Sunny finished her basic manners training by learning how to walk on a loose leash, and I am so happy how she has progressed over the past couple of months. I'll miss my Sunny days.
TIP #1: MANAGING BEHAVIORS
Many annoying behaviors can be prevented or managed to a point where they no longer present a problem. Management techniques might include setting up barriers such as baby gates and exercise pens, using humane anti-pull devices such as head halters or harnesses, and simply dog-proofing the house, stowing away food, and placing desirable things out of reach. Keep in mind that management isn’t training. The dog isn’t learning how we would prefer him to behave; he is simply prevented from behaving in an unwanted way in a situation because we control the options and outcomes. But management is a great short-term measure for getting relief, especially for young animals with nuisance behaviors, and it often works well enough to satisfy many people in the long term too. Management also keeps the dog from practicing the problem behavior and thus learning bad habits by repeating the same behaviors over and over again.
- excerpted from Decoding Your Dog
TIP #2: NEW TO CHEW?
Is your dog suddenly chewing a lot? Is this a new habit? Make sure he is getting enough exercise and has access to things that are okay to chew. Rotate different types of chewies to keep your dog interested.
This smiling face belongs to Dasher. The 8-month old Golden Retriever likes to show his happiness by jumping on people, and he likes to steal items like socks and paper towels, so we will be teaching him manners and impulse control.
"When the world around me is going crazy and I am losing faith in humanity, I just have to take one look at my dog to know that good still exists."
We taught the very excited Ellie how to be more calm by lying down on cue. She also likes to play with toys but doesn't give them up, so we also taught how to drop it when asked.
Max is leash reactive to other dogs, and he displays it with barking and lunging from 50 yards away. Today, with help from my training partner Ash, we worked on desensitizing and counterconditioning Max to other dogs. We were able to make progress, and by the end of the hour we were able to get within 20 yards before Max reacted.
TIP #1: STOP THE JUMPING!
A classic culture clash example is greeting rituals: in most human cultures, we shake hands or bow. In dog culture, they buzz around excitedly, lick and sniff each other. Greetings may become exaggerated when dogs live with humans because the social group is continually being fractured, then reunited: we leave and come back a lot, necessitating constant broad rituals. We're also vertical: the dog wants to get at our face. We also tend to let tiny puppies get away with it and then change the rules when they grow larger.
The key to training dogs not to jump up is to strongly train an alternative behavior that is mutually exclusive to jumping. The dog cannot jump up and sit at the same time. Nor can he dig through walls while working on a chew toy, lie on a mat and annoy dinner guests, or hold eye contact while chasing cars. The applications of this technique - DRI (differential reinforcement of an in compatible behavior, or "operant counterconditioning") - are limitless.
- excerpted from The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson
TIP #2: QUIET GETS ATTENTION
If your puppy begins to howl, whine, or bark to get out of his crate, wait until he has been quiet for at least 10 seconds before you respond. Otherwise, he will learn that whining or barking makes you appear or gets him out of the confinement area, and he will bark or cry more often and longer in the future.
"Dogs do what works. Their behavior is reliable to what has worked for them in the past. If your dog is doing something which you don't like, or not doing something you have trained it's because you haven't trained enough. It's unfair to correct or punish your dog for our mistakes. The mistake is our's, not the dog's. Work out was is going wrong and train more. Your dog will be better off for it and you'll be a better trainer."
- John McGuigan
TIP #1: REAL LIFE TRAINING
Real life training means using everyday situations to train and continually strengthen good manners - without spending a lot of time on dedicated dog training sessions. Don't open the door just because the dog paws at it, don't throw the ball just because he barks at you. For those and countless other privileges, ask the dog to say "please" first by doing something like sitting quietly.
- The Whole Dog Journal
TIP #2: CONFINEMENT IS NOT JAIL
When housetraining, don't think that confinement and crating is too strict on your dog. You are doing her a big favor. Investing a few short weeks of effort nets you a lifetime of freedom for your dog - and you don't have to replace your carpet.
"Trying to get your dog to do what you want without providing motivation is like trying to turn on a light without a switch. Motivation is the switch that turns on behavior."
- Kevin Duggan
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI