Dog Park People

OMG! I have had enough, too! Could not agree with you more! When speaking to my clients I also use caution when advising choosing daycare situations. One of my own dogs failed her daycare assessment and that was fine by me. Clearly she would not be comfortable in such an environment and I trusted the folks at the day care enough to expect and respect their honesty.

The Science Dog

Dog Parks are a relatively new cultural phenomenon, and have increased in both number and popularity over the last 15 years. It is an understatement to say that people are rather polarized in their views of dog parks. Advocates maintain that these designated areas provide invaluable opportunities for dogs to enjoy off-lead exercise, socialization and play with other dogs, and for owners to meet and befriend like-minded people in their communities.
Dog Park Comic 2

HOW ADVOCATES VIEW DOG PARKS

At the other end of the spectrum, critics argue that off-lead dog areas are often poorly managed and supervised and present unacceptable risks to dogs. These risks include aggressive (or predatory) attacks,  physical injuries caused by large groups of dogs running together, and the transmission of parasites and disease.

Dog Park Comic

HOW OPPONENTS VIEW DOG PARKS 

Full disclosure: I should admit at the forefront that I am personally not a fan of dog parks. My reasons include all of the aforementioned plus the fact that I…

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out What it Means to Me—in Dog Training

THIS…read it.

Wilde About Dogs

recall part 2
A woman I know once told me, “I’d rather be feared than respected.” That was her honest opinion, whether it involved people or animals. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to share her view. Take the boss who threatens his employee that if he doesn’t have a report in by the end of the day he’s fired. Or the parent who threatens that if his son doesn’t clean his room he’ll slap him into next week. Sure, the report is likely to get done, and the room cleaned. But what kind of feelings do you think those acts create?

Of course there needs to be consequences for actions. In dog training, we talk about antecedent, behavior, and consequence. But there are way too many people who still subscribe to that old, timeworn philosophy that to get a dog to listen, you need to “show him who’s boss.” Look, it’s a…

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What’s Important to You?

One dog trainer to another – THIS IS BRILLIANT! A MUST READ.

Paws Abilities

For a professional dog trainer, my dogs are not very “well trained.” They wear Freedom harnesses on walks to keep them from pulling. They get excited when visitors come over. They bark when people come to the door.

purplepenRecently, I posted a picture on Facebook of my youngest dog, Mischief, with purple ink on her paws from a pen she had just destroyed. A good friend of mine was very concerned, and contacted me privately. Perhaps I might be hurting my business, she worried. Wouldn’t people be less likely to hire me if they saw that my puppy was destructive? What kind of dog trainer would let her dog do something so blatantly naughty?

Well, I would, for one. I love bragging about the amazing things my dogs can do, but I’m also not afraid to share their less impressive moments with the world. I thought Mischief’s pen murder was…

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Myth Busted: Pit Bulls Don’t Bite Differently

Some great information from Animal Farm Foundation. It is RELEVANT for all breeds of dogs even though the title is specific to pitties.

In recent years, things have been looking up for the dogs we call “pit bulls” and their families. Breed specific legislation is on the way out. Shelters that discriminate against dogs based on appearance are the exception. The old wives tales that fueled canine discrimination have been debunked and dismissed.

Except for one: Some people are still perpetuating the myth that “pit bull” dogs bite differently than other dogs. Unfounded claims persist about the severity and nature of incidents involving “pit bull” dogs versus other types of dogs. Claims about the “unique damage that ‘pit bull’ dogs inflict” are made by individuals or special interest groups with no experience in analyzing dog bite-related injuries or knowledge of dog physiology or behavior.

Let’s bust this myth once and for all.

First, it must be understood that “pit bull” is not a breed. Attempts at legal definitions of what a “pit bull”…

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No Stimulus Goes Unconditioned: Thinking out of the NILIF box

Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Blog post by MUTTS ABOUT TOWN.
PLEASE READ.

Mutt About Town - The blog

10419603_10103916647748397_2792827974898225307_nWhen I first read Kathy Sdao’s book, Plenty in Life is Free, I cried. I cried because her words made sense. I cried because she described the incredible impact, negative and positive, we can have on our dogs’ lives through what we choose to reinforce, and through the contingencies we place on those reinforcers. It’s a daunting responsibility, but one that is so rewarding if done correctly.

As you can probably guess by now, I do not recommend Nothing in Life is Free (NILIF) protocols for my training clients. Sdao explains the pitfalls of NILIF much more eloquently than I ever could, so I will refer you to her book for those details. At times, depending on the severity and urgency of a behavioral problem, I will “close the economy,” meaning I ask owners to feed their dogs a certain portion of their food via training, either via classical…

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Deaf Dogs Don’t Bark & Other Myths Debunked

Great information on Deaf Dogs!!

Dog & His Boy

Do deaf dogs bark? deaf dog behavior, Dog & His Boy deaf dog blog, Dog and His Boy

The Myths & The Facts About Deaf Dog Behavior


Did you know that some folks in the scientific community are  studying deaf dogs? When I heard this, I jumped for joy. It was a moment of excitement, relief and “I need to know more Right. This. Second!” . My brain was firing synapses so fast that I could feel them ricocheting around my brain. My entire body was tingling with excitement!
  • What about deaf dogs are they studying?
  • What are they learning?
  • Who is doing the research and how do I convince her (or him) to talk to me?

A few months ago, I stumbled across Animal Behaviorist  Dr. Valeri Farmer-Dougan, PhD and her Canine Behavior and Cognition Laboratory at Illinois State University .

There wasn’t very much information on the university website about the actual research and findings that Dr. Farmer-Dougan and her team were working on, so I…

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Good Dogs Wear Muzzles Too

Essential reading. Thank you Sara!

Paws Abilities

We were walking our dogs outside a rally obedience trial several years ago when my friend froze. “Watch out!” she said sharply, “There’s a muzzled dog across the parking lot!” I looked, and sure enough someone was walking their dog in a comfortably fitted basket muzzle. The dog was on a loose leash with soft, relaxed body language, intent on his owner. I chuckled and went back to watching my own dog. “I don’t know why you’re worried,” I said, “That’s the one dog at this show that I’m the least concerned about.”

Layla wears her basket muzzle if she's going to be off leash around unfamiliar dogs. Layla wears her basket muzzle if she’s going to be off leash around unfamiliar dogs.

Our societal perception of muzzles is shifting, but the prejudice is still present in many communities. The thought is that only “bad” dogs wear muzzles, and if a dog is wearing a muzzle he or she must be a mean animal with horrible…

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Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive

Greetings

I have attached a link to the APDT position statement on LIMA.

position-statement-lima

It is a good read for anyone looking for a dog trainer that uses and teaches ethical training methods.

The question is “What do you want your animal to do?”

A competent trainer will help you attain that goal with respect and compassion for all the learners involved – that is you and your animal.

until next time,

ri

“It’s all in how they’re raised.”

Excellent!

Paws Abilities

“All puppies are blank slates.” “If you do everything right with your puppy, you’ll have a great adult dog.” “If dogs have behavioral issues, we should blame the handle end of the leash.”

These are common misconceptions I hear as a trainer, and they make me so very sad. Behavior is a combination of nature and nurture, and if we could just take a moment to look logically at these myths, we would see just how silly they are.

Photo by Tavallai Photo by Tavallai

Genetics influence behavior. This is part of the reason we have breeds: if you want a dog to work your sheep, you’re going to choose a Border Collie, not a Brittany Spaniel. Even though the two dogs have the same basic size and shape, one is more likely to have the instinctive motor patterns to do the work than the other. Getting a Border Collie whose parents…

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Mother is a Verb

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Violet (in the purple fleece) had just had emergency surgery. She was exhausted. One pup had gone home to his new home. The other two were still with us.  It was strongly recommended that we wean the pups and keep Violet separate from them. She was having none of it!

Check out africageophic.com’s blog at the link below:

http://africageographic.com/blog/wild-mothers-with-their-babes-for-mothers-day/