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Lots of dogs have no manners, and their owners are at a loss as to how to teach them manners. So these hapless folks frequently end up hollaring at poor Misty or smacking Buster on the butt with an open palm or a newspaper. Even worse, when Rambo doesn't shape up, he's banished to the basement or the backyard to live his days in solitude, or he's taken to the pound because we just can't deal with him any more.
Obedience training would have prevented many of these problems and can help solve the bad behaviors that exist. Many people think that obedience training is something that is done to a dog to make it perform some artificial activity on command. But if we turn the words around, we'll be closer to a real definition: Obedience training is to train dogs to be obedient, to obey anything and everything they're told to do. It covers a wide range of lessons a dog can learn, including tricks, family manners, show ring exercises, and skills demonstrations. Sniffing dogs, service dogs for handicapped owners, search and rescue dogs, sled and carting dogs, hunting dogs, all carry their obedience training to the highest degree. They have been trained to obey an unusual set of commands that increase their value as helpers to man.
Training would be a cinch if dogs spoke the same language that people speak. Dogs have their own attitudes,voice and body language, and mindset. They can be stubborn, dominant, submissive, or fearful, characteristics that can make them difficult to train.
Principles of Successful Training
1. Be Consistent: Apply the same rules and the same words all the time.
2. Be Concise: Give your command just once. Repetition of commands teaches your dog to ignore them because it sounds like you don't care if he obeys or not.
3. Be Generous: Reward your dog for being right. Give him a treat, verbal praise, or an ear massage.
4. Be Smart:Don't give a command unless either you are confident that your dog understands and will respond to it correctly or you are in a position to help him get it right.
5. Be Prepared: Have a leash handy in case your dog does not come to you when you call him.
6. Be Happy: Because your dog is your friend and your training partner, keep your voice upbeat and smile at him. Dogs are sensitive to our tone of voice and body language, so use both to let him know that you will be so happy when he does what you ask him.
7. Decide whether a group class or private lessons fit your situation and your personality.
8. Ask your veterinarian, your dog's breeder, the animal shelter staff, the groomer, or the folks at the pet supply store for referrals.
9. Observe at least two or three instructors or classes before making a choice.
10. Cardinal Rule Number One is to talk to the potential instructor or club or business representative before making a decision on where to train.
Puppy training starts the moment you bring your puppy home. Whatever he does, you must react properly or he will learn the wrong things. First and foremost, teach your new puppy his daily routines. Where his food and water dishes are located. What times of day he will eat. Where his bed is. What time he goes to bed. What time he gets up. Where he goes to the bathroom. Where his toys are kept. Don't make the mistake of thinking that it doesn't matter HOW you teach each of these routines. It definitely does matter. If you do it the right way, your puppy will be better-behaved and pleased to let you decide how you want him to fit into your family.
If you use the wrong teaching method, your puppy will begin making decisions about how he wants YOU to fit into his life, and that's a recipe for conflict and behavior problems.
Teach your puppy words You must teach your puppy words, as well as routines. The most important words are "No", which means "Stop whatever you are doing! and "Good", which means "I like what you are doing". These correction and praise words should be started at 2-3 months of age. Praise and correction words will be used to teach many other words that Puppy needs to know. You must teach them properly, with the right tone of voice and the right body language, or they won't be of any help in teaching other words. If your puppy is older than 2-3 months and hasn't learned "No" and "Good" flawlessly, you must start with those words before you can expect success with other word training.
Avoid biscuit training. It would be a big mistake to rely on food treats to teach your puppy, or a dog of any age. What's wrong with "biscuit training"? It's based on your puppy deciding when he's hungry enough to do what you want.Imagine your puppy running out the front door. You call him to offer a treat. But he'd rather chase a squirrel into the road than stop to munch a treat. In addition to the obvious danger of Puppy getting hit by a car, he learns that he doesn't have to listen to you. He learns that he's in charge of what he decides to do and what he decides not to do. Very bad! Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't give ANY treats to your puppy. Treats can be great motivators. But if your training method consists of giving your puppy a treat when he does what you say, while doing nothing if he DOESN'T do what you say and then you're going to find yourself in serious trouble whenever you want him to do something and he's not hungry or whenever you want him to STOP doing something and he'd rather go on doing it, regardless of the treats you're desperately flinging at him.
Respect training is a must Respect training is not something you can get "almost" right. You must get it completely, consistently right, in a way that dogs understand. I can help you with this.You must teach your puppy to respect you as the leader in your home. Without proper respect, your training schedule doesn't matter much, because he may learn words and routines but choose not to do them. I'm sure you've heard stories from dog owners who say their dog "understands" them just fine: he just doesn't DO what they say. They might even try to laugh it off by saying, "He's so smart he has ME trained!" This isn't intelligence - it's disrespect. And it can be traced to improper training right from the time the puppy was first brought home.
Trick training is a whole lot of fun for both you and your dog and you never know, with enough training, your dog could become the next big canine star!
1. Nothing in life is free You have to work for a living, so why should your dog get an easy ride? Aim to get a behaviour from your dog for anything they want in life. Want dinner? 'Sit' Want to go outside? 'Stay' Want dinner? 'down'. Obviously you will need to train these behaviours first, but following this is the easiest way to keep practicing with your dog and the best way to get them to associate doing things that you want them to do with getting things that they want.
2. Your dog is a simple being There is a lot of info out there on canine behaviour and cognitive processing, but unless you have a deep academic interest, everything you need to know can be boiled down to this: your dog will do things that feel good to it more and things that don't feel so good less, so...
3. Praise all good behaviours and ignore ones that you want to see less of. Do this all the time, even if you're not actively training.
4. Take responsibility for your dog's learning Everything your dog knows about how to behave, it learned from you. If your dog does something 'bad' take a newspaper, roll it up, and hit yourself with it - bad parent. Then think of a way to train for the behaviour you would have wanted to see from your dog in that particular situation and start working on it for next time.
5. If your dog is not doing what you are asking them, they're telling you its too hard It is very unlikely that your dog is trying to spite you. Take it one step back to make it easier, then try it again before moving forwards. Pushing your dog harder won't make what you're asking any easier to understand.
6. Have fun! This is too important to be saved for last. If you're having fun - your dog will have fun. Never work your dog without a clear head and if you get frustrated for any reason, stop and take a break.
7. Avoid negative corrections I say 'no' to Luna as little as possible and never when we're learning tricks. There will always be exceptions, but when your dog does something wrong, rather than scolding them - try to redirect them to a positive behaviour and praise them for doing it right. Imagine someone trying to teach you to use a new computer system and the only instruction you are given is being told off when you do something wrong. How much easier would it be if someone could just tell you what you should do.
8. Always leave your dog wanting more Train in short, regular sessions, every day if possible. Finish before your dog gets bored, while they are still excited about training with you. If you have a puppy, this is going to mean really short sessions
9. Train within your dog's comfort zone and set them up for success Don't expect too much too quickly from your dog. Just because they can do a trick in the living room, doesn't mean they can do it in the park. Start every behaviour at home, then start adding distractions and trying new locations.
10. End every training session with a win. If you've been working on something that's hard for your dog, make sure you end with a few things they know before you pack up and give them a great big fuss for being so darned clever!
11. Train your dog in a quiet, distraction-free environment This makes it easier for your dog to focus on just you. Once your dog has learnt the trick, you can move on to practising it in more distracting locations to ensure it's really sunk in.
12. Don't go out there empty-handed Take some dog currency! Just like people don't usually work for free, we shouldn't expect our dogs to either. Get the most out of your dog by training them using rewards like food treats or a favourite toy. The higher value the reward, the more impact it will have when you're rewarding your dog for their efforts. As your dog learns the trick, you can gradually reduce the amount of treats you give them but don't stop giving them completely.
13. Take it easy and work your way up Start off with simple commands before tackling more difficult tricks. Once your dog has learnt a few simple commands, you can think about "chaining" these together to create a sequence of tricks.
14. Keep training sessions short and sweet Teaching your dog tricks doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming. Short (yet regular) training sessions can actually achieve more than long tiring ones. Five minutes a few times a day is great, and always remember to end on a positive note.
15. The quicker the reward, the better. Reward the desired behaviour within two seconds of it happening. The quicker your dog realises they have done the right thing, the faster they'll learn.
15. Don't expect your dog to be a mind reader Show your dog what to do by using food to lure them into the position or place you would like them to be. If your dog isn't catching on, break the command up into parts. For example, to teach your dog to "wave" you might first hold a treat in your closed palm near your dog's forearm. Your dog will surely try to nibble the treat but hold it in your fist so that they can't get at it. Wait until your dog paws at it, as this is the behaviour you are looking for. Reward this by saying "good", followed immediately by the treat. Shape this paw movement into a wave by holding the treat higher and further away. Once your dog is performing the command consistently with your hand movements, it's time to introduce the command "wave" before you give the hand signal.
Never be afraid to ask the instructor questions and never feel compelled to do anything that you don't understand or feel happy with.
Always be consistent to avoid confusing your dog.
Start as you mean to go on. Set your own boundaries for your own dog and stick to them, make sure everyone in the household agrees to do this. Your dog needs to know its name so that it responds to you. After this you will be able to gain its attention and teach new commands and body signals.
Keep in mind that dogs do not speak English so the different tones of your voice and body movements are better understood so the actual command words are of less importance.
Be patient. If you find yourself getting frustrated and annoyed with your dog, stop and walk away. Do something different for a while. Later begin again with a clear frame of mind.
Train for short spells on a regular daily basis. This way the dog remains interested and you will progress faster.
Understand your dog and learn to anticipate its next move.
Handle and stroke and groom your dog every day with constant praise so it gets very used to being handled.
Play adds an extra dimension to a dog's life and can make training fun when used as a reward.
Persevere ,don't compare your dog to anyone else's, all dogs are individuals and keep in mind your goal that a well-trained dog is a happy dog and a pleasure to live with!
General Training Tips Remember to always keep training sessions short to reduce frustration and enhance concentration, 10 minutes is perfect. Remember to always reward after clicking your dog and reward within 3 seconds. The more you train with your dog, the more he will experiment with behaviours during training sessions to work out what you want him to do. When teaching a difficult command, you can give your dog a "jackpot" of lots of treats and a big cuddle and praise when he finally gets it right. Training should be fun for you and your dog, so whenever you complete a training session, always end on a positive note. If you are both getting frustrated, ask your dog to do something he knows how to do and reward him for that. Never end on a failure. The following video has some great training advice and features the clicker and how to shape behaviours.
Teaching Attention The fundamental of training your dog is to teach him to pay attention. Say his name then click and reward him when he looks at you. Repeat this several times until it is reliable. You may initially just be rewarding a slight movement of his head towards you, but shape the behaviour so that you eventually get actual eye contact and longer periods of attention.
BEST DOG TRAINING TIPS
1.Choose your dog's name wisely and be respectful of it. Of course you'll want to pick a name for your new puppy or dog that you love, but for the purposes of training it also helps to consider a short name ending with a strong consonant. This allows you to say his name so that he can always hear it clearly. A strong ending (i.e. Jasper, Jack, Ginger) perks up puppy ears, especially when you place a strong emphasize at the end.
2.If he's an older dog, he's probably used to his name; however, changing it isn't out of the question. If he's from a shelter, they may neglect to tell you that he has a temporary name assigned to him by staff. If he's from a breeder, he'll come to you with a long name, which you may want to shorten, or change. And if he's coming out of an abusive situation, a new name may represent a fresh start. But we're lucky: dogs are extremely adaptable. And soon enough, if you use it consistently, he will respond to his new name.
3.New name or old, as much as possible, associate it with pleasant, fun things, rather than negative. The goal is for him to think of his name the same way he thinks of other great stuff in his life, like "walk," "cookie," or "dinner!"
4.Decide on the "house rules." Before he comes home, decide what he can and can't do. Is he allowed on the bed or the furniture? Are parts of the house off limits? Will he have his own chair at your dining table? If the rules are settled on early, you can avoid confusion for both of you.
5.Set up his private den. He needs "a room of his own." From the earliest possible moment give your pup or dog his own, private sleeping place that's not used by anyone else in the family, or another pet. He'll benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of his den. Reward him if he remains relaxed and quiet. His den, which is often a crate, will also be a valuable tool for housetraining.
6.Help him relax when he comes home. When your puppy gets home, give him a warm hot water bottle and put a ticking clock near his sleeping area. This imitates the heat and heartbeat of his litter mates and will soothe him in his new environment. This may be even more important for a new dog from a busy, loud shelter who's had a rough time early on. Whatever you can do to help him get comfortable in his new home will be good for both of you.
7.Teach him to come when called. Come Jasper! Good boy! Teaching him to come is the command to be mastered first and foremost. And since he'll be coming to you, your alpha status will be reinforced. Get on his level and tell him to come using his name. When he does, make a big deal using positive reinforcement. Then try it when he's busy with something interesting. You'll really see the benefits of perfecting this command early as he gets older.
