Teaching Reactive DOGS A New Habit: Part I “Open Bar”

Read part II here: Teaching Reactive Dogs A New Habit, Part II: “Look At That!” Do any of these statements describe your dog? Your dog over-reacts to exciting stimuli, especially another dog walking by. He barks and lunges at passing skateboards, bikes, or other dogs, like he wants to attack them! Molly barks at people […]

Teaching Reactive Dogs A New Habit, Part II: “Look At That!” for reactivity

What is Reactivity? “Reactivity” in dogs describes a dog reacting quickly and intensively to stimuli that don’t warrant such a strong response. It’s a problem behavior that can be prevented and treated with a few simple exercises. Dogs that respond quickly to certain stimuli are often trained as hearing alert dogs; these dogs don’t miss […]

Fearful Dogs

When working with shy or fearful dogs, remember: Dogs respond well to having the choice to interact or not. “Approaching” dogs is a misnomer: dogs should always be invited to approach us, particularly shy ones. Don’t pet or handle a dog who doesn’t want to be petted or handled unless it’s an emergency. When a […]


When your own backyard isn’t quite cutting it, or when you don’t have a private back yard of your own Rent our Sniffspot: a safe, private dog park Get a safe, private dog park experience Enjoy all the fun and exercise of exploring a new location with your pup, without the distraction and challenge of […]

Who’s a “Good Dog”? – Foundation Skills

Toby, observing the world and collecting his thoughts

What is a “good dog”? People tend to categorize dogs as “good dogs” when they are confident, friendly, and relaxed. Working dogs and performance dogs need these qualities so fear and anxiety don’t distract them from their jobs. People tend to expect family pets to be safe and reliable around children, which requires a relaxed, […]


We all want our dogs and cats to enjoy the excitement and joy of Halloween with us!  But can they?  Yes, if we set things up so that they can enjoy our celebrations in their own way. Halloween is frightful This month, Halloween commands a lot of attention.  How does your dog respond to all […]

Why to Get One Dog at a Time

What is a Pack? “Pack” refers to a family group of wolves, consisting of a male and female and their offspring of various ages.  Only the original parents reproduce and the older pups, not yet ready to leave and find mates of their own, help raise their new siblings.  That’s all there is to it.  […]

Leash Skills Series #7: Limitations of “Be a Tree”

What is “Be a Tree”? You’ve probably heard of the “Be a Tree” technique, where you stop when your dog reaches the end of the leash.  Some people suggest you turn and go the other way when your dog gets to the end of the leash.  Both of these techniques result in the dog feeling […]

Leash Skills Series #5: Why a Loose Leash?

Are you walking a dog or flying a kite? What guides your dog when the two of you are walking? Is it the leash itself? Or on the other hand, does your dog watch you to see where you go, with a loose leash between you? Some dogs and owners use a tight leash as […]