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E-Fence Fallout


Labradoodle Charlee…started to respond fearfully when the telephone answering machine beeped. She became afraid to enter the room where it was located, even when there was no beeping sound. She traversed a roundabout route through the house just to avoid that room. Her fear further generalized to beeping sounds on television programs, but the most “heartbreaking” response was when the smoke detector battery died and the device emitted a constant screeching beep which terrified Charlee. Read article 


Goals in Dog Training: Outcome or Behavior – Which Do You Control?


By Niki Tudge One of the most common mistakes we see dog training professionals make is to try to impart their goals upon their clients. For example, you may feel that pet dogs should behave in a certain way, have specific skills, do certain tasks or not do other things such as climb on furniture or jump at you on arrival.  News flash: Your clients may not want any of these things, they may have quite different opinions and therefore goals. To get everyone on the same page and to… Continued


PPG Summit 2020 Sessions: Tell Me Who You Are – Understanding the Individual Dog


BARKS presents session details from PPG’s 2020 Summit and Workshops in Phoenix, Arizona Session Details: Presenter: Suzanne Clothier Session Title: Tell Me Who You Are – Understanding the Individual Dog Session Type:Lecture/LAB – 8 handler/dog teams (1.5 Hours) Each dog presents a unique blend of genetics, history, learning and experience, temperament, preferences, abilities and limits. Humane training is possible when we understand each dog in a nuanced way that reflects who they are as a social, cognitive, emotional and physical being. The more deeply we can understand the individual dog, the… Continued


Phoenix Blog Competition: Mookie’s Tale


By Kim Geisert The gray and white male pit bull was covered in blood. It was flowing down his face, running from the punctures in his forelegs and neck, and streaming from where the tip of his ear had been severed. He limped toward me, but was otherwise unexpectedly calm, considering the obvious trauma he had just experienced. We were at the neighborhood park, on one of the hottest July days on record, and both of our lives were about to change forever. At the time, I had been involved… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Dr. Zazie Todd of Companion Animal Psychology: April 28, 2020


Niki Tudge chats to Dr. Zazie Todd about her new book, Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. Dr. Todd is well-known among pet professionals for her blog Companion Animal Psychology, but she is also a featured blogger on Psychology Today. Listen to Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below. Zazie Todd Ph.D. (psychology, University of Nottingham, England) MFA (creative writing, University of British Columbia, Canada) graduated with honors from Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers and has a Certificate of Feline Behaviour with… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Dr. Hannah Capon of Canine Arthritis Management: April 27, 2020


How much do you not know, but need to know, about canine arthritis, a disease that can affect four out of five older dogs? Join Niki Tudge as she chats to Dr. Hannah Capon of PPG corporate partner Canine Arthritis Management (CAM) about this illness and how you can make changes in your living environment to help with pain management and thus achieve a better quality of life. Listen to Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below.     CAM aims to challenge arthritis as… Continued


PPG Summit 2020 Sessions: Canine Welfare – What Is It and How Do We Measure It?


BARKS presents session details from PPG’s 2020 Summit and Workshops in Phoenix, Arizona Session Details: Presenter: Dr. Lisa Gunter Session Title: Canine Welfare – What Is It and How Do We Measure It in the Animal Shelter? Session Type: General Session Lecture (1.5 Hours) Considerable progress has been made to improve the outcomes for dogs arriving to animal shelters, resulting in substantial increases in the number of dogs adopted and returned to their owners as well as reductions in euthanasia. Over this time, the role of the animal shelter has changed… Continued


Dog Trainers: Still Here to Help – Virtually!


Progressively, over the last couple of months, I have seen my client contact change dramatically. Classes, in-person 1-to-1 training sessions, day training, board and train etc…all of this physical, hands-on work has had to end due to COVID-19. Of course, the social aspect for us and our dogs has also come to an abrupt stop. No longer do we have access to that unique rapport with clients and no longer do our dogs have that option to form friendships, bond and learn about social interaction at training classes. For those… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Dr. Kristina Spaulding of Smart Dog Training and Behavior: April 22, 2020


Guest Dr. Kristina Spaulding chats with Niki Tudge about her calling to animal behavior, science and its role in informing practitioners, and much more. Listen to Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below.   Dr. Kristina Spaulding operates Smart Dog Training and Behavior, which opened its doors in 2001 and quickly grew to become one of the most well-respected dog training and behavior resources in the area of Saratoga County in upstate New York. Dr. Spaulding holds a Ph.D. in biopsychology and is a Certified… Continued


Message Received!


