Rabu, 03 November 2010

How A Dog Training Instructor Would Guide You In Class

“Come Boy! Come!”

Coming when called, or the “recall”exercise, is an important step in a dog's training school. If the class is working in a circle, it is done the first time toward the center of the circle and the second time away from the center toward the outside walls. To teach the recall in class, the instructor tells the group:

“Handlers face the center of the room with dogs sitting at heel position. Command your dog to stay. Face him to the full length of the leash. Hold the leash in your left hand. Stand up straight with your feet spaced apart to prevent the dog from darting off to one side! Call your dog by name! 'Sparky, come!' or 'Sparky, front!' Gather the lead up with both hands and when he is close, command 'Sit!' Praise and pat him immediately! Say 'Stay!' and move back again to the end of the lead. Call your dog! Keep your voice happy! Coax your dog to come!

When he obeys, tell him with more authority to sit! Praise him! If the dog doesn't respond the moment he hears his name and the command to come, snap the lead quickly, but loosen it at once. It is done with a motion similar to snapping a whip. You will hear the collar click when you do it correctly.

Don't pull or drag your dog to you or he will never want to come! Use a cajoling tone of voice after the command and after each correction. Use the lead to make the dog sit square
and as close as possible, and to prevent a dash in the opposite direction. Next, make your dog go to heel position! (The handlers will now have their backs to one another, ready to
call their dogs in the opposite direction.) Tell your dog to stay and face him to the full length of the lead! Now circle back to heel position. We'll alternate the recall with the sit-stay exercise.

This will teach your dog not to anticipate your command by coming before he is called. Tell your dog to stay and face him again. Stand up straight! If you lean over, the dog will crawl in instead of coming gaily. Call your dog! Use his name! If your dog doesn't come on your first command, snap the lead hard and then coax him in the rest of the way! Keep your hands low and in front of your body. Gather up the leash in a hand-over-hand motion."

The instructor should watch to see that the command to come is given first, followed, if necessary, by a sharp snap on the lead, which is loosened immediately. The dog must want
to come of his own free will. Remind the owners: "Stand erect with your feet apart to discourage the dog from darting off the one side. Gather up the leash as the dog comes forward. Command 'Sit!' when the dog comes in front and correct him if he sits crooked. Don't forget to pat him."

Minggu, 24 Oktober 2010

Advanced Tricks: Training Your Dog To “Retrieve Over High Jump”

Should your dog be only so-so in any elements of basic obstacle or retrieving training, shore up weak areas prior to initiating the “Retrieve Over High Jump.” Otherwise, the animal may extend previous problem behaviors into the new activity.

When starting the Retrieve Over High Jump, begin that day's session with a Retrieve followed by a recall over the jump. If your dog doesn't perform each exercise well, work on problem areas until you're satisfied. Initiate formal High Jump retrieving by having your dog Sit in front of and facing the jump from a distance of ten feet. Set the height even with the animal's elbows. Have him take and hold a dumbbell.

Command, "Stay," verbally and via the hand signal. Walk to the jump's opposite side, preferably by stepping over it (to suggest the correct route). Position yourself within touching distance of the obstacle. As one flowing action, slap the top board's edge, command, "Bring - Hup!," and back away to create landing room. Repeat the sequence three times, and end today's training.

The next day, with pooch at heel, throw a light dumbbell over the jump, sending him as it lands by sequentially commanding "Hup," "Bring" and "Hup." The first "Hup" sends the animal, and "Bring" should be timed while he's airborne, going for the object. Command the second "Hup" immediately after the dog picks up the dumbbell. Now the task becomes phasing out the commands used only for teaching, waiting several seconds before sending the dog after the dumbbell, and gradually raising the jump to the desired height

Tips For The Aspiring Dog Handler

Handling dogs for competition, as well as a living, is an art that can be acquired only through experience. It is not anything you will pick up in several months. It is the culmination of all the knowledge that you have attained through different sources such as reading, studying the different breeds of dogs, digesting the Obedience Regulations, conducting frequent practice sessions, observing top handlers in competition, and developing your own style for Obedience competition. Of course the first requisite is a genuine love for dogs, and if you have that it should follow that you will have the patience and understanding to cope with them. The second requisite is perseverance, for without it you will not get very far. And last but not least you must have a sense of humor, for in obedience trial competition anything can happen.

If you want to learn something you should go to the person who is most qualified to teach it. By qualified I mean he is at the top of his profession because of what he has accomplished personally. The teacher who has made a fine record himself in Obedience is the one who can help you. There are hundreds of Obedience trainers in the country, but most are passing on bits of training advice they have picked up here and there. With coaching like this you can expect very little consistency and much confusion.

The first thing you will notice when you watch a top handler is the relaxed, easy manner in which he controls his dog and the rapport that is evident between the two. The dog will be attentive and responsive to the handler's firm but soft-spoken commands, the signals will be given with just one hand and arm, and the exercises will be performed very smoothly and skillfully. The first time you witness this type of handling you will be more impressed with how easy it looks than by anything else. If you haven't started training you will be quite certain that you could do it yourself - it looked so easy.

The first step to becoming a good handler is to train your dog correctly. Good handling is synonymous with expert training. Your voice is important - give the commands in a firm, well-modulated tone and praise your dog in a very pleased tone that rings with sincerity. When the dog is close to you teach him to respond to commands that are given to him softly. When working away from you, teach him to execute the commands that are given crisply but just loud enough for him to hear. Don't keep repeating commands, rather correct him for not paying attention.

Kamis, 21 Oktober 2010

Directed Jumping - Structured Method

Begin by leaving your dog on a “Sit-Stay”, fifteen feet from and facing a Standard High Jump. Walk to the hurdle's opposite side and command, "Hup." Skip the finish. Repeat the exercise, but this time move leftward a few feet as your pet leaves the ground; turning to face him as he lands. Run through this routine three more times, then close the session.

Start the next period by leaving your dog on a Sit-Stay, fifteen feet from and facing a standard High Jump. Walk to the obstacle's other side, and after standing there for a few seconds, move a few feet to your left. Adding an exaggerated hand signal, verbally command your dog over the jump. (Should he attempt to run to you, block him and repeat the "Hup" command while gesturing toward the obstacle. If need be, lift him over the hurdle.) Repeat this new procedure three times before ending the period.

Over the next few sessions, gradually position yourself farther left until you're twenty feet removed from the centerline between the two jumps. Though less distance is required in competition, the extra-mile principle operates here by saying to your dog that he's to clear the indicated obstacle regardless how far you are from it.

The next stage is steadily moving your pet's starting point to your left (his right). "Sit-Stay" your friend three feet left of the two jumps' centerline, and walk to a point opposite his new starting position. Adding excessive body language (stepping and pointing toward the desired jump), command, "Hup."

Minggu, 17 Oktober 2010

Advanced Dog Tricks: How To Train Your Dog For The High Jump

With your dog present in front of you, erect both jumps, configuring them at low height and setting them ten feet apart. Do it again. Then walk your dog to a point between the obstacles and a dozen feet behind them. Aim the animal toward the High Jump, and command, "Stay." Walk to an equidistant spot, relative to the obstacles and the dog. Emphatically point and step toward the High Jump and command, "Hup."

As your dog sails over the correct jump, praise, "Good Pup," and take him back to the starting point. Command, "Stay," return to the location opposite the animal's, and repeat the exercise. Do the routine twice more, then end the session. On the next day, repeat the preceding exercise once. Then "Stay" your companion, having first aligned him toward the other obstacle, the Bar Jump. Return to your command location, and - adding pronounced body language - command him over this second jump. If he does as well with it as he did with the first hurdle - and he probably will - great!

Now the work is gradually raising the jumps' heights, repositioning them until they're eighteen to twenty feet apart, phasing out aligning pooch toward either jump, and starting him from at least twenty feet. During the teaching sequence, should your pet take any action other than the correct one, don't chastise him. Perform some work at which he excels (to finish high), and call it a day. Initiate a more structured method tomorrow.

Sabtu, 16 Oktober 2010

3 Basic Tips For Better Handling Of Your Dog

Dog Training has been taught by many different schools of thought. Teaching your dog new tricks and handling obedience training takes both dedication and patience. It also takes a sense of skill and personal awareness of not only your dog's actions, but your own body language and training practices as well. Below are two tips that any dog trainer can utilize when handling their pets:

1. Signals should be given to your dogs with one hand and arm only. In the earliest stages you may exaggerate the signals to gain the dog's attention, but in the final analysis all signals must be given smoothly and swiftly without any excess body motion. The size of your dog is not a factor here, for you can train any dog to pay attention, and if he is paying attention to you he will see your signals.

The people who would disagree with this theory are those who have yet to learn how to make their dogs pay attention to them. You will have to watch yourself very carefully to avoid giving unintentional body signals to your dog. It is natural for a beginner to nod his head, lean forward, or move his hands when he calls his dog. He is so intent in watching his dog that he is unaware of his own actions. Have someone watch you so he can tell you when he notices you doing this.

2. Be consistent - never scold a dog for a misdemeanor one day and praise him the next for the same act. You cannot expect your dog to understand an exercise if you keep changing your training methods each time you try it. Dogs learn the basic work by repetition, and the entire training program should proceed smoothly and consistently. For instance, the techniques that you will use in puppy training will be repeated in advanced exercises when your dog gets older, and your handling will be just the same.

3. You should study your dog so you can foresee his reaction to any situation. You should become attuned to your dog's sensitivities. If you have a gentle, quiet dog, do not antagonize him by rough treatment. He will become very alert and responsive if you train him in a calm and gentle manner with consideration for his feelings. Aggressive or overly playful dogs need a more forceful approach.

Kamis, 14 Oktober 2010

A Few Of Your Dog's Favorite Things

There are many ways you can reward your dog other than giving him his favorite treat. Generally, the more reliably your dog has learned a behavior, the more you can give him rewards in place of foods. For dogs who love certain things more than a treat, rewards can become a more important primary motivator than food. Many dogs will turn up their noses at treats if you offer him a game of catch.

