Author Archives: Jeff Stallings, CPDT-KA

About Jeff Stallings, CPDT-KA

Having owned well-trained dogs all my life, I started Better Nature Dog Training to exploit decades of experience teaching across a number of fields. I am nationally-certified through the highly-respected Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and am a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. I teach people how to effectively train their dogs by clearly demonstrating that every interaction counts when training a dog to come when called, for example, or instructing a puppy how to best get along in life. I take a scientific and holistic approach to dog training. The scientific aspect comes from understanding dog psychology from an evolutionary perspective, knowing how dogs are both similar to and distinct from their ancestors, including the grey wolf. The holistic component derives from taking into account all facets of any particular dog’s situation, including upbringing, prior training, traumatic events and—most importantly—the characteristics of his home and family life. Training a puppy or dog can be a most rewarding life experience; it can also be stressful and perplexing. One of the best services I provide is taking the guesswork out while lending a sure, guiding hand in successful dog behavior development and modification.

Head collars for loose leash walking

By Jeff Stallings, CPDT-KA Loose leash walking is part of most obedience classes, but it’s clear that many handler/dog pairs fail to master the art of the walk. Look around at folks struggling to walk dogs on leashes and you’re … Continue reading

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How Often Should You Give Food Rewards During Dog Training?

By Jeff Stallings My dog Otis loves to spend time in the backyard, lounging in the sun or engaging in secretive but very important dog rituals, tossing pinecones around and gnawing on sticks.  But if I call to her from … Continue reading

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Dog Training Guarantees

By Jeff Stallings I grew up cringing at those comically annoying radio spots by Tom Shane (my friend in the diamond business!), who guaranteed that I would not, could not, find a better diamond at a lower price.  Likewise, in … Continue reading

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Littermate Syndrome: The risky downside to raising sibling puppies

[Please note that an update of this article was published in the Winter 2014 issue of Bark Magazine.] By Jeff Stallings, CPDT-KA Upon reading Patricia Leslie’s email, I knew I’d be replying with disappointing news. “We were planning to adopt … Continue reading

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My article in the July issue of Bay Woof: Your Dog Needs a Job

Most evenings as we settle down to read or watch TV, Jim or I give Otis something to chew. She has many favorites from what I call the “carnage aisle” of the pet store, such as beef kneecaps, bully sticks, … Continue reading

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Nature vs. Nurture: Dog breeds, temperament and training

By Jeff Stallings Recently, an exasperated dog owner contacted me about her out-of-control, “aggressive” Labrador retriever. She was trying to understand why her 2-year-old dog actively challenges other dogs, men and children with growls, snaps and threatening postures. During our … Continue reading

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Treat/Retreat: a strategy for introducing your reactive dog to houseguests

By Jeff Stallings Folks sometimes hire me to help with dogs who feel threatened or frightened by strangers entering their homes. These dogs bark, growl, snap or otherwise display signs of fear-based aggression on encountering new people. Owners sometimes attempt … Continue reading

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Clicker Training: Better, Faster, More

By Jeff Stallings My favorite dog training story of recent vintage concerns three shelter dogs being taught to drive a car.  That’s right, the New Zealand SPCA undertook canine drivers ed to demonstrate that rescue dogs are smart, trainable and … Continue reading

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Otis and I do the weave at Ocean Beach

I encourage my dog training clients to continue to teach their dogs new cues and tricks because it strengthens the bonds between human and dog. Plus, dogs really like having to think and “work”. This is one that anyone can … Continue reading

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Poor, poor Pepe: Old-school housebreaking and why it often backfired

By Jeff Stallings This post starts with a sad tale from my childhood in the suburbs of Atlanta with my family adopting a miniature poodle puppy we called Pepe, and ends with Pepe on the lam and ending up who-knows-where. … Continue reading

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