Issue 19 | May 2021 — Dog

Creating a Just and Joyful World for Dogs

“I believe the future involves more than just allowing the learner to opt-in and to opt-out (though that’s pretty cool, it has been around for a while). The future includes asking for the learner’s active permission to start, and to continue, with training. To direct...

By Tiro Miller PhD

What Can “Streeties” Teach Us About Companion Dogs?

Let me start by saying I am not an expert on street dogs. However, I am currently working on my PhD, and part of my investigation centers around how we might give companion dogs better autonomy. This naturally led me to research street dogs and how they spend their...

By Erin Jones, MS

Puppy Pandemic – Facing Socialization Challenges Amidst COVID-19

The arrival of COVID-19 hurtled millions of people into panic and an unknown, unprecedented way of living. It has massively affected the societies and political economies of over 200 countries.1 The WHO calls the economic and social disruption caused by the COVID-19...

By Jenna Hall

Issue 18 | February 2021 — Dog

Defining and Refining the “Cortisol Vacation”

The dog training community is full of information, rules, and guidelines that have been passed from trainer to trainer, even from generation to generation. In the past, this was an effective way of passing knowledge between trainers and on to clients, based on what...

By Luisa Depta

Working With Dogs and Children

Some people are dog people, some people are kid people, some people are both. Those who are just dog people struggle to understand what all the fuss is about kids, and those who are just kid people don’t understand why and how you can possibly love a dog like a family...

By Mel Ritterman

“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 –...

By Camille King

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...

By Wendi Newman

Lessons from my Dogs: Reflections on Animal Rights and Dog Training

Discussions of animal rights are generally confined to activist communities, academic books, and journals, and we rarely see these conversations taken up by behaviourists and trainers, but these conversations are important. Although thinking about animal rights and...

By Dr. Andrea V. Breen

Issue 17 | November 2020 — Dog

A Different and Artistic Angle on the Intellect of Dogs

However well you navigate the endless rabbit hole of social media, you’ll no doubt notice that pet photography in all its forms has blossomed there. Pet selfies, pet portraits, funny moments, model pup poses, and all the loving candid moments in between — our pets...

By Maya Friedberg, VSA-CDT

The Importance of Collaboration and Mentoring in Dog Training

I am new to the dog training world. I, like many of us in this industry, have always had a passion for dogs and how they learn. As a certified dog trainer, however, I am new. This is not my first career, which definitely affects my perspective on this issue. My first...

By Dawn Jacques

Using Dog Training Tools for Myself During a Pandemic

It’s 10 p.m. on a Sunday night. I’m out on our block in Brooklyn with my dog, Eddie, for a final pee before bed. The fireworks started a few moments after we got to the sidewalk. They’re farther away than they were the night before but the booms are big and coming at...

By Kizz Robinson

Creating a Better Law to Protect People From Potentially Dangerous Dogs

In 1993, all dogs with a pit bull-like appearance were banned overnight in the Netherlands by a law called the “pitbullwet.” In 2009, the law was repealed, and since then the Dutch government has been faced with a dilemma: How to maintain the public’s feeling of...

By Wendy Las van Bennekom

Research Report: Dog-Dog Aggression in the Household

Canine housemate aggression is a serious behavior problem in many dog households. Accurate reporting of the incidence of housemate aggression is challenging. Few owners report fights between housemates to the veterinarian. Presentation for bite wound care is often the...

By Sally Foote, DVM

Separation-Related Problems: Anxiety Is Not the Only Cause

Separation anxiety (SA) is the term commonly used to describe the collection of behaviors exhibited by a dog who is significantly distressed when left alone. It is one of the most well-studied behavioral disorders in dogs, and yet there is still no consensus of...

By Sharon Carroll CDBC, CHBC

Issue 16 | July 2020 — Dog

Case Study: “Remy” – Aversion to Towels

Case information: Name: Remy Age: Approximately 7 years old Breed: Texas heeler (Australian cattle dog/border collie/Australian shepherd mix) Sex: Female, spayed History Presenting complaint: Human-directed aggression while being toweled off. Acquired from and age at...

