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Embedded thumbnail for A workshop with Ian Dunbar: Solving "impossible" off-leash, real-life  behavior problems, real-time.

A workshop with Ian Dunbar: Solving "impossible" off-leash, real-life behavior problems, real-time.

In this vlog post Ian Dunbar describes one of his latest workhops and what he most enjoys about teaching people and dogs in this format. He loves bringing "impossible" problem behaviors into the workhop and resolving them in real time. He teaches handlers how to quanitfy progress, test reliability, and improve performace vastly. This put the responsibility of reliability and performance on the handler and on training, rather than on the dog. Far too many dogs are being punished in the name of training or due to disobedience, when the fault actually lies within the teaching process. 

 
Embedded thumbnail for Give Your Dog The Gift of Sniff with Nosework!

Give Your Dog The Gift of Sniff with Nosework!

It’s no secret what a dog’s nose knows. While we humans have only around 5 million scent receptors, dogs’ olfactory receptors number in the hundreds of millions! Dogs use their noses as a primary source of navigation and information gathering. They use scent-marking a source of communication. Dogs take in scent the way most people take in visual and auditory information.

 

Yet in our human-centric world, dogs are constantly thwarted or punished for gathering info/exploring/expressing themselves via sniffing and marking.

 

The human equivalent would be to live with blinders on, our

 

Pet Food and Canine Nutrition: Best Brands

I just read the Independent Pet Food Nutrition Research Study by John Martinez based on a modification to Goldstein’s Wellness & Longevity Program — Natural Care for Dogs & Cats.

245 pet foods were scored according to quality of protein, fats and carbohydrate (whole grain and grain-free), absence of additives & preservatives, with a premium based on uncooked foods and vitamins, presence of phytonutrients, antioxidants, probiotics, prebiotics and lecithin and absence of non-beneficial nutrients to help reduce gas and form stool. (Obviously, with a good diet, dogs have good-looking...

Why is training recall so difficult for dog owners?

As with any training, recall is all about putting a routine into your dogs day which he enjoys taking part in. Recall should never mean "if I run back to my owners, she'll put me back on leash" but always, "if I run back to my owner, it's usually worth my while". With adult dogs, all recall training is easier done using a long line, which is dropped on the ground & dragged behind the dog. Never go from a short leash, to no leash. Instead use a long line which gives your dog freedom, without you losing control. 

Here is my quick guide to recall training, both for use with young puppies

Karlo & Taj dance

Dancing with the Stars Rhodesian Ridgeback Style

Socialization for your pup or dog is key to raising a healthy, stable animal. Socialization is exposure to SIGHTS, SOUNDS, SCENTS AND SURFACES paired with positive experience. Socialization is to people of all ages, other dogs (both on and the especially raucous off leash type of socializing), other animals and different places at different times of the day and throughout the year. Whether your plans for your dog include companionship, competition,  assistance or other types of work dog -- or all of the above and then some -- it is critically important to find time, make the effort and commit

Animal Shelter Team Gathered for a Meeting About Postivie Dog Training

Shelter Enrichment - Not Just For Dogs

Yesterday was a great day, a day when I felt like I had gotten in the game and put action behind my convictions. I’m passionate about keeping dogs in living rooms and out of shelters. I’m passionate about teaching people that behavioral issues can be solved humanely and positively. I’m passionate about spreading the word of positive training techniques far and wide. But passion is pointless when kept to yourself, and I honestly believe that actions speak louder than words.

When asked to put on a workshop about dog training for staff and volunteers at a local no-kill shelter, I wasn’t quite

A boy and his dog.

Fatal Dog Attacks And BSL

There has been a fatal dog attack on a young girl in the UK this week. My heart goes out to the friends and family of Jade Anderson. My heart breaks for their loss. There are no words of comfort I can offer to make things better in this time of tragedy. However, there is much to say regarding the incident. This incident was not unavoidable. Let’s hope that as the media swarms on the sensationalistic aspect of this sort of sad news and as the horror of such an attack leads people to become reactionary and call for blanket bans and breed specific legislation, that common sense and education...

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...

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