Dog's Eye View columns

This weekly column about dog training publishes on Fridays in the Steamboat Today.


Dog's Eye View: The dog trainer's song

For some reason, the catchy melody and easy-to-remember words of this song have stayed with me since early childhood, when I watched television on our bulky black-and-white TV. Maybe the words just made sense to me. The song is titled “Accentuate The Positive,” and here are the words to the first verse: “Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative. and don’t mess with Mr. In-between.”

Dog's Eye View: Your attention, please

When teaching our companion dog new behaviors, we often start mid-sentence by saying what we want them to do before we ask for their attention. In our classes and consultations, one of the first things we teach the dog is what his name actually means.

Dog's Eye View: A once in a lifetime dog

Having a “once in a lifetime” doesn’t mean that no work is involved or that no effort has to be put forth.

Dog's Eye View: You had me at "woof"

An understanding of the ancient history of where dogs came from is important, but it’s really more about how humans genetically influenced the different breeds to perform specific tasks.

Dog's Eye View: Ding, dong — trick-or-treat!

Trick-or-treat on Halloween, that very special night full of ghouls and goodies, follows the behavioral principles of the science of consequences. What does this have to do with dogs? Everything.

Dog's Eye View: Training, learning never end

I am in the process of recertifying for my Certified Professional Dog Trainer/Knowledge Assessed credentials. It occurred to me it might be of interest to know what it means to earn this certification as well as what it takes to maintain it.

Dog's Eye View: The magic of management

One of the easiest ways to change your dog’s behavior is to take a look at how you manage his environment. All too often, we can’t see past the bad behavior to glimpse how management might help.

Dog's Eye View: Mistaken identity — my dog will only do what I say if I have food in my hand

Often, new novice trainers are drawn into the notion that their dog will only do what they ask if they have food in their hand. But it’s not the food; it’s the timing and presentation of the reinforcement.

Dog's Eye View: The danger of making assumptions

Making assumptions with regard to canine behavior can be a dangerous proposition.

Dog's Eye View: A promise and a pink evening sky

We finished the last (sixth) lesson of our Head Start Puppy Training Class in Craig a few days ago. It was so warm and still outside that we decided to set up class on a basketball court at Colorado Northwest Community College’s Bell Tower Building. The building sits on a hill overlooking Craig and the Yampa River.

Dog's Eye View: Don't stop — training never ends

Don’t stop training your dog. I believe the very act of getting too comfortable with the level of training you have put in on your dog is responsible for many an unhappy dog/human relationship.

Dog's Eye View: Sink or swim

A beautiful relationship is foremost when we’re working with our pet dogs, and relationship is about give and take and learning to listen to and speak the other’s language.

Dog's Eye View: The sport of canine scent detection

Last month, I teamed up with Sue Sternberg to host one of the co-founders of the National Association of Canine Scent Work LLC® in a series of daylong workshops. Ron Gaunt, co-founder of the NACSW traveled to Craig to bring CNCC students and other nose work teams to a new level of understanding about just how scent moves in a particular environment.

Dog's Eye View: On demand companionship and the dog

Your dog needs you. The most important ingredient in any relationship is being present and doing right by the dog living in your household.

Dog's Eye View: Time to say 'goodbye'

My husband Ron and I had our last day with Beretta, our 14-year-old whippet. It was several weeks ago. My husband had been nursing Beretta along through waning health for a couple of years. Finally, Beretta stopped eating and could not easily walk or stand. It was time.