Behavior Suppression Is Not the Same as Behavior Modification

By Jenny Efimova Reactive behavior is the tip of the iceberg. It’s what we see: the lunging, the barking, the snarling, the growling, etc. It’s what’s above the surface and it’s what we often want to stop. What we don’t see and what’s driving this behavior is the rest of the iceberg below: the fear, the anxiety, the stress, the […]

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Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Training Dogs – Gus, the Dominance Myth, An Alpha Roll, and a Damaged Relationship

By Don Hanson In a recent interview, I was asked a series of questions about how to choose a dog trainer. One of the questions was “What would you like to have known when you started training dogs?” In the spring of 1991, I had a new 12-week old Cairn Terrier puppy named Gus. I had no knowledge of dog […]

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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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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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Pet Guardians Need Help Finding Professionals

As a professional dog trainer taking behavioral cases I see how confusing it can be for pet owners to know what sort of help they need and where to find it. Lack of regulation and transparency in the industry can lead pet guardians into pitfalls. This happened to a client whose dog was fearful of other dogs during leash walks. […]

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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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A Plug for Play

By Julie Naismith Just like humans, dogs need play time too. And one of the many beautiful things having dogs has taught me is that you’re never too old to play. You might be asking: “But, where does play fit into separation anxiety training?” I am all about fixing separation anxiety dogs, I am also passionate about encouraging them to play […]

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A Change in Routine Can Be a Shock to the System for Dogs too

By Julie Naismith Dogs and novelty don’t always mix. Although many dogs breeze through change, anxious dogs can be thrown by it. If it could talk, the stressed dog would probably say: “Ok, I was feeling good about everything, but I worry when I don’t know what’s round the corner.” Regularity can help anxious dogs become comfortable with whatever might […]

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