Fostering Dogs

The 3 Steps To Helping Fearful Dogs

It has been over a decade since my fearful dog Sunny came to live with us from a rescue camp set up to help care for the animals impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I met him at Camp Katrina where I went to volunteer several weeks after the hurricanes hit. As much as I thought I knew about dogs and dog behavior, training and [...]

By |2018-05-15T13:10:06-04:00May 15th, 2018|0 Comments

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 |2018-01-30T08:57:28-05:00January 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 |2017-03-11T11:23:48-05:00March 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 |2019-02-20T11:09:31-05:00March 2nd, 2017|6 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

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

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

Food Is Not A Problem

This morning my mother was having her breakfast and on the TV was an early morning cooking show.  She remarked, "I don't know why I watch these shows, I don't even like to cook." Food is a primary reinforcer. Looking at it feels good, thinking about it feels good. Mmmm..hand churned ice cream with fresh peaches, sweet corn on the grill, garden fresh salsa with just [...]

By |2015-08-04T13:24:56-04:00August 4th, 2015|32 Comments