behavior

Happy dog, happy owner: why training with positive enforcement is a good idea

Dog training has gone through some profound changes over the eons that people and dogs have lived and worked together – and even in recent years. Unfortunately, many of the formerly common methods were cruel and only served to intimidate and hurt dogs. Today, we have a better understanding of how to interact with our dogs in ways that are both humane and encouraging, and therefore more effective for training. Positive reinforcement is at the heart of those ideas.

Is it possible to train a cat?

“That’s like herding cats” is an old phrase used to describe a particularly difficult or unwieldy task. Cats definitely have a reputation as being more independent and unconcerned about listening to the “rules”, compared to their canine counterparts. But as plenty of cat owners have learned, it really is possible to train a cat – even if you can’t herd a whole group of them.

What’s behind those puppy dog eyes? Reading dogs’ emotions

Almost all people can read emotional cues in other human faces and body language – but can you do the same with your dog? Humans and dogs have a long history together; most scientists agree that the earliest domestication of dogs took place at least 16,000 years ago – others have found evidence that domestication happened as long as 32,000 years ago. In either case, that’s a long time that we’ve shared our spaces and activities with dogs.

When your dog’s bite is worse than his bark

It can be difficult to read your pet’s body language. If he growls, bares his teeth, snarls, snaps or bites at you or others, these aggressive behaviors are unacceptable. Paying close attention to your pet’s body language and aggression triggers can help you understand why he is acting that way. There are several types of aggression. Here are some common types:

‘Fraidy felines: Understanding skittish cats – and how you can help them

You want your pet to be a confident, happy member of your family. A confident pet will be more interactive and spend more time with you, and most of us want all the extra snuggle time we can get with our little buddies. But, many cat owners have to cope with pets that are skittish and scared, which can leave owners feeling like they’ve done something wrong – and lead to a less-than-ideal relationship.