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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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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Portland Blog Competition: May I Speak to the Manager?

By Tina Ferner Last week, I received a voicemail that a trainer NEVER wants to hear. It went like this, “Tina, this is Eileen. Dolly just killed Miley.” Dolly was a rescued mixed breed dog that weighed approximately 65 pounds while Miley was a Maltese mix that weighed 8 pounds. There had been problems in the past with resource guarding […]

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10 Reasons Why the Holidays Might Not Be So Full of Festive Cheer for Your Pet

It’s nearly Christmas, traditionally the time of year when we look forward to enjoying lots of yummy food, time with our friends and family, hopefully a break from work and of course – pressies! Lots of us also think about involving our dogs and cats and other furries in the festivities; gifts, advent calendars, novelty costumes etc. but how often […]

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Portland Blog Competition: Tips to Reduce Leash Reactivity

By Michelle Wieser  When a leashed dog barks, pulls or lunges at other dogs (or wildlife, skateboards, kids, bikers, etc.), it is known as leash reactivity. Dogs may feel trapped and restricted by the leash and, unfortunately, given that they can’t voluntarily remove themselves from the situation (think fight or flight), it can lead to reactive outbursts during leashed walks […]

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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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Portland Blog Competition: Aggression by Any Other Name

By Stephanie Peters “Help, my dog is aggressive!” This is often the first thing that I hear from potential clients when they contact me for a training or behavior consultation. They may be troubled by certain behaviors their dog is demonstrating, and are either panicked that they have somehow caused the behavior, or worried that their dog is inherently “flawed.” […]

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Portland Blog Competition: Lessons from Bogie

By Shannon Finch  I want to warn you at the outset, Bogie’s story doesn’t have a happy ending. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for this dog, with mistakes compounded by more mistakes. It’s been over 15 years since I worked with Bogie, but I clearly remember every detail about him. He was a 7-month-old German shepherd with […]

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Halloween and Pet Welfare

I confess that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I enjoy the creative costumes, haunted house attractions and horror films.  For me, the creepy nature of the holiday is fun. Behaviorally healthy dogs may accept Halloween activities like trick-or-treat visitors in costume as just another silly thing humans do.  For many other dogs Halloween celebration can be truly frightening. Years ago […]

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