By Suzanne Clothier At the heart of any relationship is communication. On so many levels, how effectively we communicate plays a huge role in the quality, tenor and overall success of a relationship. As psychologist and family therapist pioneer Virginia Satir (1998) states: “Communication is to . . . relationships . . . as breathing is to life.” As a trainer, my goal is to find the communication approach that serves the human, the dog, and the relationship. I need to recognize what works well for that specific team, and… Continued


E-Fence Fallout


By Daniel Antolec My clients Maggie and George* had both grown up with dogs. Now, as a married couple, they were ready for a puppy of their own. In 2009, they bought a house with a large lot that was ideal for a dog and joyful labradoodle, Charlee, thus entered their lives. As the house was located along a busy boulevard they, of course, wanted to keep Charlee safe while enjoying the yard, so they considered installing either a physical fence or an electronic containment system (ECS). Building a physical… Continued


Tips to Help Your Reactive Dog


As a certified canine behavior consultant I enjoy working with “reactive” dogs. Yes, I said enjoy. Helping a dog and their guardian overcome this common behavioral issue is truly joyful for everyone involved. This is a long post…entire books have been written on this topic after all. I want to give you some virtual help during the global pandemic which has us sheltering at home. So feel free to get a cup of coffee or tea and then continue reading. What “reactive” means This refers to canine behavior in which a… Continued


Quick Cat Behavior Tip: Destructive Scratching


By the Pet Professional Guild Cat Committee Important Reminders about the Behavior Scratching is a normal, natural behavior for cats that serves many purposes: To communicate and modulate social interactions with other cats by: o                Leaving behind a long-lasting visual mark (claw marks) and an olfactory mark by way of the interdigital glands. o                Being seen physically marking an area (e.g., a confident, assertive cat might scratch in front of a less confident cat). To remove the layered sheaths that comprise the claws (claw maintenance). To stretch the muscles in the backs,… Continued


Pet Professional Guild Launches Sponsored Membership Program


10 long-standing PPG members and 10 eligible shelter and rescue organizations to be awarded with free membership for 12 months WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. – April 7, 2020 — The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) has announced a new initiative designed to support and reward 10 of its long-standing, loyal members with a 12-month sponsored PPG membership. In addition, the initiative will invite 10 representative organizations from the worldwide shelter and rescue community to apply for a sponsored PPG membership, again for a 12-month period. Known as the PPG Sponsored Membership Program,… Continued


The Hand-Delivered Retrieve


By Veronica Sanchez The hand-delivered retrieve is an important task for many service dogs and a wonderful skill for pet dogs. Service dogs trained to help a person who has a mobility impairment, a mental illness or a neurological condition often must be able to perform numerous retrieve-based tasks. Pet owners may want their dogs to retrieve a few items for enjoyment or to simply help out around the home. Owners who participate in Rally or other types of competitive obedience may need their dog to retrieve for performance activities.… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Joan Hunter Mayer of Transpaw Gear: April 6, 2020


Guest: Joan Hunter Mayer with Transpaw Gear, a PPG Corporate Partner. Listen to Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below.   TransPaw Gear is a small but mighty operation. Joan Hunter Mayer runs the company in addition to her Santa Barbara, California training business, The Inquisitive Canine. After early experiences working with businesses and people who brought equal parts integrity and passion to their roles, the bar was set high for future collaborators and Joan continues to surround herself (albeit largely virtually these days) with… Continued


PPG Virtual Summit Recordings Now Available!


