Their brains make them do it

I recently heard about a study that was done using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), a type of specialized MRI scan, which measures the change in blood flow related to neural activity in the brain of humans or other animals. This technology makes it is possible to see which neurons are active in a brain when certain thoughts or emotions occur. The study looked at [...]

By |2010-02-23T13:54:40-05:00February 23rd, 2010|7 Comments

Evolution anyone?

I watched a 28 second video yesterday of a trainer in Canada, doing some pretty rough stuff to a dog. The abuse that he inflicted on the dog included sharp collar jerks, pulling the dog off its front feet and slapping the dog on the face. It was unclear what the dog, a large breed, perhaps a vizla or Rhodesian, had done or was doing [...]

By |2010-02-21T13:38:51-05:00February 21st, 2010|11 Comments

Drop these D’s

I am constantly trying to eliminate the belief and the feelings I get when I assume that dogs' failures to respond to my requests are due to their choosing to be; disobedient, defiant or dominant. Not that dogs don't necessarily have those as motivations for behaving inappropriately but most dogs, and especially fearful dogs, likely have other things going on. Staying with me [...]

By |2010-02-20T17:23:24-05:00February 20th, 2010|8 Comments

No, YOU get over it!

When people talk about their fearful dogs I often hear the questions, how do I get him 'passed his fears' or 'over his fears'? It's as though fear is a location that a dog just needs to journey through. Although it makes a nice metaphor, the image of a path from a place of anxiety to one of confidence, I think it also leads people [...]

By |2010-02-12T19:20:56-05:00February 12th, 2010|15 Comments

Forget The Force

The highlight of my day is the walk I take in the woods with my dogs and any boarders staying with me. The route takes us past three houses, one where the owner routinely comes out with treats for the dogs. Yesterday it was left over sausages. Beyond these houses are hundreds of acres of New England woods with old carriage, and logging roads that [...]

By |2010-02-08T19:29:44-05:00February 8th, 2010|11 Comments


We'd be foolish handing chunks of carrot to a baby with no teeth. If we want young children to eat vegetables it makes sense to start them off with those which are less bitter and easy to chew. When we invite people over for dinner we try to prepare a meal that they will enjoy. Salt & pepper shakers are commonly found on [...]

By |2010-02-07T14:21:02-05:00February 7th, 2010|2 Comments

Training Samantha

This spring I made plans to meet friends from junior high school who I had not seen for years. I went through collections of old photographs to look for images of our youthful faces back in the seventies to help us reminisce. I found a number of poorly composed, out of focus, faded pictures that only the people featured in them could enjoy and appreciate. [...]

By |2010-02-02T00:26:45-05:00February 2nd, 2010|0 Comments
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