• 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…

  • Training

    Dogs are Smart

    Puppies can figure out if they steal something and run under the bed, you can’t reach them. They know if they give you their sad eyes, you will cave in. They know that they are not allowed to jump on the kitchen counters but the food on there is so good! They are smart, they are opportunists and they do what is good for them. They could run the country if they could talk or write! Stay ahead of your dog Anticipate what your dog will do, be Prepared for misbehavior, and Consider how you can avoid or correct the problems in the future so they do not become habits.…

  • Training

    Consistency in Handling

    Most of the complaints are the same: Fido doesn’t come when called; he just wants to play when he sees another dog, he chases squirrels, he doesn’t understand hand signals or he doesn’t look at me, etc. Contrary to popular belief it is not that he is not responding to commands, but that heis not paying attention. Dog Attention is the first exercise taught and the first exercise forgotten.All problems are the result of lack of the dog’s attention. If he were paying attention to you he wouldn’t chase the squirrel. Your dog shouldn’t just go through the motions; his eyes should be on you never knowing whether to expect…

  • Training

    Clear Communication

    Too often I watch owners handling their dogs in a class or training sessions and after one or two corrections the dog’s tail is down, the wag is gone,and the dog is sulking through the exercises. As a trainer, I know the reason for the sulking. However, someone with minimal experiences immediately states that the dog is upset with the owner or that he doesn’t like to train. Sometimes, I can actually see the conflict between owner and dog and not dog and trainer as the owner sees. When a dog is trained using clear communication, the training excels. The idea of clear communication is a phrase of confusion for…

  • Training

    BUILDING DRIVE THROUGH CORRECTIONS

    Most dogs react negatively to corrections because that is how they are taught to react. I teach mydogs to react positively to corrections by using praise, play and food.Initially, when giving a correction for misbehavior, I teach my dog that he should expect praise, playand or food immediately after a correction by making sure that is exactly what he receives. Theninstead of sulking after corrections he gets excited by it. Then as the dog is learning –I delay thetime that he would receive praise, play or food by waiting for him to respond correctly after thecorrection and then rewarding w/ praise and play or food. The delay should begin in…

  • Training

    Setting Boundaries and Being the Pack Leader

    Too often, people equate setting boundaries and being the pack leader with compulsion or being tough on their dogs. I see it more often with rescue dogs and their owners.Owners who rescue their dogs obsess about what a sad life their dog had and what must have happened to in the past. In turn, they allow the dog to get away with anything without any correction or minimal correction. These owners are “protecting” their dogs from the past. The problem is that they are transmitting fear and weakness. No dog wants to follow a weak leader; therefore, these dogs (a) begin to feel comfortable in their new environment and (b)…

  • Training

    Dog Training Advice from My Parents

    I grew up in the 70’s. We rode in the car without seatbelts and we rode our bikes without helmets. It was a different time with different rules.  However, in my family at least, the rules we did have were non-negotiable.    My parents were strict; they had to be to maintain order in a house of energetic kids with a knack for finding trouble. When I or one of my siblings (OK, it was usually me) showed signs of disregarding the rules, my folks had a few key phrases guaranteed to get us (me) back in line. Although it’s been years since I’ve heard one of their infamous phrases, and the wording may sound “old school” today, the intent and meaning of their…

  • Training

    3 Phases of Training a Dog Training

    There are three very important phases to teaching commands. Each phase has its unique characteristics and as your dog progresses, there will be some variations in your approach.  In every phase, however, the key to success is communicating clearly, calmly, and consistently.   The Teaching Phase Creating the association between a command and the action on the dog’s part.  This is where the dog learns what sit or down is by being lured and guided into the behavior or position you want while hearing the word you will use for that behavior.  Once the dog is in it that position, you reward with both praise, food, or some special treat your dog values. The dog learns that doing a certain action after hearing a certain word results in a reward! In order…