Watching a dog we love grow old can be difficult. But we made a wonderful discovery. Raising our dog with positive, science-based training from a puppy has given us the tools we need to communicate with her to give her a comfortable and happy life as she nears her 15th year. It seems you don’t have to teach an old dog new tricks. You just use the tricks you have in new and creative ways!
Canine Nation is a series of essays by Eric Brad CPDT-KA, a certified professional dog trainer. He writes about living with dogs. Canine Nation is about discovering what is TRUE about dogs and discarding centuries of myth and folklore about we train and work with our dogs. It’s about challenging what we think we know and asking the dogs to tell us what’s real. It’s about giving science, scientific method, and collected data more credibility than hearsay, anecdotes, and the authoritative assertions of self-proclaimed “experts” about dogs.
Canine Nation Podcasts are also available HERE!
Dogs have always been with us. But where did they come from? We always thought dogs came from wolves but there may be a better source of information about the origins and behaviour of our dogs.
We often hear about aggressive dogs and dog aggression problems. But most of these dogs are just frightened. They are reactive a situation that scares them. We can help these dogs but first we have to stop scolding them and move them to a place they feel safe. The first step in fixing any problem is clearly identifying the source!
When it comes to dog training, sometimes more is less. Spending a lot of time and effort working with your dog doesn’t guarantee that your dog will learn faster. Using proven training methods can help but you have to do them properly to get the best results. Be sure you’re doing your best as a trainer before blaming the method or the dog!
If you own a dog, you have to train it. It’s just common sense. But different people expect different things from their dog. From happy companion to highly skilled sport or working dog, training means different things to different people. Maybe we should take some time to decide why we train before we decide on how we train our dogs!
We look at our dogs every day. But I realised that I was usually looking for something in particular. Something to stop, something that they were doing wrong. Then I learned that if you look differently, more attentively, you can see much more. You can actually see who your dog is! It seems the more you look, the more you can see.
Most dog owners think their dogs are friendly. Friendly with people and other dogs. But under some circumstances, your dog could be uncomfortable or upset and lash out. There are a lot of things we can do to reduce the chances of our dogs injuring another person or dog. But there is one simple tool that is often overlooked!
The best explanations in the world are sometimes not enough to help people with their dogs. Even if the full weight of science and evidence is correct, people still have to use that information with their dogs. Sometimes the best thing to do is to show them rather than tell them.
We’re supposed to be interesting to our dogs. We live with them. But when it comes to training, it can be a challenge to keep them interested and engaged. Here are a few unconventional tips to help you keep your dog eager to learn and play for many years to come!
It can be hard to keep our dog’s attention during training. But it can be easier to keep our dog engaged if we plan for shorter sessions, short breaks and letting them know when the training is starting and when it’s done. I’ve learned in my own experience that confusion and ambiguity about what’s happening next can be tiring. Why should it be different for my dogs?