Thursday, February 19, 2009

A dog is for life

3 year old Gabriel and Rylie
Our human nature craves companionship. Sometimes we don't like other humans as companions as much as pets. (For the sake of this blog I will always use dogs.)
Here are a few misconceptions that some people have when getting a dog
...........They can be ignored. You don't have to take them to dinner, vacation or childcare.
A few of us really care about our pets and do use a dog walker or pet sitter when we can't give them the time they deserve. Some of us have the luxury of being a stay at home dog parent.
....They don't complain when ill. Most dogs will just lie there if they have a headache or tummy ache or generally don't feel well. Some dogs get aggressive and all we do is yell at them and they will usually remove themselves from our sight. Unless we are having a training session. We get mad when the dog won't sit or down or refuse to do behaviors we are sure he has learned. Lets just bring out the prong or shock collar and cure the dog. Give the dog a break!
....They can be replaced. Jumping up, digging, barking, nipping, wanting to play all the time, (what a bother), moving, going on vacation, are just a few reasons why we can just dump Fido at the pound. When we decide to get another Fido all we have to do is ask around. There sure are many Fidos that are being replaced and need a flat to stay for a while.
....They will eat anything. Whatever is on sale, buy it and feed it to Fido. He sure isn't picky. If he is, just don't feed him anything else until he eats it out of hunger. Some dogs start going into the trash to try to get the nutrition they need. Don't bother looking at the ingredients. They must be good, because the bag says nutritious and delicious. Yum!
....They go get a little brother. Getting a Bro for your Fido is a great idea. Especially if Fido has some issues. Maybe Fido will calm down with Bro in the house. They play very nice together. Fido is even teaching Bro some of the things that is upsetting you. Yes, dogs do learn from watching other dogs.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Common Recall Training Mistakes

  1. Call the dog when he doesn't want to come

  2. If the dog comes, ignore him

  3. Call the dog when you are going to do something unpleasant to him

  4. Teach the dog that the "come" command preludes a chase game

  5. Put the dog on a leash and call him and when he doesn't come, give it a jerk (or pop or whatever you want to call a quick snap on the leash)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

There is no correction....

... in Clicker Training. Even the use of a NRM (commonly used in Pet Store training) during Clicker Training, can result in the dog shutting down, get confused or the cue will become poisoned. Clicker Training teaches the dog to be operant (offer behaviors). If you or your trainer do not know how to put the behavior on stimulus control, then ask someone that can. Clicker training is simple uncomplicated, positive, fun training. Really!