Author Archives: Barbara Hodel

About Barbara Hodel

In 2015 I completed my Diploma in Canine Behaviour Science and Technology at the Companion Animal Sciences Institute in Canada (http://casinstitute.com). But I have been involved in dog training for the last 15 years and completed a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services as a Delta-accredited instructor in 2007. I have been running Goodog Positive Dog Training on the Northern Beaches Sydney for the last 9 years, running classes on all levels as well as workshops and agility fun classes. We also do in home consultations. I compete in Agility with Shellbe my four year old German Shorthaired Pointer. She has her Excellent Jumping, Novice Agility, Gambler Novice, Snooker Novice, Strategic Pairs Novice Title. Zorbas a Kelpie/Ridgeback cross is retired now but enjoys it at almost 13 years of age. I had a life before dogs and hold a Master's Degree in Modern European History and Economics from the University of Bern (Switzerland) and a MBA (Master of Business Administration) from Southern Cross University Australia. I have in-depth experience in adult education and training, having taught high school and university students in Bern, college students in Sydney, as well as middle and top management employees of a large public corporation in Switzerland.

Having a Bit More Fun with Our Dogs

When I got my first dog as a child no one in the family knew much about dogs, puppy preschool classes were unheard of and the average dog just somehow became part of the family. My father mainly got the … Continue reading

Posted in Animal Behavior, Pet Care, Stuff, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Animal Behavior, Consulting, Personal Development, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Animal Behavior, Pet Care, Stuff, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Expectations, Disappointment And Opportunities

When we get a puppy or a rescue dog, as a first time or an experienced dog owner or as a competitor in a dog sport, we have certain expectations. We hope for the perfect companion or the perfect agility … Continue reading

Posted in Animal Behavior, Personal Development, Stuff, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Calm Really Just Another Behavior?

What is the most difficult thing to teach our dogs? Coming back or a great recall? While I do agree that this is a difficult behavior, I do think teaching calm is much more difficult. Being calm is not the … Continue reading

Posted in Animal Behavior, Learning Theory, Pet Care, Stuff, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Finding the Underlying Cause for Barking

Go to any online dog forum and the question will come up rather sooner than later: My dog barks, what should I do? The advice then often starts with citronella or even shock collars, rattle cans, and other unpleasant devices … Continue reading

Posted in Animal Behavior, Learning Theory, Pet Care, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Insecure Teenage Dogs at the Off Leash Park

Recently I got asked: “What should I do when my dog goes over to another dog, puts his head over the other dog’s shoulder and, depending on the other dog’s reaction, they will start squabbling?” So far no one got … Continue reading

Posted in Animal Behavior, Learning Theory, Pet Care, Stuff, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Christmas Puppy – What a Great Idea?

Do not get me wrong, I am not talking about giving someone a puppy for Christmas or buying a puppy on impulse. I am talking about a long awaited puppy who, for no other reason but the mother coming into … Continue reading

Posted in Animal Behavior, Pet Care, Stuff, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jekyll and Hyde – Social off Leash but Reactive on Leash?

It might be a coincidence but over the last few weeks I have met a lot of dogs who are reactive on leash. They bark, lunge, whine and pull towards other dogs on walks. Some will aggress if given a … Continue reading

Posted in Animal Behavior, Pet Care, Stuff, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Making It Fun for Performance Dogs

I got told a couple of times lately: Shellbe (my German Shorthaired Pointer who I compete with in Agility) really covered you there! It was in competition or training when I made a mistake and Shellbe did everything she possibly … Continue reading

Posted in Animal Behavior, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment