Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

Raising a dog is hard work, you take them to obedience class and things seem to be going great..you even got a blue ribbon hanging on your wall.. and yet..

When you are at home your dog seems to have forgotten everything they learned.. they run out the door ahead of you..they anticipate your movements and rush past you..sometimes nearly knocking your down.

It upsets you that your dog is obedience trained yet seems so pushy and rude.

What you think of as bad behavior is really just your dog doing what dogs do.. unless..

You begin to put that obedience training to work for you in your every day life.

The solution is not going to be quick so don’t expect miracles over night..but if you begin to put expectations for behavior on your dog ,..things like sit before going out the door..or sit and stay while you go up and down stairs ., and then follow you when they are invited.. you will begin to see that now your obedience trained dog is making you proud.. and this pride will follow you the rest of your life.

Have a look at this short video as I explain a little more about what I’m talking about..

If you have questions leave them in the comments section below..

all the best,

Harley

 

SmoothCollieTri2_wb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ultimate pleasure for any dog is to bite, it is what they are designed to do, and in doing so massive amounts of stress is released from their bodies.

In this video I demonstrate a great exercise called bite and carry.

This exercise makes Ragnar feel good, keeps his energy flowing,.. and in the process he follows me wherever I go..

I have always trained my dogs during the course of my daily life, I do not have scheduled training sessions.

When I see an opportunity to work with my dogs, I take advantage of it.

If you have any  questions, leave them in the section below and I will get back to you soon.

all the best,

Harley

 

 

th (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been called worse, but I guess you could call me a self educated naturalist.

I find it very interesting and quite frankly grounding, to observe nature in action without outside influence.

The fall reminds me of the times as a young boy when the leaves changed colors
and could no longer cling to the trees, and there was that nip of winter in the
air, my  Uncle Eldon would say,

`Well it`s time to get the traps out and lay the line for winter.“

We would spend hours walking through the woods looking for signs of our quarry
and discussing the best spots to set the traps.

We would look at an old log that had fallen over a
natural animal trail, and ponder if it was high enough off the ground to
ensure a bobcat would have to go under it and not jump over..

Because the nature of the bobcat is to be stealthy, so that means low to the ground
and when faced with the option of jumping over something and possibly giving away
their position, or belly crawl under something they will inevitably go under the
log, thus our reasoning for placing he trap under the log to increase the likelihood
of success.

Now I don`t trap and kill anything for any reason, that was the way my Uncle lived
out of necessity and he provided well for our family.

What I learned about the animals that lived in the woods around where I live, gave
me the knowledge to be able to communicate with our family dogs in the way nature
intended, by observing how they interact with one another and how their instincts
dictated how they behaved.

I learned how to think like a dog..

 

I learned from and early age that it is not possible to teach a dog to think like
a human, they are not that complex, but when you take the human factor out, and think
about your dog as an animal, with instincts and needs that are very different than that
of humans, then it becomes much easier to know what they instinctively and naturally need
to feel safe, protected and have a sense of well-being.

Dogs crave physical and mental exercise as well as strong leadership that sets clear and consistent
rules, boundaries, and a structured way of life.

When a dog’s natural needs are being met, they will feel that the pack is safe and not have
to deal with any stress.

Dogs have evolved to have a close bond with people, but I believe most people, (not all, but most)
have forgotten or don`t think about the dogs natural instincts, and relate to their dogs in a
very human way, and in my experience this is where people create the stress that causes their dogs
to develop behavior problems that for most dog owners is unmanageable.

But when I am called to come and help someone with their dog troubles, and I tell them that the
reason their dog is acting out is because of the way they interact with the dog on a daily basis,
and that the dogs natural instinctual needs are not being met, and that their dog`s temperament
is a direct result of the relationship they have formed with their dog,and that they simply don`t
understand their dogs needs, they look at me like I have three heads.

Here are a couple of tips for having well-behaved happy and balanced dogs..

 

Teach your dog to respect your personal space, at the door, on the stairs
and when you are watching t.v. or eating supper..

Don`t worry so much about if your dog sits before going out, but be more concerned about how your
dog behaves at the door., is he polite and gives you room to open the door, or is he jumping,and
pushing at you, nose right up against the door waiting to bolt out the door?

