Minimum daily requirements

When my fearful dog Sunny, or if you are troubled by the labeling of dogs, my dog with extreme fear based behavior challenges Sunny, first came to live with us I had dreams for him. In the summer we'd go to South Pond and people would toss frisbees and balls for him to swim after, we'd take long hikes in the woods with friends, anywhere [...]

By |2012-01-31T09:53:14-05:00January 31st, 2012|34 Comments

Begging your pardon

How often do you apologize for your dog's behavior? I am surprised at how often people, pet owners and trainers alike will beg forgiveness for their dog's behavior. We apologize for our dogs when they bark, greet someone enthusiastically or stare at someone's steak and cheese sandwich with unrelenting intensity. I am not taking a stand for allowing rude behaviors in dogs when they are [...]

By |2012-01-26T09:01:06-05:00January 26th, 2012|11 Comments

Give them something to feel good about

Fearful dogs' brains have become very good at feeling afraid, startled, anxious and I'd guess that if a person exhibited the same symptoms as many of these dogs do they've be considered depressed. To help fearful dogs start having a better outlook on life we have to find ways to provide them with either things or opportunities that make them feel good. The easiest solution [...]

By |2012-01-22T11:28:30-05:00January 22nd, 2012|14 Comments

Dancing is NOT allowed

Early in our relationship my husband, an avid tennis player, hoped that I too might learn to enjoy the game. I knew that the chances of that were slim to none, but needed to at least give it a try. My attitude is that if someone really wants to play with me they'd hit the balls to me, rather than try to make me miss [...]

By |2012-01-17T21:49:58-05:00January 17th, 2012|34 Comments

Transforming dogs

Among the mail order catalogs offering sales on winter apparel and spring seeds was a brochure of workshops being offered at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health located in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. It's a lovely place and I wouldn't mind spending time there attending workshops, eating wholesome food and having so much body work that I couldn't get off the table. I am [...]

By |2012-01-10T09:43:23-05:00January 10th, 2012|20 Comments

Put distance seeking behavior on cue

When we have a dog who is afraid of people we often focus on getting the dog to move closer to them. What we should be focusing on is encouraging the dog to do whatever makes them feel more comfortable around us. If whenever I stand up, lean or move toward a dog, and that dog moves away, I will put the moving away behavior [...]

By |2012-01-03T10:15:54-05:00January 3rd, 2012|14 Comments

Is getting another dog helpful for a fearful dog?

It's not uncommon for people who are living with a dog who is afraid of people or new environments to wonder if getting another dog would be helpful. It's a generous thought I'll give it that, but there are many potential pitfalls to take into consideration before making that leap. Being around others that a dog feels safe with and trusts can help lower stress [...]

By |2012-01-01T10:44:05-05:00January 1st, 2012|37 Comments
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