Dognapping is Bad – but Dog Napping is Good

By |2023-12-18T14:09:18-08:00December 12, 2023|Behavior & Training|

By Neil Lurssen For sailors in the Royal Navy in the Nelson days, it was an ultimate sin to strike an officer. Do that and you’d be swinging from the yardarm by dawn’s early light. But you could get away with it at times: if an officer rousted a man asleep in his hammock there was a grace period of a few minutes for automatic lashing out. Showing rare pragmatism, the admirals forgave the sailor’s outburst as a natural reaction. They instructed officers to go ahead and roust when they had to – and then stand [...]

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Gratitude, Guinea Fowl Style

By |2023-11-28T08:22:29-08:00November 28, 2023|Behavior & Training|

By Dawn Kovell You probably won’t find a lot of people using gratitude and guinea fowl in the same sentence, let alone article. FDSA Ranch, where I have lived since February, blends a dog training destination with a nascent holistic collection of other domestic animals. I use the term “domestic” loosely with the guinea fowl. What we have learned thus far, is that there is tick season, mud season, fly season, foxtail season, sticky weed season (specially designed to adhere to Belgian Tervuren leg feathers) and, most recently, a hornet season. All that and we are [...]

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Jack the Lab – Escape Artist, Fierce Hunter and Schemer

By |2023-09-12T13:20:50-07:00September 12, 2023|Behavior & Training|

By Neil Lurssen At first sight there was no real reason for Jack to get much attention. As Labrador Retrievers go, he wasn’t the handsomest member of his breed. His eyes were set quite close together for a blocky English lab and his black coat turned ash grey in blotches before he was two – maybe because he liked to plunge into our chlorinated swimming pool several times a day, rain or shine. After his swim he would sometimes find his spot under my desk, soaking wet, his head on my feet and ignoring orders to [...]

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Ranch Recalls

By |2023-06-29T11:55:51-07:00May 18, 2023|Behavior & Training|

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings This winter I moved from my adorable, extremely comfortable cottage in downtown Larkspur to live on a 100-acre ranch in Petaluma. A friend inviting me to join her on a Big Adventure initiated this move. As it turns out, it was an act of training derring-do with regard to canine off-leash recalls. Ranch dogs do not use [...]

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Old Dog Syndrome

By |2023-02-14T16:10:28-08:00February 10, 2023|Behavior & Training|

Chloe comforts her friend, Sally After a lifetime of living with dogs, my wife and I thought we knew nearly everything that could turn into serious issues as they grew old. We thought we could recognize all the signs that the end was near - that awful moment that all pet guardians must face.  But we were wrong. A recent episode involving one of our dogs – a 13-year-old senior named Sally  – introduced us to a condition we had not heard of. The condition is called Idiopathic Vestibular Disease and it is often [...]

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