“Why does our dog have to sniff everything when we go for a walk?”

By |2018-10-15T11:19:28+10:00March 15th, 2018|General Information, Reinforcement, Training|

Dear Sarah, Our dog wants to sniff a lot when out on a walk. We’ve read somewhere that we shouldn’t let her because she should be walking with us. Is this right? Kaitlyn O Hi Kaitlyn, Dogs’ view the world very differently to the way that humans do. They don’t see the world through their eyes like we do - their nose and their sense of smell is the thing that gives them the most information about the world around them. I don’t agree with not allowing a dog to sniff on a walk. That would be like me [...]

The Force-Free Movement

By |2017-08-29T08:59:02+10:00August 29th, 2017|Human-Animal Bond, Punishment, Reinforcement|

I get a lot of people asking me about force-free training. Why am I a force-free trainer? How does that differ to other styles? Why don’t I use punishment in training? Wouldn’t it be easier just to give them a good smack or quick correction to “show them who’s boss”? It’s great that people are asking these questions. There is SO much information out there on training dogs and dog behaviour. From the internet to You-Tube, TED talks, online tutorials, breeders, trainers, behaviourists, vets, pet stores, neighbours, friends and other dog owners – the amount of information available is endless. [...]

“My dog is 7 months old, why is she still being naughty?”

By |2018-09-21T14:59:19+10:00June 29th, 2017|Reinforcement, Training|

Dear Sarah,  How long does it take dogs to learn things? My dog is 7 months old – I’m really frustrated that she still does naughty stuff. Shouldn’t that have stopped by now?? Eliza P Hi Eliza, I think at times we humans are a little unrealistic (and a little impatient) with our dogs when it comes to learning what’s expected in our human world. Let’s look at children for example – do we expect that they will know everything by the time they are toddlers? Teenagers? (I know teenagers think they know everything, but that’s another story!). Young [...]

“How do I get my dog to come when I call her? She just completely ignores me.”

By |2018-04-04T08:46:46+10:00November 1st, 2016|Recall, Reinforcement|

Dear Sarah, I’m having a lot of trouble getting my dog to come when she’s called. Do you have any easy tips that might help? Doug P Hi Doug, Coming when called is a biggie for a lot of owners. Many people struggle to get their dog to come back when they are called, especially at times when there are other distracting things going on. A reliable recall means that your dog can have more freedom, and that you can safely remove them from situations that might be dangerous in an instant. So here are 4 tips that could [...]

“How do I stop my dog from jumping up on people?”

By |2018-02-22T10:45:00+10:00August 1st, 2016|Reinforcement|

Dear Sarah, We’ve been trying to stop our dog from jumping up on people, but he doesn’t seem to be getting the message. He will be really good for a while and then go back to doing the behaviour again. Why is this? Henry T Hi Henry, Jumping up is one of those things that drives everybody nuts, and one area where us humans are REALLY inconsistent. As baby puppies, we actually teach our dogs that jumping up often gets them attention, and while it’s kind of cute when your Golden Retriever is a puppy – it stops being [...]

“Is there another way to reward my dog without giving him treats?”

By |2018-09-21T11:33:31+10:00September 29th, 2015|Reinforcement|

Dear Sarah, I don’t want to use food to train my dog. Can I just use pats instead? Hamish P Hi Hamish, This is a common question that I get from owners, and the answer is….it depends. How hard do you think people would work if they weren’t paid at the end of the week? For a dog, food is a primary resource (in other words it’s necessary for survival) and most dogs are food driven, so it can be a very easy way to “pay” a dog for working. However, not all dogs are – and when training [...]

“We have a baby on the way. How do we prepare our ‘fur baby’ for its arrival?”

By |2018-03-22T15:18:27+10:00June 1st, 2015|Dogs & Children, Reinforcement|

Dear Sarah, My wife is pregnant with our first child and up until this point our dog has been our “fur baby”. We are really worried with how he will cope with the baby and have heard conflicting advice about how to prepare him for the baby’s arrival. We don’t want to have to rehome him, but we are concerned that he will feel jealous of the baby. Help!!! Brett W Hi Brett, Many expectant parents share your concerns and there are ways to successfully prepare your dog for the baby’s arrival without needing to banish them to the [...]

“Our dog is out of control; he jumps on people, he destroys things… Help!!”

By |2018-04-04T09:26:33+10:00February 1st, 2015|Diet, Exercise, General Information, Reinforcement|

Dear Sarah, Our 12 month old Labrador x Kelpie is completely out of control. He jumps up on people, chases the cat, won’t sit still and destroys things. We would love to have him come inside but he tears around the house, jumping all over the furniture and knocking things off shelves. It’s making our lives hell. Can you help? Stacy J Hi Stacy, Nothing says “zest for life” like an exuberant adolescent puppy! These guys are often quite easy to train, if they can stop long enough to switch their brains on! Here are some tips that may [...]

“How do I stop my dog from jumping up on people?”

By |2018-02-22T11:18:46+10:00April 29th, 2014|Dog Ettiquette, Jumping Up, Reinforcement|

Dear Sarah, My 2 year old Boxer has a bad habit of jumping up on everyone she sees. She even knocked over a child on the beach the other day. How do I stop her from jumping up? Amanda B Hi Amanda, Jumping up on people is one of those problem behaviours that drives everyone crazy! It’s usually rewarded heavily with attention when the dog is a young pup – party because it’s more convenient for us as humans to not have to bend down so far and partly because there is something instinctive within us that tends to [...]