TIP #1: LIVING AND TRAINING IN HARMONY
You do have the time to train your dog. Whether you realize it or not, you already are spending a lot of time training your dog. Every minute you are with your dog you are training him. Your everyday interactions with him are the most powerful training tools you have.
Your dog depends entirely on you for all of his needs. If he wants to eat, you feed him. If he wants to go outside, you open the door. If he wants to come out of his crate, you let him out. If he wants his toy, you get it our and throw it for him. Everytime your dog wants something, that something can be a reinforcer for something that you want him to do. If you are going to give your dog something he wants or needs, that is an opportunity for you to ask for something in return. Head scratches, belly rubs, play sessions, treats, and walks are all things that you dispense to your dog and they all represent training opportunities. Since you do all of those things everyday for your dog anyway, you can train your dog without taking anymore time out of your day than you are already giving your dog.
Remember these two concepts:
For example, anytime your dog wants to go out or come in the house, you have a golden opportunity to train something. He wants something that only you can give him. Why not get a little something form in return? Ask your dog for a sit before he rushes through the door. You should work on door etiquette, where your dog sits and stays before the open door until you release him.
- Excerpted from When Pigs Fly! Training Success With Impossible Dogs
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. Your dog turns because he knows your cue means: "Quick! We're going to play the turn-around-really-fast-and-go-the-other-way game!" Your dog doesn't turn because he hits the end of the leash. That would increase the tension and could elicit the very behavior you're trying to avoid. He turns because he knows the game, hears the cue and almost without thinking, wheels away from trouble.
Like Watch, the action itself is simple, but it needs to be mastered to be truly useful. And like Watch, a U-Turn is another behavior that is incompatible with your dog barking, lunging or stiffening. A U-Turn differs from a Watch cue in that you use it 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
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI