Mean Dog People Suck – A Rant

mean people

Have you ever noticed all the different ways that people are mean to their dogs? No? Well, there are plenty of people out there who will tell you that you are “abusing” your dog in one way or another even if you didn’t know you were doing it. Even your dog might not know they are being abused. Welcome to dog training’s “new age!”

The Faithful Dog

Black Dog

We have always called the dog our “faithful” companion. But what is it that we think they have faith in? Not surprisingly, our dogs should have faith in us, their owners. But we don’t get that trust and faith for free. We should live up to it and earn it.

Patterns, Dogs, and Learning

Dog Head

The lives of our dogs are full of patterns. When to eat, when to sleep, when to play ball, and when to respond to our cues. These are all patterns that our dogs learn. You might be surprised to learn that your dog may be learning something different than you are teaching. In fact, you may be teaching your dog something different from what you THINK you are teaching!

A Practical Plan for Dog Training Success


Every dog owner is a dog trainer. We can’t help it. It comes with the territory when you bring a dog into your home. Regardless of how good at training dogs you might be, having a clear process for deciding what to train, how to train, and how to determine how successful you are can be a big help. Here’s a practical process that has worked well for me in working with my dogs!

The Good Dog


What is a “good dog?” For most people, a “good dog” is one that behaves like the ones they see on TV or in the movies. A dog that does what is expected and never does what is not wanted. A dog that conforms to our vision of what we want. But is that fair? Do we love dogs for what they are or for what we imagine they are supposed to be?

The Association of Dogs


Dogs just want to understand. They come into our human world with no understanding of what we expect of them. So they watch us and they learn. If we are smart dog owners, we help them out and teach them. The good news is, your dog is watching.

Competing with Dogs


Dog sports are a great way to spend time with our dogs. It also gives us a great reason to train them for some very useful and fun skills. But, while it might be fun, does competition take a toll on our dogs? You might be surprised.

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 […]