About Shannon Coyner

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So far Shannon Coyner has created 47 blog entries.

Teachable Moments

Behavior is always happening; therefore, our dogs are always learning.  With every action there is a positive or negative consequence.  When a positive consequence occurs, our dogs are more likely to repeat the behavior.  If a negative consequence occurs, our dogs are less likely to repeat the behavior.  Because of this, we can find many good opportunities to teach our dogs.  The problem is, as humans we often overlook the opportunities to reinforce a desired behavior, yet we are often keen to notice the undesirable ones.  Sadly, this often leads to our dogs experiencing far more punishments and far fewer positive reinforcements. […]

By |2019-01-23T19:47:52+00:00January 23rd, 2019|Blog of the Week|0 Comments

Why Pets are Not Good Holiday Presents 2

While we’ve posted this before, the message definitely bears repeating.  Before you decide to add a pet to your family over the holidays, please consider this post! 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 |2019-01-23T19:48:01+00:00December 4th, 2018|Blog of the Week|0 Comments

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

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