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


Concerns About Dog Parks

Trish King, Director of Training and Behavior, Marin Humane Society, Novato, California, ( says potential dog park problems include...

Finding Your Dog a Playmate

Otto is such a lucky dog: he's found a best friend. Lena is also a young dog (about a year old, to Otto's two years), about his size, and she loves to play all of his favorite games, including Chase me

Getting to Know Your Dog

It's going to be really difficult to stay caught up with everything we've been going through with our new dog, Otto. Every day brings...

Socializing a Shy Dog

Somewhere at this very moment, perhaps at a shelter near you, a frightened dog huddles in the back of her kennel, trembling, terrified by a chaotic overload of sensory stimuli: sights, smells, and sounds that are far beyond her ability to cope. Somewhere, today, a warmhearted, caring person is going to feel sorry for this dog - or one similar - believing that love will be enough to rehabilitate the frightened canine. Sometimes, it is. More often, though, the compassionate adopter finds herself with a much larger project than she bargained for. While shelters can a prime source for frightened and shy dogs, they are certainly not the only source. Pet stores, puppy mills, rescue groups, and irresponsible breeders (even some who breed top quality show dogs) can all be guilty of foisting off temperamentally unsound (due to genetics/nature) or under-socialized (due to environment/nurture) puppies and adult dogs on unprepared adopters.

Train Your Dog to Greet People

Recently, I switched the group class format at my Peaceable Paws Training Center to Levels." Instead of a progressive curriculum with new exercises introduced each week

Is Your Dog On Guard, Eliminating Unwanted Canine Behaviors

Ever had a dog who won't give you his bone or toy if you try to take it from him? Or one who gets uncomfortable or growls if you get close to him when he's eating? Or snaps at you if he's on the sofa and you want him off? Or lifts his lip in a snarl if your friend tries to get close to you? Answer yes to any of the above, and you've successfully diagnosed your dog as having a guarding issue. The catch-all, technical term is "resource-guarding," and can include guarding of food bowls (or food), places (crate, dog bed, sofa, etc.), items (rawhide, bones, balls, tissues, etc.) and less commonly, people.

Dog Park Etiquette

Depending on who you talk to, dog parks are either the greatest invention since microwave ovens or the devil incarnate – either the perfect place to exercise and socialize your dog, or the best environment in which to traumatize your dog, make him dog-reactive, and perhaps get him killed. We're told that perception is reality, but these two perceptions are worlds apart. Which one is right?

Is Your Dog Bullying Other Dogs?

You can find them everywhere – at dog parks and doggie daycare centers, in dog training classes, in your neighbor's yards ... perhaps even in your own home. They" are canine bullies – dogs who overwhelm their potential playmates with overly assertive and inappropriate behaviors

Young Dogs Learn From Older Well-Behaved Dogs

which includes social facilitation, mimicking, and trial-and-error learning.üFollowing the dog who responds properly to the Come!" cue helps the newcomer learn it

Picking the Right Playmates for Your Dog

You don’t want your dog to be a bully OR a victim on the playground. That’s why it pays to supervise and manage your dog’s social life at the dog park. Play and socialization can mean the difference between a dog who is friendly toward other dogs, and one who is shy, anxious, or even aggressive.

Improving the Dog/Human Relationship

I often find myself mentally doing the same crystal ball exercise when a new client enters my training center with a seemingly mismatched canine companion. Sometimes I see right away that we are really going to have our work cut out for us. However, I really don’t ever despair; relationship miracles can, and do, happen. Seemingly misfit human/canine matches can grow into solid partnerships . . . as long as the partners have a few things going for them – the major components of a good relationship, the kind that’s built to last.

Dog Parks Help Socialize and Exercise Dogs in a Safe Environment

Regular walks on leash don’t even come close to addressing the exercise needs of most dogs. The result is an exacerbation of canine behavior problems including aggression due to lack of socialization, to destructive behavior, hyperactivity, and separation anxiety. The best solution to the “place to run” dilemma is the dog park. More and more, savvy community leaders are building fenced areas where dogs and their owners are encouraged to run, play, and socialize together. The concept has caught on and is spreading.

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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.