Teach your dog to have respect, for example if you get up to move through the house does your
dog get up in anticipation of your movements or do they lie in your way and force you to walk
around them or step over?

If you answered walk around or step over, you can be sure that something about your relationship
with your dog has gone wrong, and you will need to re-evaluate how you interact with your dog.

If you liked today’s post, then let me know by liking my Face Book Page
River Valley Dog Training

all the best,

Harley

anxious dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a part of life for both us and our canine companions.

For us anxiety might mean that feeling you get when you are going to start a new
job and can’t sleep the night before.

Or that gut wrenching feeling just before you parachute out of a perfectly good airplane.

Then there are those people who truly suffer from severe anxiety, and in some cases the anxiety
can be so severe that it causes some people to never leave their homes,and need therapy and medication
just to cope.

What does anxiety mean for our dogs?

Quite often a dog will be anxious about people,children, other dogs, noises, and generally
anything that the dog has not been socialized to accept as a normal part of their lives.

What I find disconcerting is that in a lot of cases dog owners are very cavalier about their dogs anxiety
and they force their dogs to interact with the very things that cause their anxiety..like taking a dog that is anxious about strange dogs to the dog park where they have no choice but to deal with strange dogs, or letting a bunch of random people come up and pet a dog that is anxious about people.

When we talk about separation anxiety in our dogs I often hear people say my dog destroys the house when we leave because he has separation anxiety.

I think it’s important to understand that while destructive behavior can be the end result of anxiety..it is more often a
behavior issue that often is the result of dogs owners punishing their dogs for certain behaviors which teaches the dog that the only safe time to indulge in these behaviors are when the owners are away, on the phone, or taking a shower, and training your dog is the answer.

That being said, destructive behavior can also accompany anxiety..a truly anxious dog in most cases has become anxious because they have unlimited access to their humans..and get so emotionally attached that they fall to pieces when the owners go away.

They will pant,pace, and sweat..and this ramps up the tension and loads adrenalin..so the dog does the only thing they can do to alleviate the anxiety, they go through the house like a hurricane..ripping up the garbage, door frames, beds, couches, and relieve themselves where ever they want.

If you find it’s a case of when the cat’s away the mice will play then training is needed..if it is true anxiety then the
owner must help the dog.

This can only be done, by building confidence in the dog so they can be on their own..

To accomplish this you need to crate train your dog and do it in a way that makes him simply love the crate..

First you would put the crate in the same room as you..and put the dog in with a chew toy filled with his food.

Leave him in there for 5 minutes, then 10 then 15..then move the crate to the next room..then to the farthest end of the house, and repeat the procedure, as the dog gets more confident, begin to leave him longer..and always feed the dog his meals from a chew toy..this will give him something to do in his crate and before you know it he will be looking at you as if to say..can I please go in my crate.

It is the same way I taught my children to spend time on their own..I give them a video game and tell them to stay in the room and play..and they gladly do it..and actually look forward to the time when I would tell them go to your room and play your video games.

Your dog will learn to see chew toys and his crate in the same manner..he gets to chew on something to relieve any stress or anxiety, and he gets a tasty munch while doing it..it’s a win – win situation.

I hope you found this post helpful, and if you did you can let me know by liking my Face Book Page

River Valley Dog Training

all the best,

Harley

dog off leash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this week I was asked what I thought about videos that show people walking their dog or dogs on busy streets
without leashes.

I have watched many of these videos and what I see shows the hard work that some people put into their dogs training.

I too teach my dogs to follow me off leash and are trained to the highest level of reliability, so I understand the
dedication and commitment that is required to be successful, and trust your dog to obey you without hesitation or failure.

How they trained these dogs is of no concern to me..I could care less if they use a prong collar, e-collar or a horse
collar..

That being said, I do not recommend using anything that causes pain to train your dogs.

There are two things that really bother me about these videos..

1- These dog owners are putting the safety of their dogs and the public at risk..for the sake of their ego’s…plain and
simple…

I don’t care how well-trained and reliable you think your dogs are there is always the one in a million chance that
something unexpected will happen and spook your dogs..

