Posted by: Linda Trunell | June 29, 2018

Service Dog, Therapy Dog or Emotional Support Dog?

There are differences between a Service Dog, Therapy Dog or Emotional Support Dog and what role each one plays.  Service dogs are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and have access to public places which Therapy or Emotional Support Dogs may not have. (Animals other than dogs can fill some of these roles but for this post I will be referring to dogs only.)

Americans with Disabilities Act / Service Animals Booklet

A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include, among other things, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, or pressing an elevator button.

Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals either. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. It does not matter if a person has a note from a doctor that states that the person has a disability and needs to have the animal for emotional support. A doctor’s letter does not turn an animal into a service animal.

Here is a helpful graphic courtesy of Service Dog Certificationsservicedog_ESA_therapydog

PetSmart now offers a Therapy Training Course which prepares pet owners and their dogs for Therapy Dog evaluation, which is conducted by third parties dedicated to registering therapy pets. Once officially registered, the therapy dog and pet owner can work together to give back to their community, delivering emotional support to those who need it at senior living facilities, hospitals, schools, libraries, funeral homes, community centers and other locations.

Here’s to being our dog’s best friend,


Posted by: Linda Trunell | November 16, 2017

8 reasons why you shouldn’t train your dog using a spray bottle.

Put down the spray bottle and train with your brain! Excellent information here.

Glasgow Dog Training By Dog Behaviourist John McGuigan

Article by Mirkka Koivusalo,


Reblogged here. Enjoy. 

Most dogs have some annoying habits. We humans want them to stop as quickly as possible.

Some humans have a little handheld tool they use to stop behaviors they don’t like: a squirt bottle. A sharp spray of water in the dog’s face should stop jumping/chewing/nipping/barking pretty efficiently, right? Plus the gadget is cheap, easy to get and shouldn’t really hurt the dog, right? Well, not in my opinion.

I am a professional dog trainer, and I have, in my time, used a squirt bottle as punishment. It’s worked. It made my then-puppy learn to leave the curtain, rug and a corner of the coffee table alone. Would I use the squirt bottle as a training technique with my clients or own dogs today, with the current knowledge that I have on dog behavior? No, I would not.

Today, I see…

View original post 1,756 more words

Dogs who are reactive on leash is probably the most common behavior issue I see in training. My own dog is sometimes not his usual friendly self when on leash.
I read an article recently that stated in many countries dogs do not expect to interact with people and other dogs when on leash and so they are more likely to ignore them. In the US the mindset seems to be that every dog should be saying “hi” to every dog or person they encounter on leash. I do tell my students to keep on-leash greetings with other dogs to 3 seconds maximum IF they allow them at all.

Please note that although I agree with the content of this linked post, I do NOT agree with or condone the methods or tools used by the writer in his training.  I never recommend choke, prong or shock collars.

David Tirpak

On leash greetings with people and dogs are the number one cause of behavioral issues on the walk.  They cause reactivity, condition excitement, and put dogs in immensely uncomfortable situations.  Lets break this down..

First and foremost the number one reason why we discourage on-leash greetings is due to the unnecessary social pressure that it creates for the dog.  In ideal social situations between dogs and dogs or dogs and people the dog is free to roam.  If they get stressed out due to another dog or person they can get up and walk away giving them space and reducing the social pressure.

Being on a leash is very restricting to most dogs.  They are stuck within a 4-6 foot radius of you at all times and are very aware of it.  This puts them in an innate position to tap into their fight or flight responses.  Since they do…

View original post 352 more words

Posted by: Linda Trunell | June 5, 2016

New FurAlert is Amber Alert for Pets

When a pet goes missing time is of the essence. The longer they are missing the greater the chance of injury, death or just never knowing what happened to them. This FREE mobile app, FurAlert is Amber Alert for pets, an emergency response system that can notify nearby people with information and a photo about a reported missing pet. This could greatly increase the chance of getting your pet home safe and sound.


I have downloaded the app and filled in Max’s information and a photo of him. I recommend that every one with a pet get the app – even if your pet has an identification tag and a microchip. To learn more about how FurAlert works go to

The more people who have the app the more effective it will be!

Here’s to being our dog’s best friend,



Posted by: Linda Trunell | May 9, 2016

Reasons to Love Canine Science

If you love dogs, you must love canine science. I think it is wonderful that we are learning so much about our best friends!  Here is a great post describing what science is discovering about dogs and how these discoveries can help us to train better.

Source: 6 Reasons to Love Canine Science 

It helps us train our dogs better

Dog training relies on well-established techniques of operant and classical conditioning, but more recent research specific to dogs and their owners can also help improve our training technique. Many studies show an association between the use of punitive techniques and behaviour problems such as aggression (e.g. Casey et al 2013; Herron et al 2009; Rooney and Cowan 2011). Studies also show the importance of timing, that dogs prefer food over petting and praise (Feuerbacher and Wynne 2012), that the type of treat matters, and even that dogs love to work to earn a reward (McGowan et al 2014).

Here’s to being our dog’s best friend,



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