With adult dogs it is challenging to undo existing behaviors but it can be done with patience, persistence and re-training for the human and canine members of the family. If training more than one dog tackle this challenge with one dog at a time for initial training. Have your materials for training near the front door or where most of the greetings take place. Here is what you’ll need-a jar of soft treats (I use a plastic air-tight container), a leash and either a clicker or your marker word. I use “YES”. You will also need a willing accomplice. When dealing with small dogs it is an easier matter to ignore and praise the not jumping, but with a lab this is another story! Have your willing “guest” practice approaching the dog without coming in the door initially. The handler should praise for four feet on the floor, click and treat. If the dog comes up as approached the guest should fold their arms and retreat. It is important to not severely correct at this point. We are teaching self-control and the jerk and correction often excites the dog even more and results in more of an urge to lunge. Repeatedly have your friend approach and if the dog stands or sits MARK with the clicker or YES and work up to success. (Remember in order for the CLICKER or YES to have meaning we need to introduce this to the dog firsthand. I usually say my dog’s name and then YES or CLICK when they look me in the eye). ANother way to practice no jumping when alone is to secure your dog to an immovable object and then practice approaching in the same manner, praising for a sit or stand as approaching and turning away with not attention, arms folded if jumping occurs. Try it! This really works!
This may just look like a pretty pose but it took training to get that stand “just right”. Krista likes all eyes on her as a show dog but she also likes to learn new things like all dogs do. I have taught her to swim, pull me while cross country skiing, dance, swim and paddleboard and do about 50 tricks. Dogs really “can do” and so can yours!
Feeling sluggish from too much holiday excess? Clothes a little pinchy? Feeling ho- hum and a bit pale? Try these five secret tips we dog trainers use for looking and feeling great! After all you never know when someone will need a new show on Animal Planet! It all starts simply with taking a walk!
1. When you WALK your dog use your five senses to really take in your environment. Turn off that cell phone and give yourself at least 30 minutes of bliss listening to the birds, taking in those luscious aromas coming from the bakery that is driving your dog mad, watch for cute doggies to say hello to and guess their names before you meet them. By engaging your mind in this way you will relax and reduce those worry lines. And by walking on a regular basis you will shed yucky pounds and feel great. Check with your doctor and vet before starting your regimen and you are off! Make n appointment with yourself to walk so that no one steals valuable “me” time. You are not selfish. You are taking care of your health. No guilt here please.
2. Before venturing out use a good MOISTURIZER with sunscreen. many dog trainers have found the Jergen’s brand of self-tanning daily moisturizer imparts just a hint of healthy non-flakey color. Others swear by Clinique and my personal choice is Luminesce with vitamin C from CVS plus sunscreen. Whatever you choose remember to protect the kin you are in.
3. Learn to SMILE even when you are feeling pfffffft. Yes what your mom said is lines using the muscles for smiling can trick you into feeling better. Practice in front of a mirror if you need help deciding between natural not creepy. Smiling makes you attractive and feel confident. A nice combo to add to the increase in endorphins while walking.
4. Practice GRATITUDE and give thanks for your dog. He or she has loved you through thick and thin, the ups and downs and all the way around. Look at your walk as an opportunity to connect with your adorable living creature, fur child, who is utterly and shamelessly in love with you even if you feel fat and blue. Say thank you with some uninterrupted bliss together. And then say “thank you” for your life, your health and the ability to get outside and enjoy life. Think about paying it forward by helping someone.You will feel calmer, happier and more connect5. Expect great things and dare to DREAM. Some say that you age and are old when you forget to dream. Don’t let anyone destroy your ability
to imagine great things for you and your dog. Yes there are realistic goals. But we are talking about big stuff here. You can get all practical and lay the foundation at home. We are talking the big Hollywood picture here starring you and your dog. Think about travel plans for the two of you, fabulous fun like planning a party or dressing up and dining at a local bistro.
Wishing you big, juicy, healthy, fat-free and mind blowing fun with your clever canine.
Dorice Stancher, CPDT-KA
It might seem cute when your puppy chews on your fingers, until you feel those sharp little teeth! Ouch! It’s time to put an end to puppy play biting. While it’s natural for your puppy to want to explore the world around him with his mouth, it’s just not acceptable in our homes.
When nipped at most people pull their hands away. Dogs see this as a game and it reinforces their urge to want to bite even more. Shouting won’t make the behavior stop. And hitting is out of the question. So what to do? You can say “Ouch” and walk away from the puppy. We don’t want to reward the biting with attention. You can also offer an acceptable chew toy in order to re-direct the behavior. Another option is to put a deterrent on your hand and clothing (dog and child safe of course) so that the puppy realizes you aren’t very tasty. Remember, everyone in your home must be consistent in order for training to be successful. It also is a good idea to teach your dog that “everything has a price” so that he knows that all his “good stuff” comes from you.
January is a busy and critical time for new dog owners. This is the “make it or break it” period when dogs have either found their “forever homes” or are left at shelters.
Training above all should be positive and reinforced daily, even if only for a few minutes at a time. Veterinarians recommend even-handed training with positive rewards such as food, praise and play. Choking and forcing is definitely a thing of the past. And electric collars should never be used to train a puppy.
Above all, training should be a special stress-free time when you can learn to communicate with your dog and revel in his abilities thanks to your efforts. The time you invest will improve the quality and enjoyment of your pet and hopefully build a bond to last a lifetime.
Dorice Stancher, CPDT-KA
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers
The APDT is a professional educational organization of trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through using positive, dog friendly methods based on sound scientific principles. With over 5,000 members worldwide, the APDT provides professional dog trainers with a respected and concerted voice. The APDT promotes caring relationships between dogs and people and works to increase public awareness of dog-friendly training techniques. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.apdt.com.