Category Archives: Stress Signals

Am I a Wimp for Caring About My Dog’s Emotions?

Maybe it’s my upbringing, but I always flinch a little bit at the use of the language of emotions when talking about training. So even though my relationships with my dogs are primary and important, I hesitate to talk about … Continue reading

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Posted in Aggression, Dog body language, Fear, Resource guarding, Stress Signals, Training philosophy | Tagged , | 10 Comments

With Her Tail Between Her Legs

Most of us know that a dog’s tail can be a fairly good indicator of mood. We can observe whether the tail carriage is low, medium, or high and whether it is loose or stiff. Whether and in what manner it … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Stress Signals | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

Socializing a Formerly Feral Dog

When I started this blog, I assumed that I would write a lot about Clara’s training. Clara burst into my life as a 10 week old feral puppy [see note at bottom about feral dogs], and her socialization window was in … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

You’re Too Close! Dogs and Body Pressure

So you are standing at a party, or in your office, or on your front lawn. Someone you know only vaguely walks up to you. He walks up very close, face to face, close enough that you can see up his … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Human and dog misunderstandings, Human body language, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Is That “Smiling” Dog Happy?

Maybe, but maybe not! We humans tend to get warm and fuzzy feelings when we see dogs “smile.” It’s true that some dogs’ mouths open in a cute smile when they are relaxed and happy. But a dog with his mouth … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Human and dog misunderstandings, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Bark Busters: Promoting Facts or Myths?

A friend recently shared a flyer from Bark Busters, a dog training franchise business. It is called “Barking: The Facts” and can be seen at this link.  The flyer made me interested so I set out to investigate the methods … Continue reading

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Posted in Human and dog misunderstandings, Punishment, Punishment culture, Reactivity, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , , , | 90 Comments

What Happened to Summer’s Thunderstorm Phobia?

Is it weird to write a post saying that something really shouldn’t have worked, but look, it kind of did? Is it irresponsible even? I keep pondering why I feel the need to explain all the strikes I had against me … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dogs' hearing, Fear, Sound sensitivity, Stress Signals | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Thresholds: The Movie

I have made a movie about thresholds in dog training. It gives a quick overview of the work that I presented in my webinar for the Pet Professional Guild. (Click here for a script of the movie; there is a lot of … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dogs' perceptions, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Stress Signals, Terminology | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

7 Common Dog Training Errors: More Cautionary Tales

I have to admit that I likely have a fair number of readers who look forward to reading about my mistakes. But hey, I asked for it, from the very first day of the blog. My previous post on common … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Dog training hints, Dogs' perceptions, Generalization, Human and dog misunderstandings, Multiple dogs, Stress Signals | 23 Comments

Is My Dog a Drama Queen?

“My dog is such a drama queen!” “My dog is so manipulative, she overreacts to everything!” “That dog is not really afraid, she’s just being a diva.” Have you heard any of these? A few months back, I posted the … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Human and dog misunderstandings, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments