Skip to main content

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

By Debbie Bauer Thank you to everyone who contributed questions and wonderings for this blog post, and for what will probably be several more to come!  (I received a lot of questions!)  Here are a few to get you started:   What kind of cues can you teach a dog that cannot see or hear? How do you communicate with a deaf and blind dog? How does your dog (blind and deaf) know what you want him to do? Dogs that cannot see or hear can be taught tactile cues. … Continued

BARKS Podcast with Jean Donaldson: November 8, 2018

Guest: Jean Donaldson, Founder and Principle Instructor of The Academy for Dog Trainers Topic: Upcoming PPG Webinar “It’s Mine!” – Object Guarder Cases Studies: Two DSCC and a which Jean will present three case studies of resource guarders.  Two resolved using desensitisation and counterconditioning and one using differential reinforcement. Listen to the Podcast here.

October 19, 2018: Kennel Club, Scottish Kennel Club Welcome Scottish Government’s Effective Ban on Shock Training Devices

The Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club report that “strict guidance has been published which provides advice on training methods and training aids for dogs, with particular focus on the welfare issues that may arise from the use of aversive methods including e-collars.” “We are of the view that training with shock stimulus is unnecessary, outdated and simply masks behavioural problems as opposed to solving them, by inflicting painful electric shocks. This can often lead to further behavioural problems. We are relieved that a year later, such devices have been… Continued

October 18, 2018: Study Suggests Dogs Accompanied Humans during Neolithic Expansion into Europe

New study assesses whether “early Near Eastern dogs possessed a unique mitochondrial lineage that differentiated them from Mesolithic European populations” and presents evidence suggesting that “mtDNA dog lineages indigenous to Near East were brought to Europe during the Neolithic from the beginning of the ninth millennium BP before later spreading west and north.” Read study

Portland Blog Competition: Lessons from Bogie

By Shannon Finch  I want to warn you at the outset, Bogie’s story doesn’t have a happy ending. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for this dog, with mistakes compounded by more mistakes. It’s been over 15 years since I worked with Bogie, but I clearly remember every detail about him. He was a 7-month-old German shepherd with severe fear issues that started when he was attacked in the car by his family’s other dog. The owners came back from dinner to a horrific sight of blood all… Continued

October 15, 2018: Study Investigates Blue Eye Coloring in Dogs

Author summary: “The genetic underpinnings of many phenotypic traits in domestic dogs remain undiscovered. Although two genetic loci are known to underlie blue eye color in dogs, these do not explain all cases of blue eyes. By examining > 3,000 dogs…we have shown that a region of canine chromosome 18 carrying a tandem duplication near the ALX4 gene is strongly associated with blue eye color variation, primarily in Siberian Huskies. We also provide evidence that this duplication is associated with blue eye color in non-merle Australian Shepherds.” Read study.

The Effects of Declawing

By Bridget Lehet It is estimated that “the vast majority (80 percent) of declawed cats have at least one complication resulting from surgery, and over a third develop behavior problems after undergoing the procedure.” (Becker, 2014). According to Becker (2014), after declawing, “behaviors such as biting and urinating outside the litter box are often pain related.” Dr. Craig Tebeau, a 1996 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, director of the Washington Paw Project, and owner of The Cat Doctor Veterinary Clinic in Federal Way, Washington, states:… Continued

A Lesson in Compassion

By Angelica Steinker As the consult progressed, I made a casual remark about the importance of avoiding aversive stimulation. I was specific about what this means, given that such stimulation functions to suppress body language and can create a more dangerous dog that no longer gives any warning signals. The client hesitates and then says, “So I can’t use the shock collar anymore?” For a split second I held my breath, then responded, “Exactly! Let’s plan for what you will do instead.” Read more.

Halloween and Pet Welfare

I confess that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I enjoy the creative costumes, haunted house attractions and horror films.  For me, the creepy nature of the holiday is fun. Behaviorally healthy dogs may accept Halloween activities like trick-or-treat visitors in costume as just another silly thing humans do.  For many other dogs Halloween celebration can be truly frightening. Years ago I trained a cute Dachshund puppy named Manny. I was a rookie trainer and he was a star student who excelled in the group training environment, but when he later… Continued

A Lure By Any Name is Still a Lure

By Yvette Van Veen Luring a dog towards something he fears is a problematic practice most recognize. Regardless of whether you use aversives in training or not, it’s an issue because it can create a slew of problems. From the dog’s perspective, luring into scary is a ‘gotcha.’ The first few times, they happily follow the food only to face something nasty. Animals aren’t stupid. Fool them once…they learn. After a couple repetitions, they realize that food can lead to nasty things. Food motivation may decline. Food snubbing may start… Continued

The Challenge of Breed Discrimination

By Kim Iffert It was finally a beautiful day in Chicago so I grabbed my bag, my leash, a pocket full of treats and tennis ball and set out for a walk. The neighbors were out and it was the perfect opportunity for a social outing – but not for me and my dog. As we walked down the sidewalk, others may have looked, some would wave, a few may have offered a smile… and then crossed the street. Social pariah? No, just me and my Rottweiler out for a… Continued

Five Rules for Humans Living in Catlandia

By Daniel “DQ” Quagliozzi Humans and cats have been trying to peacefully coexist for centuries, and for the most part, we are doing okay…with a little room for improvement.  Our relationship with cats has definitely changed over time, with technology allowing us to connect with the masses and disconnect from the very place our cats try their best to meet with us; the present moment, or as I like to call it: “The Meow”. Modern convenience also allows humans to have very specific ideas about how they want their homes to… Continued