8.Reward his good behavior. Reward your puppy or dog's good behavior with positive reinforcement. Use treats, toys, love, or heaps of praise. Let him know when's he's getting it right. Likewise, never reward bad behaviour; it'll only confuse him.
9.Take care of the jump up. Puppies love to jump up in greeting. Don't reprimand him, just ignore his behavior and wait 'til he settles down before giving positive reinforcement. Never encourage jumping behavior by patting or praising your dog when he's in a "jumping up" position. Turn your back on him and pay him no attention.
10.Teach him on "dog time." Puppies and dogs live in the moment. Two minutes after they've done something, it's forgotten about. When he's doing something bad, try your chosen training technique right away so he has a chance to make the association between the behavior and the correction. Consistent repetition will reinforce what's he's learned.
11.Discourage him from biting or nipping. Instead of scolding him, a great way to put off your mouthy canine is to pretend that you're in great pain when he's biting or nipping you. He'll be so surprised he's likely to stop immediately. If this doesn't work, try trading a chew toy for your hand or pant leg. The swap trick also works when he's into your favorite shoes. He'll prefer a toy or bone anyway. If all else fails, break up the biting behavior, and then just ignore him.
12.End training sessions on a positive note. Excellent boy! Good job, Jasper! He's worked hard to please you throughout the training. Leave him with lots of praise, a treat, some petting, or five minutes of play. This guarantees he'll show up at his next class with his tail wagging ready to work!
Why to train your dog? This is the really fun and most rewarding part of owning a dog! Training your new friend needs to be high on your list of priorities as soon as you have decided to own a new dog. No dog is too old to learn and training classes are available for every age and ability, pedigrees, crossbreeds and rescue dogs are all welcomed. You will also meet like-minded people and share in a common aim to have well behaved dogs that are a pleasure to own.
Puppies can usually begin as soon as they have had their course of vaccinations. Training is an obligation all dog owners need to fulfil for the community they live in and the welfare of the dog. By going to classes you can meet the ethical and moral responsibilities of dog ownership and promote the benefits that dogs can bring to peoples' lives.
Positive Reinforcement vs. Alpha Dog Methods Mention training methods to a group of dog trainers, and you might want to prepare for a fight at the dog park. Some call those who use only positive reinforcement "cookie pushers" or "treat slingers." The other side calls those who use more dominance-based techniques "choke folks" or worse: cruel and inhumane.
Consider breed-specific behaviors when training. That includes whether the dog was bred to hunt, pull, fight, guard, or has a strong prey drive. Other factors include temperament, age, environment, sensitivity level, and behavior and training history. Do no harm, maintain harmony, and accomplish training and behavior modification without violating the dog's trust. It's important to note that The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior has voiced concern that training programs based on dominance or punishment can be ineffective and possibly dangerous, especially in the hands of an unskilled nonprofessional. Owners who rely on positive-only dog training are stuck, whenever their dog "isn't in the mood" to do something.
All Things Positive Purely positive reinforcement has been made popular by trainers such as Victoria Stilwell, of Animal Planet's TV show It's Me Or The Dog. It's also the method taught by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz. Based in Hume, she trained Bo, the Obamas' dog. The belief is simple: Dogs learn good behavior by being rewarded for doing well. And punishment doesn't have to come in the form of a harsh reprimand or physical force. Sylvia-Stasiewicz says more dominant training and techniques focus too much on "bad" things a dog does and force the animal to figure out, through trial and error, what he must do in order not to be punished.
Training doesn't have to be cruel and punishment-oriented. If you train using positive reinforcement, you'll get a trained dog and you will maintain the spirit of that dog. Positive reinforcement trainers often use verbal cues, hand signals, treats, clickers, toys, and even games to help modify behavior, correct bad habits, and even to teach tricks. Trainers use both positive reinforcement (giving rewards) and negative punishment (taking away rewards.). Anything the dog likes and enjoys is fair game to train with.
To Knee or Not to Knee? Sylvia-Stasiewicz, who wrote The Love That Dog Training Method, says a client's Australian shepherd wouldn't stop jumping, despite reprimands. A trainer who used a more traditional, alpha dog technique taught the client to knee the dog in the chest each time it jumped. Rather than punish the dog for doing something bad, Sylvia-Stasiewicz had the client greet the dog only when it was sitting. If the dog jumped, the client ignored it or turned his back. But when the dog sat, he got his favorite treat of a stuffed Kong or praise as a reward for not jumping. After five weeks of class time plus practice, the dog stopped jumping. Sylvia-Stasiewicz admits results can come slower with purely positive reinforcement, but says the method has even saved so-called "death row dogs" who some thought impossible to rehabilitate.
Alpha Dog Approach Trainers who use this approach might use choke chains, prong collars, electronic or e-collars. Other tools might include a hand squeeze that mimics a quick bite, alpha rolls (pinning the dog to the ground) as well as "flooding" or subjecting the dog to something it doesn't like in large doses. Some trainers label their use of this method as "blended" or "balanced" because it can include positive reinforcement, such as well-timed praise and even treats.
Clicker Dog Training Is a form of "operant conditioning". Here's how it works: You click the clicker at the precise instant your dog is doing some desired behavior. You then immediately give a treat. The dog thus learns that whenever he hears the clicking sound, whatever behavior he was doing at that instant will bring him food.
Respective Dog Training Real life for all living creatures, including dogs, and yes, humans, too! Consists of learning from both positive AND negative consequences.
Positive consequences encourage us to repeat a behavior.
Negative consequences discourage us from repeating a behavior.
For example, we hold the elevator door open and someone says, "Thank you!" (positive), so we are likely to do it again. We take an extra-long lunch break and the boss docks our pay (negative), so we are less likely to do that again. We learn from both positive and negative consequences and behave accordingly. So do dogs. When a puppy plays with his mother, if his style of play is reasonable, she responds in a positive manner. But if he gets too rough, she is quick to correct with a growl or bite. Does Puppy become depressed and never play with another dog again? Of course not. He is happy to play, only more gently. Positive only dog training is well-intentioned, but it doesn't match real life or how dogs learn best. Simply withholding a treat is not a negative consequence to most dogs. Especially not when they're happily occupied with pestering the cat or chewing up shoes or digging through the trash. They don't care a whit about your treat.
Balanced Dog Training Where their behaviors can result in positive OR negative consequences.
Positive consequences - YOU rewarding desirable behaviors with praise, smiles, petting, games, and treats.
Negative consequences - YOU correcting undesirable behaviors with your voice or hands, or with the leash or collar. Now, I don't mean hitting, yelling, choke collars, or shock collars. I can show you how to correct your dog without being harsh or hurtful.
By showing your dog both positive and negative consequences, he can make a conscious choice to do a behavior or refrain from doing a behavior: not only when he's in the mood for a positive consequence - reward, treat - but also when he might not care a hoot about the positive consequence but he controls himself because he doesn't want the negative consequence & correction.
When YOU become the arbiter of your dog's behaviors, the one who gets to say yea or nay about what he's allowed to do, your dog feels secure and respectful. And once your dog respects you, he will listen to you, pay attention to you, do whatever you ask, and stop any misbehavior upon a single word from you.
Dog Whispering Though Cesar Millan, the inventor of this method, sometimes comes under criticism because of the use of correction, it can be a very useful technique with some dogs. The foundation of dog whispering is the connection with and understanding between you and your dog. The key is that you have to be able to read your dog's body language and to use your own body language to train him. This does often involve correction but the corrections are based on dog behavior. For example, a dog who is being aggressive toward another dog can be corrected by applying a clawed hand to his neck. This mimics what his mother would have done in the wild. This method requires some study into the behavior of dogs but it can create a very tight bond between you.
In addition to actual dog trainers, you can get advice from a dog behavioral specialist. You might also be interested in learning about the cognitive functions of dogs. There are books on the subject and Cognitive Canine Centers around the country. This will help you understand how your dog thinks and will make training easier. Remember that the most important aspects are to be calm and consistent and try to have some fun, too!
Puller Dog Training PULLER is an interactive device for dogs and owners. Many people struggle combining a busy life with providing their dog with sufficient physical and mental stimulation. As a result dogs get bored and become destructive, they might get anxious or become reactive. The uniqueness of the PULLER is that it is able to provide the necessary workout in a very short amount of time. Just three simple exercises for 20 minutes are comparable to 5km of intensive run. You will be pleasantly surprised how quickly your dog will get more relaxed and content. Moreover, these exercises will help develop muscles, giving your dog an improved physical condition. After trying it once, all dogs simply "fall in love" with it. The quality of the material has helped train many dogs to fetch, although there were no means to make the dog do it before.
Behavior modification exercises must be done consistently - for weeks to months to see results, and the exercises may need to be continued for life.
Teach Independence Avoid rewarding attention-seeking behavior. Reward the dog with petting, treats, or other attention only when she is calm and quiet.
Reward! Always reward good your dog for relaxing behavior Reward relaxation: With your dog in a "sit" or "down" position in a quiet resting area in the home, reward your dog when he is calm. You may want to provide a mat or bed that you have your dog go to when he is calm. Provide toys at this "settle mat" and teach your dog "down stays" while on the mat. A calm dog will not be panting, wagging his tail, or otherwise moving. Use a word like "easy" or "steady" to serve as a cue for the relaxed behavior. When your dog learns to be relaxed with you close by - this may take days to weeks, slowly increase the distance between you and your dog. Provide a treat when the dog is calm. If your dog shows evident signs of being relaxed - puts his head down or sighs, provide an extra special reward. Don't reward clingy behavior, but don't ignore your dog, either.
Desensitize to Departure Cues Almost everyone has a set routine when they leave the house - shaving or putting on makeup, putting on shoes, picking up the keys, putting on a coat, etc. These activities inadvertently signal to your dog that you are going to leave, and many dogs start to get anxious as soon as they see these departure cues. To desensitize your dog to these cues, do these activities several times during the day but don't leave. Also try leaving by a different door and block the sounds of the departure.
Downplay Departures It is best to remain neutral around your dog for 15-30 minutes before you depart and as you depart. As your ready to leave, simply move your dog to the room or crate where he will be while you're gone, provide the food-filled toys, and quietly leave without saying anything.
Provide Safety! Unless confinement increases anxiety, house your dog in a comfortable, safe, room or spacious crate. Baby gates often work better than closed doors when trying to confine a dog with separation anxiety If your dog cannot be left safely alone, consider dog day care. If your dog can be left for short intervals, consider having a dog walker one or more times a day.
Enrich the Surroundings Turn on the radio and lights 30 minutes before you leave. Studies have shown that classical music can have a calming effect on anxious dogs. White noise, like a fan running, may also be helpful.
Toys for Furballs! Provide treat-filled toy or safe chew toy as you leave. Fill a Kong or other toy with canned food and freeze it. This will last a long time. It's OK for your dog to get most of his calories through these food treats. If you can, use treats that are well-balanced nutritionally. Regularly change the type of toy to provide variety. Also provide the toy at times when your dog is calm and you are not leaving, so the toy itself does not become a departure cue.
Destroy 'em all! Dogs with separation anxiety often have destructive tendencies, so provide something your dog can destroy such as old phone books, newspapers, stuffed toys from thrift shops - remove any choking hazards such as button eyes.
Sofas Provide a comfortable bed.
Have an Ice Day! Dogs with separation anxiety often tend to get thirsty because they pant and/or drool more. Try freezing water in a plastic pail. Secure it to the side of the crate so as it thaws it will not spill.
Tone Down The Return! Be low key when you return. Refrain from greeting your dog until he has calmed down.
Punishment helps Anxiety !!! Do not punish or scold your dog. This escalates the problem and may make the dog fearful of the owner and cause the dog to become more anxious at the owner's expected arrival time. Keep in mind that your dog does not have this problem behavior because he is mad at you or trying to "get back" at you. Punishment, especially after the fact, will only be confusing and cause more anxiety. Always start with a visit to your veterinarian to rule out health problems. Separation anxiety can be a very frustrating and traumatic situation for both you and your dog, but with patience and proper treatment it can usually be dramatically improved.
Over the past several decades, dog training, like most everything, has seen some major advances. These advances not only make the activity more fun, more efficient, and more fair, but they also make it more effective. That said, as popular culture and tradition have a way of slowing the spread of knowledge, certain unfortunate beliefs persist about dog training. With a little bit of luck, this post will help put some of those thoughts to rest. A puppy must be at least six months old to be trained. A puppy is learning from the moment he is in his environment. As a new puppy parent, you should take advantage of that opportunity for learning. With today's training methods based on positive reinforcement, there's no reason not to start working with your puppy as soon as he arrives to your home!
MYTH: Don't Play Tug With "Bully" Breeds This Myth applies to all dogs, even bullies. It's okay to play tug with a pit bull or "bully" type dog, as long as the rules are followed.
MYTH: My Dog Is a Dumb Breed so He Can't Learn There has been a lot of research lately on dog intelligence and not one of them has proven that a dog's particular breed determines a level of intelligence. Therefore, all dogs are intelligent and they can all learn. It's just a matter of figuring out how to develop a relationship and the right environment for your dog to be successful.
