We don’t want our dogs deciding for themselves. Or do we? Maybe it’s actually not up to us humans. Our dogs make choices all the time whether we want to admit it or not. It can be a problem if we try to control something we can’t control. I think the answer might be in managing and influencing their choices instead of trying to decide for them!
Dog training is evolving rapidly. Some in the dog community feel that we need to actively prohibit the use of training equipment like electronic and prong collars. There are generations of habits and methods built up around these tools. How do we facilitate the transition to new methods without creating new problems? I think it’s a question we should be discussing.
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!