On Dogs, Disappointment, Dilemmas and Decisions

The Dog When I volunteered to raise an Assistance Dog puppy I thought I had prepared myself for the job at hand.  It wasn’t a job as such. It was a journey of learning and professional enhancement that I wanted to pursue. I have a special interest in Assistant Dogs. I have shared a home with a fully trained Assistance Dog. My background as a physiotherapist has given me insight into the physical limitations imposed upon so many people with various movement, pain related and physical restrictions to the extent that I wanted to explore first-hand how dogs were trained…

I Don’t Like Hugs

I’m not tactile. I don’t like hugs. I don’t really like hugs from anyone but my immediate family members. Even my really good friends don’t hug me! I can’t actually remember a time when I did enjoy hugs. Nothing ever happened to me to make me dislike hugs; my parents were fabulous, I never had a negative experience with a hug, I simply don’t like them! When I tell people that I don’t like hugs they generally accept that. No questions, no sideways glances, no “wow, that’s strange!” People just accept that this is part of my PERSONALITY; I’m just…

In Response to “The Punishment of Positive Only” Article

I recently read an article that was titled “The Punishment of Positive Only” and was very intrigued by the title. I’m always keen to learn something new and I think it is always interesting to see other perspectives. My concern with the article is that the author doesn’t really seem to understand what a punishment is or how to implement them effectively. A punishment in dog training terms is just something or an outcome that is designed to reduce the likelihood of the preceding behaviour occurring again.

Why training The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan’s way is dangerous

The Dog whisperer Cesar Millan has been a hit on National Geographic for over 10 years now. His rise to stardom has seen him release several books, and he is the star of 3 TV shows. All these shows and books are centered around his philosophy on dog training and behaviour. His show is also broadcasted in more than 80 countries – he is basically the face of modern dog training. And yet his methods are so outdated. Like many other people when I first watched the dog whisperer – maybe 8 years ago or so – my response was…

Why Positive Reinforcement isn’t about Bribery and Treats

Whenever I meet people I’m really happy to tell them what I use and why, which in my opinion, is what every professional should want to do – even if the tools they choose to use are aversive. The owner should always be aware of what you are doing and why what you are doing achieves (or should do) results. The first thing that usually gets fired back at me when I say I used food is ‘I don’t want to bribe my dog’ and my reply is always the same – ‘great, we’re on the same page then’.

Featured Business: Canine Cuddles

What does it take to open and start your own pet care business?  Sarah Goldberg is about to take her years of experience in managing and running childcare centers and start her own dog day care center in Balcatta, Western Australia. The location will have an indoor and outdoor area, with spaces for puppies, a rest area, different sizes dogs and interlocking fences to ensure everything is planned and safe. Meet Sarah, from Canine Cuddles.

5 Things Successful Dog Pros Do

What makes the difference between dog businesses that thrive and those that only survive? Here are the top 5 things we teach our clients to do: 1 Actively market If you’re not willing to market your business, you’re running the race with your shoelaces tied together. These days people have lots of dog businesses to choose from; if they don’t know you’re there, they can’t choose you.

Going Pro- Working Full Time With Dogs Making A Real Living

Do you want to work with dogs full time, but can’t see how? Do you struggle part time, telling yourself you’ll keep the other job just until the training really takes off? It’s a common refrain. Coaching and supporting dog businesses for a living, I’ve seen every kind of business model and every type of owner, from wildly successful full-timers to weekend hobbyists. Mostly, though, dog pros work part or full time at other jobs, and run a dog business on the side, hoping it will one day support them.

Stop Coaching, Start Training

The Case for Day Training We trainers often feel frustrated by unfinished cases and low client compliance—endemic issues in our industry—leading us to describe owners as lazy, uncommitted, unskilled, uncaring, cheap. Alternately, we internalize the failure and blame poor results on our own shortcomings. Neither explanation is fair nor helpful. We have learned to stop blaming the dog and just get on with training him. It’s time to leave behind feeling guilty and reproaching clients, pinpoint the true problems, and focus on solutions. Coaching is the Culprit The heart of the trouble is our coaching approach, our religious insistence on…