Animal Behavior

Muzzle Training in 8 Simple Steps

Muzzle Training, The Academy of Pet Careers

Teaching a dog to love their muzzle is pretty easy. Just follow the steps to learn muzzle training. 1. Show the muzzle to the dog in one hand and offer tasty treats with your other hand. Once the dog has had a couple treats, hide the muzzle behind your back. Pause for 8-10 seconds and…

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The Benefits of Using a Dog Muzzle

Dog Muzzle, The Academy of Pet Careers

At The Academy of Pet Careers, all students (both grooming and training) learn to acclimate dogs to wearing a muzzle because it’s such an important skill to have. And as a professional trainer and behavior consultant, I believe that every dog should learn to be comfortable wearing a muzzle.   Many people cringe at the…

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The Myth of Dominance in Dogs

Dominance in Dogs, The Academy of Pet Careers

For a couple decades the common wisdom surrounding humans’ best friend is that they are controlled by an internal drive for ‘dominance’. We have been told that dogs will try to take control of our family and that our job as the human is to show them who is in charge – that we are…

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Coping With Leash Reactivity

Leash Reactivity, The Academy of Pet Careers

Does your dog walk beautifully with you until he sees another dog or strange person or cat or car or skateboard or . . . anything else that suddenly appears? Those things that prompt your dog to over react are collectively called ‘triggers’. Does your dog start barking, growling, lunging and otherwise acting like they’ve…

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Adolescent Dogs: What a Pain in the Tail!

Adolescent Dogs, The Academy of Pet Careers

You got your puppy when she was 8 weeks old. You took her to a ton of places and paired new sights and sounds with tasty treats so she’d learn that the world is a safe and fun place to explore. She went to puppy class and learned her basic manners such as Sit, Down,…

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Resource Guarding In Dogs

Resource Guarding In Dogs, The Academy of Pet Careers

Resource Guarding, also called possession aggression, is a common behavior problem for many pet parents. Your dog suddenly becomes defensive over his food bowl, a toy, his favorite bed, maybe even a favorite person. He hovers, with his chin held over his prized possession. He may show his teeth and growl or snarl or even…

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Snow Day Activities For Your Dog

Snow Day Activities For Dogs, The Academy of Pet Careers

Sometimes it’s just too cold outside to go for a long walk or play fetch in the yard. But our dogs still need their exercise. What can we do to help our furry family burn through that cabin fever?   Did you know that a dog will burn more energy engaging in mental exercise than…

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How to Help Your Dog Overcome A Fear of Nail Trims

Fear of Nail Trims, The Academy of Pet Careers

Nail trimming is often one of the scariest parts of the dog grooming process for the dog, but it’s also a part that is critical for the health of any pet, whether they have long hair or short hair. If you have a dog that is scared of having his nails trimmed, there are several…

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On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals By Turid Rugaas

On Talking Terms With Dogs Calming Signals By Turid Rugaas

Book Summary Turid Rugaas does an excellent job in explaining the many subtle signals that dogs use to communicate when they are uncomfortable in social situations. These are referred to as calming signals. While she acknowledges that we don’t know if such signals are given with direct intent to communicate or if they are simply…

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Empowerment Training By James O’heare

Understanding Empowerment, Training For It, And Rehabilitating Disempowerment Book Summary Mr. O’Heare does a nice job of summarizing basic learning theory as understood by behaviorism and applied behavior analysis. He also provides details of the evolution of behavior modification techniques. He covers past methodology when the focus was on using aversive stimuli and punishment to…

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