What is Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning in Dog Training?

A user-friendly guide to desensitization and counter-conditioning for fearful dogs.Photo: Alzbeta / ShutterstockWhether you want to use counter-conditioning to get your dog to like other dogs, or desensitization to teach your dog that alone-time is okay, this guide is for you. It explains what these technical terms mean – and, importantly, the tips you need to know to get it right.First, we’ll look at how to spot a fearful dog, because these techniques are often…

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An Interview with Prof. Hal Herzog

Hal Herzog on our complicated relationship with animals – and what it says about being human.Prof. Hal Herzog’s fascinating book, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals was the Companion Animal Psychology Book Club choice for June 2018. I was thrilled to interview him about the book – and book club members asked some questions too.Zazie: Many people have said the book is fascinating,…

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Fellow Creatures: Two new posts

Two new posts on dog training and pet behavior problems over at my Psychology Today blog Fellow Creatures.The first, Does owner personality affect dog training methods?, looks at intriguing findings from a recent study of personality, punishment in dog training, and dog behavior.Photo: Wyatt Ryan/UnsplashMeanwhile, Pet behaviour problems: In the eye of the beholder? looks at the factors that influence whether we consider a pet's behaviour issue to be a problem.Photo: Shannon Richards/UnsplashHave a great…

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Companion Animal Psychology News June 2018

Make sure you haven't missed a thing with the latest round-up about dogs and cats from Companion Animal Psychology.Some of my favourites from around the web this monthHomeless people and their pets: ‘She saved me as much as I saved her.’ First-hand accounts in The Guardian of how much pets mean to homeless people in the US. “She wakes up so excited every morning and gets so happy about the littlest thing, like rolling around…

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Study outlines reasons to ban electronic collars for dogs

A review of the scientific research finds there are risks to using electronic collars in dog training and says it's time for a ban.Photo: Parilov / ShutterstockLast year, a position statement from the European College of Veterinary Clinical Ethology argued against the use of electronic collars in dog training and for a Europe-wide ban on their sale and use.  Now an article in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour by Dr. Sylvia Masson et al explains…

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The Train for Rewards Blog Party is Now Live!

The Train for Rewards Blog Party is now live with posts from many talented bloggers exploring the topic of reward-based training.Check it out here.Then share your favourite posts on social media.And share a photo of your pet on social media with the hashtag #TrainforRewards.The blog party is hosted by Companion Animal Psychology. Thank  you to everyone who is taking part, whether by blogging or sharing your pet's photo on social media.

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The Train for Rewards Photo Post

Do you use rewards to train your dog or cat (or other pet)? Show you support reward-based training by posting a photo of your pet below.By popular request, this post is part of the #Train4Rewards blog party hosted here at Companion Animal Psychology.Add your pet’s photo, then share on social media with the hashtag #Train4Rewards. An InLinkz Link-upThe photo link-up is open until 8am Pacific time on Saturday 16th June, when the full list of…

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The Best Dog Training Treats

What are the best treats to use when training your dog? From the right size and nutritional composition to what dogs love best, this is a user-friendly guide to the best dog training treats.Photo: Rattanawan Thubthed / ShutterstockWhether you’re new to training or a seasoned pro, using the right treats is an important part of dog training because you have to be able to motivate your dog.Food is a commonly-used reward in dog training for…

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The Train for Rewards Blog Party 2018

The 2018 Train for Rewards blog party celebrates reward-based training of dogs, cats, and other pets.  Join in the fun, find new bloggers to read, and share a photo of your pet on social media with the hashtag #Train4Rewards.The blog party celebrates what we can do with reward-based dog training, encourages people to use rewards in training their pets, and inspires people to improve their technical skills and understanding of how reward-based animal training works.Take…

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An Interview with Dr. Marty Becker

"..a recognition that they have emotions and we have an obligation to look at both their physical and emotional well-being."An interview with Dr. Marty Becker about the Fear Free™ movement, Fear Free Happy Homes, and his new book, From Fearful to Fear Free: A Positive Program to Free Your Dog from Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias, co-authored by Dr. Lisa Radosta, Dr. Wailani Sung, Mikkel Becker, and edited by Kim Campbell Thornton.Zazie: I am absolutely thrilled to speak to…

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