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Blog — Alternative Medicine for Dogs

Increasing Your Dog's Emotional Capacity = Building Tolerance to Stress

Increasing Your Dog's Emotional Capacity = Building Tolerance to Stress

When potential clients call me because they're having problems with their dog, they usually try to convince me that their dog is actually really smart. The thing is, I never doubt the intelligence of the dog, because almost all of them are extremely clever and eager to learn new things. Learning, however, isn't the dog's problem. Dogs with behavioral issues (as judged by the human) usually have a limited capacity to deal with stress. Therefore, I'm not concerned with the dog's ability to learn their obedience commands, what I want to know is: How can we increase their emotional capacity? Increasing emotional...


Physical Laws of Energetic Dog Training

Physical Laws of Energetic Dog Training

Follow these simple tips to see BIG changes in your dog's behavior The Energy Equation:  Don't add energy to a problem behavior which already represents an energy overload.  Examples of adding energy: "Positive punishment" (this means adding stimulus/punishment) of unwanted behavior, this never works! It may seem like it's working in the short term, but in the long term you are literally adding energy to the very problem you are trying to extinguish.  Another example of adding energy: puzzles and other games and toys that add "mental stimulation" to a dog who is already over-stimmed. If your dog is truly...


Nervous Systems and Somatic Resonance

Nervous Systems and Somatic Resonance

"Dogs are very sensitive to body language, so the least little tense movement--a change of gait, a slight hunching of the shoulders--can be observed and interpreted as something being amiss. When we're upset, our voices can go up slightly in frequency as well. Dogs get these nuances in ways most people don't.  Masking strong feelings by acting like things are OK may not always work, either: It's quite likely that dogs can smell fear, anxiety, even sadness... The flight-or-fight hormone, adrenaline, is undetectable by our noses, but dogs can apparently smell it. In addition, fear or anxiety is often accompanied...


Predators By Nature

Predators By Nature

Because dogs are predatory by nature, their instincts dictate that they channel their energy (and built-up stress) into hunting activities. For different breeds, this means different things, such as eye-stalking, digging, tracking, etc. However, the culmination of every hunt is the bite, because the goal of hunting is killing the prey. So the act of biting, and specifically biting and carrying an object, represents a successful “hunt.” And then chewing and ingesting completes this cycle of emotional grounding. Try to keep this in mind when working, walking, and training your dogs. Keep their jaws busy and you will have a...


Safety First

Safety First

Many of my clients are concerned that if they don’t train their dog to be obedient, he might become the “boss” of the household. They fear nipping will turn into aggression. They worry their dog is going to get out of control, display bad manners, or become unmanageable. On the other hand, my biggest concern is always this: does this dog feel safe? Does this dog trust his handler? Is the dog able to express natural behaviors without being punished or reprimanded? A dog who feels secure can develop a deep attachment with his owner, and therefore naturally becomes obedient. Without...