Old Tricks for New Puppies

Old Tricks for New Puppies

Training

Tricks are perfect for puppies. They’ll help your puppy learn to pay attention to words, and to you; they’ll demonstrate the joys of cracking a joke and making people laugh; they can reinforce training; make for a better partnership; instill confidence in a new puppy; and give you, the human partner, a chance to show […]

Clicker Training Basics

Clicker Training Basics

Training

Clicker training techniques allow us to communicate with our animals using positive reinforcement.  Positive reinforcement (which you may sometimes see abbreviated as +R) is one of the quadrants of learning. It involves adding something desirable to the interaction to increase the likelihood that an animal will repeat a behavior. To enhance its benefits, positive reinforcement […]

Knock Three Times: Save a Cat’s Life

Knock Three Times: Save a Cat’s Life

Travel & Safety

You may or may not remember the hit song Tony Orlando sang way back in 1970 called “Knock Three Times.” He was clearly singing about cats who find their way under car hoods. Before starting your engine in the morning, knock three times on the car hood. When it’s very cold outside, cats find warmth […]

Study Gives Clues to Causes of Spraying

Study Gives Clues to Causes of Spraying

Behavior

When cats spray urine in the home, humans consider it a problem behavior, but for cats, spraying is a normal means of communication. Domestic and wild cats use spraying to mark their territory. “It’s found throughout the feline kingdom,” says Mikel Delgado, Ph.D., of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “It’s a way to […]

Dealing With a Cancer Diagnosis

Dealing With a Cancer Diagnosis

Health

Getting a cancer diagnosis for your dog is like a punch to the gut (yours). The first thing to do is to sit down and take a deep breath. Many cancers are treatable, a few are curable, and there are many ways to give your dog quality time until the end, no matter what. Where […]

What Is a Reward? Every Dog Is Different

What Is a Reward? Every Dog Is Different

Training

When your dog does something you want her to repeat, you offer a reward. You may think of a reward as a tasty treat, a cheerful “Good dog,” or a pat on the head. These are all rewards that work for most dogs, helping to show them you’re happy about what they just did. But […]

How To Stave Off Canine Cabin Fever This Winter

How To Stave Off Canine Cabin Fever This Winter

Exercise & Enrichment

If you have a puppy or adult dog with lots of energy, you know how much work it is to keep your pet entertained. And you’ve probably noticed how your dog’s stress level—and yours—goes up when he’s not getting enough exercise. High-energy dogs can develop behavior problems if they don’t get enough exercise and stimulation. […]

Relax on Cue: How to Help Your Dog Chill

Relax on Cue: How to Help Your Dog Chill

Behavior, Training

As a certified yoga instructor as well as a veterinary behavior technician, I have found many similarities between yoga in humans and relaxation cues in our pets. In humans, yoga has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and regulate the fight or flight response. Animals do not have […]