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Surviving in the Wilderness

By |2014-01-15T09:18:39-05:00January 15th, 2014|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

When I was younger I trained to be an "outdoor leader" so I could take people into the mountains or on rivers, for days at a time. I studied wilderness first aid and carried a knife to cut ropes, wore a helmet and PFD on rivers, enjoyed shopping for clothes and shoes designed using the latest technology and fabric for keeping me warm and dry, ...

Losing Your Audience

By |2014-01-06T10:40:59-05:00January 6th, 2014|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

I enjoy reading nonfiction and watching documentaries. But there are some books and videos I will avoid watching or stop watching, they are too upsetting to me. It won't matter how important someone tells me the information I'd be gaining is or how artfully it is presented. There are award-winning films I have not watched because I know how they end; me feeling bad. Berate ...

Just Do It!

By |2013-11-24T10:53:34-05:00November 24th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

At a large dog event I watched with some disgust and much dismay, as people who probably really care about their dogs handled them with all I can label was "disrespect." Dogs were being dragged around on leashes, being reprimanded and jerked for spending too much time (typically measurable in seconds) looking at or sniffing something, not responding to cues fast enough and being left ...

History Matters

By |2013-11-06T08:31:24-05:00November 6th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I'll be at my vet's office tonight running a class called "Vet Ready!" to help owners and dogs feel more comfortable coming to the clinic. Few things are as clear as how they respond to handling to give you an idea of what they have learned to expect from you. For some owners the way their dog responds is....well....history. The dog has learned that visits to ...

I’ve Got Your Mouth or Worrying About Why

By |2013-10-29T09:42:08-04:00October 29th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

At my first appointment with a new dentist after I moved to Vermont I asked if he'd like me to have my charts sent from my previous dentist. His reply was, "I don't need them, I have your mouth." Everything he needed to know about my teeth was in front of him. When we begin to work with fearful dogs it's not uncommon for us ...

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

By |2013-10-25T09:19:47-04:00October 25th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

When we meet a dog, especially a dog in a shelter or in the rehoming process somewhere, the first piece of information we need to give them is why they should engage with us. Most of us, dog lovers that we are, would never say to the dog, "Because I said so!" when it came to the reason they should pay attention to us. But ...

Packing Up Their Toys

By |2013-09-24T10:01:27-04:00September 24th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , |

There was a blog post going around recently that could have easily been parody as serious. It was written by a volunteer trainer at a shelter who was declaring he was never going to volunteer at an animal shelter again because of his recent experience at one. The reason for his defection? Were dogs being mistreated? Were the conditions gross and unsanitary? Were too many ...

Fostering Success: Do No Harm

By |2013-09-21T12:16:37-04:00September 21st, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Fostering Dogs, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Food toys are a great way to show a dog a good time The most important role a foster caregiver can play in the life of a dog in transition is to ensure that the dog, at the very minimum, does not develop new fears, concerns or reasons to distrust people. Every dog in the rescue system would have a unique tale to ...

Is Food Really the Problem?

By |2013-08-25T15:40:00-04:00August 25th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Guess what these dogs are looking forward to getting? From the comments I've been hearing and the stuff I've been reading on the internet one would be inclined to think that the use of food in training poses great problems or risks. I cannot think of one conversation I've had with a trainer who laments that their clients reinforce behaviors with food too ...