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Text of the PAWS Act

August 25, 2021: Now that the U.S. military has finished a study that proves that, yes, PTSD service dogs help veterans, Congress has passed the PAWS act. Here is the text. Continue reading

Notes on Socialization

As mentioned in our post about the concept of Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive, punishment easily backfires, causing fear and aggression.  Continue reading

LIMA (Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive)

When a dog has a behavior problem, the first impulse can be to solve the problem with punishment. According to LIMA, however, punishment is virtually never required because there are many other methods to change behavior (that do not cause side effects such as fear and aggression). Note: Many of these solutions require that you previously train Sit-Stay (with distractions) before the problem happens. Continue reading

The concept of "arousal" when working with dogs

“Arousal” is an important concept—only when the dog is not overly aroused will they respond to cues properly (and only when not overly aroused will the handler be able to function well). If a dog is too aroused (or excited), the dog won’t be able to focus. Continue reading

Notes on Animal Assisted Play Therapy® activities

We went to an amazing workshop on Animal Assisted Play Therapy® and have been studying up on it for over a year. While we have done animal-assisted therapy before, it hasn't included this wonderful fun sense of fun that comes with play. Boy, it can help the child who is usually hard to motivate! When a dog is in the room, the encounter seems much less tense to the child (and much more enjoyable). Continue reading

Notes from book, "Chatter: The Voice in Our Head"

Notes from a great book, "Chatter The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It". The author is Ethan Kross. The tools include self-talk, plus tips involving interacting with others and changing your environment. Continue reading

Solving dog behavior problems without punishment

When a dog has a behavior problem, the first impulse can be to solve the problem with punishment. According to LIMA, however, (Least Invasive, Minimally Adversive, publicized by Karen Pryor), punishment is virtually never required because there are many other methods to change behavior (that do not cause side effects such as fear and aggression). These problems can be solved by maintenance (first choice) and positive reinforcement (second choice). Note: Many of these solutions require that you previously train Sit-Stay (with distractions) before the problem happens. Continue reading

Flyer, poster, brochure: How Service Dogs Help Veterans

Helping veterans partner with service dogs is one of the most effective ways you can help America's heroes. Feel free to download and print this 8.5" x 11" flier/brochure/poster in either color or black and white.    Continue reading

Best landscaper in Minneapolis/St Paul

We are excited to do a shout-out to one of our sponsors, Turbo Landscaping and Construction, LLC, who has transformed our outdoor service dog training area into something practical gorgeous! :-) Here is our first photo, which shows how they laid concrete to match the curves of the old cement patio.   Continue reading