Monthly Archives: October 2013

You Have Options

I try to be careful when I start feeling like the fellow in the cartoon tapping away at a keyboard late into the night because, "Someone said something wrong on the internet." I try to be tolerant knowing full well that I've written stuff or have videos that someone, for one reason or another could find fault with. Maybe you can guess where this is [...]

By |2013-10-30T09:20:36-04:00October 30th, 2013|13 Comments

I’ve Got Your Mouth or Worrying About Why

At my first appointment with a new dentist after I moved to Vermont I asked if he'd like me to have my charts sent from my previous dentist. His reply was, "I don't need them, I have your mouth." Everything he needed to know about my teeth was in front of him. When we begin to work with fearful dogs it's not uncommon for us [...]

By |2013-10-29T09:42:08-04:00October 29th, 2013|14 Comments

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

When we meet a dog, especially a dog in a shelter or in the rehoming process somewhere, the first piece of information we need to give them is why they should engage with us. Most of us, dog lovers that we are, would never say to the dog, "Because I said so!" when it came to the reason they should pay attention to us. But [...]

By |2013-10-25T09:19:47-04:00October 25th, 2013|1 Comment

Does My Dog Need Prozac?*

The subject of using medications to treat dogs with fear and anxiety issues is a controversial one among pet owners and trainers, and one I frequently feel inclined to address in regard to working with fearful dogs. Drugs have been a blessing and curse for humans. They can both save and destroy lives. Deciding to give a scared dog medications is often a struggle for [...]

By |2013-10-15T09:43:50-04:00October 15th, 2013|24 Comments

Shoring up the Foundation

When we ask a dog to do something in exchange for something they want it's not about "no free lunches" or that dogs need to learn to work for what they want. Every organism on the planet, if they are going to be around for long already has this information. If they didn't there would be no beaver dams, no mice caught by cats, no [...]

By |2013-10-12T12:10:38-04:00October 12th, 2013|8 Comments

Did You Check the Oil?

Imagine taking your car to a mechanic to find out what was wrong with it and having a discussion like this- Mechanic: When did you get it? Car owner: Six months ago? Mechanic:  When did you notice something wasn't right? Car owner: Not long after I got it. Mechanic: Tell me what's wrong. Car owner: It doesn't work the way it's suppose to. Mechanic: Does [...]

By |2013-10-10T01:00:58-04:00October 10th, 2013|1 Comment

Going To The Dogs

Theories abound on what dogs need in order to be happy and successful pet dogs. Happy may be subjective but successful means they remain in the home they find themselves. Some will suggest they need love, leadership, dominance, training, etc., and definitions of each will vary from person to person. But the one thing we know about dogs is that they are social animals who [...]

By |2013-10-08T05:00:16-04:00October 8th, 2013|5 Comments

Tipping the Scales

For dogs without fear-based challenges it may only take one introduction for the dog to feel safe with you. For others it might require a dozen, and for another hundreds. This is likely the reason many fearful dogs are able to be ok with their primary caregiver(s). There are enough repetitions of positive interactions to tip the scale in their favor. We can't know how [...]

By |2013-10-06T16:54:03-04:00October 6th, 2013|26 Comments