Posts Tagged ‘dog training’

 

“How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat!!”

You might be wondering what a line from a song made famous by Pink Floyd has to do with training your dog.. but bear with me and let me explain.

You probably remember your Mother or Grandmother saying something like this as you were growing up..

“You can’t watch t.v. until you get your homework done.”.. or, “You can’t go play with your friends until you clean up your room.”

These are examples of the Premak Principle.. simply put this principle states that “If more desirable behaviors are made contingent upon less desirable behaviors, then the less desirable behaviors are more likely to occur.”

Learning to use this powerful principle in dog training will be very beneficial in teaching your dog to do things they may not necessarily find desirable.. like coming when called… especially if they are sniffing other dogs butts.. chasing a squirrel..

Here’s one way you can put this principle into practice to increase the likely hood of your dog coming when called no matter what the distraction..

Get a nice big piece of whatever your dog finds tasty.. like a chunk of cooked chicken, or a big slab of stinky cheese..

Put your dog on a long line of about 20 feet.. let your dog see the prize..and toss it just outside the 20 foot line.. then let your dog go.. he will run out in haste to get the food..but stop him just short of his goal.. now call him to come.. he might not listen to you as he tries to get to the food.. so just give a firm tug on the line and move quickly backward.. once your dog gets to you.. grab his collar and praise him for coming.. then let him go to get the food..

See how that works? That’s the Premak Principle in action..

You can find other areas of your daily life to practice this principle and give your dog training a power boost.. for example,..

If you are at the dog park and your dog is playing and having a ball.. call him to come to you often.. grab his collar ..give him a tasty food reward and let him go back to play.. he will quickly learn that while coming to you puts a stop to what he was doing.. it is going to be in his best interest because you always have something he really likes..and.. he gets to go back and play.. so for him.. and you.. it’s a win win situation.. and the likely hood that he will come whenever you call regardless of what’s going on will increase.. which is what you want right?

At first your dog will need to be convinced to come to you and thus the use of the lead..but with time your dog will begin to trust you and in time the lead will no longer be needed..

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matI am often called to help people who are struggling with a dog that just won’t calm down,.. inside the house or out..the door bell rings and they steam roll anything in their way to get the door barking and jumping.. and have to be pulled away by the collar. One of the best things anyone can do to ensure peace and harmony is to train the dog to go to a mat or bed, lay down, stay there.. and be quiet..

Once you have mastered the place command inside your home you can move to the yard and work the dog there..

This exercise is a great way to end the dreaded fence fighting, squirrel and cat chasing … and many other unwanted behaviors…

The way to begin this training is to place three separate mats in different areas of the house,..

Put the dog on leash and walk them up to the mat… stop and say, “Place” and walk them onto the mat..

When the dogs four feet are on the mat..stop and say, “Good”..don’t let the dog go to far and step off the mat..

The idea is to have the dog on the mat.. all four feet.. pause for a few seconds and then say, “Let’s Go”..then walk to the next mat and repeat this exercise as many times a day as you can for a week or two..

You can use the dogs daily food for training..

When you can tell your dog to go to place and they will..then you can begin to work on getting them to stay there for extended periods of time..

Just think how much nicer it would be,..

That when your door bell rings the dog goes to the door..barks a couple times..and you say, “go to place” and they do..and they stay there until you release them..

This is totally possible,,

If I can do it so can you..it just takes a little time and effort on your part… I want you to know that the way your dog behaves today does not mean that’s the way it has to be tomorrow.. you can change things..

And as always if you need some help you can always write me and I will gladly help you..have a great week..

Harley

dog sits

In this video post I will explain how to train your dog to sit.

 

When you have trained your dog to sit on command and to be reliable, you have a very powerful tool to work with when faced with every day problems that might arise.

 

 

Here are the written instructions to help you learn how to train your dog to sit.
Step 1

Get your treats ready and call your dog over to you. Once he is there put the treat right on his nose..and using the treat as a lure, raise it up until his head is tilting back, don`t go too high as this might cause him to jump up to get the treat.

Step 2

Now you will slowly move the treat back wards and at some point gravity will take over and your dog will sit down. The second his butt hits the floor, give him the treat.

