Drive Is A Figure Of Speech

When I think about all the different dog breeds, and the way people talk about them-this breed being more challenging, more driven, more one thing or another compared to others- it's helpful to bring it back to behavior and reinforcement. Different breeds find certain activities or consequences to be more or less reinforcing. When we decide to take on a certain breed, we are, knowingly [...]

By |2021-02-27T09:30:23-05:00February 27th, 2021|0 Comments

Good Intentions Gone Bad: Why “Sensitive” People Are Among The Most Selfish People I’ve Met

Good intentions are not enough. It is challenging as a trainer who has spent the past 16 years thinking about how to work with dogs struggling with fear based behavior challenges, to have to confront and work with the self-proclaimed sensitive and empathetic folks out there who are responsible for making decisions about a dog's welfare.   It is very easy to become misguided that [...]

By |2021-02-09T09:43:16-05:00February 9th, 2021|0 Comments

The Concept Dog Trainers Need to Know

In May in Vermont I am presenting two seminars. Understanding fear-based behavior in dogs, is one I am most often invited to present at different venues. It hasn't changed much over the years and that should be attributed to the fact that nothing new about behavior, since I first created the presentation, has changed. The new information we have about brains and neuroscience does not [...]

By |2020-03-01T16:14:08-05:00March 1st, 2020|2 Comments

Forget About Stress & Anxiety

POSITIONING THEMSELVES FOR REINFORCEMENT First off, sorry. The title was designed to get your attention. We cannot forget about stress and anxiety but rather than focus on those conditions we assume a dog is experiencing, let's get down to the business of behavior. It has been important that people have been encouraged to learn about behaviors that dogs perform routinely that often go [...]

By |2019-09-05T10:50:46-04:00September 4th, 2019|2 Comments

The Changing Role & Responsibility of Rescues & Shelters

There may have been a time when schools only needed to be charged with teaching students reading, writing and arithmetic. But as society changes schools become responsible for instruction that either used to be provided at home, or represents a new field of study. When I was in high school we had a choice of taking home economics or shop. In previous years the option [...]

By |2019-03-29T14:03:43-04:00March 29th, 2019|2 Comments

Don’t Become A Victim

For many years I routinely had to take first aid and first responder courses because of the work I was doing. One of the instructions we were given in every course, and had to practice, if only to repeat out loud what we were to do was to 'assess the situation'. One of the goals of this was not just to be able to assist [...]

By |2019-03-15T09:54:59-04:00March 15th, 2019|11 Comments

Stillness-The Choreography of Training Fearful Dogs

When a professional athlete is about to perform a challenging move, an ice skater preparing for a triple jump, a tennis player about to return a volley, a swimmer turning off the wall, a race car driver taking a curve at high speed, each move has been rehearsed and practiced over and over again. Extra effort that doesn't improve speed or accuracy has been pared [...]

By |2019-03-05T07:40:00-05:00March 4th, 2019|10 Comments

Don’t Use Shock Collars For Sound Phobias

Years ago, before the rise in podcasts I was asked to be part of a radio show featuring 3 dogs trainers. The show was being recorded for broadcasting at a later date. As soon as it was over I told the host I did not want to be part of the program. Luckily for me (and potential listeners) there were problems with the recording and [...]

By |2019-03-01T12:42:27-05:00March 1st, 2019|2 Comments

The Sound Of Startling

Sound is often the first indication that there might be something in the environment we need to pay attention to. A rustling in the grass or the snapping of branches may indicate a predator sneaking up on us, or maybe it's something we can pursue as lunch. Either way, sound zips into brains and gets a reaction. The reaction is often a startle, a little [...]

By |2019-02-26T09:19:09-05:00February 26th, 2019|0 Comments

Yes Your Dog Probably Does Need Obedience Training

There is a backlash among some in the dog training community to what is commonly called obedience training. There's a good reason for the backlash. Obedience training in many minds brings up images of dogs being physically manipulated, verbal corrections & leash pops abound. There is a do it or else mentality to the process. On the flip side there are trainers who after discovering [...]

By |2019-02-20T10:59:46-05:00February 1st, 2019|0 Comments
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