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Blog — Puppies

Is My Dog Fear Compliant?

Is My Dog Fear Compliant?

In my last blog post, Dominance Debunked, I explained how physical force and emotional intimidation can make a dog fearful and even aggressive. The thing is, with a lot of these methods, including alpha-style "pack leadership" and even e-collar training, you can produce a dog who appears obedient and calm. But the underlying state of many of these dogs is actually a freeze-response. These dogs are fear-compliant. They obey out of a sense of self-preservation because their nervous systems are overwhelmed with fight/flight/freeze signals. This is why a dog may "snap" out of nowhere, because they are moving from the...


Dominance Debunked: Stop Pinning Your Dog

Dominance Debunked: Stop Pinning Your Dog

It may go without saying, but dominance in dog training has been debunked. The science just doesn't support it. Whenever you use pain or fear to train or intimidate your dog, the results will be bad. Your dog may end up showing you some obedience behaviors, but deep down they will be hiding a boatload of insecurities which can later manifest into problem behaviors.  These problem behaviors may include, but are not limited to: submissive peeing, shyness, generalized anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, hyperactivity, hyper-friendliness, appeasement behaviors, and then there's just flat-out aggression. Using dominance techniques with your dog doesn't show them...


House Training Your Adult Dog

House Training Your Adult Dog

No matter what age your dog is, it's important to use a crate or kennel when housetraining, and also to keep them on a strict feeding and potty schedule. Dogs naturally keep their "den" clean, so by restricting their movement with a crate or kennel, you are encouraging this natural behavior. Keep to this strict crating protocol for at least six months. Once going to the bathroom outdoors becomes a habit, your dog should start asking to go out. Test them by gating them in a room with solid floors like tile, so if they do have an accident it...


Top Four Traits of a Great Dog Trainer

Top Four Traits of a Great Dog Trainer

Calm: Gives you mental fortitude.  If you are not calm, you can’t learn, and training is as much, if not more, founded in learning about your dog as it is teaching him anything. Calmness creates space for observation. Your calmness also helps your dog feel safe.   Neutral: Unattached to outcomes. If you remain emotionally neutral, you can remain present with what’s happening right here, right now. Observe your dog and ask yourself questions. Asking questions is a great way to to train yourself to be responsive to the dog. Just think: if I want my dog to respond to me, I...


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...