Below are 10 examples of great rewards that you can give to your wonderful pet:

1. Chasing a ball or a Frisbee

2. Playing with other dogs

3. Chewing a chew toy

4. Digging a hole

5. Going outside or coming inside

6. Playing tug-of-war or chase

7 Taking a walk or going for a car ride

8. Swimming

9. Chasing birds in a safe environment

10.Anything else your dog loves to do

Minggu, 10 Oktober 2010

4 Things To Look For In A Dog Training School

Enrolling in a dog obedience class can be a rewarding experience for both you and your dog, but choosing the wrong class can make the experience unpleasant for both of you. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you have a selection, shop around. Observe the class prior to taking your dog.

Below are 4 things to look for in a dog obedience class:

Individual Attention: Is the size of the class such that the instructor is able to give individual attention when needed?

Pleasant Atmosphere: Is there a relaxed friendly atmosphere in the class? Tension and disorder will affect both your ability to learn as well as your dog's.

Training Concept: Is the approach to training used in the class consistent with your own
feelings about dog training? Does the instructor wants you to do something to your dog that you are unwilling or reluctant to do?

Instructor Expertise and Ability to Teach: Does the instructor seem knowledgeable about dog training? And beyond that, is the instructor able to communicate his or her knowledge effectively?

Rabu, 06 Oktober 2010

Words That Your Dog Should Know (Part 3)

Enough (Whatever you are doing was Ok, but I've just changed my mind and now I want you to stop it, as opposed to “No,” which means whatever you are doing is unacceptable and should never be done). The command “Enough” is taught mainly, believe it or not, by tone of voice. It is usually learned rapidly and can stop excessive barking, a game of roughhousing that has gotten out of hand, or any activity that is usually ok but cannot, for whatever reason, continue at this point. It can calm a dog instantly. It can give you the full attention of a dog who was, up until a moment ago, acting up or acting out.

Out. This word can mean as in “Do you want to go out?” It is also used for getting the dog to give up what he has retrieved. In addition, “Go Out” by itself means leave this room and go to any other place in the house.

Biscuit or Cookie (Dog biscuit). The two words offer the fun of anticipating a treat. Therefore, when you say “Do you want a cookie?” he gets more than a dog biscuit. He gets to salivate a little imagining a dog biscuit.

Speak (Bark). This word should be taught verbally and then as a hand signal.

Take It (Take this in your mouth). As long as you are going to play with your dog, to toss a ball for him to bring back or to encourage him to carry small packages or help pick up his toys, you might as well add the phrase for that skill to his vocabulary. “Take It” is commonly used as a fetch or pick up command. Young puppies love to chase a toy or a ball and sometimes bring it back. If you keep retrieving fun for the dog, and if you name this activity, you have a nice game plus the option of tightening play retrieving into reliable retrieving on command later on.

Wait. Some dog owners do not like to use the command “Stay” except in the formal sense, the freeze on command. When letting the dog know he is not going on an excursion or not getting out of the car just then, they say “Wait” instead of “Stay.” This can also communicate something important to the dog who is off-leash trained. It would make more sense to say “Wait” as your dog bounds toward the corner or toward the exit of the park than to say “Stay” which would be asking him to freeze in mid-leap. “Wait” tells him not to cross the street, leave the park, rush out the door, until you tell him to. But it allows him to be at ease while waiting. It's worth teaching.

Senin, 04 Oktober 2010

Words That Your Dog Should Know (Part 2)

The following is a list of words that are crucial to training your dog:

Stay (Freeze). Actually, the “Sit, Stay” is the way to teach vocabulary to a dog. It is through this initial discipline, which can be done very gently and without a choke collar on a very young puppy, that the dog learns how to listen and then how to learn.

What you request in the “Sit, Stay” is clear and comprehensible to the dog. Therefore, in the initial teaching of the command, he can absorb the concepts of both words. He will, for example, try to move from the spot. When you return him to it, he gets the “Stay” part. Now he'll lie down, figuring if he's going to be stuck in the spot, he might as well get comfortable. When he is returned to the “Sit” position by you (gently and with patience), he learns the exact definition of the word “Sit.”

Your dog therefore learns two vocabulary words that stand for two separate concepts. In addition, he learns how to learn. You will readily see the difference in the intelligent look on his face. Furthermore, the “Stay” command, once added to your dog's vocabulary, not only covers a multitude of situations, but it is the beginning of teaching your dog long sentences and important concepts. It is a great aid in keeping the dog from harm.

Heel (Walk at my side). “Heel” is a great command for a dog to know for two reasons. First, sometime he must leave home to see the vet, go visiting, or go to the boarding kennel. Second, he needs to be out. He should see the world beyond your yard, for his pleasure and to keep him from getting scared of new things, of strangers, of other dogs. He needs variety in order to be well socialized.

Many dogs who are raised in an ideal country setting, who are fed well, who are groomed and loved and cared for, get weird when they are outside their house. A well-balanced dog must be able to leave his own turf and be able to feel comfortable wherever he goes. Therefore, he should learn to “Heel” so that you can take him places neatly, easily, and frequently.

Down (Lie down). This command, if enforced rapidly, can be a life saver. It can calm a dog. It can cover hours of waiting anywhere with your dog. It can also give you peace and quiet while you read a book, make dinner, or talking on the phone.

