Defining and Refining the “Cortisol Vacation”

Defining and Refining the “Cortisol Vacation”

Summary: There’s no clear evidence that dogs need a “cortisol vacation” of 24-72 hours. The existing scientific literature does point to high cortisol levels impacting learning and stress, but the way that stress is processed by a dog’s body is...
Working With Dogs and Children

Working With Dogs and Children

Summary: Working with clients’ children as well as their dogs introduces an additional level of challenge. Involving children in a dog’s behavior intervention can be beneficial for both, but comes with risks. Understanding more about the developmental...
Another Way Out: Friends For Life’s Fraidy Cat Program

Another Way Out: Friends For Life’s Fraidy Cat Program

Summary: How can a shelter help its most frightened cats? The Fraidy Cat behavior program at Friends For Life was designed for severely undersocialized cats who cannot live outside safely. It is an intensive program that requires a high level of resources, but data...
Working With Animals in Presentations

Working With Animals in Presentations

As a puppy trainer, zookeeper, and zoo animal trainer working in an industry where we do a lot of presentations, the question I get asked the most is how can one keep up good presentation skills and get the message across whilst presenting with animals, in front of an...
Socially Conscious Sheltering: Examples in Practice

Socially Conscious Sheltering: Examples in Practice

Summary: Shelters are a part of the communities they serve, and should be aware of the needs and challenges people and animals in those communities face. Socially Conscious Sheltering (SCS) is a framework for helping shelters change the way they operate and make...
Angles of Approach in Dog Training

Angles of Approach in Dog Training

Summary: Geometry is important to successful dog training. When doing any kind of training that involves distance from a trigger or target, paying attention to the angle you’re asking the dog to approach from can help you reach your goals more quickly. This...
“Til Death Do Us Part”: The Realities of COVID-19 and Your Dog

“Til Death Do Us Part”: The Realities of COVID-19 and Your Dog

In April of this year, my sister died during the COVID-19 pandemic. The four of us sisters had a pact, and typically we coffee klatsched by conference call on weekend mornings from different parts of the country. We would belly laugh at the zaniest things –...
Building Confidence in Foster Dogs Through Passive Observation

Building Confidence in Foster Dogs Through Passive Observation

How often do we use observation as a tool? We tend to monitor, assess, and weigh whether what we observe is what we would like to see. We question ourselves and judge the responses we observe to assess whether we are getting closer to our goal or nearing the outcome...
Making the Switch to Online Dog Training Classes

Making the Switch to Online Dog Training Classes

Our County of Monterey, California went into shelter in place on March 17, 2020, and we had no choice but to cancel all classes and refund clients any money for remaining classes. Our once-robust training and behavior program was at a crossroads. I have worked for my...
Shelter Dogs Go to College

Shelter Dogs Go to College

Summary: What better way to teach college students about canine learning and behavior than inviting sheltered dogs into the classroom? This article introduces a program at Saint Francis University that matches dogs from a local shelter with psychology undergraduates...