Why I don’t recommend training reactive dogs with CAT

Why I don’t recommend training reactive dogs with CAT

Every so often chatter increases about different training protocols used to teach “reactive” dogs to stop barking, lunging, snarling, growling, and the like. This week, the chatter revolved around a method called Constructional Aggression Therapy, or “CAT” for short. (This is not a new method. It’s been around for a while, but it’s popped up […]

It’s Time to Start Listening

It’s Time to Start Listening

And then it was Al Franken. I began my day by reading a statement by radio personality Leeann Tweeden, who described a truly disturbing encounter with Senator Franken. While “rehearsing” for a USO show in 2006, Franken purportedly grabbed Tweeden behind the head and then shoved his tongue in her mouth. Later on he took […]

Emma’s Separation Anxiety Story: Epilogue

Emma’s Separation Anxiety Story: Epilogue

“Tracy Krulik — You cured your dog’s separation anxiety. What are you going to do next?” “I’m going to Disney World!!!!!” It’s true! I really did cure Emma’s separation anxiety, and in a couple of weeks I will be heading to Orlando. I’m actually going down for the Pet Professional Guild’s annual summit, where I […]

Transforming your dog from fearful to fun

Transforming your dog from fearful to fun

On my never-ending journey to help Emma the Beagle not just overcome her fears but also find joy in our human world, I’ve learned how the best dog behaviorists and trainers in the world do it. The tried-and-true method is called “desensitization and counterconditioning,” often referred to as “DSCC.” Most dog trainers and savvy guardians […]

Don’t Quit at Mile 19 (or 18 in my case)

Don’t Quit at Mile 19 (or 18 in my case)

I didn’t win. This week I attended the Women in the Pet Industry Network’s annual conference, where I was a finalist in the Rising Star category for the Woman of the Year competition. I knew that winning was a long shot, but I was intrigued to check out this group and their conference nonetheless. Maybe […]

Got My Dog Over Sep Anx. Now I Need a Life!

Got My Dog Over Sep Anx. Now I Need a Life!

Dear Diary, I’m feeling blue. Now that Emma the Beagle is all but cured of her separation anxiety, I feel like life has passed me by. I was so focused on helping Ems, that I became out of step with everyone around me. See, our challenge was a little different than what most people face […]

Dog-Dog Reactivity: Emma’s Story

Dog-Dog Reactivity: Emma’s Story

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: My dog used to love to play with other dogs, and then one day she didn’t. A couple of years ago, Emma suddenly became snarky — growling, snarling, snapping, and lunging at other dogs. So hubz and I stopped letting her near them. Because of it, the “problem” […]

Dogs and Dominance: Let’s Change the Conversation

Dogs and Dominance: Let’s Change the Conversation

Unsurprisingly, my post on dominance this week received some backlash. “Are you saying dominance doesn’t exist?” some asked. “We just need to teach people how to use the word properly,” others suggested. Let me set the record straight: I am not saying dominance does not exist. If world-class ethologists such as Marc Bekoff and Alexandra […]

Dominance and Dogs — The Push-ups Challenge

Dominance and Dogs — The Push-ups Challenge

Ready to get into shape for the New Year? Have I got the program for you! Every time you say, hear, read, or write the words “dominance” or “dominant” in regards to a dog, drop and give me five push-ups. I guarantee you’ll have rock-hard biceps, abs, and pecs faster than your dog can eat […]

The Second Rule of Emma

The Second Rule of Emma

Discovering The First Rule of Emma (“When Emma doesn’t feel well she gets scared.”) was huge. But discovering The Second Rule might be the key to solving the Riddle of Emma. The Second Rule of Emma: During training, when Emma takes two steps forward, she will always follow with at least one step back. In the past, […]