Case Study: Over-Excited, Frustrated, Habituation and Freedom

Dylan is an enthusiastic, friendly young dog, if a little over-excited at times. He is beautiful, but someone coming to house is a very exciting thing for the young 16-month-old Labradoodle. When I arrived the lady was doing her best to control him. She repeatedly told him to sit and stay on a mat just round the corner where he […]

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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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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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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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The Problem with Punishment

Fortunately today, thanks to force free advocating organizations like Pet Professional Guild, there is much more awareness of the detrimental effects of punishment.  Sadly though, in some quarters it still prevails and is even advocated by some and perpetuated by the media.  So what actually is the definition of ‘punishment’?, what constitutes it? What are the alternatives? Let’s take a look. What Is Punishment? […]

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The Words We Use!

The more I work as a behavior consultant, the more I realize how much we are all influenced by both the opinions and attitudes of those around us and, possibly more importantly, how the words we, and other people, use. One of the challenges for equine behavior consultants is the problem of stereotypical behavior. For those of you aren’t horse professionals; stereotypies […]

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