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behavior training

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Why You Should Use a Dog Trainer

Even when there are no behavioral issues Most Americans don’t hire dog trainers until things have gotten out of hand with their dogs. Unfortunately, this makes things harder in the long run because it’s far easier to prevent a problem than it is to fix one. We’ll discuss why you should use a dog trainer, even when there are no behavioral issues. In fact, studies show that attending puppy classes can help puppies stay in their homes and are more trainable as adults. Working with a dog trainer when your dog is just a puppy or a newly adopted adult…

What do I do for my dog who is seemingly aggressive or reactive to other dogs?

Aggressive or reactive behavior is one of the most common dog behavior issues I see in my work as a dog behavior consultant. This is likely due to our increasingly restrictive urban environment. Many dogs are frustrated, excited, or even fearful at the sight of other dogs. These strong emotions can manifest as barking, lunging, and generally behaving aggressively towards other dogs. So, what do you do when your dog is seemingly aggressive or reactive to other dogs? The first thing to understand when dealing with a leash reactive dog is that they are really struggling emotionally in most cases.…

The Psychology of Your Dog

And the importance of understanding them Dogs are a truly fascinating species. Many experts agree that they’re self-domesticated. They’re uniquely skilled at reading human expressions and understanding our gestures. Humans routinely both over- and under-estimate their cognition: we attribute simple foraging behaviors to spite, we assume that their tendency to learn context-specific behaviors is actually stubbornness. However, the psychology of your dog is important! The reality is, studies into dog psychology are actually quite new. Up until recently, dogs weren’t considered worthy of rigorous scientific study because they’re not wild animals. Researchers like Patricia McConnell, Clive Wynne, Adam Miklosi, Bryan Hare,…

Should I Train My Dog to Protect Me?

Many people get dogs for their companionship. We love dogs because they’re always happy to keep us company and they cheer us up with their goofy antics. But what if you’d also like your dog to protect you? This brings up the question ‘ Should I train my dog to protect me?’ Generally, I don’t recommend training a dog to protect you. Most dogs will bark at intruders. Dogs are highly attuned to change in their environment – especially change that feels very unusual. For most intruders a simple bark from your dog is sufficient. You can rely on your…

Top 5 pet training accounts

Who to Follow and Why It’s easy – and fun – to fill your Instagram feed with gorgeous dogs romping along mountain ridges or through the forest. What could be better than that? As a matter of fact, if you truly love dogs and want to use your social media scrolling as a way to learn, there are great Instagram accounts for learning more about dog training and dog behavior. Check out these top 5 pet training accounts that are some of our favorites to follow and why. All of these offer sound training advice using science-backed positive reinforcement training…

Puppy Behaviors to Look Out For

Bringing home a puppy is a time of joy and apprehension! When I brought my new puppy home a few weeks ago, I spent a lot of time and energy scrutinizing his every move. Was this behavior normal? Would he grow up to be a happy, confident dog? Did I need to worry about anything? What are the behaviors to look out for in a new puppy? It was exhausting. There are certain problem behaviors that are incredibly common and normal puppy behavior: chewing, crying when alone, having potty accidents, and biting at hands, to name a few. But there…

Top 5 questions a dog trainer receives

Being a dog trainer is one of those jobs where everyone has a question to ask or a comment to make. Many professional dog trainers quickly learn to dodge the question if they don’t want to be inundated with queries and stories from surrounding strangers at the supermarket. When I’m not in a rush, I enjoy answering many of the questions that a dog trainer receives. Here are the top 5 questions a dog trainer receives and that I’m asked most frequently as a dog trainer. Of course, this is a very short overview of the training plan you’ll need…

Tips From a Dog Trainer On How to Socialize a Dog

While many new dog owners know that they should socialize their dog, there’s a lot of confusion as to what that means. Many well-meaning new pet parents try to socialize their dog by bringing their dog to the dog park, brewery, or park. But that’s not really socialization. So what is socialization? Socializing a dog is about more than just exposing your dog to strange people, places, dogs, and things. It’s also about teaching your dog how to behave politely around them. For most of us, our ultimate goal is a dog who confidently and calmly ignores (or maybe greets…

Dog Training at Every Age

The essential commands every dog needs to know Whether you’ve got a brand-new baby puppy, a newly adopted rescue dog, or a resident dog who could really use some brush-up training, there are several dog training essential commands that every dog needs to know at any age.Best of all, contrary to popular belief, you can teach old dogs new tricks! It doesn’t matter what age or breed your dog is – training is all the same. The basic idea is to focus on what you want your dog to do, and reward approximations of that behavior with something that you like. Most…

Best Practices for Dog Obedience Training: How to Discipline a Dog with Unwanted Behaviors

I’m going to let you in on a secret with dog obedience training or really any dog training methods in general. We all have things we want to change about our dog. Heck, we all have things we want to change about ourselves. But for unsuspecting owners, attempts to discipline their animal’s bad behaviors can quickly turn into a big screaming match that leaves everyone feeling worse for wear. I’m going to suggest a different way of looking at things, one that will allow you to change your dog’s behaviors rather than passively reprimanding them. Stick with me for some…