The Dog Blog


Patchwork Pups copyright Karen Wild Pawprint Intellidogs ltd

Patchwork Pups - do we need 'breed'?

We don’t have a pack of dogs – we have a patchwork.

For me there is no such thing as ‘What breed?’ – partly because it takes so long for me to describe the various mixes we own, but also it makes me feel uncomfortable.

By talking about breed, I am somehow defining our dogs in a way I would never do with any other living creature. Let’s use our moggy as an example. Our cat is ‘Button’. He’s just himself (as any cat owner knows, very much himself!). He has his own way, his likes and dislikes. He’s black and white, and sleek, and fit. He leaves Hannibal Lecter-style demonstrations on our front lawn that would be worthy of any modern art installation, leaving you queasy and just a little bit intrigued all at once.

So, I don’t define him as a breed, and it’s the same with my dogs.


Filming Fido – How to get the shots you need and want

This is the second installment for this series Filming Fido.

I am not a professional photographer or have any legitimate experience with filming or making films. In fact I know so little about it from an actual schooling or practical stand point that I should not even be allowed to write about it. Nonetheless here I go. I mean hell that never stopped a dog trainer before from speaking about things they perhaps did not know all too much about.


Everyone Benefits from Shelter Play Groups

One of the barriers to improving the welfare of animals in shelters is a lack of resources.  This can mean a lack of volunteers, staff, funds or space.  For every idea that a shelter has for improving their program there is a list of required resources to make it happen.

Often, this is the main reason that the idea of starting a play group program is put on the back burner.  What a lot of people might not be able to see, however, is that the resources put into a shelter play group program can actually result in an increase of overall resources if it’s done right.


Party Protocols for Big Challenging Dogs

With graduations and wedding season approaching no matter if it is family, friends or perhaps new folks coming in for a visit from out of town; when you have a party or a holiday event and a big dog that may be challenging you need a plan to reduce stress! Even friendly dogs can cause stress by jumping, or reacting at party sounds or perhaps simply just being in the way while you are attempting to entertain and feed your guests.

These protocols can help not only to reduce your stress but also recue the stress for your dog. By challenging I am referring to a dog that may have some stress

Muzzle grab in dogs.

Why Do Dogs Muzzle Grab One Another?

A "Muzzle grab" (as shown in this photo of Marco de Kloet) is a common behavior shown by social canines, e.g. wolves (Canis lupus lupus), dingoes (Canis lupus dingo), and dogs (Canis lupus familiaris).


Those Lovely, Ill-Mannered, Untrained Shelter Dogs


So, my last blog upset a few people who thought my description of many shelter dogs as ill-mannered and untrained was derogatory and unfair.  I found it very sad that these people felt such simple truths were so damning.  Personally, I think the dog-adopting public is much more capable of handling and understanding the truth than some would imagine.

In fact, as some critics pointed out, most dog owners are already living with well-loved, ill-mannered and untrained dogs.  So why would they run away from adoption just because we’re honest about what kinds of dogs make up a good part of that population?  The point is, after all, that the dogs in the shelter are no different than any other dogs.  Except for those who severely missed out on early socialization and have therefore become aggressive, the rest of them just need the same manners training that any pet dog would need.


Labor Day to Earth Day - A Bubbles Autism Service Dog Update

When you live day to day with young children, especially a child with special needs, just getting through the day can often be daunting.  Unless you are especially good at paying attention or you've instituted specific (usually with professional help) interventions, recognizing significant changes in your child is hard. When your contact is less regular and you are the professional help, and especially if you pay attention, the transformations can be downright magical.

So it has been with Sam and Bubbles. I have written often of this experience in this blog, but here, in honor of Earth Day 2012, is a snapshot to look at my experience with Sammy and Bubbles.


Photo of a dog bone shaped sign near front door that says, "Welcome, Sit, Stay"

Dog Trainer’s Salute











We’re sometimes known as bossy

Yet never need a posse


To help a dog be understood

What we do is find the good


And go from there to depths explore

All about the canine core


Nature, nurture and beyond

Sometimes we have a magic wand


Though some rely on books and lecture

Giving way to sheer conjecture


Helping hoping trying hard

The love of dogs keeps us on guard!


 - Genie Tuttle, CPDT-KA



Filming Fido – Why a camera is a dog trainer’s best tool.

When I attended a 2 - day seminar by legendary animal trainer Bob Baily last year I was not surprised when he said that the “greatest tool an animal trainer has is film”.

What I was surprised at was the small amount of hands that went up when he asked the audience of more than 200 people “who films themselves training”? …”and not just the dog” he added “how many film yourselves while training”? Even more hands went down.

Considering that just about everyone has a phone that also shoots film or considering how inexpensive a quality camera is these days, why are more people not filming their dog training?


Dogs And Children—Safety Rules And Preventing Rather Than Curing

I’ve just published “Dogs And Children,” the first time the original little book in Danish is translated into English. Its goal was to provide dog owners with sound advice that would help them prevent accidents from happening and, as such, I believe that it can still perform the same role today as it did 26 years ago.

I cannot give you the whole book here, but I couldn’t bear not giving my faithful readers on Dog Star Daily at least some of it because this is an extremely important topic as far as I’m concerned. I chose, therefore, to write a short blog giving you a few extracts from the book. If you’re interested, you can read the whole book online and free of charge here.



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