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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ending Destructive Chewing

Dogs love to chew.  Puppies chew to investigate their environment and to relieve the discomfort of teething.  Adult dogs chew because it feels good, it helps pass the time when there’s nothing else to do, and sometimes because a tooth hurts or some nutrient is missing from the diet.  Left to their own devices, dogs will often chew on the first object they come across, or an object that smells like the owner.  Sometimes a food smell attracts them.  Whatever the reason, chewing problems are easier to prevent than correct, and are best corrected using positive methods.
Punishing a dog for inappropriate chewing is seldom successful in correcting the problem.  To be effective as a training tool, punishment must be 100% consistent.  If a dog is punished for chewing in the owner’s presence, he simply learns to chew when the owner is absent.  Punishment more than 3 seconds after the crime is not effective; the dog has already forgotten the crime.  If you come home to a scene of destruction, very calmly tell your dog to go get a chew toy and praise him for bringing one to you.  If you are really angry and must let off steam, go in another room, away from the dog, and beat up a pillow.  Beating a dog simply teaches him to fear the person beating him, and possibly people in general.
The best way to protect your furnishings and possessions is to start when your puppy is very young, confining it when you cannot supervise play, providing sufficient exercise and proper nutrition, offering appropriate chew toys, and praising the pup lavishly for using them. Crating your pup can be a life-saver, preventing it from chewing electrical cords or ingesting poisons when left unsupervised.  Make sure the crate is large enough to allow the pup to stretch out.  Provide a comfy bed, and a couple of really good chew toys.
When you are with the pup but unable to supervise closely, confine it with a leash attached to your belt. Make sure the pup won’t chew the leash, and provide one or two good chew toys.  Try to catch the pup in the act of chewing the right thing and praise lavishly.
Exercise Body and Mind
Many chewing problems are solved simply by ensuring the dog has sufficient exercise.  A 30-minute walk in the morning before the dog is left for the day will help relax and even tire the dog enough to reduce the desire to chew.  Incorporating some training exercises into the walk, such as having the dog sit or down at several points on the walk, and doing a come-fore exercise 3 or 4 times will also help relax the dog.  If a walk is impossible, 15 or 20 minutes of tossing a ball in the backyard or down a flight of carpeted stairs for the dog to retrieve will do the trick.  The dog should also have some exercise in the evening, to help it relax for bedtime.
Take the time to teach your dog to chew on chew toys.  Always reinforce your dog with lots of praise when you “catch him in the act” of chewing on his own toys.  Play games such as toss and fetch with a toy to increase his interest.  If the problem chewing occurs when you leave the house and is focused on belongings that smell like you, try to leave your scent on his own toys.  Carry a new chew toy around in your pocket for a day and handle it, or just rub your hands over one of his toys.  Once he has the hang of chewing on his toys, teach him to “Go get a chew toy,”  praising him when he brings one to you.
Keep chew toys in every room of the house until the dog gets good at finding them on command or on his own.  Eventually, you can keep them in a centrally located toy basket, making sure that the dog has unlimited access to them.  Periodically you will have to fish them out from under chairs and sofas and return them to the basket.
Once this training is under way, you can lead the dog to a forbidden object, such as drapes or shoes or electrical cords.  Move the object around, and just as he is about to sniff or lick or chew the object, say “OFF!” in a firm voice, and then, “Go get your chew toy.”  Repeat this several times, and then if you catch him investigating a forbidden object on his own, repeat the “OFF” and “Go get your chew toy.” command.  This is what trainers call an instructive reprimand, letting him know by tone of voice and words what is wrong and how he can correct the problem.
Appropriate Chew Toys
Provide your dog with a variety of chew toys, including a Kong toy, nylon bones, sterilized marrow bones, and a soft “Chew Man” type or twisted rope toy.  Different dogs prefer different textures, and one dog may prefer several different toys depending on its mood.  Avoid home-made toys like worn-out tennis shoes or knotted socks.  It takes extra time to teach the dog the difference between the old shoes and your brand-new $100 running shoes, and certain fibers, like the nylon in socks or hose can be very dangerous to a dog when ingested.  It is cheaper to spend money on good dog toys than to replace your good clothes.  Hollow toys, such as the Kong or marrow bones can be stuffed with peanut butter or cheese to increase desirability.  After some trial and error, you will discover what your dog likes best.  It’s a good idea to stock up on favorite toys, so that new ones are always available.
Nutrition and Health
If your older dog suddenly develops a chewing problem, have your vet do a thorough exam to rule out illness, such as an abscessed tooth.  With all dogs, be sure that the diet is adequate to meet that dog’s nutritional needs.  A dog with a fixation on chewing a particular substance (such as wood or paper) may have a pica, a craving for something missing from the diet.  Look for a food with as little filler as possible, and avoid foods with additives and byproducts.
Many dogs develop destructive chewing habits when their feeding schedule changes, specifically when meals are decreased from twice a day to once a day.  All dogs should be fed at least twice a day (growing puppies three times a day) to prevent such chewing problems, as well as other potentially serious health problems.
 Scottee Meade        Burke, VA    'Tee Party Bostons
Canine Behavior Consultant
Member, Association of Pet Dog Trainers and Old Dominion Kennel Club