By Lauren Rubin

Should Play Be Part of a Puppy Kindergarten Class?

Early puppy socialization classes can have the most beneficial effect on the future success of a dog’s life. Good classes teach owners how to better understand their puppy, while introducing the puppy during their most critical learning period to all the things they...

By Shelley Doan

When Academic Life Meets Dog Life

Having a desire for balance between life and work is something that most people can easily relate to. Being in academics can be challenging in and of itself. Add in work and your own dogs, and it can feel pretty daunting at times. This is my story as a PhD candidate,...

By Erin Jones, MSc., CPDT-KA, CDBC

Behind the Scenes with Chaser, the “World’s Smartest Dog”

In a world where human beings claim to be the superior thinking creature, some of us are convinced that dogs, our lifetime partners, possess cognitive capabilities far more sophisticated than we ever imagined, abilities that we, for thousands of years underestimated....

By Pierinna Isis Tenchio

Issue 15 | April 2020 — Dog

The Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Dog Behaviour

Environmental enrichment (EE) is a technique designed to enhance the quality of life of captive and domestic animals, by providing environmental stimuli to promote psychological and physiological well-being (Kogan et al., 2012; Tarou and Bashaw, 2007). In dogs, EE can...

By Rebecca Hunt and Dr Helen Vaterlaws-Whiteside

How to talk about….

Everyone has different strengths in how they communicate with clients, and one way to approach a situation won’t work for everyone. In our “How to Talk About…” series, IAABC members talk about the strategies they use to approach tricky situations in their behavior...

Working from a Distance: Online and Remote Consults

My animal training and behavior clients are often surprised to hear that I’ll be working with them from my home in Puerto Rico. At first this might seem like a complicated proposition. However, the more I’ve worked remotely the easier, smoother, and more comfortable...

By Terrie Hayward, MEd, CDBC

A Spoonful of Sugar: The Trials and Tribulations of Medicating Your Pet

“Give one and a half tablets twice daily for 2 weeks” I’ve lost count of the number of times I have said this to my clients across my consult room table and simply moved on to see my next patient, thinking no more of it. Well, the boot was recently on the other foot,...

By Judy Puddifoot, MRCVS

Skateboarding, or, What I Learned from the Chickens

  It was December of 1999. A few of us were sitting around complaining about how hard it was to get our students to let go of food – luring. Someone came up with the idea that we might introduce skateboard training, since it would be very hard to train that...

By Dani Weinberg, PhD

Issue 14 | January 2020 — Dog

Managing Canine Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease commonly seen in pet dogs. It has been found that 80% of dogs over the age of 8, and 20% of dogs over the age of 1 have osteoarthritis to some degree, with complications of arthritis being one of the leading causes of euthanasia in...

By Rebecca Barr, BVMS MRCVS MSc

Cueing our Learners: Giving Feedback in Dog Training Classes

Dog trainers and behavior consultants tend to spend a lot of time helping our learners – the clients, not their dogs – develop new skills to help manage their canines. Yet early in my career I had observed that the majority of our professional development tends to be...

By Helen Prinold, M.Sc, CDBC

Every Tale Tells a Story

Winner of the 2019 Rebecca Park Scholarship It is my slogan to help people understand animals mindfully and sympathise with their needs and feelings based on scientific knowledge. Our companion animals have their own needs and feelings. All animals are unique and...

By June Kim

Using Mat Work Training in Behavior Modification

The concept of mat work or place training is nothing new in dog training. However, it remains one of my favorite behaviors to teach because it is very useful for pet owners and extremely versatile in behavior modification work. This involves teaching a dog to go to a...

By Sarah Dixon, CDBC

Issue 13 | October 2019 — Dog

Danger at the Door

City life is not easy for all dogs. For the outgoing canine “extrovert” it’s a walk in the park — new friends and adventures around every corner. For the more reserved or fearful dogs, however, it can be a nightmare. One of the unique challenges for dogs in...

