Creature Thoughts, July 2019: Ditch the Dish

Many of my doggy clients have heard me speak of “Nothing In Life Is Free (referred to by many trainers as NILIF).” That is the process of teaching a dog to turn over control of his resources (and as a result, his anxieties over territory, food, and a slew of other stresses), by asking the dog to “say please” (by sitting) for everything he wants. Part of this plan is to hand-feed your dog his dinner, which builds a relationship of trust.

Ian Dunbar’s approach (along with a few other trainers who follow a similar philosophy of relationship-building) is to eliminate the food bowl altogether.

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Creature Thoughts, June 2019: Salt the Humpback Whale

When my kids were very little, we adopted a whale through the Whale Adoption Project. She was one of a group that summered at Stellwagen Bank (off the coast of Massachusetts), and we adopted her for quite a few years in a row. Her name was Salt, and there had been a children’s book written about her and her first calf, Crystal.

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