Posts Tagged ‘one’

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Some one asked me yesterday, what is the best way to train your dog to come when called..so I thought I would share that with you today.

The easiest way I know of is to play hide and seek with your new puppy or dog.

There are many benefits to this method..

It engages your dogs prey drive and enhances your dogs attraction to you and other family members..which is important if you want your dog to come when called no matter what is going on to distract them..

It will help make you the most attractive thing in your dogs world..

Dogs love this game because they get to do what dogs love to do most..hunt, and in this game they will be hunting you.

This is the way I play this game with my dogs..

Now you can play inside or out.. I prefer outside if possible because dogs come alive outside.. and it helps to keep the inside of your home as a place for rest and relaxation..outside is where the action and high energy activities are done.

Find a spot on a trail where there are bushes to hide in..

have your dog on a long line ..approx 50 feet would suffice..

Have one of your kids or a friend take a tasty treat like a hot dog and while you hold the dog your kid or friend lets the dogs smell the treat and then run off down the trail..skipping running and calling with kissy sounds..

Then they jump off the trail at some point and hide.. don’t make it too hard at first..

Then they call the dog to come.. say the dog’s name loudly and call.. “Rover..Come!”.. then be quiet and still..

You then release the dog and he will take off down the trail..he will find the person..so don’t worry about that..when he does..give him the treat maybe two..and..praise him.. maybe tug a bit on a tug toy..but let him win..that is important when playing tug of war with your dog..

Repeat this game as much as possible over the next few weeks..and in no time your dog will come reliably when he hears his name ..

You will want to fade out the food rewards and replace them with your praise, or a good game of tug. Don’t forget to do this ..you don’t want your dog to become reliant on food.

If by chance your dog gets lost finding you..call his name again loudly he will soon sniff you out..

The person holding the leash should not get involved.. just follow the dog and keep the long line in reach so you can grab it if necessary..

End the game when your dog still wants to play..this will build enthusiasm for the next time he plays.. playing this game really gets to the core of your dogs nature..his prey drive.. now go have some fun with your dog.

If you have questions or just want to chat be sure to get in touch with me.. I would love hearing from you..

Harley

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I was talking with a friend of mine this morning and she asked me what one thing is most important in order to have well-trained dogs..

I thought about this for a moment and realized that the one thing I do that makes all the difference in how any dog responds to me is that I always work with them when my mind is clear and calm..

I have found a way to shut out thoughts about yesterday and tomorrow..

and to just be present..in that moment of time…

It’s in these moments of mindful awareness that we can both share peace…

Dogs are masters of living in the moment.. but because of the stress of living in our world they often have difficulty calming their mind.. this is when we start seeing behavior problems..

People have difficulty with this concept.. but can experience life in the moment.. for example..

If a soldier is going into combat ..there are no thoughts of tomorrow or yesterday..they are focused on the task at hand..

so to is the person who jumps out of an airplane..

But how can someone get into the present moment from the safety of the living room couch?..

I would like for you to try this 30 second experiment.. sit quietly in your living room or any room for that matter.. and focus on a spot on the floor.. don’t move your eyes from that spot or move your body.. this is important because if your body is moving..your mind is not settled….

Now become aware of the weight of gravity pulling on your body holding you to the chair or floor..

Now focus on a sound in the room..

the hum of the refrigerator ..

the ticking of a clock..

If there is no sound..then the white noise you hear in your head…

Now just hold that focus and mindful awareness of sight,feeling,and sound.. if a thought creeps into your mind that’s o.k..just go back to focusing …

As you hold this mindful awareness for the 30 seconds try to think about what you will do tomorrow.. you will find it is very hard to do.. practice this daily and work it up so you can hold this focus and awareness for 5 minutes at a time..

Then let your dog into the room..don’t look at your dog or speak to them.. just go into this mindful awareness.. you will be surprised how your dog reacts to it.. in most cases your dog will lay down and go to sleep.. and when they do you will know that you have connected with your dog in that present moment.. and you both will feel the peace..

Your training will grow exponentially.. I guarantee it..

I would love to answer any questions you might have, or discuss with you how living in the moment can vastly improve the relationship you have with your dogs.. contact me anytime.. and have a great day!

Harley

dog yoga reuse

There’s just one thing that all dogs want to know, and they need you to answer it.

Between raising the kids and making meals, working a shift, going to soccer games, swimming lessons, making time for your better half, going to the gym walking the dog..well.. the list could go on and on, but there is no doubt about one thing..at the end of the day your energy is spent, taking off your shoes seems to be a chore that might require some assistance.

With all the things we do daily that drain our energy, the very act of doing them causes stress to our bodies and our minds, and stress as we all know can have very negative effect on us if we don’t deal with it.

So..we have learned that in order to alleviate some of this stress so that we don’t explode..(emotionally speaking,) there are certain activities that help to keep us in balance so we can get up the next day and do it all again.

You might enjoy listening to music, yoga class, reading a good book, massage, sitting on the porch watching the sun go down, smoking a pipe., the possibilities are endless, and individual to you..what works for you might not work for others.

Now let’s consider the daily life of most dogs..not all dogs but most.