MYTH: Using Food to Train Is Bribery! This myth came from a group of people that do not want to feed their dog to train them. However, expecting your dog to work for free insults their intelligence. Do you work for free? No. Even kids doing homework get rewarded for doing it - a good grade, a present from their parents, watching TV after it's done, getting to play with friends. We all get dessert for eating our dinner, right? Using food in training is a reward for your dog choosing to do the right thing.
MYTH: Crating is mean In fact, the opposite is true - dogs are den animals and instinctively seek a safe, quiet place they can go when they are tired or stressed. The crate serves that purpose if introduced early and is also a great tool for house-training. Puppies and new dogs should be kept in a crate when not supervised. Be careful never to use the crate for punishment or you will undermine its usefulness as your dog's safe space. Dogs are not "people" of another species. They ARE another species. To train and care for them properly, to show them how to live in our complex world, requires first and foremost that we understand that.
We interpret our dog's actions from a human point of view and they interpret our actions from a canine point of view. While they can only ever react to us from their doggy viewpoint, we are capable of understanding why they do what they do and treat them accordingly. If you can learn and accept that your dog acts like a dog because he is a dog, you will have a much better idea of how to communicate with and how to motivate your dog. You will see that the relationship with your best friend need not be contentious and is certainly not a struggle for dominance. This understanding will make training with your dog infinitely more enjoyable and rewarding to you both. There is no evidence that dogs have the kind of complex emotional lives and value systems that we do. It's one reason why we love them so much, in fact. They are neither "good" nor "bad." They don't hold grudges, act in petty ways, or seek revenge. They read our moods but not our minds. If they did, we'd start loving them as we love other humans, which could mean a lot less than we love them now.
MYTH: My dog gets enough exercise from being left in my big backyard Whether they have a smaller or larger backyard, dogs don't typically go off and "exercise themselves", but instead look forward with baited breath to be taken away from their every day yard and investigate the world they live in. Like us, dogs benefit greatly socially and physically from exposure to new and stimulating environments. It's great for their wellbeing and for the state of your backyard! Teaching good manners is one of our responsibilities as pet parents. But, with so much misinformation circulating in our digital world, it can be hard to separate myth from reality.
MYTH: You can't train an older dog There's no such thing as a dog too old to be trained. In fact, dogs are learning their entire lives. With any dog, patience and consistency are keys to success. The biggest issue with an older dog may be that he has developed some unwanted behaviors that need to be "unlearned."
MYTH: If you train with food, your dog won't obey without it Behaviors that are rewarded are more likely to be repeated, so when we regularly reward our dogs for a job well done, they will want to keep performing! It doesn't always have to be food. Find whatever motivates your dog - it might be praise or petting and use this to help them to become addicted to training.
MYTH: My dog knows he did something wrong, because he looks guilty That so-called "guilty" look really is your dog's learned response to your angry or upset body language. Dogs learn to read our body language when "something is wrong" and they respond accordingly with body language intended to appease us. WE interpret it as guilt, but they have no idea they did something wrong.
MYTH: I don't want the training to break my dog's spirit To me that's like saying "I don't want my children to learn, because I'm afraid they will become...too smart?? And if someone is insinuating that training equals abuse, they have it all wrong. All parents at some point have trained their children. They trained taught same thing, them how to use utensils, establish certain behavior at restaurants, respect for other people, set curfews, enforce homework habits and the list goes on. That doesn't break a child and training will not break your dog, A way to break a dog is through neglect, abuse and deprive it of companionship and love. Proper training allows you to establish a bond of trust and a necessary pecking order through training, which is what a dog craves so he can instinctively make sense of the world we have forced him to live in.
MYTH: A dog needs a yard to exercise Nope. A yard, unless you have a huge amount of land, doesn't stimulate a dog and if I were you I'd look at is as one big doggy toilet. I've had tons of clients who had one, sometimes two dogs in a small apartment, but the catch is there was a dog park close by for the dogs to get proper exercise. And if your rational is that you have a dog that entertains itself by running in circles in the yard on its own, it's likely because your dog is losing its marbles since it is trying to amuse itself and burn off some steam and running with nowhere to go is how he deals with it. A dog can amuse itself from time to time, but he doesn't know how to do it efficiently and effectively. Unlike you, who on a slow day can browse your Ipad, drink a glass of wine while chatting on the phone or watch a movie during your workout on a treadmill, your dog relies on you for exercise and yes, even Apple hasn't figured out an app for that.
MYTH: I read this really good dog training book Books often have useful information, but most times there are many variables that requires an exchange between an trainer and the client. The reason I don't post a link to an email on my site is because I have so many questions that an email becomes a long drawn out exchange of information. Sorry, score this one for old school.
MYTH: My dog doesn't listen and I tried everything You tried everything within your spectrum of knowledge.
MYTH: You can't teach an old dog new tricks This is definitely not true. Older dogs can learn new tricks, they just don't always want to. Like us, as dogs' age, they can be less interested in learning new activities and are less responsive to training. Remember also, some older dogs have decreased vision and hearing or joint issues which can make training a little more difficult. With time and patience, an older dog should be able to learn any trick a younger dog can, within the limitations of their physical ability.
MYTH: Dogs don't need housebroken, they naturally know where to go Oh... if only this were true. You need to train your dog on where to go. This preferably happens when you start at a young age and give your dog positive encouragement for jobs well done.
MYTH: Obedience training is only for problem dogs Yes, obedience training can help with some unacceptable behaviors, but wouldn't it be better if those behaviors never had a chance to develop? In addition, obedience training can strengthen the bond between you and your dog and help you enjoy each other's company even more so!
MYTH: Dogs do destructive things to get even with you Don't project your emotions on your dog. Most behaviors that drive you crazy are normal for a dog and begin when he is bored, tired, sick or lonely.
MYTH: You need to use aversives in training in order to teach your dog coping skills Are you conscious of what makes your dogs stress out? Have you been able to teach them to cope?
MYTH: Dogs want to please us Dogs do what works for them. If they learn "sit" earns them a morsel of food, then they quickly sit, particularly if they are hungry. If they figure out they can do something that puts you in a good mood, then they will be sure to get pets, praise & cookies! If you want your dog to do what you want, you must find what motivates your dog to do that. Your dog needs a reason that makes sense to him.
MYTH: My dog poops on the floor - digs up the yard, rips up the couch, barks, chews my shoes, etc., when he is mad at me! Dogs do these things out of boredom or anxiety. They are not human, and thus are incapable of plotting revenge. If you want to reduce bad habits, then you must prevent giving them opportunities to develop them. Give them something else to do instead - a stuffed Kong, a bully stick, play ball. If they are anxious, resolve their anxiety.
MYTH: My dog deliberately ignores me Your dog simply finds something else more interesting. Unlike us, the floor always pays off with lovely smells, crumbs, and surprises; the park always pays off with squirrels, bikes, dogs, worms - you get the idea! You must find something that will make you more exciting and interesting to your dog when these other things are present.
MYTH: I was told to hold my dog down on his back and stare in his eyes until he submits to show him I am the alpha in the household Bad advice based on a seriously flawed study done on wolves in the 1940's. This will not teach your dog anything other than to be afraid of you and perhaps defend himself from you. Potentially dangerous and definitely damaging to your relationship. True leaders don't need to use force. You are the natural "alpha" because you are dominant over everything your dog wants - food, toys, attention, water, walks, a place to sleep. You control all these things.
MYTH: My dog is stubborn Your dog is merely choosing what she wants to do. Your dog is not stubborn. You just haven't yet found what will convince your dog to do what you want her to do.
MYTH: If I use food, won't my dog always expect food? Your dog is always choosing between two things: good for him or bad for him. Once your dog becomes reliable in a behavior, you may not need to use food as often because his responses become automatic. But certainly you will want to use it enough to preserve his response to your requests. If you get a paycheck for doing what your boss expects, won't you always expect a paycheck?
MYTH: My dog is dumb, hard to train, stupid, bored, doesn't like to do that Your dog doesn't understand what you want or isn't motivated to change. You just haven't yet communicated to your dog so that he understands what it is you would like. Giving feedback to your dog on his actions is critical. You also need to find what motivates your dog to do what you want. Ultimately, your dog's success or failure is up to you!
MYTH: Your dog should naturally want to work for you and when he doesn't, he should be corrected for it Consider working without getting a paycheck. Would you do it? Well, neither will your dog. Whether it is through food rewards or toy rewards, the most motivated dogs are ones whose owners who have harnessed the "secret" of positive reinforcement and the power of rewards over punishment when teaching their dogs new behaviors. While the threat of punishment can push animals to work, the opportunity for earning much-desired rewards inspires them to work. It is evident when watching a dog that works to avoid punishment vs. a dog that works to earn a reward simply by looking at their body language. The dog avoiding punishment doesn't want to be there while the dog seeking a reward does.
MYTH: Let the kids pick their new pup Allowing children to pick out a puppy is not ideal. They could choose a noisy, shy or dominating dog. Let the breeder guide you towards the right choice of dog for your family.
MYTH: The right pup will pick you Do not pick the first puppy that comes to you. When choosing a dog, you should observe the dog's behaviour over a period of time, perhaps even come back on a couple of different occasions. You can then pick the pup that suits you best.
MYTH: Puppies are too young to train Puppies can be trained from as early as 8 weeks old. Most dogs can be trained at any age though you should be aware of any health issues in older dogs that could impact training.
MYTH: After accidents rub their nose in it Occasionally puppies will accidentally do their business indoors. Never scold or hit your dog over these mistakes, instead take your pup outside to their regular bathroom area.
MYTH: Use your knee to stop jumping Dogs can be injured if you stop them jumping on you with a knee to the chest. The best approach is to decrease your pup's excitement by simply ignoring your dog for 5-10 minutes whenever you come home. After one week of consistent practice there should be a significant decrease in doggie jumping.
MYTH: Punish your dog for digging holes Do not scold your dog for digging holes in the yard. It is better to use the holes to bury their excrement, which will ensure the dog does not frequent the same spot in a hurry. Never punish your dog or puppy! That's incorrect method.
MYTH: Always train with treats Dogs can become overweight if over reliant on dog treats for good behaviour. Instead use a doggie toy, which is as good as a treat.
HOME & HOUSE TRAINING DOG MISCONCEPTIONS This article is proudly presented by WWW.WOOFOLOGY.COM and Lisa Patrona
Relationships between people and their pups/dogs can suffer terribly when house training isn't going well. This information will shed light on - and dispel - the most commonly held misconceptions many folks have when it comes to the "how to's" of house training. If you need more help with house training your dog or puppy, see the link at the bottom of this article for more free resources.
Warning: Unless your dog is already fully house trained, we do not suggest training him to ring a bell on the door as a "signal" for you to let him out to potty. Let's say that the dog has rung the bell and no one hears it? He rings again and no one comes. Now he has an "accident" by the door. He is surely learning that ringing the bell to be let out isn't very reliable, but more importantly, the habit of eliminating right by the door has just begun. Also, unless the dog was trained to ring the bell to be let outside as he was experiencing the feeling of needing to eliminate, reinforced by your letting him out and the subsequent relief from eliminating, then he will not associate ringing the bell with getting outside specifically to eliminate! Many who have used this approach learned the hard way that all they have really done is trained him to ring the bell to get outside to chase the squirrels, bark at the neighbors and he is still not house trained!
MYTH: My dog knows that he shouldn't potty in the house because he looks guilty when I scold him Believing this will really jeopardize your progress, not to mention the damaging effects it could have on your relationship with him because you believe that somehow he is doing this on purpose to upset you. Fearful body language like cowering or, as we humans like to call it, "looking guilty" has nothing to do with the dog - knowing that he is done something wrong. Such dog body language only communicates one thing - that your behavior is frightening to your dog. Continuing to scold him will not improve the house training problem, it will make it much worse and other fear-based behavior problems are likely to develop.
MYTH: Taking my dog to the mess and rubbing his nose in it while yelling at him will teach him not to go potty in the house AND If rubbing his nose in it doesn't work, then taking him over to it and spanking him will Both of these common mistakes in thinking can be addressed at the same time. For starters, taking him "over to the mess" implies that the mess is already there, which means that he eliminated there at some point earlier. It's way too late to do anything about it and trying to do so really constitutes abuse, since there is no way for your dog to understand why you are acting the way you are toward him, much less what on Earth you are so upset about. Believing either of these serious misconceptions, is one of the best ways to train your dog to be afraid of you. And you will still have a dog who is eliminating in the house.
MYTH: Discipline - spanking or screaming at him, when I catch him in the act first, then putting him outside will teach him not to go in the house One thing is for sure, this approach will teach your dog that it's definitely not a good idea to eliminate when you are anywhere nearby. By delivering such an intensely frightening experience while she was in the act of eliminating - no matter where it happened to be occurring, you will teach her something valuable indeed - that eliminating in your presence is not something she should do ever again. So, thanks to this approach, she's learned that when she feels the need to eliminate, it is safest for her to either wait until you are not around, or even more likely, to sneak off to a "safe" place free of you or humans in general, like a basement or another unoccupied room to do her business where nothing scary can happen as she relieves herself. This approach will do nothing to help her understand where you'd prefer her to eliminate, it will only teach her to hide or "sneak off" when she needs to pee or poo and it's almost guaranteed to create other serious fear-based behavior problems.
