 when he was about 3. I got him from an abusive home. How I knew of the person that had him is somewhat complicated, but the woman offered him to me because she said she hated him. Someone else that lived in the home Read More

iCalmDog Now Available in Positively Store!

The iCalmDog music player for dogs is now available in the Positively online store. This paw-sized portable music player comes with 4 hours of Through A Dog's Ear's clinically-tested music and is designed to reduce anxiety. Also available is a library of music and training protocols designed by Victoria Stilwell to combat separation anxiety, aggression and noise phobias.

Positively Success Story: Inky

One evening in December 2011, my wife, Karen, was picking up our lab Lily from day care and noticed a scruffy little black mutt in the corner of a pen. His name was Inky and he needed a home. Karen was told that Inky had been a stray puppy, that he and his brother had Read More

So Much Work To Do…

I was forwarded an article which basically claimed that while positive reinforcement was a nice tool for training nice pups, it was not a strong enough or effective enough tool to deal with aggression or so-called 'red zone' dogs. It is time once and for all to put an end to this myth, especially when the arguments being used to support it are so painfully inaccurate and the supposed claims are so completely at odds with what behavioral science has already proven to us time and time again.

When Good Rescue Groups Make Bad Dog Training Decisions

Dog is abused, abandoned, neglected. Dog is rescued. Dog has behavioral issues stemming from a difficult past. Rescue group calls in a trainer, who puts a shock collar on the dog to "fix" him and make him adoptable. While the above scenario may be oversimplified, it happens all too often in the rescue world. I worked on Read More

A Dog Died Today. Because of a Trainer.

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.

Positively Success Story: Scarlett

After losing my longtime canine companions, I decided to bring a new dog into our home when the time was right. I was looking for an older pup who was already trained and a breed that did not have many well-known health issues. I like to say that I found Scarlett but I really think Read More

FBI to Track Animal Cruelty Crimes

In a move that could have tremendous impact on animal law and the prosecution of animal cruelty offenders, the FBI has revealed that it will soon begin tracking crimes related to animal cruelty.

Doggy Daycare – A How-To Guide

A guide to Doggy Daycare. How to choose a safe, fun, behaviorally sound, doggy daycare so your dog will have a Positively good time!

Heading for the dog park with a dog-reactive dog?

Gaining some insight into how their dog might be feeling can be a big motivator for people who use heavy-handed methods with their dog-reactive dogs, and can potentially make all the difference. They may commonly label their dog ‘aggressive’ and resort to using force, which makes matters even worse. Without realizing it they are giving Read More

Puppy High School

Thankfully, many people know and understand that puppies need lots of training, socialization, and focus on creating good impulse control when they are younger. But many stop at a few puppy classes, and don’t continue through adolescence. This could have dire consequences later on, when the puppy becomes a teenager and starts developing bad habits Read More