Portland Blog Competition: Canine Aggression – The Public Perception

By Hannah Blumenfeld  “Not a nice dog,” says the woman on the sidewalk. Lucy and I had just walked past her, and although I was shoving treats in Lucy’s mouth, the woman locked eyes with my beautiful beast. This scares the bejeezus out of Lucy, so she barks. And, yes, sometimes lunges. I do not correct the woman; I don’t […]

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My Dog Is Afraid of the Clicker. What Should I Do?

I wrote this article especially for people who are either new to using a clicker or have not dealt extensively with a fearful dog. If your dog is scared by the noise of the clicker, slow down. Switch to a verbal marker for now. Don’t immediately focus on trying to achieve softer clicks. Here’s why. Rat terrier Kaci says, “Train me!” […]

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Five Days from Fear to Fun – Classical Counterconditioning

By Yvette Van Veen I decided to spend some recent holiday time working on a whistle recall.  This is when a dog learns to come to the sound of a whistle.  Pamela Dennison has a number of resources on how to teach this skill for anyone who might be interested. Unlike other whims, I remembered to grab my camera.  When […]

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Multinational Canine Behaviour Modification

Over the last two years or so, my behaviour practice has welcomed more and more dogs from overseas. Sometimes these are canines with profound behavioural difficulties.  I have always assisted several imported dogs per year but there seems to have been an explosion of dogs from a variety of countries, thanks to the efforts of many local and larger International […]

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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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“Naughty” Dog Or Normal Dog?

I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve heard that Fido is ‘really naughty,’ ‘he’s doing it deliberately,’ ‘he’s trying to spite me,’ or, if an owner has more than one dog, ‘they’re trying to gang up on me!’ But are these labels in any way helpful? Let’s consider this for a moment. Ask yourself ‘Why?’ before reacting  The number one […]

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Finding the Underlying Cause for Barking

Go to any online dog forum and the question will come up rather sooner than later: My dog barks, what should I do? The advice then often starts with citronella or even shock collars, rattle cans, and other unpleasant devices such as high pitched noises to name a few. I find it rather scary how easily we resort to punishment; […]

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What Makes a ‘Good Dog’ and Do Current Dog Training Classes Teach these Skills?

I define a ‘good’ dog as a dog who is considered part of the family, can stay home alone if necessary but goes places if possible, lives in the house, goes on holidays, gets enough mental and physical stimulation, is ‘cool, calm and collected’ most of the time, takes changes like moving or an new addition to the family in […]

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