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Puppy Classes And Canine Parvovirus

I have just read a paper in the March/April issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association describing a study that concluded, puppies vaccinated at least once prior to starting puppy classes at less than 16 weeks of age were at no more risk of being diagnosed with Canine Parvovirus infection than vaccinated puppies that did not attend classes.

The study comprised two parts:

1. A total of 21 veterinary clinics were selected from both low- and high-income zones in four cities with different seasonal patterns (Atlanta GA, Chicago IL, Phoenix AZ and Seattle WA). Data were...

Why are You Teaching Your Dog That?


So, there are some words, phrases and cues that I choose not to use with dogs.  One of those is, “Look at me.”  I don’t say it and I don’t teach it.  Of course there’s nothing wrong with it, but I find it redundant and unnecessary in my training, so I don’t use it.

If I want to get someone’s attention, I generally say their name.  The expectation is that if I say someone’s name, they will respond by looking at me and at that point I can say whatever it is I need to say.  If I say someone’s name and they don’t respond, I can assume they either didn’t hear me or they are ignoring...

Jack Russell Terriers Sitting

He Won't Sit Still for a Second: Quantifying Success in Dog Training

Years ago after a puppy class, a frustrated owner (of a Jack Russell Terrier) complained that her puppy wouldn’t sit still for a second. I got out my stopwatch and checked. She was quite correct; the puppy only sat for 0.2 of a second. I wrote the number on a sheet of paper and stuck it on the wall. On the fourth trial though, the JRT proved her wrong and sat for 1.2 seconds. I wrote the dog’s new personal best on the sheet of paper. Baby steps? Yes. But because we objectively quantified the dog’s performance, we realized that these baby steps reflected a 600% improvement. I explained to...

If I Should Die Before I Wake

Tell me about your plan for your dogs should something happen to you.  Not what you think or hope will happen, but your actual plan.  Who will take them?  Will that person keep them or be charged with the responsibility of rehoming them?  Do you have a dog that could not be rehomed and might have to be euthanized instead?  Have you thought about these things?

I recently and quite suddenly lost a friend.  She was only 43 years old and by all appearances perfectly healthy.  She died of a pulmonary embolism.  She had two dogs, one of them is blind.  There is no way that she or anyone else

I'm Mean to Dogs

I was working with a dog at the dog park the other day. We were near the dog park, but not inside the play area.  We walked around practicing loose leash walking, eye contact, the “let’s go” cue, sits and stays.  While working close to the dog park fence, a woman asked me if the dog was friendly with other dogs.  I explained that he was and that he routinely went to dog daycare and to dog parks.  She then asked if he was going to come in to play when he was done working.  I told her that he wasn’t.

“Oh, you’re so mean!” she told me.  I laughed and went along my way, thinking about all

Puppy biting or mouthing.

Puppy Class And Biting, Mouthing Puppies

What is the number one reason for puppy class? To continue to work on puppies’ acquired bite inhibition. Put differently, to teach people how to give appropriate feedback to their mouthy young pup with needle-sharp teeth.

 

It’s generally the very first question we get at our SIRIUS Puppy & Dog Training School, “How do I stop my puppy from biting?”  Even though puppies are pretty tiny and have weak jaws, there pointy little teeth really pack a punch. It is no wonder people don’t want their pups to bite them, but our job at puppy school is to convince people not to punish out

Predicting Dangerous Human Behavior

The trouble with people claiming to be able to “predict” the “dangerousness” of a dog based on their breed or “type” is this, they have not put forth any proof they themselves know anything about dog behavior and or human behavior as it relates to the potential dangerousness of dogs, so they cannot make the claim. 

Even if one did have great insights to dog behavior or the breed or mix of the dog, they cannot make the clam based solely on the dog’s type, the major factor in a dog’s “dangerousness” are the humans and their behavior, period. As a collective community, people on both...

The Impact of Importing Dogs

It's become quite popular in many areas to move dogs from one shelter to another in the hopes that they will have a better chance to be adopted.  The original idea of shelter transfers was a good one, I believe, when done right.  In my opinion, doing it right means that shelters and rescues are helping one another to better serve their communities by trading animals, giving long time shelter residents new exposure in a new location or transferring a dog with special needs (health or behavioral) to an organization with the resources to meet those needs.

Sadly, this original idea has morphed

Dove is an Open Paw shelter dog available for adoption from the Alachua County Animal Shelter

Open Paw: Turning Animals Shelters Into Dog and Cat Universities

Hello everyone! It’s been ages since I blogged here at Dog Star Daily and that is a shame. I’ve been very busy with the redesign of the site, revamping puppy training protocols for SIRIUS®, traveling teaching fun scent work games for pet dogs, and with the encouraging boom of Open Paw® shelter training workshops. Regardless, my apologies for staying away for so long!

 

Have you heard of Open Paw? It’s one of my very favorite projects and I don’t think I’ve ever written about it here on DSD. People like to call it a shelter dog and cat training and behavior program, but I like to call it

Dog Training, With a Pint of Guinness to Help

Using distraction, as a reward for correct response to commands.

The video shows novice dog, Hungarian Visla, Bruno, enjoying a game of chase with more advanced dog, Border Collie, Guinness. In order to allow freedom off leash, regardless of what’s going on, dogs need to listen, understand & respond to commands. When I ask Bruno & Guinness to perform a ‘down’ mid chase, their response must be non-negotiable, as one day it may save their lives. In addition, I don’t want all my hard work convincing a dog I’m the best fun, to be wasted as he gets too much thrill from playing

 

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