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Pets

Your Puppy Will Grow Up

Normally, when people remind you that your puppy will grow up, they’re talking about the fact that your dog won’t be an adorable three-month-old forever. This post is all about the in-between stage. Your dog is still mentally a puppy, but he’s close to his adult size and full of doofy energy and enthusiasm for […]

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Pets

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.

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Pets

Remembering Sophia Yin

If you’re subscribed to any animal-related news outlets, you may have heard that one of the most influential members of the animal behavior community passed away unexpectedly this week. Dr. Sophia Yin was incredibly helpful and influential to me as a first time dog owner, to other private pet owners all over the world, and […]

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Pets

Impulse Control Will Solve All Your Dog Problems

Or at least a whole lot of them.

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Pets

Your Dog The Gambler: The Magic Of Variable Rate Reinforcement

A very common concern or problem with reward-based training is that the dog only performs when he knows you have the reward. The secret to success is to understand the difference between a lure and a reward, and work on giving your dog a gambling addiction.

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Pets

Training an Alternative Behavior in Dogs

I talk a lot about training an alternative behavior to replace an asshole one, but what does that really mean and how should you go about it? If it was as easy as just telling your dog to sit every time he was bad, everyone would be a dog trainer. What’s the devil in the […]

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Pets

The Problem With Punishment

Until about 15 years ago, it was standard to include, and primarily rely on, punishment to train your dog. Many of the best trainers in the business started out in classes that used choke chains, shock collars, hitting on the nose or butt, and other types of punishment to discourage behaviors. If you weren’t willing […]

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Pets

Feeding the Fear Monster

I have read a lot of books and articles about training, some of them from very famous trainers, that base their training on the idea that you can intensify fear, aggression, and other “negative” emotions in dogs by rewarding them with attention and treats. In order to avoid feeding these emotions and the related behaviors, […]

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Pets

Is Two Company?

“A pair of adorable puppies from the same litter! What could be cuter? And they can keep each other company when we’re not home! We can train them together and they can share toys and food! It’ll be perfect!”

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Perspectives

Are You The Alpha Dog?

I think we’re all familiar with the coolest story in prehistory. Our ancestors used their wits to harness the power of wild carnivores and trick them into doing pesky tasks like tracking, guarding, and hunting. After many generations of selective breeding, the descendants of these wild wolves now live in our homes and share many […]

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News

News in Africa: 01/24/2013

Happy Thursday, fellow Persephoneers, and this means another round of news from Africa! After the jump, I’ve got updates on the conflict in Mali, AU decisions, and women’s rights. I’ve also discovered an enterprising entrepreneur, and of course, there is a bit about the Africa Cup of Nations. Let’s jump right in!