Positive Reinforcement (and cheese) to the Rescue

I was driving home yesterday when I spied a dog running loose along the busy road at the entrance of my neighborhood. Her black muzzle and smooth fawn colored coat created a perfect camouflage amongst the roadside autumn leaves.  In my rear view mirror I saw a line of cars approaching. Continue reading

Life Under Construction

You know when you visit a new website and click a link or placeholder and see “Under construction”? I feel like I need to slap a sticky tab with that message on my forehead for all to see.

My life is undergoing a major change that must be lumped into the category of ‘under construction.’ For the past decade I’ve been wrestling unsuccessfully with complications from celiac disease, which made me feel like my health was under destruction. Continue reading

Painting Horse Going to the Dogs!

PaintingHorse.com, my website for horses that paint on canvas with brushes in their mouths, has expanded to include canines! Here is short video of my dog Trixie painting her very first painting on canvas board.

She has developed her own unique and dramatic stroke style perhaps endowed by her terrier genetics to grasp hold of small (usually fast moving critters) objects and shake them into submission.

Continue reading

Attraction in Action!

I love this video by Emily Larlham showing the power of teaching a dog the touch cue. This is one of the very first behaviors I teach any horse I work with. It creates the ultimate environment of attraction where the animal moves towards something that feels good, rather than away from something that feels bad. It activates their SEEKING emotion. (Dr. Jaak Panksepp)

I first teach the touch cue using a target stick, then I teach them to target the back of my hand. Continue reading

New Interview!

I was recently interviewed by Regis and Kelly. Just kidding. Even better!  I was interviewed by the dynamic duo of Anna Twinney and Vincent Mancarella for a podcast on their fabulous website Reach Out to Horses. What a blast I had!  Anna, with her hypnotic British accent, and Vin, his witty and warm sense of humor made me feel right at home. Continue reading

Progressive Reinforcement and Reciprocity

You can see I’ve added the Progressive Reinforcement Manifesto Logo to my blog in support of Emily Larlham’s (www.dogmantics.com) solution to clarify and create a new term for what it really means to train ethically.

Progressive Reinforcement, the term coined by Emily, means: Teaching animals by rewarding desired behaviors and excluding the intentional use of physical or psychological intimidation. A type of animal training exists that involves no forms of intimidation, confrontation, violence, reprimands, or domination. Continue reading