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How to train dogs struggling with fear-based behavior challenges.

Maybe We Shouldn’t Always Play Nice

By |2023-01-19T21:16:40-05:00January 19th, 2023|Categories: Training|

Back in 2005 a hoarder named Tammy Hanson had collected close to 500 dogs. After hurricanes Katrina and Rita she and her enablers convinced rescue groups that she ran a sanctuary for aggressive dogs. Her Every Dog Needs a Home site was more of a hell on earth, than a sanctuary for the dogs the overwhelmed and trusting people delivered to her. You can read ...

Training & Educational Opportunities 2023

By |2023-01-07T08:02:03-05:00January 5th, 2023|Categories: Training|Tags: , , , |

Another year and more to look forward to and feel hopeful about. I want to give a shout out to my friend Sara Matters. Sara finished coursework for a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. Along with being an animal trainer, Sara has created Lemon's Hope Sanctuary. Lemon's Hope provides a home for domestic animals, and way station for training and ...

Why Are Trainers Teaching Risky Behaviors?

By |2022-09-02T11:19:02-04:00September 2nd, 2022|Categories: Training|Tags: , , , , |

I started my deep dive into helping an extremely fearful dog in 2005. Over the years I was advised to try a laundry list of methods or protocols to help him. Some were good, others not, and still others left me shaking my head in wonder as to why they were suggested. Among the latter are protocols for getting scared dogs to approach people. I ...

What You Don’t Know About Dog Training

By |2022-08-05T08:32:35-04:00August 5th, 2022|Categories: Training|

It’s Unregulated There is no one over arching organization that sets specific standards for trainers. Anyone, absolutely anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. There are no gatekeepers whose job it is to protect consumers from hacks or hucksters. This also means that should a trainer do anything that injures your dog or makes their behaviors worse, there is less chance for there to be ...

The Make It Better Training Method

By |2022-07-11T09:32:47-04:00July 11th, 2022|Categories: Training|

Professional trainers with an education in behavior and learning make life better for dogs and owners. We understand the connections that are made when both dogs and owners are happy. Because owners who are happy with their dogs are more likely to keep them. And dogs who are happy with their owners pay more attention to them, which makes owners happy.  These dog trainers use ...

TRAIN NAKED: Without choke, prong or electronic collars

By |2022-07-01T12:30:33-04:00July 1st, 2022|Categories: Training|

THE E-COLLAR EFFECT Once in the habit of using equipment to train or contain animals, it paves the way for continuing its use. We also vary the way it’s used, or incorporate other equipment into our practice. Not all equipment is bad and some is necessary. Our dogs should be wearing equipment that includes visible identification should they go walkabout. We use leashes to keep ...

Training Abused, Neglected & Traumatized Dogs

By |2022-06-25T11:42:25-04:00June 24th, 2022|Categories: Training|

People can use verbal language, in some form or another, to explain themselves. We can share the reasons for mistakes or transgressions we have made. Our excuses may be accepted or not. Even when they are, there may be a lingering bad taste left behind. During a volunteer stint at a dog rescue facility I was reprimanded (quite severely as far as I was concerned) ...

Stop Scaring The Dog

By |2022-06-19T12:47:07-04:00June 19th, 2022|Categories: Training|

We can apply the guidelines of science to the work we do with behavior. Knowing what counts as science and what sits or teeters in the realm of pseudo-science isn't easy. We started replacing magic with religion centuries ago, and continue to struggle to replace both with science. We should keep trying. Science is what got us to the moon. It's pretty amazing even if ...

Medications, Training & A Reality Check

By |2022-05-26T10:46:56-04:00May 26th, 2022|Categories: Training|

It is possible to address behavior change in a dog without medication. There may be natural products that can support training that owners feel better about using. Perhaps the most natural way to change behavior is through good instruction. But here's the catch, it requires time, effort, and a level of technical understanding and mechanical skill. These may not be available to an owner or ...

Protect The Puppies

By |2022-05-09T08:17:11-04:00May 8th, 2022|Categories: Training|

Vocalizing is one of the first behaviors puppies perform. Along with rooting and suckling and dragging themselves along like seals, crying and whining were how they got needs met. It got mum’s attention along with being cleaned, and fed. It’s a well rehearsed and reinforced behavior. As puppies grow they begin to climb, not just on mum and over their siblings, but on any obstacle ...