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 […]

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” […]

How My Cats Taught Me To Speak Dog

How My Cats Taught Me To Speak Dog

My cats are the reason I am devoted to learning all-things dog. I thought I knew Briscoe and Curtiss so well. Before I embarked on adopting them, I read The Everything Cat Book to learn “everything” I needed to know about living with cats. (The word is IN THE TITLE after all!) After that, Hubz and I […]

iSpeakDog: My Next Chapter

iSpeakDog: My Next Chapter

Those who have been following along know that I’ve been plagued by one thought: There is often a disconnect between what many people think their dogs are doing and saying and what is actually happening. And it’s killing me. I’ve had a front-row seat to the world of fearful dogs since adopting Emma the Beagle in […]

Harness the Love: The Little Beagle Who Pulled

Harness the Love: The Little Beagle Who Pulled

Emma used to be a nightmare to walk with, but not because she pulled. She was never in a hurry. In fact, it was just the opposite: she froze. Sometimes she’d stop moving and stand cowering, making herself look as small as possible, with her tail tucked tightly underneath her. Other times she’d plop herself down on the […]

Do You Speak “Dog?”

Do You Speak “Dog?”

At least once a day someone posts a video on Facebook of a dog doing something “hysterically funny” — like that “naughty” German Shepherd who jumps through a glass window, or the Boxer who stands in a kennel at a shelter with his “sneaky” eyes darting back and forth. These videos get thousands and thousands of “likes” […]

Is My Dog Afraid or In Pain or Both?

Is My Dog Afraid or In Pain or Both?

I forgot the Number One Rule of Emma: When Emma doesn’t feel well, she gets scared. More than two years ago, when we brought our girl home from the shelter, Emma was a mess — physically, emotionally, and stink-ally (Oh did she stink!!!!). It took us months and months to even begin to sort out her physical […]

Enriching the lives of dogz

What goes through the minds of the millions of dogz living in shelters across the world? Are they scared? Confused? Overwhelmed? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, after attending a recent Academy webinar on ways to enrich the lives of shelter dogs. When Hubz and I hunted for a pup to join our family two […]

Why Did That Dog Growl?

Why Did That Dog Growl?

Last week I brought Emma to the vet to get her anal glands expressed — or what Hubz and I like to call “Releasing the Kraken.” Emma was licking her nethers a lot and had scooted across the rug, all cues that she was uncomfortable and needed a helping hand (if you will). When we arrived a few […]

Separation Anxiety in Dogz

Separation Anxiety in Dogz

On Saturday, Hubz and I went to the grocery store together for the first time in nine months, while Emma the Beagle stayed home alone. This may seem insignificant to you, but to us, it was like the Nationals had just won the World Series. It’s huge. When we adopted Emma two years ago, we learned pretty quickly that she […]