Training

  • Training

    Invisible Fencing Pros and Cons

    I am sometimes asked if I think invisible fences are “good.”  I can’t answer that question because it is incomplete. The real question must be, “Is an invisible fence a good solution for my dog and my situation? “ An invisible fence is neither good nor bad in itself. It is a piece of equipment that may or may not be appropriate for your needs. Like any piece of equipment, an invisible fence only works well if it is used properly under the right circumstances for the appropriate purpose.  Questions to Consider First, think about the purpose of the fence. Will the fenced area be used for supervised playtime? Do…

  • Training

    To Harness or Not To Harness? That is the Question

    … that was addressed by a recent study that is the topic of this month’s newsletter. You’ve probably noticed an upsurge during the last several years in the use of harnesses as an alternative to collars. At the same time, there has been a concern that harnesses might affect dogs’ gait. Researchers in the UK investigated exactly that question by comparing the effect of restrictive and non-restrictive harnesses on shoulder extension in dogs when walking and trotting. There are two main categories of harnesses: those that are considered non-restrictive to front limb movement, which have a Y-shaped chest strap and those considered restrictive, which have a strap that lies across the…

  • Training

    Caring for your Dog’s Neck and Spine: Dog Collar Issues

    On one of my visits to my chiropractor, he suggested I pick up the book The Well Adjusted Dog by Dr. Daniel Kamen. The book is written by a chiropractor who also does adjustments on animals, although he doesn’t advertise this. Apparently, chiropractors are not allowed to practice on animals in many states, which I didn’t realize, since I live in Canada and this doesn’t seem to be a problem here in my province. However, what is good to know is that veterinarians in the U.S. are allowed to do adjustments on animals… that is if you can find one that’s studied chiropractic medicine. Not an easy task. In any…

  • Training

    What is Dog Training?

    Most people, when they think of dog training, picture a knowledgeable professional skillfully eliminating a dog’s undesirable behaviors and instilling obedience and good manners.  It’s a nice picture—but it is incomplete.  It leaves out the heart of the training—repetition, practice, and follow through with the dog’s family. While it is true that dog training is about teaching commands and replacing bad behavior with good behavior, it is not a “one and done” proposition. It’s not like having someone come in and set up your computer or your entertainment system. Even a bad dog trainer can teach a dog commands, but it takes a good dog trainer to be able to…

  • Training

    E collar training and How to Use it

    Using a remote training collar is not difficult. However, it is not entirely easy either. Too often people have the misguided notion that once your dog learns how to respond to the stimulation, there is no need to access each situation and adjust the “Number” so that your dog will respond to your command. The challenge people struggle with is learning how to adjust the dial to use a level of stimulation appropriate for the dog’s sensitivity at that given moment. It involves learning to watch the dog rather than the dial. The dial provides a reference point, but the level you use will not be the same for every…

  • Training

    The Power of Play

    It is human nature to separate the ideas of work and play. Work imposes a schedule and deadlines. It might involve the hassles of getting to and from a specific place and interacting with others whose company we might not choose in social circumstances. For many people, “work” time is distinct from “fun” time. So unsurprisingly, many people extend that distinction to training or working their dogs. They view “training” time as something distinct from “play” time.It doesn’t have to be that way. Do What You LoveThere’s an old saying “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” While that may not feel true during…

  • Training

    Be Consistent

    Because I Can’t Be Everywhere Twice in one week I was called for private lessons with clients whose dogs were in my group classes. Both dogs had passed my basic classes. One of the dogs worked in my intermediate group; the other had progressed to my advanced class. So I was surprised in both instances to hear that I was being called because the dogs were “acting crazy” and “not listening.” In both cases, I arrived for the lesson to find no evidence of the manic and out-of-control behavior that had been described to me. Each dog was calm and, as we worked through the respective lessons, each dog responded…

  • Training

    Watch Your Tone

    Not only is it important to be consistent in the commands that you use but the tone in which you command is important also. Dogs communicate to each other by the use of body language and verbal growls or barks. A growl is a very quick and quiet sound coming from deep in the dog’s stomach. This tells another dog to stop immediately or there will be repercussions.When giving your dog a verbal command you should use one word and say it in a quick and serious manner. This way your command will resemble a growl and your dog will respond quickly.Most people either command as if they are begging…

  • Training

    How to Pick the Right Training Collar for Your Dog

    Many trainers get caught up in using a certain collar or method of training. My philosophy is that each dog is different so I adapt my training according to each dog‟s personality. Three things are very important when training: (1) that your dog understands why he is being corrected and rewarded and(2) the reward more than makes up for the correction and (3) that the correction immediately stops the unwanted behavior but does not cause the dog to become introverted or afraid. I have written articles on types of collars, reward vs. compulsion and when to praise and correct (please read those articles on this web page). I have explained…

  • Training

    Treat Your Dog Like a Dog

    When you adopt or buy a puppy/dog and bring it into your home, it is important that you remember to treat it like a dog. Many behavioral problems are environmental. Admit it it’s your fault. Stop blaming the breeder, the breed and everyone else under the sun and take responsibility for your mistakes. You’re the one who created the monster.Yes, some behavioral problems have to do with genetics (and can be controlled early on) but most are learned from the owners. If your dog is exhibiting some unwanted behavior it is the time to analyze how you treat him. Here are some behavioral type of problems. Jumping –the main problem…