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Reinforcing Foraging

Reinforcing Foraging

Sheila S. Blanchette sets out the steps she used to train Cricket, the lone quail, to step on the scale for weighing, and how she later applied the same protocol for training chickens and roosters
BARKS Podcast with Alex Pietraszko: March 26, 2021

BARKS Podcast with Alex Pietraszko: March 26, 2021

Join Niki Tudge and Alex Pietraszko, head of marketing for PPG corporate partner Animals Courses Direct, discussing all the great programs they offer to pet professionals -- as well as the new ...
The Itch to Scratch

The Itch to Scratch

By Andrea Carne  Regardless of whichever behavior issue I have been called upon to assist a cat guardian with – whether it be inappropriate toileting, aggression towards humans, or aggression ...

Latest Articles

Trick Training Bloopers

I decided a while back to teach my dogs to cross their paws as a trick. I followed the instructions on one of Emily Larlham’s excellent videos: Dog Tricks Tutorial: Cross Your Paws. But I didn’t end up making the neat, quick progression shown in the movie when I tried it with my dog Summer. I ...

Why Do Dogs Eat Toilet Paper and Paper Products?

I am often asked why dogs eat toilet paper.  I would estimate that in every group dog training class I teach, it's asked at least once during the course. And during that inquiry, more than one person's dog eats toilet paper or paper towels, paper, paper plates, you get the picture. So, just ...

Dining Experience

I’m not a fan of feeding dogs from bowls, as it doesn’t provide any type of enrichment. A bowl filled with food, is typically devoured within a few minutes, and needless to say, there is no particular skill or challenge to that act! Dogs are highly evolved animals that need a job to do. And ...

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 you’re there to consult about? What about the ...

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 instance, we may think praising or petting our dogs are reinforcers, ...

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, Description of the behaviour of domestic dog by experienced and inexperienced people, was published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science in 2009. We looked at ...

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 disorder. Compulsive behaviors include behaviors that are induced ...

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 come running after me with pitchforks, let me explain. I’m ...

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 fun for both teacher and student; that you teach ...