TIP #1: STEP BACK, THEN GO FORWARD
If your dog makes several training mistakes in a row, go back a step and make the exercise easier. Even if he is doing great, throw in an easy version every now and again for motivation.
TIP #2: CHANGE SHOULD BE GRADUAL
When generalizing your dog's training, remember that the change to your new training space should be gradual. If your regular training has always taken place in your kitchen, try moving to the living room. Work through the entire lesson plan in that room, then change locations again. How about the bedroom? The bathroom?
Once you've exhausted the options in your house, take a look at the next most gradual change that you can make. How about your porch? Backyard? Front yard? In front of your neighbor's house?
If you introduce new places thoughtfully, they should be dull enough that your dog can work off leash or with a loose leash with his total attention on either you or on the distraction that you have provided.
- excerpted from the Whole Dog Journal
Liesl did a wonderful job learning Stay and Leave It tonight. She picked up everything very quickly, even learning to stay while I waved one of her favorite toys, which showed great impulse control.
This is Zeke, a 6-month old Golden Retriever. Zeke likes to guard his food, so we started him on a counterconditioning program so he learns that people approaching him while he is eating is a good thing, instead of a threat that his food will be taken away.
TIP #1: HAND SIGNALS FOR HEARING IMPAIRED DOGS
Like us, dogs can lose their hearing as they age, and one of our biggest challenges is getting our dog's attention, whether at home or out in the world.
Just as you teach a dog to respond to "Max" or "Spot," you can teach a deaf dog to respond to a signal that means, "I'm talking to you now." A simple finger point or a wave will each work and are easy to teach, but any signal will do.
To teach that the finger point or wave means "Max," start by simply pointing or waving at the dog, then offering a reward such as a great treat.
Throughout your daily life, use his "name signal" much as you would a verbal name. If you are about to feed your dog, point or wave in his direction, then walk to the kitchen and prepare his dinner. Before walks, point or wave to your dog, then get out the leash.
But don't wait until your dog's hearing is going before you train this. Start now, and train hand signals for sit, down, stay, and come as well. Soon your dog will respond to hand signals just as he does to verbal cues.
- portions excerpted from Canine Hearing Loss
TIP #2: TRADE, DON'T CHASE
If your dog grabs something you don’t want her to have, don’t chase her to try to take it away, which turns into a really fun game - for her! Instead, find a yummy treat. Tell your puppy, “Drop it,” then offer the treat in exchange for the forbidden item. Through repetition, when your dog hears the "drop it" cue she will drop the item in anticipation of being rewarded.
Dasher did awesome with his Leave It training tonight. He breezed through it when we used food so we then tried with something he goes bonkers over - paper towels! At first he
couldn't resist but eventually could let one drop right in front of him.
Ellie learned how to Come When Called by playing recall games in the house. When we went out to the back yard - with a pool, rabbits under the shed, and baby birds in the tree -
we thought she would be too distracted to perform, but she did a really good job.
This little cutie is Aksel, a 10-week old German Shepherd. He will be joining our Puppy Kindergarten class next week. Look at those ears!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI