Author Archives: Mary Hunter

Does my dog have separation anxiety?

I’ve had several conversations recently with people who thought their dog had separation anxiety. In some of these cases, I think the dog really did have separation anxiety! In other cases, I think the dog and owner certainly needed some training help, but I believe the owner had “misdiagnosed” the dog.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the common signs of separation anxiety, as well as some other typical behavior issues that sometimes get confused with separation anxiety. Read more

What types of dog treats should I use?

Have you ever stood at the pet store, looked at all of the different treats available, and felt a little overwhelmed? I know that it can be hard to figure what types of training treats will work best for you and your dog. This is something that my clients ask me about a lot!

I’m not going to tell you what brand or type of treat to use. However, here are some general questions that you can ask yourself when you are selecting treats to use when training your dog.

Training concepts: What is shaping?

What is shapingWhat helps top trainers get excellent results?

They understand and use shaping.

If you’re new to dog training or clicker training, you might not be familiar with the word shaping. However, this is a really, really important training concept. The more you understand about shaping, the easier it will be for you to teach your dog new behaviors.

Shaping basically just means that you are going to use a series of steps to teach your dog to do a new behavior. By breaking the behavior into easily-achievable steps, your dog will feel successful during the training process. This will also speed up learning and reduce confusion and frustration! Most importantly, as your dog learns more and more new behaviors using shaping and positive reinforcement, he will start to enjoy learning new things and will look forward to interacting with you during training.