Affirmations for a fearful dog

One of the challenges for people working with fearful dogs, especially dogs who have suffered from confinement or restraint during their early development, is getting these dogs to offer behaviors for which they can be rewarded. Do not confuse this with trying to change how a dog feels about things using counter conditioning and desensitization, for that we can reward the dog for doing nothing [...]

By |2010-11-26T22:15:02-05:00November 26th, 2010|12 Comments

How dare you!

I often wonder why people are so quick and ready to choose coercion* as a method for dealing with their dogs. Perhaps we believe that they are not smart enough to learn any other way. But I think that one of the main reasons is because their behavior often makes us angry or frustrated. When I walk a dog on a leash who pulls it [...]

By |2010-11-22T14:29:31-05:00November 22nd, 2010|11 Comments

Elementary my dear Watson

As much of a pain as it was to find myself with a project instead of a pet, I not only adore my fearful dog Sunny (who I am upgrading to my 'super cautious' dog Sunny) I am grateful to him for bringing the joy of inquiry back into my life. As a kid the world was full of endless discoveries and questions; certain types [...]

By |2010-11-19T19:03:54-05:00November 19th, 2010|12 Comments

It’s what I usually do

Daily I head out with the dogs for a walk through the woods on trails not far from our house. Old carriage trails, built by the farmer who had his homestead at the top of the hill to get down to the river road and into town, wind through what were at one time pasture land. Now forested with pines, oaks, maples, ashes [...]

By |2010-11-17T19:18:04-05:00November 17th, 2010|1 Comment

Candy aisle etiquette for dogs

Sometimes I have the fun of confirming for an owner that the dog they have recently rescued is a star. I had initially dreaded meeting McGregor, but he quickly became one of those 'other people's dogs I wouldn't mind having as my own'. A friend had recommended that McGregor's owner bring him by for an evaluation to see if he could board with us. The [...]

By |2010-11-15T13:33:05-05:00November 15th, 2010|9 Comments

Finding our way with our dog by heart

Years ago a fellow named Vince, out in Colorado contacted me to purchase a collar pendant for his dog Ellie. I sell pendants made from gemstones that are suppose to help the wearer feel more courageous. Mostly I think they just make us feel good because they look nice. I suggested that Vince also try cheese and counter conditioning, just in case. Over the years [...]

By |2010-11-11T23:06:31-05:00November 11th, 2010|58 Comments

The Good Samaritan Law

I spent 3 days at a workshop with Suzanne Clothier focusing on the treatment and handling of fearful and reactive dogs. The fabulous Deborah Flick of the The Boulder Dog Blog came out and joined me and I can't imagine a better time. One of the questions asked of Suzanne was- when was it appropriate to 'correct' or 'punish' a dog. Her response made me [...]

By |2010-11-02T14:22:32-04:00November 2nd, 2010|11 Comments
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