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Good Dog: Behavior & Training
The Art of Training
Building trust is the first step
Marilyn Pona with K.C., the YorkiePoo, and Rusty, her big red rescue boy.
For 30 years, Marilyn Pona, founder of Assistance Dogs for Living, has been training dogs: rescued, traumatized mutts; show dogs; obedience-school dropouts; neurotic dogs in danger of exile from their families; and service dogs of every kind.   “There’s one thing nearly every trainer does too soon,” she confides. “Train.”   The usual impulse, she explains, is to jump in and try to impose control...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Can't Our Dogs Just Get Along?
Talking Training with Victoria Stilwell
Q: We get along great with our neighbors; alas, our dog seems to despise their dog, and it’s mutual. Why don’t dogs like one another, and how do we teach them to get along? A: People ask a lot from their dogs by expecting them to be social with every dog they meet. This can put a lot of pressure on a dog—especially one who finds it hard to cope in social situations. Humans are able to choose...
News: Karen B. London
An Emu Who Acts Like A Dog
Who does she think she is?
An Emu named Emma sometimes acts like her best friend, a dog named Charlie. She fetches, plays with Charlie’s toys, sits when asked to do so, and chases things, just like Charlie does. Her human family says that she thinks she's a dog, and that nobody ever told her she wasn’t. (Emus are Australia’s largest native bird, reaching heights of well over 6 feet.)   It makes a great story to say that...
News: Guest Posts
Dangerous Dog Breed List Has No Bite
Daily Beast fearmongering should be muzzled
I don’t know how to break it to my family and friends, but there’s a Pit Bull mix and two Dalmatians in my house! According to the Daily Beast, I should be scared to death to live among the #1 and #11 most dangerous dog breeds, respectively. Just because you don’t have one of the common banned breeds—Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds—you think you’re safe? Greyhounds, Border Collies,...
News: Karen B. London
Howling Dogs, Crying Babies
What are these interactions all about?
A common theme for You Tube videos of dogs and babies is dogs who howl when a baby was crying. Interestingly, the dogs’ vocalizations often have a calming affect on the babies. Here are two videos in which a crying baby and a howling dog are in close proximity. In the first one, a dog is howling while a baby cries in a bassinet, and it seems as though the baby stops crying in response to the dog’...
News: Guest Posts
Adopt A Senior Dog
Older, wiser, mellower—what could be better?
Yesterday, on my morning stroll with Lulu and Renzo, I met a couple walking an 11-year-old mutt they had just adopted from the Seattle Humane Society. I use the word mutt as high praise because this dog was shaggy and black with a graying, eternally charming muzzle. I’m a sucker for the type. But I knew she was the sort of dog a person with less imagination or compassion might pass by in a...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Make Your Dog's Life Better
10 ways for improvement.
Dog and Human Relationship
By just being their furry, adorable, lovable selves, dogs help us feel treasured and joyful. This not only boosts our quality of life, it raises the oh-so-important question: What have we done for them lately? Of course, we provide food, medical care, a home, grooming, toys and other amenities, but what exactly do we do to increase their happiness quotient? Here’s a short list of ways to improve...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Solving the Generation Gap
Talking Training Stilwell
Q: We recently added a puppy to our household, and our five-year-old Aussie is definitely not amused. He’s lived with another dog, albeit one who was older; when the older dog died, he became “big dog on campus,” and seems to like the position. Though he hasn’t hurt the puppy, he’ll pin her to the ground and won’t let her up, even when she squeals. How can we help our BDOC come to terms with his...
Culture: Reviews
A New Home for a Winter-Loving Dog
Kiki loves winter. He wears the season like a second skin. As I write this story at my kitchen table, he’s probably outside, lapping up the Canadian cold. The snow delights and confounds him. It’s a mystery substance he futilely tries to solve by his powers of jaw and claw. Shovel snow off the backyard deck, and, as it powders through the air, he’ll discombobulate himself in a slacktongued fool’...
News: Karen B. London
Halloween Trick-Or-Treaters
Is this a good training opportunity?
It’s common for even the sweetest of dogs to be little devils when visitors come to the door. Some dogs are afraid of visitors, which can cause them to bark, lunge or even bite. Others are simply wild with excitement when people arrive, which often leads to leaping, jumping, barking, spinning and generally being out of control. Either way, it can mean that every time the doorbell rings, people...

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