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The Aftermath of “Boot Camp”

The Aftermath of “Boot Camp”

By Amanda Ballard   [At the time of writing] Kobe is an 18-month-old terrier cross, who is loved madly by his person, Lizzie. My private consultation session with them is the only one in 10 years that has moved me to tears, right there in front of the owner. It absolutely broke ...
Tracking Equines

Tracking Equines

By Vicki Conroy A while ago I hosted a tracking workshop for dogs at my hobby farm in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, hosted by Margaret Keast of Jigsaw Dog Training and ...
Switched Off?…Time to Switch Back In

Switched Off?…Time to Switch Back In

How often do you feel you really connect with your dog? I mean really? Do you feel that you understand how she feels? Do you recognize that things have changed? For example, maybe healthwise ...

Latest Articles

Thunderphobia in Dogs

Thunderphobia is the fear of thunderstorms and it can be severe enough to make a dog’s life miserable.  It may be more common than you know. At least 20% of dogs suffer noise phobias including thunderphobia, according to ethologist Dr. Karolina Westlund, Ph.D.  There are about 80,000,000 dogs ...

The Science of Force-Free Learning: How Our Pets Learn!

Introduction Here at the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), we like to focus on building relationships with our pets by using positive reinforcement to train new skills, and to build new behaviors as replacements for problematic ones. Because the emotional brain inhibits the rational brain (and ...

Clicker Training for Cats (4/6)

By Paula Garber and Francine Miller Clicker Training for Behavioral Problems: Clawing Furniture/Destructive Furniture Scratching Destructive furniture scratching is a commonly reported problem in cats, and one of the many unwanted behaviors that clicker training can help. Without going ...

A Change in Routine Can Be a Shock to the System for Dogs too

By Julie Naismith Dogs and novelty don’t always mix. Although many dogs breeze through change, anxious dogs can be thrown by it. If it could talk, the stressed dog would probably say: “Ok, I was feeling good about everything, but I worry when I don’t know what’s round the ...

Teach Old Dogs New Games

A team of researchers at the Clever Dog Lab (oh, how I'd love to work there ...) at the Messerli Research Institute in Vienna suggest teaching older dogs to play brain games on touchscreen computers and tablets. The articles describing the related study don't go into details on what these ...

Give Me a Break!

A little too often I think we may demand too much  of our dogs. It's about expectations.  If we push too much, we may ultimately push too far, and this is not good with an animal who soaks up what we give him like a sponge and internalizes everything around him. Manage Expectations I ...

Quality of Life for Blind/Deaf Dogs

By Debbie Bauer I receive a lot of great ideas for new blog posts - Thank you so much for those.  I'm always looking for ideas to write about that will be useful to each of you as readers.  One idea that truly intrigued me was to discuss what quality of life a blind and deaf dog can have.  I ...

Why Every Cat Needs a Place to Hide

By Dr. Lynn Bahr Has your cat ever gone MIA in your own home? I lost an entire litter of kittens once in a small 1 bedroom apartment. All five furballs disappeared while I was out running errands.  Imagine my panic and the frantic search that ensued to find them.  Where could they have ...

The Opposite of Force

I think I’ve figured something out. I continue to see the concept of choice bandied about the positive reinforcement-based training world. It can be a code word for a setup that includes negative reinforcement. “I’m going to do something physically unfamiliar or unpleasant to you and you have ...