Eric Goebelbecker


Eric owns and runs Dog Spelled Forward dog training part-time in Maywood NJ, while working full-time as a software engineer on Wall Street. He hopes to transition Dog Spelled Forward to full-time in a few years. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT.)

After adopting a puppy that was a "bit of a handful" in 2000, Eric discovered modern dog training via classes at St. Hubert's Dog Training School, experiencing first hand what can be done with dog-friendly techniques.

He has since attended an Internship at Pat Miller's Peaceable Paws, level one and two Instructor Training Courses with Dogs Of Course, and became an instructor at St. Hubert's. Eric also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Eric lives with Dagmar, his very patient wife and Christian, their son. Caffeine, the bit of a handful puppy turned still-a-bit-of-a-handful dog, shares their home with Gage and Buddha, two other rescues. (Caffeine and Buddha are pictured.)

More information about Eric, as well as his personal blog, can be found at the Dog Spelled Forward web site.


(Photos copyright 2009 Ars Magna Studio.)


Blog posts by Eric Goebelbecker

Mr Blogshot needs help this week.

Self-entertaining Dogs

I'm having a pretty lousy week, so none of the sixteen or so (seriously) draft posts I have are going to get done tonight. In the finest tradition of the bloggers I've been reading for years I'm going to recycle some content and then beg for comments. Bare with me though, I think this could be kinda cool.

Consider this video that I posted over on my DSF blog:


Just Don't Call Them Furbabies

More exciting research with dogs was released last week. This new study provides more evidence that dogs tend to follow human cues very closely. I wrote about an earlier study and the always fascinating Belayaev Foxes over here and here

The researchers performed a test with dogs and human-raised wolves and 10 month old toddlers. They first performed the test with dogs and toddlers. As has been repeatedly reported in the news, the dogs frequently made the same "mistake" as the toddlers: relying too heavily on nonverbal cues to figure out where an object is hidden. This suggests that dogs reading human "body language" similar to the way human children do. 

Westie with poker chips

Play your own hand, GB!

In the Army, you spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for something to happen. Today, at least based on what I have seen and read, this time can be spent on the Internet or playing video games. Back in the pre-YouTube, pre-xBox and pre-Iraq/Afghanistan days, we played cards.

I'll always be a mediocre card player, but after three months temporarily stationed in Crete, where there wasn't a lot to do and I spent half of the time on crutches, (long story, tangentially involving turkeys) I became a serviceable "spades" player.

Angel the cockatiel

Extinction: not just for dinosaurs and 8-tracks

We have three birds here at Dog Spelled Forward World Headquarters. Spike and Angel are a pair of cockatiels and Xander (who should be named Anya, but she was very young when she was found "stray" near our home) is a parakeet.

Angel is "my" bird. (Those of you who have shared children or pets with a significant other are undoubtedly familiar with the concept of "ours" and "yours." For example, "our" son finished near the top of his class and got a full scholarship to college, while "my" son did about $4500 in damage to the Prius last winter.) Angel would start screaming as soon as someone's feet hit the floor in the morning and would continue the racket until the cage was uncovered. When asked, I would simply say "ignore him and don't go near the cage until he stops." My wife would make half-hearted attempts, but it never worked.


My Honor Student Just Bit Your Honor Student

(My intention is to post here on Wednesdays, but this is going to be a nutty week, so here goes.)

"That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average." If you're a fan of Garrison Keillor and "A Prairie Home Companion" like I am, you've heard that wrap up to the "news" many times.

Based on recent reports about Dr. Stanley Coren, you may be convinced it's time to update that line to something like "That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are at least as smart as the dogs."

Photo credit: mccun934 on Flicker. CC by 2

That was no dog. That was Jabba the Hutt.

When I was a young teen, before the fact that my mother worked for the police department was to come in handy a few times, I would occasionally do some babysitting. I wasn't too fond of it, but comic books didn't pay for themselves and the paper route money only went so far.

There was one family that I didn't mind babysitting for. The Brandenburgs had something called a "video tape recorder" and Mr. Brandenburg had well-connected friends. So I was able to see - on a television(!) - Star Wars. There were a few other movies, and even a videotaped Kiss concert, but seeing Star Wars - on a television! - was a Big Deal in 1978. (My first experience with letterboxing...but I digress.)


Pete and Repeat Were on a Boat...

Dale Carnegie said "Remember that a man's name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language." But I think he missed the real winner in the "most beloved sound" contest: the sound of our own voices. We love to talk, and if we don't get some sort of immediate feedback, we tend to repeat ourselves.

Meanwhile dogs don't send or receive very much information vocally. Sure, there are plenty of dogs - entire breeds actually - that seem to love the sound of their own "voices" too, but this is not the domestic dog's primary way of transmitting or, and this is important, receiving information.

I'll repeat that.

Vocal communication is not the domestic dog's primary way of transmitting or, and this is important, receiving information.


The "Secret" to Dog Training?

What is the secret to dog training? As I browse the Internet I keep reading about secrets. Secret techniques. Secret solutions. I even saw a e-book that claimed its secret would "slash my dog obedience training time in half" while another claimed to contain all of the secrets of a professional dog trainer



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