Praise vs Treats: You might be feeding but are you reinforcing?

You don’t have to be a behaviour geek like me to have heard of a recent study that proclaimed dogs preferred praise over treats. If you haven’t, the following article from The Bark magazine by noted Applied Animal Behaviourist Karen B. London explains it best: https://thebark.com/content/study-dogs-preferences-praise-versus-treats. So is it true? The answer is: It depends. Let’s start by clearly […]

What to do if your dog gets car sick

You’ve seen those dogs riding in cars – head stretched out the window, ears flapping in the wind and an expression of pure joy on their face. Yet your young dog has to be physically forced into the car and once inside is a drooling, barfing picture of misery. Car sickness can be a common problem for […]

Separation Anxiety in dogs

Having a dog with separation anxiety is heartbreaking and stressful. Unfortunately it’s also not uncommon. Some dogs experience true separation anxiety where they are so closely bonded to their human that they can’t cope when that person leaves, even if there are other people around. More prevalent is isolation distress in which a dog can tolerate their main human’s absence […]

Baby it’s cold outside! Top 5 tips for keeping your dog active in winter

Between sub-zero temperatures and an abundance of salt on city sidewalks, keeping your dog physical and mentally stimulated can be challenging in winter. It may be tempting to camp out in front of the fire until the spring thaw but a lack of activity for your four legged pal can lead to more destructive behaviour, weight gain, […]

How to socialize a puppy: top 10 tips

Here are a few real life examples of responses from new puppy parents when asked about plans to socialize their new puppy: “My vet/breeder told me not to socialize my puppy until he’s had all his shots” “I have another dog at home so my puppy is getting socialized” “Our puppy goes to the dog park. He is sometimes afraid of bigger dogs […]

Counter-attack! What to do when your dog counter-surfs

Stealing  from counters is a common complaint, not always limited to large dogs. I’ve known more than a few crafty small dogs who found their way onto the middle of the breakfast table! It’s an annoying habit and potentially expensive if your Sunday roast gets pinched, but it can also be dangerous if Rover steals […]

Good reads: top 5 books for dog lovers

Nothing like a long and cold winter to get caught up on reading! So many books on dogs – which ones are worthwhile? Out of curiosity I looked at the best seller list of some popular online retailers and what is most popular is not necessarily what is best. Choosing just 5 books was next […]

training with treats: facts and fallacies

OH BOY!!!  THE TREAT LADY IS HERE!! Throw in an adorable four-footed furry wiggle-wagging at my feet and you have a pretty good picture of a typical greeting when I arrive at client’s homes.   We should all be so lucky to get such a warm reception every time we show up for work!  But […]

The thunder-phobic dog: tips for weathering the storm

 Fear of thunderstorms can be incredibly stressful on both the dogs who suffer from it and the people who live with them. Symptoms can      range from mild panting to hours of uncontrollable trembling. In severe cases, mounting panic can cause some dogs to claw and chew their way through walls or jump high […]

The Art of Kong Stuffing

Kong stuffing as art form? Really??? Absolutely. This wonderful stuff-able little rubber toy has transformed many a dog’s life. Almost  every pet store carries it. Many informed dog owners have one. But not everyone uses it to it’s maximum benefit. Here is how you can turn that unassuming little rubber cone into a most-treasured prize […]