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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...


Dog Walking: Expectations vs. Reality

Leah Lykos

Dog Walking: Expectations vs. Reality

Photo by Justin Veenema  Expectation: Your dog will enjoy walking in a straight line at the exact same pace as you. Reality: Your dog wants to sniff, roll, dig, run, play, and zig-zag in 1,000 different directions.  Solution: Let your dog sniff! Let him orient to new environments, situations, and stimuli. Orienting is an important biological function of the nervous system, and your dog will often stop, freeze, and orient before feeling safe to move forward. Try not to interrupt this process.  Allow your dog to roll and have some fun on this walk. If you are on the beach or someplace where...


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...


Welcoming a New Dog Into Your Home

Leah Lykos

Welcoming a New Dog Into Your Home

Are you bringing home a new dog? Here are few helpful tips to remember:  Have a cozy crate set up in a quiet area of the home. This is especially helpful for puppies and rescues. If they become stressed, they can retreat to the crate. If you’re bringing home a second dog, take the dogs for a walk together, and walk head-to-tail to let them sniff each other. A head-to-head introduction can be stressful, especially indoors! The best way to walk them is if one dog sniffs the other dog’s backside. Doing that gives them a lot of biological information,...


Book Club Starts in February

Leah Lykos

Book Club Starts in February

  Book Club is starting in February! Join us in our Mighty Network to take part.   Here's a list of books we will read together in our book club, with Zoom call dates:   THIS LIST IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE   Waking the Tiger: Feb 20th and March 20th The Genius of Dogs: April 17th and May 22nd The First Domestication: June 20th and July 18th The Cruelest Miles: August 15th and September 19th Thunder Dog: October 17th and November 21st Animals as Guides for the Soul Dog Language The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy How Dogs Work   Wow! Already...