Issue 26 | February 2023 — Working Animals

Environmental Cues in Service Dogs

Navigating one’s daily tasks isn’t always easy — especially while living with a disability. Fortunately, there are service dogs that can be trained to do all sorts of tasks for their humans, and make significant improvements to their handlers’ lives. They might open...

By Matthias Lenz KPA CTP

Issue 25 | February 2023 — Working Animals

Issue 24 | October 2022 — Working Animals

Issue 23 | June 2022 — Working Animals

COVID-sniffing Dogs One Year Later: New Studies Show Promise

Summary: The canine nose is the most sophisticated tool we have for detecting odors in real-life environments. As soon as the pandemic hit, researchers started looking at whether dogs could be trained to detect if a person is infected with the COVID-19 virus. One year...

By Kayla Fratt, CDBC

Issue 20 | February 2022 — Working Animals

Behavioural Care of the Elderly Farm Dog Retired (or Not) from Work

Summary: After their working careers are over, senior farm dogs are still a vital part of the life of the farm. They’re role models for puppies learning on the job, as well as trusted companions for the humans living and working in this often isolated rural...

By Pat Tagg M.Sc, CABC

Issue 19 | May 2021 — Working Animals

Weak Links in the Canine Scent Detection Behavior Chain

Summary: Training for detection dogs involves creating a chain of behaviors with a reward at the end. When backchaining behaviors, there is always a risk of inadvertently reinforcing unwanted behaviors, which can make for a less reliable detection dog. This article...

By Carla Simon, BSc, MD, MBA

Issue 18 | February 2021 — Working Animals

Angles of Approach in Dog Training

Summary: Geometry is important to successful dog training. When doing any kind of training that involves distance from a trigger or target, paying attention to the angle you’re asking the dog to approach from can help you reach your goals more quickly. This...

By Matthias Lenz

Issue 17 | November 2020 — Working Animals

Being a BAME Woman in the Gundog Training Community

I have no doubt you are aware that the gundog community is heavily dominated by white men, whereas the general dog sports community is mainly dominated by white women, at least when talking about those who actually compete. I am a mixed-race woman. My father is Black...

By Cecilia Erhabor

The Politics of Identity in Hunting Dogs

My insights into the hunting dog’s world begin with my own experiences of Cypriot hunting dogs, and an engagement with data that exists in my home and workplace in Cyprus. It makes its presence known to me continually and is not to be ignored. Indeed, the...

By Teresa Tyler, MA

Issue 16 | July 2020 — Working Animals

Tossing Food in Service Dog Training

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position on the topic of the organization he is working for. There is a huge variety in service dog tasks, and there are some core skills every service dog should...

By Matthias Lenz

Issue 15 | April 2020 — Working Animals

How the Clever Hans Effect Leads to Errors in Canine Scent Detection

Dogs are experts at human body language, but communication is a two-way street. Since you’re reading this article, you have probably gone to great lengths to understand their nonverbal communication, but how well you understand your own body language? Dogs learn to...

By Carla Simon, MD

The Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Dog Behaviour

Environmental enrichment (EE) is a technique designed to enhance the quality of life of captive and domestic animals, by providing environmental stimuli to promote psychological and physiological well-being (Kogan et al., 2012; Tarou and Bashaw, 2007). In dogs, EE can...

By Rebecca Hunt and Dr Helen Vaterlaws-Whiteside

Service Dogs, Students, and Environments They Access

  Service dogs are working more and more with students. Those present in schools, colleges, camps, and other similar environments often struggle to understand the laws defining service dogs, what to expect from trained service dogs, and how to embrace them....

By Kristin Hartness

The Gift of Sam

  I close my book, place it on the bedside table, and turn off the light, the signal for Sam, my yellow Lab, to jump up on the bed for one last goodnight snuggle. My room is dark: I no longer have to sleep with the light on and under the covers. I no longer see...

By Skye Anderson

The Dog’s Nose in Prostate Cancer Detection

Puppies are born blind and deaf, and stay this way until approximately 14 days of age, so their lives depend on finding the mother’s nipple through smell. This early stimulation of olfactory organs allows them to reach adulthood with the ability to smell the...

By Raul Maroto

Issue 14 | January 2020 — Working Animals

An Interview with Michele Pouliot

Michele Pouliot is widely credited with introducing positive reinforcement-based training to the guide dog world and promoting the expansion of Clicker Training internationally within the guide dog field. Before she started working with guide dogs in 1974, Michele was...

