Clicker Training for Cats (5/6)

By Paula Garber and Francine Miller Introducing Cats to Each Other In a nutshell, cats should be gradually introduced to each other one sense at a time: first by scent, then by sight, and then physically. Throughout the process, positive associations are built up with the scent, sight, and physical presence of the other cat using food, play, brushing, low-key […]

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The Neurological Benefits of Counter Conditioning Leash Reactive Dogs

Creating new and better associations for dogs on leash when exposed to fearful/stressful stimuli is crucial, as it is better for all involved for the dog to be less stressed and less fearful. The goal is potentially a positive association is created, or at least less stress. When this can be achieved via counter conditioning and desensitizing dogs to these […]

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Higher-Order Conditioning: Did it Happen To My Dog?

  The other day I was sitting in my bedroom with Clara and Zani and the doorbell rang. And there was dead silence. This pierced my heart. If you follow the blog, you know that I lost my dear dog Summer suddenly in August. She was wonderful beyond compare. She also barked reactively at delivery trucks, the mail carrier, anyone […]

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The Science of Force-Free Learning: How Our Pets Learn!

Introduction Here at the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), we like to focus on building relationships with our pets by using positive reinforcement to train new skills, and to build new behaviors as replacements for problematic ones. Because the emotional brain inhibits the rational brain (and vice versa), nobody, and that includes our pets, can learn something constructive and pleasant when in a […]

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Clicker Training for Cats (4/6)

By Paula Garber and Francine Miller Clicker Training for Behavioral Problems: Clawing Furniture/Destructive Furniture Scratching Destructive furniture scratching is a commonly reported problem in cats, and one of the many unwanted behaviors that clicker training can help. Without going into all the reasons cats scratch (for more details on scratching, see Scratch Here, Not There, BARKS from the Guild, July […]

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An Open Letter to Veterinarians on Referrals to Training and Behavior Professionals: Recommended Best Practices

Dear Veterinarian, There are numerous professional organizations that offer membership and credentials in the field of animal training and behavior. Few, however, hold their members to a strict code of conduct which involves the application of their trade through scientific protocols and the objective to cause no harm. Unfortunately, the pet training industry is entirely unregulated, meaning that anyone can […]

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Clicker Training for Cats (3/6)

By Paula Garber and Francine Miller Cats learn best when they are comfortable and free from distractions. They are sensitive and will flee from any threat or uncertainty (and we don’t work with them on a leash!) The best place to teach a cat is somewhere he finds quiet and familiar. This may be challenging because with their acute senses […]

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An Open Letter To Pet Retailers Concerning The Availability of Pet Training and Management Devices That Deliver Electric Shock

In September 2017, the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) rolled out its Shock-Free Coalition, the key purpose of which is to build a strong and broad movement committed to eliminating electric shock devices from the worldwide supply and demand chain. It is our intent to fully realize the goal of shock tools and equipment being universally unavailable and no longer permitted […]

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Clicker Training for Cats (2/6)

By Paula Garber and Francine Miller In clicker training, primary reinforcers are things that are instinctively or inherently rewarding to a cat. Reinforcers for cats should be given in small amounts and frequently to maintain learning momentum. For cats who are food motivated, use high-value food or treats for clicker training. Many cats like foods with a high animal protein […]

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Counterconditioning Leash Reactivity, the Hybrid Approach

Leash reactivity towards dogs, humans or traffic, is one of the most challenging training endeavors. This is simply because there is no consistency in the appearance of the stimuli, and there will most assuredly be at some point, an over threshold event for the dog due to “criteria pile up”. More than one piece of criteria at a time combined […]

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