Tag Archives | Dog Training

How do I get my dog to understand the task? Breaking down the problem.

I am a very visual person who tends to make points using stories and analogies. When i discuss problem solving with my clients, I refer to my “loaf of bread” analogy. Imagine a problem being like a loaf of bread. If I were to force you to eat this loaf of bread (problem), you would choke on it. The same goes for a dog with an issue. Forcing your solution on them, all at once, may not work for them or for you. The idea is too break up the problem into easier segments that the dog can follow- like slicing up that loaf of bread. Whether you thin slice it or make each piece the size of Texas toast. Forcing the dog to do something it does not understand may just cause the dog to resist you and the training or turn off to the training.

Figure out what you want the end goal to be, what would it look like? Next, figure out how to break that down into manageable pieces that link together to form that end goal. Sometimes it is just like the old saying- “you need to learn to walk before you can run”. While that is true, sometimes you have to learn how to crawl first.

Some tips that I offer clients.
– Know what you expect from the dog- what is the desired outcome.
– Is your current actions or directions to your dog bringing him closer to that goal or further away?
– Force isn’t always the right answer,subtlety is part of training and subtlety is hard to teach. While a simple action of stepping back away from a dog can bring him to you, stepping toward the dog in the right moment can get him to stop and even sit.
– If you are not getting the desired result- IT’S NOT THE DOGS FAULT. Stop what you are doing. If you can’t fix it immediately, STOP and have the dog do something (an easier task) it knows and the reward for that behavior. Training must be rewarding.
– Dog training should be based on Patience, Persistence, Consistency, and Fair Expectations (of the dog and yourself).
– Learn how to shape your environment so as to help teach your dog (i.e placeboards, walking next to a fence or wall to keep the dog next to you etc)
– Know that it is okay to ask for help. I have often consulted with other trainers to get their perspective on a training issue. It is okay not to know everything. I wouldn’t believe someone who said that they did.
– Dog Training is a never ending system of learning and adapting what you have learned for that dog and the client.
– Still having problems? Don’t go it alone. Ask for help. I sure can’t work on a car engine. I would make matters worse. Dealing with the complex issues of Dog Training and solving behavioral issues is no different.

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Door Manners

Many clients during an initial evaluation express their concern over the manners that their dog has at the door. The dog barks continuously at the door after someone knocks or rings the door bell. The dog acts aggressively when someone comes in. The dog jumps up on the guest. Some clients state that people do not come over to their house, because of the owner’s dog.

We teach a concept called- Place. The dog learns to go to place and stay there so that the owner can answer the door and greet the guest. By putting the dog “in their place”, you are in charge and not the dog. It shows a model for a desired behavior that you want your dog to perform. Let me show you what it looks like.

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Our Training Programs

Private In-Home Training

Our sessions together take place in the comfort of your home.  The time we spend together is our time, you are not sharing our training time with other people.  We concentrate on the needs of your dog(s) and your situation.  We can agree that most people would rather have the dog trained at home, not just for the convenience, but also because that is where the dog is possible having issues.

Imagine having a dog that is a joy to be around. One that responds to your every command, regardless of distractions or situations. A dog that garners compliments every where you go. Each of our personally tailored programs will help your dog develop calmness, confidence, great house manners and reliability in all their obedience commands. Our Private In Home Lessons are specifically geared for the family who wants to be personally and directly involved in the success of their dog’s training.

Private Lessons are customized for your individual needs and are done IN YOUR HOME. We walk you through a step by step program that will last a lifetime for your dog. For all private lessons, we are available 6 days per week so we can accommodate your schedule!

Interested in a FREE EVALUATION?  Contact me and we will set you up.  Help is a click away.

Puppy Training

So, you got yourself a new puppy,  congratulations.  The word that I sometimes here next is HELP, my dog is a terror.  You may have issues such as housebreaking, jumping, chewing, nipping, or basic obedience.  We can help you with these issues and others.  Our puppy program guides you and the puppy through these formative weeks of early development.  We bring the joy back into the house by providing a foundation of training.  Through training comes understanding and respect.  This concept does go both ways.  It is important for the Pet Parent to understand and respect the dog as well as the puppy understanding us and respecting us.

Interested in a FREE EVALUATION?  Contact me and we will set you up.  Help is a click away.

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So why should I hire you as my Dog Trainer?

There are multiple methods to train dogs and most any trainer will tell you that their method is superior and why.  The joke is usually told that if you put 5 trainers in the same room, the only point they can agree on is that the other trainer is wrong.  With all the information that is out there I can only ask this of you-  Look around, ask questions, check out videos and blog posts.  What are their credentials, where have they taught and how long have they been training.  Remember, even a trainer with a multitude of credentials may not be the best choice for you.  Some trainers are only good with dogs and some only good with people.  What you need is a combination of both.  I mean, what good is it if they can work your dog, but cant explain how they did it.  It is also important to note what their training method is, do you understand it? Can you do it?

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We say we love our dogs, but…

How many times have you seen a car driving by and you notice that there is a dog on the drivers lap and also probably sticking their head out the window.  This is a severe distraction for the driver that can easily lead to a car accident.  The front passenger seat is not much better.  The dog hanging out the window is a target for flying debris.  Additionally, in the case of an accident with vehicles that have air bags, the air bag deploys at about 200 mph.  What do you think that would do to a dog?

An unrestrained dog, whether it is the front seat or the rear area, is a deadly missile that can and will cause injury to itself and others in an accident.  We owe it to them and ourselves to act in a proper and safe manner with our pets.  I would not expect to see a driver allowing a child to be hanging out on the drivers lap or sticking their head out the window.  Yeah, on occasion we do see it, poor kid.  Most people however would not allow this to occur with children, but they do with their pet.  Why?

Pets should be secured in a restraint (i.e. Ruff Rider) or a travel kennel.  Our pets are counting on us to make the best decisions for their safety.  Let’s show them we love them by securing them when we bring them with us in the car.

 

Going on a trip- safely

Going on a trip- safely

 

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How can I help my Reactive Dog?

Dogs react to their environment in the best way that they know how.  There in lies part of the problem.  If they do not know how to cope, they usually either go into Fight or Flight mode.  The dog thinks, ”  Can I take the problem out with force or can I get away from it”.

The average Pet Parent means well, but may do the exact opposite of what needs to be done.   Here we have a dog that needs direction or input from an outside source to overcome the external (person, dog, cat etc) issue, but they receive no direction.   The distraction could also be internal like the dog having a lack of socialization or self confidence.  He just does not know what to do.   The dog acts out the best way it knows how.  Think of yourself thrust into a job or situation that you know little about.  We feel frustrated and unsure of ourselves.  We may want to get the heck out of the situation or we become agitated for being forced into the situation.  We might even lash out because of our lack of understanding or control.  Now imagine someone coming to your aid and guides you through that same situation or better yet prepares you for it before it occurs.  That’s what the job of the Parent is, to guide and prepare.

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