Here Are Some Helpful Resources for Dog Owners


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This is a comprehensive site run by James and Kenneth Publishers. The  site is run by Ian Dunbar and his son Jamie. Ian Dr. Ian Dunbar is a renowned veteranarian, animal behaviorist, trainer in the professional dog training community and has been a major proponent of spreading the positive training methods used in today's dog training and puppy classes around the world.  


A clear explanation of dog body language.

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Lesli Hyland is the real deal and by far one of the best trainers in the area. For those of you who live closer to Rutland her classes are a great option. If you live closer to Middlebury and have completed Best Buddy Adult Dog  Basic Training, Puppy Kindergarten, and K-9 Games, her classes are my recommend next steps. She offers basic manners, agility, rally, nosework, and other fun group classes. Check out her site for more details. 


Dr. Sophia Yin is a master of animal behavior. Though scientific animal behavior research she show's "dominance is generally not the cause of bad behavior..." and "...Consequently, dominance theory becomes irrelevant for most behavior problems in our pets." If you want solid explanations of dog behavior and problems check out her site.


Some folks use ecollars to train their dogs successfully.  Dr. Sophia explains why using shock is not the method of choice. As a member of the Association for Professional Dog Trainers I support the mission that positive methods be used in training. The bottom line for me with shock is: there are better ways, and it is too easy to misuse the tool to cause pain- as a matter of fact it does not work in unless you have caused significant enough pain to begin with. You must use a high level of adversive to begin and to me there are much more humane ways to train behavior with far less seriously damaging consequences to your family member. If you would not think of training your human child with this method there is no reason to think training your dog with this method is the way to go. As a matter of fact shock collars are now banned in 11 countries for those very reasons so that should be a message to us all. And lets face it- humans often take the path they think is the least resistance. Those who don't want to take the time to train using positive methods often resort to painful methods like handheld powered shock as a fast cure all. When used incorrectly it can be very damaging. It is like a diet pill with potentially grave consequences. It takes much training to use ecollars and the bottom line is-- the pain in the collar often becomes associated with people, dogs, cars, and whatever the shock is being used to keep your dog from running to. This year I assessed a situation where a client's dogs were running through their shock border fence and barking aggressively towards neighbors and other dogs. I talked her into giving up her border shock collars and buying a nice perimeter fence instead. Her dogs behavior problems disappeared- no more barking, no more aggression- simply happier, calmer dogs. I will not scold you for using them I am simply stating the dangers and expaining there is a better way. If you have already trained your dog with an ecollar or border fence and it's working and you don't have to shock your dog anymore- good for you. I will not condone them. My own dogs had the boundary fence years ago and it worked for them until I got a thick headed male who would rather bolt though it to chase cars than not. The shock only made him more apt to go after things like cars. Perhaps it is the reason why he has been "shocked" by porcupines several years over. He sees the thing, remembers a bad association, tries to get it, and wham. Same outcome. Most dogs behave this same way towards porcupines- they seem to not "remember" the problem, when in fact they are remembering quite well. They remember that porcupine got them last time, is bad, and so they go for it to get that negative thing.  A leash and real boundary fence works great. I have been accused by my own people of "shoving my opinion" about shock collars down people's throats. So be it-when I am passionate about helping dogs and their owners I will always share my beliefs in a respectful way. The choice to listen is up to others.