From Fear to Confidence (for your dog)

A local dog training non-profit organization, Your Dog’s Friend, hosted a lecture called, “From Fear to Confidence”, a few weeks ago. It was given by Tonya Wilhem of Raising Your Pets Natural, a behavior professional from Toledo, Ohio. It was a very interesting talk with lots of food for thought, so I thought I’d share my notes!

    1. Bringing a young dog into your home is an opportunity to prevent fearful and anxious behaviors through positive reinforcement of which you should take advantage! Tonya gave the example of lavishly rewarding her puppy for calm behavior during thunderstorms (for years!), before he started developing storm anxiety. I’d note that it’s probably never too late to use positive reinforcement to prevent undesirable behaviors – so give your dog a treat for being good pupper whenever!!
    2. It is an owner’s responsibility to prevent (and if necessary, manage) situations that will put their dog over threshold. “Threshold” is a term meaning the point at which a stimulus will provoke a reaction. So my Luna can see a squirrel down the street and not react, but if a squirrel pops out of a few feet from us, you better believe she’s going after said squirrel. Thus, Luna’s squirrel threshold is somewhere between “down the street” and “a few feet from us”. For a dog that is suffering from anxiety, it is vitally important to keep the dog under threshold and that may mean the owner has to determine some areas and activities are off-limits. A dog-reactive dog just should not be walked in an area frequented by other dogs, and a stranger-reactive dog should likewise not be walked where loads of people will be.

      It’s worth noting that “reactive” and “anxious/fearful” can be synonymous for some dogs. A dog may be reactive (i.e. barking, lunging, and generally carrying on) for many reasons: frustration, fear, excitement, etc. You have to know your dog and your dog’s body language to tell the difference!

    3. Know your dog’s body language. How do you identify your dog’s threshold, prior to doggo becoming a lunging, barking mess? The dog’s body language! It is unfortunately true that some proportion of dog owners misinterpret canine body language so it’s a good idea for any owner to brush up on their canine body language in general and to carefully study their dog’s body language in a variety of situations. This piece on dog body language from the ASPCA is a good place to start but remember that every dog may be a little different.
    4. Use counterconditioning to change your dog’s emotional response to fear-inducing stimuli while your dog is under threshold. Counterconditioning is the process of pairing a stimuli that elicits an undesirable response with something positive with the goal of changing the dog’s immediate response to that stimuli. The key here is to use counterconditioning when the dog is well under her threshold! So I’ve used counterconditioning extensively with Luna – one example is with the neighbor whose yard abuts ours. For whatever reason (I’ll withhold my non-charitable thoughts about how this guy has never even said, “Hi!”, to me despite my perfectly friendly overtures), Luna has decided that she does not like him and will be barking at him at any given opportunity, thank you very much. To counter-condition Luna’s reaction to him, I kept her on leash (to keep her below threshold) and as we walked around our backyard at some distance from the neighbor, she would get treats for looking at him and not barking. Over many weeks, we slowly closed the distance between the fence and Luna, and now she (mostly) does not bark at him. Counterconditioning win!
    5. Appropriate tools and products are helpful, but they will only get you and your dog so far. Some pet products on the market will definitely make life harder for you and your anxious dog, because anything aversive -or force-based, like shock and prong collars, loud noise canisters, etc., will likely induce further fear and anxiety and undesirable behaviors. Great tools that will help you manage an anxious dog safely are widely available, such as front and back-clip and front-clip harnesses (Freedom Harness, Easy Walk, etc.) and head halters (Halti, Gentle Leader, etc.). In the way of counterconditioning, there are also products designed to help you deliver that special positive counterconditioning treat on the go, like treat pouches, LeanLix, Treat Toobs (fill with yogurt/pureed pumpkin/peanut butter/etc.), a really special toy, etc. And that’s just to name a few, and not including appropriate veterinary care, supplements, food, psychopharmaceuticals, and other products that may be helpful to an anxious dog.

      The bottom line is that a holistic approach to a dog’s anxiety is the only way to move your dog from fear to confidence!

If you enjoyed this entry, please give it a, “Like” and leave a comment below! I’d love to hear about your experience with an anxious or reactive dog.

If you’re in the DMV (that’d be DC-Maryland-Virginia area for you non-locals!), check out Your Dog’s Friend for other FREE dog behavior seminars like the one describe here (and great opportunities for fee-based classes too!)


The Trouble with Shock Collars: A Real World Example

Photo credit: Schill via / CC BY-NC

A family in my neighborhood welcomed a Great Dane puppy into their lives last fall. The once-gangly, now-100+-lb grey dog regularly greets me and my dog while we walk by his yard with booming barks. This situation has apparently become unacceptable for his owners: this week we have not been regaled with the hound’s vocalizations and he is sporting a shiny shock collar high on his neck.

The training method that shock collars, and all punitive training methods, rely on the operant conditioning strategy of positive punishment. The principal is simple: the dog does something the owner does not like and receives the shock – thereby decreasing the likelihood of the dog to repeat that undesired behavior in order to avoid the aversive consequence. For operant conditioning to be successful, two criteria must be met: timing and persuasiveness. These two criteria are precisely why punitive training methods like shock collars are fraught with trouble – and I’ll tell you why:

Shock collars are not smart.  When using operant conditioning, the trainer’s timing must be impeccable in order to link the correct behavior to the correct consequence, because animals do not possess the mental capacity to link consequences of behaviors that are more than a few seconds apart. Is my neighbor’s dog linking the shock with his barking behavior – or the appearance of another dog? Or a squirrel that just happened to be running down the street at the same time? Or the truck that just drove by?

All types of operant conditioning always involves a little trial and error on the animal’s part. Using aversive consequences for training causes stress in dogs and can likely contribute to the development anxiety disorders, aggression, and a host of other behavioral problems.

Shock collars are not safe. The other vital criteria for successful operant condition is that the consequence of the animal’s behavior must be compelling enough to actually change the animal’s behavior. This is why many dog trainers instruct owners to turn up their dog’s shock collar, despite contrary instructions from the manufacturer.

So what if my neighbor’s dog is connecting the significant shocks to the appearance of me and/or my dog? Well, if human +/- dog = pain, it will behoove the dog to prevent humans and/or dogs from getting near to him – so he will become aggressive towards walkers and their dogs.

Shock collars are not necessary. While I’m having to re-route my walking path due to my safety concerns about my neighbor’s dog (which is actually quite the ordeal for my OCD-anxiety dog), I must admit that I am frustrated by my neighbor’s numerous decisions leading up to this point:

  1. They purchased a dog too large to be adequately contained in their yard
  2. They leave him outside unattended
  3. They are upset that a dog bred specifically for its guarding skills barks at strangers
  4. They chose to install a shock collar on him rather than safely train him to tolerate walkers

Any one of these decisions could have been made differently and our whole neighborhood would be safer! Of course, the welfare of the dog is also a significant concern on mine so I would prefer that my neighbors would train their dog not to bark in a manner that will not cause pain and anxiety.

Journal Article: Hand Movements Are Mightier Than The Clicker?

Title: Clicker increases resistance to extinction but does not decrease training time of a simple operant task in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris)

Authors: Shawn M. Smith, Ellen S. Davis

Published: 2008 Applied Animal Behaviour Science


General overview:

These researchers studied the effects of using a clicker during dog training, as these devices are popular with dog owners but have not been scientifically evaluated. The authors identified three possible mechanisms that clickers may serve in the dog training process (definitions found here):

  1. A conditioned/secondary reinforcer: A neutral stimulus paired with a primary reinforcer until the neutral stimulus takes on the reinforcing properties of the primary.
  2. A marking signal: A signal used to mark desired behavior at the instant it occurs.
  3. A bridging stimulus: An event marker that identifies the desired response and “bridges” the time between the response and the delivery of the primary reinforcer.

