Dog Emotions

Emotion drives learning, it drives action, change, and behaviors. There are some emotions that are the same behavior from the canine … these are core emotions. Anger or Rage = snarls, bites, escape physical restraint. The lower level of this is frustration, which is sparked by mental restraint. Fear = freeze or run away, when survival…

Harm or Help

In this era of finding dog abusers everywhere. The era of making unsubstantiated or poorly researched claims on social media. The era of ‘not’ doing the right thing? I saw this post on a northern Wisconsin city Craig’s List . Here’s the photo from the post. Kind of ironic, don’t you think? The Header said, “Dog…

What kind of training to do for your pup?

Home schooled puppy, puppy preschool, doggy basic, one-on-one with a trainer, web-based learning, board and train, specialized classes. There are actually a few options. One I didn’t include, and which seems all too popular, but not effective, is let the dog be a dog. This last one may or may not have an initial bout of…

What’s it all about

It’s funny how some of us come into the world more likely to avoid the pitfalls and others seem to step into every sinkhole.  Maybe there is some initial awareness or some character preference or first choice that sets us on an easier or harder path in the culture we land in. I was working…

Jazzie – the surprise

Jazzie, the ACD is amazing, funny, smart, quick and very competitive. A dog I didn’t intend to obtain. Jazzie started as Chas, shivering in the back corner of her kennel at the shelter. A 1.5-year-old blue heeler type female, full of timid reserve, surrendered by her family because they wanted to keep her sister, but…

Dogs that attack! Getting bitten by a biter.

I’m sitting here with a very bruised calf and thigh, three punctures, one slice, one scrape and a ripped shirt all from a large, neutered young adult, about 90 pound male guard-dog type and yes I knew he had bitten another person(s), but I’ve worked with threatening dogs before – carefully. The trigger was the…

Reactive dog? – just another label

So, reactive dog? It seems to mean over-reacting to something many other dogs can calmly handle, like other dogs walking by or being in a yard or being left somewhere and either becoming very worried or destroying things because of being scared or anxious, or not being willing to greet people and barking and/or lunging…

Second-hand dogs vs puppies – training time

Does it take longer to train a puppy or an older dog? A client of mine asked this question and it made me stop and ponder and say well … it depends. Puppies generally are pretty clean slates and so anything being taught can just be taught without having to un-train some habituated unwanted behavior,…

The Clock – Dog Training Session Fear Cycles

I heard the car door slam and immediately looked at the clock. The dogs were surprisingly quiet, sleeping deeply on their cushioned beds after their frigid morning run and only burst into attention when the doorbell rang. I told them to go to their ‘place’ and they headed down the stairway and into the bedroom,…