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Canine Enrichment: Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Live Without It!


Behavioral work has come along way in its application, philosophy and implementation.  But I do not think we have addressed a dog’s behavioral imbalances completely and holistically until we have included an enrichment plan into our behavioral work with our dogs. Any plan that does not include helping a dog release their drives in constructive […]

Predictability: The Why, How and Implementation


Any behavioral problem, has at it’s root, confounding variables. Genetics, learning histories, perceptions, behavioral follow through, the environment, individual proclivities and the list goes on.  But what most people who have hired professionals to address their dogs behavior have not been told is why predictability matters in your dogs behavior(s).  Even if you have not […]

Why Decompression Alone Isn’t Enough


Decompression is a buzz word that is used with almost all fosters, adoptions and rescue organizations now as standard protocol for bringing a new dog home and for your existing animals to adjust (or so I hope).  There are tons of articles and blogs addressing decompression specifically, and rightfully so.  But it isn’t, for many […]

Leave-Its, Impulse Control and Dog Brains


I almost always include what I consider to be the solid foundational cues in my behavioral work, also known as, the doggy ABC’s.  On that long list of communications is undoubtedly one of my favorite commands, “leave-it.”  Leave-it is about impulse control. It is about a dog being able to hone in instincts and make […]

What’s With All The Jargon- Part II


I spend a lot of time explaining why communication is paramount to effective behavioral modification. The reason I spend the time expanding on communication: dog on dog communication, a handler’s body language as communication, the language between pet parent and dog and dog to pet parent, as well as the verbal and non-verbal components is, […]

What’s With All The Jargon? Part I


I talk all the time with my human clients about being an effective communicator, using treats (reinforcerement) as translators to the human language and the teacher-learner dynamic inherent with our dog/dog-parent relationship.  I also do my best to use terms that are not too scientific in nature and when I do, explain them so clients […]

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Dog Fights


As a rescuer, as a foster dog-mom, as a multi-household dog mom, as a professional behavioral specialist, and as a dog lover this topic is very close to my heart.  I think anyone that has ever been involved in a dog fight can free associate to words like traumatic, scary, awful, terrible, horrid, emotional, disgusting, […]

The Science of Fear: What that means for you and your dog


Cowering, looking away, lip licking, ears down, whale eye, growling, hackles raised, snarling, withdrawing, petrified, lunging, tail tucked, yawning, hiding, panting, hyper-vigilence, the list of bodily communications could be endless.  These are just some of the common behaviors we see when a dog is afraid.  These behaviors are not just behaviors, the deeper level of […]

The 3 P’s: Patience, Progressive Phases & Positive Reinforcement


They say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” but have you ever heard, “Fido wasn’t trained in a day?”  Probably not. But that sentiment should be said, heard, repeated and then repeated some more.  It is THAT important to a behavioral plan.  How can patience impact the work we do with our dogs?  Well because it […]

Suppression Is Not Learning


Suppression- the act of stopping yourself or another from thinking, feeling or acting.  Synonyms of suppression include: defeat, crushing, repression, quashing, concealing, stifling, and restricting. Let that all sink in.  Do you want to crush your dogs drive?  Do you want to have a relationship based on stifling your dogs natural desires to explore the […]

Are Your Meet and Greets Counter-Productive?


Let’s explore a few scenarios on “meet and greets,” what went wrong and what to do instead. You are fostering a dog and she has been doing so well at your home that she is given the label, “dog friendly” and that, in the rescue world is a buzz word for highly adoptable!  She then […]

Reclaim Your Backyard


When we share our homes with our dogs there are inevitable issues that arise. One of the most common experiences I discuss with clients and for me personally as a dog-mom is the backyard.  It makes sense, right? Our dogs are most animal-like when they are in nature. There is room to run, play, bark, […]

Communication vs Commands


Any relationship we enter with another living creature starts with communication. Communication consists of such a broad category of body language, words, sounds, gestures, intent, and understanding.  Many people do not realize that many behavioral issues, obedience problems or a dog not meeting our expectations might simply be a result of us not speaking the […]

Education vs Training: Making the Mental Shift


Dog training has its history. Over the years there have been movements and philosophies varying from punitive in nature to balanced trainers to purely positive. Training has in my opinion the connotation and implication of working towards a specific goal. Weight training, Olympic training, protection training and various occupational training typically refers to the action […]

Socialization…Why It Is A Lifetime Process


You have probably all heard the blanket statement, “Make sure you socialize your puppy!”  Or even professionals who create puppy socials for pet parents to sign up for, specifically for puppies. Is it important to socialize your puppy?Absolutely!  That I do hope is very common knowledge.  But it begs the question, why are we stopping […]

Muzzle Me Because You Love Me


“Muzzle me because you love me!” That may be a strange concept to some people. Corona Pandemic, Hanibal Lector, Jason, flu masks, Michael Myers, the list could go on and on and so could the stigmas. We have almost been conditioned to react negatively to facial masks as if they all represent impeding danger, the […]

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