About Shannon Coyner

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So far Shannon Coyner has created 38 blog entries.

Embracing Mistakes

Anytime we are learning a new skill we are likely to make mistakes. Making a mistake is a very valuable part of the learning process. Unfortunately, society has taught us that making mistakes is a bad thing. It is not uncommon for a person to feel embarrassed, ashamed or stupid because they made a mistake. The idea that we will be perfect and never make a mistake is absurd. Often the fear of making a mistake will deter a person from trying new things. Now consider how we treat dogs when they make a mistake when they are learning? […]

By |2018-09-20T16:42:15+00:00September 20th, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Fast is Slow – Slow is Fast

Recently I came across this phase “Fast is Slow and Slow is Fast” and I was not really sure what it meant until I found myself saying it to my agility students.  We were working on a new skill and one of my students was racing through the exercise and his dog kept making mistakes.  I had him slow down so they dog had time to think and the dog did the exercise perfectly.  Suddenly I understood “Fast is Slow and Slow is Fast”.  I realized that it was similar to “Slow and steady wins the race”.  When I explained my newly learned phrase to my class, we all laughed but soon it became a common theme when the dogs made a mistake. […]

By |2018-08-23T18:52:08+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Helping Your Dog Who is Afraid of Sounds

July can be a very difficult month for many dogs.  The 4th of July is a festive day for people but it can be terrifying for dogs.  In many cases the loud booms begin a week before the holiday and continue days after.  For dogs that are afraid of fireworks, the two weeks around the 4th can be extremely traumatic.  However, fireworks are not the only sounds that frighten dogs.  Any loud or strange sound can cause anxiety in a dog.  My Jack Russell, Scout, is afraid of the house fire alarm.  Although it does not go off often, even the chirp that indicates the battery is low will send her into a panic.  Dogs can be afraid of any sound, but it’s usually the loud sudden sounds that will worry dogs.  Some examples include garbage trucks, a pot crashing on the ground, a vacuum or lawn mower. […]

By |2018-07-29T02:26:32+00:00June 12th, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Why is My Dog So Anxious?

Every day I work with dogs that are anxious. Sometimes they come in because their people think they are “aggressive”, “stubborn”, or “shy” when they are anxious or afraid. Just like people, all animals will go into “survival mode” when they are anxious or afraid. The main three ways that a “survival mode” is exhibited is with fight, flight or freeze. When a dog is responding to fear with “fight” they may be labeled aggressive (they will often bark, growl, lunge or bite). If a dog responds with “flight” they run away and are often labeled escape artists, or they pull on leash. Dogs that “freeze” are typically called stubborn or stupid.. […]

By |2018-06-06T15:32:41+00:00June 6th, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Unrealistic Expectations

Have you ever had someone have higher expectations for you than you could realistically fulfill? In our fast-paced world, this occurs often - in the workplace, in relationships, in school - it happens everywhere!  When the expectations are not met, you and the other person involved are disappointed and whatever you are working on suffers. Unfortunately, we also often have unrealistic expectations with our dogs. I see people having unrealistic expectations with their dogs in many of my training classes.  It is not uncommon to have a human-dog team that comes to class every week, but they do not practice the skills at all in between classes.  Obviously, these teams fall behind the teams that practice a little every day (even just 10- 15 minutes each day can make a dramatic difference).  In some cases, the person is compassionate and realizes that their lack of practice has caused the dog’s skills to fall behind.  However, there are cases when the person gets frustrated because the dog is not “performing” as well as the other dogs in class.  With these students, I have to remind them it is not realistic to expect their dog to improve if they do not [...]

By |2018-03-28T23:43:16+00:00February 7th, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Helping Your Pets After a Disaster

As I write this, the Thomas Fire continues to invade surrounding cities.  Although it has left Ventura, we are still suffering from poor air quality.  Whether the disaster is a fire, hurricane, tornado or earthquake, it not only impacts people, it also impacts our pets.   It is important to recognize that our pets are affected by poor air or water quality and they are physiologically affected as well! […]

By |2018-03-30T05:22:40+00:00January 4th, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Why Pets are Not Good Holiday Presents

Pets are a wonderful addition to our human families.  With the hustle and bustle of the holidays  in full swing and sometimes the idea of getting a loved one a pet may be considered.  People often think that giving a puppy, kitten or other furry critter at the holidays is a great way to celebrate and show their love for their loved ones.   Although these people have their heart in the right place, these cute gifts could end up being disastrous! (for the pet and the human). […]

By |2018-05-16T18:56:12+00:00December 6th, 2017|Blog of the Week|0 Comments

Understanding the History of Dog Training

Dogs have been companions to humans for thousands of years but we did not start officially training them until the early 1900’s.  Many consider the father of modern traditional training to be German trainer named Colonel Konrad Most.  He authored a book entitled Training Dogs a Manual in 1910.   Colonel Most had a military background.  He started training dogs while serving as Police Commissioner at the Royal Prussian Police headquarters in 1906.  He later trained military dogs in World War I and from 1919 to 1937 he was head of the Canine Research Department of the Army High Command.Access to this post requires a Gold, Silver or Bronze site membership. Click here to purchase

By |2018-03-30T04:43:58+00:00November 6th, 2017|Blog of the Week|0 Comments

Can you reinforce fear by petting your pet when they are scared?

Years ago people were told that if they comforted their pets when they were  afraid, the pets would be more likely to be afraid next time.  I remember hearing this advice and I could not comprehend why it was being used.  If I am scared I want a loved one to comfort me and it definitely does not make me more fearful in the future.  In some cases, I may be less fearful because I realize that the thing I was afraid of was not a big deal.  If you think about this intuitively you can see that it does not make sense.Access to this post requires a Gold, Silver or Bronze site membership. Click here to purchase

By |2018-03-30T04:44:35+00:00October 4th, 2017|Blog of the Week|0 Comments

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