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Stress Signals

Train Your Dog to Accept Hugs

The process of teaching a dog to tolerate hugging involves either classical conditioning (giving a puppy a positive association with something she doesn't already have an opinion of), or classical counter-conditioning (giving a dog a new association with something she already has a negative opinion of). Either way, the process is similar, but it may go slower if you are working to change an existing opinion rather than simply installing one where none previously exists.

Stop Urine Marking in the House

This dog had developed a strong habit of urine marking in the house. His owner is managing the situation by making the dog wear a belly band (with a disposable sanitary pad inside), while also encouraging him to use puppy pads" to relieve himself if need be. A security camera confirmed that he's using the pads!üKeep a close watch on your dog

Postpartum Depression and Its Effect on the Dog

As a trainer and behavior consultant, I am always ready to provide all sorts of helpful information and internet links on the subject of bringing home a new baby to meet the dog. But I can honestly say that I never considered the emotional and hormonal component of the new mom and how it would affect her relationship with her pets.

Beauty for Ashes

Competing with our Sheltie Asta at her first agility trial was an answer to our prayers. After her diagnosis, we lived with months of uncertainty about what type of life she might have. Following her lovely debut, a friend aware of Asta's condition commented on how normal" it all looked. But our path to that first agility competition was anything but "normal" because Asta has a mental illness."

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.

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
mother dog and puppies

How a Mother’s Stress Can Influence Unborn Puppies

Can a highly stressful environment during pregnancy affect how puppies turn out? Imagine this: A young dog goes stray and lives on urban streets for two months, in almost constant fear. Kids chase her down a street, throwing rocks at her; she is attacked by another dog; and she struggles every day to scavenge enough to eat. At last she is apprehended by an animal control officer and brought to a shelter. Here she finally gets enough to eat, but she's still not able to relax; the shelter is full of strange smells and loud noises, her run is small, and the floor is hard. After she's been at the shelter for a few weeks, a shelter staff member realizes that she is pregnant and due very soon. The shelter puts her on the waiting list for a foster home, knowing that puppies don't do well when they grow up in shelters.

Ways to Combat Your Dog’s Indoor Urine-Marking

I can still remember the day, more than a decade ago, when I first realized with horror that our Scottish Terrier, Dubhy (pronounced Duffy")

How to Deal with a Dog Who Eats Poop

Most of us find a dog's habit of eating feces to be the most disgusting thing that a dog can do. The clinical name for this behavior is coprophagy (pronounced kä - prä - fey - je), from the Greek words copro, which means feces, and phagy, which means eat. The habit is not just revolting to us humans, it's also potentially harmful to the dog's health.

Touch/Restraint Desensitization Protocol

Touch dog’s shoulder with one hand, feed treat with other hand, remove both hands. Repeat multiple times until touch to the shoulder elicits an automatic look for the other hand to arrive with treat. Move touch process to various other parts of dog’s head and body until a touch anywhere on the dog elicits an auto-look for the delivery of a treat. Pay extra attention to any body part where your touch seems to elicit a more intense response from the dog.

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.

Latest Blog

Adventures in dog fostering, chapter #7642

I have a new little foster dog staying with me. The manager of my shelter called me last week and wanted to...

“Something moved in the grass, I’m telling you!” ...

Two of these dogs don’t much care for the tractor-mower. One of them is riveted. I’ll bet you can guess which dog wouldn’t stop following me today. ...

Dogs don’t drive! (Except when parked. Why is the driver’s seat so popular with dogs?) ...

Smart foster girl earned off-leash privileges in three days (and got grass-stains on her forehead from somersaulting in the deepgrassrunningjoy) ...

Foster/assess project: So far, 100% adorable. ...

My sister and her three little dogs. Yes, she is one of those women who always carries a purse, and takes hikes in a colorful skirt. And yes, her dogs adore her and even off-leash, rarely get more than a few feet aeay from her. Otto stayed with them while I was on vacation and while happy to see me again, wasn’t THRILLED to ser me again, if you know what I mean. Thank you, Pam and family, for taking good care of him for me. ...

Today’s new friends. You may have guessed I am not at home. ...

Made a new friend today. Very personable. ...

This little service dog may be overweight, arthritic, and off-leash... but I watched him walk with his Vietnam veteran owner through a crowd and never get more than 10 inches from his side. #damngooddog #thankyoubothforyourservice ...

Incredulous that no one else wants to swim at dusk in winter ...

Soaking up the sun ...

Doesn’t matter if it’s freezing or raining, he’s gonna wade ...

My friend Leonora is fostering these two young ladies. About four months old. Apparently dumped in her neighborhood. Will be available for adoption from the Northwest SPCA in a week or two. Shepherd? Maybe a little mastiff or some thing big in there? Sweet, smart, Already well mannered from just 10 days with a dog-savvy foster provider. ...

Their ears tell the tale: rain. ...

Tiny Sampson’s turn at slow-mo. #superdog ...

#nofilter The light here at this time of year is just unreal. And when this dog dies I’m going to be awfully tempted to have him stuffed. Not really. But isn’t he handsome? ...

When he fetches in tall grass he always starts with these adorable fox hops. I mimed throwing something just to catch this footage. Forgive me, Woody, it’s too cute! ...