-A car could backfire and spook one of the dogs into the street only to be hit by another car..or worse the car swerves to
avoid the dog and strikes a person on the sidewalk or crossing the street…

-Another off leash, less well-trained aggressive dog might be waiting around the next corner..and I know I would not want
to have a bunch of dogs off leash when something like that happened..

I could go on for hours about what could very well happen at any given moment…but I won’t bore you.

That’s why I would never take my dogs out into the pubic with being leashed..even though I know I could..back in the day I
walked a pack of 23 dogs off leash through the fields and woods of my family farm.,and my dogs that I have today are
trained to follow me off leash..but never on the roadway without being leashed.

NEVER

Just because you can do something don’t mean you should..

The second thing that concerns me a little less about these types of videos is that they are blatantly self-serving..

For the most part these people are trying to get noticed or get a million hits on their YouTube channel.. and screams
loudly..”look at me”, “see what I can do.”

There is no educational value to these videos, as they do not teach people the skills they need to develop to have well
trained dogs that look to them for guidance…in my opinion these videos serve only one purpose and that is to gain
attention and are strictly ego driven non-sense.

It really pisses me off when I see people put their dogs safety and that of the public at risk just to make themselves look
good and sell a few more trinkets or tee-shirts.

If you like today’s post you can let me know by liking my Face Book Page River Valley Dog Training..

Thank you all for your support..

all the best

Harley

baby dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a sniff – get your dog used to the smell of the new baby before you bring him/her home. A blanket you used in the hospital will do fine, this is a good first step to introduce your new baby to your dog.

Leash your dog – start at a distance and if the dog is calm then slowly move closer to the baby, if at any time the dog shows excitement..move back to where he is not reacting and praise.

Be calm – dogs mirror our emotional state so if you are worried then your dog will be worried as well.

Reward the positives – don’t be too concerned with what you don’t want your dog to do,instead reward any good behavior they show.

Let him get a nose full– Dogs need to smell new things so if your dog is calm then let him have a good sniff of the baby..and reward calm behavior.

No Licking – if the dog tries to lick the baby then give him a stern No! and if he continues put him in time out.

Set clear boundaries – there needs to be places where you put the baby and the dog understands that he or she can’t go in there, like the bedroom, or play areas.

Respect Baby’s personal space – guard your babies space and teach the dog that he or she must stay on their place or if lying on the floor near the baby if fine by you then that is what the dog will learn.

Chewing toys – Your baby is going to have lot’s of toys to play with and you must teach your dog that they do not belong to him or her and if you catch them chewing these toys say..No! and give them something they can chew on..

It goes without saying that you must always supervise whenever your dog is near the baby..while the dog may not make the first move..your baby surely will..when he or she becomes aware of the dog.

If you found this helpful let me know by liking my face book page River Valley Dog Training

All the best,

Harley

In today’s video post I will show you using my home-made Hill Billy long

line, how to teach a dog to come with distractions.

I added a bonus at the end demonstrating how important it is to be silent
when a dog is thinking about being aggressive.

Rex is hell-bent on killing any cat he sees

Not that he would really eat one, but the sight and movement of a cat
sends his adrenalin on high and kicks in his prey drive to the max, if he
catches one of these cats and gives it a good shaking while in the clamp
of his strong jaws,,well the cat is toast.

He is a very strong dog and would easily pull most people right along
with him.

However the strain he puts on the leash is no doubt causing him some
internal throat damage and this behavior must be stopped before he does
himself serious harm.

What you see in the video is after one day of my putting in place the
four laws of nature that govern all dogs.

If you like this video click here to===>to like my page so I will know.

All the best,
Harley

 

Let me begin by saying that with all things there are exceptions to the rule.

and now on with my story…

I left this place scratching my head in total confusion.

I kept thinking to myself on the ride home, “Is this what dog training
has evolved into?”

Let me tell you why I will never set foot in another dog obedience class, and why I think they are a total waste of time and good money.

A few years back when I was first starting my online dog training
business, I decided to visit a few obedience classes to see what all the
fuss was about.

