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PPG Summit 2020 Sessions: How Emotions Impact the Outcome of Your Training


BARKS presents session details from PPG’s 2020 Summit and Multi-Species Workshop Events in Phoenix, Arizona Session Details: Presenter: Dr. Karolina Westlund Session Title: How Emotions Impact the Outcome of Your Training Session Type: Keynote Session (1.5 Hours) Emotional experiences impact brain development, personality, social skills, and stress sensitivity, and this presentation will focus specifically on how emotional reactions impact learning and performance. It will examine several of the mechanisms involved and discuss the importance of not only the animal’s emotional experience, but also the human part of the equation. The… Continued


How I TRAINED My Dog to Take a Pill


By Eileen Anderson Most of us have used the “hide it” method at one time or another to get our dogs to take pills. In fact, I wrote a whole post about some ways to sneak pills into dogs. But there’s a better way. What if you never had to hide a pill again? What if your dog would take a pill almost like a human? Instead of washing it down with a drink of water, your dog would get a favorite treat afterward instead. Pill-taking can be trained as a behavior. It… Continued


Training Tips: My Puppy Is a Scaredy Cat


By Sally Bradbury The world can be a scary place for a puppy sometimes, so it is important that we don’t put him into situations that he cannot cope with. For example, if your puppy is scared of large chubby bearded men in red coats, then you can just keep him away from the chimney on Christmas Eve. However, we also need to help him to not be scared of everyday things like the vacuum cleaner, the dog behind the fence up the road, visitors to the house…all the things… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Amy C. Martin: September 25, 2019


Guest: Amy C. Martin, the owner of Conscious Companion™, member of the PPG Cat Committee, retired zoologist, animal behavior consultant, published author, and artist. Topic: Cats, Kids, and Compassion. Education creates understanding.  Understanding facilitates compassion.  Compassion creates harmony.  Harmony increases safety.  A safe, fun, and peaceful home is a happy, harmonious home. Both cats and kids deserve this kind of home environment.  We can create conditions where both cats and kids are thriving as an empowered team.  By piquing curiosity, playing games, getting creative, and fostering compassion, we can bridge… Continued


Being Social…..and Polite


I have seen many posts on social media recently by dog owners regarding ‘out of control’ dogs in public spaces. I don’t recall this much of an outcry 3, 5 or way back 10 years ago, so is it really warranted? Or is it simply the case that now we have a facilitated platform for such views? It’s only a personal opinion, but in my view the simple answer is, yes, it is warranted. The great thing is that modern society largely embraces canine culture. There’s still a lot of… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Tabitha Kucera: August 22, 2019


Guest: Tabitha Kucera, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant, Co- Chair of PPG’s Feline Committee and Owner of Chirrups and Chatter Cat Behavior Consulting and Training and Positively Pawsitive Dog Behavior Consulting and Training in Cleveland, Ohio. Topic: From Hiss to Purr – Kitten Socialization. Please click here if you would like to register for Tabitha’s PPG Webinar From Hiss to Purr: Keeping Kittens in Life Long Loving Homes. We are all familiar with puppy socialization, but do not often hear about kitten socialization. Kittens need socialization too!  Listen in to this… Continued


Mentoring the Next Generation of Trainers


I entered the field of dog training late in life, following my initial career in law enforcement. When I consider the things which made that 30 year career successful a long line of teachers parade through my memory and make me smile.  They saw my potential, fueled my interest in learning and guided me toward my goals. They prepared me for the success which followed. At this stage in my life I think the older trainers and behavior consultants among us have an important role to play by preparing the… Continued


Resolving Destructive Behaviour in Your Pet


By Karolina Westlund Ph.D. of PPG corporate partner Illis Animal Behaviour Consulting Destructive behaviour can be extremely frustrating. Image: concept by ILLIS ABC, drawing by Pyrrth Destructive behaviour from your beloved pet can be a nuisance. Assuming there’s not an underlying medical condition or the behaviour isn’t anxiety-related, let’s look at some ways of addressing these types of behaviour, regardless of whether you’re a dog dude, a cat gal or a parrot person. Or hang out with any other critter, for that matter. I’m going to use cat furniture scratching as… Continued


