Your puppy is not a blank slate

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

Terrie Hayward-Puerto Rico

“Are the conditions in Puerto Rico as bad as we’ve heard and seen? Terrie Hayward, certified dog behavior consultant and dog trainer in Rincon doesn’t hesitate for a half a second. “Yes, it is – desperate.” Prior to Hurricanes Maria and Irma impacted pummeling the island, life wasn’t easy, as residents were dealing with serious Read More

5 Little-Known Puppy Training Tips You’ll Be Glad You Found

I spend much of my time as a trainer working with young puppies. They’re little sponges, absorbing every bit of information we send their way – both good and bad. You’ll hear the same puppy training advice over and over: make sure to socialize your puppy, start potty training immediately, and the like. But in Read More

Your new puppy – 9 steps to get it right from the start

“I wonder if I’ve done the wrong thing … Perhaps I’m not capable of looking after a dog.” I don’t know exactly what had caused such a devastating loss of confidence in what 30was clearly a capable individual. But Gwen voiced a sentiment I come across from time to time. Her family had left home Read More

A Puppy Under the Tree

A puppy for Christmas is a gift that, as a professional trainer for over 10 years, I strongly encourage to be planned so that the entire family understands the commitment that gift comes with. Have no doubt: the pup will not be for the kids. The pup will be the responsibility of the adults in the family, and she will depend on them for her care.

Rescuers or Fanatics? The Dark Side of Animal Rescue

Say the phrase "animal rescue" in any given circle of people and watch for a variety of reactions. Some people’s eyes will light up with hope and delight and others will start backing away with narrowing eyes, faces drawn with suspicion. The latter is unfortunate, but the truth cannot be denied that some of the Read More

How Tricky Got Her Groove Back

This is Part 1 of Bobbie Bhambree's agility series. Check out Part 2 here and Part 3 here.  One of the main reasons I am an effective dog trainer and have strong mechanical skills when teaching and handling dogs is because of my many years as an student of agility. This dog performance sport takes the Read More

Terrier Shmerrier!

I thought I knew how to train dogs. Then I adopted a Terrier/Chihuahua mix puppy and named her…..Tricky! People warned me when I named her Tricky, jokingly and affectionately telling me she would likely embody the name I gave her. They weren’t kidding.

No Cue November

We have a new game at my facility called “cue fasting” and we now require a “cue fast” for all of our clients when they begin training with us. We’ve decided to take the game up a notch in what we are calling “No Cue November.”

We Are Not Who You Think We Are

We ARE just like you. Our dogs are not monsters. They are just dogs, just like any other dogs. Just like people are all individuals, so are dogs.

Help! My Puppy is Deaf. What Now?

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.

Everyone is an Expert These Days!

There is no quicker way to cause an internet fight than to ask a dog behavior question on a board comprised of regular dog parents. The responses will range from the absurd to the dangerous.

The Best Kind of “Gold Digger”

As a "gold digger" in the animal welfare field, you have to see past the top layer of every animal to find the heart and soul, the true essence of the animal, what makes them as precious as gold.

So You Want a Puppy? Are You Sure?

I recently became the proud owner of a 10 week old Border Collie. Having had two previous Border Collies that passed away at the age of 14 I surmised I was savvy enough to do it again. The reality of my decision bit me pretty hard!

Should You Think Twice About That Christmas Puppy?

Thinking about getting a puppy for Christmas? First, make sure you are ready for a 10-20 year commitment and can afford the money that it takes to raise a happy and secure dog. If all that is worked out, then you want to do your research to make sure you pick out the right breed for Read More

One Month, Two Great Losses in Veterinary Behavior

Dr. Sophia Yin, an applied animal behaviorist, was one of the first to join my public outcry of a popular dog trainer's emphasis on forceful, aversive dog training as well as conveying misleading messages regarding dog behavior. Yin was never afraid to speak her him, particularly if animals benefited.

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.

The Importance of Space

GIVE ME SOME SPACE, PLEASE!!!!!! Who among us hasn’t felt like this at some point in our lives? Well, here is a news flash: sometimes our canine friends could use a little space too.

When and How to Train Your Puppy or New Rescue

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

Resource Guarding

  Resource guarding is when a dog controls access to food, objects, people and locations that are important to him through defensive body language or overt aggressive display. This is a relatively common canine behavior and is influenced by a number of environmental and situational stimuli, including a dog’s natural instinct to survive. The dog Read More

Myth vs Fact

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

Flyball

Flyball is fast, furious and fun! This sport is a relay race between two teams of four dogs each. One at a time, each dog runs down a lane of four hurdles, retrieves a tennis ball from a special spring board box, runs back to the start over the hurdles and then the next dog Read More

Treibball

If you are looking for a dog sport that can be taught at any age, to any breed of dog, then Treibball could be a great fit for you and your dog. The sport originated in Europe and is now sweeping the United States. Treibball is traditionally taught using a clicker to teach and 'mark' Read More

Puppy Vaccinations

Getting your puppy vaccinated is a vital part of responsible pet ownership. A young puppy’s infant immune system is especially prone to illness and disease, so getting your puppy on a vaccination regimen is crucial to having a healthy, happy pet. What vaccines does your puppy need? A good veterinarian will be able to tell Read More

Leash Aggression

Leash lunging, leash reactivity and leash aggression are all behaviors that are caused by a dog feeling restrained, frustrated and uncomfortable in a social situation while attached to a leash. In normal circumstances, an unleashed dog would be able to put sufficient distance between himself and a fear source. But if the same dog is Read More

Fear Aggression

When a dog feels threatened by something, the first and safest option for the dog is to run away from the threat. This is called the 'flight response.' If the dog is unable to put sufficient distance between himself and the threat, the only other options left are to either submit in the hope the Read More

Nipping

Nipping or mouthing is normal puppy behavior, but it can develop into a serious problem if allowed to continue into adulthood. An adult dog’s mouth can be very strong, so even when its nipping is just part of normal play, it can still cause significant damage to human skin. If a puppy is not taught Read More

Head Collars & No-Pull Harnesses

Head collars and harnesses are two effective and humane options for teaching your dog to walk well on a leash, and can be a valuable part of your training toolbox when working with a leash reactive dog. Harnesses There are three main types of harnesses-those that clip on the dog’s back: those that connect to Read More

Canine Vocal Language

Dogs communicate with the world around them in all kinds of ways. An especially important aspect of canine communication to understand is how they vocalize, which can include barking, growling, and whining. While a dog’s reason for vocalizing in these ways may vary, it's crucial to understand how and why dogs are communicating. Barking Dogs Read More

Nuisance Behaviors

Dogs can bring so much joy and happiness to people’s lives, but they also have the potential to wreak major havoc. Lack of training and socialization, pent up energy, and stress can all cause a dog to act out and engage in various nuisance behaviors. From potty problems to chewing, and nipping, there are a Read More

Making Manners Fun: Counter-Surfing (Holiday) Edition

With the holidays rapidly approaching, many dog owners are going to be faced with GREAT opportunities to work on counter-surfing with their dogs. As we have family over to celebrate the holiday season, there will inevitably be mouthwatering treats and other great smells out on the countertops. It’s so important to remember that our dogs Read More