And the Winner Is!


As many of you know, we asked for photographs of dogs to grace the cover of our new booklet on welcoming an adopted dog into your home. Karen London and I are working hard on the text right now (too short?! no, too long!? rinse and repeat . . . ) but I can tell you that the official title is Love Has No Age Limit and after looking at over 700 photographs (wow!) we have settled on the photograph you see below. So here he is: A dog named Theo, who like many of the dogs whose photos were submitted, came with an amazing story. He was found running loose along a highway in New Jersey, and sat in a shelter for 3 months before Kimberly Wang of Eardog Productions in New York found his picture on Petfinder. Kimberly spent three hours with him at the shelter, and was entranced by his eagerness to Read More

Who Do You See When You Look at Your Dog?

cart in NY

See the dog, not the story. This is a quote from one of your colleagues, a blog reader who sent this in as a comment about dogs in rescue. (And who I should credit, but because I'm in a time crisis, I can't right now, but THANKS! and I will find your name when I can get more time.). I was reminded of the value of that saying by Kathy Sdao at Clicker Expo last weekend. She did a presentation on being a truly good observer of your dog, something we all know the value of, but she made it special for me by suggesting that we toss away our 'stories' about our dogs, and work with who we have. I truly took that to heart. I have a story about Willie, about how he was such a mess when he was young, about how he had projectile diarrhea and was pathologically afraid of other dogs and so sound Read More

The Value of Basic Training Skills

Wilie shaved 3-11

Here's one of the great lessons Ken Ramirez had for us at the Clicker Expo in Chicago last weekend: The basics aren't really all that basic after all. In his experience, one of the most common mistakes he sees in even experienced trainers is forgetting the importance of some of the basics. Here are some of the reminders he shared, and believe me, I am taking them all to heart. Precision: Yes, we all know it, timing is everything, but no matter how obvious it is, it is often forgotten. This is relevant whether you are using a marker (like a clicker or 'yes') or not, often because we don't do the following: Clean Delivery: Ken reminded us that dropping the treat on the ground or fumbling the delivery can be very aversive to our dogs. Say we are on a roll, clicking and treating at a Read More

Dogs, Devotion and Japan

Many of you have seen the video below, but for those of you who haven't, here is a reminder that it is not just the people of Japan who are suffering. I don't want to break your hearts, and don't pretend that this is easy to watch, but I hope it does inspire some to do what they can to contribute to aid and rescue efforts in this horrific disaster. Even as Jim and I have been in New York City, and now Chicago, enjoying, almost guiltily, the stimulation and ridiculously easy access to amazing food, I have been obsessed with information about the disaster in Japan, and can't seem to tear myself away from the news channels. There is so much to think about here, but one of the things, related to this blog, that comes to mind is the progression of reporting, in disasters like this, from a Read More

Your Dog on A Book Cover?

wille close up

As many of you know, Karen London and I are writing a booklet for people who have adopted an adolescent or adult dog. We're hoping it will be useful not just for individuals, but also for shelters and rescue groups, and ultimately for the dogs themselves. Right now our first draft is out to readers, looking for feedback about how to make it as good as it can be, and we're working on the cover. That's where you come in. We've been looking at commercial photographs, trying to find just the right one, and so far nothing has struck us as THE picture. And then I thought of you  . . .I know that many of the blog's readers have dogs they've adopted as adolescents or adults, and how cool would it be if we could put one of YOUR dogs on the cover? So here's the deal: If you think you have a Read More