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Canine Nation

Because it matters how we work with our dogs.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Simple Yet Profound Ways to Get Better Behaviour from Your Dog

Perhaps the most difficult part of changing the way we work with our dogs was changing how we think about them.  Moving to reward based training with Mark and Reward training was remarkably simple but it also gave us more than we expected.  The simple concepts behind Mark and Reward are based on science and cooperation.  And that led us to some very profound discoveries about ourselves and our dogs!


14 Oct 2018

Rank #1

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Socializing for Success: Raising a Happy, Confident Dog

Share it with someone! How social is your dog?  Different dogs will want more or less social engagement.  But what is most important is that we teach our dogs how to cope with the lifestyle we bring them into.  Socialization is not just about giving your dog play time with others.  It’s about exposing them to a variety of sights, sounds, and experiences in a safe and enjoyable way.  To have a dog that is comfortable and happy in different social situations, you have to take them with you, teach them kindly, and never overwhelm them. A transcript of the main text of Socializing for Success: Raising a Happy, Confident Dog is available at the Life As A Human online magazine website. You can visit Life as a Human to find this and other articles. Thanks for listening to Canine Nation podcasts. I hope you can spread the word and let your dog-friends know about what you’re hearing here. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome!


17 Jun 2019

Rank #2

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How Do We Talk About Dog Training?

The terms we use to describe when we talk about dogs and dog behaviour matters. Sometimes generalizing too much can do more harm than good. While clever terms can get you to agreement on some level, they may also keep us from understanding what each other is REALLY talking about.


5 Jun 2011

Rank #3

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Reliable Recall – The Holy Grail of Dog Training

What if you’re standing in a playing field and your dog won’t come to you? What if you want your dog to “sit” and he keeps looking for squirrels?  Let me share methods and mindsets that we have learned for getting more cooperation from our dogs.


25 Feb 2019

Rank #4

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Dog Aggression – Fear, Fact, Fiction and How To Cope

Our dogs will bark, snap, and sometimes even bite if they are put into situations where they feel that is their only choice.  If we take precautions to understand our animals and give them what they need to be successful in our lives, we can reduce the chances of them ever acting out in an aggressive fashion.


21 Jan 2019

Rank #5

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Shelter Dog Heroes

Dogs can end up in shelters for lots of reasons, some bad, some awful, and some that couldn't be avoided. Shelter workers have incredibly difficult jobs. They take in and care for these dogs, not knowing what is in their past or what their future may hold. And they care. That may be the hardest part of all. Caring for these dogs is no easy task but I am grateful that dog training professionals are starting to help out shelter workers with new tools and techniques. Anything we can do to make their jobs easier, I say. I'm so thankful they are out there.


26 Jun 2014

Rank #6

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Bad Dog – Handling Problem Behaviours

Correcting bad behaviour in our dogs can be like putting out a fire. We have to act swiftly and decisively. But if we don't know a little bit about behavioural science, we could end up making things worse instead of better. Inspired by Dr. Susan Friedman, this article looks at what our options are when we need to deal with unwanted behaviour.Punishing our dog for bad behaviour might be the first thing that comes to mind but, according to Dr. Susan Friedman, it is likely that it will be the least effective for correcting behaviour long-term.  There are lots of options to try before we resort to trying to stop behaviour.  Being proactive and teaching the behaviours we want to see is a great start!


11 Jun 2012

Rank #7

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Travelling With Dogs – Notes From The Road

We're back from our 2 week road trip with our dogs! It's always fun but it takes a bit of extra planning to make sure the physical and mental needs of our dogs are met while we are on the road. Thinking ahead and bring the things you need is part of it, but taking time to involve our dogs in our daily activities makes it fun for them and more fun for us!


26 Sep 2013

Rank #8

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Adventures in Puppyhood: The Adolescent “Brat” Period

What do you do when your puppy becomes a teenager? Our Belgian Shepherd Rizzo was a case study in dealing with an adolescent dog maturing out of puppy and into grown up.  It can take some patience and planning to deal with puppy shenanigans and to keep a young dog in this phase of life engaged in training.  It can be simple but it's not easy!


29 Apr 2019

Rank #9

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Is Kindness Enough for Effective Dog Training?

Share it with someone! There is a trend in modern dog training toward kinder, more dog-friendly training methods. Training that seeks to remove everything unpleasant for the dog and to make learning more enjoyable. But is kindness enough to teach our dogs? Is there more to being effective trainers than just being kind to our dogs and not using force? A transcript of the main text of Is Kindness Enough for Effective Dog Training? is available at the Life As A Human online magazine website. You can visit Life as a Human to find this and other articles. Thanks for listening to Canine Nation podcasts. I hope you can spread the word and let your dog-friends know about what you’re hearing here. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome!


