I know how to apply punishment to reduce or lessen any given behavior. I know how to hit, kick, and yell. We all do, actually. I also know how to use a shock collar, prong collar, and a choke chain. I have 10 years of education that has given me a deep understanding of contingencies, learning theory...

I saw a video of a man who calls himself a dog trainer (I can not be that generous as to assign him that title). He walked up from behind an unsuspecting dog seated next to his owner and slammed the dog on the head with a rolled up white towel. He didn’t just hit the dog. He wound up and put his wei...

A well-trained dog should walk by our side, right? 

Well, it’s 2019 and I am here to tell you that we know a lot more about walking our dogs than we did back then. For context, I am writing about walks for companion animals to provide enrichment, decompression, and joy. Dogs need to move through thei...

I am sitting across from a woman. She is propped up toward the edge of the couch, slightly hunched, leaning forward, seemingly defeated. She is looking down into her lap where her hands are resting, still, except for her thumbs and forefingers. They are locked into a nervous little rhythm. I am ther...

December 26, 2017

Ok, hang on. It is your dog. But it’s not the final iteration of the dog you will be spending your days feeding, scratching, and calling 1,000 nicknames. That ball of cute with the intoxicating breath is just a version of your adult dog. 

There a lot of things that go into raising a puppy to be...

December 20, 2017

I am working with a dog who was afraid to come out of his yard or step into the street. He even stopped accompanying his owner to the mailbox, which he did every day. Instead, he would stand there frozen in the driveway, shaking.

We met at the gate of his yard and anxiousness was palpable. My job was...

December 11, 2017

Good morning, fellow dog-obsessed friends. We know our pets are priceless. There is absolutely no way one can put a dollar amount on how much they give us - the love, the laughs, the companionship. There is however a cost associated with providing the care they need to keep our best friends happy an...

Most people have encountered a dog that protects his possessions. This behavior is called “resource guarding” and is actually quite common though frequently misunderstood. Many think the dog is attempting to dominate their human counterparts. This misjudgment usually leads to a forceful correction e...

Ushering my dog out of the veterinary hospital after the removal of a large, but non-threatening, lipoma, I was stopped in my tracks. There was a dog, a smaller breed, rolling around on the grass. I wasn’t sure I was seeing things correctly. From the top, the shape of this dog reminded of an overfil...

We have been thinking about the all-important topic of canine body language and how much we miss. As verbally-centric creatures, many people have said to me, "Oh, if only my dog could talk!" That got us thinking maybe we need to take a moment to sniff around this hydrant.

They may not use w...

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