Help Me Title the New Book!

stressed Malinois

stressed Malinois, image from [insert new title here!]

Book titles are important things, you know. They’re supposed to resonate with the readers, and all that.

That’s why I’m asking you to help me find one that resonates. Continue reading

This candy is not for eating! — Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series This Candy Is Not For Eating
English: The US version of the Smarties candy.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that Halloween has passed, kids (and adults) all over the country are digging through bags of loot. Some candy is definitely preferred over others. Now might be a good time for a good candy blog post.

So, remember that fantastically foul candy which made a better punisher than reinforcer?  Things aren’t always so black and white…! Continue reading

Laura’s Coming to Wisconsin! 2-Day Clicker Workshop

Laura laughing with Laev being silly

Dog Training is serious. Always very serious.

We interrupt this blog for a word from our sponsors!

I’ll be in Wisconsin in a couple of weeks for a Core Clicker Seminar, a two-day hands-on intensive workshop for beginning to intermediate trainers and handlers. This is, if I say so myself, a pretty good training seminar. 🙂 And there are still a few working (and auditing) spots open! Continue reading

When You Should NOT Socialize Your Dog — Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series When You Should NOT Socialize
hand reaching for snarling dog

“It’s okay — if enough people pet him he’ll get used to people, right?”
(copyright Fotalia, photo purchased for use)

So all that chat in Part 1 about how to avoid creating problems while socializing a puppy was nice, but you’ve got an adult dog — and whether you made some socialization mistakes or whether you inherited a bad socialization legacy along with the dog, things just aren’t the way they should be. Is there hope?

Yes, of course there’s hope! But again, here is where mistakes happen in the name of “socialization.” Don’t make them.

Continue reading

When You Should NOT Socialize Your Dog – Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series When You Should NOT Socialize
puppy with toy

“Holy cow, that thing flies?!” Photo by Eva Holderegger Walser CC-BY-SA-3.0

That’s a typo, right? I mean, a professional trainer would never advocate against socialization, right?

You’d be surprised. Continue reading

Sound OC for Firearm Safety

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series CT for Shooting

In mid-October, I embarked upon a new learning experience — handling and shooting a firearm. I spent nearly a year and a half researching this prospect, deciding if it were a path I wanted to start down, and I’d decided firmly that if I were to have a gun, I would train to a high level of fluency and competency.

Imagine my delight, then, when among the usual trash advice dispensed to newbies in any sport or hobby, I encountered some truly fantastic, behaviorally-sound recommendations for learning to shoot and handle safely. Continue reading

Storm Watch & Storm Success, Part 6 – Phobias & Emergency Management

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Storm Watch

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

Storm Watch & Success, Part 5 – Drugs & Alternative Therapies

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Storm Watch

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.

Continue reading

Storm Watch & Success, Part 4 – Safe Places & the Mental Continuum

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Storm Watch

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