The Danger Hidden in Plain Sight in Photos of Dogs and Children

Three lessons we need to learn to keep children and dogs safe.Photo: Profotosession / ShutterstockI don't know about you, but some of the photos of dogs and children I see on social media make me feel uncomfortable, even while others find them cute. The reason is we misjudge the risks of dog bites, and young children – often with their faces at the same height as the dog’s mouth – are at the greatest risk…

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How Can I Tell if My Dog is Afraid?

A guide to spotting fearful body language in dogs, and a chance to test out your skills.Photo: Utekhina Anna / ShutterstockYou have to learn to read dog body language if you want to know when or if your dog is afraid.  This is a guide to spotting the signs.Many people find it hard to tell when their dog is afraid and may even think their dog is okay when that’s not the case. This is…

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Companion Animal Psychology News July 2018

Cats high on catnip, the heritage of mutts, and sunk costs for mice - don't miss a thing with the latest news from Companion Animal Psychology.Some of my favourites from around the web this month“It takes patience to let the student run the show.” The pause that refreshes by Patricia McConnell PhD. “You know exactly what I'm talking about. There's a dog. Right there, right in front of you.” 10 things to do instead of patting…

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Interview with Lori Nanan

Lori Nanan on training dogs to love nail trims and why slowing down is good for us.Last week I wrote about desensitization and counter-conditioning in dog training, an important technique to help fearful dogs. Lori Nanan’s course Nailed It! shows people how to use this technique to teach dogs to love having their nails trimmed. I caught up with Lori to find out more (scroll down for the discount codes!).Zazie: Why did you decide to…

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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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