What I saw made me more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of
rocking chairs.

There were people walking their dogs in and out of cone pylons, zigging
and zagging in any number of geometric patterns, none of which I could see
had any real world applications, and every so often they would have the
dog sit for maybe 2 seconds and then give the dog a treat.

Not once did the instructor speak about corrections or discipline, which
by the way is one of the corner stones of my dog training philosophy.

I did not see anything that would help keep a dog from jumping up on
people or stealing food off the counter, or be able to be around other
dogs without reacting, which is what most people want from their dogs,
and the thought of treating a dog for basically nothing at all really
made my skin crawl.

Everything the dogs did in these classes was motivated by food rewards.
Not only is this impossible it’s not something you will see in nature.

So I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and did some investigating.

I asked several people I knew that had problems with their dogs and more
often than not these people had at one time or another had their dogs in
obedience class.

Fast forward 6 years

If anything has changed it’s been for the worse, most of my work is un-
doing what was done to the dogs in a formal obedience class. You only
need to look at the streets in your neighborhood to find dogs pulling
people down the street, and if you knock on any number of doors you will
inevitably hear someone yell, “There’s someone at the door put the dog
away!”, followed by uncontrolled insane barking.

These dogs won’t sit for more than a few seconds, rarely will come when
called without being bribed, and forget about holding a stay for any
length of time, it’s just not going to happen.

The simple truth is that dogs and their owners who attend formal
obedience classes are not taught the correct way and much of what they
are taught is unnecessary.

This is why I think the dog training obedience classes are a waste of your
time and money, not to mention detrimental to your dogs well-being.

People don’t want their dog to be like the “Littlest Hobo”

Most of the people I work with just want well-mannered dogs that for the
most part are easy to handle and stay out of trouble. So you have to ask
yourself..

With the large number of dogs coming out of obedience class with no
usable skill and in most cases worse off than when they went in, is it
the dogs fault, the owners fault, or it the methodology messed up?

So just in case you’re not convinced by my insightful posting and you are
hell-bent on taking your new puppy  or dog to obedience class..here’s my number
506-375-4143.

Keep it in a safe place cause I will be hearing from you real soon.

If you liked this post then let me know by liking my facebook page River Valley Dog Training

if you look to your left you will see the big like button just give it a click..

Your support is very much appreciated.

All the best

Harley

thinking dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes people get real touchy about what words to
use in order to get their dog to do a certain behavior.

I will often find myself in the middle of a heated
discussion between two people who are trying to train
the same dog.

One will say,” I tell my dog to sit, and my wife tells
him to park it. Then they both look at me to settle it.

These kind of interactions make me a little nervous cause
I never get in the middle of anyone’s dispute but in these
cases I was hired to come and help them to get on track
with their dogs training and there is so much misinformation
out there in the dog training world, that I feel it’s
important enough to get in the middle of a family argument.

I tell these people  it don’t really matter what words
you use, it’s your dog and as long as you have been clear
when teaching the dog the command and consistent with your body
language,then your dog is going to be smart enough to know what
you want him to do. I will say that the more simple you make it
the easier it will be to train your dog.

You always want to give your commands in a calm but commanding
tone of voice. Just a little sharper than normal conversational
tones.

So don’t worry so much if Dad says “Sit”, and Mom says “park it”,
or Mom says “down” and Dad says “lay down”.

Just use the words that comes naturally to you, so you will be more
likely to be consistent, consistency is the key, not the words we use.

In traditional English-speaking dog training we use the words
come,sit,down,and stay as verbal cues to get our dogs to do a certain behavior.

I have taught many dogs these same commands in French and German,
hell you could even train your dog in “Hippopotamus.”

It would break down something like this:

Hip- means come
Po- means sit
Pota- means down
Mus- means stay

With enough training you could hypothetically, say “Hippopotamus”,
and your dog would come,sit,down and stay all in one take.

Watch this video I made while training a 12 week old Belgian Malinois
named Sid these commands in French.

So to put it in a nut shell, it don’t matter so much the words you
use to command your dog, but don’t change it up every week or your
dog will get confused and training will be more difficult. And who
knows maybe you will be the first in your neighborhood to train your
dog in “Hippopotamus.”

All the best,

Harley

 

 

 

adrenilin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have talked about how getting your dog to focus on you is critical to having a well-mannered dog that pays attention to you and obeys your commands. Today I will talk about the #2 reason your dog is being “bad” or “disobedient.”

The reason is too much adrenalin, or “Willy-wag juice”.

We have all heard the stories about the 110 lb Mother who lifted a 2 ton car off their child, and other stories of incredible feats of strength or endurance. This is all possible because of one thing, and that thing is a sudden burst of adrenalin.

All animals have this primal urge to survive, and when faced with danger, all animals including us
humans have that survival response that tells us to fight or run away.

The moment that the decision is made to either fight or run,the brain gives the body a short burst of
adrenalin. It is during this short burst of drug induced, increased strength,stamina and
focus, that these amazing feats we read about take place.

The burst is short-lived and then the body is usually spent of energy and slowly returns to normal.

But that being said just like some of us humans are adrenalin junkies who live for the rush of
impending danger, most dogs I see are adrenalin junkies too.

I hear dog owners say their dog is being “disobedient” when he pulls on the lead, or is “bad” because he barks non-stop, but the reality is, these dogs are simply living life in the willy-wags.

Unfortunately a lot of dogs live a very sedentary life, they just lay around the house with not much if any mental or physical release.

This is a very stressful way for a dog to live.

What happens is, one day the stress gets to be too much and the dog starts to whine, or turn circles,
or bark with intense focus. These behaviors will be easy to recognize because they are different from
your dogs normal behavior.

The will have a distinct pattern to them, like the beat of a drum.

The barking would be like, woof,,,woof,,,woof,,,woof,,,all while staring at nothing, and if you give them a command it will most likely go unrewarded.

They will be that focused on what ever is stressing them out.

The adrenalin kicks in and the dog gets a high off the dopamine, runs off into the willy-wags and
quickly learns to create 90 degrees turns in their lives so they can get their fix and feel better.

Once your dog has gone into the willy-wags, it’s too late for you to give any commands, your dog is
just not going to hear you. The part of their brain that helps them think and make good choices, simply shuts off.

He is now just reacting to the situation he’s in.

You will not be able to engage your dog until you get him back under control, and for most dog owners this can be difficult at best, and down right impossible, not to mention dangerous in some cases of aggression, because the dog has gone, he’s not aware of you right now.

When dogs are this crisis mode, extreme physical correction is needed to try to prevent harm to any
people or dogs that are nearby, and this is when it becomes very dangerous for the dog’s handler.

What you need to do is make sure your dog never goes off into the willy-wags, and keep him there. It’s that simple.

Think about it like this:

If you were driving down the highway and saw a sign that said,

DANGER! 90 DEGREE TURN AHEAD!!

Would you slow down as soon as you saw the sign or would you wait until your car was skidding in
circles before you did anything?

You would most likely slow down as soon as you saw the sign, and maneuver your car safely around the turn and not skid off into the willy-wags.

It’s the same with your dog, let’s say he’s dog aggressive.

You are out walking him and suddenly he sees another dog.

From past experience you know he is going to react,

so what do you do?

Do you let your dog pull you straight toward that other dog at 100 miles and hour and end up in the
willy-wags? Or do you read the signs of aggression, ie the sudden focused staring and whining/barking at the dog that triggered his stress, and interrupt your dog and slow him down?

The answer is obvious, you read the signs of the impending adrenalin rush, and put the brakes on your dog to slow him down, get his focus back on you by moving the dog away from the trigger and working some obedience training, or engage your dogs prey drive in a high spirited game of tug of war.

Then safely maneuver him past the other dog, thus avoiding the #2 reason your dog  won’t obey your commands.

Here is something important to understand, I think I’ll bold this.

You only have about 2-4 seconds from the time your dog focuses on a target until he goes into adrenalin overload. Don’t hesitate take action before your dog reacts.

It’s imperative that you learn how to interrupt the adrenalin rush before it happens, if you don’t, you’re going to have behavior troubles and it’s not going to be good for you or your dog.

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All the best,

Harley