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

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

Why We Teach House Manners — Or, Good Training Should Be Idiot-Proof

Like many dog owners, I’ve gotten spoiled by having a mature, well-trained dog in the house. Naturally, when we first bring home a new member of the family, we are obsessed with teaching all sorts of critical foundation skills (targeting, door and leash manners, handling exercises, and so on). But once those initial behaviors are in place, we give them little thought because we’re too busy focusing on performance behaviors, or working skills, or the next cute pet trick — whatever our particular venue may be.

What this means is that once I’ve taught my dog the way I need her to comport herself in the house, I get lazy. I do things I would never think of doing with a novice dog. And fortunately, our style of training holds up brilliantly in real-life situations — which, as a matter of fact, is why I still have the load of groceries I bought tonight.

Continue reading