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Tracking Equines


A while ago I hosted a tracking workshop for dogs at my hobby farm in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, hosted by Margaret Keast of Jigsaw Dog Training and Behaviour Consultancy, who is based in Newcastle, NSW. I had a blast! The dogs seemed to pick it up quickly and certainly seemed to enjoy it, and it was really interesting watching the different breeds involved and how they processed the task differently. A long time prior to the workshop I had read an article about horses… Continued


Building a Feline Behavior Volunteer Program…from Scratch


At Friends For Life Animal Shelter, keeping pets with their families is at the core of our mission. But Houston has a problem: there are an estimated 1.4 million pet cats living here (American Veterinary Medical Association, 2017) and very little behavioral support available to caregivers. We can’t know for sure how many cats are at risk, but municipal shelter data helps us guess that well over 3,077 local cats are given up due to behavioral concerns every year (City of Houston, 2020; Harris County. n.d.; Weiss et al., 2015).… Continued


Saving Detainees and Dogs, One Life at a Time


Our dog training company, Cold Nose College, has been teaching a dog training program at the Georgia Department of Corrections Colwell Probation Detention Center, a minimum-security, short-term sentencing facility housing probation and parole violators in Blairsville, Georgia, since July of 2012. The superintendent of the facility, Diane Hassett, had already partnered with a local rescue group and worked through almost all the red tape for the program’s approval. All that was left was selecting a dog trainer. I was sitting at my desk one day writing a training report for… Continued


BARKS Podcast with the PPG Advocacy Panel: Discussion #3 – Advocating to Let Dogs be Dogs, Cats be Cats, Equids Be Equids


Advocating to Let Dogs be Dogs, Cats be Cats, Equids Be Equids Join the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) Advocacy Panel for a discussion on Advocating to Let Dogs be Dogs, Cats be Cats, Equids Be Equids. Pet guardians and pet professionals, listen as panel members share their expertise in a fun, free-flowing format. Your Moderator: PPG Advocacy Committee Chair Don Hanson Your Advocacy Panel includes: Dr. Kristina Spaulding, Dr. Zazie Todd, Pat Miller, Kristi Benson, Helen Phillips, Holden Svirsky, Sam Wike, Claire Staines, Dr. Robert Hewings, Dr. Eduardo Fernandez, Kim Silver,… Continued


The Ever-Changing World of Service Dog Training


By Veronica Sanchez The service dog industry is ever growing and changing. With the expanding use of service dogs there has, unfortunately, also been abuse of laws pertaining to service animals and emotional support animals (ESA) in particular. Lawmakers have taken notice of this and, consequently, passed changes in legislation, which have impacted guardians of ESAs as well as service dogs. This has led to an even greater need for qualified service dog trainers. To best understand the changes in the law and their impact on service dog and ESA… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Geek Week Presenters Tasha Attwood, Dr. Jen Nesbitt-Hawes, Dr. Mindy Waite, Dr. Lisa Gunter and Dr. Melissa Starling


Join Niki Tudge and Denise O’Moore as they Chat and Chuckle with presenters Tasha Attwood, Dr. Jen Nesbitt-Hawes, Dr. Mindy Waite, Dr. Lisa Gunter and Dr. Melissa Starling about their planned sessions for Geek Week 2021. Listen as they explore their topics and what event attendees can expect to learn from each of their sessions. Listen to the Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below. Find out more about Tasha Attwood, Dr. Jen Nesbitt-Hawes, Dr. Mindy Waite, Dr. Lisa Gunter and Dr. Melissa Starling in our… Continued


Saving Detainees and Dogs, One Life at a Time


By Lisa Waggoner  “The rehabilitation of inmates requires a willing state of mind, a helpful attitude which insists upon finding something of value even in those who have devalued themselves beyond personal hope of redemption…guided by the philosophy of maximum value on human rights and dignity.” – William H. Lyle, Jr., Ph.D. The above quote is from Behavioral Science and Modern Penology (1973), a book of articles compiled and edited by my dad, Bill Lyle, with assistance from Thetus Horner, an inmate at the Tennessee State Penitentiary. In March of… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Geek Week Sponsors Sara McLoudrey, Gina Phairas, Revell Horsey and Malena DeMartini