MYTH: I can't get her to just go potty outside, because she is spiteful and stubborn When words like "spiteful" and "stubborn" are used to describe a dog's behavior, the translation must be, not trained properly, or effectively. There is no mystery here and nothing more or less to be discovered.
MYTH: Do not clean up the "accident" in front of the dog because they are getting your attention, which rewards the behavior of going in the house. They also see this as your "approval" to continue eliminating in the house What does cleaning up pee or poop have to do with giving your dog attention? Dogs have no moral code when it comes to their behaviors - they simply repeat the ones that have been reinforced in the past. Cleaning up a potty mess in no way reinforces the behavior of going potty - in the house or anywhere else and I can assure you that doing so won't have any impact on your dogs' elimination habits! Thoroughly clean any mess with a good enzymatic cleaner, and remember, it's your responsibility to do a better job supervising and preventing accidents.
MYTH: My dog just refuses to "tell me" when he has to go out Many people view this as a problem. It isn't really a problem at all if you remember that house training is the sole responsibility of the human. Blaming a dog's incomplete house training behavior on his not "telling" you when he has to go outside is a good way to set your dog and yourself up for a big failure and he still won't be house trained. Once you have done your part and you've consistently trained your dog where you want him to eliminate - presumably outside, and prevented him from eliminating anywhere else, he will begin to act in ways that signal his need for you to let him outside to relieve himself. Some signs may include just hanging around you more, going to the area near the exit point to the yard, whining, and or pacing. As your dog's ability to "hold it" improves, and the connection solidifies between feeling the need to eliminate and needing to get outside to do it, he will also begin to learn to "hold it" for longer periods.
MYTH: I have a small dog and she just can't be house trained. Books I have read and people I have talked to say that I will not be able to house train her because she is small Small dogs are just as capable of becoming house trained as their larger counterparts. The principles of learning apply to a Maltese or Toy Poodle the same way that they apply to a Great Dane! A common reason that small/toy dog people report problems is that their small dog doesn't like to go out when it's cold or raining. It is understandable that we don't want our dogs to be uncomfortable, so here are some suggestions that can help:
1. Buy a doggy coat for extra comfort when it's chilly out.
2. Build a small sheltered area right outside the door and train your pup to use it.
3. If there is snow outside, shovel an area right outside the door to make it easier for him/her to do her business as comfortably and quickly as possible.
4. Install proper behavior early on, so that the dog will very quickly do her job so that she can come right back into the warm, dry house!
Trainers who do not use force and choose humane, reward-based methods for their dogs get the same arguments thrown at them over and over again. I think in most cases the people hurling the arguments are not apt to change their minds. I mean no insult by that. Science tells us more and more that changing one's ideas about something, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, is very difficult and practically goes against our very wiring. Positive reinforcement-based training is subject to a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation.
Many people genuinely don't understand how it works, and others seem to deliberately misrepresent it. The dog's supposed desire for domination offers a convenient excuse to psychologically and physically abuse the dog under the guise of training. These misconceptions prompt procedures in which people are recommended to physically dominate and/or intimidate the dog, rather than building the dog's confidence and teaching him that there is no need to feel threatened by people and therefore, no reason for biting them. For the general dog-owning public, the very concept of physical domination is as ridiculous as it is dangerous. Certainly, an experienced trainer might be able to flip the majority of dogs into supine restraint, but few novice dog owners would be silly enough to try, and no child and few adults could possibly succeed.
How can a dog possibly view a four year-old child as an alpha animal, and how can a child possibly physically dominate any dog. The very concept is preposterous pop-psychology. Sillier yet, is when adult humans try to impersonate dogs during training - trying to reprimand dogs with open-gape pins, scruff shakes and "alpha rollovers". Some of these misunderstandings and misrepresentations are very "sticky." Misunderstandings, straw men, myths-call them what you will, but they are out there and they are potent. Every one of these points is focused on punishment or aversive stimuli. Clearly that is a sticking point in people's understanding of positive reinforcement-based training. The claims also fit neatly into two categories. The first four misrepresent positive reinforcement-based training. They paint it in a ridiculous light and imply it is impossible or ineffective. The last two blur the lines between positive reinforcement-based training and training that involves deliberate use of aversives. In rhetorical terms, the first four are straw man arguments, and the latter two use the tu quoque fallacy in addition to the continuum fallacy.
Maximizing Positive Reinforcement If you are still worried about a negative reinforcement component with training with food, it's easy to address. To minimize and possibly eliminate the presence of negative reinforcement effects, how about this: don't train your dog on an empty stomach. Meaning the dog's stomach, silly! But it'd probably be good if you have eaten something too. You want to be at your best when training! Use appropriate sized pieces of good treats and you can be fairly confident that you are training with virtually entirely positive reinforcement - if the behavior increases, of course. If calories are a concern, cut down the next meal. Also, recent research indicates that dogs, just like people, probably learn better when their stomachs are not empty. Makes me feel good that I have almost always given my dogs some of their meal ahead of time to take the edge off before training.
No Fun for Dogs? No barking, urine marking, stealing food, jumping-up and mounting? But all these are signs of a perfectly normal, healthy dog. Excessive barking may be controlled by feeding the dog only from chewtoys and by teaching the dog to "Woof" and "Shush" on cue. In-house scent marking is the signal for some basic housetraining. Stealing is indicative of an ill-trained dog living with an owner who continues to leave tempting items within reach. Dogs jump-up as a natural greeting and friendly appeasement gesture that has been unintentionally reinforced since puppyhood. Train your dog to "Sit" when greeting people and maybe to "Give a Hug" on request, when and if appropriate. Not coming when called has absolutely nothing to do with dominance, rather it simply advertises insufficient training by an owner who continues to let the dog off-leash in distracting and potentially dangerous settings.
Mounting is the result of a misdirected sexual urgem but the dog is trying to "love us to death" not kill us. The dog wants to mount something and a cat, a cushion, or a great aunt's left leg, are sometimes the best options at hand. I wouldn't dream of allowing my dog to mount an unfamiliar dog, let alone a person. Mounting other dogs may lead to dog-dog fighting and owner-owner aggression. But the point is, we manage to control our equally vibrant, human sexual impulses in public and dogs can do likewise, if so educated. Simply request your dog to sit or lie down. Check out amorous Dolce, who is about to mount another dog until his owner requests him to sit. End of problem.
MYTH: "Purely Positive" is a LIE! "Purely positive," or sometimes, "all positive," are terms most often used as epithets by force trainers to refer to trainers who avoid force and aversives. They are used as a straw men in arguments. A Straw Man is a misrepresentation of an opponent's argument that is usually laughably extreme and easy to disprove. That's its purpose. The person who creates the Straw Man can knock it down and play like they have disproved their opponent's actual argument. People generally construct Straw Men when they have a dearth of logical arguments. Once in a while they have an honest misunderstanding. If that happens, the person who built the Straw Man can be gently presented with one's real point of view and a discussion of its true merits and faults may ensue. But sometimes Straw Men are constructed by people who just want to win at all costs, the truth be damned, or are used consciously by people who know that what they are saying is untrue. When someone does that, it's generally the case that they are not going to listen to your true point of view or play by the rules of polite conduct in an argument. The reason that bringing up "purely positive" is a Straw Man is that virtually no one is claiming to be a 100% positive reinforcement trainer.
MYTH: The Kids... Newsflash: it is not really such a bad idea at all to use external reinforcement for tasks that are not intrinsically meaningful or rewarding to children. There is, of course, a whole discipline of positive reinforcement training for humans using markers. Many people find the idea of using food treats, stickers, or tokens when teaching children shocking, even repellent. Like dogs, they are supposed to eagerly apply themselves to tasks that have no intrinsic value to them just because we want them to. In the world of cultural fog described by Susan Friedman, people tend to react to punishment as a perhaps unfortunate but inevitable part of bringing up children, but run screaming at the idea someone deliberately might use reinforcement to affect a child's behavior. Oh, the horror!
MYTH: The Dogs... There is one particular difference between teaching tasks to children and behaviors to dogs. The important tasks we teach to children will eventually become socially or intrinsically reinforced. These reinforcers are often not even recognized as such by the critics of teaching with reinforcement. A smile or nod from a parent. A "thanks" from a stranger. Physical comfort. Control over one's environment. Encouragement from a teacher. Passing a test. Performing well in a job interview. We are social animals and sensitive to social success and acceptance. Folks who quote the "cookie" remark above generally do not recognize the reinforcement that is naturally available and going on all the time for us social humans. That includes negative reinforcement, of course. A child may choose to make his bed to get his parents to stop nagging him about it..
But the bigger point is that many things that are chores for children are naturally positively reinforcing when they get older. Dogs do not "grow up" to get the social reinforcement or the joy of fitting into our culture and society. However, Skinner's plan to switch to non-contrived reinforcers works for them, too. Teaching a dog to walk on a loose lead using positive reinforcement may take a lot of treats or even play at first, but a skilled teacher can show the dog that learning to walk nicely on a leash expands their world. The dogs can transition to the life rewards of going places, exploring, and sniffing new things. Doesn't that sound familiar? The un-doggy behaviors we want from our dogs would not initially have natural reinforcement without our intervention. Most would be acquired not at all. So we arrange reinforcement for them. But in many cases, just like for kids, some natural reinforcement will fall into place as well as our dogs enjoy their lives with us.
MYTH: Positive reinforcement-based training is permissive What would one do with a cookie if the dog did something "bad"? What I didn't know was that positive reinforcement-based trainers not only reinforce desired behaviors, but also have several humane techniques for interfering with the reinforcement for unwanted behaviors so that they don't pay off for the animal. These include antecedent arrangement, reinforcement of alternative behaviors, and in some cases negative punishment. Positive reinforcement-based training, especially when applied to behavior problems, takes careful thought and planning. It is precise, deliberate, and the opposite of let's all hang out here in happy fairy rainbow land.
MYTH: Positive reinforcement-based trainers just ignore bad behavior The one also brings a very bad image to mind: a doting pet owner letting her pet jump on grandma, countersurf, and go through the trash. But the truth is quite different. What we actually do about unwanted behavior is to
1) prevent it from happening in the first place, 2) teach the dog something acceptable to do instead and occasionally, 3) punish it using negative punishment.
We know that ignoring reinforced behaviors doesn't make them go away. But to make things a little more complicated, there are two situations where "ignoring" is used in training. One is when training new behaviors or associating a verbal cue with a new behavior. In these cases, if the dog makes an error, nothing happens. We do not treat. But in these situations we are not dealing with some habitual, harmful behavior that is getting reinforced some other way. It's just a wrong guess in a guessing game. The other situation where ignoring might be used as a part of a training approach is when the animal's behavior is being reinforced with attention. But even in that situation, we would not use ignoring by itself. I now have a whole post about the issues with ignoring: Does Ignoring Bad Behavior Really Work?
MYTH: Positive reinforcement trainers believe that nothing unpleasant should happen in the dog's life, ever, and they try to protect their dogs from all aversives First, this is impossible. Mild to moderate aversive stimuli are around us at all times, and we and our animals perform loads of behaviors to avoid or lessen them. Perhaps the dog is too hot. That's aversive. Perhaps there is a fly buzzing around her head. That's aversive. Perhaps the dog has to get a shot at the vet. That's aversive! The truth is that we avoid training with aversives, even with mild ones. If a thunder-phobic dog escapes into the house when it storms, this is called natural or automatic negative reinforcement. The dog is reinforced for running into the house by gaining distance from the thunder noise. The thunder is an unavoidable aversive in life. But I would never put a loud noise into a training session and use a dog's fear of it to get a certain behavior out of her. And as for major aversives we do prepare the dog for them as best we can to make them less so. That's the opposite of using their aversive qualities.
MYTH: Positive reinforcement-based trainers will do things like let their dog run out in traffic so as to avoid jerking on his collar, or avoid any medical procedure that might "hurt" This one is almost always a straw man. Probably, the people saying it and acting like they believe it really don't think we would stand by in an emergency and watch our dogs get hurt. In an emergency we will body block or grab or tackle or apply leash pressure to a dog who is about to do something dangerous, just like any other normal human being who cares about his or her dog. Yes, this is using an aversive. But it is not part of a teaching scenario. Different behaviors are expected and needed in difficult situations. For example, a friend might ask me to use a needle to remove a sliver that she can't reach. I would do this if asked, even if it might mean hurting her. But because I am willing to do that, it does not follow that I am fine with training her a new job skill by poking her with a needle every time she makes an error.
MYTH: Positive reinforcement-based trainers use punishment but just don't know it or just don't admit it This is silly. We are generally the ones who are trying our best to leave mythology behind and learn the science behind good training. But again, the claim can come from someone who just doesn't understand what it is we are doing; someone who figures there just has to be punishment in there somewhere! Sometimes there is. And those of us who use negative punishment know when we are using it! But a common variant of this claim is, "When you train, you don't always give the dog the treat. You are withholding the reward and that's punishment, har har har." Actually it is not. As long as there is no consequence to the dog's wrong guess it is not punishment. It is extinction at work. Extinction by itself is no picnic for the dog either, but in general we don't use it by itself. Usually another behavior or multiple other behaviors are being reinforced, and we help the animal make the transition to performing one of those instead. We also know and freely admit that certain tools fall easily into aversive use. It's no news that a plain old collar can be used to hurt a dog. That's why when we start using any gear on a dog, we use counterconditioning to help the dog build pleasant associations, and we teach the dog behaviors so as to minimize the chance of discomfort. This is the opposite of using the aversive properties of a piece of gear.
MYTH: Positive reinforcement-based training is just as stressful on dogs as balanced or aversive-based training Training with positive reinforcement can surely be stressful. But the stressors generally have to do with lack of skill - errors by the trainer, or an added aversive situation that wasn't planned. It is not sensible to argue that a method that consists of giving the dog food or playing with her when she performs a desirable behavior is as aversive as a method that depends on applying discomfort, pain, or intimidation.
MYTH: Misconceptions of the Mythical Alpha Dog A number of dog training texts cite pilo-erection, prolonged barking and growling, snarling and snapping, food protection, and otherwise threatening people as examples of aggression and alpha-status. Usually though, these behaviors are indicative of insecurity and may be easily prevented or resolved by comprehensive socialization, desensitization and oodles of classical conditioning. Dogs feel the need to threaten people because they themselves feel threatened by people. In terms of dog-dog interactions, threatening, growling and fighting are characteristic of middle-ranking male dogs that lack confidence of their social standing. Top dogs seldom growl or threaten, they don't need to. Underdogs seldom growl or threaten, they would be silly to. In our study of dog social hierarchies, the two top male dogs were pretty cool customers, they seldom threatened and growled and hardly ever fought. Instead they were perfectly happy to share a bone with other dogs, whereas the middle-ranking males protected the bone with extreme machismo - a noisy and embarrassing advertisement of their lack of confidence.
Puppy biting is normal, natural and necessary. In fact, it is the puppy that doesn't mouth and bite that augurs ill for the future, since he has never had the opportunity to develop bite inhibition. Of course puppy biting has to be eliminated before adolescence, but via a specific 4 step process, whereby the pup first learns to inhibit the force of his biting before he is taught to stop biting now modified to gentle mouthing altogether. Similarly, if played correctly, games of tag, tug o' war and play-fighting all serve to maintain the dog's bite inhibition, to teach specific rules and to practice control at times when the dog is excited. If the owner does not play by the rules and is out of control, the dog will become out of control and overly excited. Since many people, especially men and children are going to play these games with the dog anyway, we should teach them how to play with the dog properly in a controlled fashion so that the games become both beneficial and enjoyable.
MYTH: Slot Machine is working Many dog trainers suggest using a Jackpot method of training where once in a while the dog gets a pay out of treats. If the slot machine never gives even a small reward, would you keep playing?
MYTH: You are bribing the dog - simply, no Studies are showing that the smell of food actually changes a dog's brain chemistry. The feel good hormone, serotonin, is produced when food is presented to the dog. By teaching a dog to do an action with a treat, they consistently get to feel good and want to do it even when food is not present because the action now produces the same feeling. It is the same as a slot machine, winning produces that feel good feeling, making you want to pull that level again and again because every time you do it you get a little kick of feeling good.
MYTH: Purely Positive training methods have no corrections This seems to be a difficult point for many to understand mainly because it changes between trainers. Some trainers actually use NO methods of correction. Some trainers don't know that they are using correction methods. Finally some trainers simply mean that they are going to use methods that people will not see as harsh or abusive. I fall directly into the latter category. Take a look at the four categories of operant conditioning for more information on different types of reinforcement and punishment.
MYTH: Puppies cannot be trained before 6 months No way, from day one you should be training! Where this comes from is that if you use compulsion methods, which rely heavily on leash corrections, you need them to be bigger or you may hurt or kill them. The only real difference between training a puppy and an older dog is puppies will have, what i affectionally refer to as, Puppy Brain. Puppies may only have a minute attention span, that means you cannot sit with them until they get a new command, you need to split it up into multiple training sessions. A wonderful example is Dug from the Pixar movie Up, he can be focused on minute and be focused on the squirrel the next.
MYTH: Positive training only works for happy, normal dogs and not large, tough or aggressive dog No way! A simple way of thinking of this is would you use compulsion methods to train a Polar Bear? Never! Winnipeg Zoo uses positive training with all their polar bears. Elephants, killer whales and tigers are all now trained with positive methods. Dog training seems to be have left behind while the rest of the animal trainers realized the possibilities with positive training. Using compulsion methods on a scared or aggressive dog can likely lead to worst behaviours. I have personally seen a simple leash correction turn into a bite scenario in a split second.
MYTH: My dog generally irritating behaviour because he is dominant No. Dogs are not out to dominate you, that is not their life goal. If you have not built a strong relationship with your dog, you will see many problem behaviours express themselves. Relationship activities, some times called leadership training, has nothing to do with dominating your dog into submission. The easiest way is to actively participate in obedience training on a daily basis. You are teaching your dog that you are to be listened to because you are the leader thought positive methods because your dog trusts and respects you. What dogs WILL do is take a leadership role if a leader has not positively presented themselves within the family - dogs don't enjoy this role many of them start exhibiting stress related behaviours.
MYTH: Never play tug with your dog as it will create aggression This does not cause aggression. It causes a highly excited state where a dog will put his teeth on you. You need to teach your dog that teeth belong only on the rope during this game. The only time i would not suggest playing tug would be with a young duck dog, we want a soft mouth and this could create a hard mouth. However if you have a fully trained duck dog, go for it! Older dogs are wonderful at know the difference between play and work.
MYTH: If I start training with treats I will have to always use treats Not if you properly phase out the treats for real world rewards like "good dog" or a pet on the head. When phased out properly I only suggest jackpot treating once in a blue moon. Generally if i am training a new behaviour I will start with a known behaviour and treat for obedience.
MYTH: Begging at the table is caused by using people food rewards Dogs learn to beg because someone has feed them from the table, even just once. If you leave your treat bag on the table while training, you are training the same begging behaviour into your dog. This is very similar to begging for food in the kitchen.
Clicker training is an exciting complement to training and a useful tool for instilling good behaviors. It can be used alongside traditional positive reinforcement training methods. It can also be used to help shape or train complicated behaviors by helping guide your dog in the right direction. However, there are some misconceptions about how to use a clicker when training. Read on to learn more about this great tool, and some of the common myths surrounding it! Clicker training may seem complicated. It may even seem unneeded as owners can just use a praise word in place of a click. However, for those wanting to teach beyond the basics, a clicker is a great way to teach more complex behaviors without having to learn a new system of training. It is also a great way to keep your dog focused. It helps him learn he is doing the right thing with consistency.
What is Clicker Training? Clicker training is the use of a clicker to denote when your dog or cat, or even chicken! - has done something correctly. The clicker takes the place of a praise word such as "good boy". It also denotes that a treat is about to come to reward the correct behavior. Clickers are great as they are consistent, easily recognized sounds that make training a breeze. Clicker training can also be used for "shaping" complex behaviors. This is done by encouraging your dog to do something similar to what you want, and then clicking when he is close to the right behavior for a few steps. You then encourage him to try more and click again when he is closer, sort of like a game of Hot and Cold. While it sounds complicated, seeing it in practice makes it easy to understand. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation about clicker training and food-based training. While many of our new students are excited and eager to finally have a clicker training school that isn't a two hour drive away from Downtown Toronto, some come to us a bit unsure or a bit on the fence, so if you are on the fence, this article is for you.
MYTH: The Click Gives a Command Clickers are used to let your dog know they have completed a command with success, but they are not what tells your dog to do it. You can't click to have your dog sit, stay, lay down, etc. Instead, you will give your dog a command as usual, and once they have completed it, click and then give a treat. Clickers let your dog anticipate the upcoming reward.
MYTH: I have to carry a clicker with me at all times or else the dog won't perform Truth: Clickers are only used in the learning phase of a new behavior. After a behavior is nearly fluent, it is no longer needed.
MYTH: Clickers Can Be Used to Stop a Behavior Clickers don't give commands, or rewards, and they can't stop a behavior either. However, shaping new behaviors through clicker training can help deter and stop bad behaviors by shaping them into wanted ones. For example, a barking dog may be trained to bark on command instead, and thus bark less when a reward isn't involved.
MYTH: The Click is Used in Place of a Treat Clickers are also NOT the reward for the behavior, but the signal that a reward is coming. When starting out, owners and trainers will prime the clicker, by simply clicking it and giving a treat immediately after. This helps your dog associate the click with the upcoming reward, so when you use it for training he will understand he was successful.
MYTH: If I train with food, I will need to have food with me at all times, forever, or else the dog won't perform Lure-reward food-based training will create food dependency. Lure-reward training is not the same as clicker training, even though some lure-reward trainers use clickers incorrectly. Clicker trainers do not use food as a lure, or if they do, they use them extremely sparingly. If you train properly, you will not need to show your dog a treat first before it performs, nor will you necessarily have to feed your dog every time it performs. In fact, the opposite is true, if you continue to feed your dog for every correct response for too long, the dog won't perform reliably. Clicker training actually requires you adopt what we call a variable schedule of reinforcement - in plain English, phasing out food.
MYTH: Dogs get fat being trained with food Food rewards are prepared so small that they represent a relatively small percentage of total food intake per week. Also, in low-distraction environments or for easy behaviors, a dog's regular meal can be used for training. I have never met a clicker trained dog that was overweight - most are pretty svelte since they often compete in dog sports as their training progresses.
MYTH: If I train with food, the dog will beg for food Feeding your dog at the dinner table teaches them to beg at the dinner table. Giving food out by hand for no reason will teach a dog to beg for food. Training with food teaches the dog that food is only given in exchange for work performed, and only when we request the work. Well trained dogs actually never beg for food because the circumstances in which they can earn food is so black and white, they understand when it's not available and when it's available and that is on our terms.
MYTH: Clicker Trainers are "New Age-y" and "Soft" on their dogs False!!! The best clicker trainers are extremely hard on their dogs. We are hard on the criteria we require our dogs to perform to in order to earn reinforcement. We are stingy on keeping access to rewards and reinforcement contingent on performing behaviors. Since nobody wants to carry around food forever, myself included, I use everything else that the dog wants in life to reinforce training. If my dogs don't go into their crate and lay down, they don't eat. If they don't sit and stay while I open the door, the door never opens. If they don't keep the leash loose while we are walking towards the dog park, we never get to the dog park. What is true though is we will never use physical punishment in training because it is unnecessary - you can train reliable behaviors and proof them against distractions without having to inflict pain.
MYTH: The dog will hear clicks from other students in class and get confused Dogs are experts at discriminating. Only clicks that come from the handler result in a food reward, so dogs quickly learn to ignore clicks that come from other directions.
MYTH: Clicker training is a fad and it will be gone soon Clicker training comes from the work of B.F. Skinner and one of the earliest examples of clicker training was his graduate students, Marian and Keller Breland, clicker training pigeons to assist in aerial bombing in World War II. In the 1960s, Karen Pryor brought clicker training to dolphin training, and today it is now used to train practically every species of animal known to man. If it is good enough for the military and good enough for Sea World, isn't it good enough for your family pet?
HOW TO TRAIN THE DOG TO NOT TO PEE This material proudly presented by WWW.DOGSBARN.COM
Following these simple tips will show you how to stop your dog peeing in the house and help you discover what the underlying cause might be. There can be many reasons that your dog or puppy urinates inside your home, whatever that may be peeing inside is a big No No, and something you will want to put a stop to immediately.
When you bring a new puppy home it is inevitable there may be a few accidents, but with an older dog there is usually an underlying issue and we need to understand what this might be in order to be able to solve the problem. Rescue dogs can suffer from problems if they haven't been properly house-trained in their previous homes or have been fearful and suffered from stress while in Kennels. Older dogs like humans find it difficult to control their bladders for long periods as they enter their twilight years and one of the more common causes for adult dogs who won't stop peeing in the house are behavioural issues.
Very often people say "My dog is peeing in the house for no reason" - There is always a reason and more often than not that reason is the owner. Housebreaking a puppy or re-training an adult dog takes patience, time and a watchful eye.
How to Stop Your Dog Peeing in the House
Crating Dogs don't like to go the toilet in their personal space Creating a comfortable secure environment for them during alone time or through the night can reduce accidents. Make sure you get the correct size crate for your dog putting a Chihuahua in a crate for a Great Dane will not only give him somewhere to sleep but quite a large toilet area as well.
Make Alone Time Fun Dogs left alone for long periods can suffer from separation anxiety which can result in them urinating either through nervousness or inability to hold it in for long periods of time. Puppies should never be left alone for long periods and if you have an older dog try to make alone time less stressful. Leave them puzzles or hide treats, even leaving the radio or television on can help them feel more secure.
Sprays There are numerous commercial sprays on the market that can stop a dog urinating in a particular area they contain different chemicals or natural compounds such as cayenne pepper that dogs dislike and will avoid. There are also sprays that you can buy that you use on the place you want your dog to pee that actually smell of urine in order to encourage him to go in the correct place. You can also make your own homemade repellents which work just as well and are much cheaper.
White Vinegar Canines can't stand the smell of acetic acid so will avoid areas sprayed with a solution of White Vinegar. Dilute with equal parts water and spray over the affected areas. Not only will it keep fido away but will also clean and neutralise any areas he has already used as a toilet.
Rubbing Alcohol To use its correct name, Isopropyl alcohol has a powerful scent that is extremely disagreeable to dogs. Dilute the mixture with an equal amount of water and spray carpets weekly or after cleaning. This solution also has anti-bacterial properties and will disinfect the area thoroughly.
Lemon Juice Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice with water and spray onto carpets. A more pleasant smell for humans it will remove any lingering odours while keeping your dog at bay.
Have a Neighbour or Dog Walker Pop In If you need to be out of the home for longer periods of time it can be a good idea to get a neighbour to pop in so your pooch can have regular potty breaks or if funds allow perhaps hire a dog walker. A well-exercised dog is less likely to pee in the house and after a long walk will settle down happily instead of fretting.
Never Punish It can be frustrating to have a dog that pees in the home but it is important to never shout or punish the dog by hitting it. This will only make him fearful and nervous. If you haven't seen him do the deed he will have no idea what he's done wrong and if you catch him in the act it will only make him fearful of relieving himself in-front of you in future.
Day Care If you have to work all day every day then you should reconsider getting a puppy, but if you have an older dog that gets on well with others why not consider day-care. He will have fun while you go to work, socialising and playing with others of his kind and the opportunity for plenty of toilet breaks.
Vigilance Whether you are house-training a puppy or an older dog you need to be vigilant, keep them where you can see them at all times and always give them the opportunity to go to the toilet when waking up from a nap, or after food or drink. If your four-legged friend needs a midnight toilet break set the alarm. It might seem like a chore initially but it shouldn't last long and will be worth the effort.
Rewards As with all dogs the best way to get them to do what you want them too is by rewarding them either by lavishing them with praise, giving them their favourite toy or usually the one that works best of all, treats! You will soon come to know what your dog responds too best so use it to your advantage when he pees where you want him to.
Keeping Calm Puppies don't have the muscular control of older dogs and many pee from either excitement or nervousness, although not really a house-training problem and something they usually grow out of it can be embarrassing when they pee all over a guest's shoes. This can be avoided by teaching your puppy to sit and ignoring them until they become calm and relaxed when you enter a room and encouraging any visitors to do the same.
Take Time Off It is impossible to house-train any dog be it a puppy or adult if you are not there, even if you only work part-time you need to take time off to do the job properly and consistently. It won't take long but it really is vital to prevent your pet from peeing in the house.
Check With the Vet Although puppies pee and sometimes a rescue dog that has spent time in kennels may not be house-trained it is unusual for an adult dog to start relieving themselves indoors without an underlying reason. Older dogs especially, can develop many conditions that can increase the need to go or lose control of their bladder muscles. If you haven't had any problems previously and now your older dog is peeing indoors, it is a good idea to check with your vet to rule out anything serious.
Socialization One of the saddest reasons for a dog peeing indoors is fearfulness. Dogs that have not experienced the sounds, smells and sights of the world at large when young can develop phobias that stop them feeling comfortable when going to the loo outside. A loud noise, fireworks, thunder can all be terrifying to a dog. Their nervousness keeps them constantly distracted instead of dealing with the business at hand. making it more likely for them to pee inside the home. It is important to introduce to lots of experiences whilst they are young to build confidence.
Don't Cover the Smell Eliminate it Dog's urine omits a powerful enzyme that tells them to "Please Pee Here!" therefore it is vital to not just clean up any accidents that may occur but also to eliminate the odour completely to stop your dog peeing on the carpet.
Introduce a Word Many owners find that introducing a word associated with going to the toilet helps their dog with training to go potty outside. Our canine friends are usually eager to please and having a word such as "Busy" or "Pee pee" can help them understand what is required if re-enforced and used all the time until they get the hang of it.
Keep Them With You Outside Not Alone Do not put your puppy outside and leave them there expecting them to do the business. Not only will you not know one way or the other if they have been, often they will be so involved in getting back to you and wondering where you have gone which can cause stress and they will concentrate on that rather than going to the toilet.
Avoid Exciting Games Until Business While trying to housetrain any dog it is important you keep them from being distracted. Avoid playing with them until business is taken care of they will be much more interested in a game of tug or playing with a ball than going to the loo. Keep the games for afterwards when not only will they enjoy the playtime but see it as a reward.
Neutering A common problem with male dogs and in particular small breeds is territory marking this can occur if there is more than one pet in the house, if you bring home a new baby or even if someone visits. New and strange smells will encourage a dog to mark his territory and can result in him cocking his leg on every piece of furniture in your home. So how can you stop a male dog from marking? You can try correcting with a firm no or short spray of water when you see him about to raise a leg or actually Neutering can lower the testosterone hopefully making your canine companion slightly less territorial.
Medication There are many medical conditions that can contribute to dogs peeing in the house. Diabetes is a common one where the dog drinks so much he cannot hold it in like he used too. Older dogs can also suffer from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, a similar condition to Alzheimer's in humans. This makes them confused and they may not even remember peeing at all. Older spayed bitches can sometimes leak urine while sleeping due to decreased hormone levels. Your vet can usually help in these cases by prescribing medication to help with the problem.
Shaker Bottle or Water Spray Making your own Shaker Bottle or water spray can often help you stop dogs from frequent peeing in the home. As soon as you notice your pooch doing the pee dance which inevitably involves sniffing, circling and finally squatting give the bottle a firm shake or spray him with the water. This will be enough to stop him from peeing enabling you to take him outside to the correct area. When he relieves himself shower him with praise. This method can have quick results in stopping your puppy peeing everywhere, if used properly - Don't scare the dog the point is to distract him not make him fearful.
The Boss Dominant dogs both male and female can assert their authority as the pack leader by peeing around the house this is a common trait found in smaller breeds who have been spoiled and allowed to get away with other undesirable behaviours. So how do you stop small dogs peeing in the house? Don't worry this problem can be easily solved by reasserting your authority and showing them who is boss. Don't baby them, use firm training methods, make them sit and wait to be fed re-enforcing the fact that it is you who is the pack leader and not them.
Soaked Paper A common method especially used for puppies who pee indoors is to encourage them initially to pee on newspaper you can use the urine soaked newspaper to show them where to pee outdoors as the powerful smell will encourage them to go in the same place. Hopefully the paper will only be needed for a short time and they will soon get the hang of where the toilet is.
Limit Drinks Before Bed Although it is advisable to have a constant supply of clean fresh water available for your dog at all times for dog's who are having problems going through the night without an accident it might be wise to limit their intake on an evening say after 8.00pm. Common sense is needed here though if they have been on a late night walk, enjoyed a strenuous game or the weather is hot don't let them go thirsty.
Never Rub His Nose in It Back in the day this was lauded as the correct way to house-train a puppy, how wrong we were! It is c??ruel and confusing. The puppy has no idea what he has done to displease you he lives in the moment and at that moment he is learning that you-the person he loves most in the world can be unpredictable and someone to be feared. This will only encourage him to hide from you when peeing in future, making it much more difficult to train him.
Keep on Leash When Visiting If you have a puppy who is not yet house-trained or an older dog who pees in the house it is always a good idea to keep them on the leash while visiting friends that way you are in control of your pooch at all times which can prevent any embarrassment or not being invited around again.
Ask the Breeder When you bring your new puppy home a responsible breeder will give you lots of information about what he has been feeding the pup, whether it has had its first vaccinations and any health checks. Therefore, it seems reasonable that you ask if the puppy has started his toilet training and if so is he used to puppy pads or newspaper. Carrying on with something your new best friend is familiar with will reduce the likelihood of accidents.
Paper Training Many dog owners train their puppies on paper or puppy pads initially, this is especially useful if you don't have immediate access to an outdoor area, Perhaps if you live in an apartment, The best way to do this is to situate the paper or puppy pads near to the door, that way when you see your pup heading in that direction you know he needs the toilet.
Gradually reduce the amount of papers until the little fella is fully trained and they are no longer required. This method can take a bit longer than going straight outside but with patience your puppy should soon learn that peeing in the house isn't acceptable.
Belly Bands As a last resort, if your dog has an underlying medical issue that cannot be resolved by medication or suffers from incontinence you can purchase Dog Nappies or "Belly Bands" These bands wrap around the dog's belly and contain an absorbent pad for any leakage helping to keep your home free from any accidents. They should not however, be a lazy man's alternative to house- training. Teaching your dog there is no designated area for peeing and giving them carte blanche to go when and wherever they want is counter-productive and will only give you more work in the long run.
Belly Bands It requires patience to stop a puppy peeing in the house and even more so to prevent an older dog from doing so. We have to remember it is not their fault, they are not on a mission to annoy us or make our lives difficult. Understanding the reason for your dog peeing in the house is the key to solving the problem. Try one or more of these tips on how to stop your dog peeing in the house and you will find that your four-legged friend will soon be peeing where he is supposed to-Outside!
A GOOD dog trainer has a healthy respect for a dog's powers of recall. Considering dog's the superior nose, the massive mental focus on smell and the connection with memory, it stands to reason that a dog will remember smells pretty well. This is why a dog wants to smell your hands and shoes: to learn where you have been and what you have been doing. We, humans think in words and pictures. Imagine going somewhere new and interesting and keeping your eyes closed, then trying to describe it. I believe a dog thinks in smells and, to a lesser extent, textures and patterns of movement. A walk is about gathering smells. A dog's life, its interaction with the world, is all about smells. I try to apply this to dog training.
I have spoken often about the importance of patience, repetition and routines when training a dog. I believe smell can and should be part of the mix. As I work with a dog, I try to fill its head with smells, especially new smells. I put emphasis on overlaying my smell with new scents in the dog's memory. That's my focus on day one: a simple sequence of events, combined with new smells.
Usually the sequence ends at home in familiar surroundings where the dog earns a few treats by performing obedience sequences. The next time the dog meets me, my smell triggers memories of what we did the last time we met, of the things and places we smelled together. When I repeat the routine from the previous session it starts to become a pattern. Even very young dogs remember things we did months later. I think smell plays a big part in this. I think sleep is important too. In my experience, new smells will send a dog to sleep better than physical exercise.
I operate on the assumption that a dog processes its experiences in its sleep and whereas our human experiences are catalogued primarily in visual images, a dog's are mostly about smell. If you have the required patience, you can try this. Take your dog for a walk somewhere new and watch the places it smells with the most concentration, then go back another day and see if it is drawn to the same spots directly by memory, as opposed to discovering them by accident as it did the first time. If a dog is to remember something well it needs to tag it with a smell or more likely an olfactory tapestry at which we can only guess. The more distinctive the olfactory information, the better the memory of the event.
When to Begin House Training Puppy Experts recommend that you begin house training your puppy when he is between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, he has enough control of his bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it. If your puppy is older than 12 weeks when you bring him home and he's been eliminating in a cage (and possibly eating his waste), house training may take longer. You will have to reshape the dog's behavior with encouragement and reward. Potty training a dog can be anyplace from effortless to extremely difficult, based on him, your household and your living. Numerous keepers become fortunate and notwithstanding the blunders they inadvertently create, they are with a potty trained dog. However, some holders require help from an instructor or behavior therapist.
Assuring your home is without pee spots and smells is something you must do before starting your potty training strategy. Buy black light and an animal scent cleaner from your nearby animal shop. Switch off the lights and completely examine your house, rugs and furnishings once it is dim. The black light will show all aged spots therefore you can efficiently wash and eliminate them. There are numerous helpful maintenance items available.
Buy an excellent cage when you do not already have one that is sufficient for your dog to stand and lay. In a peaceful yet not remote portion of your house, place the cage. Create and observe an administration plan round the clock of potty breaks. Considering you do not desire your puppy to get a mishap so this is important. Your plan should add food, game, training and rest time and toilet breaks for the whole week plan.
Either you employ a dog walker or pet sitter that can assist you with that part of your potty training plan when you cannot be back throughout the break. This will be important for achievements. Maintain a day-to-day log on your dog's feeding plan and toilet behaviors. Observe as to when he pees and defecates. Mention precise time your dog consumes and any goodies provided every day. Usually, your record will assist you find how much time after feeding he wants to utilize the toilet. When necessary, you can utilize these facts to modify your plan.
Your dog's day will incorporate eating, resting, gaming, teaching and toilet breaks. Throughout all these durations, he is in its cage or connected to you. Absolutely, in the potty training duration, he must be monitored. Observe for indications of having to visit the toilet once he is tethered to you. Rapidly bring him away to its specified toilet spot when you see he is sniffing the surface, trolling in circles or appearing uneasy. Get your dog from its cage, on a chain, and bring him to its specified toilet spot at the planned toilet occasions. Maintain him on its chain however allow him discover while you stay in a place. First, disregard him. He will ultimately visit the toilet considering he is not acquiring awareness from you and there will be restricted issues of attention to discover in the limited region described by the chain.
Reward your dog when he has completed. Render him care and goodies. Have a small occasion with him. This allows him understand that his conduct is great and merits reward. You must make a circumstance where he desires to visit the toilet in that specific spot. Just upon your dog has been to the toilet should it be let from the chain to run or directed for his lengthy stroll. Eventually, this guarantees that he will understand that the quicker he finishes his toilet conduct the faster he receives his incentive of goodies, run or stroll. When you return him in to its cage, constantly workout or enjoy with or teach him.
Reveal to your dog you are a trustworthy and good chief. Don't penalize him for blunders. His mishaps are your mishaps. Merely have his awareness with a deafening clap and instantly bring him away to their toilet spot when you see him showing indications of requiring the toilet while inside and you are sluggish having your dog outside.
Do's and Don'ts in Potty Training Your Puppy Punishing your puppy for having an accident is a definite no-no. It teaches your puppy to fear you.
If you catch your puppy in the act, clap loudly so he knows he's done something unacceptable. Then take him outside by calling him or taking him gently by the collar. When he's finished, praise him or give him a small treat.
If you found the evidence but didn't see the act, don't react angrily by yelling or rubbing his nose in it. Puppies aren't intellectually capable of connecting your anger with their accident.
Staying outside longer with puppy may help to curb accidents. He may need the extra time to explore.
Clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleanser rather than an ammonia-based cleaner to minimize odors that might attract the puppy back to the same spot.
A crate can be a good idea for house training your puppy, at least in the short term. It will allow you to keep an eye on him for signs he needs to go and teach him to hold it until you open the crate and let him outside.
Here are a few guidelines for using a crate: Make sure it is large enough for the puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down, but not big enough for him to use a corner as a bathroom.
If you are using the crate for more than two hours at a time, make sure puppy has fresh water, preferably in a dispenser you can attach to the crate.
If you can't be home during the house training period, make sure somebody else gives him a break in the middle of the day for the first 8 months.
Don't use a crate if puppy is eliminating in it. Eliminating in the crate could have several meanings: he may have brought bad habits from the shelter or pet store where he lived before; he may not be getting outside enough; the crate may be too big, or he may be too young to hold it in.
Do you recommend crate training adolescent dogs to some of your adopters? If you are going to recommend crate training for your dogs when they are adopted, crate train them while they are at the shelter. This approach is easier on the dog: the dog is not completely bonded to one person at the shelter and so experiences less separation distress when crated. Crate training at the shelter also helps the adopter who may be reluctant to use a crate or be unfamiliar with crate training. When the shelter has already crate trained the dog, the adopters will be more likely to use the crate, and the chances for a permanent, successful adoption are greatly increased.
How to Crate Train Dog REMEMBER: you cannot counsel or do this type of quick, easy crate training with dogs already in a home. This is NOT the advice to give to owners over the phone. Instead, this is advisable only for dogs in shelters. Note: NEVER crate train a dog with a choke-type collar on or with a leash attached to his collar.
GOAL: Train the dog to spend time comfortably and calmly in a crate.
1. Place soft blankets and toys or chewies in the crate.
2. Clip a small bucket of water in the crate.
3. Find natural, short opportunities to crate train: a one hour nap, a ten minute "chew on the bone stretch," a rest after a tiring exercise session, or an overnight all make good crate training opportunities.
4. Crate train only for the amount of time the dog can comfortably hold his bladder and bowels. The rule of thumb for puppies is to crate in hours for the age of the puppy in months plus one. For example, a four-month-old puppy can stay in a crate comfortably for at most five hours. No dog should ever be crated for more than nine hours at a stretch.
5. Always supervise dogs when they are first crate trained to ensure they are not panicking.
6. Never force a dog into a crate or lock a panicking dog in a crate.
7. Some dogs will not take readily to a crate and may panic or harm themselves trying to escape. For these dogs, detach the crate door, place comfortable bedding and a few treats in the back of the crate, and leave the doorless crate in the run with the dog.
8. Feed him in the crate for a few days to help him acclimate.
DOG BACKPACK WEAR: TRAINING MANUAL TEACHING GUIDE INSTRUCTIONS This article is proudly presented by WWW.MNN.COM and WWW.PETGUIDE.COM and Jaymi Heimbuch and Kevin Roberts
Bear in mind that dogs that will be wearing a backpack for the first time have the possibility of exhibiting reluctance. This is considered as a normal behavior because this is something new and outside of their comfort zone. Do not force the dog to wear the backpack on the first attempt because this can lead to psychological trauma and stress !!!
Do not start hiking with your dog without any practice. Just like humans, dogs need to exsersize many and often, before they can reach highlands. Adding weight without gradual build-up can cause serious and sometimes unrecoverable injury to your dog. While hiking, also be sure to watch for signs of dehydration on your dog.
Many dog owners make the mistake of putting a dog backpack on their dog for very first time only minutes, before a hike, loading it up with stuff and then expecting the dog to be happy and comfortable. The more you practise with either dog back, the happier and stronger your dog probably will be on the hike. So practice makes ideal. The essential factor to remember when using a dog backpack for the first time is that your dog will most likely not want to wear it. This is natural. So, some patience is required here. Give your dog at least a couple of day of practice initial.
To get your dog used to a pack, start slowly. First, let your dog examine the pack, and make this a really positive experience - lots of praise for sniffing and showing an interest in the pack. Do this a few times and always keep your tone positive when introducing him to the pack.
Before the pack goes on your dog's back, make sure he is already been on a decent walk. A calm, focused dog is much easier to fit properly. Ensuing that all the straps are tightened properly, lure your dog into moving with the pack on his back. Use some really tasty treats to get him moving, and your dog will begin to associate the pack with good things.
During this time, you want to assess your dog's comfort level. Nervous? Unsure? Ambivalent? Also watch as your dog moves about the house: does he have his normal range of motion? Are there straps hanging in the way of the legs? Are the saddlebags sitting far enough forward on the shoulders? While it's natural for dogs to feel strange wearing their backpack in the beginning, make sure you watch for signs of pain or discomfort.
Once you have checked the pack and made any adjustments for fit, put it away for the day. You want to keep these sessions short and sweet. The next time the pack comes out you can take the dog for a short, fun walk. Bring plenty of treats and make this a pack party! You want the pack to be associated with really good things, so your dog is happy to carry it.
As your dog gets used to the pack, begin to fill the saddlebags with bunched up grocery store bags. You want to use something lightweight that will give the dog a feeling for the potential bulk of the pack. If you take your dog down a narrow trail or through a crowded farmers market, you don't want the dog ramming the pack into people.
Over time, you can gradually increase the weight of items in the pack. Take care to always keep the pack balanced on your dog's back. Before each use, give the pack a good once-over, looking for any frays or tears in the materials.
Check that the buckles are clean and free of debris. Inspect your dog's body for areas where a pack might be rubbing or causing hair loss. If the pack is rubbing, adjust it, and if that does not fix the problem, get a different model.
Be ready for some extra attention. When people see your dog in a pack, you will be on the receiving end of comments, compliments and questions. If you and your dog are social butterflies, be prepared for many conversations about how cool it is that your dog is carrying some of the weight. And if your dog loves the attention, this helps to re-enforce that wearing a pack is a good thing!
On the first day... Put the pack on your dog without the tightening the staps too much. They ought to be tight enough that your dog can not get it off and afree himself, but not as tight to bear the weight. It will certainly help to praise your dog for weaing it. Plenty of loving attention assists very much! Leave it on for a couple of hours and then take it off. So the doggy should become slowly used with the new back equipment.
Repeat it at the second day, but put the little dog backpack on a little tighter this time. Keep the straps lose enough for three fingers, to slide under the straps effortlessly. Nevertheless, you need to have the ability to pull down on the pockets, just a little without the backpack sliding around too much.
The third day... should be a repeat of the second day, except this time the dog backpack will have some weight on it. Try a coulple of hal filled water bottles or some kibble in a zip-locked bag.
The fourth day should be the same as the third day, but this day will probably be a full weight day. The dog backpack should be left on for about a hour, during this time. This would be to get your dog accustomed to the weight. Now your dog ought to be prepared for a little hile with a full pack on his back. If you believe that the fifth day is essential, of course fee free to leave the full pack on longer.
Step 1: Select a backpack that's right for your dog When you are deciding on a backpack for your dog, take into account what you are using it for. Just exercise around town? For long hikes when camping? This will help you decide on the design of the pack and what kind of capacity you need. However, even if you are just using a pack for burning extra calories on a walk, make sure it is of sound construction. Things like where the straps fit on your dog, how well you can adjust fit, and if there is padding under the clasps, will all factor in to how comfortable it is for your dog to wear their new pack.
Step 2: Introduce the pack and get a proper fit It's important to start your dog off on the right foot with their backpack, because the last thing you want is for them to become scared of it or dread it. That means you'll want to have a pocket full of treats when you first introduce your dog to their new pack. Some dogs will accept the pack like it's no big deal and you will hardly need to spend any time conditioning them to wear it. But other dogs may be a little more skeptical or flat out nervous about this strange thing you are attaching to them, so it doesn't hurt to take your time and make it a great experience.
Step 3: Get your dog used to new balancing & space awareness The first thing your dog is probably going to do is try and walk through a doorway and run into the door frame. In fact, they will probably run into a lot of stuff the first time they wear the pack. They have to get used to the new edges of their body. Keep the experience fun with lots of laughter and rewards just for walking around your home with the pack on. Then, head out for a walk with the pack empty. Give your dog plenty of opportunity to get used to wearing the pack, as well as having it put on and taken off, without any weight in it.
Step 4: Increasing weight and improving fitness The next step is slowly increasing how much weight your dog carries and ramping up conditioning. Just as you wouldn't one day wake up and run with a 50-pound backpack, your dog shouldn't wake up and start running with a heavy pack either. Start with a small amount of weight, maybe 2-3% of your dog's body weight, and build up from there over the course of a few weeks to carrying as much as, but no more than about 20% of the dog's body weight.
Step 5: Hit the trail and have fun! Once your dog is conditioned to carry a backpack filled with necessities, you're ready to hit the road! Or sidewalk, or park path, or trail as the case may be. Remember to watch your dog for signs that the backpack is not rubbing them in the wrong place, and that they aren't fatigued from the extra weight.
With a properly fitted pack with just enough weight for your dog, neither of these should be an issue. But if there are areas where the straps are rubbing away your dog's fur, or your dog lies down during your walks to rest, it's a sure sign that it's time for you to carry the pack the rest of the way home.
TEACH YOUR DOG TO ENJOY THE CARRIER This article is proudly presented by Emily Young
After a couple of exercise, the dog will suddenly learn to be carried in the backpack. It will be an exciting experience when other people see you carrying your dog at your back. Starting from you, all people will soon start using the dog backpack carrier.
At times, it becomes necessary to carry the puppies rather than leaving them walk around. Other times, dogs get confused when in a crowded area or they get hurt. All this can be solved by employing a dog backpack carrier. Carrying the dog at the back allows the hands to be free while the dog is protected.
Since the dog is strapped, one requires placing the puppy in the backpack strap it and positioning it in the carrier at the back. You can buy a carrier that has the color and size of your choice depending on your budget. They are water tight and stainless implying that they remain clean for a long time. The designer backpack can be employed in cars and some people expend them in flights.
One can also use a backpack carrier that can make their dog unique from the rest. The dog backpack carriers also assist small dogs from getting tired easily. This allows them to be with you anywhere you go. When using the carrier, you can ride around comfortably while the puppy enjoys the trip.
The carriers are effective in carrying old dogs. One also requires spending time with their old dogs. The backpack is light hence it does not feel heavy when carrying the dog inside. They can sit or stand for their solace. Other than dogs, the carriers can be employed to transport other small animals like rabbits, cats among others.
The dog carriers are easily found in the cyberspace and pet stores. There are a number of factors to be considered when selecting a pet carrier. Ensure the carrier has enough ventilation to keep air moving in. It should also have room for simple movements. Keep the pet safe all the time.
First of all, there are no "wrong" hand signs, you can use whatever you feel most comfortable with, as long as you are consistent. There are a few basic obedience signs, but not enough to truly communicate with your dog. The advantage to using these is that most people who have trained a dog will be able to give your dog basic commands.
This can be an advantage because anyone who knows ASL will be able to talk to your dog. Some people use modified ASL, so that they can hold a leash in one hand and talk to the dog with the other. Some people make up all their signs, you will probably still want an ASL dictionary, as it can be a challenge to invent signs with nothing to go on. Most people end up using a combination - obedience signs, and then one handed ASL. Anything you choose is "right" for you and your dog. The examples and ASL suggestions given on this page are just that, examples. Feel free to use, or not anything given.
