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Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Cautious Canines
Understanding and helping fearful dogs
For the first month after he was adopted, Sunny spent his time in the corner of one room, in which he ate, slept, eliminated and watched the world go by. Murphy whimpered, barked, and chewed the carpet and the door whenever she was left alone. Tucker growled and lunged at every man he encountered. Maggie was inconsolable during thunderstorms— pacing, whining, circling, jumping in and out of the...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dogs Can Be Gross
What they do is not necessarily appealing to us
As a member of a species that generally doesn’t swallow the afterbirth or eat feces, I feel qualified to discuss the fact that some dog behavior grosses humans out. I was thinking about this recently as I raced to my refrigerator for a piece of cheese to use to encourage a dog to drop the tissue that had fallen from my pocket as I reached for my lip balm. He was attempting to chew the tissue (...
Good Dog: Activities & Sports
7 Activities for a Bad-Weather Day
Rainy day play by the numbers.
Have wet conditions gotten in the way of your normal walk, run or play time at the park? Are you in search of some ideas for entertaining your dog when the weather outside is “frightful”? There are lots of stimulating activities that will keep you and your dog happily enjoying one another’s company, no matter how gloomy it is outdoors. It’s all about spending time together in interesting ways. 1...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Helping Thunder Phobic Dogs
Tips for comforting your pup during a storm
As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers.  And in my neck of the woods, we’ve certainly been getting a lot of rain and, unfortunately, thunderstorms. My first dog, Nemo, has never been afraid of thunder. Being a Sheltie, he’ll sometimes bark at the loud noises, but he isn’t fearful. His breeder played sound tapes when he was a puppy, which I think helped. I’m also fortunate that my new...
Blog: Guest Posts
Video: Fight or Play?
Learn to read canine body language
This might sound strange, but I've been studying dog play recently. A lot. My normally playful mixed breed, Ginger Peach, stresses easily in new environments. She often refuses to tug on her toy, play with her Frisbee, or otherwise engage with me. She gets a glazed look in her eyes and pants heavily, completely overwhelmed by so many dogs, people, noise and no doubt smells.   This does...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Myth of the Quick Fix for Behavior Problems
Contrary to popular belief, changing behavior takes time
In January, I welcomed a new puppy into my home, a 7-week-old Border Collie named Remy. With any new dog, there is always a growing list of things to train—learning not to chase the cat, greeting people politely, walking nicely on a leash, settling in a crate, just to name a few. Most times, the solution is simple, reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior, but changing any behavior takes time...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Clicker-Mad
Karen Pryor took tools and insights refined with dolphins and applied them to dogs, and training has never been the same… thank goodness!
In 1974, Karen Pryor zipped off her wet suit and hung up her dolphin-training whistle—for good, she thought. She left Hawaii and eventually moved to New York City with her teenage daughter, where she set up shop as a freelance writer. Pryor already had two books under her belt, and now embarked on her third: an easy-to-read manual on using the science of operant conditioning in everyday life,...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Talking Training: Scent Marking at Home
You have questions, she has answers
Victoria Stilwell
Q: We had two questions for Victoria on the sensitive issue of marking and inappropriate defecation. One involved a young male dog adopted from a shelter who, the owner wrote, “is an ideal playmate for our female dog and is perfect in all ways but one: though we walk him multiple times a day, take him out after meals and pay close attention to him, he still urinates in the house, and will even...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Three Myths about Playing with Your Dog
Okay to play tug?
Strong opinions exist about the “Do nots” of playing with dogs. I agree with only some of these prohibitions. I do stand by the ban on rough-and-tumble wrestle play and the teasing that often accompanies it. Though this form of play can be fun, the high emotional arousal that results often leads to a lack of inhibition, and that’s when trouble can happen, even to nice dogs and to nice people....
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Reducing Fear in Your Dog
A gentle hand or a tasty treat doesn’t reinforce fear, it reduces it
It was one in the morning, and I was wide awake. Thunderstorms had been rolling like waves over the farm all night, and this one was so loud I thought the windows might break. Lassie, my 14-year-old Border Collie, lay panting beside me. She’s almost deaf, but the combination of a falling barometer, lightning flashes and the crashes of thunder were enough to send her into a panic. As we lay there...

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