July 11, 2014 |

NEW Product – We now carry Leather Braided Leashes

Konfident Kanines leashes are made of the finest Argentinean quality leather and are braided with both beauty and strength for a long lasting product.

These leather leashes provide a soft grip that is gentle on your hands compared to the traditional nylon leash. Our leashes are 72″ which is the perfect length for training.

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For more information and to order click here

 

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February 24, 2013 |

Understanding Operant Conditioning!

Many of you who have a dog (or not) may have heard the popular buzz phrase “positive reinforcement” or have even contacted a training facility or trainer who markets their services as “positive reinforcement” training methods only. Let’s examine that for a moment. Do you believe that it is possible to reshape or improve all behaviors by way of “positive reinforcement only? I wish that was true in life, however life doesn`t seem to work quite like that. I would like to expose you to what I refer to as balanced training or in other words “”operant conditioning”".

Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which a behavior is modified by it`s consequences. A behavior may change in appearance, frequency or intensity. You may not often hear the phrase “operant conditioning” however those of you who I have had the pleasure to have worked with will be familiar with “balanced training”. For the purpose of this article I will say that operant conditioning plays a significant role in balanced training, but in itself does not constitute balanced training. Operant conditioning (B.F. Skinner – 1937) is often misunderstood due to the words …

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November 28, 2012 |

South African Mastiff (Boerboel)

South African Mastiff (Boerboel)The Boerboel is a large, mastiff dog breed from South Africa, bred for guarding. The word “Boerboel” derives from ‘boer”, the Afrikaans/Dutch word for “farmer”.

The most likely origins of this breed date back to 1652 although there is uncertainty as to how many and which breeds were used to create it.

The protective character of the Boerboel is still very evident and much sought after, as is the calm, stable, and confident composure of the breed. The breed is obedient and has strong territorial instincts and remains the guarding breed of choice among current day African farmers.

The Boerboel is a large, heavy mastiff breed weighing up to 80 kg (175 pounds). The breed is very loyal, and tends to be great with kids however will not hesitate to defend their loved ones to the death. This dog is possibly the most protective of the mastiff breeds and unlike many other breeds is more likely to attack rather than attempt to intimidate an intruder.

Prospective owners must understand that owning a boerboel requires a significant commitment in time and energy as the need …

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April 7, 2012 |

Little People

To Bring a Smile to a Child

Lights a candle in my heart

  My chosen vocation is one that brings with it so many rewards, the least of which is monetary. No decision has reaped more rewards than when I decided to volunteer my time and experience to teach young school-age children how to meet and “play safe with dogs”.  

Recently I was invited to pay a visit to “One World” school near downtown Calgary and present the students there with a fun filled presentation about how to approach and act around dogs. The presentation, called “Playing It Safe With Dogs” is designed to teach young children to always ask the dogs’ guardian permission before they approach any dog they may encounter when outside of their home. This short program is also intended to teach children they must never go with a stranger who has a dog. A short video narrated by three dogs explains several ways for children to avoid being bitten by a dog. Included in the presentation are instructions on what a child should do if approached by an aggressive dog and/or what to do if they are knocked down by a strange dog.

Although I have …

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January 3, 2012 |

Unbalanced Training – the dark side of Balanced Training

Today, more than at any other previous time we hear so many dog trainers refer to “Balanced Training”. What is balanced training anyway? Or maybe the question should be “what is unbalanced training or trainers”?

The general public is lead to believe that “balanced training” is something new. I can assure you that “balanced training” or whatever we wish to call it is not new, far from it. Balanced training has been around for decades.

For the purpose of this article I will spin the coin around and will focus on what might aptly be referred to as “unbalanced training” or “unbalanced trainers”.

Many of my long lists of clients over the years (who have worked with different trainers previously) have told me that they had been instructed not to use a certain technique, tool, or method utilized by other trainers. I could accept them being told this if these same good people had been told “why not”. Yet they have rarely if ever been given an explanation of why not to use a certain training tool, technique or method. Just don’t!

Hell, some of my clients had even been advised by trainers not to work with me because I use “choke collars”. These …

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January 3, 2012 |

How to Respectfully Approach an Unfamiliar Dog

A Good ApproachOn a regular basis I encounter or am intercepted by a person that demonstrably has little or no concept of how to approach a dog in a safe and respectful manner. I am not suggesting that these good people do so intentionally, but rather that they have simply not been privy to reliable information relating to this subject. Let’s each of us examine our approach from the dog’s point of view shall we.

