R+ Dog Trainer. Not currently accepting new clients but I’m always sharing helpful information on My passion for animals has been strong since childhood.
Raised with many different pets, I gained a sense for interpreting animal behavior. At just eight years old I starting walking dogs, and offered pet sitting and childcare for the neighborhood during my free time. Then at just eleven years old, I started studying psychology, human, and animal behavior. In 2012 I started volunteering at Foothills Animal Shelter, and in a short time, I was working di
rectly with the behavior manager as part of the Psychological Health and Training team. I volunteered 40+ hours a week and dedicated myself to becoming a dog trainer. Life gets stressful; my mission is to ensure pets and their owners live in harmony. Our pets are family, and I will treat them that way. Your pets are, and always will be, my priority!
Alex, the world’s most famous African Grey parrot, died September 6, 2007, and the world is a sadder place for it. You may be wondering why a column about dog behavior would begin with a memorial to a parrot, but there is an important connection between Alex’s behavior and that of your dog. It w...
Not our normal post but what a genius idea for pool owners. - the mom
“Choose the individual, not the breed” A new genetic study involving more than 2,000 dogs suggests that, contrary to popular belief, breed alone is a poor predictor of behaviour:
📷 - unknown
Over the years, I’ve worked with a lot of Dogs will bite histories. Most often these bites come from the mentality of people thinking they can just take something from their Dog, and they’ll be fine with it.
Snatching something from an animal without replacing it or trading up for something of greater value or equal value even, is a good way to teach them to guard resources, and a good way to get bitten.
Instead Always Trade Up; always trading up with a Dog, is a great way to teach them that resources are freely provided, and that there is no threat coming from us, of the removal of a resource.
Have all your cues be promises. Safety first, is safety always.
Dogs trained with aversive methods are less likely to show a ‘secure base’ effect.
Some cold temps out there. Keep your pets warm and cozy inside.
Older dogs with a history of lifelong training perform better on measures of attention.
Reactivity is especially a problem right now due to pandemic dogs. This is free education from one of the leading canine behaviorist in the field. For owners and trainers both!
An oldie, but a goodie!
We know dogs are cognitively similar to toddlers in many ways. One of those ways is in their ability to understand our words and expressions.
As captive pets, dogs are dependent on us for all of their basic needs - biological, emotional, and psychological. They look to us for support, guidance, and information about how to navigate the modern world they've found themselves in.
Let's help them out.
Next time your dog sees something in the environment that they're not sure about, think of them as asking you a question. Then answer them.
Your dog hears the garbage truck outside, runs to the door and alert barks. Instead of distracting them or calling them away, try walking to where they are and saying "yep, it's garbage day!" And then do a "go-find it!" treat scatter.
Be reliable and say the same phrase paired with a find-it or something else your dog enjoys to create a pattern.
Do this throughout the day with each activity and with each "question" your dog has.
Some of us probably already do this. Some of us may think "that sounds bananas!"
Just try it. See for yourself!
In creating patterns and routines, we become someone our dog can hang their hat on. We become predictable.
Predictability is a critical component of adaptation and survival. It enables the brain to save time and energy, lowers anxiety, and has a direct correlation with one's feeling of safety in their world and trust in their relationships.
Be your dog's benevolent life guide and narrator in 2022.
Happy New Year!
Graphic ID: Maroon circular background with the words "Talk To Your Dog" and little conversation bubbles that say:
"Guests are coming over, time for a special treat!"
"We're safe, that's just the neighbor."
"Yep, that's for friend, but we're not saying hi today."
"Thanks for the alert, we're safe!"
Rehoming a dog is sometimes the best choice a person can make for their pet's future.
It's such a shame when sweet dogs are bombarded on walks.
We know better, so we do better.
(This can be a polarizing topic and we welcome kind debate on this page. Name calling, derogatory, and sarcastic statements will be deleted.)
This is such a powerful reminder to set your dog up for success and to know his limitations. 🙌
NOSE WORK 🐽🍃
Dogs are lead through the world by their nose. Nose work exercises can help to refocus dogs especially in places where they may be overstimulated. For anxious dogs, nose work can be a great stress reliever as it engages the brain, providing the dog a positive task.
Infographic: Canberra Nosework Training
Here are 7 NOSE WORK GAMES you can do with your dog:
Puppies are hard, y’all. But so often we see people lose out on the magic of puppyhood because of the high expectations they immediately set for themselves and their new pup.
