The Dog Blog


Take Your Dog To Work Day 2012

Immersed in the world of professional dog training with a living laboratory of my own 3 dogs plus a rotating stable of boarding and training projects, not to mention the visiting DIP dogs, every day is some form or another of Take Your Dog To Work Day. But for the unfortunate masses of those in diverse occupations who head to work without Fido because laws and rules dictate leaving the dog behind, this is your chance!


What's Your Preference? Dogs or Humans?

It’s become more and more expected and accepted that dogs are thought of as part of the family.  They live indoors with us.  We celebrate their birthdays.  We deeply grieve their deaths.  I feel this way about my dogs and suspect that you do, too. 

What I don’t feel is the popular opinion that dogs are better than people.  I hear people say often that they like dogs more than people or they prefer the company of dogs.  Sure, there are some folks I would be less inclined to hang out with, but to prefer dogs over humans seems odd to me.  I saw a post on FB yesterday that said this:

Why I Prefer Dogs:

Dogs aren’t racist

Dogs don’t discriminate

Dogs aren’t evil

Dogs don’t start wars

Dogs aren’t sexist

Dogs don’t lie

Dogs aren’t hypocrites

Dogs don’t incite hatred

Dogs aren’t HUMAN



'Too Many Trainers Spoil the Dog'.

When it comes to successfully training a dog or rectifying behaviour challenges, the issue of the owner quality variable is often discussed. This is the ability of the owner to follow through with the programme of retraining, to practice the advice given by the professional.  What has been noted less often however, is the issue of owner quantity.  Just how many people will be involved in the dog's rehabilitation & how will this affect the success rate? 

Earlier this year, I started working with a family & their dog.  The family had had the dog for a few years, & had struggled with possessive aggressive for some time.  However, as the family grew in size-including several kids, two grandparents & numerous regular household staff-the dog's behaviour had deteriorated significantly . 

Roger Abrantes and Rottweiler.

Pacifying Behavior in Dogs

Pacifying behavior (Latin pacificare, from pax = peace and facerefacio = to make) is all behavior with the function of decreasing or suppressing an opponent’s aggressive or dominant behavior. There are two ways of classifying pacifying behavior: (1) to include all behaviors with the function of diffusing social conflict, and (2) to restrict it to a particular range within the broader spectrum of conflict decreasing behavior (see diagram). This author prefers the latter because the broad use of the term in the first option makes it synonymous with conflict decreasing behavior in general, without reference to any particular sub-class of this behavior.

Embedded thumbnail for Back chaining a Trick and Latent Learning

Back chaining a Trick and Latent Learning

Have some clicker fun with your dog tonight!


Conditioning Dogs To Accept Children

Children and dogs should go together but people must understand that a certain amount of conditioning is involved before a dog can understand that those fast moving, small creatures with inappropriate handling skills are actually safe to be around. Let’s look at the dog’s perspective on children for a moment. Imagine being a dog for a moment and suddenly this small creature runs full speed towards you, eye level with outstretched arms, hands waving with a high pitched voice! Yikes! Now imagine that you are not only a dog but you are tethered and cannot escape this little invasive being! Yikes again!

Dog Owner in Crate with Dog Relaxing Outside Crate

Time Outs for Dog Lovers

Dogs are amazing, we all adore dogs but how much is too much? Is there such a thing? Some dog/owner teams get the balance just right while others seem to be in need of an intervention. We talk about “hyper vigilance” in reactive dogs but many owners act the same way when it comes to fussing over their canine’s every perceived need or behavior. Much of the time dogs would be just fine if not for the stress cues of their owners. Can humans make their dogs more neurotic/aggressive/fearful or anxious by behaving a certain way? Is there such a thing as a codependent relationship between an owner and his or her dog? Most dog behavior professionals would say, “Yes” on both accounts.

Embedded thumbnail for Building confidence the clickery way.

Building confidence the clickery way.

Bella was unsure of walking down stairs so we do a few minutes of real time teaching trying to give her choices and predicability to increase her confidence. 


The Story Of Odie The Pekinese

Odie came to me on an odd day, one of those rainy, grey days, when the only thing you want to do is stay at home, listen to good music, watch the fire roaring in the fireplace, hold a hot cup of punch in your hands and feel sorry for yourself. Odie, an ugly duckling of a Pekinese, was awaiting his turn on death row. A twist of fate meant Odie survived his death sentence and, one year later, he had turned into a beautiful wolf.

Embedded thumbnail for Cody and the Chicken

Cody and the Chicken

My clicking is not the best in this video but its fun to watch. 



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