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Unpredictable Behavior?

On many occasions I’ve heard people describe their dog’s behavior as “unpredictable”. Trainers know that dogs are not only predictable in their actions, but highly predictable. Identifying these triggers is something that should be left to the assessment of professionals, as things are so often misdiagnosed by pet owners. If I had to give an example of a situation where I thought “unpredictable behavior” would be prevalent there is one scenario that comes to mind immediately: the re-introduction of litter mates as adults. I am fortunate enough to be very good friends with people who have litter mates of two

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Baby Talking to Dogs: Good or Bad?

How dreadful, how dare I! I’m going to reinforce her fear by baby talking to her! Oh, no! How selfish of me. There are many grey areas in dog training. There are many things that are incredibly counterintuitive as well. It has become popular opinion that baby talking to dogs is a terrible thing that reinforces all kinds of bad behavior. Here’s what I have to say about the topic: Reinforcement has to be something the dog wants. It also has to be something the dog wants in that particular moment. Could baby talking to a dog and coddling them

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Awkward Dog Greetings-Can Humans Help It?

Have you ever tried to stop someone from approaching your fearful/nervous dog and no matter what you said, they still approached? This scenario has happened to me countless times over the years. It seemed that no matter what I came up with to say, it went in one ear and out the other. I could only resort to pulling my dog away, changing direction or body blocking the petting attempt on the part of the stranger. The reason people do this is that it is hard wired in us to greet others face to face, chest to chest. This is

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Why You Shouldn’t Take Dog Training Advice From Your Vet

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a dog training client tell me, “My veterinarian said not to take my puppy into the world until he’s four months old because he could get sick.” or “My vet said that my dog is dominant because of how he reacted during his exam,” I’d be rolling in cash. Not a single word of this blog is intended to badmouth vets. We need vets and their knowledge of physical health should not be undervalued. But as with any other service, you should contact a professional that is qualified and has

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Corrections: Your Environment is Trying to Tell You Something

I loved letting my puppies out in the snow this morning. I loved watching them romp and frolic. I loved watching them find little treasures like pieces of ice or sticks in the snow. I also enjoyed watching their communication of correcting one another over and over again when each puppy tried to steal the other’s find. To say that dogs don’t need to be corrected is the most preposterous concept. Quite frankly, it’s ruining the dog training industry. It’s also making dogs more aggressive due to lack of consequence. We have seen more aggression in domestic dogs in the

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