Showing posts from June, 2021

Fellow Creatures: Two New Posts on Behavioural Issues in Dogs and Cats

 Tips for dealing with behavioral issues, and on petting-induced aggression in cats. Photo: Simon Robben/Pexels By Zazie Todd, PhD I have two new posts over on my Psychology Today blog, Fellow Creatures .  One looks at the most important things to do if your dog or cat has some kind of behavioral issue, from being careful to choose the right kind of support and help (especially since dog training is not regulated), to what to say to those people who offer you unwanted "advice" on training. Read the post here:  8 tips for dealing with a pet with behavioral issues The other post looks at petting-induced aggression in cats, which typically occurs when the cat is finding petting too intense. So if you know a cat who seems to be enjoying petting but then suddenly growls, bites, or scratches, check out the post here: Petting-induced aggression: how to stop your cat from attacking you .

Fellow Creatures: Why Dogs with Behaviour Problems Deserve Compassion

Today I have a new post on my Psychology Today blog, Fellow Creatures . Photo: Kataryna Babaieva/Pexels By Zazie Todd PhD If you have a dog for any length of time, you learn that there are times when things don’t go to plan. If your dog has a behavior issue, sometimes you have to go the extra mile to help your pet. But because dog training is not regulated, finding out what will help is not necessarily easy. You can read the full post here: Why dogs with behaviour problems deserve compassion . 

Salience, motivation, and good fortune in dog training.

The joy of finding a hot dog under the couch. (Photo: Jane Petrova/Shutterstock) By Kristi Benson CTC PCBC-A, Special Correspondent This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. As a dog trainer, I am often in the unenviable position of having to dismantle odd and oddly persevering mythologies about dogs. And dismantling mythologies isn’t actually that easy (it’s not as easy as training dogs, anyways). For some people, learning that their dog isn’t dominating or moral is somewhat hard to swallow, as it goes against the riptide of sad and iniquitous misinformation that they’ve been caught up in, probably since the first time they put eyes on a dog.  Once, a class student—who I think was feeling mired in that exact flavour of reactive, cognitive-dissonance-fueled quicksand—tried to trip me up. I was in the middle of a spiel about why we need to reinforce behaviours forever, unless we are angling for extinction. He put u

Reactive Dogs: Compassion and the Power of Animal Learning are at the Heart of Training

 What to do if your dog is reactive to other dogs or other people on walks. Photo: Page Light Studios/Shutterstock. By Beth Sautins CTC Leash Reactivity, sometimes referred to as leash aggression, is when a dog reacts in a big way to things they see or hear while walking on leash. Common reactive behaviors include barking, pulling, lunging, growling, and snapping. Working with a dog who exhibits reactivity on leash walks is a journey with some challenging twists and turns. At the heart of training a reactive dog is understanding your dog’s behavior, learning to help them cope, and teaching them more positive skills on leash. Over the course of behavior modification for leash reactivity, your job description as your dog’s handler will change. First, you’ll be their empathizer and protector, then advocate and public relations manager, and finally teacher and cheerleader. Putting your heart into this process will help you and your dog improve both your walks and your bond with each other

Companion Animal Psychology Book Club June 2021

"In this superbly articulate cri de coeur, Safina gives us a new way of looking at the natural world that is radically different."―The Washington Post. By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. This month's choice for the Animal Book Club is Becoming Wild by Carl Safina. From the back cover, "Some believe that culture is strictly a human phenomenon. But this book reveals cultures of other-than-human beings in some of Earth’s remaining wild places. It shows how if you’re a sperm whale, a scarlet macaw, or a chimpanzee, you too come to understand yourself as an individual within a particular community that does things in specific ways, that has traditions. Alongside genes, culture is a second form of inheritance, passed through generations as pools of learned knowledge. As situations change, social learning―culture―allows behaviors to adjust much faster than genes can adapt.&quo

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