Source : doglogic

Housetraining Tips

Housetraining is a universal problem with a simple solution.  These tips will help you train your puppy or older dog to eliminate outdoors.
Good Health Is Essential
Make sure your puppy or dog is healthy before undertaking housetraining.  Intestinal parasites are the most common cause of inappropriate defecation.
Bladder infections are a frequent cause of inappropriate urination.  Have a stool sample checked by your veterinarian.  If you suspect a bladder problem, have a urine sample checked as well.  Symptoms of bladder infection include frequent urination of small amounts, unproductive straining, or licking of private parts.
Feed your puppy a good quality puppy food.  Avoid over feeding or making sudden changes in his diet; both can cause diarrhea. Another common problem arises when a dog has been given steroids to treat a bee sting or allergic reaction.  Steroids usually increase the dog’s water intake and urine output.
Feed your puppy on a fairly regular schedule, two or three times a day. Allow 30 minutes for each meal, and remove the leftovers after that time.  Maintaining a feeding schedule helps predict output.
Schedule your puppy’s trips outdoors.  The average puppy needs frequent opportunities to eliminate.  Start first thing in the morning with a trip outside as soon as your puppy awakens.  Puppies feel the call of nature about every hour when they are awake and playing.  They need to go out soon after eating, and after drinking water.  By the age of 10 or 12 weeks, the average healthy puppy can sleep through the night.  If your puppy has an accident, examine the schedule and make adjustments to prevent future accidents.
One of the most valuable tools in housetraining is the dog crate.  Intended to be used like a baby’s playpen or crib, the crate keeps the puppy safely confined when no one is available to supervise her.  Crating prevents accidents for the normal puppy, because her instinct to keep her nest clean is very strong.  Crating also prevents her from destroying your treasured possessions while she is teething, or injuring herself by chewing on or ingesting something harmful.
Your puppy should be crated at night while you are asleep, and any other time you cannot supervise his activities.  This includes times when you are on the phone or in the shower, or doing anything that prevents you from paying full attention to your puppy.  He should have an opportunity to go outside every time you let him out of his crate.
Every time you take your puppy outside, give her plenty of cues.  As you walk out the door with her, say “Let’s go outside.”  Take her to her spot, and repeat your cue phrase as she is about to eliminate. (Be sure to use a phrase that does not come up in every day conversation.  Avoid cues such as “hurry up” or “be a good dog” in favor of something more specific, such as “do your piddles.”)  When she goes, praise her enthusiastically and reward her with a very small food treat, right there on the spot.  After several
repetitions of this routine, your puppy will learn to eliminate on cue (very useful in bad weather or strange places) and learn that eliminating outside is more fruitful than eliminating inside.  After a week of this, continue to praise the puppy every time she goes outside, but reward with food on a more random basis.  In a couple of weeks, you won’t need the food reward at all.
If you find an accident, clean it up, and consider adjusting your puppy’s schedule to prevent another accident.  Punishing your puppy only teaches him to be wary of you.  If you catch him in the act and punish or correct him, he will learn to eliminate when you aren’t looking, which will defeat your training program.  If you should see your puppy circling as if he has to go, gently remind him to “go outside” and help him get to his spot where he can earn praise and a reward.
Accidents happen most frequently in the morning or evening when the puppy is out playing with the family.  It is easy to become so involved in an activity that you forget that the puppy hasn’t been outside in an hour.  If this is the case, find a way to remind yourself, such as setting a kitchen timer or alarm clock.
Unrealistic expectations are a frequent cause of problems in housetraining. On average, the bladder/brain connection is not fully formed until the puppy is about 8 months old.  If a young puppy does go to the door and “ask to go out,” his need is immediate, he must go out right away.  Some dogs never learn to ask to go out, while others learn quickly to go to the door and sit or bark or ring a bell.  Some dogs learn to use a dog door easily and go out whenever they feel the urge.  The best way to ensure success is to stick to a schedule long enough for the puppy’s body to adapt to it and get in the habit of eliminating at particular times.
Neuter or Spay
If you are not planning to enter your dog in conformation competition, neutering or spaying helps ensure successful housetraining.  Neutered males still lift their legs, but are less inclined to mark their territory (including the priceless antique chair legs and the floor-length drapes).  They are also less prone to certain cancers and prostate problems that can lead to accidents in older dogs.  Unspayed females ovulate twice a year, on average.  For several weeks before and during the heat cycle they are more prone to mark territory.  They are also more vulnerable to bladder problems that can lead to accidents.
Paper Training Is Not Housetraining
Teaching your puppy to eliminate indoors on newspaper does not lead to success in housetraining.  Dogs are place oriented, and once taught to go in a particular place on a particular surface will continue to do so.  Careless newspaper readers are liable to reach for a section they left on the floor only to find it has been used by the family dog.
If you  must confine your puppy for more than six or eight hours at a time, or if you live in a high-rise apartment with a small dog, consider using a “litter box” for your dog.  A plastic under-the-bed storage container, lid removed, filled with bark mulch will serve this purpose very well.  The mulch absorbs urine odors, and smells and feels like “outside.”   You can confine your puppy in a small room, such as a bathroom, with a baby gate, giving him enough room for a comfy bed, his water dish, and his mulch box.
This approach works well for young puppies and very elderly dogs with health problems, and is less likely to interfere with your efforts to train your dog to eliminate outside.
Scottee Meade        Burke, VA    'Tee Party Bostons
Canine Behavior Consultant
Member, Association of Pet Dog Trainers and Old Dominion Kennel Club