So, a few things to keep in mind in the weeks and months after you bring a puppy home:
1) Set age-realistic expectations. You have a BABY animal in your home.
Potty accidents, play biting, and keeping you up at night isn’t a sign that you have a problem; it’s a sign that you have a *puppy.*
Your puppy will make huge developmental leaps in the first few months, even if you don’t do everything perfectly.
2) With that said, you have to give yourself some grace in those first few weeks.
It is completely normal to feel sad, frustrated, guilty, resentful - you name it! - when you are adjusting to a new four-legged family member.
Your schedule and priorities have shifted in a major way, and it takes time to adjust to that new normal.
3) While we love to start training with puppies early, there’s nothing more important than safe, early socialization.
We want to ensure your pup has a variety of fun and minimally stressful experiences with new people, animals, environments, and objects in their first 16 weeks of life.
4) The easiest trap to fall into with a new puppy is comparing your pup to a previous dog, or to someone else’s dog.
Even among littermates, personalities, preferences, and behavior can vary wildly.
So comparing your puppy to your last dog (even if they are the same breed of dog) or a friend’s puppy that’s the same age will likely just lead to self-doubt and frustration.
Your puppy is an individual, and that’s a beautiful thing! The more you get to know him/her, the more wonderful you’ll find their unique qualities.
Do you have any questions, or any more advice for new puppy parents? Let’s hear them 👇
New study published in Scientific Reports found that dogs and wolves who were raised in the same way had a similar hormonal response when they interacted with a bonded human, whereas pet dogs produced much more oxytocin.
Previous research has shown that compared to wolves, dogs produce high levels of oxytocin (bonding hormone) when they interact with humans, particularly those that they are bonded to. This study wanted to test whether this response is something dogs are born with, resulting from domestication, or if it’s something that happens because of their life experience.
Ten wolves and 11 mongrel dogs were raised in the same conditions; they lived in outdoor enclosures and had regular contact with humans, including one human they interacted with the most who they became bonded to. For the study, the wolves and dogs had an interaction session with their bonded human and their oxytocin levels were measured.
There was little difference in the amount of oxytocin the dogs and wolves produced when interacting with a bonded human. This was unexpected. The scientists thought that dogs would produce more oxytocin because of their strong social link with humans. It was thought that this was one of the many traits that has changed since dogs were domesticated from wolves.
To further investigate what was going on, the scientists did the same test, where dogs interacted with a bonded human, but this time with 10 pet dogs and their owners. The pet dogs produced much more oxytocin than the wolves or the enclosure-reared dogs.
The study provides evidence that producing a lot of oxytocin when interacting with humans results from a dog’s life experience and not from their genes.
Does this change how you think about your dog?
Paper: Life experience rather than domestication accounts for dogs’ increased oxytocin release during social contact with humans – Scientific Reports, July 2021
New study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science found that most owners provide chewing material for their dogs and that some dogs need medical attention as a result.
Data were collected from a survey of 1439 dog owners, most of whom live in Germany or Austria. The scientists wanted to assess how owners manage the chewing behaviour of their dogs.
Nearly all (94%) of the owners provided edible chewing material for their dogs, most (83%) provided inedible chew toys, and about three quarters (73%) provided chew toys filled with food. The average dog chewed for 10-15 minutes.
Some dogs (2.5%) chewed soft household objects, e.g. socks, on a daily basis. This was more common in dogs under 1 year old and when dogs were left alone.
Around half to two-thirds of owners supervised their dogs often or always during chewing sessions. Many dogs (33%) experienced some problems when chewing, most commonly coughing and retching, followed by vomiting and diarrhoea.
A concerning proportion (7.2%) of dogs sustained injuries from chewing, such as cuts to their gums and broken teeth. Most concerning is that 3.6% needed veterinary treatment for issues caused by chewing. Of these, 1% (15 dogs) needed surgery.
Chewing is thought to be a valuable enrichment activity for dogs, but it is not without risk. Owners need to be cautious in the materials they provide and supervise chewing wherever possible.
What do you give your dog to chew? Have you ever had any problems with chewing material?
Paper: Chewing behaviour in dogs - A survey-based exploratory study - Applied Animal Behaviour Science, August 2021
Dogs are always learning, so here are ten tips for a better-behaved dog.
Maple Valley, WA
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