Social media is always a-buzz with: Triple Q weekend! My dog is the best! Look at my amazing national/regional/seminar/whatever video set to cool music! Check out this training session in which I made zero mistakes and my dog learned long division! Listen, I get it. I post that stuff, too. It’s important. We should celebrate … More Getting Real
Dog attacks are all over the media right now. Dog on dog, dog on elderly human, dog on airline passenger, you name it. I can’t open my computer or look at my phone without being bombarded by brutal tales of dogs biting, mauling, and generally savaging humans and other dogs. As a person who loves … More Reality Bites (and so do dogs)
Many, many times in my career I have advised a client to cease playing fetch with her highly adrenalized dog as a part of our work together to help her dog have better overall mental health. It is not about never throwing a toy for these dogs; it’s about replacing their current avenue for exercise … More The Trouble With “Fetch”
A few weeks ago I wrote about my sister’s new puppy. He’s healthy now, taking on the world, and has thrown my sister–who hasn’t had a puppy of her own for about 15 years–a few curveballs. I learn from every puppy I raise, and from all of my clients puppies, and I am learning from … More Puzzles and Presence: a Puppy Update
A lot of dog trainers really feel as though they are on the front lines; that there is a war being waged and they are either on the side of positive reinforcement or the side of “all the other stuff.” Organizations and groups have sprung up on either side, both believing that they are the … More Fighting the Good Fight?
There is a parenting article circulating right now that aims to outline the shortcomings of positive reinforcement. It’s titled something like “Positive Reinforcement Doesn’t Work Long Term” (I am not going to link it here because I really don’t need five thousand angry parents emailing me about how, as a non-parent, I shouldn’t be talking … More Why Positive Reinforcement ALWAYS Works
There is a trend in dog agility involving toy play that goes like this: your dog needs to play tug; he needs to play tug anytime, anywhere; if you give him the tug he must return it to you immediately; if you offer a tug to him, he isn’t allowed to say no thank you; … More Play with me, now.