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.

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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Don’t leave me this way: A primer on canine separation anxiety

By Jeff Stallings More than half of my clients bring dogs into their lives from shelters or other situations in which the dog’s history is unclear.  And a fairly large percentage of those have some sort of behavioral issue, such … Continue reading

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Otis gets her bona fides: The Canine Good Citizen test

Last Friday my dog Otis aced her AKC Canine Good Citizen test at the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society. While her passing was in my mind never in doubt, it does feel good to have Otis recognized for her obedience … Continue reading

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Close encounters of the bovine kind

By Jeff Stallings Yesterday I took Otis on a hike in Las Trampas Regional Wilderness area in the East Bay, in part to expand the section of my website dedicated to off-leash dog hikes in the Bay Area.  It was … Continue reading

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The poop: Why dogs roll around in dung, carrion and other stinky stuff

By Jeff Stallings Today we marked a milestone with our 21 month-old mongrel Otis, though one we hope to not repeat any time soon. On our weekly hike at one of the more challenging off-leash trails in Marin County, the … Continue reading

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Leaving Cincinnati: Thoughts on the Association of Pet Dog Trainers conference

By Jeff Stallings I write this en route back to San Francisco from Cincinnati, having attended the 19th annual education conference of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.  It’s going to take time pouring over my notes to wrap my … Continue reading

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Why it’s better to socialize a young pup than to wait for all vaccines

By Jeff Stallings I realize that many of my blog posts concern puppy socialization. This is in part because so many of the problem behaviors I am hired to address could have been avoided or mitigated had a rich socialization … Continue reading

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The Science of Dog Shaking

I found this article about the science of dog shaking on the Atlantic Monthly’s website. Fascinating! “Anyone who has ever had or been near a dog or seen a movie in which there is a dog knows this familiar sequence … Continue reading

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How socialization works: Dogs (and only dogs) can truly bond to multiple species

By Jeff Stallings My favorite behavior book of the past year or so is John Bradshaw’s “Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet”. I recommend this book to anyone … Continue reading

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Babies with dogs are less susceptible to illness

I have seen this news report popping up all over the place the last few days, so I had to pass it on.   A number of my clients have small children or are expecting.  This is absolutely fascinating: New parents … Continue reading

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