* If  your dog keeps walking backward you can put him in a corner to prevent him from moving back.

Repeat this until you know your dog understands what you want, and now you add the word Sit.

Step 3

Now you will say, Rover, Sit“ and repeat step 2. Once you are sure your dog knows what sit means, then it`s time to phase out the treats.

The process of phasing out the treats goes like this. You begin to stagger the rewards, one time you will give a reward and the next two times it is just praise, a “ good boy“ will do just fine. Then you will treat every other time, and then no treat for three times but a chest rub somewhere in there.

You get the idea, just make it unpredictable, so your dog will know that if he is to eventually get the treat he must sit down.

After you watch the video, how to train your dog to sit, leave me a comment and tell me how using the sit command can improve your dog training program.

talk soon,

Harley

 

 

 

wolf eyes

In this video post we will take a look at how to train your dog to look you in the eyes, and why it’s important in getting your dog to pay attention to you.

 

Getting your dog to look you in the eyes is not easy to do, and the reason is set deep in your dogs primal nature.

You need to understand that in the human – dog dynamic,  your dog walks a very fine “relationship” line between being attracted to you and being resistant to you.

Your dog will respond to you in three unconscious ways..

1. As a pack member, when we are sitting in the living room watching the television.

2. As prey, when we play with them.

3. As a predator, because your gaze brings about memories of times past when they were wild and their survival depended on being resistant to their natural enemies.

Even a puppy that shows no outward signs of distress in coming near us has an unconscious, internal struggle between being attracted to us, and also resistant to us..that is why you will notice puppies act shy and nervous as they come closer to us.

Think about it, you stand upright, your eyes are set in a big head, and you tend to show your teeth a lot.

Even though the wolf is stopped dead in his tracks by the stare of the moose’s eyes, is still very much attracted to that moose.

There are some who will tell you that in order to train your dog to look at you..you should hold a piece of food up in front of your face and say something like, “Look at me”

While this will get your dog looking in the general direction of your face, I have found that your dog will still resist making direct eye contact.

They will look at your chin, nose or the food that’s in front of your face.

If you are not looking closely you would miss the fact that their eyes never really lock onto yours, they just skim over your eyes and this is usually enough to get you to give them the food.

There is no real communication in this method.

This reminds me of when I was a boy, I would come home from school, and one of my favorite shows was Batman and once I got watching it I was unaware of what was going on around me.

Grand Mother would ask me to do something and I would half look at her and half still watching t.v. and I can remember her warning me to, look at her when she is talking to me.

She understood that in order for me to really hear what she was saying she needed me to give her my full attention, and focus on what she wanted me to do.

When you are looking someone in the eyes they have your full attention.

Getting your dog to hold your gaze is not going to be easy. In your dogs world direct eye contact is not taken lightly and could result in a life and death situation.

You want to make looking you in the eyes a pleasurable way for your dog to solve problems, not a cause for concern that will hamper your dog training efforts.

You want to increase your attraction to your dog and reduce the resistance by making eye contact something your dog desires and finds satisfying.

After you watch this video let me know if you liked it by sharing this post with other`s

There are many people who struggle daily with getting their dogs to pay attention to them and this can be very dangerous to both dog and owner.

Talk to you soon,

Harley

* WARNING… It is risky to stare at a dog, so don`t try what you see in this video with dogs that have food aggression, or dogs you don`t know very well. I don`t want you to get hurt.

dog and hunter

 

Back in the late seventies I was, as my Uncle Eldon would say,. still wet behind the ears.

I decided that I no longer wanted to train dogs in the fashion that was prescribed by my Uncle, who was the dog trainer in the family.

 

I had become disillusioned with the practice of dominance based dog training, and began to form my own way of thinking about dogs and as it turned out my philosophy was the polar opposite of what Eldon believed.

Eldon was of the old school mind-set that said if the dog did not obey, or showed aggression to family members, he needed to be taken in a notch.

Which didn’t mean Eldon injured the dogs in any way,  no, he was very careful about how he dispensed what he considered discipline,.because they were highly valued assets that required care and protection.

