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Thinking Outside the Shelter

Thinking Outside the Shelter

By Melissa Taylor  Like many shelters, my shelter, Friends For Life Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas, relies heavily on volunteers to meet the needs of program animals. In 2019, our volunteers donated 21,046 hours – enough to replace 10 full-time employees. Every day, these generous ...
BARKS Podcast with Veronica Sanchez of Cooperative Paws Service Dog Education: January 9, 2021

BARKS Podcast with Veronica Sanchez of Cooperative Paws Service Dog Education: January 9, 2021

Join Niki Tudge as she chats with Veronica Sanchez of Cooperative Paws Service Dog Education about service dog certification.   Listen to Podcast here on a choice of platforms. Or simply click ...
Eat, PURR, Love

Eat, PURR, Love

By Andrea Carne Read the next sentence very carefully (and with a large pinch of salt): Feeding your cat one meal a day might be best. I can almost hear the gasps from cat guardians across ...

Latest Articles

Are We Meeting Our Pets’ Needs?

I think it's part of our American culture to love the idea of having a pet. Whether it's a dog or cat or a pocket pet, many of us enjoy our lives more when we share it with a companion animal. There is another side to the equation. And that is how is our companion is enjoying their life ...

Are We Dogs’ Best Friends?

My blog is called The Thinking Dog, so it doesn't take a canine Einstein to figure out that I take dogs’ thinking ability seriously. But what does it mean to talk about thinking dogs? How do dogs think? What do they think about? While human thinking tends to occur primarily in words, and ...

Carrot or Stick? Is Compromise Ever Acceptable?

What if a client is so entrenched in his (or her) old-fashioned so-called "dominance" views that banging on about force-free positive methods in the first consultation is likely to alienate him altogether? What if as an individual he just can't help being a controller and his own sense of ...

Korean Meat Farm Dogs Arrive without Much Baggage

In January the Humane Society International brokered a deal with a farmer in South Korea who had been raising dogs for food. In exchange for funds to convert his operation to blueberry cultivation, he surrendered his twenty three dogs into their custody. Next thing they knew, the dogs were ...

Are ‘Free-Shaped’ Dogs Better Problem Solvers?

A look at the criticisms of lure-reward training by Carmen LeBlanc MS ACAAB CPDT. First published in BARKS from the Guild, April 2014, pp. 12-18 Most professional dog trainers have heard about criticisms of lure-reward training in recent years. These criticisms have been made along with ...

When Choosing a Dog Trainer, Buyer Beware!

Written by Leah Roberts Originally posted in 8/27 2010 Before 1981 when Dr. Ian Dunbar developed the first Sirius Puppy Class, training wasn't recommended for puppies under 6 months old.  The only training methods available at the time involved physical force using training tools such as ...

What Dog Training Really Taught Me

Image credit: Yvette Van Veen of Awesome Dogs. Please see full credit and sharing info at the bottom of the post. One of Many Examples This reinforcement/punishment combo is very common and easy to fall into, because of ignorance about how learning works, but also because of the unwillingness ...

Don’t Stop That Behavior, Quit It!

In my “previous life” when I was a fitness and wellness trainer, I would coach my clients to making healthy choices. I learned back then about motivation, about what it takes to set a goal, but more importantly, I learned which goals are the kinds that will stick for the long haul and which ...

It’s All About Relationships.

I became a dog trainer to facilitate the relationship between dogs and humans. My goal was to create a relationship based on trust and understanding. By opening the lines of communication, I felt like I could achieve my goal of keeping more dogs in their homes and educate people about ...