Puppy Nipping and “Zinging”: What’s Going on Here?

Adding a puppy to any household brings plenty of new demands on the family’s time and energy. Understanding this early phase of life and maintaining realistic expectations keep everyone on an even keel. A sense of humor helps, too. Stress in a New Environment Moving from a breeder’s home/facility or foster situation and into your […]

Socialization: It’s a Big Deal.

Socialization is the process where animals learn about the world around them. The most effective and humane way to socialize your dog is systematically exposing her to many different stimuli at levels she can calmly tolerate. This is a gradual process. It’s important to keep expectations in check and remain patient. Puppies have a brief […]

Adolescence: What Happened to My Puppy?!?!

All animals, including dogs, grow through developmental phases. The adolescent phase begins at around seven months of age and can continue until around 18 months of age. Early training and behavior management makes an enormous difference in adult behavior outcomes. Puppy training is a great beginning. Consistent use of learned obedience cues along with behavior […]

Clicker Training: What Is It? And How Does It Work?

Clicker training is a method initially used to train marine mammals. The clicker sound functions as a reward marker. It provides essential feedback for an animal’s correct response to a learned cue or offering a desirable behavior. The sound of the clicker quickly becomes relevant to the dog when it is followed by a reward, […]

Barking. Make It Stop!

Barking happens for various reasons.  What is the purpose of your dog’s vocalizing?  Understanding the purpose behind any undesirable behavior is the first step in changing it. The Attention Seeker Dogs learn quickly that barking at a human can result in obtaining his attention.  Remember that simple eye contact qualifies as attention in the dog’s […]

So Many Toys and Chews!! What to Buy????

Sorting through the quagmire of toy and chew options can be confusing…not to mention, expensive. The choices are overwhelming. The true test for great “dog stuff” involves productive, constructive FUN, safety, and durability. Toys vs. Chews It helps to separate your dog’s playthings into two categories: toys and chews. You and your dog play together […]

Handling Tolerance: How to Install and Maintain It

Some dogs are snuggle-bugs. Some really are not; they prefer limited touching and a wider “zone”.  Regardless of your dog’s preference, it’s important to install and maintain his appreciation of petting and demonstrations of physical affection.  Too much of a good thing is often de-valued and too much unwelcome attention sets up for avoidance.  Either […]

Multiple Dog Households: Is This For You? Or Done Deal.

Dog are social animals, with a group mentality. For some individuals, this group includes both humans and other dogs.  But, many dogs thrive best as an “only”, preferring to share their home environments solely with humans.  Should yours be a multi-dog household?  Carefully consider your motives and the impact on your already-established canine friend.  Perhaps […]

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie… But Not on the Sofa

It’s easy to take the favorite chair, sofa, and other human resting spots for granted. It is, simply, furniture.  There’s a broader import from the dog’s perspective, though.  The sofa, upholstered chairs, and the bed appear to be the safest and most comfy resting areas in the environment, aka your home.  This is a “resource” […]

The Trouble with Expectations

I’ve heard it said that expectations are pre-meditated disappointments and frustrations. It’s natural to have expectations when a new dog arrives in the home.  Perhaps you have owned dogs in the past or spent time in the presence of friends’ dogs.  We all want the idyllic and harmonious companionship we imagined when the decision was […]