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Much to consider in selecting a dog

People sometimes choose a dog to buy or adopt because they like the look of the dog, or because the breed or mix has been recommended by friends, or because a breed has been made popular on TV. When choosing a dog, consideration should also be given to what traits the breed has, the lifestyle ... Read More »

Keeping sport-loving pets injury-free

Many dogs participate in some sort of sport or activity. While many activities are fun for most dogs, it’s up to us condition and train our dogs to avoid injury. It’s also important to avoid working a dog who is tired as they, like us, are more likely to be injured when tired. Building up ... Read More »

Tug game can teach valuable lessons

Playing tug with dogs is a great way to reward a dog, to teach bite inhibition, to teach a dog to release an item on cue, to tire a dog out and to teach control of arousal levels. To teach tug-toy, decide what the cue will be for tug-toy. Have ready a toy the dog ... Read More »

Pets are friends with emotional benefits

The relationship many people have with their pets is an important one. While many people who live with companion animals appreciate how their pet enhances their life, researchers continue to study the benefits of living with pets. At the inaugural educational summit of PAWSitive InterAction, experts in the areas of medicine, psychiatry, veterinary studies and ... Read More »

Dogs can be taught impulse control

Teaching a dog impulse control or delay of gratification is one of the best ways to help a dog become calm and self- controlled. Impulsive individuals are usually characterized by their rapid response to stimulation, accelerated action and a difficulty in the ability to inhibit responses. Individual variation in the ability to control impulses is ... Read More »

Recognizing stress in dogs

Learning to recognize indicators of stress in dogs helps us help stressed dogs. Like us, dogs can feel stressed by a variety of things and this can cause physiological changes as well as changes in behaviour. Research reveals three categories of abnormal behaviours in dogs that can be caused by stress: (1) displacement activities such ... Read More »

Distraction-free environment best for training

To help your dog focus, teach new skills in an area that is free of distractions. Increase the difficulty of the training exercise by increasing criteria in one area at a time. For example, if we are introducing increasing the distance from the trainer at which the dog will sit on cue, avoid increasing the ... Read More »

Lost pets can be found, and most are

Sometimes we see notices about missing pets and, while no one plans to lose their pet, owner preparation can help locate a missing pet sooner.  The good news is that a 2012 survey revealed that 93 per cent of missing dogs were returned safely to their homes (Weiss, 2012). Provide the pet with a collar ... Read More »

Dogs’ ‘play bow’ is an invitation

We have all witnessed dogs having a great time playing. Play is important for the development of social skills, for the formation and maintenance of social bonds, to provide exercise and to teach hand-eye coordination. Play fighting and other play behaviors can provide practice for the real thing  (Bekoff & Pierce, 2009). To solicit play, ... Read More »

Play as reward

Play is often used as a reward in the training of working dogs who do detection, seeing eye or search and rescue work.  We know that social interactions with familiar humans are highly rewarding for many dogs and that dogs whose owners play with them have been found to score higher in obedience tests than ... Read More »

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