Does your animal have control?

Many animal trainers, veterinarians and pet owners highlight the importance of controlling animals. Controlling them, as in restricting the animals’ movement, their choices and their opportunities to control their environment through their behaviour.

Sometimes you have to, for safety reasons.


But often you don’t – and more often than you might think. Actually, the trend in modern animal training is to deliberately and strategically shift control from the handler to the animal, while still staying safe. Continue reading “Does your animal have control?”

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Dogs and fireworks – the definitive guide to eliminate fear, anxiety, and stress

Is your dog afraid of fireworks? How about thunder?

Keep reading, this blog post contains everything you need to know.

Is your dog not fearful of fireworks, thunder or other loud noise?

Keep reading anyway. That may change, and you should be prepared.

fearful dogs fireworks
It’s the combination of different techniques that produce the best effect (Crowell-Davis et al., 2003: 93%). Nobody’s tried using all the techniques suggested in this blog post, as far as I know.

Continue reading “Dogs and fireworks – the definitive guide to eliminate fear, anxiety, and stress”

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Why clickers work

Using a clicker when training – useful or not?

Training using a clicker is very popular, and is gaining ground amongst animal trainers, but here’s what may come as a surprise to you:

When scientists compare the effectiveness of using a clicker when training to training using only treats as rewards (or reinforcers, to be more precise) outside the laboratory, the results are inconclusive.

One study found the clicker led to faster learning, one that it led to slower learning, and four studies found no difference between the two treatments. Continue reading “Why clickers work”

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The world of animal trainers is divided.

You might not be aware of that rift, but it’s there. It took me some time to catch on to it, myself. Basically, there are two animal trainer camps, and they’re hardly on speaking terms.

two training camps

Actually, there are at least two camps. Camps within camps, perhaps, even. It’s not the purpose of this blog post to define or analyze all the potential animal training fractions, however. Continue reading “WTF?”

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20 problems with punishment in animal training

20-effectsRecently there was a video post in my Facebook feed that caught my attention.

Typically, on Facebook, I’m a bit of a lurker. I’m not very active, and when I do watch videos I often don’t share, like or comment – even when perhaps I should.

This time, I watched, feeling my jaw gradually dropping in disbelief, and then I actually left a comment.

I wrote:

“I’m speechless”.

I know, that was lame.

But I didn’t have time for an essay, and then I was flooded by the rest of the FB flow, so the film slipped to the back of my mind – where it’s been festering.

A few weeks ago, I wrote that I was speechless. But in the time that’s gone by, I’ve realized that I should do the opposite.

I should speak up.

Continue reading “20 problems with punishment in animal training”

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