Archives - June 2016

30
Jun

Is Correction Training Humane?

For the past decade, there has been a non-adversive movement in dog training that rejects correction in favor of positive reinforcement. Unfortunately, this trend is sponsored more by public relations and feel-good sentiments than by actual science about the way that dogs learn. According to this philosophy, undesirable behaviors should be ignored or avoided by …

29
Jun

Breaking In the Backyard: Tips For Taking Your Dog Outdoors

Spending more time outside in the beautiful Utah spring has reminded me that many owners envision their backyard as their dog’s domain. Over the years I’ve noticed that, of the hundreds of clients I speak with every year, only one or two have full-time backyard dogs. Very few good dog owners keep their dogs outdoors …

28
Jun

Start the Day Off Right: Making Sense of the Collateral Effect

One idea that I often come back to is the “collateral effect.” This concept doesn’t just apply to your dog—it also applies to you. Imagine that you begin every day by drinking a smoothie and meditating, or a long jog and some time with your children, or maybe eating a healthy breakfast and reading a …

27
Jun

Structure Away Anxiety: How Focused Motion and Stillness Can Transform Your Dog

Today I’d like to talk about two concepts that I call “structured motion” and “structured stillness.” Although this concept is one that I frequently utilize in training of anxious dogs, it’s one that not every owner thoroughly understands. When I work with other professional trainers, I have found that this concept frequently goes unexplained. But …

27
Jun

Focusing On the Peripheral: How To Address Problem Areas Indirectly

I recently took my daughter to equestrian speech therapy.  Now, I was initially skeptical about how a horse could help her speak better. But here’s how the half-hour session works: they had her brush the horse, grab the saddle, and walk around the farm. Then they asked her things like, “Look at that horse, he …

27
Jun

Taming the Toy Monster: How To Redirect Your Dog’s Energy

The other day while I was hanging out with my dogs in the living room, I noticed an important difference between my house and many of the other dog-owning houses I go into. As far as toys for the dogs, all I have is a small chewing bone, a tennis ball, and a deer antler. …

27
Jun

Don’t Treat the Symptoms: Getting To The Root of Your Dog’s Behavior

When I talk to an owner about their dog’s behavior problems, the conversation often sounds like we’re discussing icebergs. See, when you first glimpse an iceberg, it’s 90% under the surface. What you’re actually seeing is the tip of it. https://youtu.be/CaYM_9D1XxI Often, people tell me about the tip of their dog’s iceberg. This isn’t to …

27
Jun

Profile Without Profiling: What Breeds Really Mean

A while ago I made a post about dog breeds, and today I’d like to come at this subject from a different angle. Another thing that’s important to understand about breeding is that, even though many breeds have changed over time, there are certain characteristics that are common to certain breeds. That’s not always the …

22
Jun

Working Selection: What Your Dog’s Breed Really Means

Dog owners commonly come to me saying things like, “I got this Labrador”—or Pyrenees, or any other breed—“and the breed book tells me it’s going to be exactly like this.” Or, “After I got my German Shepherd, I started reading up on them, so I know exactly what they’re like.” Here’s the thing: there are …

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