How to Talk Dog

Dogs and humans have been friends for thousands of years. In fact based on some of the latest studies, it is estimated that dogs evolved from wolves almost 40,000 years ago. But what is most incredible is that science, until the last decade, hadn’t been interested in studying dogs; after all why bother with a common domesticated animal when there […]

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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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The Clicker versus Yes!

I have recently seen and heard discussions on message boards and dog training forums about the use of clickers versus verbal markers such as using ‘yes’. I actually use and recommend both, not at the same time as this weakens the conditioning effect through either blocking or overshadowing, but for different applications they can both have their place. When I […]

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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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Understanding Canine Body Language Essential to Preventing Dog Bites

The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) is promoting education and a better understanding of canine body language as paramount in reducing the number of dog bites this National Dog Bite Prevention Week, taking place 18 – 24 May, 2014. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there is an estimated population of 70 million dogs currently living in U.S. households and […]

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