In the middle of Saturday’s idyllic (off leash!) hike, the fella and I suddenly realized that we were in a pretty pickle: we needed to cut our wilderness walk short so that he wouldn’t miss a haircut. We had two choices: cut it very short, and drop me and the pup off at the house, or wander a … More Nala Reviews: THK Proper Toppers
Sorry for the radio silence for a little while, everyone. I’ve started a new job recently, had a monstrous head cold, struggled to find time for blogging when Miss Nala is informing me of the dastardly neglect I am inflicting upon her by not rubbing her sweet little head–and this space has languished for it. … More My Friendship With This Dog
Sometimes, things don’t go the way you planned. Inspired by the Muzzle Awareness Week post at Two Blockheads, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about and show you this week: using non-muzzle, easily available household objects to begin this process of desensitizing and counter-conditioning your dog to wear a muzzle. Why Would Nala … More Can’t Touch This: Positive Pet Training Blog Hop
A while ago, a post on one of my favorite blogs motivated me to write more on something I’ve been wanting to write on for a long time–choice, and how offering Nala the opportunity to make choices has increased her confidence and comfort out in the world. In fact, offering Nala choices has caused a lot … More Choice isn’t a reinforcer. So why is the behavior increasing?
A couple of weeks ago, I published a post that was a philosophy and methodology statement and a brag concealed behind a pile of prose about a thorny tree: Nala has a terrific recall, even off of prey, built and proofed with positive reinforcement alone. Nala’s recall is something that I’ve poured hours of thought, training, … More Games to Level Up Your Recall!
Last year, I posted a few times about how badly I wanted to be able to let Nala explore the world off-leash whenever it would be safe and legal for her to do so on a hike. You may remember, though, that I had some reservations about doing so because Nala is environmentally sensitive. We’ve worked very hard … More Still Adventuring
What’s your training achilles’ heel? Mine is actually three heels, as it were–training duration, reducing reinforcers, and training stillness. Three heels which, as you might have already guessed, are all linked together in one big weird misshapen leg-protrusion of weakness and arrow vulnerability. Okay, my nerdy, allusive metaphor is pretty belabored and isn’t working very … More How Long?! Resolving to Overcome a Training Challenge
Puzzle toys are like books for dogs. They serve a lot of the same purposes–they amuse and entertain, they exercise a dog’s brain and increase her capacity to think, they tire her out, they amuse her when she’s all by herself. When I first adopted Nala, I knew that I wanted puzzle toys to be a … More How Nala Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Kong
I’ve written about loose leash walking before–in fact, I did so for my first ever post for this blog hop! But it’s an inexhaustible topic. It’s a notoriously difficult task to teach for so many reasons–it’s boring, frustrating, and has the kind of “I know it when I see it” criteria that spells disaster for dogs and handlers alike. Here … More Troubleshooting Loose Leash Walking: Positive Pet Training Blog Hop
For once, this post isn’t about how Nala can be a worrywart. Instead, it’s about something that’s been worrying me lately. Namely, what if my insufferable paranoia is all that has been keeping Nala from enjoying the pleasures of off leash walking? After all, I can think of a host of reasons, some of them … More On worries, trust, and off leash aspirations