Give that Dog Some Skills

Puppies are learning all the time – moment to moment.  If we don’t intervene and actively participate in this process, our puppies learn what the environment teaches them.  These are often not desirable lessons, especially for fearful animals or those with low emotional thresholds. Dogs need skills to cope with the world, too.  Socialization to […]

Too Much. Too Soon.

Many dog owners are very enthused at the prospect of taking the dog for hikes, snuggling on the sofa, sharing the bed, roaming the house freely, among others.  Around 5-6 months of age, dogs can be reasonably trustworthy with hitting the correct potty place and choosing their toys and chews over personal belongings.  It is […]

Leash Walking: Building Skills and a Relationship

A dog’s natural inclinations and leash walking skills are somewhat at odds.  Dogs love to gather information via sniffing and move along as their interests lead them.  This can be an engrossing activity, where the human is – for the most part – ignored.  Rushing to investigate an area, urine marking, and reacting to stimuli […]

Therapy Dog Training – A Working Team

Here you are with a dog who loves everyone and has demonstrated a solid comfort level in all environments where you have exposed him.  No matter where or what the activity, he is relaxed and enjoys himself.  Pursuing therapy dog registration is certainly on the radar.  What is your motivation?  It would be a great […]

Therapy Dog Training – Is It for You and Your Dog?

As the health benefits of interacting with dogs become increasingly documented, so does the demand for therapy dogs.  Many hospitals have K9 visiting programs that are active and always looking for more handler-dog teams.  Nursing homes, libraries, and schools also figure into this mix.  The newest K9 team visiting venues are courts, prisons, and disaster […]

More Space = More Opportunity

In the dog’s world, more space equals more opportunity… do the wrong thing, that is.  Puppies and young dogs explore the world with their mouths and eliminate here and there along the way.  Large spaces – indoor as well as outdoor – are overwhelming with way too many options to sort through.  Over arousal behaviors […]

Growly Hellos

A dog who growls when a greeter or guest approaches him and his person is usually not protecting his owner.  This is our human interpretation.  That dog is looking out for his own safety and “telling” the greeter or guest to keep his distance.  This is not a behavior that the dog will outgrow or […]

Re-balance the Relationship or Is Your Dog Training You?

Dogs are naturally competent in training us humans.  The only ingredients needed are a kind human soul and a dog who is curious and happily tries new behaviors.  Our responses to the dog’s actions determine if he is training us or we are training him.  The real question is:  who is initiating the order of […]

Slow and Steady for Best Results

“Slow and steady wins the race” is the moral of Aesop’s fable entitled The Hare and the Tortoise.  This thinking also applies to raising a puppy and changing behaviors in an adolescent or adult dog.  Working with each individual animal’s temperament, learning strengths, motivators, emotional states, and thresholds is important in achieving reliable results.  It’s […]

Walking with the Dog

People add a canine friend to their lives to enhance so many activities.  It’s all more fun with a dog!  Taking a walk with a canine companion is one of those great joys.  This is a wonderful opportunity to explore and enjoy the natural world together.  Leash walking doesn’t happen naturally for many dogs.  The […]