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Celeste Patten on November 15th, 2019

­­­­­My guilty pleasure is horse podcasts.  A common topic of conversation is the elusive connection between horse and rider. This is true in dog too. Ask any dog handler doing well at their chosen event, and they will tell you it’s all about the connection. Because after all the skills have been trained, what sets […]

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Celeste Patten on February 28th, 2019

Let me start off with a story: A few months ago I was walking a client dog through a local park when I heard someone calling their dog. The voice was angry and frustrated. The dog, which turned out to be a puppy, was running around and having a great time. As I passed by, […]

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Celeste Patten on December 15th, 2018

She didn’t know it, but my mom grew up with a unicorn and maybe you did, too.  Sometimes unicorns look like Labs, or Border Collies or German Shepherds.  My mom’s unicorn was Princess, a Boxer cross.  According to legend she came in a cardboard box; as is the genesis story of many a Unicorn-Dog. I […]

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Celeste Patten on October 17th, 2018

In my day to day life I drive a Prius because it’s economical and efficient. Last week I got to drive a Lamborghini Huracan on a real racetrack. As I’m sure you can imagine, those two cars handle quite differently! Of course I immediately thought of the canine parallel. I mean, have you ever noticed […]

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Celeste Patten on March 23rd, 2018

Clever Owners, what if I told you that you could play all of your dog’s problems away?  Would it sound too good to be true? I thought so too, but now I am a converted true believer. Earlier this month, I went to see Dr. Amy cook of The Play Way to learn about therapeutic […]

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Celeste Patten on February 19th, 2018

Wait… what?  Why would you do that?  Well, you wouldn’t, or would you?  Poison, like many English words, has multiple meanings and uses, especially when it comes to slang.  In the current dog training parlance, “to poison” something (usually a cue — check out the Poisoned cue by Dr. Rosales-Ruiz) means to inadvertently punish something […]

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Celeste Patten on November 10th, 2017

This week I saw two clients whose dogs have fairly serious behavior issues.  One had even bitten a human.  It’s a big deal.  These clients were overwhelmed and stressed, not only by their own everyday lives like all of us are, but now by the added pressure of their dog’s behavior issues.  It brought to […]

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Celeste Patten on September 19th, 2017

While walking out of my yoga class one day, I struck up a conversation with the instructor about a particular asana, frustrated that I wasn’t able to reach a certain place in the pose.  He commiserated with me and told me he wasn’t able to either ten years ago.  The pep talk he gave me […]

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Celeste Patten on July 24th, 2017

C is for Consequence. In my previous two blog entries, we talked about antecedents, and then behavior.  Now it’s time to discuss the C in ABC — consequences.  I might be expected to get deep into the Four Quadrants of learning theory, various reinforcement schedules, and heated warnings against the use of punishers. But let’s […]

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Celeste Patten on June 13th, 2017

B is for Behavior Okay!  So in my last blog, we talked about antecedents.  Now it’s time to discuss the B in ABC — behavior. In the article referenced throughout this series, Dr. Susan Friedman says the following: “Behavior is defined as what an animal does in certain conditions, which can be measured. Hypothetical, psychological […]

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