In his words, “ A well-trained dog that can hunt is worth his weight in gold.“

His go-to punishment for bad behavior was,  if he thought the dog was being disrespectful, or willfully disobedient, he would give it a swift kick in the ass, and give the dog the veiled threat,

“If I have to talk to you again, I am going to let the ax handle do the talking.“

I had come to realize that what Eldon saw as respect in the dogs was really fear. The dogs always obeyed but they would come to him low to the ground, ears back, tail tucked in.

I could see the stress the dogs were under, and it made me feel bad for the dogs, and frankly pissed off at Eldon.

I did not voice my concerns, because to do so would have been an exercise in futility, and to my Uncles way of seeing things, disrespectful, therefore worthy of a swift kick in the ass.

At this point I had already trained a couple of my neighbors dogs to herd cattle, and I had brought home an eight week old , female Australian Shepherd pup, who I named Tiny, and had trained her to herd the cattle, my way.

Now back in 1978 my way of training a dog was not a method that could be named, and for the next 35 years remained un-named, and I was not even thinking about dog training philosophy, methodology, or even why dogs did what they did,. I was not that deep of a thinker,.. I just let the dog be true to his temperament, and I shaped behaviors, like come, sit, down, and stay.. as they presented themselves during daily life,.. and I based all this on those times when I saw that the dogs were their happiest and most dog like.

When they were hunting or herding.

The idea struck me one evening as we readied our weapons and moved from building to building, gathering traps and the supplies we would need to spend the night in the camp we had built at the end of the trap line, some eight miles up the stream.

I suddenly noticed the dogs were much more vocal than usual, with was not unusual,  I just had never noticed it before, and then…

The thought hit me like a ton of bricks.

When my Uncle`s dogs were not working with either hunting or herding they would just lay around and never showed any what I would call enthusiasm for what was going on,.unless someone came in the driveway, or a deer would come out into the field., then they would light up like a Christmas tree.

I realized that the dogs seemed to know what we were going to do, that preparation for the hunt was happening, and they seemed to perk up in spirit, they had an anxious anticipation about them… their normally fearful nature seemed to disappear,..and they became more vocal in their attempts to communicate with us.. and it wasn’t until much later that I further realized that the dogs knew what we were going to do, even before we did.

Then the thought I had earlier suddenly solidified, and I understood.

The spirit, or heart of the dog resides in the hunt.

The next morning the dogs would be electric with energy and enthusiasm to get started.., they required a little coaxing to settle down enough to eat, and sometimes we just fed them by hand along the way.

They acted like puppies again, full of life and energy.

They would walk behind and then charge ahead searching for things to run up a tree or corner,.

They would respond to our whistles and calls, circling back, moving through the brush, and with every bound through the snow you could see the layers of stored stress melt away as they used it to organize themselves in concert with our movements,..reading us like a book.

I observed the dogs after the hunt and regardless of if it was successful or not, they seemed to be re-born, and the fear and stress that had burdened them was suddenly gone…at least for a short time.

I began to train my pups with the hunt in mind, I would take them to the woods and walk around, play with them, and  let them be dogs, games like hide and seek, find the stinky cheese, tug of war, and I always let them win, because it made them so happy to run off with that old sock tied to a rubber hose.. I never considered that I should teach them that I am the boss.

I was not their boss, I didn’t want to be.

I was the one they depended on to provide outlets for their stress, by teaching them how to hunt, and to shape their behavior with the words I used to communicate my intentions.

All this I accomplished simply by playing with my dogs in a way that spoke to their true nature as hunters.

In return they give me respect and life long trust.

I knew dogs lived in the moment, but I was missing some information that if I had know about it back then would have changed my perception about not only dogs,.. but myself.

I now know that what I was seeing in my Uncles dogs was stored emotional energy that manifests itself as stress in the dog’s body and mind, and that energy is jam-packed with information that is vital to the dog’s ability to learn, and they are only truly able to release it and connect with us when they are free to express their true nature as hunters, and work with us as team mates.

All the best,

Harley

 

Top 3 Reasons Why Little Dogs Get A Bad Reputation

crazy pomerainianI was standing in line at the cashier at one of the local malls where I live and I happened to be standing behind a lady holding a tea-cup chihuahua.

