Some debates are timeless, spanning decades and centuries. One debate where there’s no denying the waters run deep is Nature VS Nurture and which might be driving behaviour. Trying to discern the role of both when sharing time and space with beings of the 4-legged variety can be astounding when you take a deep dive. This post will help you identify how to use your dog’s nature to strengthen your training efforts and how to give the relationship you share with with your dog a great boost by appealing to those instincts!

Defining Nature VS Nurture

Nature — “the phenomena of the physical world…


You’ve heard us say it many times I’m sure: training mode is a hoax! That’s because dogs are ALWAYS learning. They don’t shut off when the bell rings for recess. Their existence and experiences will mould their behaviour. They are learning ALL of the time!

Does that sound exhausting?

We’ve spent decades refining the training process and while it’s important to strap on the bait pouch and do some dog training, what you do outside of ‘training mode’ is equally important. Dogs need a lot of successful repetition in any skill across multiple environments to truly understand what we expect…


I often use the analogy with my students that training skills in the face of distractions is akin to trying to learn calculus on a roller coaster at Disney World. It would take a very seasoned math whiz to be able to focus on math during SUCH exciting times. The same is true of our dogs. Trying to teach them new skills when they are over-faced with excitement will likely increase the frustration level for you both, but won’t likely help them learn what you’d like them to.

Dogs are quite capable of ignoring ALL levels of distraction, but it…


A single dog in the home will act one way. 2 dogs in the home will change things a bit. 3 or more and you’re dealing with a whole other set of dogdom rules — this is the point you’ll really see a need for management in a multi-dog household!

The GOOD news is, a bit of foresight and a few key rules can make all the difference when trying to keep the peace. Whether you have 2 dogs or 20, there are some simple ways to ensure it stays wonderful when one is not enough.

What’s Obedience Got to…


Well, it’s been a while since I’ve had time to write and I’ve missed it very, very much.

We’ve been so busy with COVID related concerns, that it’s taken a back seat, but I was inspired this morning when answering daily questions in our Puppy Essentials Online Training program. There was a common theme about trying to help puppies overcome noise. Pups were presented with ‘the noisy thing’ (hair dryer, sander, loud truck, etc.) and frightened by it.

Then the question of how to acclimate.

Well, it is truly putting the cart before the horse to present the scary thing…


Right, so you brought home your gorgeous new pup, ready with your plan to train and socialize…. and then, the sh!t hit the fan!

First, some commiseration. This can’t feel good for those of you with young pups right now, but I’d like to reassure you that it’s really not a horrible thing. Socialization has become a really confused point in the dog world. Over-socialization often leads to over-stimulated dogs who lose their minds and are hard to control when they see other people and dogs. …


I was really hoping NOT to have to write this post, but as I sit here in the same state of shock and confusion as I’m sure most of you are in, it’s become painfully obvious that an end to this is not coming in a mere week…. We know we will be avoiding most normal activity for at least another week, and likely more. So, how will this effect your dog?

🚩 Here are a few things to think about.

Most of us work away from home, so If you are not usually home through the day, this will…


The world needs more ACRONYMS, don’t you think?!

I always find them helpful for remembering ordered steps, so coming up with one to help dog owner STOP unwanted behaviour was important. Conveniently, the only things you’ll ever need to know to address an average unwanted behaviour, like pulling for example, are contained in the acronym S.T.O.P.

Let’s talk about pulling on leash as an example of a behaviour you may not like.

How can you address it? Just S.T.O.P. it! It really is that simple.

S — Stop rehearsal.

The best way to make a behaviour solid is to rehearse…


Bribe VS Reward — how to successfully teach a skill using food without making your dog dependent on it!

Dog Bribe = relying on showing your dog food in order to get a response. What’s the problem? If the thing your dog wants to do is more motivating than your food, you lose!

Dog Reward = the paycheck that comes AFTER the dog has responded successfully to a cue you’ve previously taught.

Dog Lure = Using food for a SHORT period of time in the beginning stages of teaching a skill to show the dog what you expect.

Knowing how…


Hello and welcome to another ‘truth about’ post! I’m always happy to attempt to demystify another myth in the industry and this one is very near and dear.

I remember the feeling of being lost and resentful of my very first puppy. I remember the feeling of overwhelm that quickly took over once I realized my puppy was a land shark!

Today, we’ll talk about nipping, and we’ll also talk about teething because they are most definitely NOT the same thing. They have different action, different intention and different results.

First, in case you are a skimmer, let’s define both…

McCann Dog Training

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