Social Learning in Dogs

I remember reading awhile ago that there was a study done on puppies who watched their mother work (e.g. pulling a cart) vs puppies who never watched their mother work. The results of this study showed that puppies who observed their mother at work learned the skill themselves much quicker than the puppies who never got to watch their mother. Something about that article stuck with me, so now, when Betsy and I attend agility class, we often hang back

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Meanwhile, on the Internet…

Shaping the Dumbbell Retrieve Loving this post! Lots of great video examples, accompanied by tons of good information on shaping behaviours, all in concise bullet points. It’s also just a neat skill for your dog to have, even if you’re not interested in competitive obedience. Does your dog REALLY want to be petted? Eileen is a great dog blogger in general and this post is one of her best. It features videos of dogs who both like and don’t like

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Reinforcement Schedules in Dog Training

In dog training, we are often told to keep your rewards unpredictable. “Don’t reward every time, dogs are going to be more obedient if your rewards are like the lottery.” One thing I hate about dog training advice is that the people dispensing it never back up what they say with any reference to scientific studies. That doesn’t mean those studies don’t exist, just that I have to go hunting for them on my own 😉 I tend to reward

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Teaching the Hand Target

Oh hey, thought I’d publish a little dog trick how-to. Hand targeting, or, “touch,” is the first trick I taught Betsy. It’s one of her favourites. It’s also useful! I use it as… A fun alternative to recall, so I don’t overuse my recall word. A way to grab my dog’s attention when something distracting is going on. A way to say, “please,” when we’re playing fetch (my hand is like a button – she touches my hand with her

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Five easy ways to enrich your dog’s life

I always feel horribly guilty about not using Betsy to her full potential. Since I don’t have a job that requires a working canine companion, my wonderful dog, who boasts generations of breeding geared towards boundless energy and stamina, is forced to spend a lot of her time laying around the house, waiting for me to entertain her. When she whines or paces or nuzzles me for attention, I am always beseiged with guilt, knowing how much it must suck

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