A Little Truth in Advertising, Please

Can a dog trainer advertise that they’re “force-free” and then strap a shock collar on your dog? Surprisingly, they can — and some do. This puts dog owners in a bad place if you believe positive training is the only acceptable way to help your furry friend learn your rules. How do you wade through the sometimes outrageous claims dog trainers […]

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Heading for the Dog Park? Remember the Parable of the Gorilla and the Human in the Lion Park

Gaining some insight into how their dog might be feeling can be a big motivator for people who implement methods of force with their dog-reactive dogs, and can potentially make all the difference. People may commonly label their dog ‘aggressive’ and resort to using force, which makes matters even worse. Without realizing it they may be forcing their dog into having no […]

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Reality Check for Carers/Owners of Dogs with ‘Issues’

LOSING HEART Why do so many clients with fearful or reactive dogs, who often have started off so well, lose heart? The reason is because they just don’t fully accept the time and work that changing fear-based or guarding behaviors in particular can take. Teaching people is the easy bit. A large part of my job is about keeping people […]

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How Did The Aversive Get There? A Call for Honesty

I am mystified by one particular argument of those who use protocols for fearful or reactive dogs other than desensitization/counterconditioning (DS/CC). These other protocols often use negative reinforcement; if not that, then sometimes desensitization without counterconditioning; sometimes extinction; sometimes habituation. People who practice these protocols intentionally expose their dogs to their triggers at an aversive level at times, as opposed to […]

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