Dice as Training Tools

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Training Tools

To train an animal, you really need only two things: a marker it can recognize, and something it wants as reinforcement.

To train an animal efficiently, you need a way to track and plan your sessions, or you’ll waste time in moving too quickly (confusing your learner) or moving too slowly (frustrating you both).

Dice five

(Photo credit: @Doug88888)

There are many ways to do this, of course, but I just got home from Gen Con, the world’s largest gaming convention, and I thought I’d mention some less common planning tools you might not have seen. Continue reading

Interview with a 5-year-old… Doberman

Remember a few years ago when the “interview with a 5-year-old” meme was running about social media? People asked their little kids questions about their mothers.

Well, I don’t have kids, so I obliged with an interview with Laevatein. And after totally forgetting it, I just stumbled across it again, so here it is. 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.

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Storm Watch & Storm Success, Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Storm Watch
Protecting our dogs from storm phobia (and bad Photoshop)

Protecting our dogs from storm phobia (and bad Photoshop)

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

This candy is not for eating! — Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series This Candy Is Not For Eating
English: Hard candy Česky: Tvrde bonbony

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Remember that fantastically foul candy which made a better punisher than reinforcer? Pretty aversive stuff, would have wrecked a good training plan. But have you seen a highly-desired treat fail to reinforce as well?

 

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What a Blind Dog Sees, Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series What A Blind Dog Sees

Part 1 covered Inky’s uncertain backstory and roller coaster of health issues.  Today, we’ll talk about how we’ve trained through blindness, and what we’ve learned about obedience, perception, trust, and control. Continue reading

What A Blind Dog Sees, Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series What A Blind Dog Sees
Inky, in early stages of illness, before much hair loss or blindness

Inky, in early stages of illness, before much hair loss or blindness

Inky, my husband’s dog, is blind.  She wasn’t born this way; in fact, this is a fairly recent development for her, thanks to a very rare and unusual autoimmune disorder.  We noticed her holding her head oddly one night, but thought it was just the light.  By the time we realized she was having trouble seeing, it was progressing very fast.  We estimate she lost most of her vision within two weeks.

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