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How Many Barks does a Nuisance Dog Make?

The Science Dog

According to a paper that I read recently, nuisance barking is identified as a major, worldwide behavior problem that affects 1 in 3 dogs, is a frequent cause of neighbor disputes, and is a common cause of relinquishment of dogs by their owners to shelters and rescue groups (1).

Hmmm…. Nuisance barking.

So, once again, it is all about us. Because really, if we asked the dogs to tell us why they are barking, I would venture that the vast majority would NOT say: “Oh, because I want to be a nuisance“.

Rather (and I know you trainers and behaviorists are with me on this one), their reasons, in no particular order, are much more likely to be:

  1. I am bored because I spend too much time alone.
  2. I am stressed because I am uncomfortable being alone.
  3. I feel territorial around my home’s doors, windows, or yard.
  4. I…

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Alle kleuren in 1 afbeelding

Border Collie Colors


a4-Alle-kleurenKlik hier voor volledig a4 formaat. 

Eindelijk is hij af! Althans voor nu in elk geval. De onderste kleuren heb ik na twijfelen toegevoegd. Ik ben nog niet helemaal 100% overtuigd dat het wildkleur dat gezien wordt bij sommige borders het “echte wildkleur” is. Maar DNA testen laten zien dat er wel borders zijn die het gen dragen. De pagina van wildkleur moet nog worden toegevoegd aan de site.

Maltese merle heb ik later ook toegevoegd naar aanleiding van een aantal honden (borders en Schotse collies) waarbij het merle gemuteerd lijkt te zijn. Deze nieuwe modifier heeft nog geen officiële benaming en er is weinig informatie over te vinden. Toch ben ik er van overtuigd dat het een ander type merle is dan harlekijn en tweed of het gewone merle. Ook hierover volgt nog meer informatie.

De afbeelding van alle kleuren mag gebruikt worden zolang de bron maar vermeld wordt (niet uit…

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Fear Itself

The Science Dog

Last year, on the drive home from our annual vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine, our 11-year-old Brittany, Vinny suddenly and inexplicable awoke from a sound sleep and began to tremble, pant, pace, and obsessively lick at the sides of his travel crate. When I crawled back over the seat to find out what was wrong, Vinny’s eyes were “squinty” and he avoided looking at me as he continued to lick and pant. Mike immediately pulled over to a rest area and we got Vinny out of the car. As soon as he was on the ground and moving about, Vinny relaxed, looked at us calmly, gave each of us a nice Brittany hug, and off we went for a little walk. Perplexed, we thought that maybe he had to eliminate (nope, no urgency there), was feeling carsick (no signs), or had a bad dream (who knows?). Within less than a minute…

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Carol Price – Collie Psychology: A Review

Pawsitively Training

In part, uneducated, disproven, unkind, and in places downright nonsense.  Let me elaborate:

Collie Psychology

I was quite excited when I first learned about ‘Collie Psychology’.  I have one of Carol Price’s earlier books ‘Understanding the Border Collie’, and while it’s of an age that means it has a lot of old-school talk that we now know is no longer relevant, it still contains some good information for those who are able to see past the pseudo-science.

I was hoping that her new book would be bang-up-to-date, with lots of great information on progressive reinforcement training; perhaps some discussion on why outdated training methods and tools worked, but also the issues they cause; reasons why she has “moved with the times” in her training ethos and tools of choice; and suggestions for resources to help others who are interested in learning and expanding their knowledge, alongside lots of great collie information.

Sadly…

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Love the one you’re with, idiot.

The Dog Snobs

“My next dog will be awesome!”

Low key and truthful. Low key and truthful.

A reasonable sentiment for most dog people.


“My next dog will be super awesome at this thing I’m a novice at but I really like and I would love to continue this in the future!”

Get out your pen. We're being awesome. Get out your pen. We’re being awesome.

Also reasonable.


“My next dog will be the best dog ever at this thing I’ve never really seen outside of youtube or the odd morning cable station but I’m pretty sure it’ll be a prodigy like Mozart or that kid I saw on Ellen! I read about it on the internet and therefore I know this to be true.”

It's like this all the time. It’s like this all the time.

Considerably less reasonable, also apt to piss off about 50 people who know more than you and aren’t in the mood to tell you all the ways you are wrong because it’s exhausting…

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Step In or Step Off?

Wilde About Dogs

Bodhi growls at Sierra crop small copyYesterday afternoon, I gave Sierra and Bodhi a snack of stuffed, frozen Kongs. Bodhi, of course, finished his first—the boy inhales anything in front of him. Sierra likes to take her time, alternating between excavating treats and giving Bodhi her patented Look of Death any time he so much as looks in her direction. Bodhi, rather than taking the hint and leaving her alone, will walk past at a distance, sniffing for crumbs on the ground. If he gets too close, Sierra will launch at him with a “GRRRR!” that startles even me in the next room. I have no doubt it startles Bodhi as well, particularly when accompanied by Sierra’s fast, repetitive clacking of jaws. At that point, Bodhi normally backs off.

Yesterday, though, he didn’t. In a demonstration of misplaced machismo, he grabbed the Kong away from Sierra. From the next room, I suddenly heard the unmistakable sounds…

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Being More, Doing Less

The Cognitive Canine

Things are changing in the sport dog world.  We are suddenly immersed in activities to do with our dogs.  We can participate in scent work, dock diving, barn hunt, and more.  Just having one measly agility class a week no longer needs to cut it; we can now attend a dog-related function, be it class, seminar, or competition EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK.  So, should we?

I feel that dog guardianship falls on a continuum these days with most pet dogs still not getting enough in regards to mental stimulation or exercise and most sport dogs being run utterly ragged.  Yes, I said *most* sport dogs.  If you attend a dog-related sanctioned activity that requires enormous amounts of mental stamina from your canine companion every single weekend and one or more nights a week, you might want to reconsider.  Why is it harmful to do too much?  Besides the risk…

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