The recordings for the PPG Virtual Summit on April 2-3, 2020, celebrating the launch of the Pet Rescue Resource, are now available. Register here for access to these eight exceptional educational experiences offering 12 hours of recordings plus Q&A sessions: Preventing and Reducing Fear in The Shelter Environment – Dr. Karolina Westlund of Illis Animal Behavior Consulting Seven Top Tips to Promote Calm in Rescue and Shelter Dogs – Dr. Nick Thompson of Holisticvet Scent Work Solutions for Dogs in Rescues and Shelters – Dr. Nick Thompson of Well Connected Canine… Continued


PPG Summit 2020 Sessions: How Can We Ask Questions from Non-Verbal Animals? Methods to Behaviorally Assess Preference in Applied Settings


BARKS presents session details from PPG’s 2020 Summit and Workshops in Phoenix, Arizona Session Details: Presenter: Dr. Alexandra Protopopova Session Title: How Can We Ask Questions from Non-Verbal Animals? Methods to Behaviorally Assess Preference in Applied Settings (Part 2) Session Type: General Session (1.5 Hours) Modern dog training recognizes that efficacy is simply not enough; ethics in dog training is equally, if not more important. A big part of being an ethical trainer is learning how to understand the animal’s point of view. Whereas using body language to gauge comfort level… Continued


A Summary of the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act


By Niki Tudge Below is a broad summary of the various types of assistance and relief the recently passed legislation may provide you and your business.  The situation is constantly changing so this summary is meant only as a general guide.  Please check with your local authorities and your accountant for guidance specific to you and your situation. Assistance in the form of Loans: The “Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act” provides loan support for: Small employers with 500 employees or fewer plus businesses that meet current Small Business… Continued


Building a Shock-Free World for Pets


By Don Hanson Trainers, behavior consultants and pet professionals, the Shock-Free Coalition needs your help! Specifically, we need your help in educating your clients, colleagues, friends, and family members about the benefits of using reward-based training and the dangers of using a shock collar as a training tool. Our goal is to prepare you so that you can ask pet owners and pet care professionals, especially veterinarians and their staff, animal shelters and rescues, and other dog trainers to sign the Shock-Free Pledge. Pledge Drive The Shock-Free Coalition will be… Continued


Financial Management During Challenging Times


By Niki Tudge Keeping and maintaining accurate and timely business books is always an important function of owning your own business but this responsibility becomes especially critical during challenging times for several reasons. Operating your business without accurate GAAP financial records (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles – all modern financial bookkeeping software uses these principles or the UK equivalent) is like being in the middle of the wilderness without a map (or GPS): 1. What you measure is what you can improve so knowing what your income is and where it… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Veronica Sanchez of Cooperative Paws Service Dog Coach™: March 25, 2020


Guest: Veronica Sanchez M.Ed. CABC, CPDT-KA, founder, Cooperative Paws Service Dog Coach™ Topic: The role of service dogs; service dog training; instructor certification programs, and much more! Listen to Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below. Veronica is known for her expertise in service dogs. She has developed a certificate program for professional dog trainers in service dog coaching and authored the book, Service Dog Coaching: A Guide for Pet Dog Trainers. Be sure to listen all the way to the end or you will miss… Continued


Self-Isolation? Don’t Forget the Furries!


What unprecedented and uncertain times we’re in. I’m speaking from the viewpoint in the the UK but COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, is now sweeping the world.  Here in the UK, the situation changes daily as the number cases (and very sadly, fatalities) increases, it is ever-evolving.  By the time you read this, who knows what measures will be in place. Currently we have school closures and closures of businesses that provide food, hospitality and entertainment.  There are advisories on social gatherings and social distancing and possibly soon to come, enforcement… Continued


Feline Behavior Unmasked: Acting on Instinct


By Amy Martin  Q: My older cat does something frustrating while eating his food. He eats some of it, then tries to cover the rest of it with miscellaneous items nearby. Sometimes he even paws at the ground around his food plate or drags his placemat across his food plate, covering it a bit. My other (younger) cat does not do this. Is it related to age? Does this behavior mean he does not like his food? A: Two of our feline family members do this too! Understanding the why… Continued


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