Blog Posts

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š 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 donโ€™t think itโ€™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? โ€œDoctor, 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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Fashionable dogs: Cute dog collars you can buy online

I’m a bit of a nut about buying all sorts of fancy gifts for Betsy that she doesn’t really care about, and there is nothing more exciting than buying her beautiful collars. Aside from the Leerburg Collar, which I got Betsy last Christmas, I haven’t bought any of these collars myself (yet!) but here’s a beautiful collection of some of my favourites that I may eventually splurge on… Christmas maybe? Floral Rose Collar by BONEafide Collars Mint and Gold Collar

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My (possibly neurotic) dog walking philosophy

I spend a lot of time thinking about the walks I take Betsy on. In my mind, there are three kinds of “walks” we can go for, and I try to make sure she gets a balance of these three: Socialization/Brain Challenge Walks In which I take Betsy to locations where she is exposed to a variety of different and interesting things. Usually lots of people, sometimes other dogs, skateboards, maybe horses or other interesting things. I might walk her

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Meanwhile, on the Internet (#6)

Good Sit I’ve always thought it was weird when people praised a dog for sitting by saying, “Good sit.” and this article basically confirms everything I already thought about it. Top 10 dog behaviour myths I see a lot of these myths around the Internet so it’s nice to see that the Louisiana SPCA has a document debunking them. Reactions A cool video of Fizz, a young Malinois, experiencing a variety of strange situations (all fake set ups) and her

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Rewarding Good Choices

I think I touched on this briefly before in Five ways to enrich your dog’s life, where I mentioned teaching your dog to lie down on the floor instead of counter surfing. The principle behind it is instead of asking your dog for a behaviour and then rewarding them when they do it, you need to catch your dog choosing to do something without being asked, and rewarding them for making good choices. A lot of dog training is simply

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Calendar Star!

Hey guys! I am pleased (whee!) to announce that Betsy was one of 13 winners in the Bosley’s Calendar Casting Call Photo Contest! That’s right, Betsy is going to be on the 2016 calendar, specifically, for June. Pretty cool, right? Here’s the winning photo, crooked skyline and all: There are some really awesome winning photos in there, super flattered that Betsy was one of the chosen ones ๐Ÿ˜€