We took advantage of the nice weather to play recall games to teach Cali how to come when called. She did really well considering all the distractions of being outside on a Spring-like day.
Think a Siberian Husky with snow all around can't walk nicely on a leash without using a
prong or choke collar, or leash jerking? Think again. Jace did a wonderful job because we
taught her how to walk nicely and we reinforced the behavior that we wanted.
We put high-energy Zoey to the test tonight by teaching her Down and Stay, and she passed. Her stay was actually rock-solid for a beginner!
We taught Buster how to sit calmly by the door as guests come in. For it being the first time he's ever done that he did really well.
Dupree, a 9-month old mixed breed, has been well trained up to this point but his family
needs some help to polish the rough edges, including not chasing the cats!
Lyla's combination of Bloodhound and German Shorthaired Pointer presents some problems
when it comes to teaching her to walk on a loose leash, but after an hour of work she was
making great progress.
The puppies had fun learning Leave It and how to walk on, over, and through different things and surfaces.
TIP #1: FADE OUT FOOD REWARDS
Once your dog knows a behavior well, and can perform it in many locations and with many distractions, you can fade the use of your marker signal and rewards. In other words, you don't need to click and treat every time your dog sits for you. However, it's also important to pay off every now and then to keep your dog in the game and gambling.
Once you have decided to use fewer treats, bear in mind that never using treats again would be like asking yourself to give up ice cream, cake, or other goodies. There is nothing wrong with using food to reward your dog, just use it to your advantage - to help him get better with his skills. Sometimes it is fun to give your dog a treat, just like it is fun for us to get unexpected rewards. Also, if your dog does something really amazing that you would like repeated, then food is the best paycheck you can give him to keep him in your employment.
- excerpted from Chill Out Fido!
TIP #2: BAD BREATH COULD BE MORE THAN BAD BREATH
Bad breath is usually the result of periodontal disease, or it can be related to diet, especially if your dog is on a fish-based food or likes to eat poop (coprophagia). But sometimes, bad breath can be the result of more serious medical conditions: bacterial infections, fungal overgrowth, diabetes, kidney disease, or cancer. If your dog's bad breath is enough to bother you, it's time for a veterinary exam.
Paisley is a 4-year old Pug/Beagle mix who barks a lot and jumps on the owner's
grandkids, so we will teach her some impulse control as well as how to walk nicely on
Today we taught Apache and Jace how to Leave It. We taught them simultaneously, and it was interesting to see how differently a 6-month old and 11-year old learn. But really there was no difference! Old dogs can definitely learn new tricks!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI