The Dog Blog


Roger Abrantes and Rottweiler.

Pacifying Behavior in Dogs

Pacifying behavior (Latin pacificare, from pax = peace and facerefacio = to make) is all behavior with the function of decreasing or suppressing an opponent’s aggressive or dominant behavior. There are two ways of classifying pacifying behavior: (1) to include all behaviors with the function of diffusing social conflict, and (2) to restrict it to a particular range within the broader spectrum of conflict decreasing behavior (see diagram). This author prefers the latter because the broad use of the term in the first option makes it synonymous with conflict decreasing behavior in general, without reference to any particular sub-class of this behavior.

Embedded thumbnail for Back chaining a Trick and Latent Learning

Back chaining a Trick and Latent Learning

Have some clicker fun with your dog tonight!


Conditioning Dogs To Accept Children

Children and dogs should go together but people must understand that a certain amount of conditioning is involved before a dog can understand that those fast moving, small creatures with inappropriate handling skills are actually safe to be around. Let’s look at the dog’s perspective on children for a moment. Imagine being a dog for a moment and suddenly this small creature runs full speed towards you, eye level with outstretched arms, hands waving with a high pitched voice! Yikes! Now imagine that you are not only a dog but you are tethered and cannot escape this little invasive being! Yikes again!

Dog Owner in Crate with Dog Relaxing Outside Crate

Time Outs for Dog Lovers

Dogs are amazing, we all adore dogs but how much is too much? Is there such a thing? Some dog/owner teams get the balance just right while others seem to be in need of an intervention. We talk about “hyper vigilance” in reactive dogs but many owners act the same way when it comes to fussing over their canine’s every perceived need or behavior. Much of the time dogs would be just fine if not for the stress cues of their owners. Can humans make their dogs more neurotic/aggressive/fearful or anxious by behaving a certain way? Is there such a thing as a codependent relationship between an owner and his or her dog? Most dog behavior professionals would say, “Yes” on both accounts.

Embedded thumbnail for Building confidence the clickery way.

Building confidence the clickery way.

Bella was unsure of walking down stairs so we do a few minutes of real time teaching trying to give her choices and predicability to increase her confidence. 


The Story Of Odie The Pekinese

Odie came to me on an odd day, one of those rainy, grey days, when the only thing you want to do is stay at home, listen to good music, watch the fire roaring in the fireplace, hold a hot cup of punch in your hands and feel sorry for yourself. Odie, an ugly duckling of a Pekinese, was awaiting his turn on death row. A twist of fate meant Odie survived his death sentence and, one year later, he had turned into a beautiful wolf.

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Cody and the Chicken

My clicking is not the best in this video but its fun to watch. 

Patchwork Pups copyright Karen Wild Pawprint Intellidogs ltd

Patchwork Pups - do we need 'breed'?

We don’t have a pack of dogs – we have a patchwork.

For me there is no such thing as ‘What breed?’ – partly because it takes so long for me to describe the various mixes we own, but also it makes me feel uncomfortable.

By talking about breed, I am somehow defining our dogs in a way I would never do with any other living creature. Let’s use our moggy as an example. Our cat is ‘Button’. He’s just himself (as any cat owner knows, very much himself!). He has his own way, his likes and dislikes. He’s black and white, and sleek, and fit. He leaves Hannibal Lecter-style demonstrations on our front lawn that would be worthy of any modern art installation, leaving you queasy and just a little bit intrigued all at once.

So, I don’t define him as a breed, and it’s the same with my dogs.


Filming Fido – How to get the shots you need and want

This is the second installment for this series Filming Fido.

I am not a professional photographer or have any legitimate experience with filming or making films. In fact I know so little about it from an actual schooling or practical stand point that I should not even be allowed to write about it. Nonetheless here I go. I mean hell that never stopped a dog trainer before from speaking about things they perhaps did not know all too much about.


Everyone Benefits from Shelter Play Groups

One of the barriers to improving the welfare of animals in shelters is a lack of resources.  This can mean a lack of volunteers, staff, funds or space.  For every idea that a shelter has for improving their program there is a list of required resources to make it happen.

Often, this is the main reason that the idea of starting a play group program is put on the back burner.  What a lot of people might not be able to see, however, is that the resources put into a shelter play group program can actually result in an increase of overall resources if it’s done right.



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