The essential task of the modern dog trainer

     Teach the dog how to behave naturally 

          In an unnatural environment

Master this

     The rest is easy

Is Negative Punishment Really More Positive?

I am the proud father of two. A daughter whose age at the time of this writing is measured in weeks, and a son who is roughly two and a half. Like most toddlers, my son experiments with many different behaviors, often to see what he can get away with. He is experimenting with theContinue reading “Is Negative Punishment Really More Positive?”

Negative Reinforcement and the Curse of Sisyphus

Sisyphus was the King of Ephyra, and he had a reputation for defying the Gods and being a bit of a trickster. One of his best known exploits came at the end of his life when Hades, the God of the Underworld came to claim him, bringing along a pair of handcuffs. Sisyphus, in allContinue reading “Negative Reinforcement and the Curse of Sisyphus”

He Just Wants To Protect Me…

“I know he’s just trying to protect me, but I don’t know why” This is a common sentiment among dog owners bringing their dogs into our training center for help.  If you have owned multiple dogs, there’s a decent chance that at least one of them has displayed over-protective behavior.  The problem behaviors most oftenContinue reading “He Just Wants To Protect Me…”

The Problem With Averages

“Scientific education is based in the main of statistical truths and abstract knowledge and therefore imparts an unrealistic, rational picture of the world, in which the individual, as a nearly marginal phenomenon, plays no role. The individual, however, as an irrational data, is the true and authentic carrier of reality.” – C.G. Jung The modernContinue reading “The Problem With Averages”

Self Discipline

This is a re-post from several years ago:   When I was roughly 5 years old my mother asked me if I would like to take karate classes. My answer was flat out “No.” About 6 months later I saw the movie “The Karate Kid,” and suddenly I had a change of heart. I tookContinue reading “Self Discipline”

The Hounds And The Huntsman

Dog-man-ship – This is as real as it gets: Taken from my friend the Terrierman, View the original post Hounds & The Huntsman from Michael Slowe on Vimeo.  

Art & Standards | My Response to an Anxiety Protocol

  I recently read a post on a dog trainer group I belong to on Facebook. The post contained a written explanation and a video outlining a ”Protocol” for dealing with dogs with anxiety. The post was quite lengthy, but I will try to summarize it here: Teach the dog the basics of Place command.Continue reading “Art & Standards | My Response to an Anxiety Protocol”


I came across this video several years ago and was so impressed with the level of communication and control that is shown. I didn’t at the time know who the man in the video was: // The footage is of Heini Winter, a world class sled dog racer from Germany, out exercising his 16 dogs.Continue reading “Mush!”

Who’s To Blame?

When I was in college, I used to play a lot of billiards. It was never for money, always just for fun, and therefore we used to joke around a lot.  Every now and then when one of my friends was trying to sink a particularly difficult shot, I would stand behind the pocket thatContinue reading “Who’s To Blame?”

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