Change Is Difficult – We Are Humans After All

As trainers we sometimes talk about owner compliance, or maybe more accurately – in some cases at least – the apparent lack of it. Part of our job as dog trainers is to find ways to motivate our clients to … Continue reading

Local Enhancement and Socially Facilitated Behaviors in Dogs

This post started out as one thing and transformed into another as I went along, as many of mine do. I have been familiar for a while with the term local enhancement for a type of social learning in dogs. … Continue reading

Putting More Tools in the Tool Kit

Recently I worked with an adolescent dog that I trained as a puppy. Like many adolescents he suddenly forgot several of his training skills and got stuck offering two behaviors in specific circumstances. When greeting people he climbed upon them … Continue reading

A Lesson in Tolerance

By Susan Nilson An estimated 40 – 75 percent of all cats that present with behavioral symptoms have some kind of elimination disorder, making it the most commonly reported feline behavior problem of all (Overall, 1997) and the most common … Continue reading

Body Language – Your Dog’s Native Tongue

By Susan Claire, CPDT-KA If you own a dog, then you teach English as a second language. A dog’s native tongue is body language. Yet, dogs adapt and learn our English words with remarkable ability. There are many emotions that … Continue reading

Service Dog Teams and Continuing Education

A few weeks ago, I was part of an amazing experience — the first-ever continuing education weekend seminar for guide dog teams that included trainers and puppy raisers, as well as 80 teams. The weekend was organized by the Guiding Eyes for … Continue reading

Dog Park Etiquette

If I had $1 for every time an owner told me how irate they were about something that had happened in the park when they were walking their dog – well, you know the rest!  So what are the unspoken … Continue reading

What Is the Purpose of a Real Dog?

Labeling normal dog behaviors like barking, digging, jumping up, chasing, growling and others as problems is something my colleagues and I have started seeing more often in our classes and consultations. However, typical puppy behaviors can include mouthing, housesoiling, not wanting to be alone, … Continue reading

Leave It: Not Just for Dead Men Anymore

The other day I was pondering the trend of talking about teaching “self-control” and “impulse control” in our dogs. I got to thinking about “leave it,” both the term and the behavior. I realized a couple things. First, the term “leave it” … Continue reading

Choke Collar Pathology

Recently I persuaded a local pet supply store owner to sell me all his choke collars (at cost) and refrain from restocking them, in return for recommendations for safe body harnesses such as Perfect Fit and Balance. He was persuaded … Continue reading