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.

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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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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