Monthly Archives: January 2011

Fearful dog update-guest blogger

Recently Jack, co-caretaker of Mollie, wrote to share what has been unfolding with Mollie, his fearful dog. Too often the information we get regarding changing dog behavior comes in the form of programming for television in which all the hard work, set-backs, struggles, frustrations and failures, are left on the editing room floor. Between commercials we see what is tantamount to a miracle. Bad dog [...]

By |2011-01-23T18:33:28-04:00January 23rd, 2011|7 Comments

Don’t make me beg (don’t make me bite)

Dogs try. You have to give them at least that much. They try to figure us out, try to do what we want them to do, and most do a darn good job of it even when we don't make it easy for them. It's harder for fearful, shy or anxious dogs to sort us out. It's not easy to be at your thinking best [...]

By |2011-01-21T23:25:09-04:00January 21st, 2011|18 Comments

Saving island dogs

In my 'other' life I organize active, outdoor & cultural adventures. Years ago a teacher approached me and asked about organizing a trip for her students to Puerto Rico where they could be immersed in a Spanish speaking culture. My partner and I decided to visit the islands of Puerto Rico, Culebra and Vieques to see what sort of itinerary we could put together. The [...]

By |2011-01-16T00:23:43-04:00January 16th, 2011|10 Comments

Fearful dogs & trauma & abuse

Early on in my search for information to help me understand my fearful dog someone sent me a paper on the effects of abuse and trauma on children. I would thank her and share the paper if I remembered who it was and hadn't given my only copy of it away. Sorry. This was a pivotal event for me. I realized that my efforts to [...]

By |2011-01-13T15:14:43-04:00January 13th, 2011|17 Comments

Actually, it IS all that bad!

A common misconception among dog handlers and pet owners is that simply exposing a dog to something they don't like or fear, and having nothing bad happen, the dog will learn that it's 'ok'. If we can just lure the dog over to us with a piece of cheese the dog is going to realize that they can approach us safely. Makes sense, and in [...]

By |2011-01-11T18:54:33-04:00January 11th, 2011|23 Comments

Fearful Dogs’ Blog-A Retrospective

Thanks to Amy Burkert of GoPetFriendly.com & Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me for giving me the opportunity for a bit of New Year's reflection. Without further ado- 1. When d id you begin your blog? I wrote the first blog post in December of 2008. OMG. 2008. 2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog? I think that the title [...]

By |2011-01-09T12:01:27-04:00January 9th, 2011|48 Comments

Shaping happy

Every dog is different. There is no way anyone can know the progress their fearful dog can make. There may be indications that point to the star they're following; A dog that slithers over, meekly wagging after a few minutes of baby talk and an offer of cheese, is likely to progress faster or further than the dog who sits, eyes half closed, pressed against [...]

By |2011-01-08T14:11:07-04:00January 8th, 2011|3 Comments

Encouraging naughty

In the fall I met with a couple from the Boston area to talk about their fearful dog, a young Shiba Inu named Kaiju. Friends of mine have a Shiba, an engaging and attentive little dog, so I had an image of the potential that existed for their dog. I realize this doesn't make sense. A dog's breed is not necessarily an indicator [...]

By |2011-01-05T14:39:45-04:00January 5th, 2011|22 Comments

Fire in the belly

I never truly understood what it meant to have a 'fire in your belly' until Sunny came to live with me. I always enjoyed the adventure travel business I run, and loved working outdoors as a river or mountain guide, but I didn't appreciate what it felt like to be so motivated by a purpose, that like a fire, it consumed me. Living with a [...]

By |2011-01-03T16:32:10-04:00January 3rd, 2011|14 Comments