Stand (Stand). Whether it's in the tub, in conformation or obedience competition, under the grooming brush, or to negate the automatic sit on a rainy day, “Stand” is a neat word to have in your dog's vocabulary.

Go (Move away or move away in the direction in which I am pointing or accompany me somewhere). The command “Go” is a good word to teach dogs. Often, you can point and look forbidding and say “Go” and your dog will have learned it, just like that.

Kamis, 30 September 2010

Words That Your Dog Should Know (Part 1)

Many dog owners are at a loss for words when they wish to communicate with their dogs. Of course, your choice of words is not the issue. What is important is that you pace your vocabulary lessons in such a way that your dog absorbs the first few definitions before you go on to the text. And, since dogs are learning English as his second language, you must be very consistent in your teaching. In fact, in time, your dog, once started on the road to a better, richer vocabulary, will understand long sentences and life-saving orders.

Listed below is a sample of words to use on your dog. With these words, any dog can live in harmony with his human family, more or less.

No (Permission denied). This is probably the first word a puppy hears, or at least that registers as a word. It is important for every dog to know a word that stops him from urinating on the carpet, hogging the bed, running out into traffic, nabbing that piece of chicken, and chewing on the sofa or your shoe. “No” is that magic word.

Ok (Permission granted). In order to have a balanced, happy, obedient pet, approval is just as important as disapproval. You can give your pet permission to do something he'd do anyway, just to show him it's ok with you. This reinforces your position as the leader. It also increases the amount of positive reenforcement in your dog's life. You can use this release word to let him out of work, out of the house, into the car, at his dinner, and onto your bed. Dogs learn “Ok” instantly.

Good Dog (Approval from the top). By saying “Good Dog” in the proper tone, you dog will give you everything. Saying “Good Dog” is the most important tool any owner has in training his pet.

Bad Dog (Disapproval from the top). “Bad Dog,” from the right lips, can be more powerful and more effective than any leash correction, any shaking, any cold shoulder, any confining, any anything you would think of doing to your disobedient dog. He must have your approval.
When you deny him that, you have already made a serious correction. No puppy grows to adulthood without hearing his share of “Bad Dogs.”

Sit (Plant your rump). Even an untrained dog should know “Sit” and “Stay.” How else can you have any order or control? Your dog must sit while you wait at the vet, while getting his collar put on, while waiting for his bowl to be filled or the traffic light to change, and while being groomed.

Come (Join me). The “Come” command is a crucial word in every dog's vocabulary. You need to be able to teach your dog to come quickly, cheerfully and willingly when he is off leash, out of doors, and playing with his friends.

Off (Get off). The command “Off” is the proper word to say when you find your pet eating a greasy bone on your brand new white couch or shedding in your bed. It's also good for correcting jumping or any other situation in which the dog's big, hairy paws are on something they should be “Off.”

Minggu, 26 September 2010

House-Training: Catching Your Dog In The Act

The following are suggestions to correct house-training mistakes and what to do if you catch your dog in the act.

1. If you come upon an accident or catch your pet in the act, don't scream! Don't call the puppy to you to discipline him, go toward him and don't say anything, unless he is in the middle of eliminating, in which case you may begin gently scolding him as you approach.

2. Reach for his collar and sit him in front of the accident, quickly. Keep some upward tension on the collar to keep the pup in the “Sit” position. Don't begin disciplining until he is sitting. It is no sense disciplining a dog that is squirming to get out of your control. If he is wearing a training collar, insert your index finger in one ring and pull him up on a sit, if not, push his rump down while simultaneously pulling the ring of the collar up.

3. Tilt the dog's head up toward yours for just a second to let him see the displeasure in your eyes. After two seconds of eye contact, tilt his head back down toward the accident. Do not put his nose in the mess, but do have him look at the accident. Taking a finger and tracing a line back and forth between the dog's eyes and the mess will help make the connection.

4. Quietly scold the puppy, but do not whine, scream, shout, use an implement or otherwise get hysterical. Make your scolding just two to three seconds long. Trot your pet by his collar to where he is supposed to relieve himself. Do this immediately. If you have a backyard, take him there by stooping down and taking the collar and leading him out. Do not pick him up to take him to the desired area. If you do, the dog could interpret that he only has to use that area if you pick him up and put him in there.

If you must take your dog down to the street after an accident, remind him of your displeasure on the way without again disciplining him on the same level as you did at the scene of the accident. Give a smart leash tug (diagonally, upward toward yourself) and emit a low growling phrase ("It better not happen again") as you go down the stairs or through the lobby. Otherwise, the dog might be happy by the time he gets through the lobby and forgets what the correction was all about.

5. Leave your dog out in the yard or out on the street for only two to three minutes. You don't want him playing around right after the discipline, you have to make the connection. While the dog is in the desired area, return and clean up the mess.

6. Isolate him for at least thirty minutes, either behind a gate or in a crate, or remain passive for one-half hour. Go about your business and ignore him. The dog needs some time to pull himself together. There is a natural reaction of submission after effective discipline and you should take advantage of it, not thwart it. The dog needs some time to adjust. Let him have it. On the other hand, if your dog is jumping up on you, or barking wildly after a house-training reprimand, chances are your correction did not get through and wasn't strong enough.

7. After one-half hour, do something nice with him, but not overly nice. You want to make up after the discipline but the message you want to leave with your dog is that something very bad has happened and it better not happen again.

Selasa, 21 September 2010

Understanding How Dogs Learn

All dogs learn through experience. However, the number of times a particular action must be repeated for a dog to learn and to commit it to memory varies. If the dog perceives the action as being particularly advantageous to him, he may learn it on the basis of one experience.

Similarly, the dog learns to avoid particularly disadvantageous situations on the basis of one experience. Like the child who touches the hot stove, the dog will shy from activities that have previously produced discomfort or fear.

The actions and exercises that we teach our dogs in training are not, in themselves, viewed by the dog as either advantageous or disadvantageous. For training to succeed, we must clearly distinguish in terms understandable to the dog what is to his advantage and what is not. Once the dog perceives that it is to his benefit both to refrain from conduct we consider objectionable and to adopt those actions we consider desirable, he learns very quickly

Minggu, 19 September 2010

Training Your Dog To “Come-fore” And “Go-to-heel”

The “come-fore” teaches your dog to sit and face you instead of sitting toward the left side. Keep your lead slack when teaching this exercise. Command “Front!” and then walk backward without moving the position of your hands on the lead. As the dog is coming in front of you, gradually gather the lead up and coax him in close. Hold the lead tight and command “Sit!” Praise him immediately and then command “Stay.” Step back to heel position without circling.

Once again, walk backward, keep your lead slack, then command “Front!” Don't drag your dog around on a tight lead. The lead is used to bring the dog in close and to make him sit in front. Step back to heel position. Command “Front!” Remember, the dog does the turning! All you do is walk backward two or three steps. When the dog turns around, gather the lead up and prompt him to sit. Praise at once.

Stand up straight and do not lean forward towards your dog. Hold your hands low and close to your body. Pull up on the lead to make the dog sit. Insist that your dog sits straight and squarely on both hips. If he sits at an angle, hold the leash tight and cuff him on whichever hip is out of line. Every obedience exercise includes the “come-fore” position. Therefore, it is important that the dog learns to do it correctly from the very start of his training so he will not get into the habit of doing a sloppy work.

Go-To-Heel: The “going-to-heel” exercise teaches the dog to go to your left side from the come-fore position. With your dog in the come-fore position, take hold of the lead the same as you do when heeling. Say “Heel!” walk to the right of your dog and keep going. The dog will swing around to your left side automatically. Tell your dog to sit, then praise him! Command “Stay!” and step in front of him again. You should be as near your dog as possible. Again, command “Heel!” Walk past your dog and keep going.

The left hand guides the dog around into place at your left side. Make your dog sit! Tell him to stay and face him again. This time, to make your dog go to heel position, step backward with your left foot after you command “Heel!” and jerk the lead with a snap. This will bring the dog to all four feet. Now walk forward. Guide the dog around into place with your left hand. Make him sit immediately.

In doing the two exercises together, first start with the come-fore. Command “Front!” Walk backward with little motion of your body. Stand up straight. Keep your lead slack while the dog is making the turn. Gather up the lead as the dog comes in front, and hold the lead tight until he sits. Praise and pat him. Next, command “Heel!” Jerk the lead as you take a step backward with the left foot. Praise the dog at once as he swings around to heel position.

You may have to walk backward two or three steps at the beginning, but soon your dog will get the idea of going around to your left side by himself whenever he hears the command “Heel!” In practicing the going-to-heel exercise, give the command without moving the leash, then snap it when you step back with your left foot. Praise him immediately. Move your feet less each time so that the dog must do most of the work.

Controlling Dog Nipping

Your puppy has a natural instinct to put his teeth on everything he can reach. However, you need to set limits on what he can and cannot gnaw upon. First of all, he can't gnaw on you. It's easiest and best to be rigid here. His milk teeth are as sharp as needles, and his adult teeth have formidable clout, in some large breeds, hundreds of pounds of pressure per square inch.

Even a gentle dog can get overexcited when playing. If the dog has not been taught to keep his teeth off you, he can escalate gentle mouthing to a painful bite in no time. When your puppy nips, tell him “No!” If he nips again, tell him “No” again, stopping him physically with your hands. This means you can hold him off by his collar.

Do not hold his mouth shut. This frustrates him so much that he loses the connection between the nip and the correction in his struggle to get out of your grasp. Better than that, if he keeps at it, grasp his collar and shake him. After the shake, if he's nipping again, put him in his crate to cool off.

Confining your dog to his crate as a punishment is effective. It will not make him hate his den. After all, when you were a kid and you were being punished, you may very well have been sent to your room for a while. Did it make you hate your room? Certainly not. Like you, dogs have a sense of fairness. If your correction is clear, your dog will accept it with calmness. If you are vague, how can the puppy understand why he is being punished? He doesn't know what he did to deserve your wrath and he doesn't know how to avoid it next time.

But if you are clear about what you don't like, your correction will be understood as follows: "Listen, Laddy, I've asked you three times not to exercise your sharp, little teeth on my hands. But you refuse to stop. If that's the way you're going to be, I won't play with you for a while. Go stay in your house and think it over!" Healthy, loved puppies are very forgiving creatures. Correct fairly and your puppy will both learn and continue to love you. He will not hate you for exercising your right to teach and lead.

