Monthly Archives: February 2012

Obedience Training For Dogs in 8 Weeks

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Training

Obedience Training For DogsObedience training can sometimes be overwhelming when you get a new dog. Most people think that they can train their dog themselves and some are successful while others struggle. But in reality, everyone can have a well behaved and loving family dog in only 8 short weeks.

The problem I see when people train their dog themselves, is that they unknowingly reward bad behaviors; their timing is off, and they sometimes discipline the dog unfairly.

But at last! Here are some 3 free strategies to get you started on the right path to training your dog.

  1. Proper Timing. Reward or discipline your dog at the time of the good or bad behavior, not after long periods. Why? Because dogs learn in the moment. Even a minute after the fact is too late, they will not know why they are getting rewarded or punished. The optimal time for a reward or a punishment must be one second after the behavior.
  2. Attend Professional Obedience Training for Dogs Sessions or Classes. This will provide you with a structured training program that will make your training more efficient and rewarding for both you and your dog. I understand that some people may not be able to afford dog training classes, but there are always other options. Look for a local club in your neighborhood who may be training dogs recreationally, or look on Craigslist for a new trainer who is just starting their business.
  3. Train Your Dog Daily. Obedience training for dogs is sometimes tricky because most people think that they have to set aside too much time to do this every day; however my experience shows 20 minutes a day is more than sufficient for a well-behaved dog. In fact, I only train my dogs 5 – 10 minutes at a time a few times each day.

Using these strategies will ensure that you have a well-behaved dog while investing minimum amount of time and money. Here at the Dog Trick Academy, our obedience training for dogs program will provide you with proven strategies to help you train your dog to not only obey you, but also connect and build a strong relationship with them that will last a lifetime.

10 Essential Puppy Training Tips

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Puppies

If you have just brought a new puppy home for the first time, it may be tempting to cuddle, spoil, and shower your adorable puppy with affection. But just as important as love and affection, is taking the time to train your puppy from a young age so that he can learn good behaviors that will stick with him for the rest of his life.

Early puppy training is one of the best ways to prevent long-term behavioral issues, like using the toilet indoors, barking, and chewing furniture. You can use the top puppy training tips below to help prepare yourself and your home ahead of time.

10 Essential Puppy Training Tips

  1. Treats are earned, not given. It can be tempting to give a new puppy treat after treat for being so playful and loving. But a puppy will respond best to treats that are earned for good behavior, such as chewing on chew toys instead of furniture or using the toilet successfully outdoors. This will teach your puppy early on that treats are a reward that can be earned through obedience, not bad behavior.
  2. Exchange toys with a treat. Your puppy should only have access to his toys at playtime. Instead of grabbing the toy and taking something away from your dog, give him a treat to exchange it so that he doesn’t become possessive of his toys.
  3. Give treats while your puppy is eating. When your puppy is eating, place your hand into his food bowl to give him delicious treats. This will teach your dog to accept your presence when he is eating due to the positive association of receiving extra treats.
  4. Stay consistent in training not to nip. Puppies are known to nip and chew on different items as they explore their environment. Make sure that you and all family members teach your puppy that no nipping or biting is acceptable; instead, redirect the puppy to a chew toy and reward to reinforce good behavior.
  5. Train at the right time. Puppies are eager and willing to learn, especially with reward-based training. But make sure that you train your puppy in a short 5 minutes sessions before mealtime so that he has enough energy and is hungry enough to earn treats for obedience.
  6. Take training slow. A puppy is growing and developing on a day by day basis, so it may take him time to learn a number of basic commands. Start out slowly with 2 to 3 commands at a time and wait until your puppy learns the commands successfully before moving forward. It is better to build upon successes than to try training 10 different things at once.
  7. Do not provide negative attention. Use positive reinforcement to train your puppy instead of scolding or yelling to prevent negative associations. Once your puppy understands that he is rewarded for good behavior, he will be likely to repeat it over and over again.
  8. Use a crate to house train. One of the most overlooked puppy training tips is using a crate to house train. But when you teach your puppy to enjoy his crate through positive association and rewards, he will be happy to stay in his crate when you are not at home to prevent accidents. Once your puppy is taken out of his crate, he should be taken outdoors to use the toilet immediately. Once he eliminates successfully, reward him with praise and a treat to reinforce the good behavior.
  9. Socialize from a young age. You can socialize your puppy through basic leash training on a walk down the street or at a park. This can be used to train your puppy to follow you instead of pulling on the leash and will also acclimate him to new people and other dogs. The key to this is positive socialization, you want your puppy to experience pleasurable things while meeting strangers and other dogs/puppies.
  10. Enroll in an obedience class. Taking at least one obedience class will help you to understand how to better communicate with your puppy in a positive way. This will also teach your puppy how to socialize with other dogs/puppies and people at the same time!

Best Dog Training Motivators: Food, Toys, & Praise!

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Training

The best dog training tactic to use with your puppy or adult dog is positive reinforcement and motivation. Once your dog begins to understand that he will be rewarded for obedience and good behavior, he will instinctively want to please you to earn praise or another treat.

The key to the best dog training is understanding what motivates your dog.
Dogs are motivated by one of three things:

  1. Food
  2. Toys
  3. Praise

Train with Food
The best dog training method to begin with at home is to motivate your dog with food so that he responds and obeys your commands. Training with the food/reward method will take less time than training your dog with punishment. Even better, training your dog with a reward like food will positively motivate him instead of making him constantly afraid of getting reprimanded.

The best dog training example to use in this scenario is house training. Most dogs can creatively find dozens of places in the home to eliminate without your knowledge. This means that there is potential for your dog to make an infinite number of house training mistakes, requiring you to correct him again and again. How exhausting!

But once you have designated a specific area in your yard for your dog to use the toilet, you can reward him with food each time that he eliminates there successfully. All you must do is show your dog where you would like him to eliminate and reward him with food for the action.

This same basic reward principle can be applied to a number of other behavioral issues, like barking, digging, or chewing. When you teach your dog to chew on a chew toy instead of furniture, reward him with food for doing so. When you teach your dog to wait to bark until he is commanded, reward him for his obedience.

Instead of punishing your dog for bad behavior, rewarding him with food for obeying a command is one of the best dog training tactics to use to receive quick results.

Train with Toys

Some dogs absolutely love to play, much more so than getting a treat. If this is your dog, then you are very lucky because training becomes much easier. You don’t have to carry treats around and you can always play a game of tug for rewards.

Train with Praise

The best training tip to remember when training your dog with praise is to only give praise when it is earned. If you constantly lavish your dog with praise and attention, then he will no longer appreciate it.

Praise can be two things, either verbal praise like “Good boy!!!” or physical praise like stroking the dog’s fur.

When your dog obeys you or completes a trick, praise him verbally in a lively, happy voice. Get down on his level and praise him immediately so that he understands that he has done something good. Your dog will learn that his good behavior earns praise and will naturally want to repeat the behavior to please you.