Attention-Seeking Dogs Aren’t Being Naughty

Attention-Seeking Dogs Aren’t Being Naughty

Dog Behavior, Training
Attention-seeking dogs often resort to clever devices to get what they want.  Although we secretly admire their resourcefulness, dog parents like you and me believe it's in our job description to resist attention-seeking. Why? Because we believe it's naughty. So we'll either ignore the dog or scold the dog. Yet, as we know, trying to "make the dog stop" usually has the opposite effect!  That's because resistance just adds another layer of friction between what we think we want and what we think the dog wants!    Points of Friction In the first video in this series, I covered some of the points of friction that we often experience with our dog companions.  Do any of these examples ring a bell? The dog pulls on the leash and lunges after squirrels.You…
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Dog Training Answer that’s Hidden in Plain Sight

Dog Training Answer that’s Hidden in Plain Sight

Dog Behavior, Training
A dog training answer that perfectly satisfies your question about your dog can sometimes seem hard to find. Yet, what if it were not only easy to find but right there at your fingertips? The video below gives you details, but first, some background. Honestly, have you ever searched for something you really needed, gotten totally frustrated, and then realized that it was in plain sight all along? I guess we've all been there!  That's exactly what I experienced a few months ago. That was when I learned about an exciting dog training answer that made my jaw drop. It seemed incredible that, although this simple approach to human learning has always been around in plain sight, it's been mostly overlooked in dog training.  The Simple Dog Training Answer that Trainers…
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Does Your Playful Dog Have Hidden Genius for Natural Mischief?

Does Your Playful Dog Have Hidden Genius for Natural Mischief?

Dog Behavior, Training
Hidden Genius... Does your playful dog have a hidden genius for natural mischief? This is a true story: My dog once taught herself how to open the gate in the backyard. To be clear, I assume she "taught herself", because I know I never taught her that genius Houdini trick! (And yet, the dog trainer angel hovering over my shoulder warns "Never assume!") So, has your dog ever taken you by surprise? Made you wonder, "How did she figure that out?" In other words, have you ever wondered why you were surprised at all by your dog's ingenuity at figuring things out? To ask it another way, did my dog open the gate because she dreamed of roaming the neighborhood? I doubt it.  I think she opened it because she wanted to and because she could.  She paid attention, she…
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How to Train a Dog With Mom’s Goldilocks Rule

How to Train a Dog With Mom’s Goldilocks Rule

Dog Behavior, Training
Here's how to train a dog with Mom's Goldilocks Rule. Just like Goldilocks, my Mom was a fan of moderation. "Don't overdo it."  I heard that a lot as a kid. Ah, yes...Moderation... But now I think Mom would be amused to know that I'm passing her Goldilocks Rule along to you and calling it the best advice you'll ever get for how to train a dog. You see when Mom told me not to "overdo it", how to train a dog wasn't what she had in mind. But the more I learned about dogs, the more I appreciated my Mom's Goldilocks Rule. Not too hot.  Not too cold. Just right. Mom's Goldilocks Rule As a quick reminder, the other day I sent you 3 "crazy simple tips" for setting up your…
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3 Crazy Simple Dog Training Tips for Pup Parents

3 Crazy Simple Dog Training Tips for Pup Parents

Puppy Training, Training
Before I share 3 crazy simple dog training tips for pup parents, can I ask you something? Remember that time you took your adorable, rowdy puppy to a dog training class? Was your pup so excited that you couldn't get him to settle down? Or was the little guy so overwhelmed that he just wanted to escape! I can still remember feeling awkward as a newbie and wondering how my puppy felt about his experience with training. Thank goodness the days are long gone when pups were punished with "leash pops" and other stuff that we dog trainers now call aversive. Crazy Simple Dog Training Tips for Modern Pup Parents Today's dog training has evolved way beyond those days. During the past twenty or thirty years, there's been a shift in the way people raise and train…
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Dogs Need 4 Simple Things That Every Owner Wants

Dogs Need 4 Simple Things That Every Owner Wants

Dog Behavior, Training
Dogs need 4 simple things that every owner wants. Truth. Not that complicated. Visualize this for a moment:  Imagine yourself driving west down the highway at a comfortable 50 mph. Suddenly you realize that your destination is east, not west. Oops! Headed the wrong way! Gotta turn around...but not at 50 mph! Obviously reversing direction requires you to first slow down gradually-slamming on your brakes in traffic is a really bad idea! Then you need to signal your intentions so you can get your vehicle smoothly out of traffic. When it’s safe, you can maneuver your vehicle in a new direction. Now you can gradually gather momentum toward your destination in the east, not the west. Since my sense of direction has never been that great, I can easily visualize…
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Simple Updated Dog Training Just Makes Sense

Simple Updated Dog Training Just Makes Sense

Dog Behavior, Training
Simple updated dog training just makes sense. If simple updated dog training just makes sense, then why do so many of us believe it’s too complicated, too time-consuming, too futile? A lot of us dog people struggle with questions like these... “What can I do when my dog jumps on me - or on visitors?”  “How can I get my dog to quit pulling on the leash when we go for a walk?” Sound familiar? So many dog parents ask the same questions. You’re not the only one!  It can be so frustrating. You’re dealing with your dog’s unwanted behavior (jumping on you), you’re struggling to reverse it (make the jumping stop), but it’s already too far gone. And it feels like things are getting out of control!  Outdated Practices…
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Squirrels and Birds and Cats, Oh My!

Squirrels and Birds and Cats, Oh My!

Dog Behavior, Training
Squirrels and Birds and Cats Oh My! is the final part of this 4-part series about dogs and human leadership. Read the previous three articles here. Squirrels and birds and cats aren't the only things competing with you for your dog's attention. But please raise your hand if you've ever had to find a way to manage critter distraction! That would be true for most dog owners, I suspect. Leadership is your ability to motivate your dog to offer attention. Motivating a dog to freely offer you his attention and to dismiss distractions is an art and a skill. It takes patience and practice. Seasoned dog trainers, whether hobby or pro, know that successfully keeping a dog's attention is proactive, and not reactive. They spend a lot of time purposefully…
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Stop Socializing Your Shy Dog

Stop Socializing Your Shy Dog

Dog Behavior, Training
Stop Socializing Your Shy Dog is Part 3 in this 4-part series of articles about dogs and human leadership. Part 2 is A Confused Dog Can't Just Google It And Part 1 is 3 Ways You Hired Your Dog As the CEO. Watch this space next week for the 4th and final article in the series. It felt really weird but I decided to stop socializing my dog. Did I screw up? I'll find that out at some point but for now, the jury is still out... I have not socialized my 10-month-old puppy much at all. At least not the way I intended to do it back in February when he was just a tiny bundle of brown and white fluff. Most people accept that puppies should definitely be socialized…
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A Confused Dog Can’t Just Google It

A Confused Dog Can’t Just Google It

Dog Behavior, Training
(A confused dog wants clarity. In the previous article, I talked about 3 ways that people get disconnected from their dogs. Not knowing what else to do when that happens, most dogs simply decide to become their own boss - the CEO. Those 3 disconnection events are confusion, overwhelm, and distraction. The following article is about how to overcome confusion.) What do YOU do when you want the answer to some question that's on your mind? If you're like me, you just Google it! Easy peasy...gotta love Google! Thing is, though...a confused dog can't just Google it and get the confusion cleared up! Yet dogs have always been able to find answers in the environment...where Nature never lies to them. Dogs are super-savvy observers of their surroundings and that ability…
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