What’s a Functional Assessment in Dog Training? (And Why You Should Care)

A lot of dog training advice you get on the Internet won’t help. Pretty strange comment coming from a dog blogger who frequently writes about training, right? But even if people recommend a humane, positive reinforcement-based approach, something is missing that can’t be done in a typical online discussion. That’s the functional assessment. A functional assessment, or functional behavioral assessment, […]

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Pet Professionals: Keeping It Objective

A dog’s behavior can many times cause the owner to experience feelings of embarrassment or even failure. Such feelings can be detrimental in the trainer/behavior consultant-client relationship and can certainly adversely affect the outcome of any training protocols that are put into place. When owners shut down or withhold information, behavior professionals will lack the necessary information with which to […]

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The Many Faces of Behavior Myopia: Recognizing the Subtle Signs

By Angelica Steinker and Eileen Anderson with additional contributions by Jan Casey and Niki Tudge. Originally published in BARKS from the Guild, October 2014. The fundamental goal of any behavior modification program should be to improve the dog’s (1) and owner’s emotional states, both during and after the process. If emotional, genetic or medical information is omitted from the functional assessment […]

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