Showing posts from April, 2021

Treats and a Training Plan Help Dogs to Wear a Muzzle, Study Shows

Dogs should learn to wear a muzzle, but many people make mistakes and there’s a fit issue too, according to new research. A dog wears a muzzle at the vet. Photo: Lipik Stock Media/Shutterstock By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. All dogs can need to wear a muzzle at some point in their life, especially at the vet where some procedures are not safe if the dog is not muzzled. Wearing a muzzle can be stressful for the dog if they are not trained for it. But how much training do people do, what is the fit like, and how is the dog’s behaviour affected?  These questions are answered in some new research published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour . It's the first time scientists have looked at muzzle training and fit. The results show common errors in how people train their dog (or don’t), and in the fit of the muzzle. Dr. Christine Arhant of the Institute of Animal Welfare Science, Univ

The Lemonade Conference 2021

Ticket sales end soon for The Lemonade Conference - three days of education about dog sports, training, and behaviour. Photo: Christina Anne Costello/Unsplash.  The Lemonade Conference from 7-9 May brings you three days of online continuing education with speakers including Malena DeMartini, Jessica Hekman, Kathryn Lord, Emily Larlham, Daniel Mills, Eileen Anderson, Tabitha Kucera, Christopher Pachel, Kathy Sdao, and many more - including myself. It's brought to you by the IAABC and Denise Fenzi and ticket sales end soon. Scholarships are also available and the deadline is this Friday 23rd April. 

Companion Animal Psychology News April 2021

Myths about dogs, making indoor/outdoor decisions about cats, and providing shade for guinea pigs... this month's Companion Animal Psychology news. By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. My favourites this month "I know where you read this and it's a myth" Dr. Marc Bekoff on common questions about dogs , and why it's important to recognize dogs as unique individuals.   “Our message to owners is to start preparing now, rather than waiting until things return more to normal.” Dr. Rachel Casey on preparing your dog for life after lockdown .   “And while concerning yourself with a toy’s color indicates that an owner is laudably considering their dog’s preference, it’s probably better to let your dog decide what toy they prefer.” Should you really only buy blue dog toys? by Sam Blum.  “Will your dog stop on cue when trotting, loping or full-out running away from you? I consid

13 Common Dog Training Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The common mistakes many people make when training their dog. Photo: Alexei_tm/Shutterstock By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. Training your dog is one of those things that everyone expects to be easy. You ask the dog to do something, give them a treat, simples! But, it’s not always so simple, especially if you are training  a dog for the first time. Here are some common mistakes that many people make when they are training their dog.  Sadly, because anyone can call themselves a dog trainer, some dog trainers make these mistakes too! In particular, don’t hire a dog trainer who makes any of the first three mistakes on the list, because studies show these techniques either risk harming your dog or are ineffective. Using shock, prong, or choke collars Unfortunately, using shock, prong, or choke collars has risks, according to scientific research.  All of these methods are aversive. Using

How to Prioritize Training for a New Rescue Dog: A Guide

So you brought home a new best friend, and you’re not sure where to start with training your new rescue dog. Here are some tips. Photo: Geartooth Productions/Shutterstock By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you There’s a lot to think about when you bring home a rescue or shelter dog. How should you decide what kinds of training to do with them, and what to prioritize? This article includes general tips on training method, routine, management, house training, pulling on leash, and alone time. As well, there are some special considerations for puppies, jumpy/mouthy dogs, fearful dogs, and senior dogs.  It can take a little while for a dog to settle in. If they seem a bit quiet or boring at the beginning, remember they are probably stressed by the transition. Their real personality will come out as they adapt to their new home. Use reward-based training methods Perhaps the most important thing you

Animal Book Club April 2021

The April choice for the Companion Animal Psychology Book Club.  By Zazie Todd, PhD This month, the Animal Book Club is reading Biology of Dogs: From Gonads Through Guts To Ganglia by Tim Lewis PhD. From the book's description: "You may be thinking, How can I take this book seriously when the subtitle starts with the word “gonads”? If so, you have probably not met Tim Lewis yet. Take it from Tim: Gonads are what biology is all about. They are the mechanisms that allow living beings to reproduce – and without reproduction, there’s no life. Of course, there is way more to it than just reproduction. Biology of Dogs takes you on a series of tours through all the major biological systems – reproductive, nervous, musculoskeletal, digestive and more. Tim leads these tours in a fun and irreverent manner, offering insights that will enhance your dog-human relationships so much that you will abandon all of your human friends to spend more time with your dog! And for those of you who s

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