Posts Tagged ‘for’

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Today I want to talk about how you can foster peace and tranquility in your home by training your dogs to go to a place and lay down and be quiet..

Now I know many of you struggle with getting your dogs to stop barking when someone comes to the door, or passes by the window..so this is what you can do..

Put the barking on cue..

Instead of yelling “quiet!” over and over ..which in most cases won’t work because the dogs just think you are joining in.. and reinforces there must be a reason to bark..

So this is how you can do it..

Use a whistle..

If you can’t whistle with your mouth loud enough to be heard over many dogs barking..then buy a referee’s whistle.

To begin you want to “load” the whistle so it has meaning for your dogs..

Get some high value food rewards like cooked chicken, sausage, hot dogs.. what ever your dogs can’t resist.. then when things are quiet.. softly toot the whistle a couple time..and call your puppies or dogs..

” Here Puppies” in a cheerful and happy tone of voice..

The dogs come running and you throw down a handful of the tasty treats.. repeat this for a couple of weeks.. once the whistle has been “loaded” your puppies and dogs will learn that when they hear it they come running and good things happen..

Now you can put it to use when they bark at anything..instead of yelling ..which don’t work most times anyway..

Give a couple loud toots on the whistle..dogs quit barking and come see what you got for them.. give them a reward and send them to their place to lay down..

Use this method when they are in the yard..

Let’s say they are running up and down the fence barking at the neighbors cat, dog, kids..

Toot the whistle ..

Dogs come running..

In time you can fade out the rewards and replace them with life rewards and your praise..

Occasionally use food to reinforce the whistle so it maintains meaning for your dogs..

A couple more things you can do to make sure your dogs are less likely to bark uncontrollably.. is to make sure you give them daily opportunities to work out their stress and anxiety..

Go for a structured walk every day..

Head out to the back yard and play tug of war to engage their prey drive…and always let your dogs win..

That’s it for today..I hope this helps a little..have a great weekend.

 Harley

th (8)

How To Hard Wire Your Puppy For A Solid Off Leash Recall

I was asked yesterday for some tips on training your dog to be reliable off leash and one of the ways I begin to bond with my pups is to take advantage of the period of time during a pups life when they imprint on their Mother, and litter mates, and the humans who interact with them.

Imprinting is a way of learning about who their mother is and how they should socialize with their siblings, in other words what it means to be a dog. It is also the time when they learn who they will mate with in the future.

This phase of imprinting takes place between the 4 to 12 week period.

Anything the pup imprints on during this stage of life is there for the life of the dog, and is very hard to un-train. This is why it is never a good idea to take a pup away from his Mother before he has time to learn how to socialize with his or her mates.

If you bring a pup home with you, let’s say at the age of 5 or 6 weeks, he or she has not had time to properly learn about what is means to be a dog and will imprint on the humans, and in fact will think they are human, and future behavior will reflect this confusion.

When introduced to other dogs the pup will not know how to socialize with these alien creatures and become fearful or suspicious and might very well show aggression.

Therefore it is important to seek out a breeder who understands the importance of this early development and keeps the pups with the mother and litter mates for at least 8 weeks, and once the pup comes home with you, continued exposure to other dogs outside your home is critical to proper socialization.

This is how you can take advantage of this stage of development and use imprinting to practically guarantee your pup will come to you every time you ask for the rest of their lives, providing you don’t ruin your relationship by using force or being unfair and abusive.

From the moment you bring your new pup home, words are not really that helpful, a pup can learn words like sit, down, come, stay.

But if you really want to make an impact on your pups future behavior you need to imprint on the pup a sound that means good things are about to happen.

For me that sound is a whistle..

Each day when I step out to go and feed my pups I begin to whistle..,you know like if you are whistling for your dog to come..3 or 4 short bursts of sound as I walk to the building where they are waiting.

They can’t see me but hear the whistle, and then all of a sudden the door opens and I am there with food, praise, tummy rubs, walks, drinks of water, toys and games, and other good things that make my pups happy..over time the pups imprint on this whistling sound, and soon they are all at the door waiting in anticipation of the good things that are coming.

