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Tipping the Scales

By |2013-10-06T16:54:03-04:00October 6th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , |

For dogs without fear-based challenges it may only take one introduction for the dog to feel safe with you. For others it might require a dozen, and for another hundreds. This is likely the reason many fearful dogs are able to be ok with their primary caregiver(s). There are enough repetitions of positive interactions to tip the scale in their favor. We can't know how ...

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 ...

My I Have Your Attention Please

By |2013-06-11T09:52:15-04:00June 11th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Stop in for a visit to any one of the thousands of forums or groups devoted to dog training and behavior and you're likely to bump into a discussion about whether or not it's acceptable to punish dogs during training. There will be both reasonable and unreasonable comments from either side of the table. Punishment is a very effective consequence to apply in order to ...

Plenty in Life Should Be Awesome

By |2013-05-29T11:20:14-04:00May 29th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In order to simplify training for pet owners, and to incorporate training into daily life, eliminating the need to set aside a specific time for it many trainers recommend the Nothing In Life is Free protocol (NILF)*. It has its merits, though an unfortunate name. Tagging along with the technique is a fuzzy notion of "we're in charge here and the sooner you figure that ...

Why Wait?

By |2013-05-08T10:29:57-04:00May 8th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I stood in front of the copy machine, not so silently cursing the manufacturer, the store where I purchased it, and the salesman who recommended it. The darn thing wasn't working. I pressed the number of copies button, hit the start button and nothing. It didn't work and if that wasn't bad enough, after setting it up I was going to have to pack it ...

Competing Motivators

By |2013-01-29T09:43:30-05:00January 29th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Motivation. Everyone talks about it. Did you make a New Year's resolution to go to the gym? There are blogs devoted to helping you stay motivated enough to actually do it. Sometimes getting out of bed in the morning requires a level of motivation we may question whether we have or not. Some motivators are very powerful, while others lag behind, yet even if that ...

The 7 Habits of Successful Fearful Dogs

By |2013-01-19T10:42:13-05:00January 19th, 2013|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

"Not sure why you want me to do this, but ok, whatever." On my book shelf is a CD by Wayne Dwyer on the power of intention. It’s an inspirational presentation. But as powerful as intentions are, given the right set of circumstances, habits will win out. Recently I moved the app icons on my iPod around. I deleted a few and moved ...

The Beautiful Flow of Experimentation

By |2012-10-26T11:57:16-04:00October 26th, 2012|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , |

When we are living with any dog, but especially a fearful dog, we need to be prepared, at any moment, to reinforce behaviors we like. This is what behavior modification is all about. If you sat two children down, one with a pile of marbles, the other with a bucket of tennis balls and gave each the task to put these objects into a milk ...

A Rose By Any Other Name?

By |2012-08-26T10:05:14-04:00August 26th, 2012|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Is this a dominance hierarchy or bunk bed? They say a rose by any other name is still a rose, unless if you're naming it 'tulip' I won't know what you are describing. We may both understand that you are talking about a flower, but if you are ordering a dozen roses and ask for tulips you'll be in for a big surprise ...

Poor puppy

By |2012-03-09T07:13:28-05:00March 9th, 2012|Categories: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I have the opportunity to talk to many people about their fearful dogs. One thing almost all of them have in common is that they waited too long to get help for themselves and their dog. I'm not pointing a finger of blame at them, I understand the delay. Most of the dogs we've lived with have been adaptable, resilient and tolerant. Some have been ...