Thoughts about dog…

"Survival Training for Puppies"

Let's get rid of the term, "socialization."

November 15, 2020

“Sociallzation.” It sounds lovely, doesn’t it? When humans talk of socializing with each other, it carries a connotation of “party” or at the very least icing on the cake of the day-to-day routine. “Socializing” when referring to puppy development is, however, so crucial to their long-term well-being that it should be renamed “survival training.”

Unsocialized or improperly socialized dogs tend to be fearful. Fear is the primary cause of aggression. Aggressive dogs have a hard time thriving in human society. It’s plain and simple.

Kids are from Mars & Dogs are from Venus

The Language and Culture Gap

October 4, 2020

I graduated from college with a degree in “Language and Culture.” Yep, it was one of “those” liberal arts degrees that can lead to… what, exactly? Though I tried to convince her, my mom could never quite grasp the connection between my degree and dog training. My career is actually a product of that education - with help from a zigzagging progression and convergence of experiences and life choices.

Got a Fetchaholic?

Harness the Power!

August 30, 2020

We share a serious obsession with our canine friends: a passion for flying round objects. Balls. Balls of all sizes and colors and textures incite incredible excitement from both species.

Teaching your dog "NO!"

Useful? or not?

June 21, 2020

The next time you use voice navigation, imagine Siri telling you where NOT to turn, what street NOT to take, and to boot, she uses an accusatory tone with you. There you are, driving through a big, busy and unfamiliar city. You are a bit nervous, not sure how to get to your destination and Siri tells you things like, “No! Don’t turn there!” “Not that street!” “Not the next one, either!” Absent is all the information on which street to look for, how far away it is, which way you’ll be turning, etc. In other words, everything you need is missing.

"Doga" the Doggie form of Yoga!

Time to get into shape!

May 24, 2020

Proper stretching, movement, and body awareness contribute to overall good health whether we're dog or human. Don’t wait for your dog to be injured before you teach him some beneficial “doga poses” – start now!

Here are two of my favorite “tricks” that carry with them some whopping physical benefits:

“Who’s your queen?”

Training can be a Dirty Word

What's up with that?

May 16, 2020

     

The cashier overheard a conversation I was having with the person behind me and gleaned that I was a dog trainer. She motioned me closer and said, under her smoky breath and with a snicker and a slight air of superiority, “My two rescue dogs didn’t need training. They came fully trained.” What could I say, but “um, that’s very nice. You are lucky.”

Dogs and Doors

What's the Big Deal?

September 29, 2015

They race through them to go out, whether it’s the front door, the car door, the crate door or… well, pretty much any door. When someone comes through a door, all hell can break loose! Dogs can transform themselves from a lazy lump on the floor to a jumping, lunging, growling, barking, nipping, spinning, pacing crazy thing in two seconds flat. Why?

Portals to the World

“Clicker Training” without a Clicker…and without Treats?

How can this be possible?

April 29, 2014

Clicker training establishes a rock-solid line of communication based on simple cause and effect. The clicker – a small mechanical device - makes a sound that “marks” a behavior (the cause) and tells the animal precisely what he’s about to be “paid” for. The reward (the effect) that quickly follows strengthens the behavior, making the animal want to repeat it to get another click and reward.

Say "no" to "socialization"

Help your puppy learn "Survival Skills" instead.

April 15, 2014

“Sociallzation.” It sounds lovely, doesn’t it? When humans talk of socializing with each other, it carries a connotation of “party” or at the very least icing on the cake of the day-to-day routine. “Socializing,” when referring to puppy development is, however, so crucial to their long-term well-being that it should be renamed “survival training." 

Puppy Comes Home Manual

Are you and your house ready to bring that puppy home?

January 19, 2014

An in-depth guide for people planning to add (or who have recently added) a new puppy (or dog) to their household.

Puppy Comes Home Kit

How to prepare your household for when Puppy comes Home

Charley puppy lab

 

"Don't Blame the Dog for Failing to Live up to Human Expectations." Chris Bach

The Culture of Food: it’s a Human Hangup

Treats, snacks, food or reward: which is it?

July 23, 2013

We as a culture (or maybe as a species), have a strange hangup with food. Food fills us with emotions and assumptions and strange relationships (chocolate!). There are still a lot of people who have a hard time even considering using food for training, thinking it somehow will diminish the relationship of that perceived (ugh) alpha status we so strive to hold over our dogs. Food is quite simply a tool, just as fetch, attention, affection, praise and others are (or money, play, vacation, etc. are for humans). The difference is in how the dog values these things at any given moment.

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