The Art Of Rewarding Mistakes

The Art Of Rewarding Mistakes

Yes, that’s right.  Today, we will be discussing how to give your dog treats for doing something wrong in training. (WHAT??) If the title of this week’s blog post makes you scratch your head a bit, don’t worry – you’re not alone! After all, mistakes are part of dog training, and we all know how to handle them… right?  Reward the dog for the behavior you want, and withhold the reward (or apply a correction, if you use corrections in…

Read More Read More

It’s Not “All In How You Raise Them”: The Role Of Genetics In Behavior

It’s Not “All In How You Raise Them”: The Role Of Genetics In Behavior

If you’re a dog owner, I’m sure you’ve heard this refrain. Conventional wisdom says that young puppies come to us as blank slates.  Full of promise and limitless potential, ready to be molded into your ideal companion as long as you do your part – provide lots of love, the right amount of discipline, and appropriate training along the way.  If you’re a caring, responsible pet owner, there’s no reason that your puppy should not grow up to be a…

Read More Read More

Living With “Jaws”: A Survival Guide For Puppy Mouthing

Living With “Jaws”: A Survival Guide For Puppy Mouthing

If you have a new puppy, or are expecting one this holiday season – congratulations!  You’re embarking on a life-changing adventure full of ups and downs, especially during those fragile first few months. If you’ve had a puppy before, or spent much time around one, you know exactly what I mean.  Snuggles on the couch, the first day home.  Soft puppy kisses, a tiny wagging tail. Hopping clumsily after a ball in her very first game of fetch.  Barking and…

Read More Read More

Behavior Medication: First-Line Therapy Or Last Resort?

Behavior Medication: First-Line Therapy Or Last Resort?

Today, I want to shed some light on a sometimes confusing, often maligned topic in the field of dog training – namely, the use of medication to treat behavior problems. You may have strong opinions about this already, and that’s okay.  Many of my clients do.  My goal with this discussion is not to convince you of anything in particular, but simply to provide information and clarify some misunderstandings that I often see.  Medication may be an excellent, life-changing choice…

Read More Read More

When “Avoiding The Problem” Is Okay: The Role Of Management In Dog Training

When “Avoiding The Problem” Is Okay: The Role Of Management In Dog Training

As a jumping off point for today’s discussion, I want to use a question I received in the comments section of a previous post.  The post was about changing our perspective in dog training to reflect the fact that dogs are dogs, and they do what comes naturally to them unless we give them a meaningful reason not to – you can read it here if you like. As an example of this, I mentioned that my 8-year-old competition dog…

Read More Read More

From Crazy To Calm: A Training Plan For Leash Reactivity

From Crazy To Calm: A Training Plan For Leash Reactivity

Welcome back for today’s follow-up discussion on treating leash reactivity!  If you didn’t get a chance to read last week’s post on this topic, you can find it here. Today, I will be breaking down in detail how we approach this problem from a training perspective.  I’m excited to write this post because this issue is so common, and so incredibly frustrating for owners!  As I said last time, leash reactivity is one of my favorite problems to treat because…

Read More Read More

Why Does My Dog Act Like Cujo? Understanding Leash Reactivity

Why Does My Dog Act Like Cujo? Understanding Leash Reactivity

Picture this. It’s a beautiful summer morning.  You’re out on the sidewalk, leash and poop bags in hand, enjoying a peaceful stroll with your dog.  It’s early, still cool and gray.  Quiet.  The very best time to be out, before the world around you is awake. Your dog sniffs contentedly in the grass, finds a suitable place to pee.  Birds chirp.  A car passes, slow and lazy.  You glance up and down the street, ever watchful.  So far, so good….

Read More Read More