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

Preparing Your Dog for Veterinary Visits

I learned a few days ago that Spica, my lovable-but-not-too-bright younger Doberman, has damaged her ACL. This isn’t really a surprise; Spica is a career runner who chases squirrels up and down the fenceline and spins in circles barking at them for about six hours each day, so her legs are under constant strain. In addition to the dog’s confinement and treatment (and her owner’s possible loss of sanity, living with a dog who isn’t allowed to run for six weeks!), this injury means that we’re likely to be seeing more of our veterinarian than usual.

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Disappointment, and Reevaluating the Dream

It’s been coming on gradually, but this weekend I finally said it aloud — I’m not sure I’m ever going to title Laev in Schutzhund.

This is really rough for me.  I bought Laev (the first dog I’ve ever purchased, as opposed to adopted from a shelter or rescue group or off the street) specifically for her genetics, developed specifically for this sport.  We started sport-training at 8 weeks old and have never stopped, except for the occasional time off for a minor injury or such.  I’ve worked hard on this, sacrificed other activities to make training time, etc.

But we’re just not beating this gunfire thing, and without that, nothing else matters. Continue reading

Forget Fifth Graders… Is Your Dog Smarter Than A Crab?

I recently had someone tell me, “Clicker training works for your dogs, but my dog is too stupid to learn. She can’t even figure out how to walk down the stairs; there’s no way she could learn to do tricks. She’s just dumb.”

Think your dog isn’t bright enough to train? Keep reading. Continue reading