Megan’s Musings – A story of retirement and acceptance

Last night I was teaching our Reactive urbanK9 Orientation and  my two eldest dogs, Guinniss and Deja, were with me. They love these nights and I am always so proud of them when they are there. Guinniss always works the room and melts everyone’s hearts. I love sharing his story and he has become a beacon of accomplishment, encouragement and success. He seems to just understand his role and immediately wanders the room ensuring he spends time with each person. He looks them in the eye, rests his head on his lap and gives them the up down in search for some treats. I love joking with the class about how we perhaps overdid his work with people as he has become such a attention seeking sweetheart. I watched him do this slowly last night, spend more time on his bed sleeping and struggle with the demos. He gave it his best and escorted everyone out for special goodbyes and I knew it was time for official retirement. Read more

Megan’s Musings: Divide

Many of you are likely aware of the divide in the dog training industry. There are two camps: one who is considered ‘treat trainers’ and focus on rewarding wanted behaviours, and others who follow more of the ‘pack theory’ and use of physical force with dogs to correct unwanted behaviour. I was planning to write a series of articles that cover all of this in more detail and we have many seminars in the works. However, a recent email I received changed the steps I was going to take. I am still going to work on my previous plan, but I felt like this email was a sign that I needed to do more. First off, I have part of the email below for you to read (parts have been changed so there are no names included). Read more

Megan’s Musings: It’s Not Just the Training

I have been thinking about this concept for awhile. This whole positive vs aversive or treats vs corrections and how it always just points at the dog training industry. I do understand why it has become more of a hot topic within the dog training field, but after some recent conversations, I think we really need to start looking at it as more of how we choose to interact and live with our dogs. Yes, dog trainers are there to help you understand how to make your dog into a good canine companion and help you to learn how to modify unwanted behaviours, but this does not mean that this is the only area where our approach matters. Read more

Megan’s Musings

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain Read more

Megan’s Musings: A Change in Direction

It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing the stop of our Volunteer Education Program that was launched almost 2 years ago.  This program offers all of our classes and education events at no charge to volunteers, and we also provided a full scholarship for our Canine Behaviour & Handling Certificate. There have been a variety of events that have led up to this and I feel that a full explanation as to why we are ending it is needed.

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Megan’s Musings: Regulations

If you have not seen this already, last week there was an article in the Calgary Herald about an employee at a dog care facility that is being charged with animal abuse. You can read the article here.  We have received many calls and emails, and have spoken to many people who were quite concerned about this. And we should be. This post is not meant to be an attack on this facility, but rather a way to express my concerns about this industry as a whole. I feel like the business handled the situation well; which is proven by the fact that it was them that reported it. Kudos to them for this and how they are handling and addressing the situation now. However, I have been working at creating standards and educating the public on how our dogs should be handled. I wanted to lead by example and have a wonderful team who believes in what we do. We have quietly been leading the way, but this incident made me realize that we can no longer just do this. We need to get this information out there and need to take a stronger position with loud voices.

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