Does Your Animal Have Control?

By Karolina Westlund Ph.D. of PPG corporate partner Illis Animal Behaviour Consulting Many animal trainers, veterinarians and pet owners highlight the importance of controlling animals. Controlling them, as in restricting the animals’ movement, their choices and their opportunities to control their environment through their behaviour. Sometimes you have to, for safety reasons. Obviously. But often you don’t – and more often than you might […]

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The Reality of TV Dog Training

By Niki Tudge and Susan Nilson In recent years, much creditable scientific study has been given to dog training and behavior modification methods and their respective efficacy and consequences. The preponderance of the evidence shown by these studies indicates that the implementation of training and/or behavior modification protocols predicated upon outdated “dominance theory” and social structures (“alpha,” or “pack leader”), […]

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Treats that Beat Squirrels!

By Yvette Van Veen Treats that Beat Squirrels! What if I told you that tiny little treats could beat a high level distraction like a squirrel?  It doesn’t seem to make sense.  The distraction is clearly more desirable than a paltry pea sized biscuit. It would be like saying that people would choose to work for a strawberry rather than sloth by the […]

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Dispelling the Myths: Tuggy, Retrieve and Safe Play

By Sue McCabe I still regularly hear from clients that they have been told they shouldn’t play tug with their dog. It causes aggression; it creates a hard mouthed dog who will damage game (if you’re into that sort of thing); you’ll never get a decent hold if you teach tug. I still hear the only way to play tug safely is to make […]

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The ‘Quick Fix’ – Not So Quick After All

In today’s society, it seems everything has to happen ‘now.’  Results are expected instantaneously and I think, sadly, this notion has to a certain extent worked it’s way into how we think, feel, and live our lives with our dogs too.  Time is precious, and we haven’t always got space for ‘issues’ our dogs may throw at us or, if […]

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Teach Your Dog to Cooperate with Grooming and Vet Visits

By Debbie Bauer Brushing, combing, cutting toenails, being held for vet examinations and treatment – these things are a part of life for our dogs.  These aren’t events that will happen once and never again.  Instead, these are lifelong skills that our dogs will need to learn to deal with as ongoing events in their lives.  Yet these are also […]

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Skipping Reinforcements? Rethink That

By Yvette Van Veen We’ve all heard it. “When do the rewards stop?” The knee jerk reaction by many, especially on social media is to cave, to placate, to give the client at least some of what. ” Variable reinforcement, skip rewards. It will actually make the behaviour stronger!” Not….so….fast. Skipping reinforcements (rewards) does make a behaviour more resistant to extinction. […]

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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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