Category Archives: Basic Training

The Right Way to Use Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning to Help a Fearful or Aggressive Dog

Photo by designerpoint When it’s done right, this method is a beautifully effective and long-lasting solution to a wide variety of fear-based behavior problems. Unlike methods that only suppress the dog’s reaction (which is really just a symptom of their fear), you’re getting inside the dog’s head and changing the way they feel about theContinue Reading

Training a Behavior vs. Changing an Emotion: What All Dog Owners Need to Know

Photo by Lisa Fotios Yeah, I know – dog trainer advice can be confusing sometimes. I mean, I’m always going on and on about how you need to reward behavior you like, and make sure you don’t accidentally reward unwanted behavior. Whatever gets rewarded gets repeated, blah blah blah. But then in the next breathContinue Reading

Dog Training 101 Ep. 3: Shaping

Episode One: How to Get Started with Training Episode Two: Lure/Reward Episode Three: Shaping   Shaping is the one where you wait for the dog to perform tiny steps in the right direction, and you reward those tiny steps until eventually, the dog is doing the desired thing. It’s kind of like a guessing game,Continue Reading

Dog Training 101 Ep 2: Step-By-Step Guide to Lure/Reward Training

Episode One: How to Get Started with Training Episode Two: Lure/Reward Episode Three: Shaping  For our first trick, we’re teaching baby River to spin in a circle. Spin is a good trick to introduce lure/reward with, because it’s pretty easy for the dog to figure out, and pretty easy for people to get the hangContinue Reading

Dog Training 101 Ep. 1: How To Get Started with Training

Episode One: How to Get Started with Training Episode Two: Lure/Reward Episode Three: Shaping In this series, I’m going to show you a few basic training techniques. Once you understand how to use these techniques, you’ll be able to train your dog to do pretty much any trick or obedience command you want. You’ll alsoContinue Reading

A Simple Daily Routine to Help Calm Hyper Dogs and Solve Behavior Problems

This one’s for you if: Your dog chews up your valuables, digs up your garden or has some other irritating habit Exercise somehow only makes your dog MORE hyperactive You want to deal with your dog’s issues but don’t know where to start If any of these apply to you, let me show you theContinue Reading

14 Ways to Get Your New Dog to Trust, Love, and Respect You

1. Slow your roll “I’ve had my dog for three whole days, but I don’t love him and he doesn’t love me. What am I doing wrong?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this sentiment from discouraged new puppy parents. You’re not doing anything wrong. This is just how it goes. MuchContinue Reading

Puzzle Toys: A Beginner’s Guide to The Most Useful Dog Toys Ever

In order to not go crazy, your dog needs a way to exercise his brain. As we’ve already discussed, dogs are mostly working animals. Even your spoiled mutt, currently lying on the floor sniffing his own toes, is descended from a long line of wily, problem-solving critters who spent their days earning every meal. PutContinue Reading

Why You Can’t Get Your Dog to Listen to You

“Pit bull. One year old,” the adoption card read. “Still has that puppy energy!” Jane looked down at the wiggly dog licking her fingers through the kennel bars. She figured she could use some puppy energy in her life. She took him home and named him Watson. The shelter staff warned he’d be a handful,Continue Reading

51 Ways to Have a Better-Behaved Dog by Next Week: a Cheat Sheet for When Your Dog is Driving You Nuts

1: Convince someone to trade their well-behaved dog for yours. I’m kidding. Don’t do that. No matter how tempting it might be. So you’ve got a dog with some irritating behavior problems. Maybe he’s hyperactive and destructive, maybe he never listens to you. Maybe it feels like he’s constantly getting into trouble. Bottom line, you’reContinue Reading