Dog Play and Prediction Error


Dog play is comprised of “ritualized aggression”, and aggression is rooted in fear. In ritualized aggression, there are varying degrees of fear/stress/aversions, along the spectrum from slight stress to possibly full blown fear, that results in a fight or bite or an attempt to flee. The fun, enjoyable parts of the “dog play stress spectrum” are positively reinforced, and intrinsically so, by their very nature. These are behaviors that are reciprocated and or result in play being accepted by the other dogs. Play bows, shoulder rolls, invitations to be chased,… Continued


Four Steps to a Thriving Group Class Program


By Veronica Boutelle of PPG corporate partner, dogbiz Do any of these group training class challenges sound familiar? Students who tell you their dogs “only behave during class” or “when the trainer is around” Starting class with 6 students and ending with 3 Students who check training off their list after Puppy or Basic Manners class, never to return Cancelling or postponing classes that don’t fill in time. Teaching half-empty classes Struggling to teach students with a wide variety of skill levels and needs Fitting in make-ups for students who… Continued


Case Study: Stress and Fights in a New Home Living with Another Dog


An elderly family member is no longer able to look after her dog, so her Cairn terrier Ben has gone to live with a couple and their dog Bonnie, a Labrador cocker spaniel mix. She’s small in size, no bigger than a cocker. Fights Each dog is great individually but being together is a challenge for both of them. In the short while that Ben has been living with his new family, there have been a couple of fights and another few altercations that the owners have interrupted. Six-year-old Bonnie… Continued


From 1 to 2…Smoothing the Transition


So you’ve decided after much decision and debate that another four-legged member will join your household.  It’s definitely something that needs lots of careful consideration: A quick checklist to think about: Should you choose a dog or a bitch? How does your existing dog get on with either and of course think about the obvious – is your current dog neutered? If you are going for a dog of the opposite sex and your current dog is entire, how are you going to work that out? Are you absolutely sure… Continued


Hide My Deaf/Blind Dog Away?


By Debbie Bauer Here is my handsome, clever, fun-loving boy Vinny on our recent trip to Purina Farms.  This picture was taken at their Visitor Center and he is smiling, which is his normal state of mind.  You see, on this day, it was Saturday morning and the Visitor Center was full of children!  In fact, we struggled at times to get a picture, as children were running up to him trying to pet him and say hello.  Vinny loves children!  They are just at his nose height and he… Continued


Book Review: Puppy Training


Recently I read a Kindle book on the subject of house training a dog, written by Alexandra Santos. I recognized her from a Pet Professional Guild webinar I attended on August 6, 2019 titled Fear Learning and How to Work With Fearful Dogs. Santos is a professional canine behavior consultant who graduated from the Animal Care College in the U.K. with a Diploma of Advanced Canine Psychology. She has previously written Puppy Problems and Puppy and Dog Care books, among other things. During her fearful dogs webinar I was impressed with… Continued


Does a Wagging Tail Mean a Happy Dog?


Zani’s tail is up, and you’ll see in the video below that it is wagging. Does she look friendly and happy? Why do dogs wag their tails? The prevailing view is that they do so when they feel happy and friendly. Many do, but dogs also wag their tails in other situations. So the answer to the title question is no. Dogs wagging their tails are not always expressing friendliness or joy. Not by a long shot. Many dogs will wag their tails from arousal or when performing predatory behaviors.… Continued


Case Study: Puppy Joyfulness Lost, Tail Between Legs, Acts Cautious


Hettie is an adorable Cockerpoo puppy who is now 16 weeks old. For the first four weeks that Hettie was with them (8 to 12 weeks old), she was a typical confident, happy and energetic puppy. She would fly around in puppy joyfulness, grab things and cause the usual puppy chaos. Why, then, has she now lost her puppy joyfulness? Before getting Hettie, her owners had already booked their vacation. While they were away, they left her in what they believed was the best place possible. This was a well… Continued


