Monthly Archives: December 2011

Creating well behaved monsters

Years ago I suggested my sister let her two min pins off leash as we headed off for a walk in the woods near her home. Ooops, my bad. I'd been walking dogs off leash since I was kid. It never occurred to me that someone's dogs would not just go for a short walkabout on their own, but would not come home at all! [...]

By |2011-12-26T10:36:30-04:00December 26th, 2011|20 Comments

Can I touch you there?

It’s no secret that people like to touch dogs. We touch dogs who we don’t know and we touch dogs who don’t want to be touched. Sometimes we touch dogs and they touch us back with their teeth. […]

By |2011-12-19T10:29:05-04:00December 19th, 2011|16 Comments

The problem with packs

Of all of the misconceptions about dog behavior we are faced with, the idea that dogs are 'pack' animals is among the 'stickiest'. Yes dogs are closely related to the Grey Wolf, a species which does form cohesive and lasting 'packs' when in the wild, packs which function to ensure the continuation of the genes of the animals in that pack. They hunt together and [...]

By |2011-12-13T09:16:57-04:00December 13th, 2011|30 Comments

Keeping track of dogs

I wish I had a dollar for every recently adopted or foster dog who goes missing. If I did I'd spend it on one of the new GPS tracking devices available to pet owners. A day doesn't go by without seeing notices of these lost dogs on my Facebook or twitter feeds. I've had it happen myself and the sinking gut feeling of knowing a [...]

By |2011-12-12T08:41:28-04:00December 12th, 2011|20 Comments

Helping fearful dogs workshop

Join me in Bow New Hampshire January 21, 2012* and learn about the most effective and humane ways to work with fearful, shy, anxious and aggressive dogs. Pet owners, trainers, shelter and vet staff, foster care providers will gain valuable information to improve their fearful dog handling skills. The 1/2 day session will include: Why dogs are afraid What fear/stress looks like How to interact [...]

By |2011-12-06T07:55:45-04:00December 6th, 2011|18 Comments

Catch the feeling

My 4 dogs and I had just entered the area of the trail that led up the mountain through the forest when a sound stopped me dead in my tracks. It had originated directly above me, though I was not aware of this immediately. It trailed off behind me and I turned around, there was a tightness in my chest, I was holding my breath [...]

By |2011-12-05T14:36:18-04:00December 5th, 2011|6 Comments

Raising the criteria for sacred cows

In dog training the way you get the behavior you want, really want, is by constantly raising the criteria. This means that you stop rewarding the behavior that is 'almost' what you want and ask for more or better from the dog. When you get it, you reward it. If you want your dog to 'down' you don't settle for one of those lowered, but [...]

By |2011-12-01T10:56:00-04:00December 1st, 2011|30 Comments