Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Is It Necessary For Dog Owners To Know Behavioral Terminology?

How important is it for the average pet owner to understand the science (and controversies) regarding animal behavior? Let’s start with this excerpt from a textbook…

Operant conditioning is an experimental science of behavior. Strictly speaking, the term operant conditioning refers to a process in which the frequency of occurrence of a bit of behavior is modified by the consequences of the behavior. Over the years, however, operant conditioning has come to refer to an entire approach to psychological science. This approach is characterized in general by a deterministic and experimental analysis of behavior. It is also characterized by a concentration on the study of operant or instrumental behavior, although not to the exclusion of the study of instinctive and reflexive behavior. As an approach to the study of behavior, operant conditioning consists of a series of assumptions about behavior and its environment; a set of definitions which can be used in the objective, scientific description of behavior and its environment; a group of techniques and procedures for the experimental study of behavior in the laboratory; and a large body of facts and principles which have been demonstrated by experiment. Operant conditioning is concerned with the relationship between the behavior of organisms and their environment.” [Introduction To Experimental Analysis Of Behavior]

Now, do you know how to get your dog to stop barking at the mailman? To not fight with the dog next door? To not drool and pace when left alone? To Come when called, off leash, and in public? Or to get the kids to not run around teasing the dog? I really don’t think so. I figure it is my job to dig through all of this theory and then show you how to train your dog and fix behavioral issues. Obedience and behavior classes shouldn’t be like a college PhD class on biology, ecology, ethology, sociology, and psychology...

Kids And Dogs, Teaching And Supervising Boundaries

Parents need to supervise and instruct their kids, and visiting kids and parents, regarding activities they can, and should not, do with the family dog. Unfortunately, most people leave all this up to chance instead of purposely teaching and enforcing appropriate boundaries. That’s why a lot of kids end up injured. Furthermore, many parents wait until it is too late, after the child has been bitten to address the dog’s behavior and obedience issues... (More)

Monday, October 01, 2018

Police: 19-year-old shoots, kills puppy during walk

Why would anyone do this kind of thing?

 You really have to wonder what kind of spiritual and psychological emptiness drives someone to shoot and kill a puppy... Concepcion De La Ros was standing on the second-floor balcony of an apartment building when police said he shot the dog, named Princess. The puppy had been walking with its owners, who didn’t realize what happened until Princess began to bleed from the mouth.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Deputy wants to adopt ‘Bud,’ the puppy he rescued in a drug bust

Cops are good guys... wants to adopt this pup... "So, it only takes 28 seconds to fall in love with an animal, and this particular deputy fell very hard for the puppy when he rescued him," Silva said.

What Should I Do Regarding Dogs and Coyotes?

I get occasional questions regarding coyotes. It isn’t unusual to have dog and coyote encounters in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Many of the urban coyotes in Phoenix are unafraid of dogs or humans, and it isn’t unusual to hear stories of coyotes killing or attempting to kill pets, including dogs and cats. They are definitely a danger to runaway or stray dogs. They will also hop over the typical block walls in suburban areas to snatch a dog, or to dig under a fence. It isn’t unusual to find coyote scat in your backyard if you have a seasonal home. I have heard that in north Scottsdale, there have been incidents where the coyotes have been bold enough to try and grab dogs that are being walked on a leash. Lastly, some coyotes act in ways that are abnormally threatening. The question becomes what to do. Unfortunately, the answers are often not what people want to hear.

Stressed people are likely to have the most ill-behaved pets

According to a new study, happy owners tend to have the happiest dogs. Scientists say the inverse is also true — with stressed owners less likely to spend time with their animal companions, causing them anxiety and stress. These pets are also likely to be the most ill-behaved because stressed owners react badly to their dogs misdeeds and do not have the time needed to train them.

FDA Links Popular Flea, Tick Medications To Neurological Problems In Dogs, Cats

Some flea and tick medications can cause adverse reactions in dogs and cats, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday. Some animals receiving drugs in the isoxazoline class, including products sold under the brand names Bravecto, Nexgard and Simparica, have experienced adverse events such as muscle tremors, ataxia and seizures, the FDA says.

Best Scottsdale AZ Dog Trainer, Dog Training, Behaviorist

I am a premier Scottsdale dog trainer and behaviorist. I am a well known and respected  dog trainer and behaviorist for the entire metropolitan area. You can see, by searching the internet, I am asked by the local TV media about dog issues. I am well known in the animal rescue world, and am the Founder of Citizens Animal Welfare Society. I am co-founder of PATCHES, a project to build and operate a privately run animal shelter to supplement what the County does. I do expert witness work for attorneys. I have a partner in another business where we offer specialized therapy dog training and support to various organizations. I don’t use harsh training methods. I’ve trained all ages and a wide variety of breeds in all parts of town. This is a central business area for me, and I’m in the vicinity of your place almost every day. Setting up lessons is as simple as letting me know what you are dealing with, and then arranging an evaluation or lessons, from puppy lessons, to obedience, to behavior modification. I can do lessons at most times of the day, and sessions will be scheduled in relation to where my other appointments are each day (because I have to plan a weekly route, and I HATE being late).

