Author Archives: Karen Baragona

About Karen Baragona

I'm a dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with a soft spot for shelter and rescue dogs who are a little rough around the edges. My own rescue dog Huckleberry, an exuberant hound mix, gave me a run for my money with her reactivity, resource guarding, squirrel chasing, fear of car rides, and unapologetic boisterousness. But she made me a better, more empathetic trainer. As a group class training instructor, private in-home trainer, and animal shelter behavior counselor, I've worked with hundreds of dogs and their people to help them understand and learn from each other. I have a special interest in interactions between dogs and kids, and dogs and other household pets. I also have a master's degree in environmental science and in a past life worked in international wildlife conservation for 15 years.

Just Say No to Saying “NO!”

It’s almost a reflex. There goes Rover, in hot pursuit of the cat, or gnawing on the sofa, or slurping at your dinner plate, or barking threats at squirrels…and we just need it to STOP, so we shout “NO!” Then … Continue reading

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Front Door Freakout

If you come to my house, brace yourself. You walk up the stairs, ring the doorbell. Suddenly…the shrieking of a hundred banshees? Maybe an exorcism in progress? Or fiery-eyed, froth-mawed Cerberus guarding the gates of Hades? Nope. It’s my people-loving … Continue reading

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Tired Dogs, Good Dogs, Dogs Being Dogs

“How much exercise does my dog need?” This question sounds straightforward enough, but peel it apart and you’ll find it has several layers. Inquiring dog owners crave reassurance that they’re doing right by their dogs, meeting their needs. Also embedded in … Continue reading

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“Be NICE!”

If I’m a dog, and I’m on a leash, and another dog invades my space, I’m gonna growl. That’s just how I feel. Back the heck off, pal! I can’t get away from you, on account of I’m on a … Continue reading

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Korean Meat Farm Dogs Arrive without Much Baggage

In January the Humane Society International brokered a deal with a farmer in South Korea who had been raising dogs for food. In exchange for funds to convert his operation to blueberry cultivation, he surrendered his twenty three dogs into … Continue reading

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Car Woes: A Tale of Botched Socialization

Poor shivering, quivering Huckleberry. Not because it’s cold out; she couldn’t care less about that. This is fear. Huckleberry is about to experience something that makes most dogs jump for joy, and she’s beside herself with fright: She’s going for … Continue reading

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My Dog Said “Sorry” To My Cat. I Think.

My dog Huckleberry and my kitten Cato play rough-and-tumble games all day. Huckleberry chases Cato, Cato pounces on her neck, Huckleberry fake-bites his leg, he jumps on her belly and fake-gnaws her ear. They’re friends. Not “friends” like the dog … Continue reading

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“Bad” Dogs Make Good Teachers

OK, I’ll admit it, I’m having a tiny bit of puppy envy. I’m working with a private client and his 13 week old springer spaniel. This wide-eyed cutie pie has already met everyone and everything on the ASPCA socialization list … Continue reading

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Can You “Baby-Proof” Your Dog?

The dog training school where I teach has a exciting new partnership with Babies-R-Us: We’re about to start monthly seminars for expecting and new parents on finding your “new normal” with a baby plus a dog. I’m using today’s post … Continue reading

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When is Dog Training Like a Video Game?

  My kids and I have been playing a game called Botanicula on my iPad. It’s one of those intuitive, trial and error games with no instructions. In each scene of this weird world, you just tap and swipe till … Continue reading

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