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Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Choosing the Right Dog Trainer
Do your homework!
I’ve always been happy to believe that my students need a dog trainer (otherwise, why am I there?), but it came as a surprise to learn that Pat Miller took her newly adopted puppy to class. Miller has decades of training experience; she’s the training editor of Whole Dog Journal, and people pay her to teach them how to train. So why … ? Because, Miller admits, “I tend to get lazy about training...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Dr. Nicholas Dodman on Dog Behavior and New Training Techniques
What does it take to be the leader of the pack?
The rules of dog training and care are changing, which means your role is changing. Leading animal behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman discusses new training techniques and dog behavior with fellow veterinarian, Dr. Sophia Yin and Bark’s Claudia Kawczynska. Bark: What is an animal behaviorist? What qualifies someone to be called a behaviorist? Dodman: There are only two qualified types of...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Dog Etiquette: Turning Your Dog Into a Gracious Guest
Is your dog ready for the holidays?
Shortly after we were married, my husband and I spent the holidays with my in-laws, and we brought our young dog, Bugsy. He was social; had an excellent stay; came when called; had no history of food thievery; and would not lift his leg indoors, even on a tree, so my confidence in his visiting skills was high. On arrival, as he occupied himself with a stuffed Kong so we could unpack the car, a...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Translating Puppy Talk
Understanding the things dogs “say”
A basic truth about humans and dogs: We live in overlapping but not identical sensory worlds. To a pup, we are sort of like the Brobdingnagians of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, extra-large beings whose ways just don’t all make perfect sense. That’s a hard position to be in, because your dog’s world is controlled by you. Making matters more difficult still, a dog can’t explain to you what...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Behavior: Unhealthy Obsessions in Dogs
Light Chasing
Question: My 1 1/2-year-old neutered male English Shepherd developed a fascination with light and shadows about nine months ago. He chases any reflections he sees, and on cloudy days even does the chasing behavior in places where shadows usually appear. He will stand outside under a tree and watch shadows of leaves blowing for 20 minutes at a stretch. He is an inside/outside dog and gets at least...
Good Dog: Activities & Sports
Scent Tracking with Your Dog
Tracking showcases your dog’s most scentsational talent
When long-time tracking enthusiast Penny Kurz discovered that her mailbox had been vandalized, she took action. Harnessing up her tracking dog, Deuce, she set out to find the perpetrator. “Deuce sniffed around the mailbox and started running what looked like a car trail to me,” says Kurz. “A car trail will hang along the curb or edge of grass along the sidewalk. When he puts his nose down into...
Good Dog: Activities & Sports
Dogs Who Love Soccer--and Try to Join the Game
Some dogs get a kick out of the game
Soccer Dogs
Since he spent much time with pencil and paper in his father’s study, dogs also became the chief subject of his drawings: an endless number of epic scenes in which dogs were generals, soldiers, soccer players, and knights.   —Milan Kundera, Life Is Elsewhere   The world’s most popular game and one of the most beloved symbols of domesticity would seem to be an ideal combination. Soccer and dogs...
Good Dog: Activities & Sports
Geocaching and Your Dog
Come out, come out, wherever you are!
In September 2001, Sandi Pearce hid a small box in a park near her home in Dublin, Calif. Since then, more than 38 people, many with dogs, have searched for—and found—the box. It was just one of the 15 similar boxes that Pearce has hidden since she and her Border Collie, Katie, took up geocaching, a relatively new adventure game. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt in which players follow...
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Enrichment Toys
An engaged mind equals a happy dog
A great many dogs today live lives of leisure, and even dogs who are physically active often lack opportunities for mental exercise. That understimulation can result in the boredom that is the enemy of the happy, well-behaved dog. Dogs evolved to solve problems, and a life of lying on the couch while the rest of the household is at work, and then taking a human-paced walk around the neighborhood...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Take Dog Training One Step at a Time
In dog training, taking things one step at a time can make a world of difference
Maddie was a lovely little dog, with creamy white fur and an open, smiley face. She seemed willing and smart and ready to learn, but her guardian had brought her to me because the dog was driving her crazy. Every time the family asked Maddie to sit and stay, she jumped up and licked their faces. No matter what they did, they couldn’t seem to get her to stay still, even for an instant. Someone...

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