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Compression of Space

Compression of Space

  Physical compression of space = Emotional compression, which can lead to fight/flight response if your dog feels trapped Trigger points: front door and other doorways/thresholds, car, bed, crate, fence, barrier, leash, tie-out, etc (all create physical compression of space)   Why this concept is important: Your dog’s threshold (emotional capacity) will go DOWN according to the amount of compression he feels. This can lead to “unexpected” events where your dog acts more aggressive or fearful than he does when not under compression. It’s also important to recognize when your dog is “denning” himself because he’s seeking safety. If you...


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...


My Top Five Puppy Training Tips

My Top Five Puppy Training Tips

Puppies are tons of fun, and equally tons of work! They are fragile little beings, physically and emotionally. If you protect their emotional health, they can grow up to be social, friendly, and well-adjusted members of the family. Here are my top five tips for raising a happy, healthy dog: 1. Puppies need patience, not discipline. Puppies never know that they are doing something "wrong." They are only ever doing what is completely natural to them. If you get irritated with your puppy, do your very best to stay calm and self-regulate your emotions. Raising your voice or handling your puppy...


Free Lecture on April 20th: Rescue Dog Rehab

Free Lecture on April 20th: Rescue Dog Rehab

A lot of people are rescuing dogs today and with good reason! Giving a dog a second chance is a wonderful and fulfilling mission. It can also come with many challenges. In this talk, we focus on how to integrate your new dog into the home, and what kind of obedience or behavioral work they might need to come into harmony with your household. Where: Pet Life in South Portland, Maine When: April 20th, 1 pm Who: Leah Twitchell of Canine Movement Lab RSVP: Facebook Event

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