Shared Blog Post – Just a Whisper: The Early Signs of Fear in Dog Body Language, Eileen Anderson,

< Updated 24OCT22 >

In this blog post from October 20, 2022, Eileen Anderson of and co-author of  Puppy Socialization – What It Is and How to Do It discusses a recent walk with her 18-month-old dog Lewis. She describes his first encounter with a new object, a trailer parked in front of the house next door. Eileen also includes photos that illustrate the very subtle body language, whispers as she describes them, that Lewis expressed that indicate his wariness towards the trailer.

I believe it is essential for everyone with a dog to be very familiar with its body language. This is even more important if the dog is not socialized or expresses fear and anxiety. It is not uncommon for rescue dogs to have little or no socialization and to be fearful in new situations. When we react to the whispers before the shouting (growling, barking, lunging) starts, we have saved our dog from unnecessary trauma, which should ALWAYS be our goal.

Read Eileen’s blog post at


Shared Blog Post – Human Foods Dogs Can & Can’t Eat by Dr. Karen Becker

< Updated 22SEP22 >

Knowing what “human foods” you can safely feed your dog can be confusing. Unfortunately, the internet and even pet care professionals, who should know better, often give contradictory and confusing advice. Sadly, that advice is often only supported by myths and not research studies based on science. Even sadder is that we deprive our dogs of some healthy, natural sources of vital micronutrients.

On September 21st, 2022, veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker posted an infographic on Facebook, adding clarity to this topic. Thank you, Dr. Becker!

You can view, print, or download a PDF of Dr. Becker’s infographic and her comments at this link –Human Foods Dogs Can & Cant Eat-Dr Karen Becker

Dr. Karen Becker on Facebook

Shared Blog Post – Are Retractable Leashes Bad? Let Us Count the Ways …, Cathy Gait for Outward hound

< Updated 29AUG22 >

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Thanks to Cathy Gair for this excellent article for outward hound outlining why retractable or Flexi leads cause far too much harm for any benefit they provide. Read the article at

Shared Blog Post – Experiencing a High Magnitude Punisher and Its Fallout – Eileen Anderson

< Updated 14JUL22 >

In her blog post of July 11th, 2022, Eileen Anderson of EileenandDogs describes how unexpectedly getting stung by a wasp dramatically changed her behavior. I have shared Eileen’s post on my blog because this same type of response can occur when our pets experience something they find punishing. Understand that what they experienced may not seem traumatic to you; however, how you perceived the incident is irrelevant if the injured party found the experience traumatic. Mammalian brains are designed to remember traumatic events FOREVER so we can avoid being hurt again. This is a deep-seated emotional response and typically cannot just be “trained away.” If you find your dog is suddenly afraid, you may better understand how they feel after reading Eileen’s post.


Shared Blog Post – Punishment in Animal Training – It’s Unnecessary and Harmful

If you care for animals, please read this excellent article from BARKS from the Guild on why punishment in animal training is not only totally unnecessary but also has great potential to be extremely harmful. Then share it with others, including those pet care professionals who still recommend punishment. If they choose not to read because “they know it all,” they have just demonstrated they know very little. We can stop hurting animals if we all work together and take a stand. Thank you for helping. –

Shared Blog Post – You Have to Stop! Interrupting Unwelcome Puppy Play Toward an Older Dog from

< Updated 21APR22 >

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Puppies can often be relentless when getting an older dog to play. While your senior dog may enjoy an opportunity to wrestle and play chase games with a puppy, odds are they will reach a point when they have had enough. Unfortunately, not all older dogs successfully tell the pup when to stop and, sadly, allow themselves to become miserable punching bags. In this blog post from Eileen Anderson, co-author of the fantastic book Puppy Socialization, she discusses how to deal with a pup harassing your older dog. –

Shared Blog Post – All About Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds – They’re NOT!

< Updated 16JAN22 >

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Many people desperately want a dog in their life but have allergies. There are dog breeds advertised and promoted as being “hypoallergenic.” This would seem to imply that if you get one of these dogs, you will not have an allergic reaction. Sadly, the very suggestion that a dog is “hypoallergenic” is disingenuous. As noted in this recent blog post by Embark, “Being called hypoallergenic means the dog is less likely to cause someone to have an allergic reaction. However, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic.”

If you are searching for a “hypoallergenic” dog, I encourage you to read this blog post from Embark. It provides detailed, scientific information on dog allergies and which breeds may be less of a concern than others for a person that has dog allergies. However, the fact remains no dog will be 100% allergenic.