WATCH DOG VIDEO !!! Using signs instead of words The major difference in training a dog with a hearing impairment versus training a "normal" dog is the fact that they will not be able to hear your commands. One of the best ways to combat this is to teach your dog to react to signs. American Sign Language is one of the easiest languages to learn and will greatly benefit you and your dog. It will give you a language that both you and your dog can learn in order to communicate properly.
No matter what technique you use to get your deaf dogs attention, the idea is the same - teach him as many signs as you can in order to effectively communicate what you want them to do, whether it be to sit, stay or roll over.
Just as dogs can learn many different words and phrases they will be able to learn many different signs and combinations of signs. This means that your deaf dog will have just as much means of communication with you as any other dog would!
DEAF DOG HAND SYGNALS Dog hand signals is yet another great way to teach your dog commands. Since dogs understand gestures and body language better than spoken word, training a dog to pay attention to hand cues is not that hard. Plus it is especially helpful if you or your dog is deaf.
"Good dog!" You can use the ASL word for "Good," or a "thumbs up" or anything else that feels comfortable to you. To teach it, sit with your dog and a handful or so of really tasty treats. Use your "good" sign, and give the dog a treat. Repeat this several (approximately 3 to 10) times. Then give your sign and see what happens. If she looks at you as if to say "well, where's my treat?", she understands! Give her the treat.
"No" is probably the most overused word in dog training. It is better to tell the dog something that she can do, rather than just to yell "no" all the time. For instance, if your dog jumps on you when you get home, what does telling her "no" do? Well, she knows that you aren't happy when she jumps, but she doesn't know what to do instead. So she tries something else and gets another "no." This could go on for quite a while as she tries to figure out what the proper greeting behavior is (and your dog could get the idea that you don't like her very much). It is far easier on both of you, to tell her to "sit" and skip the "no" part altogether.
You need to tell the dog what is "right," and "constructive criticism" will get you there a lot quicker. So teaching no is a little less precise, since all that it really means is "stop." Most people end up teaching at least 2 versions of no, one for minor problems, and one for big problems. The first one is for "No, that's not what I want," and just means to cut it out, do something else. You can shake your head and close your eyes, cutting off eye contact, to reinforce your disapproval. The second no is more serious. "Stop" means you are in really big trouble, and should be accompanied by a very "mean" face and angry body language. This one should be used only after the first has failed, since if you overdo it, it won't be a "big deal"
Teaching a "Release" Word Teaching a release word is also important. If you do not tell your dog that it's OK to move or do something else, he will have to decide on his own. Obviously, if you are teaching your dog to "stay," this is not a good thing, but it comes in handy at other times as well (such as when it is "OK" to go out the door). It is a fairly simple thing to teach. Whenever you finish practicing one thing, sign "OK" before going on to the next. When you end a training session, sign OK, and then put away the treats. "Leave It" is a way to tell your dog that he cannot have whatever it is he is looking at. To teach it, hold a treat in one hand, open palm (if you sign your release word with your right hand, hold the treat in your left, and visa versa). Sign "leave it", and when the dog tries to take the treat, close your hand and turn it over. Do not pull your hand away or raise it up high. The dog will probably nose or lick your hand, or maybe paw at it. When he gives up and turns away, even for a second, sign "OK" and let him have it (still don't move your hand either forward or back or lower). As you practice, your dog will realize that he cannot have the treat unless you tell him that he can. Eventually, you will be able to hold a treat right under his nose and he will not touch it. Once he knows that, you can sign "leave it" regarding other things as well (such as food on a coffee table). You will need to practice, starting slow (such as putting food on the floor, then on a table, and so on), but this behavior usually transfers well.
"Walk Nice" Dogs are taught unintentionally to pull on the leash. Whenever they are taken for a walk, they pull, and their person follows along behind, so the dog think that is what a walk is. It is easier to teach a puppy with no bad habits how to walk nice, but an older dog can be taught too. Teaching your dog to walk nice on a leash is often easier to start training off leash first. Start with a handful of treats, and while out playing, reward your dog every time she walks next to you. As she starts to do it more often, introduce a sign. Once she seems to be doing well at that part, introduce walking on the leash. After she will walk nice in the back yard, try walking on the sidewalk. Dogs that have already learned to be very determined pullers can be controlled by using a head halter. There are several manufacturers, but all work basically the same way.
The principal is the same as a horse halter - when the dog pulls, her head is turned and her body must follow. A small person is able to walk a large strong dog using one of these. Your best bet is to find a trainer to help you learn how to fit and use them, as most dogs will object at first - much like they did when first introduced to a leash and collar. Some dogs will not adjust, and something else will need to be tried, but most will get used to it. The only real drawback is that a lot of people will think that your dog is wearing a muzzle. There are many other ways to teach a dog not to pull. Two of the most common are to stop moving whenever your dog pulls, eventually, she will come back to see why you are not moving, or to turn and go the other way when your dog pulls. Sometimes your best bet is to talk to a trainer for help, as some techniques really need to be demonstrated to be effective. Regardless, your dog can be taught to walk nicely, it just takes practice.
Dog Hand Signal for SIT: Teach your dog to SIT by using a quick flip motion of your hand from palm facing down to palm facing up. With your dog in front of you and a piece of kibble in your hand by your side, bring your arm up to a 45 degree angle, with your palm facing downward. Next flip your palm up and move your hand slightly over your dog's head. Because your dog is following your hand holding the kibble, his bottom will hit the floor. As soon as he sits also use the verbal command SIT and reward him with the kibble. Continue to practice using verbal cue and gesture for 3 times. On the fourth time do not say SIT, just use the hand signal only and your dog should comply. Alternate times you offer a treat reward so your dog learning to respond to the hand signal and not just to get the reward.
Dog Hand Signal for STAY : Teach your dog to STAY by raising your arm up straight and palm facing forward. Once your dog is in the SIT position, hold your palm in front of his face and say STAY and take one step back. If your dog does not move go back to him and give him a treat reward. Start again but this time take 2 steps back. If your dog still does not move, go back and reward him again. Now go 5 feet away and raise your arm up with your palm facing your dog and say STAY. Wait for a count of three and if your dog does not move, go to him and hand him his reward. Next time take a few steps away from your dog and give the hand signal only - walk a few more steps away and show the gesture once more. Wait for a count of 5 and if your dog remained in the Stay position, go back to him and say good stay and give him a well deserve treat.
Dog Hand Signal for COME : Teach your dog to COME by using a sweeping motion with your right arm going across your chest to your left shoulder. Have your dog in front of you and at least 3 feet away. Next, with your hand by your side, show your dog that you are holding a piece of kibble in between your index finger and thumb. Next sweep your arm across to your opposite shoulder and say COME, and at that exact moment take one step back. Once your dog comes towards your praise and reward him with the treat and begin again. Repeat the steps above for 3 more times. If your dog successfully complies, on the fourth time do not say COME. Just use the hand command and reward your dog when he complies.
Dog Hand Signal for DOWN : Teach your dog to lie DOWN by bringing your arm straight down, pointing to the floor. Have your dog sit in front of you. With a piece of kibble in your hand, slowly squat down while lowering your arm towards the floor. Say DOWN while passing the kibble in front of your dog's nose. One he goes DOWN praise and reward him. If your dog does not go DOWN, while you are in the squatting position, place the kibble up under your leg and as soon as your dog goes down to get it say DOWN and then reward. Continue the entire process from a sit to down position for 5 times. Be sure to use the down command and treat reward to mark the successful action. On the sixth attempt, do not use the verbal cue. Just motion your dog to the down position and treat when he complies.
Dog Hand Signal for HEEL : Teach your dog to HEEL or walk nicely next to you by using a lowered arm motion and a pat to your leg or hip. In an open area of a large room or outside, begin by slowly walking around with a treat in your hand and your arm lowered to your side. Lightly pat your hip or upper thigh and say HEEL. Your dog will follow you closely to get to the treat. This one will take some practice so plan on having lots of treats available. You can also teach this command on leash, too. After several successful heel positions have been achieved, step 2 feet away from your dog and tap your hip. Your dog will assume the heel position for his reward.
SEND DOG somewhere with this sygnal This is great for teaching a deaf dog if you want him to go somewhere, i.e. a kennel or mat, or to fetch something. You can also use it for "sending" the dog if you are working on agility.
Thumb Up! Just like for people, you can use this sign to mean "good," or "yes." Since they can't hear a clicker, this can be a great way to "mark" when your dog does something right.
Okay Sign This is another sign you can use to as a replacement for "good" or "yes." Remember to also have positive facial expressions that help your dog understand you are happy.
Finger Pointing Down This is the most common sign for telling a dog to "lie down." Like the one for "sit," it's natural to do and easy to remember, which is important!
Hand Flat Out You can use this symbol for "off," or to teach your dog a "stop" or "freeze" cue. Just remember you can't use it for both, so decide in the beginning and stay with that decision. You will really confuse your dog if you try to switch the meaning later.
Time Out Symbol Although not commonly used in dog training, you could use it for "leave-it," "drop," or "quiet." The nice thing about this sign is it is clearly different from the others, making it less confusing for your dog.
Hand Out This is usually used as a cue to get your dog to "shake" or "high-five." However, for a deaf dog, you may use it to mean "come to me" or "bring me your toy" as well.
Two Fingers Pointed at Eyes You know the hand-to-eye signal the use in comedies to say "I am watching you"? Well, you could use this same gesture to get your deaf dog to "watch you", i.e. give eye contact.
Call Me Another uncommon signal, this one would be cute for a recall or "watch me" cue. Again, it's a nice symbol to use because it doesn't look like the others, make it easier on your dog to learn.
Having a trained dog isn't the same as having a balanced dog, but if your dog knows a few basic commands, it can be helpful when tackling problem behavior, existing ones or those that may develop in the future. So where do you start with dog obedience training? You could take a class, but it's not necessary - you can do it yourself. In fact, with the right attitude, it can be fun for both you and your dog!
Sit! This is one of the easiest dog obedience commands to teach, so it's a good one to start with.
Hold a treat close to your dog's nose.
Move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower.
Once he's in sitting position, say "Sit," give him the treat, and share affection.
Repeat this sequence a few times every day until your dog has it mastered. Then ask your dog to sit before mealtime, when leaving for walks, and during other situations where you'd like him calm and seated.
Down! This can be one of the more difficult commands in dog obedience training. Why? Because the position is a submissive posture. You can help by keeping training positive and relaxed, particularly with fearful or anxious dogs.
Find a particularly good smelling treat, and hold it in your closed fist.
Hold your hand up to your dog's snout. When he sniffs it, move your hand to the floor, so he follows.
Then slide your hand along the ground in front of him to encourage his body to follow his head.
Once he's in the down position, say "Down", give him the treat, and share affection.
Repeat it every day. If your dog tries to sit up or lunges toward your hand, say "No" and take your hand away. Don't push him into a down position, and encourage every step your dog takes toward the right position. After all, he's working hard to figure it out!
Stay! Before attempting this one, make sure your dog is an expert at the "Sit" command.
First, ask your dog to "Sit."
Then open the palm of your hand in front of you, and say "Stay."
Take a few steps back. Reward him with a treat and affection if he stays.
Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving the treat.
Always reward your pup for staying put, even if it's just for a few seconds.
This is an exercise in self-control for your dog, so don't be discouraged if it takes a while to master, particularly for puppies and high-energy dogs. After all, they want to be on the move and not just sitting there waiting.
Leave it This can help keep your dog safe when his curiosity gets the better of him, like if he smells something intriguing but possibly dangerous on the ground! The goal is to teach your pup that he gets something even better for ignoring the other item.
Place a treat in both hands.
Show him one enclosed fist with the treat inside, and say, "Leave it."
Let him lick, sniff, mouth, paw, and bark to try to get it and ignore the behaviors.
Once he stops trying, give him the treat from the other hand.
Repeat until your dog moves away from that first fist when you say, "Leave it."
Next, only give your dog the treat when he moves away from that first fist and also looks up at you.
Once your dog consistently moves away from the first treat and gives you eye contact when you say the command, you're ready to take it up a notch. For this, use two different treats: one that's just all right and one that's a particularly good smelling and tasty favorite for your pup.
Say "Leave it," place the less attractive treat on the floor, and cover it with your hand.
Wait until your dog ignores that treat and looks at you. Then remove that treat from the floor, give him the better treat and share affection immediately.
Once he's got it, place the less tasty treat on the floor, but don't completely cover it with your hand. Instead hold it a little bit above the treat. Over time, gradually move your hand farther and farther away until your hand is about 6 inches above.
Now he's ready to practice with you standing up! Follow the same steps, but if he tries to snatch the less tasty treat, cover it with your foot.
Don't rush the process. Remember, you're asking a lot of your dog. If you take it up a notch and he's really struggling, go back to the previous stage.