Dog Behavior

The Leadership Walk: The “Cure” for Pulling and So Much More!

Weekly I meet with anxious and frustrated dog owners on any number of behavioral issues – from pulling on the leash to aggression to chewing up shoes, general disobedience or jumping on guests.  Invariably, there is one exercise I recommend for all of them:  the Leadership Walk The Leadership Walk – or as many call […]

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What Training Can and Cannot Produce: A Tale of Cookies and Coleslaw

As much as dog owners hope that their trainer is like a master chef that can transform their aggressive dog into a social one, or their cat chaser into a cuddling kitty lover…generally speaking it’s not going to happen. Here’s what they can do….

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BABY, OH BABY: Preparing Your Pooch for the New Arrival

OK, all you excited parents and grandparents-to-be! This life change ahead of you can be exhilarating, but also a little stressful — especially for your dog. While you are busy happily preparing for your new little human family member, consider preparing your dog as well. It can be a big and confusing event for him. […]

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Breed Differences: Variations on a Theme

Choosing a dog is a big deal. How do you make the right choice? Is it pure luck, or is there a way increase your odds of success? I think so!   My system is this: First, choose a breed with breed characteristics most compatible with you and your lifestyle. Then, understand that individuals within a […]

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NEW this month!  A guest contributor, Amber Kingsley. Here are some clever tips, shared by Amber, to keep your home-alone, latch-key dog happy and content in your absence.  Enjoy! If yours is one of many where your dog stays home for eight, nine, or 10 hours per day while you go to work or school, […]

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Nature Knows Best – Why I Became a Dog Trainer

I developed my nature-based training style based on my early life on the farm.   I observed our cows, horses and dogs organizing and operating within their own world and saw how they chose their leaders and most importantly — how they maintained their peace. As an adult, I could see how trainers and dog […]

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Dog Stress Signs: When a New Home is the Best Home — For the Dog

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As a dog behavior consultant, I meet weekly with dog owners full of angst. Disillusioned dog owners come to me with regularity, their dreams of a raising a perfect puppy or giving a better life to a rescue dog going awry. Usually it’s something simple (pulling on the leash, jumping on visitors, digging in the […]

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The P-Word: Why “Punishment” Makes Me Cringe

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As a dog trainer, nothing makes me cringe like the use of the P-Word: “Punishment.”  I have a visceral reaction to it, like I have to several of the other culturally and emotionally charged words in our English language.  Here’s why I react to the P-Word: From the get-go, dogs don’t know right from wrong […]

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5 Mistakes Rescue Dog Owners Make

Assuming a shy dog was abused Dogs, like humans, are born with their inherent personalities. That personality is Nature’s “stamp” and like us, a dog is stuck with the personality they’re born with. A confident, willful puppy (barring trauma in a critical period of early development) will be a confident dog just like that kid […]

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INNER BEAUTY: Lessons From An Ugly Dog

Dog's Inner Beauty Photo

My home town of Petaluma, California is home to the much acclaimed World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.  This is the event’s 25th year, so I simply had to attend. On benches, awaiting their 15 minute of fame on the red carpet, were all the ugly dog contest hopefuls – each  vying for the $1500 prize and […]

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