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Seizing the Opportunity

How we behave with a dog influences behavior not only now but often for the rest of her life.

Playing with a dog is fun and when learning is fun, a dog will learn quickly. Therefore look for opportunities to show your dog what are good habits and behavior in a fun way and prepare your dog for the expectation of living in today's society.

The moment you meet your pup you begin teaching. I always hated someone ruffling my hair with their hand in front of my eyes when I was a kid. Yet we see that happen so often with pups. Sit on the floor and encourage a pup into your lap, cradle her in your lap and hold firmly yet gently. Take the opportunity to create confidence in your hands, stroke, and massage slowly and gently with soft pressure. If she struggles, apply light pressure enough to hold but not to hurt. If she throws a tantrum, hold her in a way which restrains. Only when she has stopped struggling for a few seconds should she be released slowly and gently. You took control in the gentlest way. This technique of hold and control usually works very well also with mouthing pups. Cradle her with your forearm alongside the outside of her body. When she begins to mouth, apply gentle pressure with this forearm until she stops. Smile at pup, no need for harsh words. While cuddling her, gradually touch every part of her body. When she is comfortable in your arms, slowly run your hands gently down her legs and touch her feet. Watch for the reaction and increase the touching until you can handle feet, ears, mouth, private areas, in fact any part of her body. Your veterinarian will need to do this so take the opportunity to prepare her. She will also realize hands are friendly.

The crate should be her den or room, so call it a fun name -condo, cockpit, office, palace, castle or whatever appeals, and have her comfortable with being in there from the very beginning. 'Wait' is a wonderful command to teach. It means "do not come forward over the threshold in front of you." With pup in the crate and the door closed, say "Wait" and show her the palm of your hand with fingers downward. Slowly unlatch the door, and restating "wait," slowly open just a small amount. As pup moves forward to come through the small gap, flick it shut with a light motion of your fingers and then hold it there. Repeat until she does not move forward, only then open the door fully. Gently clip the leash to her collar, say 'come on' (follow me) and walk slowly away from the crate. If she stays there just wait for her to figure it out - no need to pull. Now she has learned 'Wait" and "Come on."

A young dog needs to go to the bathroom many times, so 'Wait' quickly becomes a habit. Now add 'Wait' while you open and close the back door to the yard and avoid bolting through outside doors. When she waits, ask "Outside?" This is a direction rather than a question, and then take her out. And now seize the important opportunity of teaching her to go on command. 'Get busy." When you are going on a journey or wishing to leave her in the house, you can ask her to 'go' prior to this and there is less risk of accidents.

Food time is great teaching time. Go through the crate 'wait' routine and put the food in the crate or after the wait, call her "here" and there you are waiting with her dinner. Hold the bowl at your chest height or just a piece of kibble and say 'sit'. She may jump around or even bark, if she does, turn your back and ignore. Frustration often will make her sit. The moment her butt hits the floor the food goes down. She will learn 'sit' and also that the quicker she does the quicker dinner arrives. While eating, remove her bowl for a second, and then replace it. Take the opportunity to let her know that even when you take her things they come back again. Do this also with her toys. She will be quite willing to come to you if she feels that coming and giving up her 'prize' is sharing. Occasionally put your hand in her food bowl and add her kibble ration in stages as she is eating. Your hands touching her belongings become accepted.

Teaching your pup good habits is fun and rewarding for you and her and what is nice is that by taking the opportunities presented every time you are with her, you will become habitual in what you do and not even realize you are training, simply educating for life, and you will tell friends "She was such an easy dog."

Martin Deeley | www.floridadogtrainer.com | www.internationaldogschool.com

Articles

Barking

By Denise Collins
6/21/2021

A dog should be allowed to bark. After all, that is one reason we have dogs, to alert us. We would just like to control the “on and off switch.” It’s the rare human who hasn’t yelled at their dog, “Quiet" or "Shut Up!” when the dog is barking at the doorbell, a noise, or at you to get your attention. We think that if we raise the volume of our voice, this ...

