Any positive reinforcement trainer is likely to give you this same bit of advice. Clients who take the advice seriously and remember to practice the habit frequently will enjoy a better relationship with their dogs. Ditch the dish. Ban the bowl. Stop feeding your dog for free! Dogs enjoy hunting, fishing, and generally scavenging food… Continue reading The Most Important Advice
I train and help train hundreds of dogs each year. Almost every dog I encounter, no matter how advanced, how delayed, how remedial, or how extensive their training, has never learned to “stand” on cue. It seems to be the most difficult basic cue for owners to teach their dogs, despite the incredibly easy methods… Continue reading The Forgotten Cue
There’s a thing I’m having to work on: recall. The cue “come”. The holy grail (for me at least) of dog training. I’ve trained hundreds of dogs to come when called. Maybe more than “hundreds”. I used to think I was pretty good at it. It seems like any time I think I’m good at… Continue reading Poisoned Cues
You’ve seen it if you haven’t experienced it personally; a dog dragging his owner down the street in pursuit of a…squirrel, cat, enticing scent. Chasing may be one of the most natural behaviors of every dog ever. But dogs, like people, can and should learn self control. It isn’t easy. I haven’t entirely figured out… Continue reading Can I Chase That? Your Dog’s Prey Drive
I’ve written before on the topic of why you should consider not phasing out treats and under which circumstances it is ok. (Your Dog’s Paycheck) I’m not addressing that today. Today I want you to consider when and how you deliver rewards. I have SO many clients who want nothing more than to eliminate the… Continue reading What Treat?
First, let’s clarify: there is a HUGE difference between teaching your dog not to pull on the leash, and teaching your dog to heel. A heel is an advanced behavior which requires your dog’s absolute focus for the entire duration of the cue. Loose leash walking is the relatively simple exercise of walking without pulling.… Continue reading Loose Leash Walking
This week I have heard no fewer than 3 people brag about how quickly other trainers have trained their dogs. “I sent him my dog and the dog knew beginner obedience in two weeks!” My thoughts? Oh? Is that all? In positive reinforcement training we have a saying: “Fast is slow and slow is fast.”… Continue reading Time To Train
Most puppies bite their new owners hands when they are first brought home. There’s no quick fix to this, but understanding why can make a big difference in how well you’re able to shape this behavior into something acceptable. Bite inhibition is a dog’s learned ability to control the pressure they exert while biting. Bite… Continue reading My puppy keeps biting!
I have so many clients who worry about the cue “come”. Honestly, I don’t. It is the first word in our business name, and undoubtedly one of the most important cues in a dog’s life. But we never once address this cue in our beginner class. Don’t mistake me: it is on the test. It is… Continue reading A Foolproof “Come”
Next to crate training, teaching a dog to be quiet is probably the most common complaint I hear from dog owners. I can’t stand a yappy animal myself, so I sympathize. But I adore Chihuahuas, so how does that work? Simple, I ask them to hush. (Ok, let’s be honest, maybe the word I use… Continue reading How to teach “Hush”