The cashier noticed the little guy and before the owner could say anything she reached out and attempted to pet the dog. Well you would have thought that lady had a crocodile in her arms. The dog took to yipping and squirming, growling and snapping.

The way it was behaving brought to mind a picture like this

crazy dog reuse

Well the lady behind the counter just sheepishly said, ” Little dogs never did like me anyway”

The dogs owner quickly apologized for Muffins’ behavior, paid for her things and left the mall. I could tell she was very upset and embarrassed by her little dogs psychotic behavior, as she was real close to crying.

It’s unfortunate but true that aggression in little dogs is not really taken very seriously, until something really bad happens, but by then..well as the old saying goes,

“No good closing the barn door after the horse gets out.”

 

Top 3 Reasons Little Dogs Get A Bad Reputation 
1- Nobody reports it when a little dog bites them.

It might be because of embarrassment especially with men. I can only imagine calling animal control and tell them that a chihuahua bit me and was mean to me. When people don’t take aggression in small dogs seriously and wait until it’s too late and the dog bites someones little kid, and the family sues, then the dog gets put down.

2- Little Dogs Get Away With Going “BOOM BOOM” In The House

As an owner of two large German Shepherds and one, 115 lb Rottweiler cross, I can say unequivocally that it would only take one time of them dumping a load, ( and I mean LOAD!), on the floor to convince me that my dogs need crate training. Little dogs get away with this for years..yes I said years, because, well,.. little dog,.. little mess,.. enough said.

3- Little Dogs That Believe They Are Big Dogs

Dogs have no grasp of the obvious.

That fact becomes frighteningly apparent with a lot of small dogs I have encountered.

Why else would a 10 pound Shih Tzu run up on a 150 lb Rottweiler and challenge him while he’s eating.

It scares the shit out of me when I see little dogs do this.

If they only knew.

Little Dogs Need Balance Too.

As with all things there are two sides to the same coin.

I have seen many dog owners happily walking their little dogs in the park, playing tug of war, and fetch the stick. I am happy that they understand that physical and mental exercise is every bit as important for little dogs as it is for large ones, and just because their dog can’t really pull on the leash hard enough to be an issue, they still take the responsibility to train their lovable little pooch to walk properly on lead.

One last word on this topic.

I have always been one to mind my own business and I never give advice unless I am asked for it., but every time I see someone carrying a little dog in their arms, I have to fight the urge to say to them, ” For the love of God, put that dog on the ground and let it use its legs.

Carrying a dog in your arms is a great way to ensure your dog will develop behavioral issues. And even the small ones can be a big pain in the you know what.

Now if you have a little dog or a big one for that matter and they are using your house as their personal bathrooms, you will want to teach them to love the crate, not only is the crate a great way to manage unwanted behavior it provides your dog with something they crave., and that is a place to call their own where they can rest and feel safe.

Maybe you already have a crate but your dog hates being in there so you don’t use it.

Teaching your dog to love the crate will take a bit of time and if you need help then I recommend you get my report on how to properly crate train your dog.

I have trained many dogs to love going in the crate and spending time.

You can read more about the benefits of properly teaching your dog to go in the crate by going here NEXT.

Ultimate Guide To Crate Training Your Puppy or Dog

Need more tips on how to improve your little dogs behavior then go here NEXT!

5 Tips to Improve Your Dogs Behavior Starting TODAY! 

Talk soon,

Harley

 

 

 

dog jumps up

 

Find Out Why Your Dog Jumps Up On You And Other People: Also How To Stop It

 

I lost a tooth.

To be totally accurate, I lost a tooth and a half.

Not today, but a few years back when I was just starting to go into people’s homes to teach them how to train their dogs.

I will never forget this Golden Lab, her name was Clementine, a beautiful dog full of life and energy, friendly as they come and eager to play with the humans in her pack.

But that’s not what comes to my mind when I think of Clementine.

I’ll get to the what-n-why in a minute.

Clementine’s energy was the problem, it was unharnessed and unfocused, and like many dogs I have met, had no idea what to do with it, at least not in a constructive way.

I worked for ten minutes or so building trust with Clementine which wasn’t a problem she loved people to a fault and was eager to interact with me, but it was clear she was used to things being on her terms.

