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Aggression

Dog Breed Stereotypes: Inaccurate and Damaging

Poor agreement was found between visual breed assignments and DNA results in 14 of the 20 dogs (70 percent). Moreover, there was low inter-rater reliability, meaning that the dog experts did not show a high level of agreement regarding breed assignments to the 20 dogs. More than half of the evaluators agreed on the predominant breed in only seven of the 20 dogs (35 percent). These results provide evidence that physical appearance is not a reliable method for breed identification.

Aggressive Behavior Information

It has become all too common to see lists of breed bans in multi-unit residences as well as municipalities. Books could be written about the drawbacks of breed-specific legislation (BSL), but suffice to say that all dogs have the potential to bite and no breed has 100 percent benign membership. The bully breed" lovers among us (count me in) would point out that many of these dogs are model citizens and great companions."

Could My Dog Be Racist?

Almost as soon as I walked into Boomer's house I could tell his owner was nervous. This isn't all that unusual when meeting a new client for the first time. I always have my new clients put the dog in another room so we can get acquainted with each other and have some time to chat without being distracted. Very often, the clients are uneasy during these initial consultations; I've grown accustomed to it. After all, often they have agonized over acknowledging their dog's issues and their decision to call in a professional. But after a few minutes, I could tell there was something more. I'd been called to help her dog with his reactive behavior. She related that he lunged and barked at some people as they walked by. During our discussion, she seemed unusually pensive and was having difficulty making eye contact with me. So I pressed, Is there anything else you need to tell me? Whatever it is

Solving Your Dog’s Behavior Problem Crisis

One of the most irritating – and common – phone calls I receive in my capacity as a professional dog trainer is when dog owners urgently ask me to help solve their dog's behavior problem immediately – even though, as it often turns out, the problem has actually existed for years. Sometimes, it's even phrased as, If we can't get this fixed now

Behavior Medication Opens Doors

After about six weeks of living with Trill, Dr. Sharp knew that the frightened, anxious dog needed something more. The training and behavior protocols were working in the sense that the dog was cooperative, but Trill still had a panicked look in her eyes much of the time. Sharp was concerned: No animal should have to live with that much fear, she thought.

Peacekeeping Among Cats and Dogs

It's fairly common for dogs to be placed for adoption with a caveat that there should be no cats

Counter-Conditioning and Desensitization for Reducing Dog Reactvity

Counter-conditioning involves changing your dog’s association with a scary or arousing stimulus from negative to positive. Desensitization is starting with a very low-level intensity of aversive stimulus until the dog habituates to (or changes his association with) the aversive, and then gradually increasing the strength until the dog is comfortable with the stimulus at full intensity. The easiest way to give most dogs a positive association and to help them become comfortable with a stimulus is with very high-value, really yummy treats. I like to use chicken – canned, baked, or boiled; most dogs love chicken. Here’s how the CC&D process works.

How to Safely Break Up a Dog Fight

A dog fight that goes beyond a brief scuffle and doesn’t resolve quickly is frightening to behold. In fact, it’s one of the behavior scenarios most likely to result in significant injury to humans, not to mention the dogs. The first, most important thing to remember is keep yourself safe. After that, here are five things to do to try to end the conflict as quickly as possible, with minimal bloodshed.

How to React to a Dog’s Bully Behavior

There’s nothing like a good dog-pack hike to give our canine companions an opportunity to have fun with their peers and run themselves into a happy state of exhaustion – provided there are no canine bullies in the group. Just like human bullies on a school playground, canine bullies take the fun out of the game, put everyone on edge, and bring to the party a real risk of physical as well as psychological damage. A dog who is bullied, especially at a young age, can quickly develop a negative association with other dogs and become defensively aggressive as a result.

What To Do if Your Dog is a Bullying Victim

So, what should you do if your dog is the victim of a canine bully? Intervene, by all means. Here are some of the signs to look for that tell you that you need to step in and break up the interaction.

Comments on “Alpha” Dominance Theory

There is a growing body of information available to anyone who wants to learn more about why dominance theory is so outdated and incorrect. Here are 10 resources to get you started...

Latest Blog

Bits Of Advice For New Dog Owners

Last week, I “fostered” a dog for four nights – not a big deal. He was a hound-mix, about a year old,...

Samson doesn’t enjoy temps below 70. ...

Vet visit for Miss Coco; Woody tagging along as canine security blanket. (OMG, you guys, a vet who will let us come into the clinic! I am so excited!) ...

She may be a kangaroo, but she’s a happy little kangaroo ...

I can use this to blackmail her when she is out of her teenage phase. #crushingonwoody ...

Foster pup has a mystifying medical issue. Will be posting about this in the WDJ blog later this week. Had to post here first so there would be a way for readers to see Coco in action.

*Bonus* You get to hear me tell my darling Woody to “Go away!!” (I was trying to film and he was shoving me, trying to get me to throw the ball. Sorry!)
...

You don’t have to throw it. Just give it to me! ...

Please throw the ball! ...

New, cute poses of her love affair with (somewhat indifferent and highly tolerant) Woody ...

Foster puppy loveslovesLOVES Uncle Woody. He is accustomed to this adulation, lol ...

Took a minute for ourselves. Ahhhhh. ...

Woody has a new project puppy. ...

Having hands would be helpful, but he does okay. (I think he deliberately drops his ball into places that will sometimes elicit my help...but I wasn’t helping, so he had to deal.) ...

"You're leaving us again, aren't you?" Spending long days at the emergency animal shelter, where pets displaced by local fire are being cared for by volunteers. It's hard on our own dogs, but at least they have homes. ...

One dog is enjoying our evacu-cation in a hotel more than the other.

Our neighborhood is under a mandatory evacuation due the the #bearfire, but we don't think our house is actually in danger currently. The fire went FAR, FAST, night before last, so they wanted folks out of the way. The wind has died down and the fire line is holding. In the meantime, like Woody, we will try to enjoy ourselves, until we can get back home.

My thoughts go to those who lost homes and animal friends. Best local relief org:
https://www.nvcf.org/donate
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