A few years ago I left a private lesson with a sour taste in my mouth. Everything had gone fine, I enjoyed the client and her dog, but the next time I saw her that same faint anxiety washed over me. It took a long time to shake the negative feeling I had developed in … More Dentist’s Office Smell and Dog Sports
Two weeks ago I was sailing down a fairly open two lane highway in Idaho (read: the middle of nowhere); two border collies in secured crates in the back of my van. This is not an exceptionally unusual scene for me, and as the sun was going down I was closing in on hour ten … More Two Dogs and a Tow Truck: How A History of Trust Manifests
Things are changing in the sport dog world. We are suddenly immersed in activities to do with our dogs. We can participate in scent work, dock diving, barn hunt, and more. Just having one measly agility class a week no longer needs to cut it; we can now attend a dog-related function, be it class, … More Being More, Doing Less
Have you ever halted a dog’s aggressive outburst by laughing or praising him? Have you ever calmed an excitable dog’s greeting by acting disinterested? Maybe you’ve ended an argument with a fist of handpicked flowers, or soothed your own anxiety by making light of a situation. In any of these cases and many more, you’ve … More Non-Complementary Behavior
Whether you are involved in dog sports or dog training as a career or hobby, you may have had a mentor early on. That person was probably pivotal in your understanding of dogs or training, or of your chosen sport. You need not have had a mentor to be great in your chosen doggy path; technical training … More The Pygmalion Effect: A Dedication
If you’re a dog trainer your social media feeds are likely laden with heroic proclamations from other trainers. Proclamations about what they don’t do. Whether it’s a training tool or a type of dog food, they’d like to be very clear about what they would never use on a dog. Entire professional organizations have been … More Action or Omission?
There are many sport dog rearing programs and philosophies that center on the concept of controlled resource allocation. Heavy crate time, restrictive devices, and a weighty responsibility placed on the human half: control all access to reinforcement, all the time. The sell is seductive; just do all this, just manipulate each tiny piece of your dog’s … More Reminder: Dogs Are Not Machines