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Losing Your Audience

By |2014-01-06T10:40:59-05:00January 6th, 2014|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

I enjoy reading nonfiction and watching documentaries. But there are some books and videos I will avoid watching or stop watching, they are too upsetting to me. It won't matter how important someone tells me the information I'd be gaining is or how artfully it is presented. There are award-winning films I have not watched because I know how they end; me feeling bad. Berate ...

Trust Counts

By |2013-12-10T08:52:51-05:00December 10th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Trust is a central theme of soap operas, TV dramas and political relationships. It's lauded as being the keystone of good marriages and partnerships. Teenagers are reminded that they will not be allowed to stay home on their own, or out late, or have the keys to the car until they can be trusted. For many people the realization that trust has been "broken" can lead ...

Staying At The Party

By |2013-12-06T10:13:03-05:00December 6th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs, Medications for fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

I received this message on Facebook. I thought I'd share it and my response. "And while I was writing this in response to someone's question ... I was booted from that group ..lol nice Let me tell you what happens every time I state something I believe... I'm abused. I'll be part of a discussion and before you know it I'm getting bombarded with nasty ...

Use Protection

By |2013-11-16T09:20:27-05:00November 16th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

I returned home yesterday from a multi-day workshop on training birds at Natural Encounters in Florida. Watching and learning from the best bird trainers on the planet (and that is not hyperbole) was inspirational along with educational. One of the take-aways for me was new language to use when talking about training, any animal. Many of the participants at the workshop were zoo keepers. People ...

History Matters

By |2013-11-06T08:31:24-05:00November 6th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I'll be at my vet's office tonight running a class called "Vet Ready!" to help owners and dogs feel more comfortable coming to the clinic. Few things are as clear as how they respond to handling to give you an idea of what they have learned to expect from you. For some owners the way their dog responds is....well....history. The dog has learned that visits to ...

Shoring up the Foundation

By |2013-10-12T12:10:38-04:00October 12th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

When we ask a dog to do something in exchange for something they want it's not about "no free lunches" or that dogs need to learn to work for what they want. Every organism on the planet, if they are going to be around for long already has this information. If they didn't there would be no beaver dams, no mice caught by cats, no ...

Take It When You Can Get It

By |2013-09-29T14:12:12-04:00September 29th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

In November Sunny will have lived with us for 8 years. He has remained wary and afraid of my husband for those 8 years. There are likely a variety of reasons for this. John is a man, dogs tend to be more afraid of men than they are of women. Early on in their relationship there were several events that scared Sunny, quite literally sh**less ...

Wasting a Good System

By |2013-09-07T11:09:26-04:00September 7th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , |

Every organism on the planet needs to behave in particular ways in order to survive. For some the behavior is more complex, for others it might be moving in one direction with their mouth (or whatever it is they have that allows nutrients in) open. Even microscopic organisms will change their behavior based on whether or not they are reinforced for a particular behavior. They ...

Is Food Really the Problem?

By |2013-08-25T15:40:00-04:00August 25th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Guess what these dogs are looking forward to getting? From the comments I've been hearing and the stuff I've been reading on the internet one would be inclined to think that the use of food in training poses great problems or risks. I cannot think of one conversation I've had with a trainer who laments that their clients reinforce behaviors with food too ...

Assume They Bite

By |2013-08-22T08:27:53-04:00August 22nd, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Even a "good" dog has teeth. During his early time with us Sunny never growled or lifted a lip toward me or my husband. No one was more surprised than I was when he landed a bite on my neighbor's calf when she was walking in front of our house. I soon learned  from other, more experienced fearful dog owners, that there was ...