Writer's Blog

Dogs and Doorways, Part 1

Myth: When a Dog Goes Through the Door First It Means He “Thinks He’s Alpha” "It's the UPS Guy!" If your dog gets overly excited when you come home or when guests or the UPS guy comes over—barking, jumping up, spinning around in crazy circles, even accidentally urinating—what is the best way to solve the problem? Simple. Teach her that every time you or someone else comes through the door, her job is to grab a toy and bring it to them so that person can throw it for her to chase. That’s it, that’s the answer. When you teach a dog that one, simple thing it almost always eliminates all unwanted greeting behaviors. But why would bringing a toy to the door accomplish that goal? To understand tha

Five Freudian Principles That Can, and I Think Should Be Used, in Dog Training

So What Happened to Annie? In my previous guest post I wrote about how I discovered that Freudian psychology can and should be applied to dog training, a lesson I learned from a Wheaten terrier named Annie who was obsessively licking the doorknob of her owners’ apartment door. My recommendations to Annie’s owners were that they “re-puppify” her: Take her back to the days before they’d punished her mouthing, and let her do what she’d been longing to do at the time. “Let her mouth your hands softly when she’s in a quiet mood,” I told them. “Just pet her and stroke her head, then gently insert your hand into her mouth and let her nibble your fingers.” I also suggested they play tug-of-war with

Sigmund Freud & the Case of Annie, the Doorknob-Licking Wheaten Terrier, Part 1

This Is Not Annie Freud is back! Thanks to recent breakthroughs in neurobiology, much of modern psychology, which for years had minimized Freud’s contributions, has been forced to admit that Freud was right. Not just about some things, but a whole lot of them. Freud started as a neuroologist, publishing several important and influential papers, and coining terms for psycho-neurological defects such as agnosia (the inability to know things) among several others. In time, though, he turned his attention to psychological problems. In a 2004 Scientific American article, neurosurgeon Mark Solms tells us that many of Freud’s key theories about how the human mind works have been proven valid by mod


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© 2016 by Lee Charles Kelley.