Monthly Archives: May 2014

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

CARE for Reactive Dogs

Wow! My friend Jennifer Titus has created a wonderful thing. Website: CARE for Reactive Dogs CARE is an educational website that provides, free of charge,

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dog Training, Fear, Reactivity, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | Comments Off on CARE for Reactive Dogs

How Did The Aversive Get There? A Call for Honesty

I am mystified by one particular argument of those who use protocols for fearful or reactive dogs other than desensitization/counterconditioning (DS/CC). These other protocols often use negative reinforcement; if not that, then sometimes desensitization without counterconditioning; sometimes extinction; sometimes habituation. People … Continue reading

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Posted in Aversive stimulus, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 49 Comments

The Girl with the Paper Hat

This post has been updated and re-released here.  Once upon a time there was a girl who decided to teach her dog some tricks. She figured out that if she gave her dog something he liked after he did something … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Dog Training, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Just a Trick?

“Crossing over” is a phrase dog trainers use to refer to the act of giving up training that uses aversives and changing over to training that uses principally positive reinforcement: becoming a Humane Hierarchy trainer, a force-free trainer, or a … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog Training, Fun, Handling and Husbandry, Toys and Play, Training philosophy, Tricks, Why Use Positive Reinforcement? | Tagged , , , , , | 34 Comments