Safety First for Equine Actors

Safety First for Equine Actors

Behavior, Training, Travel & Safety

Horses are highly intelligent. They have the ability to recognize faces even if they haven’t seen someone in months, understand the emotions of people around them, and to learn and combine a number of cues. As such, they’re in demand as actors in commercials, television shows, and movies. What looks effortless, though, takes many hours […]

From Pup to Show Dog: How It Happens

From Pup to Show Dog: How It Happens

Kittens & Puppies, Training

Being a show dog is the canine equivalent of entering beauty contests. There are many levels to work through. Getting to Westminster (which has been postponed this year due to the pandemic), the National Dog Show, or one of the other large benched shows is like being in the finals for Miss America! The road […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How Dogs Learn to Detect COVID-19

How Dogs Learn to Detect COVID-19

Training

A dog’s nose is a wondrous thing. He has the ability to separate breathing from smelling, to exhale without blocking incoming air and scents, and to use each side of his nose separately to determine the source of an odor. Paired with a remarkable scent memory, dogs can learn to sniff out cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis, […]

Teach Your Dog That Crates Are Great

Teach Your Dog That Crates Are Great

Training

The destruction was everywhere. Shredded furniture. Bent window blinds. Gnawed baseboards. Scattered throughout the house were shreds of random papers, from magazines to bills. The area rugs reeked of urine. As I took all this in, the distraught woman pointed at her leather couch, which featured a giant, ragged hole in the once-plump cushion. “He […]

How Long Does It Take to Train a Dog?

How Long Does It Take to Train a Dog?

Training

I am often asked how long it took to train my dog. I like it best when I am asked this question when I am walking Sky, who will be 14 in November, because my answer is always the same:  We’re still working on it. Pet owners often like to think of training as, say, […]