Bringing a New Dog Home: Successful Adoption Habits

Bringing a New Dog Home: Successful Adoption Habits

Behavior

You have an adorable new puppy or just adopted a sweetheart of a dog from a shelter or rescue group. You can’t wait to spoil him or her rotten, right? Loving on a new pup is mandatory, sure, but it’s also important to provide him with a structured environment from day one. Setting clear expectations […]

Human Stress, Reactive Dogs, and Science

Human Stress, Reactive Dogs, and Science

Behavior, Fears & Anxieties

It’s conventional wisdom among dog trainers that a handler’s anxiety “travels down the leash” to influence the dog. To be honest, this had always sounded like some kind of woo-woo mystical nonsense to me. When I got my current extremely reactive Pug, the trainer I was working with – who I respected for being pretty […]

9 Ways to Help Pets With Fireworks Fears

9 Ways to Help Pets With Fireworks Fears

Behavior, Fears & Anxieties

Many pets are petrified of fireworks. And no wonder: no one tells our best friends that these incredibly loud and sudden and unexplained bangs are supposed to be a celebration, not an attack. For dogs and cats, becoming startled at sudden loud sounds can be a protective response. Who knows what could be making that […]

New to Cats? Litter Box Basics for Beginners

New to Cats? Litter Box Basics for Beginners

Behavior

Cats are great! They are independent but affectionate, playful but restful, and they don’t need to go outside to eliminate—one of the biggest positives for people who appreciate our feline overlords. Sometimes, though, cats stop peeing or pooping inside the litter box. In worst-case scenarios when this occurs, they are relinquished to shelters or re-homed. […]

One-Time Scare? How Single-Event Learning Affects Dogs

One-Time Scare? How Single-Event Learning Affects Dogs

Behavior, Training

Dogs find certain encounters so memorable that learning happens via a single experience — especially if it’s novel, intense, startling, or incredibly rewarding. Sometimes it’s hilarious, as this headline from The Onion perfectly describes — “Dog Takes Pilgrimage to Holy Site Where It Once Found Rotisserie Chicken on Side of Road.” Often, though, a single […]

How Cats Hear, See, and Feel

How Cats Hear, See, and Feel

Behavior

In a previous post I talked about how cats’ very different senses mean they do not experience the world the same way we do. That is certainly true for a cat’s superior sense of hearing. Cats can hear a mouse squeaking underground or a cockroach scurrying inside the wall. Their amazing ears enable them to […]