A Comprehensive History of Dog Training

By Sally Gutteridge | Posts , Training

Dog training has evolved through the centuries and will continue to evolve in the future as we continue to refine and develop new training techniques. Positive reinforcement based training was something unheard of 50 years ago, and now in 2011 it is a training technique used by all major dog training centers around the world.

Let’s explore the history of dog training…

Hunting Training
The earliest dog training involved teaching dogs to assist in hunting. The hunters needed help when they went hunting and a dog could assist them in finding and retrieving their prey. There is nothing quite like hunting near a lake and getting your dog to swim in near freezing temperature just to retrieve a prize. This help the hunters tremendously and many hunting breeds like the Spaniels, Terriers, Pointers and Retrievers are still employed today.

Military Training
When World War I began dogs were often used in combat for various purposes. The military needed dogs to be trained quickly so they would train many dogs at the same time. Some of the dogs were trained as guard dogs and others were trained to detect mines and explosives.

The early military dog training techniques were ones of constant correction. The dog would be physically punished for not obeying the trainer’s commands. The punitive system went in to include collars with shocking systems. The idea of dominating the dog and becoming the Alpha and the pack was born and quickly spread all over the world after the war.

Modern Dog Training
After World War I it was considered normal to punish the dog for any misdeeds committed by the dog. Punishment equipment was invented like the prong and choke collars. The idea was that if a behavior is punished then the dog would learn to never do it again.

For example, training a dog to walk loosely on a leash was done by punishing the dog any time he pulled on the leash or walked out of line.

Fortunately, in 2011 we have evolved from these dog training techniques and are now getting the dog to do what we want on his own by means of positive reinforcements.

Assistance Dogs
Dogs have been shown to be terrific assets to those with visual or auditory impairments as well as those with limited mobility. These dogs must be highly trained as well as companionable. In addition, they are carefully selected as they must have the right physical ability and temperament. They then are put through an intense training that is reward based (positive reinforcements).

These dogs are trained to ignore distractions and to take direction. They are taught to lead or communicate and follow commands. It is imperative that these animals be thoroughly trained as any mishaps can endanger the lives of the owner. Most assistance dogs are trained by professionals and then introduced to their owner or trained alongside their owner.

Police and Drug Dogs
Drug, Search and Rescue, or Bomb Squad dogs are highly trained in tracking and alerting skills. Police and protection dogs are trained in controlled aggression. Each animal is highly skilled in their respective field and are not interchangeable in other areas. Dogs trained in tracking abilities are less likely to be trained using heavy handed techniques, while police and protection dogs are.

Medical Dogs
The latest dog training is taking place in the medical field. Dogs are being trained to use their highly sensitive noses and sniff out medical conditions, such as cancer. So far studies on the subject are limited but they show promise and could potentially lead to saving human lives  through early detection.

Dog Sports
Popular dog sports include Flyball and Agility. Flyball is a relay race with four dogs, and Agility is an obstacle course set up for a single dog to run while being coaxed by his owner. Training to run these sports is almost always based on positive reinforcement. Practice and consistency are also very important.

Family Pets
While much of modern training still involves punitive systems, positive reward based systems can be more effective and easier on everyone. Tricks and basic commands can all be taught gently and easily using positive reinforcement methods. The sheer number of methods and options we have today are indicative of how much joy and help they can bring into our lives. They also show our dedication to finding more humane and loving dog training techniques to train our dogs.

Interested in Labradors or looking for Lab Puppies?

By Jean Cote | Breeds , Posts , Puppies

So, you think that you may be interested in the Labrador breed or looking for lab puppies? In this article you will find more information about this great breed and whether or not it is the right breed for you.

To give you a better understanding of the Labrador breed, it is necessary to learn the origins of this breed. Labradors are originally from Newfoundland and named after the Labrador Sea. They were bred to work with fishermen to retrieve fishnets and other tasks involving swimming in the sea. A unique trait of Labradors is their webbed paws; they allow them to swim faster and easier than most other breeds.

Young lab puppies are one of the friendliest breeds to have as a family dog. They are easy to train and you don’t need to be an expert trainer to train them. All you have to do is put in your time and efforts and your Labrador will do his best to please you.

Labradors need lots of activity and exercise, so if you have very long work hours this energetic breed might not be the best for you. They strive if you have an active lifestyle and want to bring your dog with you. For example, your lab will love you if you bring him hiking, biking, camping, swimming in a lake, or anything that involves exercise.

