Fearful Dogs Blog

Between A Rock & A Hard Place

Sometimes we have to do something because it needs to be done. If we grab someone about to fall off a cliff we can worry about having to apologize later for having touched them without their permission. But we need to be careful not to use the excuse that needing to get something done absolves us from understanding what it is we are doing. If ever [...]

By |2018-05-04T07:50:35-04:00May 4th, 2018|7 Comments

Clean-up On Aisle Dog

Photo courtesy of Olathe Animal Hospital If you happen to be privy to the chatter that goes on between dog trainers, what I am going to say will not be new to you. Daily, dog trainers are contacted to help an owner with a dog, a normal, healthy, fully functioning dog, whose behavior has become untenable or even dangerous. Sometimes we're contacted within [...]

By |2018-01-30T08:57:28-04:00January 30th, 2018|3 Comments

Do Something

I call them "chiselers." Not the swindler kind, but the kind with chisels who show up and whittle away at your resolve, confidence, and enthusiasm. I can be one and cringe when I observe it in myself. We can be quick to point out the flaws in an idea or plan, or why it won't work or shouldn't be done. The internet even coined a [...]

By |2017-09-28T10:06:52-04:00September 28th, 2017|2 Comments

The Bad News About Fearful Dogs

I am contacted regularly by people who have found themselves living with a fearful dog and looking for help. They are to a person, kind, compassionate, caring folks looking for answers. And I have them. But I routinely have to tell people things they do not want to hear. When I mention that veterinarians and vet behaviorists can prescribe medications to help dogs who are [...]

By |2017-03-11T11:23:48-04:00March 11th, 2017|36 Comments

High Risk Activities

"I'd rather not." "So?" One of the primary goals I have for this blog, the seminars and webinars, and consults I do for folks living or working with fearful dogs is to help them understand how to think about fear based behaviors. When I am contracted to help someone train their dog I can directly and specifically tell them what to do. But that's just [...]

By |2019-02-20T11:09:31-04:00March 2nd, 2017|6 Comments

Be the Voice for the Vulnerable

My first career as a younger adult was in the outdoor recreation industry. It was fun and there was a certain caché to being paid, as minimal as it may have been, to do something others paid to do. Though there was no obligation to do so, many of us felt the need to advocate for the wild places, the rivers, mountains, deserts and oceans [...]

By |2017-02-14T10:26:20-04:00February 14th, 2017|6 Comments

Fake Dog News

Dog trainers are no strangers to fake news and the wealth of misinformation and mythology available to us via the variety of sources for information. It’s been years since we mourned our loss of respect for National Geographic with its enabling of Cesar Millan and his dangerous dog whispering. Regardless and despite the warnings from veterinary behaviorists and other professionals in the field of canine [...]

By |2016-12-17T12:22:14-04:00December 17th, 2016|19 Comments

The Real Reason You Should Never Hit Your Dog

What is that hand going to do to me? Hitting a dog is a bad idea. Even one of those "Oh it didn't hurt them," swats is a bad idea. And here's why. Dogs notice what things predict. If a hand has ever predicted getting grabbed, scruffed, swatted or worse, the dog learns that sometimes hands do unpleasant things to them. Puppies will [...]

By |2016-10-17T17:10:17-04:00October 17th, 2016|2 Comments

It's Time!

I've been away from this blog, not because I didn't have things to share, I took a break because I feared I was becoming a grump. Every day the dog community, retailers, trainers and other professionals put out information and products that at best are just a waste of our time and money, and at worst contributors to the failure of an owner to find [...]

By |2016-09-21T08:55:21-04:00September 21st, 2016|6 Comments

Things Professional Trainers Never Say

Don't expect to hear any of these comments from a professional animal trainer. "I don’t feed the dolphins fish when they jump through the hoop, they should do it because they respect me." "We never use food to train our lions to stand for injections, that would only make them think they’ll get food every time they did it for us." "The seals at our facility [...]

By |2016-06-15T21:12:21-04:00June 15th, 2016|7 Comments