 Source : doglogic

Puppy Dog Training For Obedience How To Train Your Dog Puppy Properly

Puppy dog training for obedience is a topic close to the heart of dog lovers. Now, getting a new puppy in the house can be as joyous as having a new baby at home. It brings much excitement to everyone especially the kids. But you need to make sure that buying the puppy is not a decision made in haste or at the spur of the moment. Dogs are living creatures and not just gifts that need no maintenance. Though a little puppy can bring so much laughter and happiness, they do require a great deal of training and when that happens, it is not a fun thing to do. Expect work if you want to train puppy dog well.

Dogs are like human beings. They too have temperament as well. Surprised? A puppy's temperament depends on their birth place and his/her breed. So pay a bit of attention here about different breeds and their personalities in order to know how to train your dog puppy correctly. Rottweilers, bull dogs, boxers and German shepherds are guard dogs and they are born with natural instincts to love and protect their human companions. Gun dogs, pointer and Labradors are born and reared as hunting dogs. Because of their background, they are naturally energetic.

Bearded and border collies, on the other hand, being herding dogs are bred and reared on farmland, and are rather active and curious about their surroundings. They are known to love moving around and don't sit still well. You have to be a little careful when you bring them to live in cities as they may be anxious and a bit scared and nervous since they are not used to the modern environment.

Training dog puppy needs time. But do not be unduly worried as it often takes a couple of weeks before it learns dog obedience. What you need is a little bit of patience and the amount of effort you put into it. One piece of good news is you do not have to spend hours to train dog puppies as it only takes a few minutes each day over a few times. That's all it takes.

The very first task to train dog puppy is its obedience in simple commands like come, sit, heel, stay and fetch. These are easy to follow and most puppies are able to learn that quite fast. As they grow older and bigger, you can move on to include more advanced commands like rolling over, pawing and even play dead. One thing good about training dog puppies is they are very open towards learning. They are like blank pieces of paper ready to be written on. So training a puppy dog can be quite a fun experience especially when it starts responding to you.

Like kids, what they learn in their initial growing up months would be engrained in their memories. The puppy dog training for obedience would also shape their behaviors later. All it takes is a simple rule, stick with the few minutes per session routine and keep repeating as a reminder.

Puppy dog training for obedience is so important as untrained puppies can be rather mischievous. Since they are young, during their teething stage, they develop a natural chewing behavior. This can be quite damaging for your furniture as the holes they leave can be numerous in numbers. It is good to therefore start training dog puppies early so that they learn to differentiate what is wrong and what is right behavior.

