The Dog Blog


Stoli in the pool

Mental Health and Illness in Dogs

The range of dogs I see in my dog training/behavior practice run the gamut from easy going and happy happy joy joy pups to radically disturbed dogs. The disturbed dog can be an especially unsafe dog -- to other dogs (dog/dog aggression), people (dog/people aggression), stuff (destructive) or in some cases, self destructive.


Training in a Nutshell

Training (from your dog's perspective):

  • What should I do? (Cue or Command)
  • How do I do that? (Elicit)
  • For how long should I keep doing it?  (Release)
  • Why should I do it? (Reward)


Training (from your perspective) -- The CERR Model:

"Command" - "Cue" = Prompt the dog.

"Elicit" = Coach your dog the right answer. Get him to do it!  

"Release" = Mark when he's done doing it.

"Reward" = Make it worth doing.





How do you make sure the dog will do it consistently?  

Practice, practice, practice.  


What if he is too "out of control" or "stressed out" to respond?  



But what if there are distractions?  

Roger Abrantes howling with husky in 1986 (photo by Ole Suszkievicz).

16 Things You Should Stop Doing In Order To Be Happy With Your Dog

Here is a list of 16 things you should stop doing in order to make life with your dog happier and your relationship stronger. Difficult? Not at all. You just need to want to do it and then simply do it. You can begin as soon as you finish reading this.

1. Stop being fussy—don't worry, be happy

Greyhound participating in a Nose Work Class

A Sighthound's Adventure in Nose Work

When you are the parent of an older, somewhat impaired dog, it can sometimes seem like the fun and games are over for the most part and that all you can do is love them to pieces while you can. Enter K9 Nose Work for companion dogs. This sport has been around for about 5 years now and is a fun activity to do with dogs of various abilities and skill levels.


Passive Interactive Dog Treat Recipe - Kong Parfait-cicle

This summer I've seen a slew of active, ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) dogs. Accompanying them are their often over stressed and anxious dog parents at loose ends. In need of ideas for quelling the seemingly endless needs of their dogs. These aren't always puppies or even teenage dogs. Dogs that might chronologically be adults but are emotionally developmentally delayed and thus, also in need of boredom busting activities that don't always require active participation by their owners. And frankly, even well balanced normal non problematic adult dogs like toys and games and fun times! While dog toys come in different forms and functions, and I've written about them before, my favorite kind are the ones that require THINKING happen in the dog's brain. To that end, with respect to these interactive toys, I break them down into Active and Passive Interactive.


Newsflash: Chicken Jerky and Sweet Potato Treats are NOT Dangerous

Serioulsy.  I’ve had it up to here with the misleading headlines, stories and FB comments about chicken jerky and sweet potato treats for dogs.  Neither food is dangerous to your dog.  Neither food will kill your dog. Dogs have been eating chicken and sweet potatoes for years.  They are not toxic.

Yes, there are many dogs who have gotten sick and died due to eating treats that happened to have these ingredients, but if you read the actual facts you will find the trouble lies in ingredients from China and manufacturing practices in China.  In fact, no one is really sure what the real problem is, as some have found traces of chemicals and plastic residue in some of these treats. 

What they do know is that there have been no cases of dogs getting sick or dying from treats with these ingredients that are made from American (or any other country besides China) ingredients and manufactured in America (or any other country besides China).

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Talking Dogs

This video will make for great discussion. I haven't put voice over on it yet, so what do you think?

To set the scene: 

Kelpie (brown dog on lead) is my entire 3 year old (in a few days) Kelpie.

Other collies are also entire and belong to the pub/hotel I was visiting. Don't know very much about them.

To help the non-trainers in this video we are looking at body language and what these dogs are doing.



Golden Retriever and Puppies

20 Principles for Dog Breeders

Genes code for the traits an organism will show, physical as well as behavioral, but genes are not all. The environment of that organism also plays a crucial role in the way some of its genes will express themselves.

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'Leave it', 'Find it' and 'Give' or 'Drop'.

As a follow on from my last blog, here are three essential commands to train every dog, especially as a preventer of possessive aggression. Hungarian Visla Bruno is learning all three commands using the clicker & a variety of objects.  Remember that as a young puppy, it's owners who impart value onto stolen items.  The dog has no idea what is worth stealing or not.  It's only from the confrontation which results from the theft & the owners tone of voice, that dogs learn over time what's worth taking to get attention.  As well as puppy proofing your home, I make sure that if my


Irresponsible Ownership: Whats Neutering Got To Do With It?

There have been some discussion about irresponsible ownership and it inspired me to write part two to my original blog "Neutering: Whats behaviour got to do with it?"

Irresponsible people in my opinion doesn't equal "all dogs should be neutered". I believe it's about whats best for the individual dog.  It seems too me the attitude of many owners now is that dogs are a convenience thing and disposable. Many have the idea "The local rescue centre will take him when we can't have or don't want him any more. This just isn't good enough, a sentient life deserves more! Lack of understanding and knowledge of living with dogs doesn't equal "all dogs should be neutered". Neutering is not going to make people more responsible owners because in my opnion there are many other qualities that I think are far more important when it comes to looking at responsible dog ownership. 



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