Home
Browsing articles in training
Blog: Guest Posts
“Alpha” Training Can Backfire
Updated. New study shows aggressive techniques yield aggressive dogs.
[3/2/09 update: In a recent blog post, Susan Leisure, the director of AARF (Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends, Inc.), reacted to the latest study on aggression and dog training much like we did (below). But Leisure also recommended a Bark story, Choosing A Trainer, as "critical" reading before hiring a pro. We agree there, too.] A new study from the University of Pennsylvania confirms what so many...
Good Dog: Activities & Sports
Agility Training Exercises Your Dog Can Do Indoors
Pep up the pup during dark winter days
So, the weather is really bad again, the days are short, but you still want to pep up yourself and your dog? Turn your living room into a temporary adventure playground! Don’t worry—you don’t have to rearrange your house. Just use things that you already have to set up a course.   Exercises for dexterity and mobility are not only fun but, as little tests of courage, they train your dog’s body...
Blog: Guest Posts
Putting the Bite on Backyard Barkers
Education is the answer when complaints turn ugly
I understand that the constant barking of a neighbor’s dog can put some fairly nasty thoughts into a person’s mind. I’ve been on the receiving end of the steady woof-woof-woof of an anxious and bored pup. But I never blamed the dog. When I read the recent report in The Arizona Daily Star about the frustrations of a barked-out Pima County women, I was sympathetic. Her attempts to find her...
Blog: Guest Posts
German Shepherd Dials 911, Saves Owner
Given a chance, dogs are capable of mastering extraordinary skills. Buddy the German Shepherd called 911 when his owner, Joe Stalnaker of Phoenix, had a seizure. Help quickly arrived and thankfully, he survived. Stalnaker adopted Buddy as a puppy from Paws With A Cause so he could be trained as a Seizure Response Dog. As a dog trainer, I'm always looking for fun, new things to teach my pack of...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Recall: Does Your Dog Really Know to Come When Called?
Recall, Interrupted
Question: My pup was responding well to our recall training at the park, getting reinforced with high-value treats like meatballs and behaving in a way that made us so proud. That all changed when a sweet elderly man at the park starting giving all the dogs Milk-Bones. Not only did our dog fail to come when called while he was feeding her, for the next couple of weeks, she rarely came when we...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Bringing Home a Second Dog
Take two and double the fun
If you’re like most dog folks, sooner or later you may think, “As wonderful as one dog is, two would be even better!” There are many great reasons to add another canine family member: more to love, more to be loved by, companionship for Dog One, saving a life, companionship for a child and more. There are also many reasons not to: more vet bills, more food and toys to buy, more poop to scoop,...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Choosing the Right Dog Trainer
Do your homework!
I’ve always been happy to believe that my students need a dog trainer (otherwise, why am I there?), but it came as a surprise to learn that Pat Miller took her newly adopted puppy to class. Miller has decades of training experience; she’s the training editor of Whole Dog Journal, and people pay her to teach them how to train. So why … ? Because, Miller admits, “I tend to get lazy about training...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Dr. Nicholas Dodman on Dog Behavior and New Training Techniques
What does it take to be the leader of the pack?
The rules of dog training and care are changing, which means your role is changing. Leading animal behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman discusses new training techniques and dog behavior with fellow veterinarian, Dr. Sophia Yin and Bark’s Claudia Kawczynska. Bark: What is an animal behaviorist? What qualifies someone to be called a behaviorist? Dodman: There are only two qualified types of...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Translating Puppy Talk
Understanding the things dogs “say”
A basic truth about humans and dogs: We live in overlapping but not identical sensory worlds. To a pup, we are sort of like the Brobdingnagians of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, extra-large beings whose ways just don’t all make perfect sense. That’s a hard position to be in, because your dog’s world is controlled by you. Making matters more difficult still, a dog can’t explain to you what...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Behavior: Unhealthy Obsessions in Dogs
Light Chasing
Question: My 1 1/2-year-old neutered male English Shepherd developed a fascination with light and shadows about nine months ago. He chases any reflections he sees, and on cloudy days even does the chasing behavior in places where shadows usually appear. He will stand outside under a tree and watch shadows of leaves blowing for 20 minutes at a stretch. He is an inside/outside dog and gets at least...

Pages