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Articles anglais

My teacher, my friend Imprimer Envoyer

I could tell you about his life with us, about the first time his eyes met mines behind the shelter bars.

I could tell you how these 17 years shared with him were made of good memories and connections. Connections between a dog and  a family of human beings. And how his presence by our side during all these years let us think he was in his element.

God knows how strong was my love for him, and how I was aware of that moment that would eventually come and separate us.

That day arrived, it was a Friday in October in the year 2008.

I remember the week he died very well. We organized a workshop about intuitive communication with animals led by my friend Laila Del Monte. Every single night of his life, Archi has gone out for a walk around the field. But this time he didn’t come back. Alerted, we all started to look for him. We found him half an hour later, stuck in front of the hedge. We helped him back, thinking that he lost his mind for a moment and lost himself too.

The day after, he refused all food, even the best a dog could ever imagine, and he waited for us to be inattentive to leave again in the afternoon. We noticed him missing and started to look for him at about 4 pm, but at 6 we still hadn’t found him. He couldn’t be far away, he could hardly walk due to painful joints. Worried, I went to my friend Laila and asked for her help as well as for the help of the attendees of her workshop. But even with all the efforts and an active search of 25 people, Archi remained unfound.


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Where do french dog spend their holidays Imprimer Envoyer

The game is over. Animalin’s delicious 4th Annual Summer Camp in Aurimont, France came to an end on August 3rd. What is left? A lot. Dogs in my memory, around 60: males, females, big, small, all different but all happy to be here and to be trained. Dogs’ owners, happy to find a place to train their dogs in a different way… and friends, professional dog trainers and competitors happy to meet each other once a year to share their passion: teaching/sharing with others how to build a strong relationship and how to partner with their dog on a daily basis.

My friend Patrick Servais, one of the best French trainer in Agility, Gabriella Cenderelli, a passionate Italian Obedience competitor, who gives sun to the Summer Camp with her generous heart, her husband Gian, who tries to initiate the French — including myself and my dog Ricky — to Flyball (a great and exciting game), Sylvie Pedroni, with whom I share the most of my beliefs and feelings about dogs.

About the organization, 3 workshops for this year: Agility with Patrick, Competition Obedience with Gabriella, Dog Dancing with myself and Sylvie, one evening with games and some other shows with dogs, and a farewell party the last day.

The first Summer Camp in 2004 was organized around a group of people who used to discuss on a forum about clicker training, game and reward methods, and who wanted to meet in person.


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Dog training and behavior modification Imprimer Envoyer

Because it is quite easy to anticipate the escalation of bad reactions in dogs, whether these responses are devoted towards the owner or other people, future dog trainers must become learning and behavioral technicians and cannot just teach a dog how to sit and stay without focusing on how the dog emotionally receive the information.

The dog trainer has to control the impact of the training on the dog behaviour and to understand that the main thing never lies in the way dogs behave, but in the way we react to their behavior.

If one might be able to separate the dog trainer and the behaviorist in their action, he won’t be able to do so in their knowledge.


In my daily practice, I am facing with dogs that are anxious, scared, fearful, agressive towards their congeneres or merely facing with dogs that have behavior problems unspotted because still clearly unexpressed. A dog trainer must be able to pick these problems out before they become a big problem for the environment, to put into practice and adapt his learning skills in accordance with the dog, but also in accordance with its owner. For all these reasons, we cannot separate training and behaviour skilss.


But in the same time, neither the owner nor the trainer can control everything, but in order to act and reduce bad behavior they must focus on socialization learning, which includes the fundamentals (approach, contact, stimulations and proximity), and teach the owner the consequences of their behavior towards their dogs. A dog trainer must commit himself that the dog and its owner take pleasure in training and that the dog is given physical, mental and emotional respect.


When specialized in behavior rehabilitation, the dog trainer knows that starting a rehabilitation program is always a hazardous job, with heavy responsabilities, a job that demands an ethological knowledge, a great skill in learning techniques, an empathy towards the owner, a deep practical experience and an optimal cooperation between the owner and all other professional structures. We must acknowledge that it is very difficult to gather all these conditions.

So we have to work on the cause :

To train and inform the owners on how dogs learn and behave,

To professionalize the dog trainer’s skills wether specialized or not in behavior rehabilitation,

To learn how to cooperate between professional authorities and associations.


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Must we punish our dogs Imprimer Envoyer

We humans have to admit that we ask a lot of our dogs. Not that they cannot to adapt to our environment – they are certainly able to, and get much out of doing so – but in exchange for the comforts of living with us we often ask them to inhibit, forget or redirect most of their spontaneous and instinctive behaviors.

Why? Because who is the owner who wishes to hear his dog bark for a yes or no, who wants his dog not to come when called even if he’s on a rabbit track, who wants his dog to growl or snap when disturbed by somebody, who wishes to be welcomed by a jumper, to constantly refill holes in the garden, and to hear his dog growling to keep his bone or food?

Most of the behaviors we want our dogs to adopt (or stop) in order to make them good companions, are behaviors that simply aren’t natural to dogs, and would never occur spontaneously.

To control or inhibit those behaviors we humans consider undesirable, most of people are only aware of how to use authority and force as the way to communicate and make their dog understand that a given behavior is neither expected nor exceptable and that he’d better forget it.
I am fond of positive and dog friendly methods, especially clicker training, and many skeptics say to me: “But we cannot always reward dogs! We have to punish them sometimes!”

Well, is it really realistic to think that we can train our dogs without using reprimands

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Does dogs smart enough to be free Imprimer Envoyer

Back from holidays… Sea, sun, and resting.

Everybody did agree about our destination : Corsica, « Whaou, this is the Beauty Island. You’ll see, so beautiful overthere. You’ll love it. »

People around were so enthusiastic that we’ve even been thinking for a while that maybe it be nice to share our life between Corsica and Toulouse . But a soon as we say it people reply: « Oh no, not for you, Corsicans don’t like dogs, they poisoned them ». So we went there happy but little aware of dogs everydaylife overthere.

So I do confirm, this is a beautiful island, marvellous. The Corsicans are very nice people, always welcoming you nicely as far as we meet them.

About the dogs, first surprise, tourists and their dogs are more than welcomed everywhere : on the ferry, on the beach, in the restaurant, in the store, in the hotel. You can meet a lot of tourists with their dogs having good holidays and walking around because it is so easy and simple : you are admited everywhere with them. Good point.

First thought, we cannot say the same about the continent, dogs are allowed almost no-where during holidays and certainly not on the beach.

Second surprise, a lot of Corsican dogs, off leash, their owners are around but the dog is free to manage his day as he wants. In a town where we stayed few days, enough to see everyday the same 5 or 6 dogs walking around, meeting and welcoming all together, lying down on the ground waiting for their owner working in the store next door, being paddled by tourists thinking « Waouh so cool to see dogs like that, this dog must be so smart».

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