Dog owners may resort to using dog training devices or products to aid puppy dog training but this is really not that essential. A little bit more of practicing and repeating the simple commands everyday would go a long way. The whole puppy dog training takes approximately a few months. Yes it may seem tough but the rewards would be great. At the end of the training, your puppy would grow up to be a loving and obedient dog that makes a great companion.

If you are keen to find out the specific commands to execute to properly teach and train your puppy, find out from my dog obedience website where you can learn some quick and effective dog obedience training techniques to train your puppy dog.

Davion is a successful author and dog lover. Learn the special 4 - day dog obedience training system which any dog owner can use to stop dog behavioral problems at Train-A-Dog-In-4Days.Etc-Now.com and make your dog as obedient as a little puppy.

Teach the Retrieve with Clicker

Here is my method of teaching fetch to a puppy using a clicker.
When my newest Border Collie (BC)  was about two months old I rolled a tennis ball and she said, yea, a ball, so what.
  • I rolled it again and she looked at it -- c/t (click and treat)  I had already taught her that the click meant a treat so she came to me for the treat as soon as she heard the click.
  • After four or five times I rolled it and didn't click when she looked at it.  She looked at it, looked at me, and walked towards it -c/t.
  • Four or five of those and I didn't c/t when she walked towards it.
  • So she walked up to it  I c/t.
  • Four or five or those and I didn't c/t when she almost touched it ---
  • so she touched it --- c/t jackpot and rolled ball again.
  • She ran up to it and touched it with her nose and ran to me for the treat ---
  • Four or five and no c/t until she moved it with her nose.
I think that you should have it by now --- slowly slowly step by slow step. She finally picked it up and I jackpotted (gave a bunch of treats).And went to bed.
Next night I planned on starting from scratch but as soon as I rolled the ball she ran to it and picked it up and I c/t and she came for the treat. We played with getting her to bring it closer and closer for awhile that evening and she finally did.
The following night, going against everything that I knew, I rolled a dumbbell about three feet from me. She ran to it, picked it up by the bell and brought it back.
For the past ten months we've been working on bringing it back by the bar and sitting front.  And waiting for the command. She has never, so far, refused to bring it back, altho it's often to heel or to a crooked front, and, in fact, must be retrained from chasing everybody else's dumbell in Open class.
Last week she chased and brought back somebody else's --- big one, too.  I made no fuss - it was my fault for not holding her tightly enough.  And I'm not about to punish her for retrieving.
She now retrieves over a jump -- about 80% of the time going over both ways ---no, actually, she always goes over towards the dumbell, but not always back. But we haven't been doing it long.  She hasn't been shown at all yet, so I figure we have time.
BTW, I also use a metal and leather article and glove now and then. I can't show her in Canada so I'm not bothering with the wooden articles. Hope this explains it.
I might add that I'm NOT convinced that a dog can be trained using nothing but the clicker, but it does seem to clarify things for them --- my timing is pretty good after all these years --- but I don't think that I could have said "GOOD" fast enough to have done it.  The clicker is sharper in sound.
I couldn't believe that in three night she went from "So it's a ball, so what," to "Here's a toy, please throw it for me"! She's as much of a nuisance asking for toys to be thrown as any of my naturally compulsive retrievers.
This was written last year for the Clicker FAQ list.  (and is still there even as we speak)
As of this point she has her UKC CDX and is still crazy for the dumbell.
Vivian Bregman and the Border Collies in Northern New Jersey
Member of NADOI & APDT

Source : doglogic

What is choke collar and how to use it properly?

Question:  What is the proper use of the choke collar??
Answer:  They are GREAT for locking gates (use a double snap)...  :-)
That was my initial flippant answer.  I think this is a better one:
I do not use choke chains on dogs.  There are many reasons but, if I was to give just one, and this is the one I use with clients, it is because if I gain control over the dog using physical force- I have control over the dog but anyone who is unable or unwilling to use the same force does not have control.
The hypothetical 90 year old lady with the aggressive Rottie coulld never gain physical control over the dog.  But, given the right 90 year old lady, and the right Rottie she could gain mental control, *influence* is the word John Rogerson uses.
I see it all the time with private clients.  The dog will do what dad tells(!) it to do (he uses physical punishment/corrections when necessary, and it works) BUT the wife has considerably less control and the kids have none.   I believe that if dad had used only as much physical and tonal (deep voice) techniques as the youngest and weakest of the family.... the dog would treat all the people in the family the same.  The 4 year old would have as much influence as dad.
Teaching the dog that "might makes right" has consequences.
Laura Van Dyne               The Canine Consultant
6283 County Road 100         e-mail:  lvandyne@rof.net
Carbondale, Colorado 81623   (970) 963-3745
      Helping Dogs and Their People Learn Together