By Sarah Dixon, CDBC

What Dog Behavior Doesn’t Teach You About Sheep

Anna and I were standing at the back of a queue of woolly bottoms. Anna is my German shepherd dog, and the woolly bottoms belong to my 200 Poll Dorset sheep. We all work together on a small farm in Dorset, U.K., where we study traditional herding techniques,...

By Pat Tagg, M.Sc, CABC

Issue 13 | October 2019 — Working Animals

Environmental Cues in Service Dogs

Navigating one’s daily tasks isn’t always easy — especially while living with a disability. Fortunately, there are service dogs that can be trained to do all sorts of tasks for their humans, and make significant improvements to their handlers’ lives. They might open...

By Matthias Lenz

Issue 12 | July 2019 — Working Animals

Therapy Dogs: Preventing Stress and Fatigue, Promoting Welfare

In the past four years as executive trainer for the Good Dog Foundation, I have been witness to moments that have left me gratified, awed, deeply moved, and absolutely certain of the substantive healing capacity of therapy dogs in animal-assisted interactions. I have...

By Melissa Schiraldi

Issue 11 | April 2019 — Working Animals

Shaping Service Dogs to Overcome Fear of Unknown Surfaces

A central tenet of service dog training is fostering non-reactivity to various stimuli to ensure a resilient and reliable service dog for the client. Service dogs should remain relatively unfazed by dogs passing by, people talking to them, and other types of...

By Matthias Lenz

Directional Control: Not Just for Working Dogs

Moses leaps into action, darting across the field and vaulting onto a platform located 25 yards away. Happily holding there, he waits for the next cue, then runs to the next target. A total stranger is directing him while I stand out of the picture. I spent two...

By Robin Gruebel

Issue 10 | February 2019 — Working Animals

Your Questions about the Joint Standards of Practice 

On September 11th, 2018, IAABC, APDT, and CCPDT announced an agreement called the Joint Standards of Practice. This document, adopted by all three organizations, lays out the principles we believe should govern competent, ethical animal trainers and behavior...

By The IAABC Foundation Editing Team

Issue 9 | December 2018 — Working Animals

Mental Stress in Service Dogs

Working dogs give their hearts and souls to meeting their disabled handlers’ needs. The relationship between dogs and their handlers is deeply personal, interdependent, and intimate. This article addresses reducing mental stress for service dogs and improving the...

By Barbara Handelman M.Ed, CDBC

Issue 8 | July 2018 — Working Animals

Canine Search and Rescue

In recent years, canine search and rescue (SAR) has become popular. In the not-too-distant past, most people did not know what it was. For example, when people saw members of my unit with the K9 SAR logo on their uniforms, they would comment that it was nice that we...

By Susan Bulanda

Issue 7 | April 2018 — Working Animals

Is “Dominance” a Four-Letter Word?

I had occasion today to think about how we working livestock guardian dog (LGD) owners view dominance in our dogs. Before we get into any further conversations about training, I think we should take a closer look at what dominance is and, perhaps more importantly,...

By Carolee Penner

Issue 6 | February 2018 — Working Animals

A Perfect Human-Animal Bond Storm

Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion. Arthur Koestler Although many items appear on my list of enjoyable activities, reading mysteries remains a lifelong favorite. This ongoing exploration of the who, what, where, when, how, and why of hundreds of plots...

By Myrna Milani, DVM

Issue 5 | October 2017 — Working Animals

Service Dog Temperament Versus Behaviour: What to Measure and When

The unique dog-human relationship has led to the dog’s integral place within our society. As well as being our companions, dogs’ adaptation to our lifestyle has resulted in their exceptional ability to work in a wide variety of roles, such as military dogs, police...

By Helen Vaterlaws-Whiteside, PhD

Issue 4 | July 2017 — Working Animals

Issue 3 | April 2017 — Working Animals

Animal Assisted Play Therapy™

My name is Lucy Llewellyn, and my dog and I are “Paws4Play.” I am a qualified social worker, qualified play therapist, and Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapist. I work mostly with children who have experienced abuse, neglect, and trauma. I help these children work...

By Lucy Llewellyn

Issue 2 | February 2017 — Working Animals

Therapy Animals

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.             – Maya Angelou One of the very first things I learned when I started visiting hospitals with a therapy dog was that...

By Patricia Tirrell

Issue 1 | October 2016 — Working Animals

Service Dogs: Ethics and Education

Most Americans are familiar with the presence of service animals.[1] From the standard-bearer guide dog for the blind to the much photographed but rare service mini-horse, their stories are more and more visible. Sometimes we tell those stories in order to laud an...

By Barbara Handelman