Fun Training Tips & Bits
Don't punish the growl! When a dog growls, it is a warning that a bite is coming. Heed that warning. No matter the reason, do not punish the dog for growling. If you lose the growl, you lose the warning. If you lose the warning, all you have left is the bite. Find a positive trainer to help you work with your dog.
Practice Your Recalls - Starting in a quiet environment, such as your home, call your dog and start celebrating (Yay! Good! Clap your hands) as soon as they start coming to you, when they get all the way up to you, reward them with a treat close to your body not with your arm outstretched, or a game of tug, or whatever they really like. Once you have them running to you every time you call, give it a try in a more distracted area. This can still be in your home but with other people around, or in your backyard. Don't forget that you must reward them every single time. Don't ask for a sit, first when they get to you, just reward. After you are successful in your back yard, try your front yard. For safety's sake, ALWAYS have a 15, 20 or 30 foot lead on them if you are not in a fenced area. You never know if a squirrel is going to go darting by that your dog will merrily chase after. After your dog has the front yard mastered, try it at a park. Remember, always have them on the lead. Have fun!
Sit and Wait for the bowl - When it's feeding time, my pups are extremely excited. To keep from getting mobbed by them they have learned that they must sit before I will put down their bowls. I have pasted the links of two videos below. The first one demonstrates how you can teach your dog, and the second one is the finished product with all three of my dogs in on the action.
My You Tube Wait for the bowl demo
My You Tube Waiting for Dinner
Consistency is the key! When you are working on loose leash walking, or any behavior training, it is very important to be consistent. Whenever your dog pulls, stop and do not move! As soon as your dog looks back at you or moves back towards you, reward him by giving him a treat close to your body. Do not start walking again unless the leash is slack. In the beginning it can take a long time to walk just a few feet, but keep at it and you will be able to enjoy your walks once again.
Is there something that your dog does on his own that is really cute? Raises a paw or plops over for a belly rub? Put it on cue! Here Annabelle demonstrates how flopping over for a belly rub can turn into a cute trick. She does a good job after we've worked on it for a few days.
To see another version go to my You Tube
Why spend lots of money on treats for your dog when you probably have some excellent, healthy ones right in your own kitchen? I always keep some low-fat cheddar cheese cut into small pieces in my refrigerator. When the occasion calls for a more special treat, deli chicken or turkey works wonders. Boiled chicken breast cut into pea sized pieces is always a great one to use. It's lean and healthy so you don't have to worry to much about your dog gaining weight. Remember, it's the *fact* of the treat that matters, not the size.
Sing to your dogs! I know it sounds silly. When I'm walking with my dogs and I want to let them know that we're going a different way, I sing to them.. This Way or Over Here They look at me with tails wagging and we all go in the new direction with a little more spring in our step.