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Animal Behavior

Sequential Overload in Pets

An infographic detailing Sequential Overload in Dogs in a vet clinic

Stress isn’t all bad.  Stress is needed to avoid potential dangers; it’s part of animals’ natural responses to threats: if they don’t respond to threats in nature, they don’t survive!   Some level of good stress (eustress) is even needed for learning. Learn more in this blog on The Canine Learning Stress-O-Meter.   Certainly, too…

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How Much Stress Is Too Much Stress?

In the force free training world (aka positive reinforcement), we try to minimize the amount of stress our pets experience during training. But in order to answer how much stress is too much stress, we must first understand a little bit more about “stress.”   Types of Stress There are two types of stress an…

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Halloween Can Be Scary For Dogs

Halloween Can Be Scary For Dogs Image, The Academy of Pet Careers

Some dogs are comfortable with all sorts of people and are not put out by people in weird getups or strange makeup. But those dogs are the exception. Most dogs, even very people-sociable dogs, can become worried about seeing people in costumes. From strange makeup to full-face masks, and costumes that change our shape from…

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R+ Training: Using Positive Reinforcement

Girl Rewards Husky with Treat Using R+ Training Image, The Academy of Pet Careers

“All of those positive reinforcement (R+) trainers always use food for training.”…“The dogs won’t work unless they see you have treats.”…“My dog isn’t that food motivated, so R+ training clearly won’t work for us….”   Have you heard these comments?…Have you made these comments?   Let’s take a step back and address these common misunderstandings…

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When Your Dog Growls …

Dog Growls to Communicate Image, The Academy of Pet Careers

A stranger approaches your dog, and your dog growls. Your dog is dozing on the couch, and you sit down next to him, startling him awake, and he growls. Perhaps your dog is chewing on a favorite toy or eating his food and a child reaches for the toy or the bowl, and your dog…

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Talking to Owners About Behavior Problems In Grooming

Groomer Talking To Owner Image, The Academy of Pet Careers

When we’re grooming a dog who is stressed, scared, aggressive, or even overly silly the risk of an accident or injury goes up. For many years the grooming industry has completed trims and grooms on dogs without doing much about the behavior problem. It’s common for our customers to think that it’s our job to…

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Playing Tug of War: Good Exercise, Great Bond-Building

Tug Of War Image, The Academy of Pet Careers

There is a school of thought that suggests we shouldn’t play Tug of War with our pups because it can create aggression. That same school of thought will say that if you do play Tug, make sure you always win so that the dog knows you’re the boss.   I could not disagree with that…

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Giving Our Pets Choices

Choices Image, The Academy of Pet Careers

So much of our pets’ lives are dictated by us. We determine when they have access to outside, food, water, resting areas and games. We decide what food they eat. We restrict our dogs’ movements by attaching a leash to them when we take them out. We determine when, or if, they have play dates…

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The Power of Happy Visits

Happy Visits Image, The Academy of Pet Careers

Is your dog afraid to go to the vet’s office or grooming salon? Do they resist going through the door? Does she pant, pace or drool? Does she suddenly start shedding while waiting in the lobby? You and your dog are not alone. And when one dog is fearful, they exude stress hormones which every…

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