Dog Training - Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement and Everything In Between!

The other day my daughter brought home two rats.  Yes, rats, not dogs.  She outlined their feeding schedule, their daily routines and arranged a rat's playscape in our (mostly) unused shower.

Rats, she informed us, are a lot like dogs.  They need to eat, drink, sleep, play and potty. They're motivated by positive reinforcement, e.g. treats, toys and soft touches.

Huh, I thought. Dogs are like rats and kids - so does that mean that kids are like rats? The jury is still out on that one but there are surprising similarities.     

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Rate Your Dog's Sense of Smell!

Dog's have incredible noses: it's how they "see" their world.  In her book Being a Dog,  Barnard College, Columbia University professor and canine researcher Alexandra Horowitz challenges us to consider what it's like "to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also to smell sadness in humans, or even the passage of time?"

But just how good a sniffer does your dog have and what exactly might breed have to do with his/her olfactory savvy?

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Seasonal Separation Anxiety

If my dogs had to pick a least favorite month, it'd be September.  After the hullabaloo of summer, when foot traffic is high, and laughter surrounds them, back to school spells one thing: B-O-R-E-D-O-M.

Frantic activity in the days leading up to school can ratchet up the overall household anxiety level. Dogs may start to act out, hoping for attention in their dog-like way. 


It's a good time to remember this favorite phrase: anytime your dog acts out, or your kids for that matter: 


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How Do You Show Your Love?

There are many ways to trigger a dog's passion, from playing games like Tug-of-war and Find it, to heading out for a hike, walk or trip to the dog park, to singing or scratching your dog in their just-right spot!  

Find a way to trigger your dog's passion.  Nothing beats your full attention while doing what your dog loves best.  

I'll leave you with a few images of how we show love in our family!  Please share your images with me in the comment section under the poll on my Facebook page.

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