©2016 by Lisa Mullinax.  All rights reserved.

The chin rest is a useful behavior for providing general care at home, and can be used for low-stress vet exams and handling. 

This video shows the basic steps for training the chin rest. As with any how-to video, the length of time spent on each step is going to vary with each dog. Some dogs may progress through...

Previously posted at 4pawsu.com

Stress is a normal part of life for any animal. Hunger is a form of stress that reminds us to eat, fear is an emotion that helps us avoid potentially harmful situations. However, when a dog repeatedly experiences in stressful situations that they cannot avoid or escape, problem behavi...

When our dogs exhibit aggressive behaviors, it is always upsetting. It is a rare person who knowingly buys or adopts a dog that exhibits aggression toward people or dogs. 

Gaining a better understanding of aggression in dogs will help you in preventing and addressing problems in your dog.



For the last century, dog owners were told to view their dogs as adversaries. Scheming, manipulative creatures who were out to take over our lives by leaning on us, jumping on our furniture, and "not listening" to our commands. 

Even in the early days of positive reinforcement training, we trainers still told owne...

When was the last time you watched a nature program and heard the announcer say, "This hippopotamus is not very food-motivated"? What about a raccoon? A bear? A wolf?

All animals need food to survive. And our domestic dogs are no different. So, when someone tells me their dog "isn't food-motivated," it immediately...

AVERSIVE - Anything a dog would seek to escape or avoid. 

How often have you heard someone say, "SOME dogs/breeds need [insert aversive method or tool]."

When I see these statements, all kinds of reasons are given, from breed, to the type of behavior, to saving the life of the dog.

The problem is that dog trainers...

The aggression cases I see the most can be lumped into two categories:

Dogs that exhibit aggression as part of a threat response or predatory behavior.


This is, by far, the most common. For a long time, we've classified this as fear, but I am starting to think that "threat response" is a much better d...

Another tragic fatal dog attack has occurred this week. The breed of dog is irrelevant in the long list of factors involved in this case.

The basic order of events are:

  • Dog bites child in previous home, leaving multiple wounds.

  • Dog lands in shelter

  • Rescue group that claims to "rehabilitate" dogs with se...

"If you raise dogs from a puppy, they won't have behavior problems."

I rate this one a MEGA MONSTER MYTH. Where do dogs with behavior problems come from? They each started as puppies. And someone thought it would be easy to raise that puppy.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, raising a puppy is not a beginner's tas...

Whenever I write something about dominance, I get a number of questions along the lines of, "My dog does _______. If it's not dominance, what is it?"

For so long, we've been trained to put labels on behavior.

Dominant. Submissive. Stubborn. Spiteful. 

As if these words will somehow unlock the secret to stopping u...

It's not dominance. Seriously, it's not. There is no dominant breed. You don't have a dominant dog. Your dog's behavior is not a "dominance thing."

Now, I realize those statements might be causing some hardcore cognitive dissonance right now. Because from the moment you even became aware of dogs, you have been tol...

When dogs exhibit fear, they can often seem silly to us. Why, for example, does my dog run out of the kitchen whenever I turn on the range fan? (The answer will be revealed in Sunday's webinar)

There are an unbelievable number of online videos depicting dogs and other animals exhibiting fear of strange things. In...


My dog should be able to get used to other dogs. He's very smart and learned how to shake in one day!"

I hear this - or some variation of it - quite frequently. That if a dog learns new things quickly, they should be able to quickly overcome fear, anxiety, or aggression with a little training, too.

Here's why th...

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