Category Archives: Training

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

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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

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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

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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

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Do Dogs Use Tools?

More than fifty years ago, Jane Goodall made a discovery that shook some scientists — particularly those that had long lists of all the things that made humans unique and superior to nonhumans. She saw Chimpanzees using tools. Since then, … Continue reading

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Food – Just Cupboard Love?

The Power of Motivation As a behaviour consultant meeting with clients who are seeking to alter their dog’s behaviour, I am always asking owners to think about their dog’s motivation – what is it for that individual dog that will assist … Continue reading

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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

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If You’re Loving It, Why Leave?

Is “choice” a code word for negative reinforcement? It can be. Seems like that’s the context where I see it pop up the most. I’ve written a lot about choice. Two of my major points are: Many people are confused … Continue reading

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A Positive Outlook on Canine Aggression

It usually starts when I receive a call from a distressed client who informs me that their dog is, or has, suddenly turned ‘aggressive.’ They tell me their dog has ‘challenged’ them in some way: baring teeth, snarling, growling or may … Continue reading

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An Open Letter on Defining, Determining and Maintaining Best Practices within Our Force-Free Organization

Each year I am reminded of the importance of PPG’s Guiding Principles and our ability to manage them on a daily basis. As I read through them yesterday I felt it would be a good reminder for each of us to … Continue reading

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