Train Smarter, Train Better, Together with a Trainer

Dog Trying Exercise

One year for my birthday I bought an eight-week personal training package — a first for me. Having led an active life full of dancing, step aerobics, spin classes and hiking, I was unsure of what a personal trainer could do for me. But my workouts had become stale and irregular, I’d lost motivation and […]

It Takes A Village

village of support

Caring for a dog, any dog, can be a challenge. Puppies need constant attention and loving guidance to teach them how to behave. Adolescent dogs can challenge us with their independent teenage attitudes. Even the most well-adjusted, fully mature adult dogs take work. As you look back on the time and energy you have given […]

Exercise—The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

Exercise for Separation Anxiety

What comes to mind when I say the word exercise? Maybe a walk in the park, lifting weights at the gym, or a swim in the ocean? Webster defines exercise as “engaging in physical activity to sustain or improve health and fitness.” This definition means different things to different people. For one it may mean […]

Separation Anxiety: Two Truths and a Lie

True False Choice Dog

The amount of folklore that surrounds separation anxiety in dogs is rivaled only perhaps by that surrounding aggression. As trainers, we’re reminded of the depth and breadth of this misinformation when we get inquiries from confused and frustrated dog owners who have followed well-intentioned advice with very few or bad results. As dog owners, we […]

When it Comes to Crates, Think Outside the Box

Crates for Separation Anxiety

Most dog professional feel crates are a necessity when sharing your life with a dog. Crates can be a great management tool. They are helpful with a new puppy’s house-training routine. They can be a wonderful place for your dog to safely go and relax when there are too many visitors in the home or […]

The Separation Anxiety Top 10 List

Top 10 List

These are the key components to incorporate or understand when working with separation anxiety. Unlike with most listicles, you must approach this list as a whole; picking and choosing won’t work. But don’t let that scare you. Many dog guardians have successfully resolved separation anxiety by following protocols that recognize and uphold these Top 10 […]

Gimme Some Lovin’

love your dog

As I’m writing this on my couch, I’m in a certain amount of pain. Pins and needles shoot through one of my ankles due to long inactivity under one peacefully snoozing dog and my body is twisted into an awkward position to reach the keyboard over another pooch, luxuriously sprawled across me. Enduring this discomfort […]

Management Is Key

separation anxiety management

I have often spoken and written on the topic of suspending absences while working on separation anxiety. What I mean by that is that you can’t leave the dog alone except during training. A frequent reaction is that this is an outrageous expectation. I disagree. Expecting anything different is unrealistic. Many types of behavior issues […]

Comfort Food — How Beneficial are Feeding Toys?

feeding toys

In my blog about Guinness the dog (“From Auspicious Beginnings to a Hard-Won Solution,” May 13, 2015), I mentioned the use of interactive feeding toys as part of working with separation anxiety — and it inspired a fair number of questions from readers. I’d like to expand a bit on the topic. Most how-to articles […]

Separation Anxiety Body Language Literacy

body language literacy

While doing my initial online consult with Erin and Scrabble, I go over the reasons the beautiful border collie mix is not at ease behind the baby gate, even though Erin believes her dog is just fine there. Scrabble becomes visibly uncomfortable when Erin walks out of the confinement area, and I point out that […]