Work with the dog you have

I am tempted to say 'work with the dog you have until you have the dog you want', but realized that not only might it be a bit trite, the outcome of working with the dog you have, may not lead to having the dog you want. On the other hand, it might end up that you want the dog you have. The latter, and [...]

By |2011-02-28T15:01:54-05:00February 28th, 2011|16 Comments


I had a lovely few days visiting with family in Florida. Our seaside accommodations were fabulous and the strip of white sand beach stretching for several miles was soothing to look at. From our balcony we could look down and see pods of dolphins fishing off shore. In the morning I joined the walkers along the tideline. As the sunbathers filtered onto the beach I [...]

By |2011-02-24T22:29:12-05:00February 24th, 2011|13 Comments

Solve the problem, change the behavior

What is behavior all about anyway? Why do dogs or anyone, behave the way they do? Why do they make choices to behave one way over another? In some cases there's not much choice involved. If I am stepping off the curb and see a car speeding toward me out of the corner of my eye it's not in my best interest to think too [...]

By |2011-02-15T17:07:10-05:00February 15th, 2011|8 Comments

I want to hold your paw

I'm not one of those people who easily interacts physically with people I don't know well (in case you were wondering). Despite years of living in California, I still resist hugging people I barely know and because of the germ theory, prefer not to shake hands. I can do both of those things without distress, I'd just rather not. Years ago I was on a [...]

By |2011-02-14T14:17:44-05:00February 14th, 2011|22 Comments

Funny dog pictures, unless you’re the dog

I have a sense of humor, really I do. I think those pictures of puppies in hotdog buns, chewing on shoe laces and snoozing belly up are cute, I do, really. But amidst the funny and cute are images which make me cringe. This is the latest one, sandwiched amidst the funny and cute- Cute? Not so much. Funny? How so? Is watching a puppy [...]

By |2011-02-03T23:58:56-05:00February 3rd, 2011|41 Comments

Changing our brains to help change our dogs’

My contention has always been that if we can change the way that we think about fear based behaviors in dogs, the way we handle them will change as well. A trainer friend shared with me her experience with an owner who did not believe that dogs experienced emotions and was reluctant to use food rewards to help train and modify the dog's behavior. We [...]

By |2011-02-02T14:07:20-05:00February 2nd, 2011|9 Comments

Tossing dogs into the deep end

In any population of dogs there are going to be some, who for whatever reason; a genetic predisposition, prior experience, health and vitality, will be tolerant of and successful with whatever we or the environment throw at them. Some animals seem to thrive despite what happens to them, life gives them lemons and they make lemonade. My border collie Finn, is an example of this. [...]

By |2011-02-01T05:24:04-05:00February 1st, 2011|12 Comments
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