Dogs who are reactive on leash is probably the most common behavior issue I see in training. My own dog is sometimes not his usual friendly self when on leash.
I read an article recently that stated in many countries dogs do not expect to interact with people and other dogs when on leash and so they are more likely to ignore them. In the US the mindset seems to be that every dog should be saying “hi” to every dog or person they encounter on leash. I do tell my students to keep on-leash greetings with other dogs to 3 seconds maximum IF they allow them at all.

Please note that although I agree with the content of this linked post, I do NOT agree with or condone the methods or tools used by the writer in his training.  I never recommend choke, prong or shock collars.

David Tirpak

On leash greetings with people and dogs are the number one cause of behavioral issues on the walk.  They cause reactivity, condition excitement, and put dogs in immensely uncomfortable situations.  Lets break this down..

First and foremost the number one reason why we discourage on-leash greetings is due to the unnecessary social pressure that it creates for the dog.  In ideal social situations between dogs and dogs or dogs and people the dog is free to roam.  If they get stressed out due to another dog or person they can get up and walk away giving them space and reducing the social pressure.

Being on a leash is very restricting to most dogs.  They are stuck within a 4-6 foot radius of you at all times and are very aware of it.  This puts them in an innate position to tap into their fight or flight responses.  Since they do…

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Posted by: Linda Trunell | June 5, 2016

New FurAlert is Amber Alert for Pets

When a pet goes missing time is of the essence. The longer they are missing the greater the chance of injury, death or just never knowing what happened to them. This FREE mobile app, FurAlert is Amber Alert for pets, an emergency response system that can notify nearby people with information and a photo about a reported missing pet. This could greatly increase the chance of getting your pet home safe and sound.


I have downloaded the app and filled in Max’s information and a photo of him. I recommend that every one with a pet get the app – even if your pet has an identification tag and a microchip. To learn more about how FurAlert works go to

The more people who have the app the more effective it will be!

Here’s to being our dog’s best friend,



Posted by: Linda Trunell | May 9, 2016

Reasons to Love Canine Science

If you love dogs, you must love canine science. I think it is wonderful that we are learning so much about our best friends!  Here is a great post describing what science is discovering about dogs and how these discoveries can help us to train better.

Source: 6 Reasons to Love Canine Science 

It helps us train our dogs better

Dog training relies on well-established techniques of operant and classical conditioning, but more recent research specific to dogs and their owners can also help improve our training technique. Many studies show an association between the use of punitive techniques and behaviour problems such as aggression (e.g. Casey et al 2013; Herron et al 2009; Rooney and Cowan 2011). Studies also show the importance of timing, that dogs prefer food over petting and praise (Feuerbacher and Wynne 2012), that the type of treat matters, and even that dogs love to work to earn a reward (McGowan et al 2014).

Here’s to being our dog’s best friend,



I wanted to share this well-written and thoughtful post with my readers.  When we understand what “traditional” punishment-based training methods do to our dogs and our relationships with them, we can strive to be better guardians and build relationships based on trust as we teach them with positive reinforcement.

We humans have been trained that the best way to train our dogs is through the use of coercion — and punishment and rewards. But Eric Brad has learned through his studies of behavioral science that…

Source: Selling Snake Oil: Stopping Behaviour Doesn’t Make a “Good Dog”

Posted by: Linda Trunell | November 27, 2015

Myth Busted: Pit Bulls Don’t Bite Differently

Even some “pit bull” advocates are guilty of perpetuating these myths. The truth is: “No dog is biologically equipped with a unique jaw structure, locking mechanism, biting mechanism or “style” that would differentiate them from other breeds of dogs.”

In recent years, things have been looking up for the dogs we call “pit bulls” and their families. Breed specific legislation is on the way out. Shelters that discriminate against dogs based on appearance are the exception. The old wives tales that fueled canine discrimination have been debunked and dismissed.

Except for one: Some people are still perpetuating the myth that “pit bull” dogs bite differently than other dogs. Unfounded claims persist about the severity and nature of incidents involving “pit bull” dogs versus other types of dogs. Claims about the “unique damage that ‘pit bull’ dogs inflict” are made by individuals or special interest groups with no experience in analyzing dog bite-related injuries or knowledge of dog physiology or behavior.

Let’s bust this myth once and for all.

First, it must be understood that “pit bull” is not a breed. Attempts at legal definitions of what a “pit bull”…

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