The sport of Dog Agility has been an unexpected delight for both my dog and me. In the beginning, it was a reason to teach my dog a number of novel behaviours using Clicker Training and operant conditioning. But my adventures with my dog in this wonderful sport have taught me a great many lessons about kindness, persistence, patience and trust.
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!
This is second part of the story of Scruffy, a six-year-old Miniature Australian Shepherd who was rescued from the horrors of life in a puppy mill. It’s also the story of Gillian, the incredible woman who turned to modern dog training techniques and behavioural science to rehabilitate and bring this wonderful dog back to life. […]
This is Part I of the moving story of Scruffy, a miniature Australian Sheperd rescued from a puppy mill in Lind, Washington, and brought back to life by a very kind woman and plenty of love.
Positive dog training using rewards has taught me some interesting lessons. One important lesson I learned is that you get the behaviour you reward. So if you reward a crooked “sit” or your dog accidentally turns her head before you can reward her, that crooked sit or turn of the head might become part of the […]
Eric Brad says improving your dogs’ behaviour means showing them what’s right and rewarding them, not focusing on what’s wrong.
Now, after years of scruff shaking and “alpha rolling” our dogs unnecessarily, we have learned the truth. “Alpha Dominance” is one of the most persistent lies in all of what we know about dogs.
In Part 3 of the series “3 Reasons Why Your Dog Isn’t Responding” Eric Brad explores how we can motivate dogs to work with us instead of doing their own thing.
When you teach your dog a behaviour, it can be easy to assume that the dog has learned exactly what you think you have taught him. But you don’t control what the dog learns. The best you can hope for is to strongly influence what your dog will learn through good, clear training techniques.
There are at least three good reasons why your dog doesn’t respond the way you hope he will. Eric Brad explores the relationship between humans and dogs, and offers advice on how to improve the lines of communication between you and your dog.
It was early evening in the spring of 2002 when I found myself 10 feet across the kitchen from a dog with bared teeth and lowered head. He was growling in a low, menacing rumble. As I looked into his fixed, steely eyes, I could hardly believe this was the dog we had raised from […]