Blogs on Dogs

Blogs on Dogs »

[23 Dec 2013 | 3 Comments]

A recent study shows… research proves… science tells us…
What? What does science prove about dogs? (It applies equally to cats, horses, rabbits and all the other companion animals too, but let’s keep it simple).
Or to put it another way, as behaviourists, dog trainers and pet owners, should we bother with reading any scientific studies? Isn’t owning and training pets an intuitive skill? We all know the magic old guy or gal that’s been doing it brilliantly all their life and they’ve never read a scientific paper, “self-taught, me – never …

Blogs on Dogs »

[25 Nov 2013 | 6 Comments]

Unfortunately, despite Mick Jagger’s opinion, it’s not alright, and Jumpin’ Jack Flash is not a gas, gas, gas. He’s a pain. He knocks people over, gets in the way, trips you up, muddies your jeans (or if he’s really big, your jumper!) or rips your tights. “Get down Shep!” isn’t only the bygone refrain of John Noakes – it is as yelled, shrieked and sighed as often now as it ever was in his Blue Peter heyday (I’m dating myself here, aren’t I?)
Dogs jump up, owners despair at ever training them …

Blogs on Dogs »

[8 Nov 2013 | 8 Comments]

People are naming and shaming their dogs for “misdeeds” on the internet.
How many times have we heard it? When the pet has, for the umpteenth time, chewed the shoes, taken the Sunday joint (that’s meat by the way, not an interesting smoke), peed on the mat, laddered the tights by jumping up… and… and… “Ba-a-a-d dog! See, he knows he’s done wrong – see the look on his face!”
Does he really?
It is normal for humans to assume that dogs know what they themselves know. I know when I’ve done wrong …

Blogs on Dogs »

[22 Oct 2013 | 3 Comments]

When I started training dogs thirty years ago behaviourists were strictly theorists (many still are) and we trainers didn’t bother with them. One of the reasons was that strict behaviourists only dealt with observable behaviour – the animal was treated as a “black box” where stimuli were input and the resulting change in behaviour, the output, was measured.  There was no room for anthropomorphism, and things that weren’t quantifiable, like emotions, weren’t considered worthy of study.
Trainers, on the other hand, interacted with our dogs and interpreted what we did and …

Blogs on Dogs »

[2 Oct 2013 | 4 Comments]

I’ve joined the Facebook 🙂 and for the past two weeks have been enjoying the interesting, touching, wacky, and in some cases downright stupid, musings of fellow “posters”.  See, I’m picking up the jargon already (LOL).
Jargon is great, if you are one of the cognoscenti, but might be less than helpful if you aren’t. You see, the purpose of jargon is insular. It is words or phrases used as a sort of short-hand by the in-crowd of any group or profession, but can cause confusion when misinterpreted by those not …

Blogs on Dogs »

[18 Jan 2013 | Comments Off on “Dangerous” Dogs]

Dangerous Dogs Act 199 Section 1
Section 1 of the Act deals with the prohibition of four types of dog: the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero. Note that it is not necessary to prove that the dog is of a prohibited breed – in the case of a Section 1 prosecution the burden of proof is reversed; there is a presumption that the dog is of a prohibited “type” unless the defence proves that it isn’t.
If a dog is suspected of being of a prohibited type …

Blogs on Dogs »

[29 Jun 2011 | 7 Comments]
Who is a Positive Dog Trainer? Not Me!

I’m NOT a “Positive Reinforcement” Trainer (and neither are you).
I’m fed up with being called a ‘positive’ or a ‘positive only’ dog trainer. It is usually in the form of an insult as in, “Them positive dog trainers with their clickers and their treats don’t understand what it is like to train a really dominant dog”. It is often used by the proponents of the ‘dominance’ theory of dog training who like to alpha roll and lead jerk to supposedly ‘show the dog who is boss’.
The term is also used …

Blogs on Dogs »

[25 Feb 2010 | 2 Comments]
Why won’t dominance die?

When a dog jumps up, it isn’t being “dominant”, just saying “hello” or asking for some attention. Through training, like Joshua is showing with Bonnie here, you can train a more acceptable alternative.

Blogs on Dogs »

[12 Dec 2009 | 2 Comments]
Why do dogs bark?

Why do dogs bark when their ancestors don’t – a great explanation of how barking evolved and what it is used for.

Blogs on Dogs, Training »

[4 Oct 2009 | 128 Comments]
Why won’t my dog come back?

There is only one reason why anyone’s dog won’t come back when called. It’s because you’re boring…