1 Jul 2019

Rank #10

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Defending Your Dog

Managing your dog when out in the world is just as important as training your dog to be a "good citizen." Sometimes we can't anticipate all that the world can throw at our dogs and if they behave inappropriately, it could land you in serious trouble. Your dog may even be taken away to be euthanised. But there are lots of great ways you can protect your dog with a little common sense, the right equipment, and some vigilance.


9 Sep 2011

Rank #11

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Dog Tails and Random Trails

I’ve had a few random thoughts knocking around the inside of my head lately and this week seemed as good a time as any to toss them out to my readers and see what you may think about them.  I offer them in no particular order and they are just things that made me go “hmmm” this week.There is just something I find very satifying being in the company of my dogs.  They are usually dozing near me when I write or record this podcast.  I get the occasional glance or sigh from them.  It’s a wonderful reminder that, all things considered, life is good up here on the hill for me and my dogs.  I’m glad to have Tira and Rizzo here to remind me of that.


11 Jul 2012

Rank #12

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Over Under Dogs

Is my dog "over threshold?" Is she "under threshold?" Is that good? Is that bad? Do I even know what I'm looking for? Knowing how your dog is responding to their surroundings can play a key role in whether they are learning, whether they are enjoying themselves, or want to get the heck out of there! If we aren't paying attention to our dog's thresholds, are we asking them to put up with more than we should? I think that's a question we should all be thinking about.


19 Jun 2014

Rank #13

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Dog Training Mechanics

Dog training is simple. Anyone can do it, right? Well, maybe. Dog training involves a lot of mechanical skills that we can practise. The more we practise, the better we get. The better we get, the faster our dog learns. Maybe we should focus on doing the basics well instead of looking for some new-fangled clever techniques!


7 Jan 2019

Rank #14

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Dealing with Demanding Dogs

Dogs can be pretty persistent creatures. This is especially true if they know they can get what they want. Sometimes our reactions can encourage their annoying behaviour even though we are trying to stop it. Maybe we need to think ahead and know what to do before we just react. How we respond when our dogs nag us matters. And sometimes we shouldn't respond at all!


18 Dec 2013

Rank #15

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No Fighting, No Biting – Dogs Don’t Always Get Along

It’s a fact of life that not everyone gets along with everyone else. Humans measure our own civility by our ability to coexist, using what we call “manners.” We shouldn’t be surprised that our dogs have a similar code of conduct that they adhere to when interacting with other dogs. But do we really understand or even recognize dog manners when we see them?


11 Mar 2019

Rank #16

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Adventures in Puppyhood: Nature and Nurture in Dogs

Share it with someone! Is a new puppy’s personality all down to genetics and breeding or does the way they are raised determine who they will become? How much of a role does the environment a puppy grows up in play in who that puppy will become?  Both nature and nurture will shape the personality of a dog as they grow.  Sometimes in some surprising ways! A transcript of the main text of Adventures in Puppyhood: Nature and Nurture in Dogs is available at the Life As A Human online magazine website. You can visit Life as a Human to find this and other articles. Thanks for listening to Canine Nation podcasts. I hope you can spread the word and let your dog-friends know about what you’re hearing here. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome!


10 Jun 2019

Rank #17

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Frustrated Fido: Understanding People Isn’t Easy

Good communication with our dogs relies on positive reinforcement, consistency and fairness. When that breaks down, our dogs can get frustrated with us. They can't be sure what we're asking and they risk being scolded for not complying with our cues to them. That frustration can take an emotional toll on our dogs.


1 Sep 2011

Rank #18

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Training Your Dog and All That Jazz

Training your dog can be an incredibly creative experience. Communicating with a different species is challenging and can be very rewarding for both the dog AND the trainer. You just need the right approach and the ability to think outside the box a bit. You might be surprised at what's possible with positive training and a little creativity.


17 Jan 2012

Rank #19

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Dog Signals

We have all kinds of signals for our dogs. Most common are "that's wrong" or "that's right." But do we have other signals for our dogs? There are some we might not even realize we are giving them. They know when it's time for a walk or when we are preparing dinner. Maybe they even know when we're not paying attention to them. If we teach our dogs the signals we would like them to know, think of the possibilities!


22 Aug 2013

Rank #20