The Failure Of Treat-Focused, “Purely Positive” Dog Training

The Failure Of Treat-Focused, “Purely Positive” Dog Training

So-called “purely positive” training is a huge new fad. It means you only reward your dog’s good behavior; you never correct the bad. Most purely positive trainers are what I call “treat-focused”, centering around giving the dog edible treats at the exclusion of other more readily available, natural, and fulfilling rewards like offleash play, pets, […]

“Don’ts” When Training Recall (“Come!”)

“Don’ts” When Training Recall (“Come!”)

In my last post I explained why what I call “Leading” is a more helpful obedience ritual to have mastered than recall (“Come”) when taking your dog offleash. Still, “Come” can be a very useful command, particularly in various emergency situations. For instance:  your dog is disappearing into the woods; running toward a busy street; about […]

Dog Training and Child Rearing (or Vice-Versa)

Dog Training and Child Rearing (or Vice-Versa)

My wife and I recently became parents to a (human) baby boy. Many experienced parents whose dogs I’ve worked with – and even some kindergarten and grade-school teachers – after watching my methods have told me “Aha, that’s just like dealing with children!” Up to this point I’ve simply had to take their word for […]

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Silly or Anxious? Dog Emotions and Viral Videos

Silly or Anxious? Dog Emotions and Viral Videos

Quite frequently, when someone shows me a “cute” animal video or photo on YouTube or Facebook, I don’t react appropriately. Sometimes the clips or shots are funny, but often I interpret a sadder, more anxious, or more aggressive emotion beneath the surface. This was certainly the case with the viral “guilty dog video”. Same for many “smiling […]

The Difference Between Assertive and Aggressive

The Difference Between Assertive and Aggressive

In New York Magazine’s blurb about Calm Energy Dog Training – under “Best Dog Trainer” in their “Best Of New York 2013” issue – they write “Newman’s approach [is to] reconcile being calm and aggressive at once.” If you know something about dog training, you can probably guess that I never said this. No doubt they were picking up […]