Dog training

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 |2019-02-20T11:09:31-05:00March 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 |2017-02-14T10:26:20-05:00February 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 |2016-12-17T12:22:14-05:00December 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

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

In Defense of Education

The dog training industry may be among the few professions in which people with a lack of understanding and limited or no education are glorified, even given their own TV shows, while those who have chosen to become educated are held up for ridicule. Heaven forbid you know a few big words and have the temerity (temerity: excessive confidence or boldness; audacity) to use them. [...]

By |2016-05-12T06:40:40-04:00May 12th, 2016|6 Comments

People Can Be Amazing!

Somehow last week, while walking between the kitchen and living room I managed to misplace my wallet. After spending hours looking, clearly not everyplace, I gave up and cancelled the credit cars and headed off this morning to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a new license. It was during this early morning drive that I passed a couple walking a young cattle dog. As [...]

By |2016-03-28T11:53:43-04:00March 28th, 2016|6 Comments

Is Your Dog Trainer A Professional?

For the majority of my adult working life I was involved in the travel and outdoor recreation industry. Early in my career I was introduced to the reality of legal liability. I make no claims about my depth of understanding of negligence vs. gross negligence or how they would be argued in a court of law, I do understand that providers of goods or services have [...]

By |2016-02-07T15:56:25-05:00February 7th, 2016|10 Comments

Dog Trainers Do Agree

    Don't get sucked in by the supposed "truism" that dog trainers can't agree on how dogs should be trained. The educated among us agree on the fundamentals. Check out "Don't Be The Third Trainer."

By |2015-12-20T10:06:30-05:00December 20th, 2015|0 Comments

Dog Trainers, Thanksgiving and Tomatoes

I grew up in the northeast of the United States, in an urban area with neither parents nor neighbors who gardened. The majority of the fruits and vegetables I ate were store bought, with the summer time exception of sweet corn, a staple delight of childhood, food you were suppose to eat with your hands and that usually tasted a lot like butter and salt. I'm not [...]

By |2015-09-26T18:43:13-04:00September 26th, 2015|12 Comments