Pet Tutor…My Hero

By Smart Animal Training (A letter from Malena DeMartini-Price CTC CDBC) Dear Wes & Amanda at Smart Animal Training, I wanted to tell you about a client that I have been working with for a little while now that has been absolutely wonderful and of course, the Pet Tutor was my hero in this case! The client contacted me about separation anxiety however upon further investigation it really wasn’t quite separation anxiety, but more anxiety surrounding the guardians leaving the house, particularly Mom. Once gone, the dog in question was a… Continued

October 4, 2018: New Study Reveals Verbal Cues May Not Be Most Effective Way to Train Dogs

A new study involving the examination the brains of 19 awake dogs via fMRI to measure reward-related learning via visual, olfactory, and verbal stimuli revealed that: “Visual and olfactory modalities resulted in the fastest learning, while verbal stimuli were least effective, suggesting that verbal commands may be the least efficient way to train dogs.” Read study.

BARKS Podcast with Jane Bowers: October 2, 2018

Guest: Jane Bowers of Dogs of Distinction Canine Training in Vancouver, British Columbia. Topic: Bowers’ article in BARKS, Reducing Conflict, and Assessing and Interpreting Dog Behaviour, a training course hosted by the Canadian Police Knowledge Network for law enforcement personnel and others who meet unfamiliar dogs in the course of their duties. Listen to the Podcast here.

Behind the Scenes

By Frania Shelley-Grielen Americans love pets. We love them so much that most of us, or 68 percent of us, live with them. That’s 85 million families according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners’ Survey (American Pet Products Association, 2018). Cats are our number one pet because we usually have more than one, but more of us have dogs. That makes 60 million dog-owning families with 90 million dogs at home and 47 million cat-owning families with 94 million cats at home. With so many pets in so many doggedly… Continued

Conditioning Confidence

By Vicki Ronchette Whether or not you are bringing home a new baby bird, a rehomed adult bird or just want to upgrade your current bird’s cage, it is important to put some thought into your cage set up. There is a lot to consider when putting together a bird’s cage. This not only includes the size and shape of the cage, but what it is made out of, how you will outfit it and where it will go in your home. If you have done any research on how… Continued

Successful Cage Set-Ups

By Vicki Ronchette Whether or not you are bringing home a new baby bird, a rehomed adult bird or just want to upgrade your current bird’s cage, it is important to put some thought into your cage set up. There is a lot to consider when putting together a bird’s cage. This not only includes the size and shape of the cage, but what it is made out of, how you will outfit it and where it will go in your home. If you have done any research on how… Continued

From the Horse’s Mouth

By Dr. Lisel O’Dwyer Since I began clicker training, I have observed horse owners have a few misconceptions about clicker training, such as:• Hand feeding is dangerous, making the horse mouthyClicker training is the best way to deal with a mouthy horse because it clarifies the expectations the handler has for the horse’s taking food.• What happens if I don’t have a clicker with me? Or I don’t want to carry a clicker and treats with me when I am riding. Or I want my horse to do as he… Continued


By Caroline Kocman When one knows and understands how an animal communicates, it becomes easier to appreciate that creature. Cats have their own communication system that is both similar and disparate from that of other animals. Cats communicate with eyes, ears, mouth, whiskers, tail, body position, and vocalizations. Communication is expressed in actions as well. While, then, one may perceive a cat’s actions as being “aloof,” there may be far more that is being communicated. In an effort to understand the feline better, it is essential to separate fact from fiction.… Continued

Don’t Believe the Hype

By Eileen Anderson A typical product description for an electronic fence will say it is safe and simple. Its references to the collar will make it seem like it is comfortable for the dog. It will highlight the dog’s enjoyment of his yard. When describing the deterrent effect, it might say the dog will hear a sound as he approaches the wireless fence and then receive a static correction, avoiding the word shock, and implying that what the dog feels is a mild sensation. The implication is that the product… Continued

When Food Toys “Fail”

By Eileen Anderson How many of us have heard about food-toy failures from our friends and clients? “I tried the Kong with my puppy, but she didn’t like it,” or, “My dog is not smart enough for those puzzle toys!”…The most common problem with food toys is that the dog lacks the skills to get to the food and the owner does not understand how to teach him.Many food toys come with no instructions for the naive dog. For instance, toys that have a cavity that can be filled with… Continued

Five Days from Fear to Fun – Classical Counterconditioning

By Yvette Van Veen I decided to spend some recent holiday time working on a whistle recall.  This is when a dog learns to come to the sound of a whistle.  Pamela Dennison has a number of resources on how to teach this skill for anyone who might be interested. Unlike other whims, I remembered to grab my camera.  When I blew the whistle for the first time, Karma tucked her tail and ran. I probably should have been a bit more thoughtful in my introduction of the whistle.  However,… Continued

Dogs CAN Learn That … and That, and That!

Do you know anyone who has more than one service dog because “one dog couldn’t be taught to do all the tasks” that person needs? Have you ever heard a dog owner (or worse, trainer) claim that dogs “can’t learn” to distinguish similar commands or tasks or learn multiple related tasks — for instance, detection of more than one type of drug or contraband or … the list of things that people claim dogs “can’t learn” is endless. And mostly wrong. “Our conservation detection dogs are agile, portable, and endlessly… Continued

1 29 30 31 32 33 58