Lure & Clicker Training to teach Sit – Advantages & Disadvantages

New Sheep 5 2012

It makes me so happy to say that Tootsie is doing great. Right now she's sleeping in her crate beside my desk. The door is open, but she loves it there. The only places she likes as well are 1) being in bed with me, 2) being on the couch or 3) being by herself in the crate in the back of the car. She likes it so well in the car crate that I am actually having to train to leave it. I'm assuming this is baggage from her puppy mill days and that she feels most secure and comfortable in a small, confined space. She's progressed so well in so many ways: I'm especially taken with her flipping around mid-air when outside after I call her to come, ears flying like a furry dumbo, her open, happy mouth taking up half of her tiny little Cavalier head. As I mentioned in an earlier post, now that Read More

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

Diesel & Myra

So many books, so little time! Here are a few I'm enjoying: Magnificent Mind at Any Age by Daniel Amen. This is a fascinating book by a psychiatrist who began doing SPECT scans of his patients brains and discovered how many psychological/behavioral problems related to brain function. It's an inspiring book for anyone looking to improve their health and behavior, and besides being motivated to exercise more and stop drinking diet soda (I know, I know), I find myself thinking about dog behavior on every page. Daniel relates multiple cases of people with behavioral problems (fear, depression, anger, impulsivity) that are improved through diet, exercise, supplements and medications that specifically work on areas of the brain related to those problems. Anyone out there see any dogs who are Read More

Treatment Plans for Behavioral Regressions

willie in wonderland 2011

Or, alternative title: Adventures in the Willie Wonka Fear Factory. If you're cocking your head in confusion, this is about Willie's recent (and relatively new) fear of men. To review briefly: As a puppy he was pathologically afraid of other dogs, exceptionally sound sensitive and, in some contexts, quick to anger. But he adored people, loved everyone. As an adolescent, like many dogs, he developed new fears, and became cautious around unfamiliar men, but it was easily handled by having guys throw balls for him. I always knew I'd need to manage it and that I could never completely close the book on his fears, but it was easily handled and he usually appeared to be thrilled to meet unfamiliar men after about 4-5 months of counter conditioning. And then, three weeks or so ago, he barked Read More

Your Dog Has a Brain in His Gut

willie and frisbee 12-11

No, seriously. And so do you. No kidding. I'm so interested this, a relatively new discovery about what's called the Enteric Nervous System, that I wanted to write about it today. I'll get back to emotions in dogs soon, but I'm in the Oh Wow phase of this information, and wanted to share it. (Granted, this is not new information to the researchers who have been studying what's called the ENS for decades, but the information does seem to be leaking out slowly. No pun on 'leaky gut syndrome' intended...) Here's the deal, and here's how it relates to our dogs and their behavior. It turns out that there is a vast network of neurons--that's right--neurons--in your intestines. 100 million of them. Of course, your brain has 100 BILLION, but still, that's impressive.  Neurons were supposed to Read More

Yup, Dogs Can Be Disgusted!

Emmeraud 2

Well, it seems appropriate now to talk about disgust after a weekend of gluttony. (But what fun cooking paprika chicken and pot roast and roasted brussels sprouts and home made bread and pumpkin and cherry/raspberry/rhubarb pie. Not to mention eating all the turkey that others cooked and I ate up as if I was starving.) It's been interesting reading about whether dogs people believe that dogs can experience disgust. Recall that 66.2 % of seminar participants said yes, and 78.3% of blog readers who responded said yes (this may have changed as later responses came in, but not significantly). (The Morris research listed only 34% of people responding yes, but a blog reader commented wisely that the question wasn't "Can your dog..." but "Have you observed your dog experiencing Read More