You are going to use the crate not only as a den and a bedroom, but as your main tool for prevention of dog problems and one of your chief methods of correction. Using the crate lets him know that he cannot act in certain ways in your house. The crate, on the other hand, is his house. You should respect that fact, too, and let him be when he's in it. Leave him alone when he's there. On his own, he will use his crate when he wants peace and quiet. He'll go in it to rest and to get away from everybody.

When he's not in the crate, keep the door open and let his house remain accessible. Keep it clean, washing it out once in a while or vacuuming out the hair. When you clean your house, put his toys in his crate. That gives a strong, positive message that this space is yours. When you think about it, there isn't too much a puppy can call his own. Give your pet his own room, it will make him feel extra special.

Jumat, 17 September 2010

Stop Jumping!

There are lots of good reasons to teach your dog not to jump up. Any dog can learn to deliver tons of affection from the floor and to forgo scaring people, knocking over little kids, tearing and messing up clothing, and acting like a mad dog just because you brought in the mail.

So what do you do? First, you should not make a presentation of your coming and going. When you come home, greet your dog warmly but casually, then ask him to sit. Next, holding onto his collar to prevent an unexpected jump, pet him while he is seated. Then go about your business.

When your dog jumps up on you, slip your hand into his collar and pull him off to the side, firmly placing his feet back on the ground. Praise immediately. When you see your dog getting ready to fly at someone else, tell him “No jumping, Sit, Good Dog.” If that is not enough to stop him, leash him.

As he begins to jump, jerk back hard saying“No jumping, Sit, Good Dog.” The training will take about a month if you are consistent and will not get done at all if you give in and let the dog jump up to kiss you when you are in the mood.

Sabtu, 11 September 2010

Training Your Dog Not To Beg

Begging food from the dinner table is one of the easiest things to teach a dog, and also one of the hardest habits to break. Your pet's training to beg begins when he is a young, adorable puppy. It does not take too many repetitions before he learns that he gets fed from the table by begging. Then he sits by your chair while you are eating and stares at you. Occasionally he'll get up on his hind legs and paw you, or he'll nudge your arm and remind you that he is waiting. And he drools, that's the worst part. He looks as though you never feed him.

If you don't have this problem, prevention is quite simple. Don't start giving your dog food from the table. If you must give your dog table scraps, give them in moderation and in his own dish after you have finished eating or, better yet, with his regular meal. Once you have a dog that begs, it becomes a self-perpetuating problem. Begging is rewarded with food.

Chances are, if you have this problem, you've tried to stop his begging, you've yelled at him when he begs, pushed him away, and even gotten really angry, but he just gets more persistent. So you've had to give him something to be able to eat in peace. What you have done is to reward his persistence. Each time you have tried holding out longer, but have ultimately given in, you have further trained him that no matter how far away the rainbow looks, there is a pot of gold at the end if he simply waits.

When you are tired of this behavior and want to end it, when you get to the point that you can't stand the drooling, the whining, the pawing and the sad eyes staring at you, then you have to steel yourself for the cure. Using the positive approach, give him the command "Down” and have him do a long “Down” by your chair during dinner. Be prepared for many interruptions initially, while you reinforce his “Down.” Each time he gets up, repeat the command and replace it if necessary so that he remains down during your dinner.

With a truly persistent begger, your first week of dinners may be quite a trial. Some dogs bark repeatedly and go through all manner of random actions to try to get you to feed them from the table. But once you have begun the training, stick with it. If you give in at any time, no matter how small the tidbit you sneak him, not only have you lost that battle, you may very well have lost the entire war. If you have made up your mind that you don't want begging, then it's just a matter of time before you have your dog resigned to the fact that the party is over, at least at the dinner table.

When your dog is steady enough to do the long “Down” away from your side during dinner, then establish his place where he stays while you eat. He should be put in his place every evening while you are eating, and praised when you release him at the end of the meal. It won't be too long before you will be eating dinner in the company of a well-trained, well- behaved dog lying quietly in the corner.

Senin, 06 September 2010

Taking A Joyride With Your Dog, But Without The Mess!

Not many dogs suffer from true motion sickness (ranging from excessive drooling to vomiting.) In most cases, a dog who gets carsick has developed a negative association with riding in the car. It is likely that the dog who gets carsick doesn't go for many rides other than going to the vet. We might compare his reaction to that of a child who, every time he gets in the car, goes to the doctor for a shot. It wouldn't take long before that child, or your dog, associates the car with an unpleasant experience.

To prevent car sickness, make sure you take your puppy for frequent, short, pleasant rides ending in play. If he does get sick, don't reinforce the behavior by giving him a lot of attention, petting, and talking to him. That kind of response from you tends to reinforce the dog's reaction, rather than alleviate it. If you already have a problem with your dog getting carsick, the following are suggestions that will benefit you both.

1) Open all the doors to your car with the engine turned off and coax your dog into it. At the same time, use a command, like "Get in the car," said in a happy tone. If your dog won't get in on his own, place him in the car. Once in, offer him a treat, laugh and talk happily to him, and immediately let him out of the car. Repeat this five times. You should notice that he is becoming less reluctant to get into the car. Repeat this until your dog willingly gets in on your command. Remember to keep laughing and offering treats.

