Thoughts about dog…

“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

“Socialization.” 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 many people who have a hard time even considering using food for dog 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.

Mud Puppies!

Living with MUD and Dogs

April 11, 2013

Mud Season: the price we pay for living in Maine!

We try to be ready for it here at "Camp Logan." With multiple dogs in the house, it can be challenging to keep things clean when 8-20 dirty paws are coming through the door many times a day. Luckily, there are many options to help get us through this messy time of year.

Ball Fetish

Happy Super Dog Bowl!

February 2, 2013

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

Prevention: The Best Training Tool!

A crate is simply a playpen with a roof.

January 22, 2013

Baby gates, cribs, bouncy chairs, playpens, safety latches, car seats, outlet covers, kid-safe containers…. these are just a few of the many ubiquitous items used to keep our young children safe; some even required by law. We accept the fact that 2 year old Tommy doesn't "know better" than to explore the cabinet under the sink, so we are proactive in installing safety knobs to keep him - and the items inside - safe. A lone toddler in a non-child-proofed room means disaster. Likewise, we don't allow toddlers to investigate their surroundings unsupervised.

A Different Approach

Two dogs at the veterinary hospital. Two different approaches to training.

January 22, 2013

We recently found ourselves at Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston with Dory, our 12 year old Standard Poodle. She was there for throat surgery and her humans were nervous, to say the least. It was tricky surgery and post-surgery might be challenging, too.

Happy Fourth of July!


July 4, 2012

For many of us with dogs, it's not a happy time at all. In fact, we dread its arrival, can't wait for it to be over and would love to be able to crawl into a deep, dark, quiet cave with our beloved canine companion for the duration of what is supposed to be a celebratory time for our country.

On Dogs and Fireworks: An Unsafe Combination.

Hear that? Well, your dog hears a LOT more.

Puppy Biting and Nipping….. OW!

Consequence drives behavior... even with puppy biting!

June 29, 2012

Puppies use their mouths a lot to explore their world and it can be very painful for those at the receiving end. This behavior is a normal part of development - they need to mouth and chew as much as a human infant needs to teethe. At the same time, puppies must learn to respect human skin and clothing and understand where the line is so that they don't develop a joy of "mouthiness." They can grow into this behavior rather than out of it!

Leashed Dogs Shouldn't "Say Hello" to Each Other

Leashed interactions = bad mojo

February 21, 2012

Diana's Bad Rule

"Why aren't dogs allowed to meet and greet on leash?" is a familiar question I get. I have a rule against dogs interacting on leash - even in my puppy classes. Some people are not pleased at all with my rule, but I know the dogs were very appreciative of it, and it is written uniquely for them!

First of all, why should they have to? Besides their humans getting misplaced warm fuzzies about how cute it is for their dogs to "make friends," meeting on leash doesn't offer a lot of positives from the dogs' perspective.

Super Power Bowl

Anytime your dog wants something is the perfect time to train!

February 4, 2012

How true it is. If we have conditioned a lot of “wants” into our dogs and we are in control of access to them, we have so very many options available to us! Take the food bowl, for instance… it’s a common thing to have rules around when and where a dog can eat his “meal.” If you don’t have any or want to get to the next level, it's not too late to start! Even if your dog already does a sit/wait, there are lots of other things you can do with this exercise.

A Standard Poodle Embarks on a Life of Crime

January 23, 2012

Oh, it was such unconventional thievery – while young Sophia was looking the other way, Astro cunningly approached her, found the wallet in her jeans back pocket, carefully pulled it out and brought it to me. Good boy!!

This could be a nice sideline for my 2.5 year old Standard Poodle. It would be great if the dogs could pay for their own room and board; now perhaps there’s a chance!

"He Loves to Eat!"

The old FAT is the new NORMAL

January 14, 2012

He was a large dog. Not large TALL. Or large LONG. But large AROUND. This was a Portuguese Water Dog and he was blatantly obese. I was at an off-leash park with a bunch of dogs and my instant reaction was that of disbelief when I encountered him. My jaw dropped and without thinking, I addressed the fluffy black blimp with, "oh, you POOR dog! You are SO FAT. Don't your parents like you?"