The Dog Blog


Har-Vest Special Via Pet Tech Radio

Want to learn details about Har-Vest: 3-in-1 Backpack For Dogs AND get a great special good through April 30, 2012? Listen to Episode 4 of my interview with host Ken Jones of PET TECH RADIO and get a rare and generous FREE GIFT with your purchase. 


Who Killed These Dogs?

A picture and the subsequent conversation on Facebook has compelled me to write this blog post.  The conversation is about a picture making the internet rounds.  It is a picture of four dead dogs lying on the floor of a shelter truck.  At the top right of the picture are the words, "If you breed or buy, you are responsible for this."


Belly Ball - A game for dogs and humans

Dogs and games with humans seem to be something that has existed since time and memorial. After all a dog that tracks prey could be playing the game called survival and the prize or “goal” or reward is the food.

Dogs and humans also both like games for the sheer fun of playing an activity that we find rewarding with no apparent survival contingency.

About 5 years ago as I tossed a ball towards my dog Keyshia it went under and through her belly and I said, “Hey that could be a goal?”

Belly Ball Overview and Description video -

Petrine retrieving bird.

Do Dogs Have Self-Respect?

Did she cheat me? Did she manipulate me. Or was it a proof that my English Cocker Spaniel had a sense of self-respect; that dogs behave intelligently?

It happened long ago, but I still think about it, trying to find a plausible and scientifically correct explanation. My dogs have always been fun dogs, independent and skillful, but manipulative and naughty at the same time. It’s my fault. I’ve brought them up to be that way. I trained them because at the time (the beginning of the 1980s) I was keen on demonstrating that there were other ways of training dogs than the traditional, mostly compulsory and often forceful methods of the old school. Since I believed (and still do) that the best way to have someone change is not by forcing, persuading or convincing, but rather by showing attractive results, I trained my dogs to help me in this quest, and none more than Petrine, my female, red English Cocker Spaniel did so.


Talking to the animals! with Rosie Barclay

I owe the internet a debt of gratitude. Twitter and facebook, and of course Dog Star Daily, have opened up some great friendships and collaborations for me and have allowed me to meet some amazing dog trainers from all over the world. I have learned a lot and remain humbled by their skill, experience and compassion. I thought it was my turn to repay some of this debt by introducing some of the top pet behaviourists here in the UK so we can share their experiences, too. What makes someone choose this career?

Rosie Barclay BSc(Hons) MPhil CCAB is a Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist and Chair of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC). As well as TV and radio appearances and working with dogs and owners, Rosie has used her skills to help the animals at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey. I asked Rosie how she first got into the training world.

Orange QUARANTINED ANIMAL sign in window

Dog Training and Dinner Disasters

I was just cooking dinner the night my newly adopted retired racing greyhound delivered a level 3 bite to the meaty part of my right hand. Pots were on the stove, the TV was on, and a nice meal was the only thing on the agenda at the end of a relaxing rainy Sunday. I wasn’t dog training. Preoccupied by the timing and ingredients of the recipe, I marched over to the new black dog sitting on a dog bed in the corner to take a rawhide chewy away from him, like I’d done dozens of times before. It plays like slow motion in my head to describe it now. I reached in, and without a sound he nailed my hand, hard. OMG. I could NOT believe it. After letting out a primal guttural shriek, I rushed to the sink and knew it was bad.

Embedded thumbnail for Talking Dogs

Talking Dogs

A short video clip from one of my workshops.

Jack trained using positive reinforcement aka "throw the ball throw the ball"!

What "method" of Dog Training should I "use"?

There are many types and "methods" of Dog Training. The marketing behind dog training is massive. We have whisperers, listeners, lifetime trainers, "grew up with wild wolves", pack leaders, bonding, natural dog training, protection dog training, positive reinforcement, reward based training, motivational training and more. It's quite difficult to decide and the internet can be unhelpful in aiding that decision.

Recovery & Dog Training

Through uncontrollable circumstances early on, and later choices in my life, I was sporadically exposed to recovery and eventually immersed in it. While I never fully embraced the 12 step programs, I have great respect for their followers. I’ve also found some of their sayings to be very helpful reminders throughout my life. In fact, they even apply to dog training.

“First things first.” – This saying is based on the model of the medical triage. You must take care of the most immediate problem before you get to the underlying issues. For instance, you must stop the bleeding before you worry about putting in stitches.


Advocacy Overdrive - Ohio Ends BSL After 25 years!

In February of 2012 after 25 years of breed discriminatory legislation in the state of Ohio, Governor John Kasich signed HB14 into law ending breed discriminatory laws aimed at banning pit bulls and other “types” of dogs deemed “dangerous”.

As with all BSL the dogs are judged based on "looks" or "type" and what amounts to gut feelings and guesses. Thus sending countless dogs to be euthanized without a proper evaluation. When dogs do seriously harm or in the rare event someone dies from dog bites those dogs are euthanized.

In it’s wake BSL leaves responsible dog people that are guardians of such types to be prejudiced against in various ways. These include refusals of insurance and housing or stiff fines and confiscations of innocent dogs. In addition many dogs are never considered for adoption and are euthanized or languish away in cells at shelters.



Subscribe to The Dog Blog