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Category: Blog

Musings on Drive and Arousal

When I first learned to train for competition obedience, all problems were solved with more “drive”. “Drive” being loosely defined as getting the dog as “high” (aroused) as possible, i.e., tugging, playing, chasing food, games..anything that increased a dog’s arousal level, which is pretty dangerous when you pair a dog with a genetic predisposition to […]

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

We are, on the whole, a pretty pessimistic society. We focus on what is going wrong, what went wrong and what could potentially go wrong. Which means, inevitably, things are going to go wrong…and prove us right. If we do find something that works for us, we stick to it. If we have had a […]

Sticky Labels

Labels. That’s a sticky topic in the best of times. A landmine in current times. Because I’m not adept at navigating minefields, I’ll look at it in dog terms. We label all the time. We label a dog according to breed. Certain breeds have certain traits. Certain strengths and certain weaknesses. Beagles howl, Golden Retrievers […]

One Small Act of Kindness

Yesterday I went to the grocery store to pick up my usual items. I wasn’t concerned they would be out.  People aren’t fighting over brussel sprouts and salmon…  I went later in the day hoping I wouldn’t have to deal with long lines. They had organic chicken breast so I grabbed three packages.  One for […]

Opinions

Yes, I have opinions on a lot of things.  If you are interested, I’ll share them.  But be clear, that’s all they are.  Just my opinions.  I’m sure you have your own. Lots of them. They may be the same as mine. They may not, and that’s okay. That’s the way the world works. When […]

When Life Gives You Lemons…Walk On The Beach

Life has been exceptionally crazy lately, so what happened this weekend really shouldn’t be much of a surprise. After work on Friday I drove three hours to one of my favorite trial sites in Wildwood, on the Jersey shore. I checked into my room and before heading to bed I jumped on my computer to […]

Do It For The Love Of It

“Do it for the love, not for the money Not for the guns and not for the honeys Do it ’cause it makes you feel alive Like the way we rockin’ on Saturday night Do it for the love of it, do it for the smell of it Do it for the joy and the […]

An Interview With A Good Boy

The 142nd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show goes down today and tomorrow in New York City. In lieu of a preview, Deadspin arranged an exclusive sit-down with a 5-year-old black Labrador retriever named Zeal—one of the favorites in the obedience competition—and his owner, Petra Ford. Zeal and Ford, a certified canine rehabilitation therapist, live […]

Pigs And Dogs

SOMEONE RECENTLY ASKED ME “WHY WOULD YOU TRAIN A PIG?” Good question. My immediate response was, “because it’s fun”. Then I thought about it some more. And realized it’s primarily because I love animals, I love a challenge and I love to learn.  Which is why, after 14 plus years, I still love training my dogs. […]