Over the next 3-4 weeks the pups learn that when they hear the sound it is in their best interest to come quick so they don’t miss out on the goodies..later when they are out and about learning and experiencing life..all I have to do is come to the door and whistle..and before I know it I am surrounded by happy bouncing pups eager to see what I have for them..and will follow at my heels..and there is always something good in coming to me.

Around the age of 12 weeks I begin to use the word Come in association with the whistle, and they soon learn that the word “Come” means the same as the sound..something good is about to happen.

The whistle and the word, “Come”, becomes hard wired to mean come here quick..and will almost never fail regardless of distraction or the age of your dog, because it has become imprinted in their behavior, much like when Pavlov rang the bell and the dogs drool in anticipation of the food reward.

My pups learn that the safest and most rewarding place to be is near me..no leash or collar required.

I hope you like this post, and if you did you can let me know by liking my Page  River Valley Dog Training

 

All the best.

Harley

two pups fighting

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes new dog owners think they should get two puppies so they will grow up with another dog for
company. I don’t think this is a very good idea, and if you are an inexperienced dog owner/trainer it will
be hard enough for you to work with one puppy let alone two. Just think about the middle of the night
pee breaks.

You will be grouchy enough with one pup,so how will you feel when you take the first one
out at 1:45, get back to bed and start to drift when, the other one has to go. This will go on until
the pups can hold their water for at least 7 hours. They will in most cases be between 10-12 months old
when this happens,but it really depends on your dog.This is the first reason why more than one dog is
bad news for new dog owners.

The second reason I base on emails I get from people who do have more than one dog in the home. The 
problems they are experiencing  could be as a result of having more than one foster or rescued dog, or
they got a new pup to give their old dog a friend. Regardless of the situation the problems all have
one thread of behavior in common.They all say that the dogs seemed fine for a while and then all of a
sudden, something bad happened.

Either one pup attacked the other and he needed 50 stitches to close the wound on his rump, or the younger pup has been terrorizing the old dog and now the old boy won’t come out from under the bed, and he refuses to eat. Grand Father dogs can get down in the dumps real easy if a puppy is tormenting them. Sometimes if the old boy has still got the drive to fight, the pup might not make it out alive. These problems occurred because new dog owners who have very little experience with dogs,make the mistake of thinking dogs can work things out for themselves, well I know from 45 years of experience, they won’t just sit down have a bone and talk about it, they are going to dust it up, that’s the dog way.

If left untrained there will be jostling between two dogs for highest rank in the family pack.This
genetically driven instinct has a powerful effect on how your dog will behave, and this is where new
dog owners make a huge mistake. In the case of getting two puppies, not separating these dogs in
different crates the moment they came into the house. In the case of one pup and one older adult dog the pup needs to be crated.

With the right training, these dogs can eventually be together as long as they are being supervised by the owner.Don’t be falsely lured into thinking, “Oh, I am only going to the store, I’ll be 5 minutes, they’ll be fine.” You might come back to a house that is torn to hell and find one dead dog, and one severely injured dog. You might want to read my article on how to break up a dog fight and not get bitten.

If you already have more than one dog in the house I suggest you get each one a crate and separate them and then begin to establish leadership with all your dogs. When dogs are in the presence of their leader, there will be no fighting, or foolishness of any kind.You might want to read this article I wrote on the subject.

How To Teach A  Grown Dog That You Are Leader

The third reason I think more than two dogs is bad news for new dog owners is because it’s hard enough with our busy lives to spend enough time socializing and training one dog but with two dogs your time will be too thinly spread, and both dogs will suffer because you will only be spending half the time with each dog that you should.

The result of this will be that your pups will grow up bonded and will want to spend more time together than with you. This might sound cute, puppies bonding and playing together, but you have to know that this pups will mature between 18- 24 months, this means that their drive for rank in the pack is going to sky-rocket, and these to bonded buddies are going to draw blood as they fight for rank in the pack.

That’s it for now

Harley

dog park

 

 

 

I get emails every week from people who are trying to figure out how to raise their puppies and dogs to be good canine citizens, but are concerned with some particular behavior that is causing them problems.

I want to share with you one of these emails that I got from a lady who takes her 10 month old Belgian Malinois to the dog park on a regular basis.

The email reads like this:

“Hi,my name is Mary and I have a problem.” “I have this 10 month old Belgian Malinois and I take him to the dog park to play and socialize as often as I can, usually 4-5 times a week.” “Lately he has been showing a nasty bit of behavior towards other dogs at the park.” “He will put his head on them and push them down, if they lay down, he stands over them like a statue growling even louder.”

“I am worried that he is going to attack one of these dogs.” “I try to correct him but he pays no attention to me,..I am worried about him and I don’t want to do something that will scar him for life..please help.”

P.S. “I was wondering if going to a different park would help?”

This was my reply:

“Hi Mary thanks for the great questions.” “What I am about to tell you is straight up dead serious.”

“I don’t fool around when it comes to problems like yours.”

“I’m probably being politically incorrect, but I really don’t give a damn.” “Dog aggression is dangerous, serious, business, and I don’t take it lightly.”

“Neither should you.”

“People get bitten every day by their own dogs, because they tried to break  up a fight at the dog park.”

“I need you to listen to me when I tell you this.”

“You can NEVER take your Malinois to ANY dog park as long as he is showing aggression.” “To ignore this advice is dangerous not only to you and other people, but to any dog that is around your dog.”

You need to learn how drive plays a big part in your dog’s personality.

When an educated dog that is in control of his drive, they will not be aggressive.

I suggest you visit my website and read the article I wrote on how to establish leadership with your puppy.

Thanks for writing, I hope I have been of some help. I completely understand your frustration.

Aggressive and dominant dogs are a pain in the keester

All the best

Harley

This email got me thinking about dog parks so I decided to tell you why I think taking your puppy or dog to a dog park to run wild with 15 or so strange dogs off leash is a very risky idea.

Dog parks were born out of necessity. People who live in town and city apartments needed somewhere to take their dogs to exercise and play.

While the concept was no doubt conceived in good intention, all I see when I visit one of these parks is a lot of dogs off leash with no human leadership to speak of, and just about every one of them is out of control.

A high number of these dog owners don’t know about how powerful the instincts are in their family pet, and how these drives effect a dogs behavior.

When a dog is introduced into the dog park his drive and instinct is running on max power.

If you stand back and observe dogs interacting in the park you will see that the dogs are grouping together in packs. If there are more than 3 dogs in a group then this is a pack. Within that grouping the dogs will vie for rank, the dog with the best leadership skills will set the rules for play.

I see this play out often when the same dogs go to the same park all the time. They will see this area as their territory and if an outside dog comes into the park, he is not going to be welcomed like a long-lost buddy, and this is where the problems start.

The dogs who are familiar to the park will become territorial,dominant,and some will be fearful.All of these behaviors can result in aggression which can very quickly, in the blink of your eye quick, turn into a full on dog fight.

Where a lot of people make a mistake is by thinking that because those dogs are playing with other dogs they will play with yours.

This is dangerous thinking.

Those dogs who are playing have already established the pecking order, and the game is being played by their rules. If your dog has a different idea about how to play the game, he may well be attacked by the leader of that grouping of dogs, and the other dogs in that group might very well attack your dog as well.

Mixing puppies and adult dogs together in this kind of situation is just plain wrong. Some older dogs don’t really tolerate a puppy’s behavior and have no qualms about putting that puppy in his rank. When a older dog corrects a puppy for any certain behavior, the punishment can range from a tooth bump, which might draw a little blood and certainly make the puppy yelp, and run for the hills, to a full on aggressive attack that can result in sever injury to the pup or even death.

If your pup is approached by one of these dominant aggressive older dogs you have got to get your pup behind you and protect him at all cost. If you fail at this and your pup gets attacked you will most likely raise a dog aggressive dog.

And just because you got a Rottweiler or a German Shepard, that really don’t  make any difference, a puppy, regardless of breed, is not ready to defend it’s self against any dog that is not in his age group.

To let your puppy work things out for himself with an older dog is the same as putting your 7 year old pee-wee hockey player into a game with kids 10-13  years old, in most cases the 7 year old is not ready, physically,mentally or in any other way to play with those boys, and is at some point end up hurt.

I take my dogs and puppies to the dog park, but I stay outside the fence and work on having fun and keeping my dog focused on me, not the dogs or people in the park.

The only good thing about a dog park at least for me and my dogs and pups, is that it can serve as a great distraction learning environment, as long as I keep outside the fence.

Harley