Stress Signs in Dogs

Is your dog’s behavior uncharacteristic? Does he seem distant or anxious? It could be that he’s stressed out. Has he been shivering and panting more than normal or yawning excessively? Are his ears pinned back?  These are all common signs of anxiety, and you need to deal with them. Most of us wish we could live the same carefree lives … Read more

Aversives in Training

young golden labradore

There are two basic approaches to dog training today – positive reinforcement and aversive training. The former involves using positive associations to reward good behavior. With positive reinforcement, your dog gets a treat, cuddle, or toy for doing something right. Aversive training takes a different approach. With this form of training, you train your dog using … Read more

Aggression in Dogs

two gods fighting aggressively

Aggression manifests as snapping or biting, or your dog growling at family members, strangers, or other dogs.  Angry, biting, growling dogs can frighten people terribly or even injure them. Whether the dog directs it at one person or many, it’s something that needs addressing because it won’t get better on its own. If it’s not dealt with, dominance aggression could develop.  … Read more

C is For Consequence

girl with dog in field

CONSEQUENCE – The action or response that follows a behavior. The consequence determines whether or not the behavior will increase or decrease in frequency or intensity. Without going into a full discussion of the quadrants of operant conditioning (which fellow dog geeks can find here: http://4pawsu.com/trainingmethods.htm), we can look at consequences this way: If the … Read more

Reward Stations for Better Training

lady-with-dog-at-home

A common misunderstanding about reward-based training is the belief that dog owners will have to carry treats “all the time.” But the beauty of reward-based training is that, unlike special collars, squirt bottles, and other aversive methods, you can train your dog without having anything in your hand. Heck, you can train your dog while … Read more