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News: Karen B. London
January 2010 Is for the Dogs
It’s National Train Your Dog Month!
They say every dog has its day, but soon they will actually have their own month! The Association for Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) has proclaimed January to be National Train Your Dog Month. This new annual event promotes the benefits of socialization and positive training, which include enhanced and healthier relationships between people and dogs. January is the perfect month for emphasizing training...
News: Guest Posts
People’s (and Pups’) Choice
Victoria Stilwell coming to Bark in 2010.
Has canine supernanny Victoria Stilwell steered her shiny black convertible into your heart yet? She’s the dog trainer who brings positive strategies to some gnarly behavior challenges with effective aplomb on Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog. No television, you say? That’s not a problem anymore. Starting in February, Ms. Stilwell will write an exclusive column on training for every issue of...
News: JoAnna Lou
Anything But A Border Collie
What happens when a dog is too good at something?
Last weekend I watched the online broadcast of the United States Dog Agility Association’s Cynosport World Games. As usual, the finals for the top jump heights (above 20”) were dominated by Border Collies.  I have to admit, I love watching the powerful black and white blurs fly through an agility course, but it is refreshing to see a variety of breeds compete, which doesn’t happen very often at...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Teach Your Dog a Flip Finish Trick
Dog trick training
A nifty trick, handy for convenience and control from a sit front to heel position. It’s also really fun for the motivated dog and handler! Picture the finished exercise: On cue (a small sweeping hand signal), your dog flips from a “sit front” into heel position on your left side.   Sounds easy, but for the dog, this is a complicated series of movements that eventually add up to one final...
News: Karen B. London
Teaching My Dog To Stay
I did it for the ice cream.
Well-trained dogs are a joy to be around and they are more likely to stay safe. Additionally, they often have a better quality of life due to the fact that they get to accompany people to more events since their behavior is trustworthy. These are all worthy reasons to train our dogs, but I must say I am often just as motivated by my own quality of life. Specifically, I needed my dog to have a...
News: Karen B. London
I Love “Wait”
It’s my favorite training cue.
I am so fond of the cue “Wait” that I wrote a column called An Ode to ‘Wait’ to express my enthusiasm about it. This cue tells a dog to pause and not to move forward until given permission to do so. It can literally be a lifesaver at doors to both houses and cars because it can prevent bolting out into traffic. Additionally, it can be a sanity-saver when heading out for a walk because it stops...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Building the Dog-Human Bond
It’s never too late to reinforce this critical foundation
It was a misty spring evening, the first break in the April showers in over a week. My dog Sumner was strolling off-leash about 20 paces ahead of me, taking in the smells and leaving his mark when the mood struck. Then, a crash amid the trees. Deer! Sumner paused for an instant, one foot in the air, and then took off full tilt after the white tail disappearing into the darkness. “Sumner, wait...
News: Karen B. London
Agility Favorites
What obstacle does your dog prefer?
I had a dog whose favorite part of an agility course was the table. My theory is that it made the most sense to him. It was the first piece of equipment that he learned how to negotiate correctly, and it seemed as though he always knew what to do with it, unlike some other obstacles, which periodically confused him. I loved this dog, but he was, hmm, how best to say it—not the brightest dog I...
News: Guest Posts
First Chomper
New York’s governor hires a trainer for his testy Maltese.
Why is it that when small dogs are aggressive and biting it’s treated as a joke? Take New York Governor David Paterson’s Maltese, Cheerio--a full-time tough guy with at least two bites to his credit. Imagine if those teeth belonged to a bigger dog with a tougher reputation living in the home someone with a lot less clout. I’m just glad the governor finally recognized that a pint-sized...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Four Scientific Studies on Dogs and Play
Having fun is serious business
As members of the dog-loving community, we should all be proud of our emphasis on play as an important aspect of our dogs’ lives. We have long understood that for most of our pups, playing with other dogs and playing with humans enhances their quality of life and improves their overall comportment. During the past few years, scientific research into play has emerged from a long period during...

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