What is a “good dog?” For most people, a “good dog” is one that behaves like the ones they see on TV or in the movies. A dog that does what is expected and never does what is not wanted. A dog that conforms to our vision of what we want. But is that fair? Do we love dogs for what they are or for what we imagine they are supposed to be?
Have you ever noticed all the different ways that people are mean to their dogs? No? Well, there are plenty of people out there who will tell you that you are “abusing” your dog in one way or another even if you didn’t know you were doing it. Even your dog might not know they are being abused. Welcome to dog training’s “new age!”
Canine Nation is a series of essays about dogs, behaviour, and training. For years I trained my dogs using well-worn methods by the Monks of New Skeet, Barbara Woodhouse, and others. All compulsion based, dominance focused methods that worked well enough until they didn’t. They led us to a dangerous confrontation with our 18-month-old dog Vince. That forced me to re-evaluate everything I thought I knew about dogs and training. My 16+ year journey through changing how I live and work with my dogs is reflected in these essays. You can read them at the Life As A Human website. They are the basis for my podcast episodes.
From the Hill is a series of more informal essays on various dog related topics – training, behaviour, professional trainers, social media and more. They are a bit more personal. A bit more rambly. They come from a more philosophical point of view. Just an outlet for my reflective side to come out. They are generally more off-the-cuff thoughts that occur to me from time to time. These essays can be found here under the Writing menu. Just click on “From the Hill” to browse through them.
Guest Authors – From time to time I ask other dog people to allow to post their writings. I am grateful to know some very smart, very insightful people. Some are dog professionals, some are academics, some are dog owners and dog lovers Most are all of the above. I am pleased to have them sharing their thoughts here!