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 […]

Tell the Dog What to Do

Dogs behaving badly either lack the skills required to engage in appropriate behaviors, find themselves in situations where they are so far over threshold that they are dysfunctional, or have inadequate information and direction from their humans.  It is, often, a combination of these.  Dogs love structure.  They have expectations of outcomes and thrive on […]

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 […]

Canine Case Files: Paco – “Cujo” on the Leash

The second of Paco’s three-part case story outlines our program to change his leash walking behaviors.  I can only conjecture what his prior experiences were before landing in my house.  He had engaged in at least one altercation, because there was a small crescent-shaped hunk missing from one ear.  Many dogs are friendly towards other […]

Canine Case Files: Paco – Kitty Relations

I recently lost my dear friend, Paco. He was a Black Labrador/Dachshund mix, who was rescued from “dead dog” beach in Puerto Rico in 2007. Paco had great longevity genes, reaching the ripe old age of 17. He was 5 years old when I adopted him. I am sharing my early journey with Paco because […]

K9 Fun and Games 2: More of the Best Toys and Chews

Play between dogs and their humans creates a strong bond of companionship and trust.  This includes games we play together as well as providing fun, independent activities. Boredom is a leading cause of behavior complaints. It is also a top-ranking source of stress for dogs. Toys vs. Chews Separate your dog’s playthings into two categories:  […]