The Controversy About E-Collars on Dog Talk®

There was a small handful of people who follow my show who immediately responded negatively to the title I gave a recent show — “E-Collars Can be part of a Positive Training Relationship.” I purposely chose that heading to be provocative, so people might notice it. I had hoped people might listen and consider another […]

Joe, Maisie and the Cheese

Joe. Maisie. And the Cheese This is a little story about how dogs learn, and especially how we can communicate to them certain behaviors which displease us. Most importantly, it’s a story about how/when/if to reprimand a dog for having engaged in one of those behaviors. This story is especially useful for new dog owners, […]

Praise Not Punish: The Basic Winning Philosophy for Dog Training

PRAISE NOT PUNISH The Basic Winning Philosophy for Dog Training Accentuate the Positive Training a dog is pretty simple, once you grasp the basic concepts and are consistent in applying them. What scientists, trainers and teachers have discovered is that all creatures — including humans, dolphins or dogs — learn from positive reinforcement, not from […]

Training Your Dog with a New Homemade Toy

Training Your Dog with a New Homemade Toy Dog toys can cost big bucks, reason enough to make your own. In my house, the favorite toy for chasing, tugging, gnawing—and even to cart around as a security blanket—is the Towel Burrito. These are my own invention, and I got the idea when I was reading […]

False Confidence about Microchipping a Pet – Some Scary Truths

In an article published January 1 in The New York Times, the columnist pointed out that by law city shelters and pet stores are required to microchip animals before selling them or releasing them for adoption. The author mentioned that the chip should be registered, but the “rest of that story” is where the slippery […]

Dogs, the Christmas spirit & Tracy of Batavia, Ohio—an “Ordinary Hero”

Dogs, the Christmas spirit and Tracy of Batavia, Ohio – an “Ordinary Hero” Look out, St. Francis: we’ve got a new contender for the “patron saint of animals!” For a very special holiday episode of Dog Talk I interviewed Tracy, a listener from Batavia, Ohio. Her story exemplifies the very best of the holiday spirit […]

How Smart is Your Mutt?

How Smart is Your Mutt? Brandon McMillan, star of the television show Lucky Dog, and author of the book Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days, recently contributed to an article about the smartest top 10 breeds of dogs. But have you ever wondered whether mutts are smarter than purebred dogs? Though the […]

Do You Bribe—or Reward—Your Dog?

Do You Have to Bribe Your Dog? Or Do You Reward Her? There’s a general misunderstanding floating around about what “positive reinforcement” means in training, and the use of food rewards that often accompanies it.  There are some “old fashioned” trainers who dismiss reward-based learning concepts as being “bribery” and think a dog should do […]

September is National Service Dog Month

September is National Service Dog month and a chance for all of us to reflect on how the human-canine bond directly impacts the quality of life for those people who depend on a dog to get them out and about. Over the past couple of years I have become increasingly aware of the powerful difference […]

Secrets of Dog Training: Baiting the “Bait Bag”

Secrets of Dog Training: Baiting the “Bait Bag” With the arrival in my life of Maisie, the gorgeous Blue Weimaraner we recently drove up from Tri-State Weimaraner Rescue in Virginia Beach — I find myself thrust back into the world of dog training. I have to teach basic manners and build reliable communication and response […]