In order to investigation the mechanism of clicker training, the authors recruited 35 basenji dogs that had never been exposed to a clicker. Eighteen dogs were assigned to the clicker group and the remaining 17 were assigned to a control group. The authors used a trainer to condition the clicker group dogs that the click was associated with food delivery in a nearby bowl, while the control group dogs were simply given rewards in the bowl with no click. Then the trainer taught the dogs a behavior (nose touch a cone) and conducted strengthening trials to reinforce the behavior where the dogs were intermittently rewarded for correct responses to the nose touch cue. These trials were followed by extinction trials in which the dogs were given the nose touch cue but not rewarded.

The authors found that there were no differences between the clicker and the control groups in the number of trials or the time needed to learn the nose touch cue, which suggested that the clicker did not serve as a marker or bridging stimulus. It did, however, the clicker group dogs significantly longer to achieve extinction – that is, to stop nose touching the cone after the nose touch cue was no longer reinforced with food. This suggested that the clicker did serve as conditioned/secondary reinforcer, possibly because the clicker dogs were facing “double extinction”: they had to unlearn both that the clicker did not result in a reward and that the nose touch did not result in a reward.

The authors noted that dogs in both groups were obviously responding to hand movements from the trainer that were associated with delivering food to the bowl, which may have interfered with the dog’s ability to associate the clicker with the food delivery instead. The authors also had a significant difference between the age of dogs and the time/number of trials needed to learn the nose touch behavior: younger dogs were faster than older dogs.

My comments

This was an interesting study because, as the authors noted, it is one of the few that scientifically evaluates the mechanism by which a clicker may facilitate learning in dogs. (How do dogs learn?Check out Crash Course Psychology Episode 11 and Episode 12.) However, I had some concerns about how the authors chose to evaluate the clicker in the context of owner-dog training.

First, the protocol that the trainer used to teach the dogs a nose touch behavior involved the reward being delivered in a dish rather than directly from the trainer. Why?? The authors did not explain this adequately. I wonder if this may have impacted the dogs’ learning based on the information I have read from Dr. Yin about the importance of timing and posture during treat delivery when training dogs. The authors even noted that the dogs were apparently watching the trainer for hand movements that indicated treat delivery to the bowl, which aligns with Dr. Yin’s assertion that treat delivery is highly influential to a dog’s learning experience. Furthermore, I have never heard of an owner training their dog in this manner – therefore, the validity of applying the results from this study to a typical owner training their dog is questionable.

Secondly, if the goal of this study was to evaluate the utility of a clicker in training by the average owner, using a professional dog trainer likely produced results that are not valid outside of that context. A dog trainer will likely have skills that the average owner does not, such as effectively applying cue-reward protocols where a regular owner may have faulty or incorrect application simply because of experience. Because owners may be less accurate during the cue-reward process of training than dog trainers, it is possible that dogs could pick up on the clicker as a marker or bridging stimulus in the absence of other effective instructions. Additionally, other researchers have found that dogs are more attuned to their owner’s social cues vs. a stranger’s behavior. If the purpose of this study was to evaluate clicker’s use for dog owners, the dog’s actual owner should have been used in the training process.

In summary, I agree with the authors that the mechanism of clickers in dog training is an interesting and useful avenue of study. Clickers may be a useful tool in promoting humane, effective dog training for the average owner but incorrect usage of the devices may frustrate owners. Understanding how clickers help (or don’t help) dogs learn could aid behaviorists and trainers to advocate effective and safe training methods to owners. While I do not believe this study’s findings can be applied to a owner/dog training scenario, it is an interesting contribution to the understanding of how clickers impact canine learning. 

Journal Article: Does the Owner/Dog Bond Facilitate Canine Learning?

Title: Learning and owner–stranger effects on interspecific communication in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris)

Authors: Angel M. Elgier, Adriana Jakovcevic, Alba E. Mustaca, Mariana Bentosela

Published: December 2008 in Behavioural Processes

General overview:

These researchers were interested in how a dog’s relationship to its owner (which has been described in previous studies as a bond attachment that is similar to that of infant and parental figure. Specifically, the authors were interested in how the processes of extinction (the disappearance of a learned behavior) and reversal learning (learning to do the opposite of a human social cue) would be affected by an owner’s presence or absence. The 13 dogs that were enrolled in the study were randomly assigned an experiment (extinction or reversal) and whether the experiment would be conducted by the owner or a stranger (owner group or stranger group). Then, the authors trained 13 dogs in their lab to seek a treat that was hidden in one of two identical opaque containers that was pointed at by a human standing in the middle of the two containers. After this “acquisition phase”, the dogs were then given their predetermined experiment. In the extinction experiment, neither container had a treat and a “success” for an extinction experiment achieved when the dog did not seek either container within 15 seconds of the point cue. In the reversal experiment, the treat was in the container that was not being pointed at by the human experimenter and a “success” for this experiment was achieved when the dog immediately chose the container that was not being pointed.

The authors found that owner group dogs were much slower to “learn” in the extinction experiment than the stranger group dogs, and that owner group dogs learned the reversal behavior faster than dogs tested with the stranger group dogs. In explanation for the relative poor performance of the owner group dogs in the extinction experiment, the authors hypothesized that the owner group dogs might be more obedient to owners or likely have experienced intermittent reinforcement to their owner’s social cues (resulting in a much more reliable behavior that took longer to “unlearn”). In regards to the better performance of the owner group dogs in the reversal experiment, the researchers hypothesized that an owner’s presence may facilitate learning on the dog’s behalf due to reduced stress. Obviously, however, none of these hypotheses fully explains the results of this experiment.

My comments:

Let’s start off with what I thought was well done in this paper. The data presentation was great: there was a table with demographic information about the dogs (although it did not feature spay/neuter status) as well as a table listing which dog was assigned to which treatment groups and the number of trials each dog took to achieve extinction/reversal learning. The authors also supplied a bar chart of results, which neatly described their findings.

One quibble I do have with this paper is that it is probably the most poorly written research article that I have ever read. All of the authors are from organizations in Argentina and I suspect that the paper was originally written in Spanish and translated very poorly. For example, there were several instances of “to verb” rather than just “verb“, as well as some vocabulary that doesn’t make sense to me (specifically, the use of the word “ontogeny”, which refers to the fetal development of an organism). But as I’m not in the field of applied animal behavior, perhaps I just don’t understand the use of the term in this context.

Unfortunately, I also have some major concerns with the actual experiment procedures. First of all, all of the dogs assigned to the extinction got 25-30 correct trials out of 30 possible trials in the acquisition phase, while every single dog in the reversal group got only 4 correct trials in this phase. This hardly seems to be possible by coincidence but the authors don’t offer an explanation of why the dogs were divided this way. (And I can’t think of one either!)

The researchers also stated that at the beginning of all training (both the acquisition phase and the experiment), the person performing the point cue attempted to gain eye contact with the dog and looked at the dog for the entirety of the training. I’m confused why this was done because staring at a dog can be threatening and stressful to the dog, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that this could impact the stranger/owner effect since a staring stranger may be substantially more scary than a staring owner.

The other significant concern I had was the use of “correction” in the reversal learning experiment. If the dog chose the container towards which the human was pointing, the handler would jerk the dog’s leash and say “No,” and just verbally reprimand the dog after two leash jerk/verbal corrections. This type of correction is positive punishment and it’s a very ineffective and inefficient way to get a dog to learn. In fact, the average number of trials needed by dogs in this reversal group (both the owner group and the stranger group dogs) were higher than the average number of trials needed by dogs in the extinction group. Obviously, this could be a function of the task difficulty (perhaps extinction is easier to “learn” than reversal) but the higher number of trials could also have been the result of this confusing, inefficient training methodology.

Even though I have substantial qualms with the protocols of this research, because all dogs were treated similarly, I do think that this research provides evidence that the bond to an owner influences learning in some way. I thought the authors’ focus on an encompassing explanation of why owner group dogs learned extinction slower but reversal faster was perhaps misguided. It makes a lot of sense to me that dogs would have a very strong behavioral habit of going where their owner pointed due to the intermittent reinforcement previously theorized. I would hypothesize that owner group dogs learned reversal faster because it was a totally novel behavior and the owner/dog attachment facilitated that learning. I would be very interested to see this research question addressed by another group of researchers with more veterinary behaviorist oversight to see if these results can be replicated.

Let’s Talk About: Kikopup’s (New!) No Pulling Leash Training Video!

While I DO NOT recommend going to YouTube for dog training tips in general – please don’t trust just anyone who happens to call themselves a dog trainer to give you humane, effective and non-fatal dog training advice – Kikopup is a happy exception to that rule!

Kikopup videos are posted on Youtube for free by Emily Larlham, a dog trainer based out of San Diego, CA, USA who believes positive reinforcement-based dog training advice should be free and accessible to all. The reason that I feel that Kikopup videos are humane, effective and note-worthy can be found in Larlham’s positive reinforcement manifesto. Her dog training methods incorporate psychological, scientific and welfare considerations into compassionate, consequence-based leadership by owners. The effectiveness of this training style is clear in her advanced behaviors and tricks videos!

Today, Kikopup released a new No Pulling! leash training video. (Larlham also has an entire playlist about loose leash walking, covering everything from basic advice to equipment and how to handle reactive or shy dogs on leash.) This new video is particularly great, in my opinion! Here are just a few reasons why I like it so much:

1. Larlham makes a great point about not assuming a dog has any idea of what you want them to do when you attach a strip of nylon to their harness. Loose leash walking is maybe the least intuitive behavior we expect from our pups. Thus, dogs require clear, consistent leadership and positive reinforcement to learn what loose leash walking entails!

2. Even for a dog that isn’t normally shy or reactive, it can be difficult for her to concentrate on their leash manners in a noisy, smell, car-, pedestrian- and other dog-filled environment. In the video, Larlham begins loose leash walking training in a non-intimidating environment so the pup can concentrate on learning. 

3. Despite practicing in a calm environment, some dogs aren’t going to be calm enough to take treats when you’re trying to positively enforce their loose leash manners out in the “real world”. Larlham uses “penalty yards” in the situation where a dog is too nervous to take treats: when the dog pulls the leash, she directs the dog to walk away from whatever the dog was pulling towards.

4. “Penalty yards” doesn’t mean yanking the dog back when it pulls on the leash. The goal of directing the dog away from what they were pulling towards is to teach the pup that pulling doesn’t get her where she wants to go. By encouraging the dog with positive verbal instructions or patting your leg, as Larlham says, and rewarding the dog when she chooses to come towards you, she’s (humanely) learning that she needs to follow her walker’s leadership while on leash.

5. Finally, my favorite part of the this video: Sniffing is as important as the walking during a walk. Larlham makes the great point that walking should provide both exercise and mental stimulation for a dog. As long as the leash is loose, it is perfectly appropriate for a dog to smell all the smells! Teaching your dog, “Let’s go!” after they have had a little sniff and rewarding them for following you is an important part of loose leash skills.


Top 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Adopted My First Cat

I’ve had cats in my life since babyhood but since I acquired my own cat during college, I have learned a lot about being a good caregiver to a cat. I’ve picked up this information from many, many sources, including veterinarians, behaviorists, veterinary technicians and animal welfare workers but I’ve listed some web-based sources at the end of this post. I’ve obviously learned more than 5 things about cats since I’ve owned one but these are the 5 things that make a big impact on my cats’ happiness and harmony in my home.

1. Cats need things to climb 

I’ve always thought that cat trees are fun for cats but I really didn’t understand how important they are to indoor felines. It is natural behavior for cats to climb and, depending on the activity level in your household, an elevated space can mean peace and safety for your cat. For indoor cats, cat trees and alternatives (like those sold here and this DIY version) provide vital enrichment activities to keep your cat healthy and happy!

2. Using a litter box is second nature, having a solitary bathroom is not

As an adoption counselor at a humane society and a life-long cat person, I was surprised by questions such as, “How do you litter-train a cat?” from clients. Cat just use the litter box! It’s in their nature! And it is – cats instinctively want to cover up evidence of eliminations, probably to prevent predators from assessing their proximity. With unlimited territory, however, cats rarely eliminate in the same spot twice. It make sense, right? From an evolutionary point of view, a cat that traced back over their eliminations would be at high risk of contracting a fecally-transmitted pathogen so it makes some sense that this behavior wouldn’t survive. For our indoor felines, we can make their lives much nicer by cleaning their litter boxes daily and providing multiple litter boxes.

