A Clarification of Sorts

I totally get why many pet owners, correction based trainers, and back yard trainers,  cringe when someone says they are a ‘positive reinforcement trainer’. I get it. And just for clarification – positive and negative in training terms are mathematical in nature, not emotional. Positive refers to ‘adding’, and Negative refers to ‘subtracting’. However, for…

Starting With Who You Have

We are humans so we all have goals. Some of us have simple goals, like getting out of bed when the alarm goes off instead of hitting snooze 20 times. And some of us have serious lofty goals, like cleaning up all of the plastic in the oceans. All valid, all worthy of personal attention,…

Strategies for dealing with off-leash dogs in on-leash only areas

You are trying to do the right thing. Following the signs and the rules. Walking, training, and spending quality time with your dog. Enjoying the day, the weather, the simple pleasure of movement. And then you see an off-leash dog coming your way with an owner making no effort whatsoever to call their dog back….

Is there really such a thing as a stubborn dog?

Every day of every week I have a person tell me their dog is stubborn and won’t do ‘this or that’. And just so we are clear, this is the formal definition of STUBBORN – ‘having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments…

ditch the TOOL BOX …

The virtual  Trainers Tool Box. The ‘make believe’ place where ideas, techniques, theories, and training aids are stored. Just in case, because you never know when you’ll need it. The smoke screen place that assumes no blame and no shame. The illusion that all knowledge is usable and viable and fair. Again, just in case, because…

Band-Aid Behaviors … they simply don’t work

If you think dogs can be reactive, please note that they have nothing on us humans. We might be the most reactive species there is. Some of us more than others. And it doesn’t bode well for our relationship with our dog most of the time. Handlers that tend to be reactionary to their dogs…

growing behaviors, it’s a bit like silly putty

When you step up to the plate and start to teach your dog a new behavior, it should feel awkward, and a bit foreign, somewhat exciting, and for sure unformed and unrecognizable. You are growing a behavior, not harvesting the benefits of the behavior just yet. Growing behaviors is what I refer to as the DISCOVERY…

The 6 P’s, the coolest stuff ever!

I use to travel quite a bit to give workshops around the country. I liked the travel, loved the groups I worked with, and I appreciated the exchange of ideas, energy, and friendships. I enjoy giving workshops. I am a ‘get in the dirt and work’ kind of person, so learning by doing makes total…

Training and Oatmeal, they have a lot in common

If you are good at working with another animal, teaching new skills, building complex behaviors, bringing words to fluent understanding, and doing so incrementally, for an onlooker it should be about as interesting as stirring oatmeal. Training should not be sensational. Training should not be about heightened emotions. Training should not be about entertaining onlookers….