Managing our Canine Friends with Crates and Kongs

Management is an important part of dog stewardship. It comes up a lot in puppy class, in particular, but management is an essential topic for dogs of all ages. Two excellent management tools are the crate, and the frozen Kong. Crates, when used constructively and lovingly, are a place of peace and refuge for our … Continue reading Managing our Canine Friends with Crates and Kongs

Bicycling with Dogs: Safety First Safety is a very important consideration when biking with dogs. While many dogs have the ability to run fast for long periods, it isn't necessarily good for them. A brisk walk is a much more reasonable pace -- just a little faster than is comfortable for most humans; this is my approach to biking -- it … Continue reading Bicycling with Dogs: Safety First

Coyote Poop, Mud, Sunshine

Wonderful off-leash walk today on trail network between Fairhaven park and I-5.  It was muddy but sunny, and we saw lots of  coyote sign, several other dogs, nice people, and Frank and Igg were were very good and very happy. They woke up briefly to eat and go outside, but have otherwise been asleep all day and … Continue reading Coyote Poop, Mud, Sunshine

And This Dog Can Sing

It is not that I am a liar, exactly; it is more that I am a teller of stories. It is this habit which caused some of my friends and family to doubt me when I tell them of my more remarkable experiences (even the ones which are completely true), and that consequence which has made … Continue reading And This Dog Can Sing

Human Demonization and Canine Absolution

    It is natural to discount philosophies which include objectionable or even abhorrent methodology, but it can be a mistake when we are too thorough in our rejection – there is often something that can be learned if we allow ourselves to learn it. I only use reward-based teaching and communication, and eschew physical … Continue reading Human Demonization and Canine Absolution

Lie Down and Be Calm for Meals

Lie Down and be Calm for Meals This behavior actually incorporates several tricks, and also requires the dog to exhibit a calm demeanor. This was relatively easy to achieve with Iggy, but a little challenging when working with Frankie. Frankie was slightly possessive of his food, generally more excitable than Iggy, and had a hard … Continue reading Lie Down and Be Calm for Meals

Fountain, Shield, Babelfish

At their simplest, training and guidance are just matters of being a provider of good things and a shield from bad things. This provides the motivation for our dogs to do what we ask. Then we determine how to ask in a way they understand. Consider the dog owner as the fountain of all things good: … Continue reading Fountain, Shield, Babelfish

Reward for Elimination

When my dogs poop I reward them with a single tasty treat. This encourages them to eliminate early in our walk or outing. There is a natural tendency for people to walk a ways and then turn back as soon as our dogs do their business. This is a bad habit to form, because the dogs … Continue reading Reward for Elimination