©2016 by Lisa Mullinax.  All rights reserved.

If you've tried distracting your dog with treats when he sees another dog (or bike, car, jogger, etc.), and he completely ignores the treat and you, here's why.

STRESS

When an animal (including humans) reaches a certain level of stress, an important change takes place in the brain, which starts the processes necessar...

Raise your hand if you walk into a post office and are flooded with warm, happy feelings.  No?  It's just me?  When I was growing up, my grandmother was the Postmaster for her town's post office and I spent many vacations watching her sort the mail and sell stamps and money orders while catching up on town gossip....

If you mention giving dogs more control in training, most people envision a dog that chooses to run wild, chasing cats, stealing ice cream cones, and knocking over little old ladies.

Instead, we're talking about giving the dog some level of control over what happens to them in situations where it's safe and appropri...

Here's a compilation of some work I did with a dog who wouldn't walk into the hallway that led to the bathroom, let alone the bathroom, itself, if the owner was in the bathroom or even moving toward the bathroom door. This is not a how-to video, just an example of the small steps that I reinforced.

Clicker training...

How many times have you heard that comforting a fearful dog reinforces their fear? Here's why you should ignore that statement:

Fear is an emotion. Emotions are involuntary responses.  

Reinforcement refers to an increase in behavior. Behaviors are voluntary responses.

Fear is something you feel. Behavior is something...

LOOK FOR THE LOOK AWAY.  A head turn, or "look away" can be an important signal to help you detect when your dog is uncomfortable, or help your dog communicate with other dogs.  It's subtle, it's simple, and it says a lot.

NON-THREATENING INTENT:  You know that moment when you're walking through the grocery sto...

Whether you are meeting a dog for the first time or you are introducing your own dog to a new person, look for signs of avoidance, including turning away, walking away, or even refusing to engage. 

Failing to respect these signs and forcing the interaction increases the risk that the dog could escalate to aggressi...

Here's one of those tricky nuances of behavior. Many people assume that a dog that isn't displaying aggressive behavior is safe to pet, introduce to their dog, take to the dog park, etc.

Aggressive displays - barking, growling, snarling, snapping - are all a dog's final attempt to put distance between them and the...

ANTECEDENT - A preceding occurrence, cause or event.

In the past, dog training was focused solely on consequences of behavior – reward the good, punish the bad.  Now we know that all behavior is triggered by something.  That trigger is called an antecedent.  

For example, you don’t typically pick up your mo...

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