Source : doglogic 


For most dog owners the following three things are the most important for the dog to learn:
1.  Housebreaking,
2. Coming when called and
3. Walking on a leash without pulling.
Everything else varies from owner to owner.
The following are the most important things to remember when you start out to "Civilize Your Dog":
  1. NEVER tell your dog to do anything that he can evade.
  2. REWARD whatever you want the dog to continue doing while NOT REWARDING (or penalizing)  whatever you want the dog to stop doing.
 These two statements will help you train the dog for the rest of his life.  Remember that rewards are not what YOU consider a reward, but rather, what the DOG considers a reward.  For example:  if your dog runs out the front door, he is being REWARDED with freedom.  When you call him and he comes and you put him back in the house he is being PENALIZED for coming to you by being put back in the house.  For training purposes a Reward can be verbal praise, petting, food, a ball or whatever motivates your dog.  YOU know your own dog -- you know if he would sell his soul for food or for a tennis ball.  Make his Reward whatever turns him on, and the time spent finding out what really turns him on will be well worth the effort.
Please notice that I said "Penalize" and not punish.  Punishment makes people think of hitting the dog -- which is rarely necessary.  The only reason to hit a dog is for anti-so-cial behavior.  "Anti-social" is not only biting.  A puppy that growls when you go near his bone is threatening you -- definitely anti-social behavior.  If not stopped it will probably become a bite.
A "Penalty" can be anything that the dog does not like.  It may be a leash jerk, not moving when he's a on leash so there's no walk, or just ignoring him.
If you think that your dog can't or won't learn, think about the things that he has already learned.  If you dog has been with you for a few weeks the chances are that he has learned when food is going to be available -- the sounds of the can opener or the opening of the closet door where his food is kept, or even, if he is fed from the table, to beg at dinner time. He has learned that a leash means a walk, that if the front door is left open a crack he can dash out and run for a few hours, and that when he is left alone he can destroy things in the house because he has never been caught in the act.
One of the most important things for you to learn is that it IS possible to teach the dog what you want him to learn.  The dog is always learning.  You have to learn how to reward the dog so that it is in his best interests to do what you want him to do.
If your dog is destructive when left alone, it is because he has not been caught in the act of doing wrong.  See the chapter on crates.
If your dog dashes out the front door, it is because he has been given the opportunity to escape and then is being rewarded by the freedom to roam the neighborhood.  If this is your problem, put a ten foot rope on the dog and let him drag it around the house.  (called a house line)  Just before you open the door step on the rope, or, for a big dog, leave a loop in the end and loop it over the inside door handle.  When the dog dashes out the front door you have a handle with which to jerk him back in.  After a few times or a few dozen times (depending on the dog) he will catch on that it is painful to dash out the door and he will stop.  Congratulations!!  You have just taught your dog a lesson that *may* save his life, and *wil*l save your hours of chasing.
As long as he is dragging this rope around the house, if you have a problem with him jumping on people you can solve that too.  All you have to do is to step on the rope where it hits the floor.  If he jumps up, the rope tightens, giving him an automatic correction.  If he doesn't jump up, nothing happens.
Every dog must have two collars:  one should be a buckle collar with his tags on it and the other is the training collar (a chain choke ). NEVER tie a dog up with his training collar and never leave the training collar on the dog when he is alone as it may catch on something.
Every dog should have two names.  One for talking  TO him and one for talking ABOUT him.  If you use his name when you are talking about him you will desensitize him to the use of his name.  Every time you say his name make it a happy occasion for him.  Use his name when you feed him.  If you want to give him a snack, instead of saying "snack" say his name.  Every time I say my dog's name she thinks that I am saying "snack" and she comes running.  Much better than yelling "snack"  or "cookie" whenever I want her to come.  Much more dignified!!
Most people have a life, aside from training the dog, so that I'm not going to tell you to train the dog for one hour a day.  Also, if you have a very young puppy one hour will be much too much for him.  Five or ten minutes at a time, two or three times a day will be far better to get the training into the dog's mind.
While your dog is eating, add food to his dish.  That is, while he is eating his dog food, add a small piece of meat or a special "goody" to his food.  This will convince the dog that whenever someone goes near his dish it is only to make it better.  The old way to get a dog to be less possessive about his food was to remove the dish while he was eating and then replace it.  This, unfortunately, sometimes led to dogs eating faster and faster because they were afraid that someone would steal their food. Add this goody to his food every day for about one month, then once or twice a week for about one a month.  After that, add a goody about once a month, to keep the dog used to the idea of someone bothering him while he is eating.  At the same time, it is very important that the dog NOT be bothered while he is eating.  What we have been talking about here is training.  If this is done the dog will not object to being bothered now and then, although the fair thing to do is NEVER to bother the dog.  The purpose of this training is that, although the owner should see to it that nobody bothers the dog while he is eating, things can happen.
One of the biggest problems is catching a dog thief in the act.  That is, a dog who steals food or other stuff off a table or a cabinet when you are not watching.  The trick is to catch him.  For this you will need several empty soda or beer cans.  When the cans are empty, wash and dry them.  When they are dry inside, put about ten pennies in the can and seal it with tape.  Line the cans up on the edge of a counter about six inches apart. Put a piece of food, or napkins, or whatever it is that he grabs off the table BEHIND the cans.  When the booby trap is all set up, leave the room, but stay within earshot.  When you hear the can hit the ground, come running in screaming.  DO NOT EVER SET THIS UP UNLESS YOU CAN COME RUNNING WHEN YOU HEAR THE CANS FALL.  Otherwise the dog will learn to spring the trap and get the bait.
The purpose of obedience training is to teach your dog to be a well-mannered companion, who is responsive to your commands and who looks to you for leadership.  The process of training should be enjoyable for you both, and enhance the bond between you as well.
How Dogs Learn
Dogs learn by associating an action with a consequence.  If the consequence is pleasurable, the dog will tend to repeat the behavior.  If the consequence is unpleasant, he will tend not to repeat the behavior.
In training you show your dog the action you wish, helping him to perform it by luring him with food or a toy, or by collar pressures.  When he performs the action, you immediately provide a pleasant consequence, by rewarding him with a special praise word and giving him a small treat. This is called "positive reinforcement," and will cause your dog, after several repetitions, to repeat the action.
If you give your dog a command word at the same time that he performs the behavior, he will learn to associate the behavior with the command.
For example, in order to teach your dog to sit, say the command SIT as you help him to do it.  This can be done by luring his head up with food or a toy held in your hand, which will cause his rear to sink into a sit, or by use of collar pressure coupled with the pressure of your hand on his rump.  The instant he sits, say his special praise word and give him a tiny treat.  After many repetitions of this he will make the association between the command word SIT and the act of sitting.  He will learn to obey the command by being positively reinforced by your praise word and a treat.
Using A Special Word to Speed Learning
You can speed up your dog's learning a lot by using a very special praise word reserved for the purpose of telling him that the action he is performing is correct and that he will be reinforced for it.  You can also use a "clicker" instead of a special word.  (Dolphin and killer whale trainers use a whistle for this purpose.  You've probably seen this at dolphin shows or on TV.  The whistle tells the dolphin that what he did was correct, and he can get a fish to eat.)  We suggest using a single word such as "great" or "yes" or "wow" that is different from general praise words like "good boy."
You dog will first need to learn that this special sound, called a "conditioned reinforcer" means something.  Teach this at home by saying the word (or clicking your clicker if you are using one) and immediately giving the dog a tiny, succulent food treat.  The order is very important.  FIRST you say the word, THEN you give the treat.  Your dog shouldn't be doing anything special, just say the word and toss the treat.  After several repetitions of this you will see your dog startle and look at you when you say the word.  That means that he has learned that it means "a goodie is coming."  Now you can use your conditioned reinforcer to clearly tell him he has performed an action correctly and will be reinforced for it, with food, a toy, praise, play, or all three.
In order for this to work, you must find something your dog likes and will work for that you can couple with your conditioned reinforcer.  For most dogs, tiny pieces of soft, tasty food work best.  We suggest tiny pieces of hot dog, cheese, soft-moist cat food, or lunch meat.  Buy a cheap belt pack to carry the food in when you are training and at class.  Once your dog has learned commands, you will not need to carry food, and can reinforce with praise, petting and play, but using food initially will help him learn much faster.
Remember that your conditioned reinforcer must be given the instant the dog obeys your command and while he is still performing the behavior, and not several seconds later.  You will need to train him daily in order for commands to become part of his long-term memory.  He needs to be quiet and controlled while you are teaching him.  He can't learn if he is wildly excited or not paying attention to you.  Therefore, begin his training in quiet, familiar places, and add distractions later as he becomes proficient in his commands.
As you start this obedience course, it will seem like there is a huge amount of things you need to learn and remember - new words, new ways of handling your dog, and new ways of relating to him.  Don't worry about trying to learn it all at once.  It will all be repeated over the weeks of the course and you'll find it becomes second nature as you gradually train your dog.  Just relax and have fun.
And remember these three things that form the cornerstone of dog training:
PATIENCE                              PRACTICE               PERSEVERANCE
It should take a while to teach the dog all this stuff. I am being vague on purpose!! Don't panic if the dog doesn't seem to be catching on in one week.  Training takes time.  If you doubt that the dog is making any progress, keep a training diary.  This will help you see just how often you are training (once a week won't work) and you will be able to see that you ARE getting somewhere.
Vivian Bregman and the Border Collies in Northern New Jersey
Member of NADOI & APDT