Join Niki Tudge as she Chats and Chuckles with Geek Week 2021 sponsors Sara McLoudrey of Decisive Moment Pet Consulting, Gina Phairas of dogbiz, Revell Horsey of PocketSuite and Malena DeMartini of Malena DeMartini, Inc. The Geek Week Key Sponsors will participate in Exhibitor Corners where they can set up their own events, provide videos and graphics, and answer all of your questions! We have a great selection of professionals who have joined us this year to support you and your business. And don’t miss our Exhibitor Sessions! Jump on our Zoom event, twice… Continued


First Impressions


By Yvette Van Veen Fourteen years ago, a series of serendipitous events led me toward a career working with feral and roaming dogs. At that time, free-roaming dogs were not a common discussion topic and the prevailing notion was that these animals were not capable or fit to become pet dogs. The majority of the dogs I initially came into contact with came from rural areas of Ontario and Quebec in Canada. Over time, they also included dogs from Taiwan, Romania, Mexico and Africa. While research existed on how feral… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Geek Week Presenters Dr. Lisa Radosta, Melissa Taylor, Alexandra Santos and Louise Stapleton-Frappell


Join Niki Tudge and Denise O’Moore as they Chat and Chuckle with Dr. Lisa Radosta, Melissa Taylor, Alexandra Santos and Louise Stapleton-Frappell about their planned sessions for Geek Week 2021. Listen as they explore their topics and what event attendees can expect to learn from each of their sessions. Listen to the Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below. Find out more about Dr. Lisa Radosta, Melissa Taylor, Alexandra Santos and Louise Stapleton-Frappell in our Geek Week 2021 Presenters Guide. To find out more about the… Continued


Building a Feline Behavior Volunteer Program…from Scratch


By Melissa Taylor and Alese Zeman There’s no way we at Friends For Life Animal Shelter can handle all of Houston, Texas’s feline behavior needs, but sometimes it seems like there’s no avoiding it. Not a single day goes by that we aren’t called by a desperate adopter, completely at their wits’ end. What’s even more alarming is knowing that the ones who reach out are just the tip of the iceberg: only a fraction of pet caregivers tend to contact behavior professionals, even though doing so reduces the risk… Continued


BARKS Podcast with the PPG Advocacy Panel: Discussion #2 – How to Reach and Work with Your Local Veterinarians


How to Reach and Work with Your Local Veterinarians Join the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) Advocacy Panel for a discussion on How to Reach and Work with Your Local Veterinarians. Pet guardians and pet professionals, listen as panel members share their expertise in a fun, free-flowing format. Your Moderators: PPG Advocacy Committee Chair Don Hanson and PPG President Niki Tudge Your Advocacy Panel includes: Dr. Kristina Spaulding, Dr. Zazie Todd, Pat Miller, Kristi Benson, Helen Phillips, Holden Svirsky, Sam Wike, Claire Staines, Dr. Robert Hewings, Dr. Eduardo Fernandez, Kim Silver, Judy… Continued


Slipping and Sliding


By Diane Garrod It is no fun for a dog who is scared of walking on shiny floors. Slipping and sliding and being worried or afraid every step of the way can diminish confidence. Yet one can find countless videos on YouTube of people amused at their elderly dog having a hard time walking on a slippery floor, or at dogs of all ages sliding across shiny floors. In reality, it is no laughing matter. Dogs afraid of shiny floors could, in fact, be crying out for help. For example,… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Emily Wolf and Libby Felts of Summit Dog Rescue


PPG president Niki Tudge chats to Emily Wolf and Libby Felts of Summit Dog Rescue and the podcast, Pod to the Rescue. Emily and Libby provide us with an inside look at the newly created podcast, Pod to the Rescue. Whether you are fostering or adopting, the podcast was created with the goal of providing the rescue community with up-to-date information on dogs’ behavior and how to set your dog up for success. Listen for a special guest ‘appearance’ by Daisy the Dog – keeping it real! Listen to Podcast here on a choice… Continued


My Top 4 Features of Geek Week 2021 – The Sequel


by Niki Tudge, PPG Founder and President I Say This Each Year – Honestly, I Really Mean It! Each year, the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) hosts a large educational event specifically geared towards providing top-class education for our members and others interested in our industry. Pre COVID-19, these events were held in person, across several locations, and with unique formats. With the onset of COVID-19, in 2020, we created a coalition of like-minded organizations to host Geek Week – a 5-day event focused on providing top notch education from the… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Geek Week Presenters Dr. Eduardo Fernandez, Michelle Martiya, K. Holden Svirsky, Grisha Stewart and Jean Donaldson


