Countering The Aversive

Some pet dog trainers that are either using aversive methods or some that call themselves “balanced”, and use a combination of both aversive approaches and food rewards, may carry the notion that positive reward based trainers are against them personally, or that are looking to have them stop training dogs. While I can only speak for myself, it is not […]

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Proper Education, Not Faulty Legislation For Pet Dog Trainers

The profession of companion, or “pet” dog training is one that requires little more than the willingness to do it and promote oneself. There is no licensing required. Let me state right up front that given the appalling lack of education and the major divisions among pet dog trainers, there cannot be proper legitimate licensing that will give consumers more […]

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No More Henrys

A headline a few weeks ago caught my eye: PetSmart, groomer are sued in death of dog. Obviously, this should never happen. Reading the article just made me sad, and angry. The dog, Henry, a year-old dachshund, went to the groomer to get his nails trimmed. He emerged, bloody, with two broken ribs and a punctured lung, struggling to breathe. He […]

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Ad Hoc Advocacy

Advocacy opportunities sometimes pop up unexpectedly, as happened to me in November 2016. I contribute a column to a local weekly newspaper and while perusing an issue I found an interview with the public works director of a nearby village. He casually mentioned spraying herbicide in the dog park to control thistles. The director responded to my email inquiry and […]

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#iSpeakDog Campaign to Bridge Communication Gap between People and Their Dogs

To help improve the relationship people have with their dogs, The Academy for Dog Trainers, the Humane Rescue Alliance, The Bark Magazine, and The Pet Professional Guild have teamed up to launch iSpeakDog, a global campaign and website designed to help people better understand dog body language and behavior. The iSpeakDog Campaign, which will launch as a week-long campaign March […]

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Spray Bottles Are for Houseplants, Not Cats

By Beth Adelman, MS It’s piece of bad advice that just won’t die: When your cat is misbehaving, squirt her with some water. Even some veterinarians still say it. What’s wrong with the spray bottle? Well, for starters, it doesn’t work. Yes, when you squirt your cat, she is very likely to stop what she’s doing and run away. But […]

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“Good Sit!”

Here is a quiz. Let’s say someone says, “Sit,” to a dog, intending the word as a cue. What part of speech is the word, “Sit”? Then, what part of speech is the same word if we say, “Good sit!” afterwards? That was a trick. If we were talking to a human who speaks the same language we do, the first “Sit” could […]

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