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Category Archives: Straight From the Dog’s Mouth

No Dog Left Behind: Making the Case for Canine Education

March 1, 2017

No Dog Left Behind: Making the Case for Canine Education

Education is important — so much so that it’s written into our law… for humans. In the United States, there are compulsory education laws, which mandate that children attend school (public, private or home) by a certain age, and state they are not allowed to drop out (should they decide to) until a specific age. These laws were developed to help literacy rates, protect against child labor, and to better the population as a whole. If we, as a society, promote the importance of education for people, then I propose that it’s high time we advocate for a similar system for inquisitive canines. Dogs (and other non-human animals) are becoming more a part of our everyday culture. I submit that … Continue reading »


Say NO To Weapons of Mutt Destruction – Choose The Best Dog Walking Gear

February 3, 2017

Say NO To Weapons of Mutt Destruction – Choose The Best Dog Walking Gear

There is significant controversy over the use of aversive dog walking equipment such as choke, prong, electric, and Citronella collars. Although research confirms that there are many negative side effects created by using this kind of punishment-based gear, the use of inhumane training equipment is unfortunately pretty common. Even large pet stores that claim to be animal advocates continue to sell aversive walking and training equipment. As an inquisitive dog mom, animal advocate, and certified dog trainer, I often wonder how and why gear that causes, as the ASPCA puts it, “physical discomfort and undue anxiety,” is considered acceptable. Haven’t we figured out that animals (which include us humans!) learn better in an environment that is friendly, trusting, and filled with love — … Continue reading »


What to Look for When Choosing the Best Dog Trainer for Your Pet

January 19, 2017

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Dog Trainer for Your Pet

Recently I was on a run with a friend, and we were talking about how many dogs we saw along the way, as well as the people who were leading them. It was easy to spot the professionals, as they often had several dogs on leash. Still, by observing how the animals were being handled, it was apparent even to my non-dog-trainer friend that not all “professionals” are created equal. Knowing that I’m a certified trainer, she innocently asked, “Is it me, or does everyone think they can be a dog trainer?” In my experience, my friend’s observation was spot on. Many folks out there think that just because they’ve had dogs, grew up with dogs, love dogs, know dogs … Continue reading »


Harness the Love, for Dogs Everywhere

September 19, 2016

Harness the Love, for Dogs Everywhere

The wonderful Academy for Dog Trainers, and my Alma Mater, is at it again! This time it’s #HarnessTheLove, a week long social media campaign to highlight and promote the use of no-pull harnesses. Hope you’ll join in the fun, take away some useful tidbits, and share the knowledge. Of course the Inquisitive Canine is participating! As a certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, I’m all about force-free training, pawsitive reinforcement, and the use of aversive-free equipment – specifically harnesses that allow for both front-clip and back-clip leash attachment. This special campaign is all about highlighting the use of these types of harnesses, while focusing on educating people what to do, rather than shaming or finger-pointing for choosing other types … 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 »


#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 »


Poncho Speaks from the Great Beyond, Part 3: When to Know It’s Time to Let Go

November 16, 2015

Poncho Speaks from the Great Beyond, Part 3: When to Know It’s Time to Let Go

In July 2015, the Inquisitive Canine team supported CEO Poncho the dog’s entrepreneurial decision to start his own ventures in the great beyond. A philanthropic pooch through and through, he left behind a letter to his dear readers and fellow inquisitive canines, along with a three-part series in his Last Woof & Testament that generously included the following valuable advice for dog parents and their inquisitive canines. Greetings, inquisitive canines and dog parents! What follows is the most personal and difficult post I’ve ever had to write in my blogging career, let alone in this Great Beyond series. That’s because it’s about learning to let go of earthly life, which I know firsthand isn’t easy to do. If you’re struggling … Continue reading »


Poncho Speaks from the Great Beyond, Part 2: Will Adopting Another Dog Ease Your Grief?

November 9, 2015

Poncho Speaks from the Great Beyond, Part 2: Will Adopting Another Dog Ease Your Grief?

In July 2015, the Inquisitive Canine team supported CEO Poncho the dog’s entrepreneurial decision to start his own ventures in the great beyond. A philanthropic pooch through and through, he left behind a letter to his dear readers and fellow inquisitive canines, along with a three-part series in his Last Woof & Testament that generously included the following valuable advice for dog parents and their inquisitive canines. Greetings, inquisitive canines and dog parents! I’ve heard through the grapevine that some well-meaning friends have asked my mom and dad when they’ll get another inquisitive canine. It’s a tough question, because even though my parents adore canine companionship, I know they’ve barely begun their grieving process. Making the move to get a … Continue reading »


Poncho Speaks from the Great Beyond, Part 1: Support for Grieving Pet Parents

November 2, 2015

Poncho Speaks from the Great Beyond, Part 1: Support for Grieving Pet Parents

In July 2015, the Inquisitive Canine team supported CEO Poncho the dog’s entrepreneurial decision to start his own ventures in the great beyond. A philanthropic pooch through and through, he left behind a letter to his dear readers and fellow inquisitive canines, along with a three-part series in his Last Woof & Testament that generously included the following valuable advice for dog parents and their inquisitive canines. Greetings, inquisitive canines and dog parents! Poncho the dog here. I’m always happy to be speaking up for those who want to be heard, and this time, I’m doing so from my new residence: the great beyond. I dearly miss my parents — they shared the best cuddles and warmest smiles — but … Continue reading »


Understanding an Older Dog’s Change in Behavior

June 1, 2015

Understanding an Older Dog’s Change in Behavior

Dear Inquisitive Canine, My dog is is 12 years old and we’ve been best friends since she was a puppy. In the last six months or so, Violet has been acting very strange. She used to love snuggling together while watching a DVD, but now she growls at me if I pet her. We used to love ruff-housing and wrestling. Recently, Violet bit me quite hard and scared me. Also, it seems she doesn’t listen to me any longer. Doesn’t come when called; won’t follow commands. It’s not only the bites that have hurt me. My feelings are very hurt. I’m losing my best friend and I don’t know what to do. -Carole, aka, Violet’s Bestie Dear Carole, Thank you … Continue reading »