Dog Expectations

Float Dog

Our dogs notice everything. Every part of their day is about knowing what to expect. But how do we teach them to deal with the unexpected? Well, I would say that it’s unexpectedly easy if we do it gently and slowly. Just a little bit at a time.

Mark the Dog

Training Partners

In the past decade or so, Clicker Training has become increasingly popular. But a clicker is not the only way to use marker signals in your training. Using a marker can make your training time with your dog more effect and more fun! Check out the benefits of this wonderful training tool and see for yourself. You might be surprised.

Dog Training Disconnect – Misunderstanding Science

Teaching trainers

I frequently run into trainers that tell me that they “use Positive Reinforcement.”  They don’t.  They think they do, but they don’t.  They can’t.  It’s actually not possible to use Positive Reinforcement or any of the other quadrants of the Operant Conditioning model defined in the behavioural research of B.F. Skinner, Keller Breland, and many others.  It would be […]

Why Is That Dog There? – A Rant

Eric Brad

Some dogs get to go everywhere with their owners. Others go whether they like it or not. Dogs can develop fear or anxiety about social situations for lots of reasons. But we have the power to help them cope in a larger social world beyond our homes. The first step is recognizing their fear and managing things to help them succeed.

One Dog to Fit Them All

Girl in Row Boat with Golden Retriever

Everyone knows what a dog is. But is a Bassett Hound the same as a German Shepherd? It would be interesting if that were true. That dogs that looked different on the outside but behaved the same on the inside. Unfortunately it’s just not that simple and we should set our expectations accordingly.

Programming Dogs

hacker

Will your dog come when called every SINGLE time when they are off-leash? Some dog people think that this should be a requirement. But can we program dogs, like computers, to give us the same results every time without error? Or maybe we just have some unrealistic expectations of our dogs.

The Shape of Modern Dog Training

Eager Pup

Modern dog training has brought us some new views and new approaches to training. Some of what we do these days is just a refined version of things we have been doing for a long time. That’s why I think it’s important to understand “shaping” versus “prompting” in dog training. Both have their merits and their pitfalls and we should be well prepared no matter how we decide to train!

Shelter Dog Heroes

Kisses

Each year thousands of dogs are surrendered to shelters and rescue organizations around the world. It’s a shame that this happens but I am thankful for the thousands of staff and volunteers at shelters and rescue organizations that take in, care for, rehabilitate, and hopefully re-home these dogs. It is an incredibly difficult job but things are getting better for shelter workers. They are having more success than ever before and that’s good for the dogs!

Over Under Dogs

anxious

All dogs have their limits. Some are good and some are bad. Things can be too scary. Things can be not interesting enough. And other things are just right for our dogs. If we learn to see and understand our dog’s “thresholds” for their various responses to things, it can open up a whole new world of opportunities to help them learn.

Training Dogs In Your Head – A Rant

Eric Brad

The Internet has provided a lot of places for dog people to gather and talk about their favourite subject – dogs! But do our hypothetical discussions of “what-if” dog training do us any good without trying it out on real dogs? I’m not so sure it’s good for either us or the dogs.