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  1. Stop Poking Grandma! What's Fair Between Older Dogs & Puppies

    SCENE: Older woman with a brace on her knee, a cane nearby, and a big jar of arthritis pills clearly visible on the chairside table. She is clearly uncomfortable as she keeps waving away the child who keeps darting in to poke her and then dash away laughing. ...

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  2. That Darned Dominance Debate

    Dog trainers often have a very hard time clearly defining what they mean by "dominance." Many oddly state that they refuse to "even believe" in the concept, as if it were something equivalent to extraterrestial life forms or leprechauns. I find this puzzling, and a bit disturbing, perhaps because in my view, this "I won't even believe in that!" approach doesn't speak to any thoughtful examination of a complex and sometimes emotionally charged topic. ...

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  3. The 3 P's: Does Your Dog Need Medication?

    When I was a young trainer, there were no veterinary behaviorists. There were no pyschotherapeutic medications. There were tranquilizers and sedatives, sure. Acepromazine was often the drug of choice. But sophisticated medications meant to address serotonin or dopamine imbalances? anxiolytics to get a dog through the Fourth of July fireworks display? Nope. ...

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  4. The Fine Art of Observation

    The importance of observing what your dog can tell you about himself, and how you can use that information to make humane training decisions. ...

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  5. The Habit of Excellence

    I admire excellence in any field, whether the excellence is shown in amazing cakes or handpainted silk jackets, in being able to fix almost anything mechanical (thank you, dear husband, for possessing that particular excellence!), in creating music that sings in my heart long after the final notes have faded from my ears. I have been privileged to watch many trainers who could create an agreement between themselves and a dog that was rich with nuance and harmony. ...

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  6. The Power of Social Interactions as Rewards

    Put down the cookies for a moment. Can you bring yourself to the table for your dog? You might be very surprised to learn how powerful social interaction can be as a reward. ...

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  7. The Problem With Head Halters

    A look at some of the problems with using the popular head halters. ...

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  8. Training with the Prong Collar

    A clear-eyed look at this controversial training equipment. ...

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  9. Understanding Thresholds: It's More than Under- or Over-

    It is often heard and cheerfully given advice: "Keep him under threshold!" Yep. Can do. I think. Maybe. Um, how do I know? ...

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  10. Why Not Take Candy From a Baby? (If he lets you!)

    Examines manipulation as part of social life, and the dog's need for clear boundaries & leadership. ...

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