All posts by scratchandsniff

Why are Puppy Classes Important?

Training and socialization classes have become a very important part of rearing a new puppy. Young pups learn to interact appropriately with their peers, owners learn to teach basic obedience to their dogs, future behaviour problems are prevented and existing problems can be promptly addressed before they get out of hand. A well-run puppy class is the best way to get a puppy off to the right start.

Continue reading Why are Puppy Classes Important?

Clicker Training Workshop

Have you ever wondered what clicker training is all about? Now is your chance to experience clicker training with your dog. This one and a half hour workshop will explore the fundamentals and application of clicker training.

There is a maximum of four working spots so register early! There are unlimited audit spots.

Please read the below points carefully and use the form below to register to hold a spot in the workshop Intro to Clicker Training on Saturday November 30th at 1-2:30pm.

  • A waitlist will be started when all spots are filled
  • Workshop participants will be provided with a clicker and relevant handouts.
  •  Workshop participants are asked to bring a bag of at least 300, pea-sized smelly treats (cheese, hot dog, sandwich meats, chopped steak – not biscuits, kibble or veggies) and a fanny pack in which to hold the treats, or a pouch can be purchased at the school.
  • Workshop participants are asked to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the workshop.
  • This workshop is subject to group class policies.
  • Dogs must be over 16 weeks old with age-appropriate vaccinations. This workshop is not geared towards under-vaccinated puppies.
  • All dogs must behave in an appropriate and social manner when interacting with people and other dogs.
  • Holders of free passes MUST confirm their attendance by Nov 23rd or their spot will not be held.

Attending dogs must be friendly with all dogs and people – this is not an appropriate event for reactive, aggressive or fearful dogs even if they are small. (If you are unsure, please contact the office)

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”a/” query=”formkey=dE8wRzYzQjJUWno4ak5POGRZUmUzTmc6MQ” width=”760″ height=”1664″ /]

Puppy Socialization

Why is Socialization Important for Puppies?

People, animals, and environments that a dog is not exposed to as a youngster will be unsettling for her as an adult. This is precisely why many adult dogs become reactive, aggressive, or fearful. Raising a puppy in a social/environmental vacuum is more often the cause of behavioural problems in an adult dog than is abuse or being attacked. Socialization is far more complicated than simply exposing a puppy to other dogs. Poorly executed attempts at socialization can be about as harmful as not trying at all! 

Continue reading Puppy Socialization

Positive Training and Animal Advocacy: A Catch 22?

Marc Bekoff is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado and an animal rights advocate. He’s a high profile ethologist who uses his position of influence to better the lives of animals: captive, domestic, and wild. Bekoff was invited to present at the Professional Animal Behaviourists Association conference a couple years ago. In one of his excellent lectures he addressed the subject of animal rights and welfare, a topic in line with the theme of the conference that year. He was advocating a vegan diet for his dogs in the name of the welfare of those herbivores that could have ended up dead and in the dogs’ bowls. In the Q&A I asked him what might be used as a primary reinforcer, and particularly how to pursue counter conditioning, if we are not to use animal products in training. His suggestions involved cantaloupe and crackers.

Continue reading Positive Training and Animal Advocacy: A Catch 22?

"Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, 'tis enough!"

I am not a vet, and this is one of the most frustrating aspects of working with clients to address their dogs’ behaviour issues. I see in many clients tremendous hesitation in considering the possibility that their dog’s fear or aggression is rooted in a medical cause, and there is often reluctance to take the dog to a vet to discuss that possibility. I educate myself as much as possible on health matters, but I can’t and don’t speak with the authority of a vet when it comes to diagnostics or treatment. Continue reading "Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, 'tis enough!"