3. Stress can make cats sick – REALLY sick!

Dr. Buffington at The Ohio State University has conducted research that links a serious urinary tract disease in cats with stress. Another study by Judi Stella showed that stressed cats experienced nearly twice as much sickness as less anxious kitties, and that sources of stress for cats could be as “small” as unwanted affection, a dirty litter box or a change in routine. Illnesses in cats are no laughing matter: they can be difficult to diagnose, expensive to treat and could result in the cat being euthanized or surrendered to a shelter. Decreasing your cat’s stress levels means health and harmony for your home!

4. Ten minutes of play will go a long way

Cats are great pets for busy people because they sleep, on average, 15 hours a day. As ambush predators, cats sleep this much to conserve energy for the periods of intense activity when they hunt. For indoor cats, sleeping may be followed by a languid stroll to their food and water dish and a bout of looking out of the window before heading back to their bed. This is a really unnatural behavior cycle for kitties! Having a variety of cat toys can help a cat purge those hunting instincts, in addition to tossing the food dish and feeding your cat with an interactive toy, but your cat will really benefit from a mere ten minutes of play with you! One of my cats favors a wand toy while the other prefers to chase after balls or fake mice. (Try to avoid laser toys!)

5. Cats don’t “get” punishment

Cats can certainly learn through positive reinforcement like dogs do, but they just aren’t wired to understand what their human is getting at when they yell about scratching the furniture. It’s a lot easier for a cat to figure out that they get a reward for a certain behavior than to make the connection between a behavior and your displeasure and that they should stop that behavior to avoid your anger. Experts in cat behavior recommend using a cat’s environment to shape a cat’s behavior: deter scratching on “human” furniture with double-sided tape or aluminum and provide a better alternative nearby in the form of a scratching post or cat tree. As always, it’s important to acknowledge that scratching and other natural cat behaviors are subdued at the risk of the cat’s quality of life and welfare!


Buffington, Tony. Your Home Their Territory. Columbus: Ohio State U Veterinary Medical Center, OH.

Boatman, Kim. “Help for House Cats.” WPSD Local 6. Studio One Networks.

Buffington, Tony. “Why Claw Care Keeps Cats Happy.” Vetstreet.

“Look What’s New in Enrichment!” The Indoor Pet Initiative. The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center.

Science-Based vs. Dominance-Based Dog Training: Part 2

In this first part of this essay, I discussed why dominance-based training methods like those popularized by Cesar Milan and other dog training professionals are outmoded, inefficient and potentially dangerous. In this part, I will discuss why science-based training methods like positive reinforcement are superior training techniques and finally, discuss the implications of the training methods you choose to use with your dog.

If you have questions about any of the terminology used here, please see the Let’s Talk Vocab page.


3. Dominance-based training rarely tells your dog what to do

Let’s face it, if your dog lived with only other dogs, would it really be a problem if the trash was raided every night? Do you think another dog would mind if there was a designated potty spot in the corner of the spare bed room? Would another dog be opposed to barking at the delivery person until he or she went away? The answer is no: the only reason getting into the trash, going to the bathroom a spare room and barking at people who approach the house are “problem behaviors” is because we, as humans, have a problem with them!

The mentality behind dominance-based training methods is that your dog is constantly training to upstage you as the owner and obtain mastery of the house. This is just a baseless assertion: there is no evidence that dogs engage in hierarchy-building with humans [13] and even a cursory understanding the domestication of dogs suggests that dogs evolved as food scavengers, not power usurpers [5]. Furthermore, attempts to tell your dog, “I’m the ALPHA of the house!” don’t tell your dog, “I really want you to sleep on your dog bed, not my bed,” and the many other directions your dog needs to get along with you and other humans .