Dog etiquette dictates that it is disrespectful and/or even confrontational for another dog to rapidly approach head on while making direct eye contact and exhibiting offensive body language.  That being so, how many times have you seen someone approach an unfamiliar dog, stride right up to it, and then with little or no hesitation reach out to pet the unsuspecting creature on the head? Most of the people guilty of this disrespectful behaviour are adults; many of them don’t even exhibit the courtesy of asking the person in care of the dog they are approaching, if it is permissible to do so. Far too often people will simply reach out to pet a dog, …

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June 24, 2011 |

He Just Wants To Say “Hi”

 

 

He Just Wants To Say “Hi”                          

I couldn’t help but notice the lunging, snarling, dog approaching as it dragged its handler across the busy intersection towards us. From a distance, the obviously flustered and panic stricken young lady desperately clinging to the end of the leash yelled out “He’s friendly”. He just wants to say “Hi”!

Types of Aggression

Wow! That would have been quite a greeting, had I allowed it to take place.  Although the very large dog I was working with happened to be dog friendly, I called back, “This guys not”!

How many of you have experienced a similar experience? Perhaps you have been the person hanging on to the leash attached to a dog aggressive dog.

The most common aggressive dog behavior exhibited occurs while the dog is on a leash. This is often referred to as “leash aggression”. This same dog, once the leash is removed, may well become immediately  approachable and non aggressive in nature. Ever …

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May 19, 2011 |

Error or Opportunity?

Error or Opportunity?Often when I am contacted by a client asking me to help them with their dog, the conversation begins with the caller expressing their disappointment in the “error” of their dogs’ behavior or in their own inability to change, eliminate or modify these behaviors. My success or failure in changing the clients’ viewpoint from a negative to a positive depends to a great extent on how successful I am in convincing my client to view every error that the dog makes as an “opportunity” to teach the dog an alternate or more positive behavior.

Knowing and accepting that dogs learn by “association”, that is a dog associates every behavior with either a positive or pleasing consequence, or conversely, a negative or unsatisfactory consequence is the key- to behavior modification. Once we accept this simple casinortakest fact then it becomes much easier, quicker, and certainly more humane to teach and reshape a dogs’ behavior. Canine behavior, regardless of what the behavior may be, is triggered by one or more of their “drive instincts” which we will discuss in detail at another time. For now I will …

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April 19, 2011 |

The Effect of “Energy” (A true story)


Often we here about “chi energy” or simply “energy”. The importance of understanding the effect the energy we radiate has on dogs cannot be over emphasised. I will relate a true and quite recent personal experience I had with a clients Afghan Hound. I was contacted by an acquaintance of a friend of mine regarding her Afghan Hound.
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Now over a year old this particular dog had suffered from incessant diarreha for the better part of his life. After being enrolled with a variety of trainers in an attempt to train this unpleasant condition out of the dog, the owner resorted to antibiotics and a prescription diet prescribed by her vet as a last resort. None of the aforementioned approaches had any lasting positive results.

In desperation, and following the recommendation of my friend, the dog owner reluctantly agreed to try one more trainer, that trainer was me.

I first met the dog during my initial consultation. After listening carefully to the dogs’ owner describe her many attempts to get help for this dog (and her) in an effort to get the dog off medication and cure the diarrhea I agreed to work …

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March 16, 2011 |

To Do or Not to Do

What we “do” or equally important what we “don’t do” plays a pivotal role when working with dogs.
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So often when working with a clients’ dog I am asked what I “did” when the question should have been what “didn’t you do”.

It is usually more important to understand “what not to do” when working with or around a dog than it is to focus on “what to do”. This truth is never more evident than when working with people who are constantly and repeatedly talking negatively to the dog. That little word “no” does more harm than good for sure. I will go so far as to say that it really has little or no place in the education of a dog. It doesn’t work anyway so why use it?

The next time your dog is not responding positively to you, stop for just a moment and ask yourself what is it you are doing that simply isn’t giving you the results you are looking for. If it isn’t working stop doing it. It just might be more important to focus on what “not to do”.

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