Teach Your Dog to Cooperate with Grooming and Vet Visits

By Debbie Bauer Brushing, combing, cutting toenails, being held for vet examinations and treatment – these things are a part of life for our dogs.  These aren’t events that will happen once and never again.  Instead, these are lifelong skills that our dogs will need to learn to deal with as ongoing events in their lives.  Yet these are also […]

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The Last Trip To the Vet: What If Your Pet’s Last Breath Is on the Operating Table?

Alex in the foreground, with Rusty and Andrew behind him—photo from 1993. Yes, they are in a bathtub. Many years ago I lost Alexander, my dear, dear cat to stomach cancer. This was before veterinary medicine had the technology that’s available today. It was also before I took as proactive an approach to my animals’ health and welfare needs as […]

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Skipping Reinforcements? Rethink That

By Yvette Van Veen We’ve all heard it. “When do the rewards stop?” The knee jerk reaction by many, especially on social media is to cave, to placate, to give the client at least some of what. ” Variable reinforcement, skip rewards. It will actually make the behaviour stronger!” Not….so….fast. Skipping reinforcements (rewards) does make a behaviour more resistant to extinction. […]

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Portland Blog Competition: Changing a Dog’s View of the World

By Kathleen Godfrey  As a trainer, my goal is to help to help both dogs and their guardians have the best possible life together. New client Angie heard about me through a friend I’d helped the friend work with a rather “wild” foster dog (he was truly a good dog, he just had no idea what behavior was expected of […]

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‘Spring Clean’ Your Relationship!

Spring’s here (almost), the weather’s improving, the mud’s drying, the morning’s are getting lighter and the day’s longer and you just feel better.  So why not use this time to think about how you and your dog work together? It’s a great time for positive change! NEW WALKS It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut, we all live […]

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Herrnstein’s Matching Law and Reinforcement Schedules

When we bake cookies, some reinforcement is on a variable interval schedule. Have you heard trainers talking about the matching law? This post covers a bit of its history and the nuts and bolts of what it is about. I am providing this rather technical article because I want something to link to in some other written pieces about how the matching law […]

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