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Category Archives: Bow-Wow Behavior

Don’t Speak Woof? Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

March 16, 2017

Don’t Speak Woof? Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

Have you ever wished that you and your dog spoke the same language? While we don’t share the same vocal language, when you really think about it, we can very effectively and successfully read each other and mutually communicate our needs nonverbally, using body language. In fact, most of what your dog has to “say” is communicated through her facial expressions, body poses and postures. Some of the key areas of your dog to watch are her head, eyes, mouth/tongue, legs, and tail. For the most part, canine body language is predictive, universal throughout the species, honest and reliable. Sometimes the expressions can be more subtle, but even with an untrained eye, it won’t take you long to learn what … Continue reading »


A Pawsitive Attitude is the Only New Year’s Resolution Needed for You and Your Dog

January 2, 2017

A Pawsitive Attitude is the Only New Year’s Resolution Needed for You and Your Dog

Hello inquisitive pet parents, and welcome to 2017! I can’t believe we’re starting a brand new year. Time flies when you’re having fun… especially when hanging out with inquisitive canines. When you think New Year, what’s the first word that springs to mind? If you couldn’t help but jump to “resolutions,” you’re not alone. Because who among us – human or canine – doesn’t desire and deserve a fresh start? The key to getting your year off in a pawsitive way is to come at your goals with a dog trainer’s perspective: changes in behavior come from acting in a consistent, rewards-based, loving manner, NOT from sporadic, negative, punishing action. My goal is to motivate, make it fun, and set … Continue reading »


Make Your List (Check It Twice!) To Prepare Your Pooch for Holiday Guests

December 15, 2016

Make Your List (Check It Twice!) To Prepare Your Pooch for Holiday Guests

The weather outside might be frightful, but that doesn’t mean your inquisitive canine’s holiday entertaining skills — or lack thereof — need to be. As a certified professional dog trainer, I am well aware that pet parents’ stress levels go up this time of year as they worry about how their dog is going to behave during the holiday hullabaloo. Will she jump on guests? Is he going to tackle grandma (again!)? Will the pup push over little Paulina? Help herself to the delectable prime rib roast left to rest on the counter? What about the ever-popular neighborhood exploration adventures that happen when arriving guests leave the front door open for a second too long? And then, of course, there … Continue reading »


Hello, Doggy: Teach Your Dog to Come When You Call

December 1, 2016

Hello, Doggy: Teach Your Dog to Come When You Call

Has this ever happened to you? You call your dog by name over and over… to no avail. Then you open a can of food and voilà! Out of nowhere, you hear the pitter-patter of paws heading toward you at top speed. As a certified trainer and also a dog mom, I feel very strongly that when it’s “recall” time, ALL dogs (yes, ALL dogs) need to be taught how to respond. It’s not just about manners – there are definitely times when getting your dog to come to you is for his safety. And it’s best to teach your pup before you need the behavior – not during. You wouldn’t teach someone a fire drill during a fire, right? … Continue reading »


Sure Fire Strategies to Teach Your Dog to Greet People Nicely

November 15, 2016

Sure Fire Strategies to Teach Your Dog to Greet People Nicely

The holidays are coming, and one of the best parts of this time of year is having friends and family over to celebrate together. For inquisitive canine parents with dogs that don’t know how to politely greet people, though, having people over often only adds to the stresses of the season. As a certified trainer, dog lover, and member of the therapy dog organization Love on a Leash, I find a composed canine greeting, be it at home or along the way, of the utmost importance – everyone appreciates a polite pooch. So let’s get started! GREETING NICELY The goal for Part 1 of this behavior training is to teach your dog that sitting or standing to greet you and … Continue reading »


Back to School for Dogs Too – Homeschooling session 2

October 1, 2016

Back to School for Dogs Too – Homeschooling session 2

Hey there inquisitive dog lover! Welcome to session 2 of our Back to School for Dogs Too homeschooling series. If you’re just joining us, check out session 1 for tips and lessons on getting started. If you’re continuing on, we say “Yay!” click-treat, and thank you for participating. For this specific installment, we will be focusing on “Sit” and “Down.” As a certified trainer, I have come to lump these, along with eye-contact, as the main trifecta of dog behaviors. If your inquisitive canine can master these, then you will not only set yourselves up for success, but will also create a solid foundation for many other behaviors and situations. Here we go! Sit Wait for your dog to sit. … Continue reading »


Creating a dog-friendly Fourth of July celebration

July 1, 2016

Creating a dog-friendly Fourth of July celebration

Happy July and here’s to wonderful Fourth of July! It’s a fun and festive time for our country and local communities. While humans are reveling in picnic games, barbecue menus, and colorful theatrics in the sky, the holiday can be a totally un-celebratory experience for our inquisitive canine family and friends. As a certified professional dog trainer, I know how terrifying a thunderous fireworks display can be for pets or how a quick sniff of meat in hot coals can turn into a painful burn on a cold nose. With some preparation and environmental management, the Fourth of July can be a star spangled holiday for all family members. Here are a couple of previous patriotic posts that readers have found … Continue reading »


Understanding Dog Displacement Behavior

Understanding Dog Displacement Behavior

Nail biting, hair twirling, and pacing are examples of nervous behavior in humans. In the world of canines, behaviors dogs use to cope, relieve stress, or stave off trouble (rather than deal with it directly) is called displacement behavior.  Called so because the behavior is out of place, or displaced. The behaviors themselves are normal but happen out of context – such as a dog shaking off as wet when dry.  As a certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, I know how subtle these behaviors can be, and I can’t emphasize enough the importance of  trying to understand what your dog’s body language is communicating. That’s why regular interaction between dog and human is so crucial, so you can tell if … Continue reading »


#Train4Rewards Blog Party … Reward, Reward, Reward

June 15, 2016

#Train4Rewards Blog Party … Reward, Reward, Reward

Woofs and wags to Companion Animal Psychology and its #Train4Rewards Blog Party. You think I’d miss this party? Read on! As a is certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, I’m all about reward, reward, reward. Plus, it’s an extra-special party for me as it’s Poncho’s birthday. So here’s what I’m bringing to the paw-ty: A case study on reward training from Poncho’s column A Pooch’s Perspective.”  A woman asked Poncho why her inquisitive canine, a 13-year-old lab, would sometimes discreetly pee in her parents house, though the girl dog never had an “accident” at home. Poncho breaks down his answer into four points. Know Your Animal – Dogs eliminate when they feel the need, unless they have been taught otherwise. A couple of triggers dogs … Continue reading »


Dog Training: Why hitting or using pain are not the ideal choices

June 1, 2016

Dog Training: Why hitting or using pain are not the ideal choices

Dogs are my world. What can I say, I love canines! It’s no wonder my chosen profession is certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant. Oftentimes at social events, when someone learns I specialize in dogs, I’m asked about my training philosophy or solicited for advice. Recently, a journalist asked for my thoughts on “why hitting or using pain doesn’t work” for an article she was writing. Further, she wanted to know what resulting behavior(s) dog owners can expect when using this type of training and what should a dog owner do when they feel frustrated, angry, and are tempted to hit. I have lots and lots to say on this subject, however, I decided to whittle my thoughts to some … Continue reading »