Whatever you feed, not only lives, but grows. Whatever you starve, dies. While positive reinforcement may look like just feeding dogs treats, it’s much more than that. It’s complex, because if positive reinforcement isn’t done correctly, it can actually be encouraging/enabling the very behaviors that are trying to be extinguished. We are marking behavior we want more of. It’s called shaping….taking tiny moments of desired behavior and watching these moments grow into habits, and eventually a lifestyle, all the while building better bonds between humans and their faithful fur companions. Many people......
Every single one of us is enduring some sort of pain. For some it’s physical, for others it’s emotional, or psychological. However, I have come to learn that the worst kind of pain is usually invisible. I say it’s the worst pain, because oftentimes there is little to no support, whether it’s because the illness can’t be seen with the naked eye, proven with a blood test, or because it is kept hidden, due to unnecessary shame attached to the issue or illness. While my profession is working with dogs, the truth......
I am not from Texas. I’ve been here 10 years, but it’s never quite felt like home. Then Harvey came to Houston. I saw Texans walk their talk of “Texas tough.” I have never been so proud to call myself a Houstonian. I was in awe at the lack of chaos, and the calm of a city that had a seemingly overwhelming task. There was a beautiful mixture of the perfect human combination: heart and head. Harvey left, but he didn’t just leave massive destruction behind. His brutal disregard for anything and......
Nothing stifles learning or a spirit more than the fear of making mistakes. Even with positive reinforcement training, if dogs are not getting a click/reward, you will see some start doing restless displacement behaviors like shifting or scratching, etc. There will often be looks of desperation in their pleading eyes. At that point, I am so grateful that I was chosen to be the trainer of this precious, sensitive soul. Dr. Lore Haug of the Texas Veterinary Behavior Services, posted a great article from Tamarack Hill Farm on the perspective that we......
Very few dogs are actually aggressive. Why? It goes back to the foundation of all dog training, which you will hear me say often:
Dogs will always continue to do what gives them the greatest benefit.
It is not to a dog’s benefit to attack. If a dog were to bite a person or another dog, the chances of it getting hurt in return is high....
To put it simply, I teach owners to train in a way that they will have no regrets.
If somebody tells me, “We hit our dog and it worked,” I simply reply with the foundation of all dog training:
“A dog will always continue to do what gives it the greatest benefit.”
Of course it is to its benefit to not get hurt....
Do you prefer working for a boss who uses bullying/fear of punishment to get you to perform, or a boss who incentivizes you to want to work to your best potential by being a good role model, drafting for you (while patiently guiding/leading), and then rewarding you with benefits and praise as you grow in skill?...