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Kindness First

In the signature line of my email, I include the following quote by Frederick W. Faber:

"Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning."

The mid-nineteenth century theologian was, no doubt, referring to religious conversion, but I have found the quote inspiring in all aspects of my life, especially when teaching people about dogs and clicker training.

 

How to Keep Your Dog Calm When the Doorbell Rings

Are you Suburban Woman, loving but exasperated owner of Fido and Fifi? Does your home seem like the 5th at Santa Anita every time the doorbell rings? Wouldn't it be wonderful if your dog actually moved away from the door when the doorbell rang rather than crowd you for a position to greet, or "eat", the people on the other side? Wouldn't you love to have a dog that sits, lies down, or even runs to another room when the doorbell rings-instead of all the embarrassing things your dog currently does?

How to Teach Your Dog to Swim

Splash?

Pet owners often wonder how to keep pets active without having to walk in 90-degree weather. Swimming, and other games in and with water, can be fun for both people and dogs, especially during hot summer days.

How to Clicker Train Your Dog to Stay in the Yard

Draw the lines yourself

Would you like to train your dog to stay in your yard without resorting to electrical shock?

Don’t Socialize the Dog!

Really?

That title is a typo, right? A professional dog trainer would never advocate against socialization, would she? Well, maybe!

The problem isn't with socialization itself, but with many people's understanding of socialization. Socialization is vital for proper mental and social development in dogs, and it needs to be offered properly. Mistakes in socialization, even if intentions are good, can backfire and may even produce an overly shy or overly aggressive dog.