Source : doglogic

Dog's Proper Greeting

Dogs jump up to greet people because they want to make eye contact and physical contact.  They are not interested in looking at your ankles or knees (smile).
Most dogs have been positively reinforced for jumping up, because it is hard not to pet and talk to a little puppy when they run up with their tail wagging, thrilled to see you, and put their little paws on your ankles.  Their only sin is getting bigger and putting their paws on higher body parts.
We are dealing with normal greeting behavior by dogs that like and love the people they are greeting.  It would be wrong to punish this behavior.  It would also be wrong to prevent the dog from greeting visitors.
Here is how to teach your puppy/dog to greet people (including family members).
  1. Teach the puppy/dog to sit using its food as a lure and reward.
  2. Make sure that you practice the sit command in any area you expect the dog to sit to greet people.
  3. Have the dog confined while you invite the visitor in and get them in a comfortable chair.
  4. Lead the dog, who is on a buckle collar with a leash attached, up to the visitor.  Make sure you hold the collar or lead to prevent the dog from jumping up.
  5. Give the dog the 'sit' command and hand signal.  Have the visitor wait until the dog sits, before gently stroking the dog from head to shoulder while they talk to the dog in a sweet gentle voice for at least one minute. You make sure that the dog does not jump up during this procedure by holding the dog's collar. Your visitor may be leaning over the dog and a broken nose or glasses may result if you don't do a good job!
  6. If the dog does not sit right away, just make sure that nothing happens until the dog sits. The first time you do this, be prepared to wait. As soon as the dog sits and gets the visitors attention as a reward, walk the dog away from the visitor, return and repeat the procedure. The dog is going to be very excited the first time they greet the visitor. The fifth time in a row you walk the dog up to the visitor, the dog is thinking "Gee, it is still Joel." It will be much easier to get the dog to sit with each additional greeting.
  1. If you do this with every family member and every visitor, you will soon have a dog that will sit in front of visitors to get petted and  get their attention.
    The Above Articles are by Joel Walton, BSc
Walton Family Dog Training http://www.pages.prodigy.com/MD/wfdt/wfdt.html
AB-L owner, Pettable-L owner, APDT-L manager
DC/MD/VA 301-855-0355
(May be reproduced in its entirety for non-commercial purposes only.)