Dogs are incredibly human-social creatures – they want our attention, food or toys – and we can capitalize on that disposition by providing dogs with clear instructions about how we’d like to interact with them. Positive reinforcement and science-based training methods focus on telling your dog what you want them to do, because most of those things are contrary to a dog’s natural instincts, and they work because dogs want to get rewards like treats, affection and playtime from humans.

4. Your dog does not live in a vacuum

In some ways, the choice to avoid or use aversive training techniques and subscribe to the dominance-based training theories is a moral or personal decision. It is your dog and it is your choice to take the available information about dog training and reduce your dog’s exposure to stressful training techniques. It is your decision to look at your relationship with your dog and decide if “lovable scavenger” or “Et tu, Brute?” best describes those exchanges.

In a lot of other ways, however, it is a public health issue if you choose to train your dog with aversive techniques. A fearful, aggressive dog poses a real bite risk to your veterinarian, a person walking past your house and anyone else with which your dog interacts.

Given what researchers are discovering about aversive training techniques and the stress they cause in dogs, in addition to the scientific evaluation of positive-reinforcement training techniques as equally effective and efficient in achieving desired behaviors [17], I believe that aversive training techniques and dominance-based training methods should be considered at best inhumane. I also believe that the dog training tide is turning this way, and I hope it continues!



References (for Science-Based vs. Dominance-Based Dog Training: Parts 1 and 2)

[1] Mech, L. David, and Luigi Boitani, eds. Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. University of Chicago Press, 2010.

[2] Schenkel, Rudolf. “Submission: its features and function in the wolf and dog.”American Zoologist 7.2 (1967): 319-329.

[3] Davis, Lauren. “Why Everything You Know about Wolf Packs Is Wrong.”, 05 Dec. 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.

[4] Cooperation, Evolution of. With Matthew R. Zimmerman and Richard McElreath. In: Sourcebook in Theoretical Ecology (Eds: Hastings, A., Gross, L.). UC Press, Berkeley (pp.155-162). 2012.

[5] Savolainen, Peter. “Domestication of dogs.” The Behavioural Biology of Dogs(2007): 21.

[6] Cooper, Jonathan J., et al. “Clever hounds: social cognition in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris).” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 81.3 (2003): 229-244.

[7] Hare, Brian, et al. “The domestication of social cognition in dogs.” Science298.5598 (2002): 1634-1636.

[8] Beerda, Bonne, et al. “Behavioural, saliva cortisol and heart rate responses to different types of stimuli in dogs.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 58.3 (1998): 365-381.

[9] Herron, Meghan E., Frances S. Shofer, and Ilana R. Reisner. “Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 117.1 (2009): 47-54.

[10] Beerda, Bonne, et al. “Manifestations of chronic and acute stress in dogs.”Applied Animal Behaviour Science 52.3 (1997): 307-319.

[11]”New Releases.” Understanding the Stress Response. Harvard Health Publications, Mar. 2011. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.

[12] de Quervain DJ, Roozendaal B, McGaugh JL; Roozendaal; McGaugh (August 1998). “Stress and glucocorticoids impair retrieval of long-term spatial memory”. Nature 394 (6695): 787–90. doi:10.1038/29542.PMID 9723618.

[13] Herron, Meghan E., Frances S. Shofer, and Ilana R. Reisner. “Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 117.1 (2009): 47-54.

[14] Rooney, Nicola Jane, and Sarah Cowan. “Training methods and owner–dog interactions: Links with dog behaviour and learning ability.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 132.3 (2011): 169-177.

[15] Blackwell, Emily J., et al. “The relationship between training methods and the occurrence of behavior problems, as reported by owners, in a population of domestic dogs.” Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research 3.5 (2008): 207-217.

[16] Kathy Sdao. “Forget About Being Alpha in Your Pack.” Bright Spot Dog Training. N.p., 2008. Web. 05 Nov. 2014.

[17] Cooper, Jonathan J., et al. “The Welfare Consequences and Efficacy of Training Pet Dogs with Remote Electronic Training Collars in Comparison to Reward Based Training.” PloS one 9.9 (2014): e102722.