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Behavior Terminology

By Mary Mazzeri
6/21/2021

Behavioral Terminology: What are they talking about?

You hear dog trainers tossing around training terms that don’t make sense to you? Here’s a look into decoding the lingo.

The definitions are generally accepted among behaviorists (which is where this terminology is standardized): Whether a given act is reinforcement or punishment is defined by what the dog does in the future. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of it, it's the dog ...

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We Need Leadership If You Want "Real Change"

By Andy Luper of a Canine Academy International
6/21/2021

The title might sound political but it isn't. Rather, this is written from the dogs point of view for owners who don't seem to "get it" despite their best intentions, and the advice of a qualified professional.

Dear owner, your dog would like you to know:

  • Despite you giving us human names, we are in fact dogs that react to you and our environment.
  • What is most important to us is not who ...
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Training with Energy

By Patty Homer, CDT, CPDT-KA
6/21/2021

Scientists have discovered that dogs can smell the presence of autism in children.

'Seizure Alert' dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure. There are dogs that can detect cancer before medical tests can. With these incredible capabilities, it is hard to deny the effect that our own energy can have on our dogs. The idea of sharing "good energy" is not just a “woo-woo” concept reserved ...

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Puppies and Children…So Much Alike

By Marc Goldberg, CDT
6/21/2021

Rowdy little children and naughty little puppies have so much in common!

Let's learn from the human example, so we can quickly and gently redirect puppies away from naughtiness, toward great and fun behaviors.

I sat trapped on the airplane, hurtling toward Orlando, strapped into my seat, some 30,000 feet above ground. I say “trapped” because my seat, my entire row even, was constantly shaken, bumped and tossed by a pair of blond ...

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Pet Sitter for the Holidays

By Marc Goldberg, CDT
6/21/2021

Vacation Angst…or What to do with the Dog?

Leaving home for work or vacation? Are you concerned about leaving your pets behind? A clean, professional kennel offers convenience and a secure location for your dog. But there is an alternative. Your pets can stay home in the care of a professional pet sitter. Here’s what you need to know to help you choose the very best for your dogs, cats, snakes or gerbils ...

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Rainy Day Activities for Dogs

By Marc Goldberg, CDT
6/21/2021

Rain, rain…go away. All our dogs want to play!

Bad weather shouldn’t stop you from exercising your dog’s body and brain. Here are a few great ways to keep your dog from going stir crazy when you’re house-bound.

Days of rain or bitter cold, even unbearable heat usually mean we coop up the dogs with nothing to do. And that got me to thinking: What do we do with our dogs ...

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Curing Your Dog's Fear Of The Vet

By Ryan Gwilliam
6/21/2021

Today I want to talk to you about the often dreaded "Vet trip."

For some lucky dog owners, it's a breeze. Their dog happily bounds into the examination room and only seems mildly put off by the doctors poking and prodding. Most dog owners aren't so lucky. The good news is your dog can learn to enjoy the Vet if you start doing a few specific things. But before I tell you how ...

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A Holistic Approach to Training

By Jan Gribble
6/21/2021

Many, if not all, behavioral problems have a direct link to the dog’s physical, emotional and mental health.

To be successful, any approach taken to address a behavioral problem must take into consideration the dog’s diet, exercise, general health and relationship with its owner.

Sudden changes in behavior should always raise a red flag about the dog’s physical health. The first step to addressing a change in behavior that is radically different ...

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Housebreaking an Adult Dog Using the Umbilical Cord Method

Phil Guida
6/21/2021

Introduction

Most puppies can be housebroken prior to 8 months of age using traditional methods. But for older dogs that are still having accidents in the house, the umbilical cord method should be used. This method has worked on the most difficult housebreaking cases and can be used with dogs of any age.

When the owner makes a commitment to success and is consistent with its application, the success rate using this method is very ...

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Training Dogs Using Pack Work

By Maryna Ozuna
6/21/2021

Pack work, or using a group of dogs to influence the behavior of an individual dog, is an amazing tool which can create permanent change in a dog and help create a healthy balanced attitude and behavior.