Lab puppies come in three different colors; there is the black lab which is the most common amongst Labradors. There is also the yellow lab which is a more common color with service dogs and law enforcement. Then there is the chocolate lab which is the rarest of three. A litter of lab puppies may have all three colors, so the colors of the parents do not reflect the colors of the litter.

It is important to try to get lab puppies from reputable breeders. Even if you don’t plan on participating in dog shows or training your Labrador to be a service dog, a reputable breeder will ensure that the puppy is raised properly and has all of the proper nutrition and care provided. Someone selling lab puppies in the newspaper may be much cheaper but they may not know the small details of raising a litter that an expert breeder would.

One thing to be concerned about raising lab puppies is that they are very mouthy. They are known for biting / nipping at a young age so it is important to start training them as early on as possible. If you can afford it, I highly recommend that you look for a local puppy training class that will teach you exactly how to deal with puppy hood.

Golden Retrievers … The Perfect Family Dogs!

By Sally Gutteridge | Breeds , Posts

So, you are looking for a Golden Retriever? I’ve written some important facts about Golden Retrievers that you should read to get a better understanding about this great family dog.

Golden Retrievers make excellent family dogs. They are very easy to train and have a willingness to please their owner, so if you are planning on bringing your Goldie to obedience school, be prepared to be in the top of your class.

Golden Retrievers love to play with his owner and especially loves to fetch. Since they are natural retrievers, it is a breeze to get them to retrieve almost anything. This makes it extremely easy to give Golden Retrievers exercise, since you can simply go to the park and throw the ball a dozen of time.

When choosing a Golden Retriever, especially a young puppy, the color of their coat will change over time and will usually darken once they become adults. A trick is to look at the color of the ears and it should give an approximation of the adult coat color.

Golden Retrievers are big dogs and need quite a bit of activity to stay healthy. They are great for bringing anywhere you go. You can bring them camping, hiking, biking, swimming, etc. And since they are one of the lowest barking breeds, they are excellent for bringing to work with you (if your boss allows it).

If you choose to get a Golden Retriever, you will need to groom him regularly. Their coat requires a lot of attention so that knots are taken out before they become problematic. You will need to set aside at least an hour per week just on grooming requirements.

One of the most important decisions to make when getting a Golden Retriever is where you will get him from. It is very important to research the line from which Golden Retrievers come from and to make sure that there is no history of aggressive behavior or biting.

Golden Retrievers are not guard dogs by any means. They are very friendly to strangers, kids, and anyone that they meet. So if you want a dog to warn you or to protect you from robbers then you may want to look into getting another breed.

If you choose to get a Golden Retriever puppy, it is important that you start the obedience training as soon as possible. Since they are eager to learn anyways, the training will be fun for the both of you and it will save you headaches down the road.

To summarize, Golden Retrievers make one of the best family dogs ever. But you must be prepared to have a large dog in your house and to give him an hour or more a day for mental stimulation and physical activity.

Four of the Largest Dog in the World!

By Jean Cote | Breeds , Posts

As a dog owner who loves dogs I just had to write a blog post about this incredible Great Dane who is undoubtedly the largest dog that I have ever seen in my life. George as they call him is 7 feet long and weighs 245 pounds. That is incredible considering my dog is only 65 pounds and everyone thinks she is a big dog.

George the largest dog used to be a tiny puppy, as you can see from the picture. He has been featured on various TV networks and shows like Oprah and has been awarded two titles in the Guinness world records book. They are #1 “tallest dog ever” and #2 “tallest living dog”.

As I began researching George the largest dog, I began to see that there are other dogs that are even bigger than him. There is an English Mastiff named Hercules who has a 38 inch neck and weighs 282 pounds. He was awarded the “largest dog” in the world by Guinness world records in 2001.

Hercules’s new fame brought him a new life, him and his owner are now booking birthday parties for kids so that they can take pictures with the dog and admire how big this largest dog is.

Another Great Dane named Gibson measures 42.2 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. It’s not quite as much as the other two largest dog example, but by looking at the picture above you can tell that he is definitely intimidating, I would certainly never even consider robbing a house that would have this largest dog in the front yard.

The heaviest and largest dog that I could find is Zorba, an English Mastiff dog who weighed 343 pounds. That is just incredible! From my point of view, I just can’t think how everyday life must be living with such a large dog.

