Gary Wilkes, Author at Groomer to Groomer - Page 2 of 4

Gary Wilkes

From Pack to Play Group

The last 30 years of dog training lore revolves around the connection between wolves and dogs. You can buy 100 books that prattle about dogs being descended from wolves; animals that voluntarily live in groups, called packs. This perspective invariably assumes that dogs are likewise “pack animals”. The underlying implication is that dogs possess the same wolf-like ability to live in harmony with their own kind.

A Barking Matter

Barking is a problem for just about everyone other than New Zealand shepherds. They use “Huntaway” dogs to drive sheep with incessant barking. For them it is functional. For the rest of us it is problematic. People can be driven from their apartments or condos because their dogs bark incessantly. Shelters have trouble featuring adoptable animals because they cannot hear amid barking dogs. OSHA noise level standards require kennel workers to use hearing protection.

10 Steps to Housetraining Success

Behavior Clips
The Background: Once, at the Everett Animal Shelter in Everett, Washington, we got in about twenty 12-week-old German Shepherd pups at the same time. I think they were seized from a breeder but the source really isn’t important.

Behavior Odds and Ends

Behavior Clips
Here are a few “odds and ends” of training advice that can be shared with your clients or used in your everyday life:

The Secret Power of Once

About ten years ago I worked on an artificial intelligence project at MIT. One of my first experiences there was to stand in a small room full of all kinds of devices. The professor that invited me to participate handed me a music conductor’s baton and asked me to move it in any repetitive way – side to side, up and down or circles.

Grooming Cut Short

One of the blessings of dog behavior is that you can change it. One of the curses of dog behavior is that it can change.
For instance, I was working with a dog yesterday who gets violent if you try to groom his rear end. He is remarkably like Bear, the Mini Schnauzer I recalled in a previous column. If you try to touch this dog’s rear end, he’ll bite you. We have made great progress with this little guy and decided it was time to go to the groomer to test our progress.

Fitting Hand to Glove

Most people think that Darwin created the phrase “Survival of the Fittest.” He didn’t. Darwin himself attributed the phrase to Herbert Spencer. Darwin’s encapsulation of evolution is slightly different:
“In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.”

Electing Yourself ‘Dog Catcher’

There is an old insult that states that so-and-so is so unpopular that ‘he couldn’t get elected dog catcher’. The insult is especially nasty because dog catchers are rarely the most popular people in a community and the job itself is generally undesirable.

Bear the Bad Schnauzer

I work with a number of rescue groups that have a continuing problem. They have dogs that bite people. Sometimes the biting is only a matter of territoriality. The dog goes ballistic when guests come to the house. Sometimes it’s resource guarding. If it is front-door aggression the easy solution is to simply confine the dog when guests arrive.

Dog Spite and Human Imagination

Of all the disconnects between dog owners and their dogs, the biggest, most glaring, completely illogical, widely held and damaging myth is that dogs can be spiteful. Nope. Nada. Nicht. Ain’t happening. To understand my adamant belief that doggie spite doesn’t happen, conduct this simple experiment based on actual events.

PetQuest Returns June 25 – 28

PetQuest returns to Wilmington, Ohio this June for the 2015 expo! Again, the expo will be taking place at the dog friendly Roberts Conference Center June 25th-28th 2015, with brand new seminars and certification courses, as well as the three day trade show.

Fraternal Twins: Discrimination and Generalization

Somewhere, deep within the bowels of my computer is a nifty little pinball game. It is a tribute to the software designers, who have created a marvelous simulation of the real thing. Two of the keys on the keyboard activate the flippers, and two more act to “nudge” the table.

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