July 22, 2019: Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Banning Cat Declawing


New York Becomes First State in Nation to Ban Cat Declawing: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation (S.5532B/A.1303) banning the performance of declawing procedures on cats, making New York the first state to prohibit the practice. The bill takes effect immediately. “Declawing is a cruel and painful procedure that can create physical and behavioral problems for helpless animals, and today it stops,” Governor Cuomo said.“By banning this archaic practice, we will ensure that animals are no longer subjected to these inhumane and unnecessary procedures.” Read article


BARKS Podcast with Daniel Quagliozzi: August 7, 2019


Guest: Daniel “DQ” Quagliozzi, Cat Consultant and Owner/ Operator of Go Cat Go, San Francisco’s leading resource for cat guardians, seeking contemporary and individualized lifestyle advice. Topic: Cats and consent to petting. How overstimulation and petting aggression can be avoided through awareness of human intention and the understanding of feline body language and thresholds. How taking less physical liberties with our cats can allow for more social interaction and trust with our cats. Listen to the recorded podcast here  


Case Study: Attack – The Best Form of Defense?


Just look at this dog! Isn’t she wonderful? Billie is a four-year-old Aylestone bulldog and her guardians have had her for six weeks. Previous to this she had been used as a breeding bitch and ended up in a shelter, so she probably didn’t have a very good life. She certainly has a good life now. Scared – attack may be the best form of defense Billie is a sweet-natured dog, although maybe a little worried about things. She is a dream at home, but out on walks she is… Continued


The Comparison Curse


Owning a dog is a privilege, as is the opportunity to share our lives with them for 12, 15 years and, let’s hope, longer still. During that time, think about all those battles and struggles you conquer together, what you achieve that, at first, seemed insurmountable, those amazing journeys you have together and, of course, that inexplicable personal relationship you strike up which no one else can understand. Time spent with a dog is never long enough, but each day is spent creating incredible memories – a unique canine/human time… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Adina Silberstein: July 26, 2019


Guest: Adina Silberstein, the Founder, President and CEO of Queenie’s Pets Adina Silberstein is an entrepreneur and business coach, specializing in processes, organization, company culture and profitability. Adina is committed to urban communities, force-free practices, empowering others, and ongoing professional and personal development. Topic:  PPG Webinar:  Say “No” More Often: Capitalizing on Your Unique Value. How operating from fear can negatively impact decision-making, yet creating clear-cut, forward-thinking boundaries can positively impact work/life balance, profitability, company culture and more. Listen to the recorded podcast here


For The Curious 2 – Your Questions on Deaf, Blind Dogs Answered


By Debbie Bauer There were more great questions sent for my For The Curious series of posts!  Thank you to everyone who sent such great questions that people often have about blind/deaf dogs and double merles! Are your blind/deaf dogs always on a leash or beside you?  Are they able to roam freely at home and are they able to navigate a space they are familiar with?  What about a space they are unfamiliar with? My b/d dogs are free to roam in the house or fenced areas.  They know the space… Continued


Dogs and Body Pressure: A Photo Study


Can you guess what just happened here? Zani and Clara and I were playing a game I call the Gravity Game. It has evolved over the years. The indoor version is as follows: Clara deliberately drops her ball It rolls Zani picks it up Zani brings it to me I trade it for a piece of kibble I toss the ball back to Clara Repeat I have a previous post on The Gravity Game. Clara invented it, first using gravity to play a game of fetch with herself, then training… Continued


To Chase, or Not to Chase?


I live in the countryside on a 25 acre parcel surrounded by farmland. We developed our property to support wildlife. Needless to say there are critters of all kinds and in all directions. My dogs love it as much as I do. The major difference is I have no hard-wired impulse to chase the critters. My Labradors, on the other hand, face temptations every day.  A little Angel sits on one shoulder preaching self-restraint while a little Devil sits on the other shouting the contrary. To chase, or not to… Continued


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