The Dog Blog


Embedded thumbnail for  What the puppies learnt & why they learnt it! Week 5 Puppy Socialisation Class.

What the puppies learnt & why they learnt it! Week 5 Puppy Socialisation Class.

The aim of any puppy socialisation class should be to start puppies along the right road to becoming a well adjusted, happy adult dogs, using fun training & controlled play/interaction with other dogs. This means giving a wide variety of skills to both dogs & owners & hopefully giving them the thirst for continued learning & improvement.

In this video you'll see the foundations for loose leash walking-not relying on the lead for control, Bella the Bishon shows focus, heel position & a happy, willing disposition while walking beside her owner Clare.

Fenella the Sprocker

Stoli laugh

Mental Health and Illness in Dogs: part II - PTSD Revisited

Three weeks ago I wrote about the interesting case of Stoli the Rottie rescue who I diagnosed with a case of PTSD. You can read about her background and earlier experience HERE or HERE. Now, as promised, an update. Stoli came for a second DIP session on August 9, directly after which her owner and family went on a week long vacation. The original plan had been to kennel her, which was a concern. But in the end, and quite happily, Stoli remained in the home and a family friend (who had attended the 2nd DIP session and displayed a great intrigue with the world of dog training and behavior) took care of her in their absence.

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Training for ear treatments

This video demonstrates two ways of teaching dogs to be comfortable with allowing ear medication with three different puppies/dogs. You can do similar training for other handling training too.

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Teaching Stay - Training with young people

This video shows how we were teaching our dogs and puppies to stay during puppy class. You see some excellent training by some young handlers. The puppies were learning to be comfortable being on different surfaces hence the tables. If you are teaching stay then I would suggest you start on a more stable floor.

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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