Training

  • 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…

  • Training

    Training and Trial Preparation

    The key to success in a trial is effective training. It seems so obvious and simple.  But misconceptions, “shortcuts,” and inconsistency somehow still manage to crop up in training. Often, these problems arise because handlers are so focused on teaching the skills for the trial that they lose sight of the training “basics” of consistency, right timing, and appropriate reward and correction.  Motivation, Rewards, and Corrections  Motivation comes down to two simple questions:  How can I get what I want?  How can I avoid what I don’t want?  For many dogs, the exercises—especially the running, grabbing, and jumping exercises have built-in motivation—they are FUN! And all training involves interacting with you, which is also something your…

  • Training

    Training Consistency

    A situation occurred at yesterday’s training that requires some follow-up.  For those of you who were there, this will help clarify my intense response to the circumstances. For those of you who were not there, the principles involved are important enough that they bear repeating.  Too often I watch owners handling their dogs in class and notice that 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 is confusion and inconsistency. However, someone with less experience might come to the conclusion that the dog is upset with the owner or that he doesn’t like to train.   When a dog is…

  • Training

    Don’t Blame the Dog

    My motto for my dog training business is simple: “Don’t Blame the Dog!” When a client initially comes to me for help with a dog’s behavior issues, I usually find that the solution lies in teaching the client the basic training principles for communicating clearly with the dog. Once the dog understands the desired behavior and the consequences for misbehavior, the dog stops the undesirable behavior—for the moment. Too often, however, the undesirable behavior returns because the client does not follow through after I am gone. I am called in for another training session to go over the exact same problems. Without follow through, the results of the second session (and the third, and the fourth, and so on) will be no more lasting than the first.    When I need to return to review or repeat training for the same problem, some…