Are Head Halters Like Prongs?

By Yvette Van Veen Are Head Halters Like Prongs? Head halters took the training world by storm years ago.  Some trainers are hanging up their head halters because they simply don’t like how dogs seem to fight them.  Other trainers, those who use force have long tried to make the claim that head halters are no different from prong collars. Generally, the argument […]

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Animal Trainers: Take Animal Emotions into Consideration!

By Karolina Westlund Ph.D. of PPG corporate partner Illis Animal Behaviour Consulting Is the dog fearful, or crouching? Does it matter, when you’re training? The world of animal trainers is divided, and I find that some trainers avoid the subject of animal emotions altogether. “There’s no need to factor in and understand emotions, just deal with the observable behaviour”, is the gist of […]

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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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BARKS Recorded Podcast with Alexandra Kurland: April 17, 2019.

Guest: Alexandra Kurland, a graduate of Cornell University where she specialized in animal behavior,  whose area of particular interest is the development of a horse’s balance: physical and emotional. Alexandra Kurland is the author of “Clicker Training for your Horse“; “The Click That Teaches: A Step–By–Step Guide in Pictures“;  “The Click That Teaches: Riding with the Clicker“; “JOYFULL Horses“, and […]

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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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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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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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