2) Once your dog is getting into the car on his own, close the doors on one side, engine still off, and repeat the above. If he shows apprehension, continue to work on this step until he is relaxed again. Keep laughing and giving treats.

3) When he is comfortable at step two, tell your dog to get in the car, give him a treat, and close all the doors. Laugh and talk to him and give him another treat. If he shows apprehension at this stage, repeat it until he is calm.

4) Tell your dog to get in the car, close the car doors and turn on the engine. Don't go anywhere yet. Give your dog a treat, laugh and talk to him, and turn off the engine. Repeat the process until he is comfortable then move on to the next step.

5) Get in the car with your dog, give him a treat and take him for a short drive, a quarter of a mile or less, and return home. Take your dog out of the car and play with him. Make the game lots of fun, including lots of laughter.

6) Gradually lengthen the trips you take, always beginning them with a treat for getting in the car and ending them with a play session.

Throughout this exercise, your attitude and tone of voice are critical. You must maintain a light and happy demeanor. At no time should you act concerned about your dog's behavior. Avoid a sympathetic tone of voice and phrases like, “It's ok,” or “Don't worry.” This kind of concern conveys itself to your dog as apprehension on your part. Since he doesn't understand your words, and can only pick up your emotional state, what he gets out of this is that you are apprehensive about the car ride too. Therefore, there really must be something to throw up about. To overcome this, use lots of laughter and always have a happy attitude.

Minggu, 29 Agustus 2010

Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop!

While you would not want to break the spirit of your goofy little puppy or have him behave like a robot, still you can see the value of not letting things get out of hand.

Your best weapon is to be a firm pack leader. In the face of a strong, intelligent leadership, less problems will crop up. Your very attitude will prevent most of them. Understanding the puppy's inability to behave as an adult, yet curbing excessive flack even while he's learning.

Knowing that you have the right and duty to be in charge is a good beginning when it comes to dog problem prevention. Your puppy is built to look to a strong, loving leader for direction and guidance. You just have to step into his shoes and continue on - loving, protecting, making rules and setting limits.

One type of behavior problem that needs to be stopped is the unpleasant habit of stool eating. Some puppies indulge in this habit out of boredom. Some get the habit after being punished for a housebreaking accident. They seem to be trying to get rid of the evidence of wrongdoing. And while most people find this habit unnatural, it isn't really.

When your dog was a little puppy, his mother kept the den clean by ingesting the feces of all her puppies. Still, when you pick up your little puppy to kiss him, you'd prefer his breath to smell like milk. In addition, by ingesting feces, he can reinfest himself with the very parasites you have been battling to get rid of. If he does this with the stools of other dogs, he can infest himself with whatever worms they might have.

The only way to break this habit is to clean up immediately after your dog evacuates. When he's outside, keep him on leash and do not let him sniff the droppings of other dogs. This habit may take a few weeks to break, especially if your puppy is using papers while you are out to work. But by keeping things as clean as possible, you will end the habit soon enough. Try not to freak out when your pup "cleans up" by himself. This too shall pass.

In all training, particularly in problem prevention and correction, it's important to examine the activity from the dog's side, too. Sometimes you will feel that what your dog wants is not acceptable, as in the case with biting. Other times you'll feel that what he wants to do would be fine if you had some control over it, as in the case with barking. By pausing to look at life momentarily through dog-colored glasses you will see which activities you should stop cold and which you can redirect. That is the intelligent and humane way to train you dog.

Sabtu, 28 Agustus 2010

How To Train Your Dog To “Retrieve”

The “Retrieve” must be learned step by step. First, you should teach your dog to take a very light dumbbell and hold it. Even though a handler has never tried this with his dog he should be able to accomplish it in one lesson. If you are training a dog who refused to retrieve when some other method was used, and he has become stubborn or frightened, it might take two or three lessons. The length of time it takes will depend upon your skill in using your voice as you tighten his collar.

Teaching a dog to retrieve is one of persuasion, and your voice is your most important asset here. You must use your dog's name repeatedly before each command and do so in a most persuasive tone of voice. Your voice should be kept low, firm, and pleasant, and you should talk to the dog continually as you urge him to take the dumbbell. When your dog takes it, you should immediately sound very pleased and praise him happily and excitedly as you pet him.

Never raise your voice in anger or impatience; if the dog appears to be stubborn, never shove the dumbbell in your dog's mouth or against his gums, never jerk your dog's collar, and don't hit him over the head with the dumbbell. Be gentle but firm with him at all times.

Start your dog in a quiet corner and keep him on a leash for the first three steps. Place the dumbbell under, in front of, and close to, your dog's upper lip, and as you tell him to "Get it," put your third finger behind his canine tooth. This will open his mouth slightly and you can gently slide the dumbbell into his mouth. If you can't use your right hand to open his mouth, use the index finger of your left hand. Quickly tell your dog to "Hold it," as you stroke his nose on top, in one direction away from his nose, with your right hand, and you stroke him under the chin with your left hand. By stroking him this way you will keep the dumbbell in his mouth. You should be praising him as you do this. Keep the dumbbell in your dog's mouth for two or three seconds at first so he can get the feel of it.