Situational Awareness Training For Pet And Therapy Dogs

I teach Situational Awareness in my Dog Obedience classes, starting with Basic Obedience all the way through Advanced Obedience. Situational awareness is being able to clearly see and perceive what is happening, or could happen, when you are with your dog. It is a risk management strategy, to prevent you, your dog, and innocent others from being harmed. No, I’m not a police officer, professional guard dog trainer, or martial artist. But, I’ve been in enough situations with dogs over the years to have developed sufficient street smarts to incorporate citizen dog handler situational awareness skills into my dog training programs.

Friday, March 09, 2018

You Can’t Outsmart Your Training

You can’t outsmart your training. In other words, in an emergency situation, you and your dog will only respond as well as the level of your training.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Man Falls 500 Feet To His Death Rescuing His Dog from Seaside Cliff

I have hiked thousands of miles, often with one of my dogs. I've had a few close calls in which my off leash dog could have died falling off a cliff or doing some other dangerous thing. Fortunately, all my dogs were well trained, and I was able to save them.

Anyone who hikes has to be prepared for this kind of emergency. But the same is true in the city. Dogs can get away from us. Unless you have trained for emergencies, however, your dog might die... and you might die. This is why I always train dogs in public locations, for the sake of the dog, but to also prepare the owners for emergencies. I'm always stressing safe practices and situational awareness.

A good Sit or Down command is essential, for example. Freezing a dog in place so you can get to them. So are directional commands at a distance, much like what is done with hunting dogs.

Unfortunately, sometimes training fails, or an owner gets past the limits of safety in trying to rescue their dog... something bad happened here, all we know so far is the following:

In this case, a tragedy occurred... "DALY CITY (KPIX) – A heartbreaking recovery unfolded at Thornton State Beach Monday after a 67-year-old man fell down a 500-foot cliff while he was trying to rescue his dog. The Golden Gate National Park ranger said the man’s dog got away from him, and when he tried to go after it he slipped to his death"

You have to assume something like this could happen to YOU AND YOUR DOG. You must have a plan, train for it, and be careful of the risks. This sad outcome could come your way, so what are you doing now to prevent it?

Monday, February 19, 2018

It's official: Pets benefit our mental health

"A new meta-analysis of 17 academic papers finds evidence that having a pet benefits people with mental health problems. The research also reviews the pet owners' testimonials, laying out the various ways that pets offer them much-needed solace."

I have trained a number of emotional support dogs. They provide necessary emotional support and allow mobility for people who would otherwise, in many cases, end up as shut in's. Now... if we can only get the public and regulators to recognize this...

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Citizens Animal Welfare Society

I am the founder and CEO of Citizens Animal Welfare Society. Approximately 4 1/2 years ago, I became so concerned about the massive number of innocent and adoptable animals being killed by Maricopa Animal Care And Control, the second largest shelter system in the US, I began private meetings to develop a plan to reform animal control.

Today, we are seeking to build our own animal shelter, and to continue to pursue a public / private partnership with Maricopa County, such as was done with Austin Pets Alive! and the KC Pet Project in Kansas City.

While there have been significant improvements over the past year, as a result of community outrage at what has happened here in the Phoenix, AZ, metropolitan area, the goal of turning Maricopa into a "no kill" county will not happen without private animal rescue support.

Learn more about our efforts at our Citizens Animal Welfare Society Facebook page

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


Here's a secret. Prospective students want to know some things about my background before hiring me to train their dogs. That is normal. I expect that and can give references.

Which leads me to the thought... who is my current mentor? Every good trainer has people they learned from, mentors. My best mentors for the past decade have been... YOU AND YOUR DOGS. I have learned more from you than any other source during that time. You have made me better, made me strive for higher heights, to study and work harder every year.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Is A Dog The Best Self Protection?

"The lieutenant reminded people to be careful of their surroundings while out walking dogs. He said if you have a permit, carry your gun"

I get frequent inquiries about using dogs for self defense. In this instance, the alleged attackers threatened the dog owner with a gun. There is no dog that can defend against a gun. Even the police are recommending people in his neighborhood, if they have a permit, to carry a gun. These days, dogs are PETS, not for self defense.

Learn to protect YOURSELF. Learn martial arts. Get a gun, and take several professional training courses. Carry a weapon when you are qualified. Install security alarms and cameras. Don’t advertise to criminals that you’d make a good victim. Move to a safer town, don't think you can be Charles Bronson and be a vigilante. Get a better job that pays more money and find a safer life. Stay away from dangerous places and dangerous people, winning is surviving instead of facing off a bad guy and being killed. A dog can’t do any of this for you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Dogs Allowed At Ball Stadiums?

"Kicking back and watching sport is something best done with your mates. Now, rugby fans have the chance to take their four-legged best friends to Westpac Stadium to support the Wellington Lions as they take on Canterbury in Sunday's Mitre 10 Cup duel. Two aisles will be designated "dog friendly" in the first Bark in the Park event, which will convert a section of the Cake Tin into a Dog Bowl."

I have said there are MANY public places that should allow dogs. Here is another good example. If they can do this in New Zealand, we can do this here. The more we get our dogs out and about, the fewer dog behavior problems at home in in our neighborhoods.