There’s always someone willing to make you feel bad if your dog is afraid to do something. But are they right? Maybe your dog doesn’t have to be fearless.
Honey took one look at the ramp I had placed on the floor and walked around it. When I put yummy liver treats on the end, she decided she wasn’t that hungry after all. Honey felt scared of the ramp. But she learned to use it anyway.
Hang out at a playground long enough and you’ll eventually see this: a running toddler falls. At first he’s surprised. Then he looks up to his parent. If the parent stays calm, the kid goes to play. But if mom looks upset, the kid starts bawling. Your dog is like that toddler. And if you want your dog to […]
I’m getting a Master’s Degree in fear. First, we worked with a trainer to decrease Honey’s fear of the bike cart. Then we fostered the extremely fearful Cherie. And now, I’m months away from terrifyingly transforming my life by setting out for a life at sea. I haven’t written my thesis yet. But I’ve learned a lot. […]
As Honey and I sat on the floating dock watching the ducks, I couldn’t help overhearing the woman talking to her friend behind us. “I could never swim in the lake. Who knows what’s in that water that might touch me? Nope, it’s chlorinated pools for me.” I grew up having a pool. So I understand […]
Does taking control of a situation make you feel less scared? I don’t know about scientists. But sailors know it’s true. And so do dog trainers. How Does a Dog Control a Kayak Honey enjoys kayaking. But when the motion of the boat startles Honey, she responds. She stands up. It happens when […]
Should I Be Scared? You’ve probably seen this: A toddler, running through a playground, trips and falls. He looks up at his mom or dad. If they look concerned, he starts bawling. If they react mildly, he gets up and goes back to playing. Your dog looks to you the same way. If you’re nervous […]
Gretchen Rubin wrote in The Happiness Project about the year she spent “test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy.” The Puppiness Project is my attempt to learn the same from Honey, my Golden Retriever. Working with a ‘fraidy dog With the help of […]