Practical Application

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.