For hundreds of years people have bred Siberian Huskies and other northern breeds to do one thing: Pull! And because if this some people believe Huskies can't be trained to walk nicely, or you need to use painful tools. This short video of Stefan, who was described as a puller, shows that it can be done. And pretty easily, in fact. This is at the end of just 1 session! No shock. No prong. No choke.
Athena learned how to Leave It tonight. We practice with paper towels on the floor and
food on the table and she did great. We then taught her Drop It so if she does pick something
up she will drop it out of her mouth.
We taught Charlie how to Leave It today, and practiced with things he likes to shred, like
tissues. We then worked on his minor resource guarding by teaching him how to trade for
TIP #1: TRADING TROUBLES
When teaching your dog Drop It/Give It you are essentially trading him with something you have for something that he has. But if your dog doesn’t drop the toy/chew to take the treat, then either he likes the toy/chew a lot more than you thought, or he likes the treat a lot less, or both. The fix is to find a less interesting toy and more interesting treats. Remember that soft, moist, smelly, meaty treats usually trump dry, low-odor ones.
TIP #2: CRAZY FOR A WALK
You contemplate taking your dog for a walk with mixed emotions. You love the idea of going for a companionable stroll through the neighborhood together, but when you pick up his leash he becomes the Tasmanian Devil.
Here are suggestions for turning this potential disaster into the enjoyable outing you dream of.
Exercise first. Spend 15-20 minutes tossing a ball for your dog in the backyard, or providing intense mental exercise with a heavy duty shaping session. You'll take the edge off his excitement, reduce his energy level, and make leashing-up and walking more relaxed and enjoyable for both of you.
Pick up his leash throughout the day. He gets amped up when you touch his leash because it always means the two of you are going for a walk. If you pick up his leash numerous times throughout the day, sometimes draping it over your neck and wearing it for a while, sometimes carrying it from room to room, sometimes picking it up and putting it back down, the leash will no longer be a reliable predictor of walks, and he won't have any reason to get all excited about it.
Use negative punishment. Not a bonk on the head. It means setting up the situation so that doing the behavior you don't want causes a good thing to go away. If, when you pick up the leash, he goes bonkers (the behavior you don't want), say "Oops!" in a cheerful tone of voice, set the leash down, and walk away. When he settles down, pick the leash up again. You're teaching him that getting excited makes the opportunity for a walk go away; staying calm makes walks happen.
- excerpted from Whole Dog Journal
Oakland did a wonderful job with her Loose Leash Walking tonight. We began the session by teaching her to Heel to improve her focus on us, then reinforced her behaviors we wanted, like looking at us or walking beside us. Her owner said it was Oakland's best walk ever!
We finished Monte's basic training with a socialization outing to a park. He saw some
bikes and joggers, and he practiced sits, downs, stays, and come when called. He has grown so much, both physically and emotionally.
Charlie is a 7-month old terrier mix who needs some help with his manners, especially
impulse control, because he loves to chase anything that moves. Love those ears!
TIP #1: SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION
In its most basic sense, successive approximation is a series of rewards that provide positive reinforcement for behavior changes that are successive steps towards the final desired behavior. For example, if you can’t quite get your dog to lie down, break the exercise into smaller steps. First mark and treat him for following the treat to the ground, then for bending an elbow, then for bending both elbows. Make sure you mark and treat liberally when you get a full down.
TIP #2: USING A U-TURN TO LEAVE TROUBLE BEHIND
A "U-Turn" is a great tool to have in your training repertoire. A U-Turn is exactly what it sounds like: You and your dog are walking forward, and on your cue, you both instantly turn 180 degrees and move in the opposite direction. A U-Turn is a behavior that is incompatible with your dog barking, lunging or stiffening. It is a cue that you use when you know your dog will be too aroused to perform a Watch or has already barked or lunged at another dog. The goal of a U-Turn is to get you out of sticky situations, and if you and your dog master both the Watch and the U-Turn, you'll be able to handle most of the situations that life can throw at you.
- excerpted from Feisty Fido
Buddy is a typical 6-month old Labrador Retriever. He is mouthy, jumpy, and pulls a little
on the leash. We will be addressing these issues as well as teaching him his basic manners.
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI