Lucy did fantastic learning how to Come When Called. We began by playing recall games, like Puppy Ping Pong and Rocket Recall, with her inside. After she started responding well we took her outside on a 100-foot long line and she didn't miss a beat. She came to us every single time because coming when called now means "something really good is going to happen to me!"
Meet Ripp. At just 11-weeks old he already knows how to Sit very well, so we simply taught him to also do it with a hand signal. We then taught him how to Down without luring him with
food in our hand. He's extremely smart and so darn cute!
TIP #1: PROGRAM YOUR DOG'S CHEW PREFERENCES
One of the basic tenets of positive dog training is that it's much easier to teach the dog what to do rather than what not to do. If you program your dog's chew preferences early in life by consistently directing his attention - and teeth - to appropriate objects and preventing his access to inappropriate ones, you won't have to constantly tell him he's chewing on the wrong things.
Interactive toys can help here too. Instead of giving him his bowl of food in the morning, fill a Kong, Buster Cube, or other food puzzle toy with his kibbles and make him work for his meal by pushing the toy around to make the food fall out. He won't have the time, energy, or desire to shred your grandmother's antique afghan if he's out "hunting" for his breakfast!
- Whole Dog Journal
TIP #2: ELIMINATE BAD BEHAVIOR BY TEACHING ACCEPTABLE REPLACEMENT BEHAVIORS
A replacement behavior is what you teach your dog to do instead of the problem behavior. The key to making this work is when replacement behavior becomes a more efficient or more effective way for the dog to earn the functional reward than the original problem behavior(s). Let's go back to the example of the dog who rushes across the room, barks, and scratches the door when you reach for your keys or his leash. If you clip on the leash and open the door to let the dog out after he does all of that, you are providing him a functional reward (the fun outing) for his behavior and you will have to repaint your door much more often. If that has happened with your dog, your best strategy is to start requiring him to sit before you clip the leash on. If the dog is bouncing around, simply set down the leash and patiently, silently refuse to clip the leash to the collar until he sits. Sitting becomes the replacement behavior for jumping and acting crazy because you have made going for a walk contingent upon polite behavior: your dog gets to go on a walk if, and only if, he is calm. Making the functional reward of walks and car rides contingent upon sitting will quickly calm down the situation at your door.
- Whole Dog Journal
We began Addie's manners training by teaching her how to Sit and Down, and she did great. But she was so tired from all those puppy push-ups that she fell asleep before the session was over. Again.
Phoebe began learning how to control her impulses, as we taught her Wait and Stay. She
initially had trouble staying for any length of time, but with patience and practice we were
able to walk across the room and "answer" the door without her coming to investigate.
To prepare him for the baby that is coming soon we taught Eddie how to Down on cue. We also taught him to go to his bed and lie down. The next step is to generalize these behaviors so he will do them when asked, no matter where he is.
To improve her impulse control we taught Ginger how to Wait at the door without rushing
through it. We also worked on improving her Stay, as well as established some rules for when visitors come to the house, like having her on leash so she can't practice jumping, and having her sit to be greeted.
TIP #1: AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION
In some ways, your dog's reaction to other dogs is like a bad habit. Every time she barks and lunges, she's like a would-be quitter having just one more cigarette. Keeping this in mind, anything you can do to prevent an incident is worth doing. Prevention is not giving up. It's a way of protecting your dog from situations that may overwhelm or frighten her and act to reinforce those old, bad habits.
You've probably already spent a lot of time trying to prevent incidents while walking in the neighborhood, but it always helps to review what you're doing now to stay out of trouble while you're working on a treatment plan. Most people with feisty fidos try to walk their dogs at quiet times of day. (We've learned to assume any dog out walking at 5:30 AM might be trouble!) When you do encounter another dog, don't hesitate to cross the street or turn and go the other way. To make this possible, try to walk on streets that have little traffic. Obviously, you are already avoiding streets with dogs running loose, but you also might want to look out for yards with high hedges that may conceal approaching dogs until they are too close. Most importantly, if any situation makes you feel concerned, avoid it. Many of our clients skipped their neighborhood walks during the early stages of training, and found other ways to exercise their dogs. Don't think you are being a wimp for avoiding trouble. You're being a wise and thoughtful dog owner with a carefully thought out rehabilitation plan.
- excerpted from Feisty Fido
TIP #2: TRAINING CONSISTENT INTERACTIONS
Use everyday situations to train and continually strengthen good manners - without spending a lot of time on dedicated dog training sessions. It boils down to this: Whatever the dog wants, don't give it away for free. 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 benefits of this approach are many. For one thing, good manners become part of everyday routines rather than something the dog is asked to do only in special training situations. Your dog also learns a degree of impulse control. He realizes that not immediately acting on impulse, but rather stopping to consider alternative options, can be rewarding. Training also becomes linked in the dog's mind to all his favorite activities: he will sit for having his leash put on for a walk, he will comply with a request before being invited onto the couch, he will have to look at you before getting his breakfast or a chew toy, and he will release the ball before tossing it again, and playing fetch with you. When all good things must be preceded by responding to a cue that you give, your dog quickly learns to behave politely.
The goal isn't to seek the perfect obedient response to "sit" or "stay"; it simply teaches your dog to say "please." If the dog puts his bottom to the floor, the item or attention will be provided. Soon it becomes second nature, and your dog might default into a "sit" behavior instead of jumping or pawing at you. You can then decide whether to ask for an additional behavior, such as a "down" or "look." This is also a safety precaution: if your dog defaults into a sit position every time you get ready to open the car door, he will not bolt out and possibly get hurt. If he sits to have his leash put on, he will not run around and you will not have to chase him. This makes taking the dog out a pleasure instead of a struggle. Use a "please" action before:
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI