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Creating Puppy Zen


As soon as puppy comes home, allow her to have a designated place to sleep and rest away from everyone else and the busy household. Puppies will usually sleep 18-20 hours per day (Reisen, 2019). That’s a lot of sleep! Sleep is “essential to healthy growth, contributing to the necessary development of his central nervous system, brain, immune system, and muscles. All of that sleep also helps him rest up during growth spurts.” (Reisen, 2019). Buzzing noises and lights from household appliances, external lights and people walking past can all… Continued


Handler Signals in Dog Training


While much of dog training seems to be focused on the dog, smart trainers know that handlers can and do affect their dog’s behavior and learning. Masters of body language subtleties, dogs are finely attuned to us, aware of how we move, act, speak, breathe. Many training problems are rooted in communication issues, caused by a handler’s body language and unintended messages… A straight on, frontal approach to others is often considered to be confident and polite. Unfortunately, in dog language, the same approach can be threatening, whether subtly or… Continued


Cats: In Crisis


Cats are hunters. Seeking out food, catching it, and playing with it is their mental engagement and physical exercise. It is their reason to be awake. We know a cat’s stomach is only the size of a ping-pong ball and that they hunt and eat at least 8-12 times in a 24-hour period, mostly at dawn and dusk. We know they are solitary survivors that hunt and eat alone. So, why are we feeding them from a bowl and taking away the most important activity in their life? Removing this… Continued


The Fearful Rescue Dog Who Changed My Life


By Gloria Schmidt *This post is the Pet Professional Guild runner up entry in our Geek Week 2020 Writers’ Competition* Back in 2011, I had accepted a job at St. Jude Children’s Research hospital that required moving to a new state, 13 hours away from home, to a place where I initially knew nobody within a five hour radius of Memphis. As an anxious and quieter type of person, I was frequently asked if this life change was the best idea for me. My constant answer was, “It will be… Continued


Rethinking Dominance in Horses


By Dorothy Heffernan In 21st century horse keeping, we require a range of behaviors from our horses. Some of these involve the horse staying near us and not leaving, such as grooming, tacking up, leading, waiting to have a head collar, halter or bridle put on, not moving away when we climb on their backs, walking next to us when led, not moving away when we ask them to lift their feet, when we use clippers, give injections, and administer medications. At the same time, we have a whole range… Continued


Good Kharma: Lessons from a Retired Greyhound


By Devene Godau *This post is the Pet Professional Guild winning entry in our Geek Week 2020 Writers’ Competition* I thought I knew everything there was to know about dogs. As a child I read everything I could and in my teens I spent my spare time working in a boarding kennel. All I dreamed of was being a dog trainer. When I graduated from college, I moved back home when my mom got a cairn terrier puppy. I was excited to start the training process with her and signed… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Denise O’Moore of INTO Dogs: October 22, 2020


Niki Tudge, PPG president, and Denise O’Moore, chair of INTO Dogs, talk all things Geek Week! INTODogs is one of the co-hosting organizations for Geek Week, an international virtual educational event for pet training and behavior professionals, taking place on November 11-15, 2020. See Geek Week for more details. Listen to Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below.


How to Choose a Harness for Your Dog


By Joan Hunter Mayer of PPG corporate partner Transpaw Gear® Dog harnesses are a commonly chosen item, but the amount of dog gear for sale can make a pet parent’s head spin! Why choose harnesses over collars for attaching the leash on walks and adventures? And how do you choose the right harness for your pet? Harness vs. Collar: A collar can be too tight, risking physical injury – Dogs who pull while wearing a collar can put pressure on their necks, potentially injuring this sensitive area. Even without an… Continued


Getting Willow: How the Loss of One Dog Taught Me How to Grieve and Love Again


By Sonya Bevan *This post is the Pet Professional Guild Australia winning entry in our Geek Week 2020 Writers’ Competition* I lost the love of my life on my birthday. I chose the day to sit by her side and say farewell. Although it felt like I had no choice. Zuri, my Rhodesian Ridgeback and keeper of my heart, was dying of cancer which had spread mercilessly to her lungs and abdomen. Every decision I had made up to this point was meant to prevent this. I was shocked to… Continued


Cats: In Crisis


By Dr. Liz Bales America loves cats! In fact, we have more cats than dogs living in our homes. We currently live with more than 94 million cats, compared to 90 million dogs (Daily Dog Stuff, n.d.). Nearly half of all millennials have cats: 57% consider their feline friends as important as the humans in their lives and 86% consider their cats to be loyal companions (Purina, 2015). But even the most passionate cat lovers among us are not always aware that our cats are facing something of a crisis… Continued


Project Trade: Revisited


In March of 2016, the Pet Professional Guild rolled out Project Trade, an international advocacy program promoting the use of force-free pet equipment by asking pet guardians to swap aversive gear for a discount on services.  The aversive gear was identified as shock, prong, and choke collars. I was one of the initial members of Project Trade, who now number about 56 pet professionals in several nations.  Together we have collected many aversive collars and freed pet dogs from the fear, pain, and intimidation that equipment once inflicted.  Just as… Continued


A Creative Solution for the Dog Who Barks at Other Dogs


By Kitty Lee *This post is The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) Australia winning entry in our Geek Week 2020 Writers’ Competition* Three years ago, I decided to become a professional dog trainer. I’d been teaching obedience classes at the local dog club and fostering rescue dogs since 2012 but I’d never had a dog of my own and I was pretty sure that was a requirement of being a dog trainer. So I started looking for a puppy. I was very specific. I wanted a sable working line… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Louise Ginman of APDT Australia: October 3, 2020


Join Niki Tudge as she chats to Louise Ginman, president of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) Australia, one of the co-hosting organizations for Geek Week, a virtual educational event for pet training and behavior professionals, taking place on November 11-15, 2020. Louise is presenting two great sessions at Geek Week: My Dog Has Cancer: Navigating Cancer from a Pet Parent’s Perspective. Home Alone Program for Puppies and Dogs of All Ages. Join us as we dig deeper into these important topics. Listen to Podcast here on a choice of… Continued


Phoenix Blog Competition: A Rough Start


By Kim Jukes  Zeus had a rough start to his days at Fuzzy Friends Rescue in Waco, Texas two years ago. Early one morning, the staff came in to find that someone had thrown a young German shepherd puppy over the fence. When they did, he had cut his underside on the fence. Fence Jumper The staff at Fuzzy Friends Rescue, being compassionate as they are, took him in, neutered him and doctored his wounds. Then, they found out how high spirited he was. As a young pup, they couldn’t… Continued


Puppy Joint Problems: An Unexpected Detour


By Gail Radtke Porter came into Sam’s life at the age of 8 weeks old as a healthy, happy, and adorable American pit bull terrier pup. Sam had met both Porter’s breeder and his biological mother and could not have been happier to bring Porter home and start raising her puppy. Sam works as a veterinary assistant at an animal hospital in the Lower Mainland in British Columbia, Canada, and is well experienced in canine care. Porter was your typical happy, playful, and goofy puppy and Sam enrolled in puppy… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Debra Millikan of PPG Australia: October 2, 2020


Join Niki Tudge as she Chats and Chuckles with Debra Millikan, a PPG board member and steering committee  member discussing the Pet Professional Accreditation Board and Pet Dog Ambassador program. Pet Professional Accreditation Board Leran how the three Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB) credentialing levels developed and evolved, what they involve, and how you can become an ethical, credentialed force-free professional. PPAB sets a very high standard for competency and each credentialing level tests knowledge, basic training skills, conditioning a positive emotional response, running classes and, for the behavior consultant… Continued


Puppies Being Puppies


By Sally Bradbury Preventing food guarding at mealtimes is usually pretty straightforward: simply allow puppy to eat in peace. If you have more than one dog, feed them separately and teach them that the presence of a human near their food bowl always means they are there for the sole purpose of adding a tasty treat to the bowl. Food Guarding Don’t be persuaded that you need to take your dog’s food away or put your hand in the bowl while he eats to make him tolerate or accept you… Continued


A Problem Like ‘Down’!


In a training class, I always find that a significant number of dogs (and their guardians, of course) have some trouble when it comes to learning/teaching how to lie down on cue. Why Teach Lie Down Anyway? If we can ask our dogs to lie down on cue, it can be really useful in terms of helping them relax and settle. Obviously, it’s great to have our dogs stay in one place and not leap all over the place or all over the furniture or our house guests, but for… Continued


Phoenix Blog Competition: Blake’s Story – Adopting a Prison Program Dog


By Rhonda York One of the many things I get to do as a dog trainer is train inmates at the Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas in tandem with the Leavenworth County Humane Society. It helps both the residents and dogs and we work together to train the dogs in the program to have good manners and basic skills. Last November, one of the dogs, Blake, had finished his training but hadn’t been adopted yet. I didn’t want him to go back to the shelter, so knowing he should be… Continued


Young Dogs Might Be More Similar to Human Teenagers Than We Think: New Research


By Naomi D. Harvey and Lucy Asher Speak to many dog owners and they will tell you that their once perfectly behaved puppy started to become “difficult” at around six to 12 months of age. There are articles all over the internet that advise owners on how to cope with teenage dogs. But until now there has been no scientifically documented evidence of behaviour changes in dogs during puberty. Our new study, published in Biology Letters, confirms what many dog owners and dog professionals have long suspected: that dogs have… Continued


Networking for Success


By Niki Tudge “More business decisions occur over lunch and dinner than any other time, yet no MBA courses are given on the subject.” – Peter Drucker Networking is an effective way to spread your value through those around you. Understanding the basic mechanics of networking will increase your success in delivering the right message about yourself to others. In this post, I will cover how to create an effective introduction and how to make a great first impression. Creating an Effective Introduction Most people form an opinion about you… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Veronica Sanchez of Cooperative Paws Service Dog Education: September 9, 2020


Join Niki Tudge as she chats with Veronica Sanchez of Cooperative Paws Service Dog Education about the service dog industry, public access dogs, and the concept of at-home service dogs, as well as her new program, Mobility Task Training How-To’s.   Listen to Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below. Veronica Sanchez M.Ed CABC CPDT-KA is the founder of the Cooperative Paws Service Dog Coach™, an educational certification program for professional trainers. She teaches dog trainers how to train service dogs and how to incorporate service dog… Continued


Preventing Resource Guarding in Dogs


Resource guarding is a dog’s natural tendency to protect valued possessions such as food, toys or resting locations. From a dog’s perspective, the approach of a person or animal is a potential threat to losing the valued possession. The behavior reflects a lack of trust and a fear of loss. Dogs in the wild must guard their food, water and shelter or they cannot survive. Domestic dogs will of course survive if someone takes their chew bone away, but their behavior is influenced by 32,000 years of evolution. If a… Continued


Phoenix Blog Competition: Choices Matter


By Maria Zarate As a veteran shelter professional, I’ve always sought outside the box to find effective and efficient methods to help residents skill build. Here are three “go to” methods we use regularly in the shelter environment and I hope you find them helpful too. Pillow Case Feeds What to do with all those donated pillow cases? Don’t toss them, use them instead to feed the residents who eat quickly or who enjoy a good game of “find it”. Pillow case feedings make meal times fun and help slow… Continued


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