However she had never met someone like me before and it wasn’t long before I was making progress, I began to set the rules of engagement, and she was calming down and going with the flow much better.

I had her so she would sit for 10 seconds before moving in anticipation of the food reward. Before I came on the scene sitting was something only the people of the house did.

Clementine was not the sitting kind of dog.

Bouncing off the walls, knocking stuff over kind of dog, yes,

Sitting kind of dog,. no, her chaotic behavior knew no bounds.

If she was asked to sit, she would, but only for the fraction of a second it took for her butt to hit the floor and bounce right back up, as if her bum was spring-loaded. 🙂

I remember thinking this is going to be a piece of fried chicken, ( I know the saying is, “It’s going to be like a piece of cake”,.. but I don’t like cake”, I do however,.. looovve fried chicken.)

My cholesterol level not so much,

but it they will never know, as we are not on speaking terms right now.

But I digress…

Any hoo,..just when I thought I had this one in the bag, out comes Clementines owners who up till this point had been watching from inside the house.

The lady of the house hit the yard like a tornado, she almost ran toward me saying that she would never have believed that Clementine would be able to sit still like that if she hadn’t seen it with her own eyes.

Her excitement was electric, even I felt it.

It took all of one second for me to figure out where Clementine learned to be so hyped up and excited.

One Reason Dogs Jump Up

Dogs feel what we feel, and Clementine was expressing in a physical way (jumping up, running hog-wild around the house ect),  what her owner lived everyday, and that was a chaotic life style with periodic high levels of excitement and anxiety.

It was in that moment of Clementines owner coming into the backyard that Clementine picked up on her energy and exploded from her sit position in front of me, straight up into my face.

More precisely, her big hard head,. met my pearly whites,.. in a head on tooth collision that didn’t end well for one and half of my front teeth. 😦

How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping Up

One of the best ways that I know of to get your dog to stop jumping up on you is to not reward him for the behavior, either intentionally or unintentionally.

When dogs are little we tend to meet them with excitement and joy and when the pup gets close enough we go down on one or both knees and coax him up on us to play and rough house a little.

Maybe we pet them when they jump up on us, while saying things like, who’s a good boy, what you want?, wanna get the stick?, and we throw a ball or give him treats just because he is so damn cute,..

That is the human thing to do, but in a dogs eyes this is a humongous reward and you can bet he is going to remember all the good things that came when he put his cute little paws up on you.

Fast forward 18 months and things are not so rosey, he now weighs a heck of a lot more than he did when he was 12 weeks old, and now when he greets us by jumping up, he can hurt us and wreck clean clothes.

Your friends and family stop coming for visits.

You try your best to get him to stop, you try every thing you can think of,

Yelling, scolding, turning your back, maybe even giving him a scruff up side the head, but nothing works.

All these attempts to stop your dog from jumping up on you are in and of themselves,..rewards..all be it..unintentional and negative in nature.

One of the ways to begin to fix this problem, is to take stock of the situation and make changes in your behavior in order to influence your dogs behavior.

Remember I said earlier that your dog feels what you feel, so with that in mind ask yourself these questions.

1- Do you act excited to see your dog when you come home?

2- Are you getting angry with your dog in those times when he jumps on you?

If you answered yes to either of these questions then you have to do some inward looking and try hard to not give your dog attention either positive or negative when you first greet them.

Instead of acknowledging your excited dog when you come home, ignore him and go about work with other chores, like getting supper ready or making a cup of coffee.

Ignore your dog like he was not even there, don’t look at him, don’t talk to him, and don’t touch him.

When you dog is calmer then you can say hello, don’t look them straight in the eye because this will cause more anxiety in an already hyper excited mind.

Call your dog to come and at the moment you know he is going to jump on you, look him right in the eye and say,.. “NO!! .. in your best I mean it voice, show your teeth, turn sideways, and don’t move.

When you show a dog your teeth it speaks volumes to the dog in his native language.

You see,..

 

Dogs are repelled by predators, especially if they are showing teeth and looking them right in the eyes,..

As far as predators go, humans are top of the pile.

Don’t take a step backward because this will only make him want to jump on you more.

