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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...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Does Your Dog Have a Greeting Disorder?
Redirecting Extreme Excitement!
Q: Butters, our three-year-old Lab, is incredibly smart and affectionate. Although we have worked at training him, he is still overly “social” and excitable. Recently we were walking him and met a young puppy he’s befriended. Both dogs were overjoyed to greet each other. Then Butters jumped on the owner — which was really embarrassing — and I realized we should not have allowed him to say “hi”...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
How to Become a Dog Trainer
Following your passion into a profession
You want to become a dog trainer because you love dogs, right? Makes sense, but before you take the plunge into the career of your dreams, ask yourself this very important question: how do you feel about people?   Most of dog training entails teaching people. Sure, you could land a job training service dogs or dogs living in shelters, but the vast majority of dog trainers earn a living by...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Countering Counter-Surfing
Troubled by Temptation
Q. During the holidays, my dog discovered the joys of entertaining—from cookies and hors d’oeuvres on the coffee table, she graduated to leaping onto the counter for other delectables while we were busy entertaining our guests in another room. She never did this before! How do I train her out of this newly acquired habit without resorting to kenneling her when we’re home? Other than this, she’s a...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
9 Ways to Improve your Relationship with your Dog
Whether they occur within a species or between them, relationships are much the same in what they require to grow and flourish, and books about improving your relationship with a partner, child or friend offer very similar advice. The ideas that follow could also apply to other close bonds, but in this case, they refer specifically to improving your relationship with your dog.   1. Spend time...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Training Daze
Even a bad example can have a good influence.
Patricia B. McConnell and Lassie
He was short, only 5' 4" or so, but his broad shoulders and thick arms gave an impression of size and strength. He had close-cropped, steely gray hair, and none of us in his dog-training class had any reason to doubt that he was the Marine he claimed to be. You’ve never heard of him, but he had as much impact on my life and career as anyone I’ve ever met. I encountered him (I’ll call him Mark)...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Victoria Stilwell Talks Training and Television
"It's Me or the Dog" star on training methods, her clients and her new pup.
Victoria Stilwell and her new pup
Victoria Stilwell’s show It’s Me or the Dog has returned to Animal Planet, and Stilwell talks to us about the new season, as well as her take on training methods—positive is the only approach—the difference between men and women as training clients, and her search for a new dog. Not available yet. Check back soon!
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Q&A with Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz
Perfect Family Dog Training
Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz
Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, 52, who trained dogs for the late senator Edward M. Kennedy and trained first dog Bo (known to her as Charlie) before he went to live in the White House, died Jan. 12 in Virginia. According to The Washington Post, she had been leading dog training classes days before her death. After being admitted to the hospital, for reasons that were not stated in the obituary, she went...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
8 Tips for Vet-Visit Bliss
Play by the Numbers
Dog & Vet
Many dogs dislike going to the vet. Their objections can take the form of unruly behavior, signs of stress (shaking and salivating), or even aggression.Unfortunately, we can’t point out to our dogs that these medical appointments are highly beneficial and for their own good, or simply explain to them in plain English that even though it might not always seem like it, the vet has their best...

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