Blog

Suzanne’s blog offers her thoughts on a wide range of topics, from Life on the Farm to her take on dogs, training, techniques, and more.

Suzanne Clothier’s Blog

The Holiday Treasure Hunt

Welcome to the new website! To help introduce you to the site, and to kick off the holiday season we...

The Work/Life Balance Changing

Work/life balance is some kind of high-wire act, I think. And I’ve got a fairly simple balance to strike in...

Screening for Cancer After Health Scare in Older Dog

My wonderful old girl Flicker gave me a scare on Friday. All well now, but sheesh. When a 12.5 year...

PODCAST: The Deal With Animals/Marika Bell interviews Suzanne Clothier

Here are two interviews with anthrozoologist Marika Bell on her podcast, The Deal with Animals. The original interview July 21,...

Gardener or Carpenter?

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/05/28/614386847/what-kind-of-parent-are-you-carpenter-or-gardener When I first encountered psychology & philosophy professor Alison Gopnik’s work, it made me think a lot about how...

A Profound Magic

There are days when I am powerfully reminded that science has so many limits that we are unable to explain...

Consistency and Change

2022 is a summer full of changes, some anticipated, some surprising. As I work to keep my balance and to...

Behavioral Flexibility is a Many Splendored Thing

Reactive. Intelligent. Aggressive. Distracted. Trainable. These are very big and very broad labels that are used to describe a range...

Breed Doesn’t Determine Personality study

The original study: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abk0639 I’ve now read several of the articles written on this study, and chose this one as...

A Shared Journey: The Power and Responsibility of Animal Assisted Interactions

Suzanne Clothier’s keynote address, A Shared Journey: The Power and Responsibility of Animal Assisted Interactions University of Minnesota’s 2014 Nature...

Keeping winter boredom at bay!

Winter can be fun, but it can also provide challenges – how do you keep housebound pets happy? I contributed...

Learning to Listen by Cindy Knowlton

This is a guest post, from trainer Cindy Knowlton, owner of See Spot Grin in Maryland. Click here for other...

Pure Dog Talk Podcast with Suzanne Clothier

This is a PURE DOG TALK Podcast, originally published Jan 7, 2019 – enjoy! CLICK HERE TO LISTEN Suzanne Clothier...

Animal Time

We are a busy species. Our calendars are full, our days and weeks scheduled tight. We dash here and there,...

Resource Guarding — Or Rule Setting?

One says “I’m worried”   One warns, “Do not think about it.” Do you know the difference? Resource guarding is a...

Slow Motion Chihuahua Spinning

At the May 2019 THE PHYSICAL DOG seminar in Austin, hosted by Janice Patton of ARF, we were able to...

Encounters with Nature

On my May 2019 trip to Pittsburgh, I had the pleasure of presenting my evening lecture at the National Aviary....

SWIFT RETURN – Your Dog is Lost? What to do! (Guest post)

Way back in the early 90s, on a snowy day in January, two of my dogs got out of our...

The Ultimate Guide to Aid Organizations for Pet Owners in Need

From TheSimpleDollar.com “When it comes to our pets, they’re more than just animals – they are members of our family....

Real time

This afternoon, with all fed, settled, watered and no one needing me, I laid down with the eight puppies in...

Your Aggression, Dog’s Aggression

From the University of Pennsylvania comes an interesting new study that actually looks at how an owner’s aggressive behavior affects...

12 Pups and Tears For A Good Dog

When the phone rang that morning a while back, twelve puppies lay sleeping in contented piles at my feet. Snuggled...

A Crowd at the Gate: Dr. Sharon Willoughby-Blake DVM

On Nov. 10, 2010 an immeasurably large crowd gathered at the gates of Heaven to meet someone special. There were...

Dogs of All Nations, 1915

Dogs of All Nations, 1915 Once again, a tip from my good friend Ginny leads me to a very interesting...

A Scarlet Macaw’s Lessons in Honesty

“The truth needs so little rehearsal.”  (Barbara Kingsolver) In this one simple sentence, Kingsolver sums up not just the value...

A Shelter Story – CARAT

From my Canadian friend & fellow trainer Catherine Thomas, an interesting look at the value of CARAT in animal shelter...

A Simple Gift of Immeasurable Greatness

ODE TO A LITTLE YELLOW DOG For quite a few years now, I’ve had a special friend that I only...

Acceptance

Many summers ago, we hit a wave of events that turned the summer into something far from what I had...

Caring for Others

Here’s a powerful thought from Edith Windsor: “If you really care about the quality of somebody’s life as much as...

Cheetahs on the edge – director’s cut

Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to spend a few minutes meeting a cheetah up close and personal. What...

Feral Dogs Blog and Dr. Mark Johnson

My friend Tom O’Dowd is not just a long time friend as well as a wonderful, kind, smart man and...

Flipping Over Frozen Pee

Every season brings new adventures. One fine winter not too long ago, I found myself developing a new technique for...

In My Good Death

HAWKS HUNT’S MAN IN BLACK “CASH” Feb 1, 2004-April 20, 2013 In the early hours of this day, our lovely...

Keep the Claws in the Paws

When he arrived a few years ago, he was barely 9 ounces but already close to 6 weeks old. Every...

MOOvin Right Along

In a household that already contained 11 dogs, a kitten, 3 tortoises, 2 parrots, a pair of parakeets and a...

Mud and Math

Math was never one of my favorite subjects. Not particularly interested in the relative speeds of trains traveling east or...

Neil Gaiman & The Power of A Dog

Neil Gaiman is a brilliant writer whose work has moved me in many ways for many years. In this piece,...

Never Other Than A Whole Being

Often weary of how humans elevate themselves as superior using self referential (not to mention self reverential) logic, I was...

On Thanksgiving Eve

The door slams, over and over as John rushes in and out, trying to make our world a better place....

Outdated Theories & Anti-Depressants

Veterinary medicine often parallels but lags behind human medicine. In the field of treating emotional and mental disorders ranging from...

Pushing Past and Unrealistic Expectations

Spring has truly sprung here. The resident woodcocks are back, winging their way around the farm in relentless circling flights,...

Snow Blind, I See More

The snow is fiercely beautiful in its silent demand that we abandon our restless, hurtling ways of moving too quickly...

Springing, Freshening

In the lexicon of farmers who spend their days with cattle, there are poetic descriptions. A first time mother-to-be is...

The Day Dinner Came Early

Looks like winter’s grip on the farm is loosening. The redwinged blackbirds are back, staking out their territories with their...

The Fifth Season

Our farm is situated in upper New York state, in the beautiful Mohawk Valley that features rolling hills, trees, fields...

The Stonecutter’s Work

A woman showed up at one of my seminars and literally spent most of the first day arguing with me...

Weeds

“I wish there were no weeds in our garden!” But as I plucked the offending plants, I realized that my...

When Is a Refrigerator Like a Morgue?

At a farm show many years ago, I came across Nok Out, an odor eliminator which is better than anything...