This is definitely an interesting subject, I’ve only met one dog this big in my life, and he’s definitely was the largest dog I’ve ever seen. He was a Great Dane and his owner had trained him to do agility! It was very interesting to see him perform all of the obstacles like the other dogs, even weave poles! Obviously he would do it a little slower but you could see that some of the obstacles were so challenging to him.

So before you think about getting that cute little Great Dane puppy, make sure that you consider the possibly of it being the largest dog in the world and potentiality getting into the Guinness world records.

My Personal Story about Huskies

By Jean Cote | Breeds , Personal , Posts

Huskies are one of the most beautiful dogs that I have ever seen. I’ve owned one for the past seven years and every one that meets her, compliments me on how beautiful she is. In this blog, I will talk about the pros and cons of owning Huskies.

Huskies are a medium size breed that can weigh from 50 to 65 pounds depending on the gender and level of activity. To me, this is the perfect size as I can go on hikes with her and she fits nicely on one side of the couch.

The experts always say that Huskies are a high activity breed. I’ve personally not found this to be the case as my husky is extremely lazy, but when I do go hiking or sledding then yes, I would agree that huskies are able to burn quite a bit of energy.

Huskies are very clean dogs, or at least mine is. She will not step in a puddle or walk on wet grass unless she really has to. I guess she was brought up as a little Princess. The only inconvenience in owning a husky is the huge amount of shedding that occurs. Every week I can find fur balls that have accumulated over the week in areas of high traffic. Of course this is not a problem as I own a very powerful vacuum cleaner, but if you are thinking of getting a husky, then you must be prepared to have hair everywhere and on pretty much all of your clothes.

I’ve always been told that Huskies loves the cold and that they strive in the cold. Well once again, mine is definitely not that. In the summer when it’s about 35°C, she will go outside and lie down in the sun for an hour or two until she’s too hot. And in the winter, instead of ravishing the cold, she instead barely goes out to pee, then scratch the door to get back in. I find it ironic how a winter dog loves the heat and hates the cold.

Huskies are extremely smart. I trained my husky to do all of the obedience skills, to do agility competitions and a whole bunch of tricks. She is extremely agile and loves doing it. My only complaint, if you call it that, is that she loves other dogs so much and always wants to play with them. So whenever my husky would get off leash she would suddenly have a “hearing problem” and decide to go play with the other dogs. Although I’ve managed to train her to be responsive in an off leash situation, I am still a little weary about letting her off leash in an area where there are cars.

If you are thinking of getting a husky … then I recommend that you do your homework, and that you are prepared to train him. Do you best to read the most about huskies in books and online, then be ready to bring her to a local obedience school, or at the very least buy a training course online that will teach you how to properly train huskies.

Huskies in general are very loving dogs and they are eager to please. I wish you good luck and leave a comment below if you want to share your experiences with huskies.

The #1 Puppy Training Technique

By Jean Cote | Posts , Puppies

So, you’ve finally decided to get a puppy? That is fantastic! Puppies are the cutest little things and they will bring lots of happiness in your household. As a new dog owner, I encourage you to read all that you can on puppies so that you can raise him or her in the most loving way possible.

Puppies have a unique way of learning that is different than humans, they learn in the moment and only in the moment. They do not have the capability of reflecting on past experiences and learning how to do things differently. So it is extremely important to know the right puppy training techniques that will work and that are effective.

One of the biggest challenges that you will face with your puppy is to house train him. The most effective way to house train a puppy is to reward him whenever he “does his business” at the right place and to redirect him to the right place when he doesn’t.

If you are outside and your puppy suddenly decides to “do his business” on your lawn, then to train him to repeat this behavior is by praising him with a very encouraging voice and by giving him a treat. The more often your puppy is rewarded and the more enthusiastic and encouraging you are, then the faster your puppy will learn to potty outside.

On the other hand, if you are inside your home and your puppy suddenly “does his business” on your carpet, the last thing you want to do is yell at him or get upset. Instead, you want to calmly pick him up and bring him outside as quickly as possible so that he can finish “doing his business” on your lawn. And once he is done, you can reward him and praise him for doing it in the right location.

This way, your puppy will learn that doing his business outside is something that brings him pleasure whereas doing it inside your home doesn’t. It won’t a long before your dog understands exactly what you want.

