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

Notable Dogs: Etah, First to the South Pole

Raold Amundsen led the first successful excursion to the South Pole, and leading him was a Samoyed or Greenland bitch named Etah. Among the factors contributing to Amundsen's success was the decision to use dogs for transportation, which were eschewed by his main competitor, Robert Falcon Scott, as being undignified.  Etah has been claimed by … Continue reading Notable Dogs: Etah, First to the South Pole

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

Iggy vs. Pie, co-starring Dahlia Clicker fans may note I am breaking the important rule of "one treat per click, and after every click" -- I actually misunderstood this rule when I made this vid. The conventional wisdom is that if each click is not rewarded, the clicks will not be as valuable. I get it, and I do … Continue reading Iggy vs. Pie, co-starring Dahlia