Unintentional Dog Commands

With most foster dogs, training really means acclimating them to living in a house, housebreaking, teaching them to go up stairs. It’s really just about getting them to understand the basics — anything else is up to the adopters, or at least that’s how I viewed it. Read More Unintentional Dog Commands

The Perfect Pet

A lot of dog training books and websites promise to teach you how to train “the perfect pet” or “the perfect dog,” but that’s just not going to happen. Your dog will never be perfect and it’s better to understand that from the start. Much like your children, spouse, friends, and boss, your dog will have quirks; expecting them to be perfect is a recipe for unhappiness at best and a dog bite at worst.  Read More The Perfect Pet

Reinforcing Good Recall

Many people have trouble training good recall in their dogs because they don’t know how to offer the rewards their dog wants off leash. Trying to compete with squirrels and geese and other dogs with dry dog treats isn’t going to work with even the most food-motivated dog, but lots of owners don’t know what to do instead. Let’s look at some ways to improve your reinforcers when you’re competing with every smell and chase-able animal in the woods.  Read More Reinforcing Good Recall

Preventing Livestock Chasing Without Aversives

I’ve mentioned before that I live next to my in-law’s cow farm, and mostly my dogs have no problems ignoring the cows. This year we’ve run into some problems and we’re having to work on livestock harassment. Read More Preventing Livestock Chasing Without Aversives

Electronic Fences are the Wrong Choice for Your Dog

Today, I received an email from one of my students who was considering installing an electronic fence system in their backyard and wanted to know what I thought.

I hate them. Read More Electronic Fences are the Wrong Choice for Your Dog

Your Vet Probably Isn’t a Dog Trainer

When they’re feeling overwhelmed with a new puppy or they’re having a behavior problem with their dog, many people turn to their vet or the staff for advice. Sometimes they can be a great resource; unfortunately, being an expert in veterinary medicine doesn’t qualify someone to deal with training and behavior problems. Read More Your Vet Probably Isn’t a Dog Trainer

Know Thy Dog

Dog owners, I’ve got some bad news. Almost everything is potentially dangerous to dogs. Google any pet related item or activity, and I promise you’ll find a few horror stories about it. Hit the streets with your dog often enough, and you’ll probably get some unsolicited advice about everything you’re doing wrong. This is why so much of good pet ownership comes down to knowing your dog. Read More Know Thy Dog