Practical Application

Permission, Not Permissive


Out of control!

Impulse issues!


Lacking self control!

These labels and many more are readily applied to so many dogs. Yet the handler often isn't even considered to be part of the dynamic that contributes to the dog's behavior. 

Relationship Centered Training (RCT) always considers the relationship and how dog and human interact to create behavior. Not surprisingly, the human end of the leash sometimes contributes to unwanted behavior without intending to do so.

Even Though…

Even Though. . .

All of us can appreciate what might excite a dog, even to the point of tuning out his handler. It could be another dog, people approaching, food, toys, wildlife, a cat or squirrel, anticipation of a happy event like a walk or being in class. We understand that the world is full of many things our dogs may find far more interesting at times than a conversation with us.

Understanding Thresholds: It's More than Under- or Over-

It is often heard and cheerfully given advice: "Keep him under threshold!" Yep. Can do. I think. Maybe. Um, how do I know? 

While most of us recognize the dog who has been pushed past a threshold and into reaction, it is harder to know exactly where the sweet spot is, the place where learning and thinking occur, where choices are possible, and where behavior changes (good ones!) can happen. 

That Darned Dominance Debate

Dog trainers often have a very hard time clearly defining what they mean by "dominance."  Many oddly state that they refuse to "even believe” in the concept, as if it were something equivalent to extraterrestial life forms or leprechauns. I find this puzzling, and a bit disturbing, perhaps because in my view, this "I won't even believe in that!" approach doesn't speak to any thoughtful examination of a complex and sometimes emotionally charged topic.