To prepare Chubbs to walk next to a baby stroller, we first had to teach him how to walk
without pulling. We did that by first teaching him how to Heel so he learned to pay more attention to us. Then we reinforced him a lot for doing things we wanted, like looking at us or walking with a loose leash. He did great!
What a great session we had with Tucker today. Tucker, who is afraid of strangers, happily greeted me today and even nudged me to pet him, which I obliged. We then went outside to work on his reactivity, where we encountered a few neighbors while we played the
Engage/Disengage game. While he did watch them all intently, he only barked at the delivery
Barney likes to walk fast, which results in pulling. He may be only 7 pounds, but that can
still be dangerous for himself and his owner. Today we taught him that being closer to us
was a better deal than walking too far in front of us. What a great job he did!
No choke. No prong. No shock. Ever.
TIP #1: TRAINING CONSISTENT INTERACTIONS
This means using 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.
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.
- Whole Dog Journal
TIP #2: YOUR DOG IS TALKING TO YOU. ARE YOU LISTENING?
You can recognize what your dog is saying to you - even what he's thinking - just by learning his body language. Have you ever noticed how a puppy yawns when picked up? He's trying to calm himself down.
Have you noticed that your dog barks at seemingly random times - even if he's not a "barker"? This is a reaction to something you've not noticed. Stay alert, and you'll begin to pick up what your dog is telling you - things like…
- What stresses him out when he goes outside
- "I'm really bored!"
- The best time to eat
- "Leave me alone!"
Don't let a language barrier hold you back from building a better relationship with your dog.
- Excerpted from Decoding Your Dog
Pamina loves her nice, big yard, and we took advantage of that space to teach her Come When Called. She enjoyed playing Puppy Ping Pong, Hide-N-Seek, and other recall games, coming to us every, single time we called her.
Remmi excelled playing her recall games, especially after we went outside, where she loves to be. We also used the Premack Principle: calling her away from her favorite stick, then letting her go back and get it. It was hard for her at first, until she realized that getting the stick was contingent on coming to us first!
When I arrived Sully did not jump on me as much as he did when we first met, which means his people have been working hard with him. To help with that particular problem we taught him Sit and Down today, and he did really well!
Chewy did well learning how to Come When Called, once we figured out what motivates him (peanut butter and jerky treats). He's never going to come running as fast as a border collie, but that's not the point. We just want him to respond when cued, which he did consistently.
Greta is very impulsive, like many young dogs, so we continued her self-control training by
teaching her Leave It. She did extremely well, which gave us time to work on her door greetings. By using a high rate of reinforcement while she sat and looked at her mom I was able to knock on the door and enter the house without being jumped all over!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI