Solving A Problem With The ABCs

Cutie jumping up.

Let’s look at the ABCs series thus far, especially this post, and see how we can apply the ABCs to solving a real problem.

I started a new basic class this Saturday and a few of the dogs jump up when they meet people, as one might expect for adolescent dogs. In the following class hour, a Canine Good Citizen class, another adolescent had the same issue with the polite greeting test.

I like this problem as an example for the ABCs because the components in the formula are clear and easy to identify.

Antecedent -> Behavior -> Consequence

Person Approaches -> Dog jumps up onto person -> Attention is given to dog

The antecedent is "person approaches". It’s not "dog sees person." This is because the dog cannot be part of the antecedent. In more complex situations the tendency might be to describe an antecedent with the dog included such as "the dog sees another dog" but that won’t work since one of our most powerful measures in solving a problem is controlling the antecedents, either as part of a behavior modification plan or even permanently. It we put the dog in the antecedent we’ve lumped the problem together and solving it becomeS more complicated.

In this case we are going to control the antecedent in two ways: we are going to avoid greetings as much as possible until we can better control them, and while we are training we will carefully control how quickly people approach and how close they will come.

The behavior is the easiest component to identify. The dogs I worked with Saturday were all exuberant "teenagers" that love people and really want to let them know that when they meet them.

After our rather long talk about counter-conditioning and desensitization (go to the category page scroll down a bit) it is worth noting that when we see the relaxed/goofy body postures, wagging tails, and what most observers would call "happy dogs" we know that these dogs are not reacting to the approaching people with fear or aggression and that CC&DS is not what is called for. We don’t want to change how they feel about people, we want to change how they react to them.

The consequence is what often confuses people. For these dogs just getting to the people is reinforcing enough to maintain the behavior. Hugging someone who is holding up their hands and saying "Stop! Get off! Down! Enough!" isn’t reinforcing for us, but that’s not the point. It is for the dog and it is maintaining the behavior.

So how do we apply the formula to this problem?

I already mentioned controlling the antecedent. Obviously this is not a viable long-term strategy. Short term we need to curb greetings because the reinforcement is strengthening the behavior, but this is a temporary step.

In this case changing the consequence is tricky. The only way we could keep the "A" and the "B" and alter the outcome would be to make greeting people unpleasant, and this could have obvious side effects. If we teach the dog that greeting some people results in something bad, he will become wary and maybe even defensive around strangers.

But there is a way to manipulate the situation: if the dog (like most) makes it obvious that he will jump up before the person arrives, we can have them stop or move away when he does this. This is the common "red light/green light" or "yo-yo" drill that many trainers use in classes. Done effectively, it actually becomes a way to use DRI to fix this problem.

  1. Our dog is on leash, held by his owner. Sitting at his side.
  2. Person approaches, dog gets out of sit. Person turns (dramatically if possible) and walks away.
  3. Repeat several times.
  4. Eventually, person approaches, dogs holds sit! Person continues to approach. When very close dog gets up. Person moves away.
  5. Eventually, person approaches, dog holds sit all the way until person reaches team and can greet human.

This is obviously an ideal scenario, mainly because I didn’t want to write another 500 words just describing the scenario. (I need to film this with a green dog and then edit the heck out of it.)

By starting with a sit and using getting up it as the criteria for having the person move away we focused on what we wanted instead of what we didn’t want.

Sometimes having the handler reward the dog with food is appropriate. Sometimes it adds to the dog’s excitement and makes things worse. Sometimes it even takes the dog’s focus completely off the exercise. It depends. In this rosy scenario attention was the main reinforcer and I went with it.

How long did it take? With the dog in the CGC class I was able to actually do this procedure in a few minutes. But this was a dog that had already passed a basic class and had a strong history of reinforcement for sitting. Pick a behavior that your dog is already proficient at when using this kind of problem solving.

What problems have you had success with solving? What problems have you stumped? What do you think of this approach to problem solving? Let me know in the comments!

Also, have you joined my email list yet? Every week I send an update on new posts to the blog, with a few extra notes from me. I’d love to have you onboard!

Solving A Problem With The ABCs is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey

Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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Diet Can Help With Chronic Health Problems of Pets

 I have found that simple changes to the commercial diet may make all the difference is the world! A lab with chronic ear problems, a German Shepherd with chronic diarrhea, or a bulldog with skin issues may get better when fed a hypoallergenic diet( the best is salmon/potato)

However the best diet can be ruined by biscuits, treats, and chews that cause SO many problems!

Adding healthy oils to the diet can help the skin and coat! (olive, fish, coconut, canola)

Feeding sardines, herring, and eggs several times a week makes the body and coat happy!

Feeding baby carrots instead of biscuits and canned food instead of dry can help pets lose weight!

Feed raw meaty bones or raw chicken wings or thighs for healthier teeth and joints!

That’s what I talk about in “Dog Dish Diet” Ingredients, allergies, and easy home cooking. This info has saved clients and readers  hundreds and  thousands of dollars in vet bills!

Many clients like the idea of cooking wholesome healthy ingredients, so I also wrote about easy, economical slow cooking dog and cat food in “Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet”

 Many vets believe that changing to a prescription diet will cure  health problems. Some believe food allergies and intolerance of ingredients are not the cause of many medical problems. I used to believe that way until learning about how simple changes to the commercial diet, adding healthy oils, avoiding allergenic treats and chews  may such a big difference! Some day vets will be taught in school how to harness the power of nutrition!( people doctors too!)

Many clients come in to thank me every week for saving them money and giving them a healthier pet!

click for healthier pet!


Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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Nice Senior photos

Some cool Senior images:

Senior citizen club, entrance test

Image by jepoirrier
I wonder how many senior citizens were prevented from accessing "their" building: 14 steps to climb! Or is this an entrance examination?

Senior Portraits Grand Rapids, Lowell, Forrest Hills, Graduation Pictures

Image by brandonmulnix
Senior Portraits, Grand Rapids, Lowell, Ada, Forrest Hills, Saranac, Ionia, Michigan

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The Last Big Road Trip (We’re Outta Here!)

The Last Big Road Trip // Bubby and Bean

Tomorrow morning, Robbie and I are leaving town for a week to take what will officially be our last big road trip before baby comes.  Admittedly, we fly (like, a lot) more than we travel by car these days, but we’ve both been itching for a road trip to somewhere more than a few hours away for quite some time now.  We’ve had this idea in our heads for a couple of months, hoping to squeeze it in during his time off.  There always seemed to be something getting in the way though (ahhh, reality).  Even with running my own companies and having a kick ass employee, it’s really difficult for me to take time away from the office for more than a few days.  And then of course, there’s money.  And bills. And car issues.  And all of the other boring grown-up things that always make us talk ourselves out of just taking off on adventures – something that came so freely to us in our younger days, when I literally spent entire summers on the road.

After my grandmother Maggo passed away last Tuesday, we decided that we need to make this trip happen.  Robbie’s Nana has been ill as well, and Robbie hasn’t been able to visit her since February – so that was a major motivator.  (Our first order of business will be to drive to Kansas City and spend a couple of days with her.)  We are also well aware of the fact that once our little one is born, it’s going to be infinitely more difficult to just pick up and leave – something that we’ve taken for granted for the last seven years of our relationship.  And Robbie having this much time off the road in the summer is a very rare occurrence, so we figured that we’d better take advantage. 

After spending a few days with Nana, we’re going to visit Robbie’s childhood home town, then take our time driving west through Kansas (which I always think of as being the longest state ever to drive across; thankfully it’s usually gorgeously full of sunflowers this time of year), and into Colorado.  From there, we’ll head up to Summit County for just a couple of quick days to see my dear friends John and Rhonda and their babies who live in the area, as well as Robbie’s parents, who spend a couple of months each summer there.  Although I only lived in Colorado for a couple of years and moved away over ten years ago, I still consider it home in my heart.  (And to all of our wonderful friends who live in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins: we wish we had more time and could visit all of you, but we’re doing the best with the time we have. We love you!)  After that, we’ll head back home.  The drive from Colorado to Chicago, once you get out of the mountains (so basically 95% of it), is pretty grueling.  I love you midwest, but sixteen straight hours in a car with you = brutal. We’ll find a way to make it fun though.  We’re pretty good at that.

So that’s the plan ya’ll.  The blog will still be in full action while I’m away.  I’ve written and scheduled a few posts, have some seriously awesome guest posts, and I’ll also be checking in from the road.  If you’d like to follow along with the adventures from our ‘last big road trip,’ follow me over on Instagram (@bubbyandbean).  See you in a week!

Photographs in this post are from various road trips that we’ve take over the past few years. xo

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Every New Situation Means Treats, Treats, Treats

Halo Liv-a-Little freeze-dried protein treats are your “secret weapon” to socializing your young puppy successfully. You want to think of all new experiences as a chance to positively reinforce your puppy for a lifetime of friendly and relaxed interactions with the world.

Shower your dog with treats when he’s faced with new people, places or things. Make all experiences fun and positive. Expose him to lots of friendly humans: bring your plastic jar of Halo Liv-a-Littles with you whenever you leave the house (or put some in a plastic baggie) so that you can give a treat while waiting on lines at shops or banks. Enlist strangers to hand the treats to your pup when possible.

When at home, keep a stash of tasty dog treats like Halo Liv-a-Little biscuits somewhere near your door (inaccessible to the pooch, of course). Hand a Halo treat to anyone who comes around — visitors, the mailman, deliverymen, and service people. Ask each of them to hand one to the puppy so he associates a good treat with anyone who comes to your house. But don’t forget good manners: your little one should always sit first for the stranger before getting the goody.

Click here to read the complete article.

Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.


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Excessive Snacking Can Lead to Gingivitis, Warn Eludril and Elgydium

Bournemouth, Dorset (PRWEB) July 23, 2013

People who eat too many snacks run the risk of gingivitis (gum disease), warn oral health experts from Eludril and Elgydium.

Eating little and often may satisfy hunger pangs but it can damage teeth and gums because the mouth has little chance to recover between meals.

Latest research from the British Dental Health Foundation shows that two out of three people tend to snack throughout the day rather than adhering to the traditional regime of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This can result in a build-up of plaque acid, leading to the bacteria that cause gum disease, warn the manufacturers of Eludril mouthwash and Elgydium toothpaste.

?Continually eating sugary snacks and washing them down with fizzy drinks is a short cut to gum disease, which can then lead to more serious medical conditions,? said a spokesperson for Eludril and Elgydium.

?The mouth needs time to recover after each meal. It needs time for the acid levels to dissipate. That is why you should always wait until 30 minutes after a meal before brushing your teeth.?

The British Dental Health Foundation surveyed at least 2,000 people (*). Its poll showed that 67 per cent believed incorrectly that snacking on fresh and dried fruit through the day was beneficial.

There was also a misconception that cheese was bad for oral health ? despite the fact that it contains calcium which is good for the teeth.

Cheese may not great for the waistline with its fat content, but it releases a burst of calcium that helps to reduce the impact of fruit acids in the mouth.

It is not always possible to catch gum disease early because the bacteria will be multiplying before the symptoms of gingivitis become fully evident.

Early signs include inflammation but it is not until the gums become tender to the touch that people generally start to take notice.

By then the symptoms can include gum swelling. In particularly serious cases, the triangular areas between the teeth can become very swollen and painful.

Gums bleeding when brushing teeth can be another key indication that gingivitis is present and has most likely been there for some time.

It is important to heed the warning signs and take action before recession of the gums becomes an issue.

Dentists and other oral healthcare professionals recommend chlorhexidine as the leading treatment for gum disease.

Chlorhexidine is a key ingredient in Elgydium toothpaste (which can be used daily) and Eludril mouthwash (a short term treatment for when gingivitis is diagnosed).

For further details about Eludril and Elgydium, get in contact with Chloe Rogers at Ceuta Healthcare on +44 (0)844 243 6661.

(*) British Dental Health Foundation survey 18.06.13.


Notes For Editors

Eludril and Elgydium are represented in the UK by:

Ceuta Healthcare Ltd

Hill House

41 Richmond Hill




Tel: +44 (0)844 243 6661

Eludril Mouthwash is an antibacterial and analgesic solution which can be used to manage a number of oral health problems.

Its main use is to treat and prevent dental plaque formation and gum disease (gingivitis, also known as periodontitis) by preventing the build-up of bacteria.

Eludril Mouthwash can also be used to maintain oral hygiene in situations where tooth brushing is difficult, for instance, following oral surgery or in physically or mentally handicapped patients.

Eludril can also be used as a disinfectant for the cleansing of removable dentures and in the management of common mouth ulcers and oral candidiasis infections (fungus infections).

Elgydium Anti-Plaque toothpaste is specially formulated for sensitive gums and helps to prevent dental plaque and tartar build-up, the major causes of tooth decay and gum disease.

Elgydium Whitening, Sensitive and Decay Protection are also available as part of the Elgydium range of toothpastes.

More Tartar Press Releases

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Beware of Treats, Dental Chews, and Pill Pockets Containing Wheat!


Beware of wheat, barley, additives, calories , and the low nutritional content of biscuits, green dental chews, and allergenic pill pockets.

Caution: May cause or worsen medical problems!!

Even with my nutritional warnings, I still have dogs present with sore ears or anal glands, or an itchy butt or sides due to a allergenic wheat filled biscuit, treat, or chew. Remember, treats can be healthier choices like baby carrots, apples, baked sweet potato slices, cheese, deli meat, pieces of chicken, or chicken or turkey hot dogs. They don’t have to be allergenic, high carbohydrate treats

Pet owners can do such a good job feeding a hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diet for itchy skin,ear infections, anal gland problems, or diarrhea, then feed a wheat filled biscuit, chew, or treat that makes the allergies flare up!



Those pill pockets meant to hold allergy pills can in themselves cause ear and anal gland pain and itch!Make sure you have the hypoallergenic pill pocket or use chicken or turkey hot dogs like I do at work!)

Green dental chews may cause a less immediate gulp, but don’t really cause the gnawing and cleaning that teeth need to be clean!(raw meaty bones, raw chicken wings, rawhide, and  antlers may work better!)

Remember these ideas for treats!

I buy big bricks of cheddar and if a dog tolerates dairy products, a small piece may make a great nutritional supplement/ treat a couple times a week. (Remember, all dogs are individuals and some can eat dairy, but others may react to it.)

Pieces of chicken, hot dogs, or deli chicken, turkey, or ham.

Green beans, baby carrots, fruit.

If you want to feed a better diet, help with allergies or medical problems,  or home-cook your pet’s food visit:

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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The dogs which take their name from the island of Newfoundland appeal to all lovers of animals.There are now two established varieties, the black and the white and black. There are also bronze-coloured dogs, but they are rare. The black variety of the Newfoundland is essentially black in color; but this does not mean that there may be no other color, for most black Newfoundlands have some white marks. In fact, a white marking on the chest is said to be typical of the true breed. Any white on the head or body would place the dog in the other than black variety. The black color should preferably be of a dull jet appearance which approximates to brown. In the other than black class, there may be black and tan, bronze, and white and black. The latter predominates, and in this color, beauty of marking is very important. The head should be black with a white muzzle and blaze, and the body and legs should be white with large patches of black on the saddle and quarters, with possibly other small black spots on the body and legs.

Apart from color, the varieties should conform to the same standard. The head should be broad and massive, but in no sense heavy in appearance. The muzzle should be short, square, and clean cut, eyes rather wide apart, deep set, dark and small, not showing any haw; ears small, with close side carriage, covered with fine short hair (there should be no fringe to the ears), expression full of intelligence, dignity, and kindness.

The body should be long, square, and massive, loins strong and well filled; chest deep and broad; legs quite straight, somewhat short in proportion to the length of the body, and powerful, with round bone well covered with muscle; feet large, round, and close. The tail should be only long enough to reach just below the hocks, free from kink, and never curled over the back. The quality of the coat is very important; the coat should be very dense, with plenty of undercoat; the outer coat somewhat harsh and quite straight.

The appearance generally should indicate a dog of great strength, and very active for his build and size, moving freely with the body swung loosely between the legs, which gives a slight roll in gait. As regards size, the Newfoundland Club standard gives 140 lbs. to 120 lbs. weight for a dog, and 110 lbs. to 120 lbs. for a bitch, with an average height at the shoulder of 27 inches and 25 inches respectively; but it is doubtful whether dogs in proper condition do conform to both requirements. 

When rearing puppies give them soft food, such as well-boiled rice and milk, as soon as they will lap, and, shortly afterwards, scraped lean meat. Newfoundland puppies require plenty of meat to induce proper growth. The puppies should increase in weight at the rate of 3 lbs. a week, and this necessitates plenty of flesh, bone and muscle-forming food, plenty of meat, both raw and cooked. Milk is also good, but it requires to be strengthened with casein. The secret of growing full-sized dogs with plenty of bone and substance is to get a good start from birth, good feeding, warm, dry quarters, and freedom for the puppies to move about and exercise themselves as they wish. Forced exercise may make them go wrong on their legs. Medicine should not be required except for worms, and the puppies should be physicked for these soon after they are weaned, and again when three or four months old, or before that if they are not thriving. If free from worms, Newfoundland puppies will be found quite hardy, and, under proper conditions of food and quarters, they are easy to rear.

Welcome to The Top Dog Blog!

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Decatur Veterinarian Says Good Pet Dental Health is Essential to Overall Pet

Decatur Veterinarian Says Good Pet Dental Health is Essential to Overall Pet
Dr. Stevens advises pet owners to check daily for any signs of periodontal disease by gently inspecting the gums and teeth. Healthy gums are a light pink color, whereas inflamed gums are red and angry looking. Plaque buildup on teeth will begin to turn
Read more on GlobeNewswire (press release)

goodnessknows® Snack Squares Brings Healthy Living Experience To Denver
HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., July 25, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ — goodnessknows®, a Mars Chocolate North America brand, announced a three-city summer tour today, featuring wholesome snacking and healthy lifestyle activities. The tour kicks off on Saturday, July 
Read more on The Herald |

Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL) Management Discusses Q2 2013 Results
The 6 variants, Colgate Cavity Protection, Colgate Triple Action, Colgate Anti-Tartar, Colgate Herbal Original White and Gums, will all have new modernized designs at affordable price points, an important initiative for a segment which still represents
Read more on Seeking Alpha

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Helpful Tips on Caring for Senior Pets

A relationship with a companion animal can be one of the most rewarding experiences we humans encounter in our lifetimes. In the last 20 years, medical science has repeatedly shown that having a dog or cat in your life can result in health benefits for you, including improved, self-reported mental and physical health, and even fewer doctor visits compared to no-pet people. Additionally, caring for pets can help us to develop a greater sense of responsibility, elevate our own sense of self-worth and foster a mutually beneficial bond that enriches not only our lives but those of our pets, too.

Read More…

The Perfect Pet Food Blog

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