The Down & Dirty on Humping: Sex, Status, and Beyond

Humping is primarily a sexual behavior.  This is pretty obvious given its role in reproduction, and is generally accepted right across the spectrum of training philosophies. What is less agreed...

Stay Proofing

Is Your Aggressive Dog Dangerous? Dr. Dunbar Says, Probably Not

This video clip was taken from the new online seminar by Dr. Ian Dunbar: Dog-Dog Reactivity, only available on the Dunbar Academy All-Access Pass. Try your first month for just $1.  Do you have an...

How to Use Food Intelligently in Lure-Reward Dog Training

Based on Dr. Ian Dunbar’s lecture (of the same title). Only available on The All Access Pass at Food is extremely useful when training a dog … Food is simply unmatched for...

The Importance of Early Socialization

Socialization is the process of becoming familiar with all kinds of animals, people, places, and things; as well as learning how to behave in society. All puppies need socialization regardless of

All-or-None Reward Training

All-or-none reward training is the quintessence — the sine qua non — of successful adult dog training. All-or-none reward training techniques are easy, simple and extremely effective. The

Truly Amazing!

Recently seeing a nine week old Rottweiler puppy searching a living room for and indicating the presence of bomb material, seeing a group of pet owners attending a ‘nose work’ class I was assisting, and attending a few seminars and workshops lately on working dogs got me thinking…

Pet dogs, cancer detection dogs, assistance dogs, police dogs, pets as therapy dogs and these are just a few roles that dogs fulfill in society today!

The New Scientist Magazine (UK) wrote some time ago, “Dogs do as well as state-of-the-art screening tests at sniffing out people with lung or breast cancer. The research raises the possibility that trained dogs could detect cancers even earlier and might some day supplement or even replace mammograms and CT scans in the laboratory.”


Hurry! Limited Time Offer!

Dog owners may be surprised to find how often trainers will bring up the subject of early puppy education. There are reasons, you know. This isn’t my first post on the subject, and it certainly won’t be my last.

The reason it’s brought up so frequently is because it’s a near desperate situation that seems to be very difficult to clearly get into the heads of puppy owners and potential puppy owners. Perhaps as a trainer I have been speaking too softly about it. Maybe it’s time to play hard ball.

Here’s the deal. If your “puppy” is over the age of about four and a half months, you cannot realistically call me for puppy classes or puppy training advice unless you are looking for advice on a future puppy you intend to take into your home. The dog you have is done being a puppy. You missed it. You messed up. You blew it. You are now asking me to let a teenager into kindergarten, and I can’t do that.


Emergency! Dog on the Loose!

Regardless of how careful we are to keep a watchful eye, doors secured and gates closed, life happens. Dogs get loose. Even the most responsible owner may one day find herself with heart pounding, frantically chasing her beloved fur-kid down a busy street, pleading with the dog to stop and come back.

Of course, having your dog reliably trained to come when called under any circumstances is ideal, and is a goal that is well worth working toward. But in the meantime, here are a few tips and tricks for a “dog on the loose” emergency situation:


Name Game

Following the recent release of Puppy’s First Steps – The Whole-Dog Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, Well Behaved Puppy, I have turned my attentions to my next project, a new book for the owners of adult dogs.

While the puppy book helps guide owners from birth to 1 year of age, the next book will take owners from age 1 through the adult years, up to and including old age. The first draft is all but complete and publication is slated for Spring 2008.

But there’s a problem. Neither the publisher, Houghton-Mifflin of Boston, nor I can come up with a suitable title and that’s where I would like some help from readers. But first, I should tell you something about the book.


Surf's Up, Dude!

Okay, let’s do a little visualization. I’d tell you to close your eyes, but that would make it hard to read this. So, keep your eyes open.

Imagine you work in an office (maybe you really do, which will make this easier). In your office there is a cupboard and you don’t know what is kept inside. One day, you decide to open the door and check it out.

Inside, you find a $10 bill! Cool, huh? You put the money in your pocket and think, “Wow, I’m glad I finally checked out that cupboard!”

Do you think you’ll look in that cupboard again? Of course you will! So, let’s say the next time you check the cupboard, you find a fresh slice of your favorite pie! Woo hoo! It’s a magic cupboard full of wonderful surprises! What a discovery!


Dog/People Training in Vietnam: Entry - June 19th, 2007 Taipei International Airport


In case some of you did not get to the last of my 4th entry here it is: Mr. Ha the director of the training facility (my new second home) has had a major change of mind in the methods of training of the dogs and his trainers under his care.

He had his trainers write him letters saying that they would never hit the dogs!!!! If they did they would be fined X amount of Dong ($$$), do it again and the fine doubles, do it a 3rd time and U B history. Out of the program!!! Finished!!

Mr. Ha and I plan on introducing animal cruelty laws to the government of Vietnam in the future. This all takes time and will require the same strategy I use with my clients, baby steps.


Stop Your Dog From Pooping!

Pooping is an annoying, smelly and common problem among dogs. It’s important that owners put a stop to this kind of behavior right away. I say, nip it in the bud (or butt)! No dog should be allowed to poop anywhere at anytime, and no owner should ignore this unsavory behavior.

Sound crazy? Good. It is. But I’ll tell you what...when owners ask me how to stop their dog from chewing, it sounds just as crazy to me. STOP a dog from chewing? Why in the world would someone want to do that to a dog?

Now, some of you will say, “Oh, Cindy, I think they mean that they want to stop the dog from chewing inappropriate items. They just don’t want the dog to chew up their shoes or their table leg.”


Musings on Cesar and A Few Other Things

Just read yet another article about the Cesar Milan phenomenon. It seems that wherever he goes, he attracts hundreds if not thousands of people, many of whom believe he can do no wrong. He appears to be the canine messiah to his followers.

I wonder why he strikes such a chord with so many people. Is it because he is the epitome of control? He certainly appears to exude confidence and knowledge, which is probably very heartening to people who’ve been living with a problem dog for some time. Maybe it’s because his mantra is so simple – exercise and pack leadership. He doesn’t spend a lot of time (at least on the programs) discussing the individual dog, just what the dog should learn to do, and what the people should do to teach him or her.


Identity Crisis

This week somebody forwarded me a link to an episode of the Today Show in which host Meredith Vieira and others discussed DNA testing of mixed breed dogs to determine their breed origin. To do this, a cheek swab is taken from the dog and sent to MetaMorphix Inc. in Davis, California. The teaser was Meredith questioning what her own dog, Jasper, had hidden in his genes. Although she was told that he was an Aussie-Poo with papers to prove it, she had her doubts about this and sent a cheek swab off to the lab.


Modern Muttly Monikers

See Spot. See Spot run. See Spot run out of steam as a popular dog name, along with Fido, Rex and Lassie. Today’s muttly monikers are creative, humorous, and sometimes downright odd. Consider the following categories:

Playing Against Body Type: At a rescue center I worked with, we had an enormous white German shepherd/wolf mix. His name was Tiny. At the other end of the spectrum, a training client’s teacup Chihuahua was named Goliath. And a perfectly proportioned, pert and cute teacup yorkie I trained is named Quasi Modo.

Human Names: Bob. Bill. Hank. Sadie. Are they your friends? Co-workers? Nope. They’re dogs. Somehow I find watching someone instruct their poodle, “Bob, stay!” a bit disconcerting. Then again, I once dated a guy named Spike. Who am I to question anyone’s taste?



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