Pat Brown-John

Ask the Trainer: Should I use treats in obedience training?

Our training expert, Pat Brown-John, is a five-time Canadian Schutzhund champion, with multiple national and international titles, spanning a dog-training career of more than 30 years.  We are extremely fortunate that a trainer of this caliber has joined our blog. Periodically, we will post some of her thoughts and tips to help people with pets […]

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Big dog & little dog

Are you a big dog or little dog person?

Some of us like big dogs, some like little ones, and some like big and little and everything in between. One of the more interesting questions in the dog-world that has, apparently, never been answered to anyone’s satisfaction (although there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and books about it) is: Why do we […]

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Autism Puzzle

Service Dogs for Autism: Buyer Beware!

For parents who are considering a service dog for a child with autism, the following may be of interest. However, before you continue, I want to stress that this is MY opinion, based on MY experience. Therefore, you are free to disagree.

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Do Animals Have Souls?

Do Animals Have Souls? (Part 1)

When you are with people who love animals, eventually the question arises whether non-human animals have souls. I posed this question to metaphysical scholar, Dr. Norman Wilson. His thoughtful answer held us spellbound.

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Birthday Dog

How old is my dog?

There is a widely-held notion that one year of a dog’s life is equivalent to seven years of a human’s.  But the calculation to determine a dog’s age is more complicated.  Breed, size, health and other facets ultimately determine how long a dog will live.  Most people, however, realize that large-breed dogs do not live […]

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Music to Soothe the Savage (Canine) Soul?

Do you leave music on when you leave home, thinking your pooch will enjoy it, that the music will fill some of the emptiness he or she might feel in your absence?  Well, you might be right – or wrong, depending on the music you select and the dog(s) you have. As mammals, it’s understandable […]

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Pet insurance is the best safety net

Less than 1% of dog owners use this safety net.

A true story: “The dog is limping,” I said to my husband. “Well, let’s wait a couple days and see how he is.” “He’s limping badly. Something’s wrong,” I emphasized. “Well, maybe he just sprained something.  Let’s see how he is in a day or two.” “We have pet insurance,” I reminded him. “I’ll call the […]

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Sad Puppy

Buying a Puppy?

Here in Washington state, the newspapers covered a truly despicable puppy mill.  The papers were explicit in their description of what was found.  The state of many of these animals, confined for years to metal cages, without ventilation, breathing and suffering from ammonia fumes released by their urine, standing knee deep in their own feces, […]

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Service Dog at Work

What is a Service Dog?

What is a service dog? A service dog is not a pet. A service dog performs some of the functions a person cannot do for themselves. For example….

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Elephant and Dogs

How lessons from a beaten elephant should change dog training forever

Do you watch dog trainers on television?  I do and one of my favorites is Victoria Stilwell, host of the unfortunate title, It‘s me or the dog. What I most admire about her training principles–and actions–are the positive techniques she employs.  She has said, “We must stop dominance-based and punitive training methods.”  I completely agree. […]

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