Why “Luring” With Treats Isn’t How You Want To Obedience Train Your Dog

Why “Luring” With Treats Isn’t How You Want To Obedience Train Your Dog

The vast majority of modern-day trainers will teach obedience commands by “luring” the dog to do the desired behavior. Usually with edible treats, but the same can be done with a ball, squeaky, tug toy, bone, or other desirable item. For instance, to get “Sit” you raise a treat above the dog’s head; that tilts […]

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, […]

Why Is My Dog Racist?

Why Is My Dog Racist?

It’s a phenomenon that people try to sweep under the rug, laugh off, or simply pretend isn’t happening; then it gets whispered about in embarrassed tones afterward.  Namely: your dog gets along just fine with other dogs, mailmen, skateboarders…then barks and lunges quite obviously at black or darker-skinned people. “My dog is racist!” is the […]

Are Fearful Fido’s Faculties Fatigued?

Are Fearful Fido’s Faculties Fatigued?

The New York Times recently published a fascinating article on a phenomenon called “decision fatigue”. Scientific studies repeatedly back up the fairly commonsensical idea that being forced to make decisions – in particular when the chosen options demand exerting a certain amount of self-control – is an exhausting and stressful process. Making decisions makes us […]

Giving Thanks For Your Inner Dog

Giving Thanks For Your Inner Dog

Over thanksgiving with lots of young’ns and furry’ns running about – the former creating messes in the kitchen, the latter lapping them up – I found myself pondering the two most thankful creatures I know: kids and dogs. Sure, neither tends to say “Thank you!” without prompting; but both kids and dogs have a unique […]