On Monday, September 29th, one of the great behaviorists of our time Dr. Sophia Yin suddenly passed away in Davis, CA.

While I did not know her personally, I am incredibly sad to hear about this loss to our world, and of course the dog community. This post will look back at some of the fantastic blog posts Dr. Yin has written, her blog a wealth of knowledge for any person who shares their lives with dogs.

Many adventure dogs are able to enjoy adventures because of her work as a behaviorist and veterinarian. Dr. Yin’s work advocating and teaching positive reward training and low-stress handling especially benefits high-drive dogs who are often adventurous, but also sometimes very sensitive and can be fearful.

This blog post is going to highlight some of the wonderful resources she has created, some of my favorites to refer others to when searching for answers.

Safety of collars, leashes, and harnesses for dogs who pull

One of the articles I have referenced and recommended extensively was about the safety of different collar, leash, and harnesses for dogs who pull. It is one of the best and most comprehensive posts I have seen on the subject, and is especially relevant to high-drive dogs who love the adventure of their walks (maybe a bit too much). Just last week I (hopefully) swayed a frustrated dog owner away from shock and prong collars, writing down instructions on how to find this very blog post for answers on a piece of paper because I was at an event. I can only hope it worked, but if anything would it would be something like what Dr. Yin wrote here.

And of course, this fantastic analysis of a study about the use of shock collars.

Anxiety at the vet

Another article I loved is this one about how to deal with a dog who is anxious at the vet. Many of our highly sensitive, driven dogs are perhaps not overly relaxed or happy to be at the veterinarian’s office. Mort has been a textbook case of insanity at our visits (although I will say we are pretty well practiced now, and things are a bit more calm and under control because of it! A bit…). Read this fantastic resource about what to do with your sensitive dog at the vets.

Chasing and prey, and joggers too

Many of our dogs are highly active, and love to give chase. I loved this article about training her dog Jonesy to be comfortable, calm, and relaxed around a chicken.

Another fantastic read is this blog post about why joggers are often wary of dogs – for good reason – and sensible things people walking dogs and joggers who run past can do.

Tackling the “D” word

Dominance is such a loaded, meaningful word… and seems to have more than one definition amongst trainers and behaviorists. I love how Dr. Yin discusses the roots of the word and what it really means when working with dogs, based in the science of animal behavior.

A wealth of free posters and guides

Dr. Yin also has a page devoted to all of her free hand-outs and posters available for download, from how kids should interact with dogs to operant conditioning there is something for every kind of dog guardian.

Please share your favorite Sophia Yin memories and resources

Sophia Yin has written and created so many wonderful resources; not only this blog, but DVDs and courses for everyone from pet dog owners to veterinarians. I wanted to highlight some of my favorite posts to link to, but I encourage you to share your favorites below. Many of you have had the fortune of meeting her at seminars, lectures, courses, clinics and more – I invite you to please share your memories in the comments here as well.

A great loss to the dog community

As you can see from these wonderful articles, Dr. Sophia Yin was a tremendous asset to the dog behaviorist and veterinary community. She will continue to live on through the hundreds and thousands of dogs she has helped personally and virtually through her work online and all of the trainers who have learnt from her. Of particular note is her tremendous resource on Low Stress Handling and behavior modification.

You can find many other insightful articles on Dr. Yin’s website and blog. Many are sharing their thoughts with others about her passing on her Facebook page.

My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sophia Yin, and special love sent to Jonsey.

Join the Adventure Dog Blog Hop and #AdventureDogChat


DOGthusiast and Tiffany’s Diamond Dogs co-host the Adventure Dog blog hop every Tuesday. We’re also partnering with YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner.com who hosts a monthly Twitter Chat called #AdventureDogChat. The blog hop and Twitter chat focus on doing stuff with your dog: adventures, activities, training, sports, and more!

How to join the Twitter Chat:

  1. Join the Twitter chat on the third Wednesday of every month at 5pm PST.
  2. Use the hashtag #AdventureDogChat to join!
  3. How to participate in a Twitter chat? Check out this post for how to participate in one. More questions? Ask in the comments below!

How to join the Blog Hop:
Here are the details on how to join the hop. For more information about this blog hop, and blog hops in general, see our page about the Adventure Dog Blog Hop.

  1. Grab the badge: Download (right-click to save) or Link to it using the following code, your choice!
    Adventure Dog Blog Hop
  2. Link to your hosts, DOGthusiast and Tiffany’s Diamond Dogs. For ease of use, copy this code (there’s a copy button in the top right corner of the code box!):
    This post is part of the Adventure Dog blog hop, hosted by DOGthusiast and Tiffany's Diamond Dogs every Tuesday.
  3. Add your link to the hop! Click “Get the Code” below, add your information and link to your post, and you’re in the hop! Promote your post on your social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest! Optionally add #AdventureDogChat to your tweets or post title to help more people find your post!

About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.