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March 2021: Issue 63

Listen to the March 2021 Edition of BARKS News here.

PPG Announces Free Virtual Business Event for Members

PPG is committed to providing a range of educational business resources to assist members successfully negotiate their way through 2021 until things (hopefully) get back to normal. So join us next month for Up Your Business Game!, a FREE (for PPG members) virtual event will consist of two sessions each day (9 a.m. ET / 6 p.m. ET) on April 19-23 plus a live panel discussion on April 21 and 23 with business experts.

  • Each session will have a live Q&A immediately following the presentation.
  • All sessions will be recorded and available for one month after the event to those who have registered.
  • PPG Australia and PPG British Isles members will be issued event codes so they can sign up for FREE.
  • Registration opens today!

More details and registration.

PPAB Launches French Language Option for Training and Behavior Credentials


The Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB) has completed translation of its study guides and instructions into French in a move that will make a force-free credential immediately accessible to French speaking canine training and behavior consultants worldwide.

Two Québec, Canada-based canine training and behavior consultants, Lucie Malouin (above, left) and Raphaël Pépin (above, right), are behind the drive to translate the program, having undertaken and acquired their PCBC-A credential and recognized the need to help other French speaking people undertake the same process.

Malouin and Pépin’s efforts have now resulted in the launch of a dedicated section, Candidats Francophones, in international French on the PPAB website, that details each level of the credentials for French speaking training and behavior professionals the world over. A French language study guide is also available for each credential. Read press release.

Project lead and PPG board member Debra Millikan and Lucie Malouin discuss the process of becoming accredited through PPAB in more details in this BARKS Podcast.

PPAB is currently operating a fee waiver that offers significant discounts to member applicants, available till July 31, 2021. In addition, PPG has waived its membership fees during COVID, thereby easing the path for members to cement their ethical stance by working through a PPAB credential or transferring an existing credential.

PPG’s Gizmo Pens Letter to America’s First Dogs

PPG’s canine representative Gizmo has penned a letter to the White House dogs, Champ and Major, about training gear. Rescue dogs Champ and Major have been seen sporting choke chains and Gizmo wanted to help out his fellow canines with some friendly advice on collars, harnesses – and fashion. Read Gizmo’s complete letter here.

You can also view and share this post from PPG's public Facebook page.

PPG and Victoria Stilwell Positively Link Up  to Offer Training Support to White House Dog, Major

Read the letter on PPG's Facebook page. Please share!

March Cat Behavior Call-In Lounge

The next Cat Behavior Call-In Lounge will take place on Zoom on Saturday, March 20, at 3 p.m. E.T. The topic will be compassion fatigue, boundary setting and dealing with challenging clients. The Lounge is open to all PPG members. Please check the PPG All About Cats Facebook group for further details. Photo: © Can Stock Photo / bymandesigns

Upcoming Facebook Live Sessions

Chat Chuckle and Learn Sessions with PPG president Niki Tudge - save the dates!

Friday, March 19, 2021 / Noon (ET):

Dr. Dorothy Heffernan will be chatting about equine training.

Friday, March 26, 2021 / Noon (ET):

Alex Pietraszko, head of marketing for PPG corporate partner Animals Courses Direct, will be chatting about their programs and what they are currently working on.

Friday, April 2, 2021 / Noon (ET):

Kamal Fernandez will be chatting dogs, training, and catching us up on all the fun stuff he is working on.

Friday, April 23, 2021 / Noon (ET):

Victoria Stilwell of Positively will be chatting all things "positive."

Friday, April 30 / 3 p.m. (ET):

Chat & Chuckle with Dr. Kristina Spaulding of Smart Dog Training and Behavior talk canine behavior and training.

Do you have something you’d like to share? Join Niki Tudge in one of our Facebook Live sessions! Just fill out this short form to get it scheduled and share your knowledge and experience with PPG members and supporters. The link is also available in the member area of the PPG website.

Check PPG Members' Facebook group for further details and to join live sessions.


BARKS News Now Available as a Podcast

Last month, PPG trialed a podcast version of the February edition of BARKS News. We would love to know if this is of value to our members, so please have a listen and then take a moment to let us know what you think! Sometimes people prefer to listen rather than read, so we are trying to offer more communication options for members.


March BARKS Now Available Online


The March issue of BARKS is now available! Click here for immediate access if you are already a subscriber. If you are not, sign up today for your free lifetime digital subscription and get instant access to the current issue, as well as all back issues.

Featured in this issue:

Cover Feature: The Essence of a Dog: A Free Education from a Free Choice Walk

Inspired by loose walks with her own dogs, Kristi Benson explores the concepts of choice and autonomy in dog walking, using her platform as a dog trainer to encourage her clients to, safely, give their dogs more freedom

Canine: A New Trend in Dog Boarding by Rachel Brix

Canine: Resource Guarding or Rule Setting? bySuzanne Clothier

Canine: Is My Dog in Pain? by Robyn Lowe

Canine: Lessons for Life by Alicia Obando

Training: Training in the Real World by Anna Bradley

Training: From Guarding to Sharing by Diane Garrod

Feline: The Itch to Scratch by Andrea Carne

Equine: Straight from the Horse’s Mouth by Dorothy Heffernan

Equine: Understanding Animals by Kathie Gregory

Avian: Thinking Outside the Box by Sheila S. Blanchette

Business: Ask the Experts - Creating an Online Course by Veronica Boutelle

Profile: Beth Napollitano of Courteous Canine, Inc. in Lutz, Florida

Book Review: Meg Hannan reviews How to Love and Survive Your Teenage Dog: The Complete Guide to Your Teenage Dog by Barbara Hodel


Get Your Article Featured in BARKS!


BARKS from the Guild, PPG’s bimonthly official trade publication, is looking for new writers to contribute on both a regular and an ad hoc basis. BARKS is all about pet professionals sharing their individual knowledge and experience with others as we work to grow the force-free community and spread the message. BARKS’ online audience is comprised tens of thousands of pet professionals and pet guardians all over the world; being featured in BARKS is great for your business, for your fellow pet professionals, and for the clients and pets we serve! Please read the BARKS FAQs page for more information on submitting articles or contact the editor for further details.

BARKS Podcasts are now available on Anchor, from where you can select your preferred app to listen any time or download. Make sure you follow BARKS Podcasts on whichever app you choose so you can stay updated with new releases.

Latest Podcasts:

Join Niki Tudge as she chats to:

Lisa and Brad Waggoner of Cold Nose College in Murphy, North Carolina about their dog training program, RESCUED: Saving Detainees and Dogs One Life at a Time, at the Colwell Probation and Detention Center in Blairsville, Georgia. The program focuses on the rehabilitation of detainees through training their dogs using positive reinforcement training techniques. (March 12, 2021). Listen here.

Sara Berry McLoudrey of Synergy Behavior Solutions in Portland, Oregon about dog training and behavior consulting (February 19, 2021). Listen here.

BARKS News – February 2021. Listen here

Listen to earlier BARKS podcasts.

Upcoming Live Webinars:

Thursday, March 18 / 1 p.m. ET

Create and Send Your First Email Campaign in 15 Minutes or Less. Presented by Tracey Lee Davis

Thursday, March 25 / 2 p.m. ET

How Dare You Hold Me to Expectations I Am Not Aware of! Presented by Niki Tudge

Wednesday, March 31 / 1 p.m. ET

Classical and Operant Conditioning Approaches to Separation Related Problems. Presented by Tracy Krulik

Thursday, April 8 / 1 p.m. ET

Making Sense of Online Marketing: A Simple Checklist for Success. Presented by Tracey Lee Davis

Discounted Webinars:

PPG is offering the following selected webinars at a discount this month - each webinar is just $15:

  • The Effective Use of Toys as Rewards - Kamal Fernandez
  • How to Improve Your Pet's Gut Health - Dr. Holly Ganz
  • From Frantic Fran to Wholehearted Holly: Ban Burnout with a Practice of Self-Care - Yolanda Harper
  • Learn How to Live With A Thunder Phobic Dog - Tonya Wilhelm
  • Do Animals have Empathy? A presentation on the Empathetic Abilities of Animals - Dr. Loren Martin


Last Call: Survey for UK Guardians of Dogs with Behavior Problems

If you have sought advice, in the UK, for a behavior problem with your dog in the last two years, MSc student Julie Daniels at the University of Edinburgh needs your help with some important research and would like to invite you to participate in a short online survey of your experience of the behavior consultation process, and the factors that led you to follow (or not) the treatment plan afterwards.

The survey will close on March 26, 2021.


The PPG Archive holds over 3,700 articles, blogs and videos. Here are some of the most recent additions:

A Letter to the First Dogs about Training Gear – PPG

Development of the “Highly Sensitive Dog” questionnaire to evaluate the personality dimension “Sensory Processing Sensitivity” in dogs - Maya Braem, Lucy Asher, Sibylle Furrer, Isabel Lechner, Hanno Würbel, Luca Melotti

New Study Shows Dogs Trained with Rewards Only are More Optimistic – Zazie Todd

Provision of High Meat Content Food and Object Play Reduce Predation of Wild Animals by Domestic Cats Felis catus - Cecchetti M, Crowley SL, Goodwin CED, McDonald RA

Why and How Dogs Develop Separation Anxiety - Malena DeMartini

Veterinarian is Out to Change How We Feed Cats – Jessica Pineda

Birds be safe: Can a novel cat collar reduce avian mortality by domestic cats (Felis catus)? - S.K. Willson, I.A. Okunlola, J.A. Novak

How to Train Your Dog to Voluntarily and Enthusiastically Wear a Muzzle! - Dr. Nellie Wilbers

Early experiences modulate stress coping in a population of German shepherd dogs - Pernilla Foyer, Erik Wilsson, Dominic Wright, Per Jensen

A Review of Medical Conditions and Behavioral Problems in Dogs and Cats - Tomàs Camps, Marta Amat, Xavier Manteca

A List Of Things That Shock Collars Are Not – Kristi Benson

Effects of early weaning on anxiety and autonomic responses to stress in rats - Akie Ito, Takefumi Kikusui, Yukari Takeuchi, Yuji Mori

Early weaning induces anxiety and aggression in adult mice- Takefumi Kikusui, Yukari Takeuchi, Yuji Mori

A Cephalopod Has Passed a Cognitive Test Designed For Human Children – Michelle Starr

Stress triggers and how to deal with them - Elaine Henley

Use of fluoxetine, diazepam, and behavior modification as therapy for treatment of anxiety-related disorders in dogs - Miguel Ibáñez, Bernadette Anzola

The Danger of Redirected Aggression in Dogs - Nicole Wilde

Lost in translation: has our selective breeding of cats limited their ability to communicate? - Dr Lauren Finka

Dogs Don't Bite Out of the Blue - Ilana Reisner DVM

Prevalence, comorbidity, and behavioral variation in canine anxiety - Katriina Tiira, Sini Sulkama, Hannes Lohi

The effect of early separation from the mother on pups in bonding to humans and pup health - J M Slabbert, O A Rasa

Pet training shift: why teamwork is better than dominance- Amy Cooper

Canine Aggression Toward Familiar People: A New Look at an Old Problem - Andrew U. Luescher, Ilana R. Reisner

View the complete PPG Archive.

New this month!

A Cautionary Tale – Kayla Sprague

Pet Professional Accreditation Board launches French language option for training and behavior credentials - PPAB

New Certificate Course: Helping Your Dog in the Post-COVID World - The International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour Ltd.

The Right Dog Harness for the Job - Joan Hunter Mayer

Trick Bunnies – Emily Cassell

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth - Dorothy Heffernan

That Lightbulb Moment - Bob McMillan


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