Category Archives: Learning Theory

Blogs about the science of dog training

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

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Electronic Containment System or Ambush Predator?

Much has been written about electronic shock (training) devices in their various forms. With all models a dog wears a collar fitted with an electronic device with two metal rods touching the neck of the dog, delivering electric shock. Delivery … Continue reading

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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

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Dominance in Canine Behavior: Reality or Myth?

By Don Hanson BFRAP CDBC ACCBC CPDT-KA It was in the September of 2002 that the first version of this article appeared in Paw Prints, the Green Acres Kennel Shop newsletter. I update the article on a regular basis because … Continue reading

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Marshmallow Tests for Dogs

A guide dog partner, Deni Elliott, devised a dog version of the marshmallow test for her guide dog. She administered it to her guide Alberta a few years ago. Alberta did well; she actually did many of the things that … Continue reading

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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

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Pet Professional Guild Releases Position Statement on Pet Correction Devices

Pet Professional Guild Press Release Pet Professional Guild (PPG) has released a new position statement on so-called “pet correction devices” that are used for the management, training and care of pets. PPG does not recommend such devices and the move … Continue reading

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Countering The Aversive

Some pet dog trainers that are either using aversive methods or some that call themselves “balanced”, and use a combination of both aversive approaches and food rewards, may carry the notion that positive reward based trainers are against them personally, … Continue reading

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Spray Bottles Are for Houseplants, Not Cats

By Beth Adelman, MS It’s piece of bad advice that just won’t die: When your cat is misbehaving, squirt her with some water. Even some veterinarians still say it. What’s wrong with the spray bottle? Well, for starters, it doesn’t … Continue reading

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News Flash: Dogs Remember

Science has once again confirmed the obvious: Dogs can remember things. OK, maybe I am being a bit hard on the researchers. They were specifically interested in whether dogs have episodic memory. Well, they call it “episodic-like” memory, since some … Continue reading

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