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 […]

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, […]

Resource Guarding: Recognize the Early Warning Signs

Guarding food, toys, (and other objects), locations and people is a natural behavior among dogs.  Some dogs guard body parts where they do not like to be touched.  When a dog displays aggressive behaviors, if humans come too close to food, objects, locations, or touches him in “that” spot, it is time for intervention.  This […]

KIDS AND DOGS: When Supervision IS NOT Enough

Most parents, who are dog owners, know that supervision is essential, BUT uninformed supervision can’t prevent bite events. Half of all dog bite victims are children. Even the most gentle dog can and will bite, if pushed beyond her threshold. Often a parent or caregiver is in close proximity to the child and the dog […]

Hyperactive!! What Does That Mean? AND What To Do About It?

Many dogs are described as hyperactive. Labelling behaviors does not provide  solutions or excuses for impulsivity.  Owners do not have to live with a “wild child”. A productive approach is to understand the triggers behind those behaviors, which present as unruly, inattentive, or just plain mindless. Excessive activity is often a lack of emotional self-control and intolerance […]

Canine Behavior Basics

WHY DOES MY DOG DO THAT?!?! Perhaps you are referring to this behavior: your dog is sitting calmly at your side, making soft, adoring eye contact….. It’s more likely, he is engaging in an inappropriate behavior you’d really love to shut down.   The reason your dog is doing that is because….it’s working for him! Owners […]

Establishing Boundaries, Routines, and Predictable Schedules

Physical health and a stable emotional state determine the behavioral wellness of animals. Vet visits are an essential part of responsible dog ownership. Deliberate care of our dog’s emotional lives is equally important to their well-being. Dogs are the ultimate creatures of habit. They thrive on structure in the environment and predictability in their lives. […]

Training – Enrichment – Management

SET-UP FOR SUCCESS New Dog Equipment Checklist Crate with a divider Five or Six foot nylon or leather leash – not a retractable leash Flat collar or harness Kong® and other food-dispensing toys Fetch and tug toys Long line for outdoors (regardless of yard fencing) Chews, such as bully sticks,,antlers, and hooves *ASK YOUR VET […]