You should also be aware of these puppy training techniques:

  • Your puppy will take naps several times a day and once he wakes up he will most likely “do his business” within 5 minutes. This is a golden opportunity to bring him outside and to reward him for going in the right location.
  • Crating your puppy when you are not at home or when you are busy will keep him from “doing his business” all over your home. And since puppies do not like the soil themselves or their sleeping environment, then they will hold it in as long as they can. This gives you a great opportunity to bring him outside when you let him out of the crate.
  • Another puppy training technique that is not often discussed is to use a deodorizing cleaner specifically designed to remove the smell of urine on carpets and floors.  Your puppy is less likely to “do his business” in the same location if he isn’t able to smell urine on the floor.

Just remember, puppy training is something that we all had to learn at one point or another. Even the best dog trainers have started exactly where you are right now, so stay positive and enjoy your puppy training!

I look forward to hearing how well you do with the FREE information presented in this article. If you have any questions we are only a few clicks away on the community forums.

Done Deal Dogs

By Jean Cote | Personal , Posts

Are you looking to welcome a dog into your home? My intuition tells me that if you were searching for a done deal dogs then the answer is yes. But before you commit yourself to adopting a dog, you should know the following before buying.

You need to know that having a dog in your life, especially getting a puppy is a 10 to 15 year commitment. Having a dog will change your life drastically. If you are not ready or aware of those changes then chances are the dog will end up in a shelter. My purpose for this post is to inform how your life will change so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not you should get a done deal dogs.

The first thing that you must consider is the cost of having a dog. Sometimes when people purchase a dog they think “oh I just have to feed it and that’s it”, the reality is you will have to pay much more than that. You will have to pay for food, vet bills, toys, treats, training, leashes, collars, dog beds, and more that isn’t on this list.

The second thing I must advise you before you get your done deal dogs, is that your free time and freedom will be limited. What I mean by that is that you won’t be able to suddenly go on a vacation or work late hours or go on weekend camping trips without arranging someone to doggy sit your dog or put him in a kennel. And again, those services costs money.

And lastly, I really want to emphasize that the dog will need exercise every day and at a bare minimum some obedience training classes. A dog will need at least an hour of your time per day, every day, depending on the breed that you choose. So if you are a busy person already, getting a done deal dogs might not be the best thing to do right now.

I hope that I didn’t discourage you from getting a done deal dogs, my purpose with this article is to help you make the right decision and to avoid dogs ending up in shelters. Dogs are really great to have in your life and they’ve brought me the greatest joy and happiness.

If after reading my article you’ve decided that getting a done deal dogs is suitable to your lifestyle, then I recommend that you train your puppy or dog from the very first day that you get him. From my personal experience, there is no better way to connect and build a relationship with your dog then by training him. The mission of the dog trick Academy is to promote this very concept by training tricks.

How to teach a dog to roll over in 3 easy steps.

By Jean Cote | Posts , Tricks

People often ask me how they can train their dog to do a variety of tricks. Some of the easier ones to start with is shake a paw, high five and roll over. From my experience, I have found that you can learn how to teach a dog to roll over in 3 easy steps.

  • The first thing you want to have is some delicious dog treats to train your dog. It is best to use a special treat that your dog doesn’t normally get to eat so that he is enthusiastic about the training. I recommend using turkey sausages because they are inexpensive and easy to cut into small pieces for training.
  • Begin your training by putting your dog in a sit position, and then you want to bring the treat next to his nose and down to the ground, and gradually move your hand towards his neck. Give your dog a treat for following your hand and going onto his back. Next, you want to move you hand further away from him so that he rolls over. Make sure that you praise your dog often throughout the training. The most enthusiastic you are during your training session, the more your dog is going to love training with you.
Click here to get the extended video lesson

  • Once your dog can roll over, you will want to say the command “Roll Over!” at the same time that you “lure” him with the treat. Remember to always give him a treat after he rolls over so that he learns what is expected of him.
  • Practice these exercises every day for a week. After that, you will want to phase out the treats so that your dog can roll over without having to use treats. I also recommend that you train in different environments; train in your backyard, your local park or at your friend’s house – that way your dog will be able to perform his new trick everywhere he goes.

Tips:

  • You can always use toys instead of treats if your dog is not motivated by food. Use a special toy that you can keep especially for training, like a tug-toy or a squeaky toy.
  • Your training session should only be about 5 to 10 minutes long, and you can train several times a day (up to 3 times a day).
  • Don’t forget to always praise your dog throughout the training, especially when he completes the roll over trick. You want your dog to have the greatest fun during training, and if you are enthusiastic, he will pick up your energy and will be more willing to work with you.

Click here to get the extended video lesson

1 9 10 11
>