Good Dogs!™

This show explores all aspects of communication between people and dogs — whether they are K-9 partners in military work, purpose-bred and trained service dogs, competitors in dog sports, or pets — from a newly-adopted senior dog to a young puppy.

The show’s philosophy is that dog training is people training: people need to understand dogs from the canine perspective so they can live and work together harmoniously.

Tracie has numerous guests and co-hosts, including Carol Borden, the Founder/Director of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, which are purpose-bred and trained working dogs.

Many GOOD DOGS! shows originally featured three veteran trainers — Gayle Watkins, Lise Pratt and Marcy Burke — who bred agility performance Golden Retrievers.

Theme song “My One Best Friend” by Jasmine Tea.


Understanding Dog Friendships

#6077-REV: Dog friendships are misunderstood by people. Gayle Watkins discusses whether dogs have individuals they really like — or can’t stand? Can a dog have a favorite friend, a “bestie?” What makes dogs good friends? How to judge compatibility. Play styles. Does breed matter in choosing a playmate?

What To Do About Extreme Separation Anxiety

#6044-REV: Does your dog have separation anxiety issues?! What if you had three dogs going berserk when you left the house — even if only to take out the garbage?! Jessica has three rescued dogs with this issue: Felix (German Short-Haired Pointer), Bailey (American Eskimo dog) and little Charlie (Yorkshire Terrier). Marcy suggests that to turn down the emotional volume Jessica first should visit a board certified veterinary behaviorist to discuss what medications she might use short-term, so that she can begin to change the scenario about her departures.

Preventing Aggression Between Dogs

#6065 REV: Golden Retriever breeder and trainer Dr. Gayle Watkins explains a dog’s “prey drive” — especially when re-directed at other dogs. The dog’s brain focuses only on the prey. They cannot see or hear you trying to stop them when their brain is filled with “feel good” neuro-chemicals. Preventing aggression towards other dogs means “interrupting the hunt” right before it starts, right at the trigger point, to get the dog’s attention back on you.

The Professional Puppy Evaluator

#6125: Mallory Galatzer-Levy works for The Right Paw in Auburn, MA as a professional puppy evaluator. She evaluates the personalities of puppies in Shikari Vizsla litters to determine the best possible fit for potential owners — which is something the best breeders do for that reason. Mallory tells Tracie all about Daisy, the puppy picked for her.

Get That Puppy INTO Bed With You!

#6120: One suggestion that surprised Tracie in Stephanie Rousseau’s book “How to Raise a Puppy: Dog-Centric Approach” was to invite a new puppy into your bed. Steph explains how co-sleeping is normal and healthy for all mammals — and that dogs are proven to be “social sleepers.” So why deny a new puppy the comfort and safety of sleeping in your bed? Why not help a newly adopted dog feel like part of the pack? Tracie asks: But what about sex? What about enough room in the bed? What about little dogs who sleep under the covers all the way at the foot of the bed (and how do they avoid suffocating down by your feet?!)

Be Careful When You Call a Dog “Aggressive”

#6124: Dr. Sarah Cutler is a housecall veterinary behaviorist in Northern Westchester, most often called by dog owners for “aggression issues.” She cautions against even using those words, which demonize the dog and miss the root of the problem, which usually comes from fear.

How to Stop a Barking Dog

#6123: Barking is such a big problem for most dog owners. Carol’s first suggestion to end the noise is to get your dog’s attention: change the dog’s focus by saying “Watch me” while holding a (high value) treat up by your face. Practice frequently — always reinforce with very delicious treats, and in a low key situation without the door bell, truck outside, or people at the door that usually cause the barking.

The Perfect Dog Harness — Made in Italy!

#6122: Steph explains why she hates flat collars with a leash — and also hates slip collars, prong collars and “anti-pull” harnesses (which actually encourage dogs to pull because they are uncomfortable and pinch behind the armpits, so the dog wants to get away from the unpleasant feeling! Steph loves the made-in-Italy Haqihana harness because it is perfect ergonomically. Tracie found the dog gear store Clean Run in South Hadley Massachusetts that has the Haqihana products for way less than anywhere else.

Notice the “Question Mark” Above Your Dog’s Head

#6121: Tracie and Carol Borden talk about what causes a dog to fall short of our hopes and expectations, which can lead to a service dog “washing out” of her training program. But Carol believes many reactive issues with dogs can be nipped in the bud if noticed early enough. You can overcome a dog’s doubts and “answer that question” they seem to be asking when they recoil from something. “Bridging” is her solution. Touch your hand to the feared object, touch the dog’s nose. Repeat this exercise multiple times, never restraining or pulling the dog closer to the object. Before long, she’ll go right up and sniff it.

Don’t Judge a Dog by the Cover

#6119: Ethologist Kim Brophey confirms the scientific facts that certain breeds of dogs are genetically inclined toward certain behaviors. She wonders why some people are reluctant to make assumptions about how an individual dog in a breed is going to behave — like a Border Collie who relentlessly chases and herds — when their genomes have been developed by people to do just that?