General Training


Willie Learns Object Names
Does your dog know the difference when you ask for a ball or a
frisbee? Here’s a video of one way you can teach Fido object names!


Sniffing Out Scent Dog Training April 2024

How Dog Training and Editing are the Same. January 2024

Do You Teach “Don’t Do That?” October 2023

Asking versus Telling Our Dogs August 2023

What’s the Key to Polite Dog Play? May 2023

Keeping Kids and Dogs Safe–From Each Other January 2023

Dog Bite Prevention Week (Month? Year?) April 2022

“Train Your Dog Month” at the Farm January 2022

“Invites Decrease Bites.” Making Dogs and Young Children Safe June 2021

The Power of Silence. Or, More on Less is More. May 2021

Working on Sound, or, Making Better Noises April 2021

Chirag Patel and the “Bucket Game” April 2021

Teaching the “Emergency Stop” (or “Flying Lie Down”) March 2021

Greeting Behavior and Separation Anxiety–Any Effects? March 2021

Getting Stuff Done with Cabin Fever Relievers January 2021

Unwanted Advances–The Human Kind December 2020

Go Ahead, Play Hard to Get November 2020

Maggie! Chester! Princess! (Now That We Have Your Attention, Please Read Our Minds) October 2020

Luring, Prompting and Shaping August 2020

Keep Walking! (When Introducing New Dogs) June 2020

Book Review: Wag — The Science of Making Your Dog Happy May 2020

The Premack Principle to the Rescue May 2020

Preventing Separation Anxiety in the Time of Covid April 2020

Don’t Think About Red (or Touch Your Face). April 2020

Online Dog Training–The Agony and The Ecstasy April 2020

The Eye of the Trainer by Ken Ramirez March 2020

The Right Stuff Revisited December 2019

It’s Not Where Pups are Raised, It’s How December 2019

Teaching Dogs to Talk? November 2019

The Challenge of Pet Dog Training October 2019

Ready or Not . . . October 2019

Take a Bow for Teaching a Play Bow September 2019

Communication, Plus and Minus. August 2019

Don’t Let the Chain Fool You July 2019

A Note About Notes June 2019

Tiny Signals, Big Responses May 2019

Scent Games February 2019

You Want Me To Pee Where? November 2018

“Non-Traditional” Cue Update October 2018

Book Reviews: Late Summer Version August 2018

Benevolent Animal Training is Nothing New. July 2018

The Pause That Refreshes. July 2018

Dog Training Can Make You a Better Writer (and Vice Versa). May 2018

Book Review: How to Tame a Fox. November 2017

Trust Me; I’m Coming Back. November 2017

Book Review: Let Dogs Be Dogs. September 2017

Family Dog Training Classes-What’s in Your Curriculum? September 2017

Considerations for a City Dog. And Dental Supplies. August 2017

Always End on Good Note? (Please Don’t, Not Always.) August 2017

Collars I have Known and Loved. Or Not. February 2017

Less is More (When It Comes to Training) November 2016

Luring, Prompting and (or) Free Shaping February 2016

When Is It Acceptable to Break the Basic Rules of Dog Training? November 2015

Who is Wearing The Pants in This Family? October 2014

Three Ways to Confuse a New Dog  June 2014

Small Dog Privileges? Yes or No?  February 2014

Confrontational Techniques Elicit Aggression  May 2013

Autonomy and Domestic Dogs  Part I, Part II  November 2012

Non-Traditional Cues  Part I, Part II  October 2012

Using Positives to Decrease Negatives  July 2012

Simply Wrong  July 2012

Lure & Clicker Training to Teach Sit: Advantages & Disadvantages  May 2012

Balance  April 2012

Don’t Waste Calories!  March 2012

Repeating Cues: Information or Affect?  March 2012

Clever Hans Revisited  March 2012

What’s a “Better Learning Performance?”  October 2011

The Value of Basic Training Skills  March 2011 

The Food-All-Over-the-Floor “Method”  February 2011

The Model-Rival Method  January 2011

How Long Does it Take to Learn a New Habit?  January 2011

What IS “Training” Anyway?  January 2011

Training Schedules  March 2010

Explaining “Step by Step” Training, Step by Step  March 2010

Visual Signals before Acoustic?  August 2008

Never Repeat a Command  August 2008



Action/Re-Action: The temptations of the dominance fallacy

Gender Gap: Do male and female dogs learn differently?

Training Outside the Box: Can you bet against your dog’s nature and win?

Beautiful Noises

Caution. Your dog is watching.

Knowing what your dog knows

Tale of Two Species – Bridging the Communication Gap

Training Daze: Even a bad example can have a good influence

Get Real: Fight frustrations by adjusting your expectations

Behavior Interruptus: Good habits make good dogs–teach them early

Words at Work: Learning terms like “positive punishment” can be positively punishing

A Treat by Any Other Name: Positive Reinforcement is in the eye of the beholder

Early Education: All puppy classes are not created equal






Training Your Dog

Here’s the good news: It’s fun to train your dog! Here’s the bad news: You have to learn how. More good news: It’s not hard to learn. . . and this is a great place to get started.

Behavior & Health

If you’re interested in canine cognition, communication, social systems & nutrition (plus a host of other topics!), look here to start seeing your dog in an entirely new light!

Behavior Problems

Here’s help for dogs of every description, from cautious canines to feisty fidos. Click below for videos, articles, books and DVDs that will help you help your dog.

Finding Resources

Links to other great websites & information on becoming a professional trainer or behaviorist, questions for your veterinarian, and everything in between!


"The Education of Will delves deep into the minds of people and dogs, and into the effects of trauma, showing that healing is possible. McConnell gives a voice to those who can’t speak in words and provides hope for fearful animals everywhere."

—Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation.

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