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Category Archives: Dog Behavior

Dog Safety at Memorial Day Barbecues

May 24, 2013

With Memorial Day on the horizon and summer festivities about to begin, Poncho and I thought we’d help set the stage for keeping inquisitive canines happy and safe when attending and/or co-hosting various events, parties, and barbecues. Reward your pup for ignoring “forbidden items”, especially the barbecue! Say they walk by it and decides to stay away. Whether you’ve asked them to or not, they should be thanked. Acknowledge with anything they find motivating to reinforce that behavior. Use praise, petting, a game of fetch or tug, and even a yummy treat to make an impact. Teach “down-stay” in one location: Train your dog to perform a settle down-stay on a bed, towel or mat. Reward for being on their … Continue reading »


Why Has My Older Dog’s Behavior Changed?

January 6, 2013

Dear Inquisitive Canine, I’ve had my dog for about 11 years. We’ve been best friends ever since I can remember, but for the last year she’s been acting very strange. She used to love when I pet her and snuggled up to her, but now she growls and snaps at me. I use to play a little rough with her all the time and she used to nibble at me lightly like puppies do, but as of recent she will bite me very hard and that scares me. She also doesn’t listen to me when I call to her, she acts as if she can’t even hear me. I feel as though she respects everyone except me, and that really … Continue reading »


Managing Leashed Dog While Off-Leash Dogs Want to Visit

November 18, 2012

Managing Leashed Dog While Off-Leash Dogs Want to Visit

Dear Inquisitive Canine, How do I handle the situation when I am walking my boxer on her leash and we are confronted by an off leash dog or two? It happens a lot in my neighborhood and my former street dog (she was rescued from a neglectful life of living on the streets of East Dallas) goes crazy and barks and lunges at the dogs. I have worked with her so she no longer lunges at dogs behind fences but she continues to go crazy at the off leash roamers. Ellen G. Dear Ellen, Thank you for writing in! We appreciate questions such as these, since there are many in your walking shoes experiencing the same situation. The following are … Continue reading »


Packing These Dog Behaviors Helps Make Outing a Walk in the Park

October 1, 2012

Packing These Dog Behaviors Helps Make Outing a Walk in the Park

Heading to an off-leash dog location with your inquisitive canine? Remember to bring along a few useful behaviors to make your outing an ideal situation. The following are a few I would bring along to help knock any challenge outta the park! Eye-contact: this helps to remind your dog of the fabulous relationship you share and that you’re there together. And, when they’re looking at you they’re not doing other things that you might find annoying.


Building Trust with Your New Bashful Bow-wow

August 5, 2012

Building Trust with Your New Bashful Bow-wow

Dear Inquisitive Canine,  Our new Shih Tzu puppy hides from us, only coming out when no one is around. She also lowers her head when we pet her. I know it takes time, but I’ve heard some dogs will start interacting with their new environment after 1-3 days, and tomorrow will be her third day here. I just want her to be a happy puppy. What should I do and how should I do it? Renee T. Dear Renee, Poncho here! My certified dog trainer mom thought it best if I take this one. First off, allow me to say “atta girl!” for being inquisitive, aware of your situation and taking the time to ask questions about your new puppy. … Continue reading »


Santa Barbara Dog Behavior Workshop for Pet Parents, Outdoor Manners & More

July 25, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  “Woofs & Waves, Pawsitive Dog Parenting at the Beach”  Sponsored by Friends of the Douglas Family Preserve and free to the public, this unique dog training workshop, focused on beach & park outings, will help you understand what motivates your canine companion and how to positively reinforce the behaviors you want while limiting and preventing inappropriate habits. Refreshments & prize drawings are part of the fun; please RSVP by August 10th. Taught by certified dog trainer Joan Mayer, this course goes beyond basic “obedience” techniques by teaching valuable canine “parenting” skills—so that you can succeed at raising a healthy and happy dog. Loose leash walking, off-leash play, coming when called, shyness towards strangers, dog-dog reactivity, techniques you … Continue reading »


Does Your Dog Like to Share Their Food and Toys?

July 5, 2012

When it comes to resources – food, toys, and locations – many animals, dogs included, prefer to keep it all to themselves. Learning to share is just that, a learned behavior. Guarding ones resources, is an innate behavior – and one that is very handy for survival.


Whether it be Dogs or Other Species, Training and Behavior Modification are Same

May 29, 2012

I love behavior – which is a good thing, considering I’m a certified dog trainer. I also enjoy observing the interactions – behaviors – not only between inquisitive canines, but other species as well. Recently, I witnessed a conversation between a father and his young son – about 4 years old I’d guess – that could have been written for a behavior modification course. It was textbook! And, I have to say,  it took much impulse control on my part to refrain from offering up training tips that might have helped him reach his goals. This is how it went. Father to son: “Hey, if you want to play, you can’t go past the yellow poles.” (Child had a toy car … Continue reading »


Puppy Thinks Sibling Cat is a Squeaky Toy

May 20, 2012

Puppy Thinks Sibling Cat is a Squeaky Toy

Dear Poncho, My name is Greta. I’m a 7-month-old German Shepherd who is absolutely fascinated by my kitty siblings. I can’t seem to leave them alone. I’ve been told they are beloved family members, but part of me thinks they would make really interesting windup squeaky toys. I keep attempting to figure out how to get them to squeak, which totally freaks out my humans. Since I’d like to remain part of the family, do you have any suggestions on how I can control this behavior? Greta Dear Miss. Greta, Congratulations! Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward gaining control. I commend you for being able to get this far, especially when the behavior you speak of … Continue reading »


Training Tips for Teaching Your Dog Not to Speak

April 23, 2012

Dear Poncho, My dog barks enthusiastically, very loudly, over and over. He does it at many different times, including the morning when I’m taking him outside, when I come home from being away, or when we arrive home together from a car ride. He barks in the car, out of the car, and everywhere between! I don’t know how to stop him. I tell him “No,” but then he usually barks at least two to four more times! Do you have any suggestions? Tj’s owner Dear inquisitive canine parent of TJ, Your dog barks, you give him attention by saying “no”, he barks again. Hmm, sounds to me you’ve done a great job at teaching him to “speak” – nice work! I … Continue reading »