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“For me, a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.”


~ Roger Caras, president emeritus, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals


ing orders,” advises Patricia McCon- nell, Ph.D., a certified applied animal behaviorist in Black Earth, Wisconsin, and author of multiple titles, including The Other End of the Leash. “When he exhibits new behaviors, capture them, add a cue and give them a cute name. Always, the basis of the best tricks hap- pens when the dog offers his own ideas.” Pat Miller, of Peaceable Paws, in


Fairplay, Maryland, also respects an animal as a thinking partner, “You get to see them figure out how things work,” she says. Miller, who serves as the training editor for Whole Dog Jour- nal, has trained dogs, cats, horses and a pot-bellied pig. She’s particularly pleased to


have transformed a terrier, previously deemed unadoptable by a shelter be- cause of his biting, into a happy, stable patron of New York’s Central Park. Posi- tive dog training literally saved his life.


Retraining/Renaming


Bad Behaviors With patience and know-how, jumping up on people can turn into dancing the conga. Grumbly growling noises can turn into “Whisper,” or “Tell me a secret.” Excessive barking can be interpret-


ed as bored whining: “There’s nothing to do!” Or, your pet could be answer- ing another dog that you can’t hear. Changes in weather also can make a dog anxious and vocal. Of course, he may just want attention. If you find the reason, it’s easier to find the cure. Is a dog shy or fearful? “Don’t put him in a situation beyond his comfort zone,” counsels Cara Shannon, an ex- pert in curbing aggressive dog behav- ior in Austin, Texas. “Let him observe from a safe distance, but not interact, perhaps watching his surroundings with you from inside the car.”


She also relates the story of a fear- ful foster dog that learned nose work (scent discrimination) and can find a small vial of essential oil hidden in a room. “The praise she receives gives her confidence to try other new things,” observes Shannon.


Stilwell remarks, “Learning to cope with newness is a huge benefit for any animal.”


Sandra Murphy is a freelance writer at StLouisFreelanceWriter@mindspring.com.


Connect with positive trainers: Victoria Stilwell, Positively.com; Linda Michaels, WholisticDogTraining.com; Pat Miller, PeaceablePaws.com; M. Shirley Chong, ShirleyChong.com; Patricia McConnell, PatriciaMcConnell.com; Cara Shannon, BuddysChance.com/Caravacchiano.html.


www.OceansEdgeVetClinic.com


www.greencropnutrition.com www.qualitygreenspecialists.com November 2011


natural awakenings


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