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“I’ll be Back”

Lots of puppies and rescue dogs – adolescent and adult – are described by their people as “Velcro dogs”.  This is not unusual and not necessarily a predictor of persistent separation distress behaviors.  Of course, these young or disadvantaged animals are not yet secure in their new or changed environments. Ultimately, we must move about […]

Working at the Dog’s Level

When a dog owner comes to believe that his dog cannot be trained, it is often a result of working beyond the dog’s level during the training effort.  Working at the dog’s level means making observations and assessments of your dog’s ability to connect and respond to the handler.  Then, adjusting environmental elements to facilitate […]

Canine Case Files: Mick – Dysfunction at the Door

Mick is a sweet, smart, and active Corgi.  His arousal level can go from 0 to 400 mph in a split second.  This escalation is a result of his seeing a delivery truck in front of the house and the driver approaching, the clanging /vibration of the mailbox lid, and the sound of the doorbell. […]

Canine Case Files: Teddy – Off the Kitchen Table!

Teddy is a sweet Cavapoo, who learned that access to the kitchen table was easy.  Not to mention highly gratifying.  There was a bench on one side and chairs on the other side of an oblong table.  It was easy for Teddy to hop up on the bench and sit with the family while they […]

Canine Case Files: Bosco – Object Stealing

Bosco is an 8-year-old bully breed mix.  There are two young children sharing his space on a regular basis.  This situation can be stressful for any dog whose exposure to children has been limited until it is upon him!  It is no surprise that often Bosco’s behaviors indicate that he is over a threshold level […]

Canine Case Files: Rambi – Barking Routine (Family Room)

Rambi’s evening entertainment was parking herself on a circular rug in the middle of the family room and barking.  Non-stop.  The only way to hush her up was to give her a Kong stuffed with cheese.  As soon as she finished, the barking resumed.  It was a vicious cycle. Her barking was, indeed, reinforced.  It […]

Canine Case Files: Rambi – Barking Routine (Kitchen)

For a tiny gal, Rambi could make some noise.  She had her preferred spots for barking, and one of them was by the kitchen.  She engaged in this behavior when family members were preparing food and eating at the kitchen table.  Rambi had an aversion to sitting on the tiled kitchen floor, so she took […]

Canine Case Files: Cato – Counter Shopping – Part 2

Now that Cato responds to “Leave It” by turning his attention away from the counter, we have the first step in the change program.  Lacking further direction, Cato is likely to revert his attention back to his counter shopping activity.  We want to replace it with an alternative kitchen activity. Here Are the Alternative Behaviors […]

Canine Case Files: Cato – Counter Shopping – Part 1

Any dog that spends time in the kitchen (and that would be most of them) becomes curious about the counters and tabletop at some point.  Cato, the Weimaraner, was no exception.  (Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.) After several valuable food snags off the counter, he turned into a relentless shopper.  Any moment […]

Canine Case Files: Paco – Learn to Play

The final segment of Paco’s three-part case story provides guidance on teaching a dog to play.  Often rehomed dogs have little to no experience playing with a human.  They are busy surviving, perhaps actively avoiding people.  Some have developed a preference for the company of other dogs.  Others have learned that hands and clothes are […]