How to Teach Your Pet to Target

Picture the Possibilities Imagine teaching your dog to put his hind feet—just his hind feet—on a mat. Or, imagine teaching your cat to give a high-five. What if you could teach your dog to use his nose to ring a bell to go outside? These fun and useful behaviors are all examples of targeting a […]

Speak Softly and Carry a Bigger Stick

Sometimes, when you’re searching for the perfect reinforcer to convince a dog to drop or otherwise part with a high-value item, you needn’t look any further than the item itself. Recently, I was working with a client who was having some difficulty convincing his teething 4-month-old golden retriever to relinquish sticks in the yard once […]

Tips to Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer

Finally—summer is officially here! We know you are ready, but is your dog prepared? The ASPCA recommends these tips for ensuring that your dog is safe and happy during the hot weeks ahead! Visit the Vet. A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a must. Make sure your pets […]

To Crate or Not To Crate?

A Bonus, Not a Penalty Many people refuse to crate or kennel-train their dogs because they feel the confinement is cruel. However, a crate or kennel can give dogs a sense of security. Crate training done properly is also a highly effective management system that can be a lifesaver for dog owners. Like any training […]

Reducing Leash Reactivity: The Engage-Disengage Game

Many dogs struggle to stay relaxed when they see another dog, a person, or a specific environmental stimulus, and end up reacting with an intense stress response. Stress responses can be categorized into fight (such as barking, lunging), flight (such as avoiding, hiding), freeze (such as cowering, shutting down), or fool around (such as jumping, […]


When your dog is resisting doing something you want her to do, do you think/say “she’s just being stubborn” or “she just doesn’t mind!” Well, if that’s the case, maybe what’s really happening is that you haven’t clearly communicated to your dog what it is that you want her to do. And have you made […]

Courtesy and Politeness

Ask your dog about petting; he will tell you “Yes” or “No” as demonstrated in this video by trainer Grisha Stewart.

Dogs Communicate with their Bodies

Just imagine how difficult it would be for you to be in a foreign country where no one spoke your language and you didn’t speak theirs! Or, imagine how it would be if you couldn’t speak or write. How would you communicate? It’s our responsibility as owners to try to understand their language and to […]