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Therapy and the Human-Dog Bond

Help for dogs who are afraid of thunderstorms

One common question from dog owners is this: What Can I do About my dog's fear of thunder?

Fear of loud noises probably developed eons ago for a very good reason:extremely loud noises are often accompanied by dangerous events. There are two things to do when your dog cowers or shakes during a  Read More 

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You, Your Dog, Your Attachment Style, and Your Healing

Each of us has his or her way of forming attachments to other people. This “attachment pattern” develops during infancy and early childhood and persists throughout life. Although you can’t do very much to change your attachment pattern, sometimes called an “attachment style,” you  Read More 

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FAQ– Therapeutic Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and Service Dogs

My posts over the past weeks have focused on some of the many ways that the bond between person and dog can be mutually therapeutic. Today, I’m going to switch gears to address a semantic question: what is the difference between a dog being  Read More 

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Intimacy and the Human Dog bond Part Two

That experience with Gita and the Beaver Pond has been alive in my mind for a long time. I’ve re-imagined it, and I’ve wondered what made it click. I incorporated it into a story for children and have tried to make it happen again by going into  Read More 

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Intimacy, Nature, and the Human-Dog

Intimacy–whether between two people or between person and dog– opens people up to new experiences, it connects people, and it helps people explore new aspects of themselves.

Many years ago, I experienced a magical moment watching a beaver build a dam in a small pond in the woods  Read More 

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Why You Should Stop Trying to be the "Alpha"

This just-published article explains why trying to be your dog's alpha is based on lots of misinformation and is altogether a bad idea. You can read the complete article on the "Books & Articles " page of this website. The article also appears in the summer issue of "The Chronicle of the Dog," the official publication  Read More 
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How Your Dog Can Help Your Child be Mindful

I’ve written previously, as have many others, about the ways in which meditation and mindfulness practices can help children. One built in problem, a sort of Catch-22 is that those children who most need to learn to calm themselves and to focus their minds are those least likely to want to sit still,  Read More 
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Creating a Mutually Therapeutic Relationship with Your Dog

Not so very long ago, even the title of this post would have raised eyebrows in professional circles. Times have changed in very positive ways, however, and for the better. My article on animal assisted therapy will soon be published in “Currents” the publication of the Philadelphia Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology,  Read More 
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Dogs and Therapy#6: What is negative reinforcement?

In this post, I’ll continue my discussion of animal learning as it applies to making choices that will make you and your dog happy together. In my previous post about learning, I wrote about positive reinforcers. There are also negative reinforcers. Just as positive reinforcers do, so too do negative reinforcers increase the  Read More 
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Dogs and Therapy #5: Learning Can be Fun for You and Your Dog

People who live with a dog and want to have a great relationship with that dog want the dog to be well behaved, but they don’t want to hurt their relationship to get there. Rather, they would like the learning process to be on that is enjoyable for both human and dog and  Read More 
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