The best in health, wellness, and positive training from America’s leading dog experts

Home Care Socialization


Cats and Dogs in One House

enables a cat to quickly escape unwanted attention from a dog – faster and safer than jumping over the gate.
can dogs be racist

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

8 Easy Ways To Teach Your Dog How To Play

Tug. Fetch. Chase. Search. Most of us love to play with our dogs. Whether we're tugging, tossing a ball or a stick, or playing some other game, one of the great joys of sharing our lives with canine companions is the opportunity to engage in mutually enjoyable activities, i.e., play. However, for dogs, playing with humans is a learned behavior. Dogs who don't have the opportunity to play with humans early in life may grow up with a play behavior deficit – one that can interfere with their ability to connect with the two-legged members of their family in a way that's important and meaningful.

10 Common Mistakes You Make When Your Dog Doesn’t Want To Play

Here are some mistakes commonly made by people trying to convince a reluctant dog to play:

Lifting Your Dog

1.Place both hands briefly, gently, on either side of your dog's spine, and then feed him a treat.2.Gradually move your hand down and under your dog's ribcage on the far side, touching and feeding him a treat several times at each step.3.Gradually move your other hand around the front of your dog's chest to his opposite shoulder, touching and feeding him several times at each step.4.Put light pressure on your dog with both hands, gradually hugging him toward you, and then feed him a treat.5.Gradually increase pressure, feeding him treats several times at each step.6.Hug your dog against your chest, lifting upward slightly; release and treat.7.Gradually increase the amount of lift pressure until you are picking him up, giving him a treat several times at each step.

5 Things To Do If Your Dog Snaps at a Guest

If you've never had to deal with that alarming moment when your beloved dog snaps at a guest in your home, you are fortunate. I hope you never do. But just in case, it's good to know that, first, you're not alone – lots of dogs have snapped at guests in their homes (or worse!). Second, it's not the end of the world; it doesn't mean you need to euthanize your dog and it doesn't mean your dog will inevitably maul someone. It is, however, an important heads-up for you. How you handle the situation can often determine if your dog's aggression toward visitors escalates or diminishes. So if it happens, here's what you need to do:

5 Ways to 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.

Working on a K9 Drill and Demo Team: An Incredible Socialization Opportunity

When I began working on this article, I asked the members from the Santa Cruz Dog Training Club (the team I participate with) what they valued about being part of a demo team. Their answers varied, but one universal theme rose from the group as a whole: Being part of the team was an incredible socialization opportunity for all of our dogs.

Sample Dog Park Rules

Park rules should be posted prominently near park entrances – if they're not, ask about them prior to bringing your dog to the park, and make sure you are able and willing to comply. Here are some of the rules that you are likely to find...

Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Dog Park

remove your dog's leash in the airlock area before entering the park. Dogs often get mobbed at the gate

Planning on Taking Your Dog on Your Next Vacation? Make it a Great Experience!

For some of us, taking a vacation just wouldn't be nearly as much fun if we couldn't share it with our dogs. Camping and other outdoor adventures are natural vacation options with our four-legged friends, although dog-friendly vacations can be as plush as a four-star hotel stay! Depending on you and your dog, your perfect dog-friendly vacation might mean a visit with your favorite aunt and uncle, sightseeing in your favorite historical town, long days hiking and swimming, or simply snoozing in a hammock on your favorite beach. While taking your dog on vacation can be great fun, it can also pose some challenges. Not every dog (or person, for that matter) will enjoy a visit to a crowded tourist destination. Not every relative will appreciate having us show up on their doorstep with our dog in tow. And some dogs just aren't cut out for rugged camping adventures.

Bringing the Dog on Family Visits

If you are visiting family or friends, the key to a great vacation with your dog pal is to ask first! Be direct: Would it be convenient for me to bring my dog? Even if your family and friends love your dog as much as you do (or love you enough to understand that you are a package deal), there may be situations when it is just not suitable to bring your dog.

Latest Blog

Proposition: You Don’t Really Want to Train Your Dog

Most people aren’t interested in learning theory and the timing of the dopamine release and whether a dog is intentionally signaling aggression when his hair stands up—but I am fascinated by all of those things and can’t even resist telling you right here and right now that he’s not!