Embark – All About Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

If you are thinking about buying a dog from someone telling you that the dog is “hypoallergenic,” I suggest you talk to other breeders, rescues, and pet professionals before making a financial commitment. At least, ask yourself, “What else have they told me about this dog that might not be true?” The following article from my blog may be helpful as you look for the right dog for you and your family.

Adopting A Pet – Finding the Right Dog for You and Your Family

Shared Blog Post – Why Counterconditioning “Doesn’t Work” or How to Help Ensure Counterconditioning Will Work

< Updated 11NOV21>

Angelica Steinker of Courteous Canine, Inc. wrote a brilliant article entitled Why Counterconditioning “Doesn’t Work” for the May 2015 issue of BARKS from the Guild, the professional journal of the Pet Professional Guild. Today the article was posted on the BARKS blog. My only criticism is, I think a better title would have been “How to Help Ensure Counterconditioning Will Work.”

In this article, the author discusses the typical reason a counterconditioning protocol fails; user error. In my experience, far too often, people with a fearful pet are in such a hurry to help their pet that they miss the keys to success that Steinker outlines in her article. The steps she describes can dramatically increase the odds of counterconditioning relieving the dog’s anxiety. The core message is the animal being counter conditioned MUST feel safe and relaxed.

This is a MUST READ for anyone working with fearful animals.

< Click here to read on the BARKS blog >

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
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Help! My Dog is Aggressive, Reactive, Fearful, Anxious, etc. – What do I do?

How Can I Tell When My Dog Is Anxious or Fearful?

Introduction to Canine Communication

Understanding, Identifying and Coping with Canine Stress

Management of An Aggressive, Fearful or Reactive Dog

Shared Blog Post – the misunderstanding of time by Nancy Tanner

The emotional toll of a reactive dog by Jay Gurden in Dog’s Today –

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
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Anxiety, Fears & Phobias with Dr. Christine Calder







Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( ) in Bangor, Maine, where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is also the founder of, an online educational resource for people with dogs and cats. Don is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC), and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), where he serves on the Board of Directors and Steering Committee and chairs the Advocacy Committee and The Shock-Free Coalition ( ). Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at, the Apple Podcast app, and Don’s blog:  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©11NOV21, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Shared Blog Post – Why Are Cats So Picky? And What Can You Do About It?

< Updated 02SEP21 >

Chris from Weruva, one of our favorite cat food companies, explains why your cat can be so fussy about what they eat. It’s not about taste. It’s a little bit about the smell. What really matters most to a cat is how the food feels in its mouth and on its tongue. Chris explains in detail on this blog and YouTube video at –

Shared Blog Post – No Pain, No Force, No Fear: An Interview with Niki Tudge by Dr. Karen Becker

< Updated 23FEB20 >

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Dr. Karen Becker interviews Niki Tudge the founder of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and discusses why and how Tudge decided to launch what is today an 8000+ member organization of pet care professionals committed to the training, husbandry, and management of pets that is Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free as outlined in the PPG Guiding Principles. The Pet Professional Guild is an organization grounded in science, facts, and ethics committed to education. I encourage any pet care professionals to join and support the PPG and suggest that anyone with pets looking for a pet care professional start their search at the PPG’s Find A Professional page.

Tudge describes the Guiding Principles as “…how do we behave towards animals, how do we behave towards our industry, and then how do we behave towards our customers? She elaborates on the PPG’s philosophy of no pain, no force, and no fear and how PPG has defined force as “…any approach that causes physical or emotional fear with the intent of damaging” while also emphasizing that it is essential to give the dog a choice to interact in the training process, and if the dog is not enjoying the process we need to modify our approach.

Becker and Tudge discuss various PPG programs, including the PPG’s junior membership, which has three levels for children; 8 to 12, 13-17, and then an apprentice level for young adults 18 to 20 years of age.  If you have a child that is interested in dogs, I strongly encourage you to enroll them in this program, especially if they are interested in a career working with companion animals.

The interview also introduces PPG’s brand new Pet Rescue Resources Program, which is a free program targeted to shelters and resources, which will include guidelines, videos, handouts for protocols that they need to have in place to provide the best possible care for the homeless pets in their charge.

One of the best comments from the interview, “Dr. Becker: You allow your dogs to be dogs, I think is the best way to say that.”

You can view the video of this interview at

Recommended Resources

Dr. Karen Becker Interview with Niki Tudge

Transcript of Dr. Karen Becker Interview with Niki Tudge

The Pet Professional Guild

The Pet Professional Guild Guiding Principles

The Pet Professional Guild Find A Professional Page

PPG Junior Membership