Monthly Archives: February 2012

Hoarder update

Apparently irony is lost on Sunny's hoarder Tammy Hanson. She is suing the sheriff's department and others for cruel and unusual conditions she claims she was subjected to while in prison for cruelty involving dogs she had collected on her property. Certainly jail time is not meant to inflict the same conditions on someone which they were convicted of inflicting on others. Nor is it [...]

By |2012-02-26T18:17:55-05:00February 26th, 2012|11 Comments

Celebrating diversity in dogs

For over a decade I worked at a summer camp in New Hampshire. They were blissful summers, as summer is often remembered by New Englanders who get too little warmth and sunshine the rest of the year. I had different jobs. Some years I traveled with groups of teenagers exploring the world and introducing them to a variety of recreations, alternate years I returned to [...]

By |2012-02-26T09:24:10-05:00February 26th, 2012|9 Comments

Placebo effects

Given the recent news about antidepressants and the 'placebo effect' I thought I'd go there first before folks get themselves all in a lather about those medications and their usefulness treating dogs with fear, phobias and anxiety disorders. That there are other ways to treat mild depression other than medication is not news. Research demonstrating the 'placebo effect' in patients suffering from depression dates back [...]

By |2012-02-23T10:03:59-05:00February 23rd, 2012|11 Comments

Tread lightly

There seems to be a rash of redemption videos making the rounds online. Dogs who once fearful are transformed into confident, huggable dogs by the deft handling and/or love of their savior. The savior varies, from well-intentioned pet owner to professional dog handler, of one kind or another. One thing most of these videos have in common is the use of confrontational handling techniques to [...]

By |2012-02-18T16:35:14-05:00February 18th, 2012|26 Comments

No sleight of hand

There is no magic to what we do to help fearful dogs, however you define magic. It's time, energy, and effort all resting on a nice bed of patience. In order to survive every species has to have reason to crawl out of bed every morning, or evening if they're nocturnal. If they can't it's an indication something is wrong, seriously wrong. If we have [...]

By |2012-02-13T12:07:35-05:00February 13th, 2012|10 Comments

Skip the dress rehearsal

I am a 'directional dyslexic'. My thinking is that if our culture found knowing which way was north was important enough they would have provided me with remedial classes in school. As it is, that didn't happen and lacking specific instructions, when given a choice of going right or left to get somewhere, will choose the wrong way. It happens to me when I'm driving, [...]

By |2012-02-11T18:57:11-05:00February 11th, 2012|6 Comments

Shortcuts to Enlightenment

Sorry there aren't any. Thought I'd get that out of the way. When you find yourself living with a dog who has fear based behavior challenges (one way of saying 'fearful dog' for those who eschew labels) it's not unusual to think, hope, believe, that there's something, anything, that is going to turn them into a dog who doesn't have fear based behavior challenges (is [...]

By |2012-02-06T08:27:27-05:00February 6th, 2012|13 Comments