By Sarah Dixon, CDBC

Cooperative Care for Canine Cataracts

Bilateral cataracts are a condition that many dogs face as they age. While most do not see a reduction in their quality of life, this was not the case for Jeter, a 9-year-old terrier mix. After observing that he had low contrast sensitivity causing him to walk into...

By Tori Ganino, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Issue 12 | July 2019 — Dog

Sit Does Not Mean Sit: Giving Puppies a Voice with Mand Behaviors

Puppies are not tiny dogs. While they are subject to all the same rules of learning theory, they are neurologically wired differently than adult dogs, and also have different physical abilities (Fox, 1964; Gross et al., 2010; Mychasiuk et al., 2012). My use of the,...

By Jane Messineo Lindquist

Case Studies: Creating the Cooperative Canine for Veterinary Care

As a licensed veterinary technician by trade, training cooperative veterinary care is a practice that is near and dear to my heart. I have worked in environments where animals have been restrained against their will, and admittedly have even participated in this...

By Jessica Fritschi

Time Management Skills for Teaching Group Dog Training Classes

Running a group dog training class is an inherently different challenge than working individually with owners and their dogs. The behaviors you teach may of course be very different, but there are also the management questions. What sequence of behaviors will you...

By Adria Karlsson, CDBC

A Personal History of Dog Training

I would like to introduce myself so that you can better understand the basis of this article. I became a professional dog trainer by 1961, at the age of 15. Prior to that I had studied dog training as best as one could in those days. I learned by training my own and...

By Susan Bulanda

Issue 11 | April 2019 — Dog

The Most Successful Case I Ever Lost

We are teacher and trainers. We are also learners. Our animal clients have lessons for us, it seems, each time we meet. When is it time to observe? When is it time to step back, adjust our plan? When do we push forward? We are familiar with these lessons, we trainers...

By Michael Baugh, CDBC

Breed Differences in Canine Behavior Are Heritable. Why the Fuss?

On January 1, a research article titled “Highly Heritable and Functionally Relevant Breed Differences in Dog Behavior” became publicly available as a preprint. The authors were Evan MacLean (University of Arizona), Noah Snyder-Mackler (University of Washington),...

By Robin L. Foster, PhD

Shaping Service Dogs to Overcome Fear of Unknown Surfaces

A central tenet of service dog training is fostering non-reactivity to various stimuli to ensure a resilient and reliable service dog for the client. Service dogs should remain relatively unfazed by dogs passing by, people talking to them, and other types of...

By Matthias Lenz

There’s No Scientific Reason to Believe Littermate Syndrome Exists

Searching Google Scholar for “littermate syndrome” + “canines” yields no relevant results. If the scientific community is silent on the issue of “littermate syndrome,” why do behavior consultants keep preaching about it? I started to think more critically about...

By Kayla Fratt, CDBC

Cooperative Care: The How and the Why

Cooperative care involves training an animal to not only tolerate handling and husbandry procedures, but to be an active, willing participant in these experiences. In this column, we highlight some useful behaviors to teach clients to facilitate cooperative care, and...

Directional Control: Not Just for Working Dogs

Moses leaps into action, darting across the field and vaulting onto a platform located 25 yards away. Happily holding there, he waits for the next cue, then runs to the next target. A total stranger is directing him while I stand out of the picture. I spent two...

By Robin Gruebel

Issue 10 | February 2019 — Dog

Helping Dogs in High-Rise Living Situations: Beyond Skills Training

For the past decade, I have been training dogs in Chicago’s busy South Loop and the surrounding neighborhoods. Year after year, it seems like the city is growing—new construction, a larger population, and more dogs—all of which makes life increasingly tough for dogs...

By Judit Arroyo

What Can Street Dogs Teach Us About Socialization?

There are certain truths we all hold as self-evident. One is that basic training is essential for all dogs. A dog whose behavior is “civilized” is able to be a fully participating member of the family. Further, if a dog develops a behavior problem, the foundation of...

