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from the Guild

Published by the Pet Professional Guild 9122 Kenton Road, Wesley Chapel, FL 33545 Tel: 41 Dog-Train (413-648-7246) Editor-in-Chief Susan Nilson Contributing Editors Elizabeth Traxler, Kiki Yablon

The Guild Steering Committee Jan Casey, Diane Garrod, Caryn Liles, Debra Millikan, Susan Nilson, Anne Springer, Heidi Steinbeck, Angelica Steinker, Markus Strauss, Niki Tudge, Catherine Zehner

BARKS from the Guild Published quarterly, BARKS from the Guild presents a collection of valuable business and technical articles as well as reviews and news stories pertinent to our industry. BARKS is the official publication of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is distributed free to all members.

Submissions BARKS encourages the submission of original written materials. Please contact the Editor-in-Chief for contributor guidelines prior to sending manuscripts or see: Please submit all contributions via our submission form at: Membership Manager Rebekah King

Letters to the Editor To comment on authors’ work, or to let us know what topics you would like to see more of, contact the Editor-in-Chief via email putting BARKS in the subject line of your email. BARKS reserves the right to edit for length, grammar and clarity.


Advertising Please contact Niki Tudge at to obtain a copy of rates, ad specifications, format requirements and deadlines. Advertising information is also available at: PPG does not endorse or guarantee any products, services or vendors mentioned in BARKS, nor can it be responsible for problems with vendors or their products and services. PPG reserves the right to reject, at its discretion, any advertising.

BARKS from the Guild/July 2014


Fear, Force-Free and ‘Crossing Over’

ccording to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, behavior problems are the number one reason dogs are abandoned or relinquished to shelters and are the primary cause of death for dogs under three years of age. It’s a shocking statistic, especially when there is so much that could be done to avoid it. As behavior consultants and trainers, we often come across fearful behavior in the companion animals we see. Genetics aside, it is now widely accepted that dogs poorly socialized during the critical period may display fear-related behaviors later in life, including aggression, separation-related issues and timidity. Issues like this can be a death sentence, both in a home and in a shelter. Our cover story this month examines the importance of preventing these types of behaviors as well as ways of modifying them if already visible at a young age, as we continue to try to have an impact on that dreadful statistic. Given the potential for an exceptionally strong fear response during the early and secondary fear periods, it goes without saying that force-free methods are the only humane option, and this applies to older dogs too. Our feature on training this month relays an honest account from one trainer who did indeed ‘cross over,’ lived to tell the tale, and now debunks all the old myths blow-by-blow. Elsewhere, we present a host of intriguing features on all things canine, including obedience vs. speed on the agility circuit, working with hearing- and visually-impaired dogs, living with – and managing – a dog prone to aggressive behavior, keeping children safe around dogs, and how one training club crossed over to force-free methods and has not looked back since. We also question why some owners of the so-called bully breeds remain convinced that their dogs are ‘different’ and ‘need’ to be trained using force, when instead they should surely be the best ambassadors of all for their breeds. For the feline, avian and equine professionals there is some compelling fare - and plenty of sound business advice too. Finally, a big thank you to all our contributors. We are always happy to hear from you and consider every submission for publication, so please do get in touch. n Susan Nilso Editor-in-Chief

The Pet Professional Guild is a membership business league representing pet industry professionals who are committed to force-free training and pet care philosophies, practices and methods. Pet Professional Guild members understand force-free to mean: No Shock, No Pain, No Choke, No Prong, No Fear, No Physical Force, No Physical Molding, and No Compulsion-Based Methods.

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BARKS from the Guild Summer 2014  

Your BARKS summer edition. The quarterly publication from The Pet Professional Guild

BARKS from the Guild Summer 2014  

Your BARKS summer edition. The quarterly publication from The Pet Professional Guild