Clicker Training 101: A Quick Beginner’s Guide

Clicker Training 101: A Quick Beginner’s Guide

If you’re just getting started with training your dog, you’ve probably encountered the term “clicker training” at least once or twice. Maybe you’ve overheard another student in your obedience class raving enthusiastically about how she uses a clicker to teach her new puppy fancy tricks at home.  Or, perhaps it’s been mentioned in a training book or article you read – but you weren’t quite sure what it meant. If you’ve ever seen someone using a clicker to work with…

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An Announcement…

An Announcement…

Good morning, dear readers! 🙂 I have an exciting announcement to share, about a project I’ve been working on “behind the scenes” for the past few months.   I have a book coming out early next year, on basic dog training and behavior issues. The full title is “Train Your Dog Now! Your Instant Training Handbook, From Behavior Fixes to Basic Commands.”   Essentially, this book is intended to provide targeted, practical training advice on a huge list of specific…

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Are You Training Or Complaining?

Are You Training Or Complaining?

My youngest dog, Clint, is a three-year-old Sheltie. He’s a perfect dog in almost every way.  Friendly and sweet, never meets a stranger.  He loves to run agility and strut his stuff in the show ring, and is also a fantastic cuddle buddy for rainy days on the couch. However – he does have one unfortunate habit that I want to talk about today. Like many dogs, Clint is fascinated by the sight of other animals on the TV screen. …

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Vet Visits For Aggressive Dogs: A Case Study

Vet Visits For Aggressive Dogs: A Case Study

Today, I want to tell you a story about one of my favorite patients. Hudson is a 13-year-old Border Collie mix – very handsome, with a long fluffy coat and bright, intelligent eyes.  Like most dogs, he adores his family.  He’s getting a bit grey in the face now and he doesn’t see quite as well as he used to, but he’s extremely smart and his nose works just fine.  His favorite hobbies include snuggling on the couch with his…

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No, You’re Not Being Silly: Your Dog Matters Too

No, You’re Not Being Silly: Your Dog Matters Too

Several months ago, I had a conversation with a client during a behavior consultation that stuck with me.  I wanted to address it here today, because I think it’s a secret worry for lots of dog owners – and it really shouldn’t be! The client in question had recently adopted an 8-year-old Lab mix I’ll call “Joey.”  He was a sweet, friendly dog in most situations, but she had some concerns about his behavior around her grandkids – he was…

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On “Fixing” Behavior Problems: Reachable Goals and Wishful Thinking

On “Fixing” Behavior Problems: Reachable Goals and Wishful Thinking

As part of my job, I spend a fair amount of time talking on the phone with potential clients who are interested in scheduling a behavior consult.  We talk briefly about the dog’s issues, the owner’s main concerns, and how the consultation visit works. Most of these people are good owners who love their dogs, and genuinely want to know how to help them.  Not surprisingly, many of them are also somewhat desperate for a solution – a dog with…

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The Truth About Treats: Why Do We Use Them In Training?

The Truth About Treats: Why Do We Use Them In Training?

Today, I want to talk about a topic that seems to provoke a fair amount of consternation among students in my beginner obedience class.  Namely, this: Why do we have to use treats? This is a reasonable, and very common question – and so, I will do my best to shed some light on this subject in our discussion today.  If you’ve ever wondered this yourself, or asked your obedience instructor why you need to bring a baggie full of…

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