By Gail Fisher

What We Need to Learn About Missing Dogs

The Missing Animal Response Network is an international network of lost-pet recovery specialists (volunteers and professionals) who are interested in learning as much as we can about the behavioral patterns of lost pets. The foundation for our missing animal response...

By Kat Albrecht & IAABC Editing Team

Issue 9 | October 2018 — Dog

Through Thick and Thin: Caring For and Training Companion Dogs with Disabilities

The relationship between companion dogs and their humans can be a deep and mutually supportive one. Our dogs give us so much: joy with their company, laughter at their antics, comfort by their presence. Yet sometimes we do not have the specialized knowledge and skills...

By Nee Kang, PhD, Jeffrey Lee, PhD, & Nan Arthur, CDBC

Glucocorticoids, Stress, and Behavior Consulting

As behavior consultants, we often focus on classical conditioning and the four quadrants of operant learning, but there’s so much more to consider. We don’t necessarily think about what’s happening internally—especially beyond an animal’s immediate...

By Kayla Fratt and Jackie Maffucci

Caring for Dogs with Advanced Dementia

Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans; it is a “progressive age-related neurodegenerative condition that affects cognitive function”. The disease, both in dogs and in humans, affects many parts of the way an individual thinks,...

By Melissa McMath Hatfield MS, CBCC-KA, CDBC & Sara Bartlett, MSW, LCSW, C-ASWCM

Spotlight on Research: Dr. Tammie King

Dr. Tammie King works at the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition  in the U.K., the fundamental science centre for Mars Petcare that is engaged in a variety of behavior-related projects, in addition to conducting research on pet health and nutrition. Tammie  has published...

By IAABC Editing Team

Issue 8 | July 2018 — Dog

Online Behavior Advice: Help or Harm?

I founded the “Dog Training 101 Community Forum” on Facebook late in 2010. At the time, I was exhausted from working in rescue—having volunteered doing adoptions, transport, and even starting a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. With 10 “Godpuppies”, I knew I couldn’t...

By Caitlin Coberly, PhD

Literature Review: Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

Just like their human caretakers, pet dogs are reaping the benefits of medical advancements and are living longer than ever before (Katina et al., 2016; McGreevy & Bennett, 2010). While a longer lifespan is viewed as a positive by most owners, a dog’s golden years...

By Sarah Fraser CDBC, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

When do you Fire a Client?

As a behavior consultant, there will likely come a time when it becomes obvious to you that a client is no longer the right fit to be working with you. This may be because of scheduling conflicts, cooperation of the owner, an irreconcilable difference in goals, or...

By Adria Karlsson, MAT, EdS, CDBC

Issue 7 | April 2018 — Dog

Reinforcing Change

“All done!” I cried. Amid applause and cheering, the retired police sergeant hopped up from his position prostrate on the folding table. We had accomplished our crowd-sourced training goal—using a clicker, I had shaped him to lie face down on this rickety table for...

By Ashby Cogan

Embracing Anthropomorphism

As any animal behavior consultant can attest, one of the greatest challenges we face is dissuading owners from anthropomorphizing their pet’s behavior. In many respects, anthropomorphism is the proverbial gorilla in the room: It’s taboo, highly controversial, and most...

By Karen Fazio, CDBC

Issue 6 | February 2018 — Dog

Riggins and Wallace – A Tale of Two Pitties

Background My intake form is pretty basic. I use it primarily for triage. Is the dog being an unruly adolescent in an adult-only home, or do we have a just-turned-adult snapping at toddlers? This intake rose to the top, not because there was imminent danger, but...

By Erika Lessa, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Issue 5 | October 2017 — Dog

Three Leash Reactive Dog Cases

The way a behavior consultant approaches a case is dependent on their education and background. As an applied behavior analyst, I approach my work as a behavior consultant with a bias toward that science. I want to understand the antecedent-behavior-consequence...

