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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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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By |2023-01-17T15:18:22-08:00January 16, 2023|Behavior & Training|

Watching the sheeting rain from the comfort of the front porch. I live in Northern California where currently we are being deluged by what is known as an atmospheric river. That is a poetic way to say it’s raining cats and dogs, which is an old school way to say there is a brick ton of water, hail and snow falling out of the sky. Those of you with dogs will know where this is going. Those with cats (and adorable small companions of other varieties) will think of your litter boxes and smugly [...]

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Scenting Part 2: Putting Your Big Human Brain on Hold

By |2022-11-09T14:30:04-08:00November 9, 2022|Behavior & Training|

The most eager student I currently have a flock of eager students who are anticipating their first ORT (Odor Recognition Test) this fall. All of them have been with me since foundation classes, tossing meaty treats in boxes, and now they are fine tuning the look of a Trained Formal Response on birch, anise and clove. They have learned the hard way not to crowd their dogs. They can analyze the flow of odor based on wind direction, moisture in the air and sun on concrete. And they are appropriately quiet during the searches [...]

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By |2022-05-10T22:09:36-07:00May 10, 2022|Behavior & Training|

In an ongoing series on dog sports, Behavior and Training Director, Dawn Kovell, sheds light and enthusiasm on Agility! Also available, Flyball, Teaching your Dog to Swim and Dock Diving. As a dog trainer and behavior consultant for the Behavior and Training Department at Marin Humane I tell our clients that one of the first steps toward preventing and solving behavior problems is to ensure that the dog’s emotional cup is full. I know this to be true, I really do! Recently, one of my sports dogs injured his ankle, had to have surgery and has [...]

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