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Fear & Confidence

Are Dogs More Fearful Than They Used to Be?

An increasing percentage of clients are bringing dogs to me for help with fear-related behaviors. Many of my fellow behavior professionals agree: They, too,...

Marty Becker’s Fear-Free Dog Initiative

Marty Becker's Fear-Free Initiative embraces every dog's emotional well-being, as well as its physical wellness. Designed for pet professionals, the initiative promotes a holistic and force-free approach to handling animals.

Behavior-Modifying Drugs for Dogs: Medications for treating fear, phobias, and anxiety in dogs

Separation anxiety, aggression, fear of humans, fear of other dogs - though common, these pet behaviors indicate your dog may be suffering on a neuro-chemical level. How anxiety medications work in humans is still a considerable mystery, but we know that some also work on dogs. Can they help YOUR dog live a less stressed life?
A dog's behavior problem often goes unaddressed until it reaches crisis levels.

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

If Your Dog is Afraid of Thunder

but thousands of owners count on them to calm their thunder-phobic dogs."

Know When Your Dog is Scared

Recently, on the drive home from our annual vacation in Maine, our 11-year-old Brittany, Vinny, suddenly and inexplicably awoke from a sound sleep, and began to tremble, pant, pace, and obsessively lick at the sides of his travel crate. When I crawled back over the seat to find out what was wrong, I observed that Vinny's eyes were squinty

Building Up Your Dog’s Confidence

graceful exit!üThe "get behind" game establishes you as a human safety shield for your dog. It's good to use when you are unable to escape the proximity of something that might otherwise scare your dog. (Thanks to Sarah Richardson

New Recommendation for Fear-Based Behavior Problems

In May, I attended a seminar given by noted veterinary behaviorist Nicholas Dodman, section head and program director of the Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. The seminar, “The Well Adjusted Dog: Secrets to Understanding Canine Behavior,” covered a number of behavior problems, including aggression, separation anxiety, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and canine compulsive behavior.

How to Help Your Noise-Phobic Dog Get Through Loud Events

July 4th is still a month away, but in many parts of the country sound-sensitive dogs and the humans who love them are already struggling with the effects of thunderstorms. Our Corgi, Lucy, is a thunder-phobe, and we know all too well the impact thunder and firecrackers have on her (and our) quality of life. Fortunately, the following can make life better for you and your dog during noisy events.

Taking More Steps To a Calm Dog

Every behavior and training professional has seen her share of WCCS dogs. Some have developed their own programs to help humans help their dogs.

Latest Blog

Nobody’s Perfect! Least of All Me!

I strive to be a good dog—I mean, a good dog owner. But recently, I was stuck between being a responsible dog owner and being responsible for my dogs’ well being, and I broke a leash law in order to protect my dogs. And I got yelled at, a couple of times.