Join Niki Tudge, Debra Millikan and Denise O’Moore as they Chat and Chuckle with Dr. Eduardo Fernandez, Michelle Martiya, K. Holden Svirsky, Grisha Stewart and Jean Donaldson about their planned sessions for Geek Week 2021. Listen as they explore their topics and what event attendees can expect to learn from each of their sessions. Listen to the Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below. Find out more about Dr. Eduardo Fernandez, Michelle Martiya, K. Holden Svirsky, Grisha Stewart and Jean Donaldson in our Geek Week 2021… Continued


Defying the Stereotype


By Dee Goings When people think of a Rottweiler, they often think, unfortunately, of a large hulking mass on a choke chain or shock collar. My girl, Ripley, could not be more different. She came to me from a family who had purchased her from a working dog breeder and had her flown out to them. At 12 weeks, when she started teething, they gave her a dustpan to chew on. She then started using the owner as a chew toy and so they called me. At the age of… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Geek Week Presenters Judy Luther, Leslie McDevitt, Veronica Sanchez and Dr. Karolina Westlund


Join Niki Tudge as she Chats and Chuckles with Judy Luther, Leslie McDevitt, Veronica Sanchez and Dr. Karolina Westlund about their planned sessions for Geek Week 2021. Listen as they explore their topics and what registrants can expect to learn from each of their sessions. Listen to the Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below. Find out more about Judy Luther, Leslie McDevitt, Veronica Sanchez and Dr. Karolina Westlund in our Geek Week 2021 Presenters Guide. To find out more about the sessions discussed in this… Continued


Tracking Equines


By Vicki Conroy A while ago I hosted a tracking workshop for dogs at my hobby farm in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, hosted by Margaret Keast of Jigsaw Dog Training and Behaviour Consultancy, who is based in Newcastle, NSW. I had a blast! The dogs seemed to pick it up quickly and certainly seemed to enjoy it, and it was really interesting watching the different breeds involved and how they processed the task differently. My main recollection/observation from the workshop was the responses of my… Continued


Switched Off?…Time to Switch Back In


How often do you feel you really connect with your dog? I mean really? Do you feel that you understand how she feels? Do you recognize that things have changed? For example, maybe healthwise your dog is not quite as fit as she used to be and doesn’t want to walk as far. Maybe she is experiencing some pain in her muscles or joints. Maybe something else is going on. Is she less social with other dogs or people as she used to be? Is friction occurring in situations where… Continued


BARKS Podcast with Lorna Winter of Zigzag Puppy Training App: September 3, 2021


PPG president Niki Tudge chats to Lorna Winter of Zigzag Puppy Training App and PPG Canine Committee chair Judy Luther about PPG’s support role for the app and how PPG members can benefit from using it, as well as discuss the many advantages for puppies and their owners. Listen to Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ‘Play’ below. About Zigzag The Zigzag app acts as a digital coach which guides puppy guardians through the ups and down of early puppyhood with a personalized plan based on modern, scientific, and… Continued


What Makes a Good Temperament?


It is a common misconception that “All a dog needs is love” or “It’s how you raise them” to increase the chances – or even “guarantee” – a dog will have a good temperament. And although these things are very important, there are a lot more factors that affect how a dog will behave at maturity. A “good” temperament can mean different things for different people. For example, someone competing in dog sports is looking for one set of characteristics, while service dog trainers or working dog handlers may have… Continued


Found in Translation


Vocalizations are part of communication, and we have a pretty good idea of what it means when we hear a horse squeal, or a dog growl. But these are generalizations. Even vocalizations that seem to have one specific meaning (because they are often associated with one context), may actually have several. It gets even more complicated when we look at vocalizations that are used frequently. There are different ways that a horse can neigh, and a dog can bark, just as there are different ways in which someone might say… Continued


Understanding, Identifying, and Coping with Canine Stress


Just like us, our dogs can and do experience stress. And just as stress can make us feel afraid, hyper, edgy, or irritable, it can do the same to our dogs. As a pet behavior consultant, I have observed that most behavior problems with pets, especially the more serious, such as aggression and separation anxiety, are related to one or more stressors in the animal’s life. It is a well-established fact that chronic stress can have a detrimental effect on our behavior, health, and overall well-being. If we want our… Continued


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