A lot of dogs get excited when they see me coming. My arrival and approach often elicits wagging tails, wiggling bodies, and happy faces. Why? Am I some kind of magical dog psychic? Nope! It has to do with harnessing the power of positive association! A BRIEF CRASH COURSE IN HOW DOGS LEARN Dogs learn … Continue reading Yes, I’m a Cookie Pusher: The Power of Positive Association
Upon walking into the adoptable dog section of Seattle Animal Shelter, I’m greeted by a brown and white dog happily wagging his tail. Actually, he’s wagging his entire body. The front and upper walls of his kennel are glass, so I can easily see his wiggly dance, but he can’t hear other dogs barking as … Continue reading The Truth About Animal Shelters
These days, obesity is not just an epidemic among humans: it is also widespread among our pets. Is your dog or cat fit, fat, or fluffy? Read on to learn more. What’s an Extra Pound or Two? Many people wonder: “What’s the harm in Fido or Garfield being a bit overweight?” After all, many people … Continue reading Fit, Fat, or Fluffy?
When you take your dog for a walk, who is that walk for? You? Your dog? Both of you? Here are some profiles of dog walks that I often see occurring in my neighborhood. Stop That Sniffing! Dogs experience the world largely through olfaction (smell). Compared to our six million olfactory receptors in the human … Continue reading Whose Walk is it, Anyways?
For many pet owners, their worst nightmare is a pet going missing. That brings us to the topic of today’s blog post: if your cherished pet goes missing, what should you do to maximize your chances of bringing her home? Let’s start by going back in time. There are some steps you can take before … Continue reading Homeward Bound
If you are a dog owner, chances are that at some point you have seen or heard one of these: a clicker. You may have wondered, what is the fuss with these little chirpy cricket things? Why do some trainers seem so obsessed with them? Are they necessary? Are they effective? Are they just a … Continue reading CLICK IT OR ZIP IT?
Imagine this scenario: You are walking with your dog off leash at the neighborhood park where people frequently exercise their dogs. You see a dog on leash up ahead. You wave to the owner and say, “My dog is friendly!” as your dog rushes up to greet the other dog. You hear the other owner … Continue reading DO YOU KNOW ABOUT DINOS?
Puppies! Everybody loves them! Well, when they’re not eating your favorite pair of shoes, anyways. Many people know it’s important to socialize a puppy, but oftentimes people don’t know the specifics about what this means. Let’s look at the details of how to set your puppy up for success. PUPPY POSITIVES The renowned Dr. Ian … Continue reading Puppy University
According to the ASPCA, inappropriate elimination is the most common behavior problem reported by cat parents. Let’s take a blog post to examine a behavior dreaded by many cat owners: urinating in the house. FIRST THINGS FIRST: Is your cat SPRAYING or URINATING? Spraying is characterized by the cat spritzing a small amount of urine … Continue reading CRYPTIC CAT BEHAVIOR: STOPPING THE SPRAY
If you spend 30 minutes looking for dog training videos on YouTube, you will find two very different schools of thought on the best methods to train your dog. Some videos, including those promoted by celebrity dog trainer Cesar Milan, promote dog training methods centered on dominance theory and being a “pack leader” for your … Continue reading On Positive Reinforcement and Pack Leaders