The dog is always right

In his 1948 utopian novel Walden Two, by BF Skinner, the character Frazier says, “I remember the rage I used to feel when a prediction went awry. I could have shouted at the subjects, ‘behave, damn you! Behave as you ought!’ Eventually I realized that the subjects were always right. They always behaved as they should … Continue reading The dog is always right

For R+ dog-trainers only: marketing and advertising advice

You are welcome to share this blog post.  Recently, on one of the dog trainer forums I frequent, a colleague asked a great question: “What one piece of advice about advertising do you wish you had heard, or heeded, when you were starting out?” The one piece of marketing advice I wish I had heard … Continue reading For R+ dog-trainers only: marketing and advertising advice

ABA Prep, dinner, and marriage

I am considering sitting for the Certified Behavioral Consultant Canine test in May 2017, and studying a little in preparation. It is causing some interesting phone calls between the wife and me. Wife: Hi, honey, how is it going? Me: good, good just studying. Wife: you don't sound so good; are you okay? Me: I … Continue reading ABA Prep, dinner, and marriage

Leadership: the most dangerous word in dog training

Leadership: the most dangerous word in dog training “Leadership” is included in almost every dog-related book. Sometimes it is used in archaic and debunked ways, as in “Pack Leader.” Sometimes it is used, along with that other equally dangerous word, “respect,” as code for hurting or scaring our dogs. This word – leadership – has … Continue reading Leadership: the most dangerous word in dog training

CRDAS, MK II! New van, new funnel system

My previous posts about devising a way to work on conditioning and reinforcing in my car generated a lot of interest! Thank you! The main question I received about it was whether I was selling them -- I am grateful for the interest but no, I am not selling any physical product. The main reason is … Continue reading CRDAS, MK II! New van, new funnel system

Pit Bulls & Rottweilers: Black Cats of the 21st Century

Pit Bulls and Rottweilers: the Black Cats of the 21st Century Breed specific dangerous-dog laws are as nonsensical as the practice of rounding up and killing black cats because they cause bad luck: this may make some people feel better – at least the ones who believe in witchcraft – but there is no basis … Continue reading Pit Bulls & Rottweilers: Black Cats of the 21st Century

Modifying Leash Reactivity with Impulse Control

Actual fear-based aggression, or aggressive reactivity, is a very real problem – but it is also often assumed to be the diagnosis, when the troublesome behavior is actually leash-reactivity, or an overall lack of impulse control. Sometimes when a dog wants very much to go visit a person or other dog, or chase a cat … Continue reading Modifying Leash Reactivity with Impulse Control

Hope for obsolesence: Trying to Hold the Wind Up With a Sail

Hanging around an animal shelter is weird. There is no other place quite like it. I watch people who are incredibly good at their jobs, to whom their work is their whole life, but doing jobs everyone wish didn't even need to be done. These people get off their shift sometimes covered in poop, or … Continue reading Hope for obsolesence: Trying to Hold the Wind Up With a Sail

Describe, instead of labeling

I watched a great video today, of Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Louis C.K., and Ricky Gervais discussing humor. One of the topics was how comedians get away with saying things that other people would be lambasted for saying. They each had a take on it, but it was Chris Rock who had the simplest, and … Continue reading Describe, instead of labeling

Dog Training, Part 1

Dog Training, Part 1 Most dog training deals with behavior that is a result of the individual’s history of consequence. If a dog sits, and that behavior is reinforced with the consequence of a delicious morsel, she is more likely to sit again. If she jumps on a person, and that behavior is punished by … Continue reading Dog Training, Part 1