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 […]

Talking to the Dog

We all enjoy a bit of one-sided banter with our dogs.  They make for wonderful listeners, never interrupting or offering unsolicited advice.  It’s hard to remember, though, that dogs have a limited language capability and most of what he say to them lands, as “blah blah”.  It’s worth reminding ourselves of our friends’ limitations when […]

The Bowl is Boring

Dogs can lose enthusiasm for their food after a time.  Sometimes this is a result of constant accessibility.  Sometimes, the food simply isn’t all that palatable.  Puppies become distracted by the flurry of household activities in the mornings and evenings.  Unless they are famished, people and objects are more compelling.  Unfortunately, with puppies, structured mealtimes […]