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Dog Training and the Toxic Triple Whammy, Part 2
Dog Training and the Toxic Triple Whammy, Part 1
I Can’t vs. I Don’t Know How
Help! My Dog Doesn’t Respect Me… (Part 3)
Help! My Dog Doesn’t Respect Me… (Part 2)

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Dog Training and the Toxic Triple Whammy, Part 2


Imagine that you have a condition that is jeopardizing your health, your relationships with those you love, possibly your very life.  There are, thank heavens, treatments available.  Untold thousands, probably millions, of laboratory and research animals, from rats to pigeons to cats to dogs to chimps to college students, have given their tiny alls for decades to discover exactly how these treatments work.  From all this research, two basic treatment options have been developed:  Pill A and Pill B.

Dog Training and the Toxic Triple Whammy, Part 1

Oh!  My heart is broken, another crushing blow to me and my geek tendencies… :)
 
The recent hoo-has involving a celebrity TV dog trainer, a pig, a dog and a whole bunch of folks in the dog training community made me think (well, so did what I ate for lunch, but y’know.)  To the incident itself, I have nothing helpful to add to the debate.  But there are some lessons in it that go beyond that I think are worth talking about.

I thought I had an answer:  Critical thinking skills!

I Can’t vs. I Don’t Know How

Good morning!  It’s a beautiful, cold clear day in Mt. Shasta, and I’ve been thinking.  (I do that sometimes.)  Here’s my thought for the day:
 
When it comes to struggles, whether in dog training or “real life,” there’s a difference between sayingIt can’t be donevs.I can’t do itvs.I don’t know HOW.
 
There are things that truly can’t be done:  I can’t teach Tinker to fly like a bird (she doesn’t have wings) and I can’t fly like a bird myself without the aid of technology.

Help! My Dog Doesn’t Respect Me… (Part 3)

Imagine this—my favorite analogy:  we decide we’re going to take up ballet dancing and we go to the studio for our first lesson.   When we walk in the door, how long does it take us to figure out Who’s the Boss?  For most of us, it’ll take about 30 seconds to recognize that Madam Tutu is the dance instructor, and since she’s highly acclaimed and looks fabulous in her leotard, we’ll be brimming with Respect for her.  Hooray, it took us 30-60 seconds to arrive at Leadership and Respect.

Help! My Dog Doesn’t Respect Me… (Part 2)

In the first part of this blog, we ended with wondering where oh where do pet owners come up with a notion of “respect,” a word they normally don’t use when discussing dog behavior concerns.   And in my experience, the choice of words isn’t theirs at all.
 
Almost always, it turns out that they were just talking to an old school dog trainer they met.  Or neighbor who is a dog “expert.”  Or they read a book or saw something on TV.  It comes from somewhere other than their own direct experience with their dog, and now they’re worried about it.

Help! My Dog Doesn’t Respect Me… (Part 1)

Well, there really isn’t any nice way to say it.  The chances are extremely good that—oh, no, it’s true!  Your dog has no respect for you at all.  If it’s any consolation, I’m fairly persuaded my dog Tinker hasn’t got a shred of respect for me--zero, zip, none.  My cats almost certainly don’t, at least not in any way that I can tell.  I can’t be entirely positive, of course, but I’d lay good money on it.  Depending, of course, on what we mean byrespect.
 
When I Google the word, this is the sort of definition that pops up (heavily edited for brevity):

Saying Hello and the Need for Empathy

Imagine you are walking down the street, minding your own business and enjoying a leisurely stroll in peace and quiet.  Around the corner comes a parent walking their small (or not so small) child by the hand.  Suddenly, the child breaks free and comes rushing at you, waving a knife and yelling, “&^%#* you, go away!  %$#@&!  Get away, you %$#&*@!”  The parent shrugs, smiling as he or she says, “Oh, don’t worry, he doesn’t mean it.  He just does that at first, he’ll calm down.

Making Your Voice—and Your Money—Count: Some Tips from an Animal Welfare Professional

If you’re like a lot of people—and you’re reading this blog—you love animals.  Or at least, animals of your species of choice, be it dogs, cats, horses or exotics.  You want to do right by your own pets, and also by pets everywhere.  You want to see well-run animal control services that keep communities safe, help stray or abandoned critters and maintain humane, caring facilities.  You want to help rescue homeless, abused or neglected pets.  Maybe you’d like to donate to some worthy cause.

Two Things We Need to Know About Our Dog’s Performance (and Ours), Part II

In the first part of this blog topic, I talked about how stress can impact both our performance and that of our dogs—with an underlying point in mind.  And that point was:  expecting better performances from our dogs thanwecould achieve with comparable training under similar circumstances is expecting way too much. 
 
Dogs are outstanding at beingdogs, certainly: Tinker is aces at chewing bones, chasing raccoons and sniffing poo.  If the performances we wanted from our dogs were entirely up their natural alleys, we’d all have obedience champs.

Two Things We Need to Know About Our Dog’s Performance (and Ours), Part I

I admit it: I am a Behavior Geek.  My idea of a wildly exciting night is curling up with my cats, my dog, a glass of warm milk and a DVD of the latest dog training seminar from some brilliant expert in the field.  These wonderful seminars and amazing experts keep me fresh, learning, in touch with all the cutting edge stuff.  They also make me think.  About dogs, dog training and us.  Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about performance.
 
My handy (and rather old)New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition
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