Animal Behavior

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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Is Doggy Day Care Right For My Dog?

Doggy Day Care Image

Doggy day care is a growing trend for busy dog parents. It’s an excellent place for many dogs to socialize with other dogs, get exercise and burn energy while the humans are off at work. But, is doggy day care the right option for all dogs?   Dogs Who Would Benefit from Doggy Day Care…

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The Myth of Reinforcing Fear

Reinforcing Fear, The Academy of Pet Careers

The Myth of Reinforcing Fear There is a school of thought in the training world that says you shouldn’t comfort or give treats to a frightened dog because you are reinforcing fear. For example, if your dog is frightened while getting groomed, you should not stroke them or distract them with treats because this could…

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Noise Phobia in Dogs

Noise Phobia In Dogs, The Academy of Pet Careers

How to Help Your Dog’s Fear of Loud Noises Is your dog afraid of loud noises? Does she pant, pace, drool, shake, try to hide or try to escape whenever the thunder booms or the pops and bangs from fireworks happen? Noise phobia in dogs is a serious problem in some households. My dog used…

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Active Disengagement

Active Disengagement InfoGraphic, The Academy of Pet Careers

We’re Not Just Ignoring “Bad” Behavior, We’re Using Active Disengagement There are two main philosophies when it comes to dog training. One (often considered ‘old school’) is compulsion training. This is a style of training that uses tools such as choke chains, prong collars, or electronic training collars to correct the dog whenever they do…

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