Emotion as Criteria

When I was a kid I had a doberman. She was a wonderful dog that came to our family at about a year and a half of age with long black dagger toenails. As far as I could tell, no one had cut this dog’s nails, ever. Since I was charged with much of the … More Emotion as Criteria

Handler Nerves

People talk about it all the time; when we are stressed or anxious it affects our dogs. Whether it affects their ring performance or their everyday behavior, dog owners are pretty clear; their own stress appears to create stress in their dogs. We attribute this to a connection we have with them. Like when seeing … More Handler Nerves

Cobbler’s Children

  Dog trainers often report that their dogs are the barefoot cobbler’s children; they never get trained. We have busy, often insane schedules. We have families. We probably even have other interests (gasp!). But should we allow our dogs to go by the wayside? When we are immersed in dog training all day, how important … More Cobbler’s Children

Dogs Gotta Eat

“Treats don’t work for my dog,” the man said as he waved a crunchy milk bone under his lab’s nose while the other dogs milled around, working on their obedience skills. “She just isn’t food motivated,” the woman stated as she tried to lure her sheltie out from under a chair with bits of bacon … More Dogs Gotta Eat

How much do we risk?

Last weekend, at nearly 26 months of age, Felix debuted in agility. He wasn’t ready for all classes so we played in three: snooker, gamblers, and jumpers. I agonized over when to bring him out; I worked diligently over months to prepare him emotionally for what is required of our dogs in this game we … More How much do we risk?

It’s not you, it’s me.

“My dog down-stresses.” “My dog shuts down.” “My dog can’t tolerate frustration.” “My dog hates to be wrong.” “My dog knows when I don’t have treats.” “My dog is low-drive.” And the list goes on. We’ve heard these things. We’ve said these things. What if it’s not the dogs, but us? What if each time … More It’s not you, it’s me.