Stand still,.. be the rock,.. and if he jumps up,.. let him,.. and when he gets no response,.. either positive or negative,.. he will soon learn that there is no reward in jumping up and he will stop.

Remember the more a dog gets rewarded for a behavior the more likely he is to repeat that behavior often.

As long as you stay consistent with minding your own energy,.. and be aware of the way you feel,.. couple that with providing no reward for your dog,.. before long jumping up will be a thing of the past.

If your dog is rebellious and refuses to respond, then remove him from the room and give him a 1 minute time out in a place where he has nothing to do but wait for you to come and get him.

Short time outs are a very effective method of learning for a dog.

Dogs are very social animals,.. and they don’t like being isolated from the rest of their pack, this will help the learning process move more quickly.

Teach your dog to sit, there are literally a hundred things your dog can’t do when he’s sitting,.. and you guessed it,..jumping up is one of them.

Your friends and family will be so impressed, and relieved,.. they will once again want to spend time with you and your good dog.

Be sure to teach everyone how to do this exercise with your dog.

If your dog is behaving like Clementine and has free run of the house,.. your first order of business should be to crate train your dog.

Not only does crate training allow your dog to have place of their own to sleep and feel safe, the crate is a great tool for managing unwanted behavior while you teach your dog the rules of the house.

Talk soon,

Harley

 

 

 

 

 

tug of war reuse

I am sure you have probably heard from one trainer or the other that you should not play tug of war with your dog.

Some trainers say you can play tug with your dog but you must never let them win.

 

What I teach people about playing tug of war with their dogs is in direct contradiction to the thinking of conventional dog training. I play the game based on the premise that all the things your dog does has a direct connection to their prey drive and their desire to hunt, and the more value an object has, the more attracted and emotional your dog becomes when they see that object, and if your dog catches, bites and eats that object then there is a certain amount of stress relief that the dog will experience.

Let’s examine this for a moment..

For the sake of argument let’s place a dollar value to some of the prey items your dog finds valuable..with regard to how emotional energized and attracted your dog will be to each object.

When a dog sees a mouse scurry through the grass, he might become attracted and give chase..and while it is fun to stalk and pounce on a mouse and eat it..the dollar value to your dog is about 1 Canadian dollar.. or as we call it..a loonie.

That’s cool, your dog experiences a small reduction in stress levels, and your dog will most likely do it again if he sees a mouse.

Later that afternoon your dog sees a rabbit, or a squirrel, now things are heating up..he gives chase and if he catches the squirrel or rabbit and eats it.. he experiences a bigger rush of “good feelings” and stress reduction, and that is like depositing 10 loonies or so in the dogs emotional doggie bank.

The next day your dog sees a moose, suddenly every nerve in his body lights up with an emotional charge like nothing he has experienced up to this point.. in terms of money..he has just seen 10 million loonies worth of energy and emotion head off into the brush..and if he could only catch the moose and eat him..his stress would totally disappear and he would be the happiest dog on the planet.

You can see how it would benefit you as a dog owner to learn how to be the moose in the eyes of your dog,.. you don’t want to be the mouse, or the rabbit or squirrel, those prey items are fun but don’t attract your dogs emotions and, feelings like a moose, buffalo, or caribou would.

One of the ways you can begin to be the moose is to play tug of war with your dog, the only thing is you must ALWAYS let your dog win..no exceptions.

Here is a step by step guide to playing tug of war with your dog

1. Don’t stand face to face with your dog or smile a lot,.. humans are the top predators and this posture and showing your teeth will make your dog defensive and we want him to be in prey drive, so stand sideways, don’t smile, and don’t look him in the eye.

2. Get two tug toys…I like to use two foot lengths of rope tied in many knots. Put one in your back pocket or tuck it under your arm so you will have one to play with and get your dogs attention when your he or she don’t want to bring the one they have back..when your dog drops the one he has and turns his attention to you..tug and pull with him and when he runs off with that one, pick up the one he dropped and begin the game again.

3. With your dog on a 30 foot long line begin the game slowly, stay relaxed, make sure there are no other distractions, like other dogs playing or kids running around, and be sure to be on your game and paying attention..this game requires your dog to bite hard and if they miss the toy..you might get bit..but if you are careful, this doesn’t have to happen… tease your dog with the tug and entice him to bite it..this might take some time especially with nervous, timid dogs who have built up anxiety and stress..but keep at it..act like the mouse or the rabbit…run away waving the tug, lay down and roll around like a prey animal, and keep teasing your dog with the tug..he will bite it at some point.

4. Amp up your emotions and use your voice to get your dog into prey drive..say things like..” Get it boy”, Sic a hold on it,” or” bite that thang.”

5. If your dog starts to growl a lot then that is not a good thing, this means your dog is afraid he is going to lose the war..so you should quickly let him win.

Winning means he gets to run away with the toy.

A little growling is o,k. just don’t let things get out of hand.

6. When your dog bites on the tug, pull smoothly, don’t jerk hard,,and keep the play session short so your dog don’t get bored..once you have reached a place where your dog is pulling and biting hard try to time it so you release the toy when your dog tugs hard on it..so that to your dog is seems like he earned it and you are not just giving in to him..they can tell the difference.

7. When you are ready to end the game, have a piece of chicken some tasty treat in your pocket, take it out and offer it to your dog, they will take the treat and you can gather up the tug toys..and put them away until the next time you want to work with your dog.

* It is important that the game ends with you having possession of the toys, once you get home put the toys away out of sight of your dog until the next time you bring them out to play.

There you have it, if you have any questions about how to play tug of war to engage your dogs prey drive, tell me about it in the comment section below, thanks for visiting my blog and make sure to come back often.

All the best,

Harley

 

 

 

barking dog reuse

 

 

 

 

 

Part of what I do as a dog trainer is to answer daily messages from people who are having problems with their dogs that they just can’t get a handle on.

I thought I would share some of these emails with you, I hope you find them entertaining as well as informative.

This message came in a few days ago, it was from an lady who lived alone on a nice quiet street, where she had spent most of her adult life.

She wrote me asking for help with her 7 year old German Shepherd Roxie, who she said for the most part was well behaved and easy to handle..and up till this point had never really been a cause for concern.

She went on to tell me that about a month ago construction had started across the street from her, a new house was going up, and there were crews of men working with various tools and making a lot of noise.

They were cutting trees, and moving dirt, and she began to notice that every time she went out to go for a walk she had trouble with Roxie pulling and barking trying to get across the street., and she described her actions as vicious in nature..to use her words,

“She acts like she wants to take a chunk out of their hide.”

She then went on to tell me that the behavior had progressively gotten worse..now she can’t let Roxie out for a moment without supervision, as she will no longer just stay in the yard and bark at the boys across the street., she now goes after them..and has on more than one occasion put them in their trucks or up a ladder..

To use her words again,

“I am scared to death she is going to bite someone, and I will lose her, and I can’t lose her,.. she is all I got, can you please help me.”

The first question I asked her was how she felt about what was going on across the street.

She told me that she was annoyed that they were cutting down the beautiful trees that stood there and that she would miss taking Roxie over there to run around and play fetch with  her..

That little patch of land was one of the last vestiges of nature left in her fast growing community.

In short it pissed her off to no end.

I knew immediately what was going on, so I explained to her how our dogs feel what we feel, and Roxie was picking up on her anger and frustration about the work going on across the street, and a dog will try to help us identify our deepest emotions even if we are not even aware we have them.

I suggested to her that she try to find some way to make peace with what was going on,.. to own her feelings about it and understand that her dog will reflect even slight variations in our emotional make up.

Sometimes it is in our best interest to simply have the courage to accept the things we can’t change.

I explained that in order to help Roxie ground the fear she has been dealing with,.. it would help is she taught Roxie to bark at her instead of the crew across the street, so the next time she starts to react to the commotion of construction..just tell her it’s OK, that the construction is just part of the flow of energy now..and if she is fearful and needs to bark, then bark at her so she can be the ground that absorbs the energy Roxie needs to keep moving.

I went on to explain to her that a dogs bark comes from the deepest part of their emotional being, and that in times of great stress they will bark to express fear,.. instead of going to that primal place that would cause them to bite…barking gives them a way to express their fear instead of acting on it.

Barking moves energy that would otherwise become blocked. 

How To Teach Your Dog To Bark On Command

Some dogs will hold onto the fear because it is deep down in their emotional battery, and it may take a fair bit of time to bring that fear to the surface in order for them to feel safe enough to bark on command. 

Other dogs who have less stored fear stress will bark on command very quickly.

This is how I teach my dogs to bark on command.

Get a treat that your dog is really into..hold it close to your chest and your dog will sniff and root around, maybe scratch to get the treat..in a playful tone of voice say..speak, speak.. and the second he or she barks give the treat and give them love and praise to let them know that this is the way to keep the energy flowing… and to be safe.

If your dog is less inclined to bark..

Put some pressure on your dog to cause a little stress..wave it around in their face and in a sweet voice say..speak, speak., in time, the dog will need to express themselves,.. to relieve the stress,.. and he or she will bark…give them the treat and continue to praise them in a sweet puppy wuppy voice..” good girl,”  “that’s such a good dog.”

Repeat this exercise daily for a while until your dog will speak on command without the food reward.

All the best

Harley

CHECK THIS OUT

 

moose and wolf reuse

Drive training your dog is about engaging your dogs prey drive to bring about the behaviors we deem favorable.

Obedience behaviors like, come, heel, sit, down, and stay.

Some of the more popular dog training methods tell people who in order to have well-behaved dogs they have to be the alpha, or pack leader in order to gain their dogs trust.

While I can’t argue that this method does not work, I suggest it misses the mark by a fair bit, and in the process a dogs true nature as a predator gets squashed and the dog can never live to its full potential, or feel like it’s part of a team, which is what all dogs crave and need .

Now why would I say something as silly as your dog loves the moose?

Why not a rabbit?

Or a squirrel?… (We all know how most dogs love to chase those nut hoarding chatter boxes.)

Let me explain.

In a dogs world, a rabbit or squirrel offers a small reward when it comes to helping to drain their stored energy, and let’s face it, a rabbit or a squirrel is not a big dinner to a group of dogs or even for one dog.

The satisfaction is fleeting.

The moose on the other hand has all the requirements of a high value prey animal, it possesses everything a dog needs in terms of high level stress relieve and belly packin’ punch.

Another trait the moose has that draws the dog in like a moth to a flame is the fact that the moose can be very formidable, it is way bigger and stronger that a dog or even a group of dogs, and if the moose wanted to he could easily dispatch with extreme force, each and every one of those dogs..

And they know it.

Yet if they see this moose they will not be able to resist, and even with the very high risk of injury or death, they will begin to test this moose to see what his energy is., and if the moose follows the path of least resistance in the face of a threat, he will run, and the dogs will give chase.

However if that moose suddenly stops and turns to face the dogs, they will hit the dirt in an energized down and stare at the moose with all their energy..trying to get the moose to break down and run again…if the moose snorts, paws the dirt, and holds the dog’s stare… they will most likely break down and leave the moose alone.

Now the question begs to be asked,

Who is in control of who?

Is it the dogs, or is it the moose?

It would appear that the prey always controls the predator.

When the moose runs, the dogs run, when the moose turns on the dogs the dogs go down waiting to see what the moose will do next.

They are in harmony with the moose’s energy and that energy is what dictates their behavior.

There is no Alpha dog high on a hill, commanding the dogs to flank right, now rush in fast, their behavior is a feeling that runs through the group of dogs.

It is what they were born to do, to intuitively work together toward a common goal.

So the benefits of being the moose your dog loves are many.

I have listed but a few of them.

1. Being moose-like makes you the most satisfying thing they have in their life.

2. Because the prey controls the predator, your dog will always look to you to resolve their feeling about any intense situations that may come up, like an dog off leash, or when a squirrel crosses your path.

3.  You can become the predator to get your dogs juices flowing..and bring all their social skills to the surface where you can then become the prey and shape obedience behaviors as they are offered by your dog.

4. The most important thing that can happen when you start to act like a moose is that you will begin to think about your dog in a different light, no longer will the term alpha apply to the relationship with your dog,  you will begin to replace old habits with new ones, and that will allow you to develop a deeper more meaningful bond with your dog.

all the best,

Harley