A dogs day starts the same time your’s does, if not before..and they have even more energy that you have to start their day..but, instead of getting ready to go to work …they will be lucky to get out for 5 minutes to use the bathroom, come inside and have 10 minutes to eat…a quick pat on the head from you, and a be a good boy till I get back..and then they are sequestered in their assigned areas until you come back.

For most dogs their day is spent either tied in the yard, behind a fence, in a crate, locked in the house.

One thing  is for sure their range of movement is restricted to some degree.

Still he is constantly bombarded by energy coming from life going on around him.

Someone repeatedly knocks on the door because no one there to answer it, a squirrel runs across the yard, the dog next door is in heat, the boom of a passing thunderstorm, needs to relieve himself but it will be two hours before anyone comes to let him outside.

Over the span of the 6-8 hours most people are away from the house the dog has absorbed vast quantities of stress, but has burned very little energy..so when you finally get home, your dog is a quivering emotional stressed out mess..as soon as you open the door or let him out of the crate he jumps up on you, runs around the house maybe knocking over plants and what not.

He paws at you for attention, barks non stop at you or someone passing on the street, surfs the counters, chases the cats, and if you do take him for a walk he pulls you down the street with your feet practically off the ground, and stops only when another dog approaches him and he starts to growl and lunge dragging you toward the strange dog.

The reason a dog does all these different and sometimes annoying behaviors is due to the fact that he is stressed out and is searching for something, anything to satisfy his emotional state of mind, which brings me to the main point of my article..there’s just one thing all dogs want to know..

What do I do with all my energy?

All the best,

Harley

Resource: Natural Dog Training.com

 

unfocsed

Regardless of what kind of behavior problem you are having with your dog, be it jumping up,barking,
pulling on the leash, or being aggressive toward people or other dogs/animals, it has nothing to do
with them being “bad” or “disobedient.” Today you will learn the number one reason your dog won’t obey your commands.

I used quotation marks around the words bad, and disobedient, because when clients tell me that they
need my help because their dog won’t come when called, I always ask them what they have been doing to
get them to come when called and they usually answer I yell come. It’s like they expect the dog to come
just because they told it to, and when the dog blows them off and chases the ninja squirrel across the
road, they get angry and call me to tell me their dog is “bad” and “disobedient.”

There are three main reasons why your dog might seem like he is being “bad” or “disobedient.”

But for today I am going to concentrate on only one. I’ll get to the other two in later posts.

“When You Compete With The Ninja Squirrel Your Dog-Fu Better Be Strong Grasshopper.”

The first thing I do is to explain to my clients that in fact their dog is not being bad or disobedient
when he won’t come to them. It’s because he hasn’t been taught to keep his focus on them. He might have
been forced to come, or to sit, and he might do it occasionally because he has heard the words so many
times and been forced into a sit position, but the owner did not take the time to teach the dog what
come really means, or what sit really means. A dog can’t learn from us just by talking to them. Telling
them to come,or forcing them to sit, won’t teach them anything..the owners are just talking to their dogs and dogs
don’t understand what they are saying.

If your dog don’t see you as the most interesting person in the world who makes everything fun and
rewarding for them, then when he sees that ninja squirrel, he’s going to leave you in a cloud of dust
wondering what just happened.

Likewise if you have a dog that shows aggression toward the mailman and he is not focused on you and sees the mailman, then your dog could get into trouble and so could you.

Teaching your dog to focus,..or to watch you, starts in the house under no distractions.

Your goal should be to have your dog move when you move and to pay attention to you at all times. Be aware of how far away your dog is and work to keep him looking at you and close by. My bubble is 4 feet, if my dog is more than four feet away from me that’s too far, and I call him inside the 4 foot radius around me.

You begin by saying his name, and when he looks at you, give him a tasty treat, do this for a couple of
days and then start moving around the house and this time,every 10 feet or so, say your dogs
name,”Rover” and when he looks at you say,”Come,” and when he gets to you give him a treat and praise
him “Good Dog.” Do this for a couple of days and then add a hand gesture to the mix, ie, Rover,come, and wave him to come closer with your hand, like you were beckoning a friend to come here.

Within a few days you should be able to get your dog to come 100% of the
time with just the hand gesture, no words at all. Then it’s time to move on to the sit command.

You would follow the same pattern as teaching him to come. Hand gestures are used for every command because you want to be able to command your dog even if there is too much noise for him to hear you well.

Once you have taught your dog to come,sit,down and stay reliably inside then you move outside in the
yard on leash and provide some distraction, like someone throwing a ball around near where you are
working with your dog. Then teach him these same commands under this low-level pressure. Keeping him
focused on you will be a little more difficult so I would suggest you use high value food rewards like
cooked chicken,ham,cheese, or last nights left over steak.

Regular old kibble is not going to make him think of you as more enticing than that ball that’s rolling
around or the butterfly that’s calling his name to give chase, and he will lose focus on you and go for the ball, or the butterfly, probably both.

If he does this and you can’t get him focused, go back inside and work some more distraction free
exercises, or step up your food rewards to something that holds his interest perhaps a favorite toy.

This link will take you to the video I made showing how I work with my dogs.

Training Video

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River Valley Dog Training

It’s the best way to keep up with my posts, and I post quite often.

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