Most dogs accept the dumbbell gracefully and hold it firmly the first time. This is especially true of puppies who will actually reach out to take it and hold it for you. However, some dogs will put up a struggle, and you will have to hold their jaws closed gently with both hands around their muzzles as you command them firmly, but quietly, to "Hold it." Generally speaking, the majority of dogs will hold the dumbbell if you are gentle with them and talk to them reassuringly. Be careful not to bang the dog's teeth with the dumbbell.

After placing the dumbbell in your dog's mouth two or three times to get his reaction to it, teach him to take it by himself. Slide your dogs medium link chain or heavy nylon choke collar up high on his neck, behind his ears and high under his chin, and hold it in your left hand. Your right hand will be holding the dumbbell. By pushing against the dead ring with your thumb you will be able to draw the collar into the palm of your hand very steadily and smoothly. Do not jerk the collar, just tighten it smoothly and quickly. When the dog takes the dumbbell you should let go of his collar immediately and praise him.

Selasa, 24 Agustus 2010

Controlling Your Dog's Whining & Barking

There are three ways to deal with your noisy dog. First, you can do nothing. In this case, the dog will keep barking whenever he feels like it and you may end up enemies with your neighbors, evicted or a victim of chronic headaches. Second, you can correct your dog whenever he goes on his noise-making marathons. You can even pretend to leave and sneak back to the house. Then, when the concert begins, you can break in on him, yelling “No, No, No, No”, while shaking him by the collar.

The third possibility is that you can teach the dog to do what he is doing on command, therefore gaining control of the activity. This is because when you issue a command, the dog focuses on you, and you will readily be able to stop what you have started. Thus the dog who speaks on command shuts up on command as well. The command “Speak” is what turns him on while the command “Enough” will turn him off.

Once your dog looks at you and whines with you, you can add a word to your madness, the word “Speak.” Now, after your dog will “Speak” on command, with and without you, begin to intrude on this activity, whether you have started it or not, with the magic word “Enough.” If your dog continues to sing, grasp the collar, command “Enough” once more and then gently shake him, adding harsh eye contact to your correction.

Of course, you may have unintentionally trained your dog to whine, cry and bark by reinforcing this annoying behavior. To find out, make a checklist of what makes your dog whine and bark and how you respond when he does:

1. Your dog barks. You give him a treat to quiet him.
2. Your dog barks when you're on the phone. You lean over and pet him to quiet him.
3. Your dog whines while you're in bed reading a book. You let him up on the bed to quiet him.

Follow the methods above, teaching your dog to bark on command and then stopping him with “Enough,” a harsh eye contact and a shake. Never give your dog anything, including the time of day, when he's barking, whining or crying for it. Use the long down once a day, tighten up your training and make sure the dog is quiet before you feed him, walk him, and pet him. If the dog bothers you while you are watching TV, reading, or dining, squirt him in the mouth with water or lemon juice and go on about your business.

Noise making may seem a lesser crime than biting or destructiveness, but it can have serious consequences. In fact, it may be a sign of escalation. To stop that, as well as for its pure annoyance, it should be put under control as soon as possible.

Selasa, 17 Agustus 2010

A Simple Six-Step Dog Training Method

Training a new behavior follows a simple six-step method. Depending on the dog and other circumstances, a good trainer will vary his training method when he decides that a particular training challenge needs either a little more or less. When you have used the method enough to know it well, you can add your own personal touch as needed.

The following are six steps for teaching your dog a new behavior

1. Get the behavior.
2. Mark the behavior.
3. Reward the behavior.
4. Repeat the behavior until it happens easily at least 90% of the time.
5. Add the verbal cue as your dog does the behavior to associate the word with the appropriate response.
6. Use the verbal cue to elicit the behavior.

You get the behavior by capturing, shaping, or luring it. You mark the behavior with the click., or some other reward marker that your dog has already learned means that the reward is coming. Reward the behavior by following the click with his favorite treat or, in some cases, with a favorite toy or other desirable reward, such as swimming or going outside.

Repeat the behavior until your pet is offering it easily before you add the verbal cue, so that he will associate the word with the correct behavior response. For instance, by saying "Sit" as he does it, you are telling him that the name of the behavior he is doing is Sit. If you ask him to do it before he's offering the behavior easily, you risk teaching him that the word sit means "stand there and look at me," or worse, "sniff the ground and pull on the leash."

After your dog has heard the word at least a half-dozen times during the behavior, depending on how quickly he seems to learn, then you can say the word first to elicit the behavior. Be sure that his attention is focused on you so that he actually hears the word, and keep your body position the same as it was when you were getting the behavior before. If you had been doing the “Sit” while you were standing and you suddenly start asking for it while you are sitting, he won't understand that it's the same thing.

Give him a few seconds to respond. When he sits, click! and reward. If he doesn't sit, use the minimum amount of assistance necessary (through body language or a lure, not through physical assistance) to get the behavior, and repeat the exercise. If you find that he will only respond if you help him, start to minimize the amount of help you give until he is sitting for the verbal cue without any help from you.