Why the Dog Whisperer's techniques can be damaging to a dog.
We want our scared dogs to be comfortable with the things that frighten them. Counter conditioning and desensitization are all about making that happen. But we don't just want them comfortable with the things that frighten them, we want them to be perfectly giddy with joy about them. Until that happens they are at risk of becoming aggressive. Don't think that because a dog has [...]
After a dog is 3-4 months old the 'socialization' window in its brain is closing. It doesn't mean that one shouldn't continue to give their dog opportunities to practice social skills or broaden their social network after that age, but a dog that didn't get 'socialized' during those early months often needs more than just exposure to the creatures, human or otherwise, it's suppose to [...]
I am straying from the fearful dog theme for just a moment. I have been looking at a lot of shelter and rescue websites. Some are fabulous, many are the obvious and well-intentioned efforts of people who are website novices, too many feature auto-music that starts blaring as the site loads (how can you expect someone at work to sneak a look if they're likely [...]
If you're an owner of a fearful dog you've heard it all before- "He just needs love." "Give her some time." "Lots of dogs are shy at first." But you've probably discovered that it takes more than time and love to help a fearful dog. If your dog is just afraid of some stuff, you may, with the understanding of counter conditioning and [...]
Whether or not to use behavioral medications to help your dog is a personal decision, but one which is often based on incomplete information. One comment often made by dog owners is, "I don't like to drug my dog." Fair enough. I don't like to 'drug' my dogs either, but I'm sure glad that my dog with no thyroid function has a medication to help [...]
All too often these days people are quick to diagnose a range of behavior problems as a dog's attempt to achieve 'dominance' or pack leadership. I caught a glimpse of The Dog Whisperer last night at a friend's house. I'd seen the episode before and had to switch channels because I just couldn't bear to see another scared dog being treated as though it thought [...]