Kelly &B Maggie small

Repeating Cues: Information or Affect? (Repeated)

I can't resist repeating a post from 2012 on repeating ourselves. (I know, the irony!) It's such an important and interesting issue, given how often our communication must confuse our dogs, and how tiring it must be for them to try to figure us out. From March, 2012: A blog reader asked a great question recently, in response to my comment that I couldn't help myself and repeated "Stay, Stay, Stay" to Willie when in a dangerous situation at the side of a busy highway. We all know that repeated cues, like the ever popular "Sit, Sit, Sit" are not exactly "best practice" in dog training. And yet, they are commonly used, especially by beginners; just go to any beginning family dog training Read More

Maggie tongue

Accepting That Your Dog Might Be In Pain

Years ago I saw a client whose dog, let's call him Charlie, entered the room with a neck twisted slightly to the side. It wasn't extreme, but it was obvious, if you paid attention to the way the dog moved. The owners had brought the dog in because after six years of being a docile and loving dog, he had become aggressive in a variety of contexts. Except after we talked it became clear that there was always a consistent trigger--any time someone, anyone, reached toward Charlie's collar he growled or lunged forward, teeth flashing. The week before he had finally connected, biting a friend who had reached toward his collar to attach the leash. Charlie had been left in the car while we Read More

Newf pup and me

The Puppy Culture DVD & Early Development in Puppies

You gotta love a woman who names one of her Bull Terrier puppies "Betty Pork and Beans." But there's a lot more to love about Jane Killion's latest work, Puppy Culture DVD. I've watched every minute of it, and highly recommend it. I'd get it and watch it whether you will ever raise, or even get, a puppy yourself. You'll learn a lot about dogs by doing so. The focus of the DVD is the effect the first twelve weeks of a dog's life on its emotions and behavior as an adult. In the introduction, Ms. Killion correctly argues that many of a dog's genes can switch on or off, depending on the environment in which its raised (including in utero). The video (all 3.75 hours of it, not counting the Read More