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, February 2015

One of the great joys we receive when we adopt a pet is the incredible privilege of learning all about another species. By educating ourselves as to their needs and behavior, we learn to see the world, just a little bit, though eyes that are not restricted to a human point of view. It is both our job, and our blessing, to learn as much as we can about the animals who share our world.

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