Innocent until proven guilty: do dogs feel guilty?

You walk in your front door and instead of the usual full-body-wag greeting you’re accustomed to, Rover appears at your feet, head bowed, shoulders hunched, ears back. You glance around and notice the contents of your garbage strewn about. You assume his greeting is because he feels guilty for this egregious misdeed and that he […]

Living with dogs: tips for the holidays

  This can be a confusing time for pets with new smells, guests and strange new things in the house. The last thing you want is to spend Christmas day at the Emergency Vet Clinic. Here are some basic tips to make sure everyone in the family enjoys a safe and happy holiday:     […]

Why ‘how’ we train matters: Notes from the Guide Dog Users of Canada Conference

A few weeks ago I received a call from someone with a new pup looking for a trainer. Unfortunately she was already convinced that the combination of a choke chain and shock collar was the fastest and best way to get the job done and there wasn’t much I could do to dissuade her so […]

When every day is hump day: what to do about mounting

When it comes to dogs humping, I think there are two kinds of people: the gigglers and the mortified. I’ll leave why that is up to others to ponder but I would like to shed some light on what it means in terms of canine behavior. Some dogs will mount other dogs or humans while […]

Your Dog is Not Your Adversary

I recently spent several months deciding whether to switch from a PC to Apple’s new Macbook Pro. It wasn’t just the expense; after all, hadn’t I been using a PC for 20 years and always managed to get the job done? True, but there were EPIC battles along the way (those of you with Windows […]

Learning from the Denver Anchor Dog Bite Incident

Last week a Denver news anchor was bitten in the face by a dog during a live interview with a firefighter who had recently rescued the dog from icy waters. The injury required reconstructive surgery and our hearts go out to her as we wish her a smooth and speedy recovery. Watching the news clip […]

Teaching your puppy to share – preventing possession issues

I was commiserating with a client last week over the number of ball-thieving dogs out there whose owners are unable to get the ball back. I admit, it’s mildly amusing to watch them chase their dog around in vain before shrugging helplessly, but mostly it’s annoying for those of us who rely on retrieving activity […]

Is your dog smarter than a chimpanzee?

Anyone who has ever taken a Raising Rover class or private lesson has heard me talk about how dogs are masterful readers of body language. Recent studies reveal their ability to observe and interpret even our most subtle gestures surpasses that of our closest (and presumably highly intelligent) relative, the chimpanzee. The following is a clip […]

Kids & Dogs: Living Safely Ever After

  Kids + dogs = great combo, right?   Absolutely, but not without a little education and effort. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, out of nearly 1 million dog bites reported in the US each year, 60-70% are to children, and almost 80% of dogs involved were familiar (either the family […]

No Stress Nail Trimming

Judging by how many panic stricken stares I’ve seen at the mere mention of nail trimming, it seems there are quite a few of you out there who are terrified of traumatizing or even mutilating Rover in an attempt to trim his nails. But with the right approach the whole process can be a stress-free activity […]