The magazine for force-free pet professionals

More Than Training; Examining both Parts of the Relationship

When we’re called out to training and behavior consultations it’s so easy to get completely focused on the animal in front of us. Swept along in the human client's description of what is going on but, what about the perspective of the animal ...

The Dog Decides

“The dog decides what is reinforcing.” Positive reinforcement trainers frequently say that to their human students.  What they mean is that people can easily be mistaken about whether something constitutes reinforcement. For ...

Look at the Whole Dog

In a class I’m teaching on dog communication, we recently discussed a study on how well people interpret dog body language. The study,

Compulsivity and the Dog

Since humans are unable to ascertain the aspect of a disorder in an animal that deals with obsessing, animals are not generally given the diagnosis of OCD. However, it is completely possible that a pet can have a compulsive ...

The “Choice” Challenge

Thanks to Debbie Jacobs and Randi Rossman for their input on this topic. Any weird conclusions are mine alone. I have come to believe that most of us who thought we were using “choice” as a reinforcer were mistaken. Wait! Before you ...

Teaching the TrickMeister Way!

How important is it to teach your canine companion what you would like them to do? I believe it is extremely important but what is even more essential is that you teach in a way that doesn't cause any stress; that you teach in a way that is ...

Just Say No to Saying No

“Can I say no to my dog?” is a question I often hear from new clients. My short answer is “Yes, you can use any word or sound you please in training.” Pavlov proved that long ago. The problem is in the way dog owners use “no” and whether it ...

Stress-Free Dog Brushing

Brushing your dog on a daily basis has many benefits.   Grooming or brushing your dog is more than just keeping his appearance spiffy. Brushing your dog's coat every day not only keeps it free of debris but free of mats that can pinch your ...

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