Gary Wilkes, Author at Groomer to Groomer

Gary Wilkes

Bottom Line: All Dogs Bite

Bottom Line: All Dogs Bite

There is a trend in modern behavior talk to pretend that dogs bite people because of some event in their background. Then they propose that you must change the underlying emotions to change the behavior.

Ignorance Is Always an Excuse

Ignorance Is Always an Excuse

It’s pretty common for dog owners to blame themselves for their dog’s problems. The majority of them have nothing to feel guilty about—but still do. They don’t really have a justification for their feelings because, (Big Reveal), they aren’t trainers.

Clicker Training

Clicker Training: What’s It All About?

From a dog’s point of view, obeying a command boils down to two simple problems; “What do you want me to do?” and “What do I get, if I do it?” To put this in human terms, the dog needs information about what to do and a motivation why he should do it.

Groomer's Guide to Aggressive Dogs

Groomer’s Guide To Aggressive Dogs

Right now I am working with a miniature Poodle who used to bite if you tried to pick him up. His owners didn’t feel comfortable attaching a leash to his collar for the same reason. At the same time, his groomer had no problems with handling this dog.

Human Fear

Scare-Less Or Scar-Less: How Dogs Interpret Human Fear

I have worked with dogs since 1977. I have handled tens of thousands of dogs—many of them dangerous. There is an old piece of folk–wisdom I have heard hundreds of times. The ‘wisdom’ includes a term that is almost universally accepted and rarely challenged.

Finding A Trainer with Balance

Finding A Trainer With Balance

As a groomer you cannot be completely isolated from the world of training. First and foremost, if your client has a dog behavior problem it is very important for you to be able to refer them to someone good.

Learning By Doing: Aggression And Practical Solutions

When I was starting a private behavior practice, I had already trained two working dogs for my municipal animal control agency. I knew dogs. I knew training. To broaden the scope of my services, I spent a great deal of time learning about behavior modification.

Why Dogs Lose Their Homes

This month’s column isn’t exactly about behavior. It’s about the broader effects of behavior and why I became a trainer and behaviorist. It all started about 35 years ago. I was out of college with no real desire to pursue my chosen profession: architecture.

What’s in a Name?

Bumper was an Australian Shepherd mix who belonged to my roommate, Dan, when I was a young shelter manager. Dan liked to let Bumper run loose through the neighborhood each evening at dinner time. After dinner, Dan would want Bumper to come home. That’s when the trouble started.

Rubbing A Dog The Wrong Way

From my experience, dogs have varying sensitivities to human touch. I say this after almost 40 years of handling between 20 and 30,000 dogs. Some dogs don’t like being petted. Some dogs don’t seek physical affection (I owned one for almost 15 years).

Naughty Vs. Normal

My first cattle dog was named Megan. When I met her, she was four months old and on “death row” at my shelter. She was about to be killed because of the heinous offense of chasing livestock—a task she was genetically designed for. Go figure.

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