By Adria Karlsson, CDBC

Issue 4 | July 2017 — Dog

Training Bite Inhibition in the Dark

The idea that, through certain socialization protocols, we can train a dog as a youngster to inhibit its bite as an adult is the foundation for many aspects of living with dogs: When we choose to take puppies from their mother, how we socialize them the first 16...

By Kama Brown, CPDT-KA

Why Is My Dog This Way, Does It Matter If We Know, and What Can We Do?

As we all know, clients almost always want to know why their dogs are having problems. Many hasten to blame themselves (often citing certain TV shows and their failure to be good pack leaders). Many have focused on a single event from which they are sure the problem...

By Greta Kaplan

Issue 3 | April 2017 — Dog

Lives of Streeties: A study on the activity budget of free-ranging dogs

Lives of Streeties is an ongoing study that I am conducting on the street dogs of Bangalore, India. Streeties is a term of endearment that Bangaloreans use to refer to the dogs that roam free on the streets of the city. I spent most of 2015 flying back and forth from...

By Sindhoor Pangal

Good Intentions Are Not Always Enough

I sat on the grassy hillside near a field, running the leash through my hands, trying to catch my breath in the fresh air. Feeling alone, frustrated, and lost, I had attempted unsuccessfully to run away from the hurt until my legs gave out and my heart pounded in my...

By Aubrey Williams

Attachment Scales as a Tool for Behavior Consultants

Human-dog interactions have many of the same components of human-human interactions: They amount to a relationship based on trust with mutual physical, psychological, and social benefits. The history-taking part of a consultation isn’t just about finding out what the...

By Melissa McMath Hatfield

The Importance of Tracking Changes in Dog Behaviour

Over the many years of dog ownership, I have developed an extensive system of tracking behaviours in an effort to monitor progress (or the lack thereof) in the various interventions I try with my dogs. My background as a social worker encouraged this, as I’ve used...

By Blanche Axton

Obesity in Dogs

Oh, how I dread the sight of an obese dog. I feel bad for the dog and have the usual quick scroll of all the medical complications run through my head, but I also wince in anticipation of the upcoming discussion with the client about their dog’s weight. The range of...

By Jess Elliott

Multisensory Enrichment for Shelter Dogs

I have worked in the animal industry for over 18 years. I currently work at the Arizona Humane Society, where my original title was canine welfare specialist. My role is to provide mental and physical stimulation to the dogs in our care. We get a lot of medically...

By Mik Moeller

Case Study: Cat Attacking Dog

Case information Cat’s name: Smudge Breed: Siamese/ Domestic Shorthair mix Sex: Neutered male Age: 7 years Other animals in home: 13-year-old spayed female Pomeranian dog named Bee History Smudge was found by his owner in a box full of kittens of mixed ages, which had...

By Emily Strong

Issue 2 | January 2017 — Dog

A Circle of Friends Makes the Difference for Chiquita: A Video Case Study

Chiquita was living with two other under-socialized dogs in the previous home. Their owner was starting cancer treatment, and could no longer care for all three dogs. We ended up getting Chiquita and Ramon both surrendered to us. All dogs were fearful when we met...

By the Humane Society of Silicon Valley

Case Study: Raisin

Case Information Dog’s name: Raisin Sex: Spayed female Age: 1 year Breed: Terrier mix Other people involved: Cindy Lowrey, Megan Hewes, Sylvia Brink, Collin Stevens, and various volunteers. Location Animal shelters in Jacksonville, Florida. To help the community and...

By Amy Schindler

Case Study: Linda and Joe – Part Two

Case information Client’s name: Linda Dog’s name: Joe Breed: Dutch Shepherd Age: 3 years Additional animals in household: Two dogs The first part of this case study, covering Joe’s initial presentation, background, and history was presented in the June 2016 issue...

By Renee Hall

Drama-free DRA for Barking

A dog barking and charging at the front door is by no means a new or unexplained phenomenon. Many of them do it with encouragement from their owners as “protectors,” and some breeds were specifically bred to be guard dogs. However, as a behavior consultant living in a...

