Blog Posts

What to do when your dog is scared


When I first got a puppy, it was really important to me that I did absolutely everything right in raising her. Needless to say, despite my good intentions, I did not do a perfect job of it. I tried. I researched a LOT and could rattle off all the “periods” a puppy goes through, how to handle each period, what needs to be done, what critical socialization has to happen… I won’t say I did a totally terrible job. In

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A look back on a year of blogging at


It’s February 21st! The anniversary of! 😀 1 year of blogging… posting new content not quite as often as I ambitiously hoped, but I did manage to post at least one entry per month, and sometimes two or three. So I’d call that a success 😊 Did doglove blow up and become a darling of the Internet/dog community? Erm, nope. I actually have no idea who, if anyone, reads my posts; for a long time comments weren’t enabled, and

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Homemade puzzle toys


Has anyone else noticed that most commercial puzzle toys for dogs are painfully easy? I don’t know who designs them but either the test subject dogs that try out the products are not all that bright, or the toy designers don’t have test subject dogs at all, or maybe my own dog is some super-genius, but I somehow doubt that. So I am on a quest to make really tough (but not so tough that the dog gives up) puzzle

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Chores and Dog Training at the Same Time

On a rainy weekend morning, when I should have been walking the dog but wasn’t in the mood to go out in the downpour, I decided instead to do a bit of housework in hopes that the weather would change. Betsy, however, was antsy for action, so I decided to involve her in the chores. Her job: Hold a position (down, sit) while I did a bit of work. This ended up being great in a number of ways: 1.

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Meanwhile, on the Internet (#8)

How to Use an “All Clear” in Scent Detection—Lessons from Science A cool article on changing the way scent detection works to improve accuracy of results as well as raise morale for the dogs. Most scent-detection dogs are trained to alert only when they find an odor. […] (if no odor is found) There is no correct response other than to keep working. No wonder the dog gets frustrated! […] I have suggested that if teams trained an “all clear”

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Choices and Happiness

Eileen of Eileen and Dogs recently wrote a piece on giving dogs choices and Patricia McConnell wrote one on what makes your dog happy?. They’re both of a similar tone and it made me think about what makes Betsy happy. I often feel sorry for dogs – they’re at our mercy in most ways: We control their food, their water, when they get to go to the bathroom, and when they get to leave the house. We force them to

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Taking advantage of environmental cues


Hi dog blog readers 😊 I want to talk today about environmental cues, because it’s something I’ve been playing around with a bit recently. First of all, when we talk about cues in dog training, we’re talking about a trigger that results in the dog taking a certain action. Obedience is teaching a dog various cues. The word “Sit” is a cue for the dog to sit. The word “Shake ” is a cue for them to raise up their

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Nature vs Nurture in Dog Behaviour

A study was published back in May that weighed in on the nature-vs-nurture debate. The researchers reviewed 50 years worth of twin studies and determined that who you are is basically 50-50. 50% environment, 50% genes. This was a human study, not a dog study, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that a similar outcome would be true of dogs. In fact, I might venture to say, with a, “I am not a scientist and basically am just

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Meanwhile, on the internet (#7)

It’s a puppy, not a problem! A great reminder to take a step back and look at your puppy for what it is: A puppy. Not an adult dog. Love this. Since many of my clients also had human children, did they take a similar list of problems behaviors to the pediatrician? “Doctor, my toddler has a lot of problems that I want to stop. He talks really loud, wants me to play all the time, runs through the house

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How to Greet a Dog

I love dogs a lot. A lot a lot. I do not often greet them, however. So I guess the first tip in “Greeting dogs 101” is “Don’t.” This is a bit of an exaggeration of course. Every situation is different and sometimes it is fine to say hello to a dog, but when in doubt, don’t bother. Illustration courtesy of Here are some situations where I definitely will not greet a dog: The dog is ignoring me. No

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