Dogs and Words: Sequence Matters

How we speak to dogs is incredibly important. Besides the tone we use, and its accompanying emotional impact, our specific words, and the order in which we say them, influence our dog's responses. I graduated from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University in 1998. Fairhaven is an inter-disciplinary college, and a department of WWU. My … Continue reading Dogs and Words: Sequence Matters

Obedience, Shmobedience: Moving Beyond the Commanded Relationship

Teaching dogs to do things when I ask them to is more fun than it ever has been. More fun for me, and more fun for the dogs, but I don’t think of it as obedience, anymore – they aren’t obeying my commands so much as following my cues in an improvisational performance that we … Continue reading Obedience, Shmobedience: Moving Beyond the Commanded Relationship

“…his was the most…human.”

I began writing this weeks ago, before my friend Michelle Schutte's fundraising goal had been met. Though her goal has been achieved, I hope more folks will become aware of her art. Michelle is a real artist. Besides studying it in school, she has been working at it for years; and like the best artists, her work … Continue reading “…his was the most…human.”

Pippa’s Journey

Part One: Pippa Comes to Whatcom Humane Society Pippa was raised from a puppy by a family who no doubt meant well, but due to a lack of education, and misinformation, used punitive training methods. Pippa wore a choke chain, and when she didn't respond at a rate that satisfied her people, they switched to … Continue reading Pippa’s Journey

Three Months with Curtis the CRDAS

Three months ago I created this post: A Device to Help Us Help Our Dogs in The Car. About a month after I started using the Conditioner and Reinforcement Delivery Apparatus System (CRDAS, or “Curtis” for short), I gave up on the BOWL portion of the device. I tried various attachment methods, and either Rudy or Zane … Continue reading Three Months with Curtis the CRDAS

How Jack Endino accidentally helped me be a better dog trainer

One of the people who influenced me the most is not a dog trainer, probably doesn't even recall his advice, or have any idea how much he has helped me.  Recording engineer, producer, guitarist, and multi-instrumentalist Jack Endino had a huge influence on my development, and I hope his influence might help others. 25 years … Continue reading How Jack Endino accidentally helped me be a better dog trainer

Rudy, part 4: Two years, and thank you, Dr. Yin

Sophia Yin died last week, and her death reminded me how much her work helped me modify and manage Rudy’s behavior. Dr. Yin came to my city of Bellingham a few years ago. Every dog person in 2 counties came to hear her speak. She covered many topics, and they were all valuable, but the … Continue reading Rudy, part 4: Two years, and thank you, Dr. Yin

Dog Training 101: Respondent (Classical) Conditioning, and Counter Conditioning

It is a great privilege to welcome guest blogger Randi Rossman! This article was originally posted on the Fearful Dogs Facebook page. *** “All CC/DS does is bribe the dog.” I hear this a lot lately. And not just from typical pet owners, but from professionals as well. I’ll say this – if a dog training … Continue reading Dog Training 101: Respondent (Classical) Conditioning, and Counter Conditioning

A device to help us help dogs in the car

I love the way I have my wagon set up, with the back seat enclosed for the dogs. It keeps them from flying into the front seat in case of an accident, allows me to roll my front windows all the way down safely, and affords many other safety and security advantages. But the arrangement … Continue reading A device to help us help dogs in the car

Rudy the Rottweiler’s Story, Pt. 3

Rudy has lived with us for 18 months now, the length of time I hoped would take for his rehabilitation. I don’t really put much credence in the idea of “normal” for humans or dogs, but I guess that was my goal: to help Rudy become “normal”. I don’t think he ever will be quite … Continue reading Rudy the Rottweiler’s Story, Pt. 3