By Adria Karlsson CDBC

Best Practices in Husbandry and Handling

It has been a very busy and exciting time since the inaugural journal issue. Video submissions have been pouring into my email from talented trainers and veterinary professionals from around the world. Inspiring stories enhance each video, documenting the journey of...

By Laura Monaco Torelli — Husbandry Content Editor

Why Do We Train Sit? Should We Reconsider Its Relevance?

As far as I can tell, training a dog to sit originated in regulations formed for competition obedience around the 1920s. Before then, dogs were primarily used for sporting and herding, or were shown in conformation trials, and a sit was not often trained. Unlike our...

By Kama Brown

Sit Means Play!

It was a second training session with an adorable Labradoodle puppy and his family. He lay patiently at their side while we began talking through solving the issues that come with bringing a young, energetic companion into their home, one with sharp teeth and an...

By Lisa Desatnik

Panic and Pain as Complications of the Cat-Dog Relationship

You have—or your client has—a dog who is completely non-reactive to the household cats; in fact, she may even appear to love them. She might engage in mutual grooming and cuddling, and not mind the occasional cat-slap when she tries to sniff a butt. Does this mean...

By Jessica Elliott

Case Study: Dog-directed Food Aggression

Dog’s Name: Benji Breed: Collie mix Sex: Neutered male Age: 3 years Other animals in the home: None Background A three-year-old neutered collie mix dog had recently aggressed to a level three bite onto two other dogs while in a home boarding facility. The family also...

By Sally Foote

Canine Neurobics: A Curriculum to Improve Brain Health

Canine problem behavior can stem from issues related to anxiety, impulse control, and boredom.  Applied animal behaviorists often prescribe mental stimulation exercises for dogs to treat some of these problems. A unique way to provide this level of treatment is...

By Camille King

Compliance and Manipulation in the Dog Training World

As behavior consultants, we know that it’s important that our clients get on board with the plans we make, and follow through with what we’re trying to teach them. Usually, we can’t teach their dog everything we’d like him to learn ourselves, so our job is to make...

By Nan Arthur

Issue 1 | September 2016 — Dog

Case Study: Linda and Joe

Case Information Client name: Linda Dog’s name: Joe Breed: Dutch Shepherd Age: 3 years Additional animals in household: 2 dogs Background The client is a friend of mine, and the attack happened to me during a training session. There were no prior incidents of...

By Renee Hall, CDBC

World Within a World – Changing Lives

Every Monday morning, when I enter the correctional facility, walk through the metal detector, scanner, and guardroom, put on a body alarm and walk across the yard where hundreds of felons comingle, I ask myself “What am I doing here, and why do I continue to serve...

By Heddie Leger

The Perils of Placing Marginal Dogs

(Originally published in Sheltering Magazine, 2003) Rosie was a loving, beautiful dog with doting owners, but in the end, her predatory instinct made her too dangerous for human society. Her attack on another dog was the last straw for her owners, who vowed never to...

By Trish McMillan Loehr

Best Practices in Husbandry and Handling

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. I’ll add that video is worth a million. As professional trainers, we offer our services in a time where modern technology can be our best friend. A baseline video here, a quick video of us working with our...

By Laura Monaco Torelli

Service Dogs: Ethics and Education

Most Americans are familiar with the presence of service animals.[1] From the standard-bearer guide dog for the blind to the much photographed but rare service mini-horse, their stories are more and more visible. Sometimes we tell those stories in order to laud an...

By Barbara Handelman

Issue 20 | June 2016 — Dog

Building Resilience Through Rapport with Recovery Markers

Resilience, as applied to discussions of animal temperament, refers to an animal’s ability to recover and move on from a stressful or startling event. Many factors affect resilience, including the degree to which an event is stressful or threatening (nearly dropping a...

By Jess Erace LVT CPDT-KA CTDI

Deaf dogs: A Unique Communication

How can deaf dogs understand humans? We all know that the process of domesticating dogs has made them develop a unique ability to read our gestures and body postures, to the point of making decisions and performing behaviors according to what we expect from them. A...

By Carolina Jardim