Edward Lee Thorndike showed that behavior is modified by its consequences and in 1905, he published his Law of Effect, basically stating: Any behavior followed by pleasant consequences will increase...

Why Don’t We Adequately Socialize Young Puppies With People?

Dogs may be taught manners and basic obedience at anytime in their lives. However, training puppies is just so much fun and so, why wait? Similarly, behavior problems may be resolved at any time in a...

5.08 Over the Top Dog Aggression

Shirley in New Jersey has a problem with her dog being reactive when off-leash, jumping her fence and chasing down bikers and joggers. She’s tried setting up training scenarios, but the dog...

5.06 Parvovirus vs. Insufficient Socialization

Many veterinarians are sufficiently concerned about the risk posed by canine parvovirus that they advise dog owners to keep their puppies at home until their vaccinations are complete. This poses some...

5.05 What is Socialization?


Ian’s been reading up on socialization research and he has some fresh thoughts to share. But first, what is socialization, what do we mean when we say it? Is there another word that might be

Choosing Your Puppy

Choosing a puppy is a very important decision, and everyone who lives in the household should agree before any puppy is brought into the home. If the puppy is to truly become a member of the family,...


Dog Training in Vietnam: Part Deux

Yesterday was another EPIC day for all my students and me. The subject matter was "Socialization". Well, they did not understand what and why initially but thanks to a top notch translator my job has been rather smooth in getting them to see and understand things in a new way.  


Desperate Times Call for Sensible Measures

Lots of things “work” in dog training. Throwing a can of coins at a dog who is barking at the door might get the dog to stop barking. However, it might be a good idea to stand in the dog’s fur and ask what you’ve just learned.

You’ve learned that your owner might throw scary things at you. You’ve learned that barking at the door makes scary or unpleasant things happen. You might decide that your owner is scary and unpredictable, or that the door is a dangerous place.


Dog Training in Vietnam: Entry- May 22nd 2007, Hanoi, North Vietnam

For those of you who do not know me, I am a dog trainer based in Los Angeles California and I have been living on a island Koh Phangan in the Southern Gulf of Thailand part-time since 1990.

Over the years I have been exploring around Asia. I found myself in Hanoi for what I thought was just a fluke, a vacation. But now I do believe in Destiny.


Breed Bans: An odious topic

Last week I was called to the Massachusetts State House to testify about “dangerous dogs.” I agreed to go because it was just an information gathering session and anyway, Representative Vincent Pedone, who invited me sounded like a reasonable guy on the phone.

When asked about breed bans I lead off with the statement that the breed bans were odious. I guess I should have used the word hateful because a lot of people misunderstood and sent me hate email (“How could a person in your position …”etc).


Slow and Steady Saves You Face

At my dog daycare facility, I often find owners struggling to help their dog maintain a sit during greetings, or apologizing for their excited behavior in the daycare lobby. They seem to really want the dog to come into the facility in a calm, respectable manner. This same scene takes place on sidewalks, in parks, at the vet’s office and in homes across the country.


Soko's Addiction

I have a confession: Soko, my German Shepherd who passed away last April at the age of 13, was an addict. Yes, friends, if she could have stood on a dog house in a yard filled with her canine peers, she would have barked out, “My name is Soko and I am a tennis ball addict.” No doubt the malamutes would have woo-woo’d a warm, “Welcome, Soko!” The other Shepherds would have nodded knowingly. The Border Collies, of course, would simply have stared.


Training Songs for the Musical Trainer (Sung to the The Wizard of Oz tune, "If I Only Had a Brain")

If I’d gone to puppy classes, I’d not have chewed your glasses

Or caused you such great pain

Oh I woulda been a good dog, and I coulda been a good dog

If I only had been trained.

I would not be just a nothin’, my mouth all full of stuffin’

From your new couch and chair

I’d behave – you must believe me

Don’t you know you’re s’posed to leave me
 In my crate when you’re not there.


Oh gee, I’m running free – I slipped out of the door

You can chase me but you’ll never catch me cause


Canine Juvenile Delinquents

Many dog owners falsely believe that their four, six or eight month old dog is still a puppy. Well, I suppose she is in the same way that my 23 year old daughter is still my little girl. However, my feelings about my daughter do not change the fact that she is most certainly an adult. Likewise, the cuteness or playfulness of any dog doesn’t change the fact that a dog becomes an adolescent around four months of age.


You Get What You Reward

I just returned from a training appointment with one of my favorite clients. Cory and Carol are a forty-something couple who have a twelve-year-old son and a Golden Retriever named Vinnie. Perhaps it’s my Brooklyn roots, but the dog’s name strikes me as funny and adorable. The dog is both.


Beach Dogdom III

On my routine evening strolls along one of the most gorgeous beaches I have seen in my life, I watched the typical sunset “scene” and pondered the life of the dogs that lived and played in this quaint little surfer town.



Subscribe to