Whether it’s a new puppy or a newly adopted adult dog, many new pet owners want to immediately start showing off their new dog, and with justifiable pride. But sometimes their approach can make the transition more difficult than it needs to be. Continue reading
I have seen some criticize clicker training as impersonal and artificial — what do you mean, I’m not supposed to talk to my dog? He’s supposed to work for food instead of me? Hands-off? I’m not supposed to touch my own dog?!
Of course this is a skewed view at best, and occasionally outright wrong, but it can be propagated by well-intentioned but confounding directions from some clicker trainers. Let’s clear this up! Continue reading
(In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day, today’s post is in that vernacular. Tomorrow will show a translated edition.)
I have seen some criticize clicker trainin’ as impersonal and artificial — what do you mean, I’m not ‘posed t’ talk t’ me dog? He’s s’posed t’ work for food instead o’ me? Hands-off? I’m not s’posed t’ touch me own dog?!
Of course this be a skewed view at best, and occasionally out-starboard wrong, but it can be propagated by well-intentioned but confoundin’ directions from some clicker-ers. Let’s clear the decks! Continue reading
Note, this is more of a fence-climbing solution, rather than fence-jumping. If the dog is pushing or pulling himself over the fence, this will help; if he’s leaping the fence in a single bound like old-school Superman, this is a great solution for a different problem. Continue reading
Okay, so you’re well into your new conditioning plan, with graduated protocols in place to reduce your dog’s noise fears or phobias. You’re taking it slowly and making good progress. But suddenly it’s Independence Day or Guy Fawkes, with fireworks going off all around, and a thunderstorm rolling in to boot, and you know you’re not ready for all this. How do you survive tonight? Continue reading
You’ve tried everything — desensitization, counter-conditioning, safe places, and more — and it’s not enough? Or you know your panicked dog needs relief now while you start other protocols? Here are some more tools to consider.
As I write this post, thunder is rolling overhead with enough resonance to shake the house. As I write this post, a Doberman is curled up at the foot of my bed. That’s our only storm coping tactic at the moment. How does this work? Continue reading
So you’re ready to get started combating storm fear, right? Of all the various tools we’ll cover, these will be the most generally useful for the most cases.
Desensitization and counter-conditioning are often confused, and indeed they can be similar. Both involve starting at a very low level of exposure to the trigger and gradually raising it. But they are different processes. Continue reading
Before we start with the nuts and bolts of helping pets with storm fear or phobia, we really have to discuss the emotional aspects of fears and phobias. No matter how much has been written or described on this, I still encounter an amazing amount of misinformation which slows or counters owners’ best training efforts. Continue reading
It’s been a very stormy year across the country, and in the Midwest in particular. Since I have three dogs with three variants of sound/storm phobia or sensitivity, my former love and thrill for dramatic weather has degraded to a dejected, “Oh, more storms?!”
But storm fear or sound phobia doesn’t have to be the end of the world for your pets or the end of sanity for you. There are many options now to help fearful or sensitive dogs (and cats!), and no reason to tolerate unnecessary suffering in animals or humans. In the next few posts, I will share what is working well for us and for others, and you can be the hero in your own household! Continue reading