Source : doglogic

stop your dog's Bite Inhibition

If you watch a litter of puppies playing, you will notice that they spend much of their time biting and grabbing each other with their mouths. This is normal puppy behavior. When you take a puppy from the litter and into your home, the puppy will play bite and mouth you. This is normal behavior, but needs to be modified so you and the puppy will be happy.
The first thing to teach your new puppy is that human flesh is much more sensitive than other puppies and that it really hurts us when they bite. This is called bite inhibition. A puppy has very sharp teeth and a weak jaw. This means that the puppy can cause you to be uncomfortable when mouthing or puppy biting you, but can not cause severe damage. An adult dog has duller teeth and a powerful jaw. This means that an adult dog can cause significant damage when biting.
ANY DOG WILL BITE GIVEN THE RIGHT OR WRONG CIRCUMSTANCES !  If a small child falls on your adult dog and sticks a finger in the dog's eye, you should not be surprised if the dog bites. If you do a good job teaching your puppy bite inhibition, you should get a grab and release without damage. If you don't, you may get a hard bite with significant damage.
It is simple to teach a puppy bite inhibition. Every time the puppy touches you with its teeth, say "OUCH!" in a harsh tone of voice. This will probably not stop the puppy from mouthing, but over time should result in softer and gentler puppy biting.
The commands necessary to teach a puppy NOT to mouth, are easy and fun. Hold a small handful of the puppy's dry food, say "take it" in a sweet tone of voice, and give the puppy one piece of food. Then close the rest of the food in your hand and say "off" in that same sweet tone of voice. When the puppy has not touched your hand for 3 to 5 seconds, say "take it" and give the puppy one piece of food.
We are teaching the puppy that "off" means not to touch. You should do this with the puppy before every meal for at least 5 minutes.
After a couple of weeks of the above training, here is how you are going to handle puppy biting or mouthing:
a.  Unexpected mouthing (you don't know the puppy is going to mouth, until you feel the puppy's teeth):
b.  Expected mouthing (you see the puppy getting ready to mouth you):
    You say "OFF"  before the puppy can mouth you.
c.  The puppy is mouthing you because of a desire to play.  You have to answer the question, "Do I have time to play with t,,he puppy now ?" If you do, then do "sit", "down", "stand" or other positive 'lure and reward' training.
If the answer is "No, I don't have time for the puppy, right now," then you need to do a time out (crate, or otherwise confine the puppy, so the puppy can't continue to mouth you and get in trouble.
I believe you will find the above much more humane than yelling at the puppy all of the time.
The above training methods have been modified from information that I learned from Dr. Ian Dunbar in his puppy training seminars and from his excellent video 'Sirius Puppy Training' which is available by calling 510-658-8588. Joel Walton, BSc

Source : doglogic

effective ways to train your puppy

The arrival of a new puppy is an exciting time for any household. Your cute and cuddly little fluff ball will immediately command center stage from the whole family. Before long though, it becomes very clear that the new arrival means there's lots for you to do, and even more for him/her to learn. Puppy training must top your list of priorities.
Your young puppy is totally reliant and dependent on you to help him habituate and fit into our human, domesticated world. Your guidance and leadership will determine what path his life takes and what type of dog he will become. During puppyhood you play the lead role and are responsible for shaping the character, temperament and behavior habits that your dog will carry throughout his life. Your puppy's future is in your capable hands...
how to train a puppy
Will your puppy become a well adjusted
and trusted member of society or a social outcast?

How To Train A Puppy - It's Not All Fun And Games!

It shocks some new puppy owners when their puppy acts like, well a puppy. The little critter is a pooping machine who chews, barks, digs, cries and much more! But we still love them anyway - we just need to provide them with some direction and boundaries to follow.
If you're anything like me you probably just want to get your puppy off to the best possible start in life, and also set them up to thrive as adult dogs. Early puppy socialization and puppy training are the keys to your success as a dog owner.
Bringing a young pup into our lives is a big responsibility and commitment to fulfill. Our puppies have a long list of requirements and deadlines that must be met for their well-being and longevity. Tasks like puppy house training, crate training, puppy socialization, leash training and basic obedience need to be addressed right from the very start.

How To Train A Puppy - The Positive Non Violent Way

It's important with all dog training but especially with young puppies to use lots of encouragement, praise and rewards (positive reinforcement) in your training. Start your puppy training sessions as soon as your little puppy arrives at your home - it's never too early. Set your puppy up to succeed, concentrate on developing desirable habits in your puppy and preventing undesirable behavior. It's much a better alternative to put your puppy on the right path from the start, rather than trying to correct established problem behaviors later on. Keep your training sessions short, consistent and always have fun. The key to shaping your puppy's behavior is to start out with very easy commands, continue to build on these successes and apply heaps of repetition. Base your training sessions around trust and mutual respect rather than old school methods based on punishment, avoidance and harsh corrections. In this environment you will find that your puppy loves his training sessions and his confidence will grow with each and every session.
Always remember that you are dealing with a very immature young animal. Be realistic, flexible, patient and always fair during puppy training sessions. Your puppy doesn't just automatically know this stuff! It's all new to him and he is bound to have the odd slip up and mistake along the way. Don't worry about these mistakes, just move on and do your best to prevent them in the future.
Enjoy this fantastic time in your dog's life. His puppyhood is the time where you will lay the foundation for your puppy's life. It's also where you will develop, build and strengthen the special bond you will share with your dog for life.

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