There are a variety of ways in which trainers use this concept to assist in the training of a client dog from simply using a senior steady, trained dog to calm a nervous nelly, to having a young ...

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The Innate Make-Up of a Dog

Candiss DelCastillo
6/21/2021

In my ‘Behavioral HELP for Dogs’ seminars and 1 on 1 sessions, I start teaching with a sound foundation.

During the course of our time together, I build line upon line on that foundation until my students or clients have a complete understanding of how to interact with their dogs, so as to draw from them the behavior they want, thus creating harmony in the home and the neighborhood.

One of the main reasons that ...

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Is Your Dog Addicted?

By Karla Gardner Hamlin,BS, Registered Veterinary Technician
6/21/2021

(Addictive behavior in dogs which can sever the bond with their family)

You may already be in trouble if you did not study the history and purpose of your purebred dog before you brought him home. Your failure to diligently manage your dog to prevent his characteristics from growing into dangerous obsessions could seal your dog's fate.

You may think you did everything you could to successfully raise your dog. Following well-meaning veterinary advice ...

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Who’s Walking Who?

Greg Winters, Owner, Personal Dog Training Inc.
6/21/2021

Do you find yourself avoiding taking your dog out for a walk because you are unable to stop their constant pulling?

Do you hold the leash in a death grip as you brace yourself for the ensuing tug of war through your neighborhood?

Do you worry that your dog may knock you over or break free during your walk?
 

Learning how to achieve a relaxed, controlled walking experience with your dog will not only alleviate ...

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Tricks Are Fun and Easy! - The Step-up

Cheryl Miller
6/21/2021

We started teaching our dog to ’Spin’ and now it’s time to introduce the ‘Step-up!’

What is Step-up? This trick is the first part of teaching a dog to place its front feet on a low solid item and remain there until released. As training progresses the dog will eventually be able to sit on top of a low object and balance perfectly! Dogs’ love this one so much that when a ‘practice object ...

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Reliable Recalls: The Come Command

By Mary Mazzeri
6/21/2021

Dog training (reliable dog training) is my passion. It's a long story, going back to 1966.

I've been a professional dog trainer since 1970. I have always worked hard to make my dogs trustworthy off lead, but it takes time and consistency. I am rather old fashioned in my dog training techniques. My dogs have a lot more 'freedom' because we trust each other. They all know that there are consequences for their ...

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Teaching Come

By Tawni McBee, IACP-CDT/CDTI, AKC - CGC evaluator
6/21/2021

I am not the trainer for everyone; no one trainer is. Some will pooh-pooh my ideas, some will love them, some will get angry about them. I get results and I've never harmed a dog.

To teach come: I use a variety of methods depending on the dog. I do not ever call a dog out of a stay command for at least the first year following training. To that end, I frequently use ...

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Teaching the Drop-it (“Out”) Command

CanineDimensions.com
6/21/2021

Your dog must be taught to instantly drop whatever he is holding in his mouth.

This is a safety issue since your dog may pick up a dangerous or poisonous object. It is a pack leadership issue since your dog should obey every command without hesitation. It is a behavioral issue when used in conjunction with classical counter-conditioning, as it can help prevent and correct resource guarding.

Use the following methods to teach this command ...

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Touch Targeting

Phil Guida
6/21/2021

Teaching a dog to touch his nose to your hand on command is a simple, highly effective training protocol that has many practical uses:

  • It can teach a touch sensitive or hand shy dog to welcome physical contact instead of avoiding it.
  • It can help a reactive dog to direct his attention to the handler, thereby interrupting fixation.
  • It can establish a bond between an anti-social dog to a human handler because it is a ...
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Controlled Walking

Vivian Bregman
6/21/2021

One of the most important things for your dog to learn is to walk on a leash without pulling.

This makes walking the dog much more enjoyable for both you and the dog. If the dog is pulling, walking is unpleasant and he gets walked far less often -- this makes him pull all the more because he needs the exercise even more. It’s a vicious cycle.

Never wrap the leash around your hand: you ...

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