“The truth is that pit bulls are, above anything else, dogs. The truth is that all dogs (and all animals, for that matter) learn the same way. The truth is that we can effectively train dogs, of all breeds, without hurting or scaring them. The truth is that all dogs learn via consequences and associations. And the truth is that (given the right motivation), these consequences and associations needn’t be painful or frightening. And if they needn’t be, they shouldn’t be.

This is an excerpt from a great article by Kelly Shutt Cottrell that’s over on StubbyDog.org today.  It does a fantastic job explaining her (and our) approach to training, and why we choose to train the way we do. Kelly Shutt Cottrell is not the “Kelly” of Puggles & Pitties, we just happen to have similar ideas and opinions about dog training.   Check out her article now!

The National Canine Research Council has just released the results of a study by Janis Bradley.  In this study, Bradley “…examines whether breed is a useful indicator of the suitability of a companion dog. She investigates ‘whether the practice of attempting to to predict a dog’s behavior based on its breed or assumed breed is likely to yield useful results.'”

From the Dog Training Internship Academy website:

Janis Bradley is an expert dog trainer, educator, speaker, and program designer. She was a founding faculty member at The San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, where she spent a decade as an instructor and program developer, working with colleagues to prepare more than 400 students for careers as dog professionals. Before this, Janis enjoyed a distinguished twenty-year career in academia, frequently lecturing at education conferences on subjects like critical thinking and experiential learning.

Janis has written about a range of subjects from education to dog aggression, and is the author of Dogs Bite, But Balloons and Slippers Are More Dangerous, an authoritative and entertaining examination of the fallacies and media frenzy that surround dog bites. In addition to being a must-read for professionals in the training and animal shelter world, the book is an oft-cited source of information and statistics for journalists.

You can download Bradley’s book for free, HERE.


Positive Reinforcement pt 2

September 4, 2012

We’ve posted about positive reinforcement training before, and received many, MANY hateful comments in response. We didn’t approve any of those comments, because we’ve come to realize there are some people to whom the message will never reach.

Today we came across the following blog post, which we think beautifully explains the reasoning for crossing over to positive training.  We hope you enjoy it and get as much out of it as we did.

Correct me If I’m Wrong? I Have a Better Idea….

As anyone who has either read my book or knows me in person is aware of, I am a positive reinforcement trainer. That wasn’t always the case. I started my training knowledge with the more old fashioned techniques now known inaccurately as “balanced training”…

About the author:

Debby McMullen began training dogs and their owners in 1998 at the Animal Friends shelter in Pittsburgh, PA. In 2002 she started her dog training and behavior consulting business, Pawsitive Reactions, LLC. She is a founding member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), and a long time professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). A member of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, she is also the founder and president of Damon’s Den Doberman Rescue of Western PA. She lives with four personal dogs as well as a rotating crew of rescues and would have it no other way.


More Thundershirt News!

September 8, 2011

Thundershirt has created a Donate-A-Thundershirt program for rescues and shelters!

For $27, you can order a Thundershirt for a Puggles & Pitties dog, $10 off their regular retail price plus free shipping.

To donate a Thundershirt to Puggles & Pitties, simply click the banner ad on the right of our home page (or below, or click HERE) to be taken to the Puggles & Pitties Thundershirt donation page. Simply place the order for a medium Thundershirt, and they’ll ship it directly to us – so easy!

This is a wonderful opportunity to support our small rescue without spending a lot of money. Any shirts donated through this program will go with the dogs once they’re adopted to help with their acclimation to their new environment.

Thank you in advance to anyone who might donate, and thank you to Thundershirt for this fantastic program!

Donate a Thundershirt

We are soooo excited to tell you that our friends at Helping Udders are now carrying THUNDERSHIRTS!!

Thundershirts are excellent tools for dogs with anxiety issues. They were initially marketed for dogs with storm anxiety but have proven to be helpful in a variety of anxiety-inducing situations.

The shirts fit snugly to the dog’s body and mimic the swaddling effect that comforts human babies. If you know a storm is coming, put it on your dog BEFORE the thunder starts in order to help him before his anxiety spirals out of control. If your dog is generally an anxious dog, you can leave the Thundershirt on her around the clock.

Thundershirts have proven to be effective in the following situations:

  • Noise phobias – thunder, fireworks, etc;
  • Separation anxiety;
  • Crate training;
  • Travel/Car anxiety;
  • Nuisance barking;
  • Hyperactivity;
  • Leash pulling.

The Thundershirt website offers a lot of information about the shirts, how to get your dogs used to them, what types of training to do with them depending on what issues are being addressed: http://www.thundershirt.com/HowItWorks/

After checking out the Thundershirt website, please please PLEASE go to Helping Udders to purchase your shirt. Puggles & Pitties receives 10 – 50% of the proceeds from any purchases at Helping Udders, so purchasing through them will help  us with the costs of vetting and day-to-day care of the dogs in the rescue!

This is a fantastic tool for your dogs that we wholeheartedly support.

When finalizing your purchase at Helping Udders, please specify “Puggles & Pitties” as your rescue of choice. It’s that simple!

We thank you for your support; your furkid will thank you for the Thundershirt!

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