Adult Dog Training 101-Teaching Your Dog Not To Jump!

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!

It’s National Train Your Dog Month!

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It's National Train Your Dog Month!

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!

Don’t Bite Me!

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.