Sizing Up the Dog Park

Dog parks offer our pets a confined area where they can run and benefit from aerobic exercise. The parks can also provide a community pet advocacy platform and a group to share pet-related resources. Pay several visits to the dog parks without your dog. Observe the groups – dogs and humans – to assess whether you […]

Coping With Home Alone Issues

Social animals can adapt to alone time. Dogs are, naturally, more comfortable in the company of their people. Puppies and re-homed adolescent and adult dogs must learn to cope with home alone time. Here is a plan to get started. INDEPENDENT TIME IN THE CRATE Teaching your dog to relax when the family is out-of-sight […]

It’s Only a Game. But, Actually….

Play is one of the best ways to enhance your relationship with your dog, provide her with mental stimulation and physical exercise, and train. All family members can engage in constructive play with the dog. YOU ARE YOUR DOG’S BEST BUDDY Dogs are naturally drawn to other dogs and novelty in the environment. They gravitate […]

The Crate: Beyond Housetraining

The crate is one of the best behavior management tools, with benefits that extend way beyond potty training. The best way to teach a young dog to “hold it”, pending access to his potty area, is to place him in the crate.  Most dogs don’t want to soil that spot and adjust to it, even […]

On Leash Interaction: It’s Not Socialization

It’s common practice to allow dogs to interact with other dogs while out leash walking.  These owners believe that this is a great way to socialize their dogs.  On leash interactions do not qualify as socialization and should be used only for safety assessment purposes. There are only downsides to this practice.  Here’s why. Greetings […]

Canine Good Citizen Evaluation

Is your dog a good candidate for pet therapy?  Would you like your dog to be welcomed everywhere?  Passing the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluation is a worthwhile goal.  The CGC evaluation is open to all dogs, including mixed breeds.  Your dog must demonstrate solid training in these areas: Accepting a […]

No Jump Meet and Greet

Saying hello politely is challenging for many dogs in ways that don’t immediately resonate with us humans.  Expectations get in the way.  Our human greeting rituals don’t transfer readily and seem unnatural to our dogs.  The result is an undesirable greeting.  Greeting humans in the home as well as on the street is a skill […]

Timid, Shy, and Fearful Dogs

The nature/nurture combination dictates most aspects of temperament and behavior.  For sure, some animals are genetically wired to be timid, shy, or fearful.   Dogs bred to guard are innately wary.  Otherwise, they would be ineffective in their work.  Many rescued dogs have been sorely disadvantaged in their early development weeks and months.  They require especially […]

Improve Leash Walking with a Structured Approach

Enjoying the natural world is one of the greatest joys we share with our canine companions. For many of us, that time is largely spent with our dogs walking on a leash. Pulling and reactive behaviors erode the fun and can make walks outright unpleasant. Effective equipment and a different training approach can result in […]

Master the Recall (aka Come When Called)

It is, indeed, a sinking feeling that comes with seeing lost dog posters around the neighborhood and surrounding areas. Those families are heartbroken, and dogs’ lives are threatened. Dog owners want to get out and let their pets run and enjoy the natural world. And rightly so…. But in the absence of a well-trained recall, […]