Clicker Training Your Dog

If you are looking to train your dog you might consider using the ‘clicker training’ method, which has recently become popular among dog trainers all over the country. In this method the trainer has to make use of a clicker, a tiny plastic box with a metal button which makes a distinctive click sound once the button has been pressed. The training method is simple and is in many ways parallel to the positive training method. Here is what you have to do. Decide on a certain behavior which you want to teach or reinforce your dog to do. A number of behaviors/actions come naturally to the dog like sitting, eating, standing, barking etc. and these need just to be reinforced so that your dog knows when you want him to do what. Various other actions like acting dead, shaking hands, rolling over etc. do not come naturally to the dog and need to be taught. Clicker training can be used to do both.

Clicker training works according to the basic principles of operant conditioning, by associating the sound of the clicker with a food item which the dog particularly likes. Now all you have to do is use the clicker to command the dog to do something, the dog, given that he associates the sound of the clicker with the food, immediately obliges and the training is complete.

Let us take an example to illustrate the method better, suppose you want to teach your dog to sit, you put a cookie on your dog’s nose playfully and then move it upwards, the dog will obviously follow the movement of the biscuit with its nose and will then naturally rest its posterior on the floor, thereby putting himself in a sitting position. Now time your clicking to be so accurate as to occur right as the dog seats himself, now give him the biscuit and praise him. Continue doing this for sometime till the dog begins to associate the clicking with the food until the click makes him sit without you luring him with treats. Now teach him another behavior, but remember to attach the clicking cue only once the animal himself offers you the behavior otherwise the clicking will not be connected to anything in the dog’s head and he will be confused regarding what it means.

Your dog is one smart little animal and it’s time you gave him due credit for that. A number of trainers have been known to use negative reinforcement techniques alongside the clicker method but this simply doesn’t work because punishment at all times creates a number of unwanted behavior even if it serves the primary purpose of teaching the dog to not do something temporarily.

Dog Obedience Training Schools Can Correct Obedience Problems With The Right Lessons

You should not wait until there are signs of bad behavior before considering obedience training classes for your dog. If you have obvious behavioral problems, a dog obedience school is an excellent solution, but you should start thinking about it before obedience problems develop.

Obedience problems with your dog are not always apparent. You might sometimes overlook minor indiscretions – chewing, jumping up, excessive barking – that can be signs of a more serious problem.

By themselves, these may not be serious obedience problems for you or your dog, but it is the inability to control them that should be of concern. Allowing certain bad behaviour can lead to frustration when trying to correct it later on, or when obedience training for other habits. That frustration can lead to other obedience problems for your dog and a strained relationship between you and your pet.

Again, if you clearly have dog obedience problems, it would be in the best interests of both you and your pet to enroll in an obedience training class. Even when you know a little bit about training your dog, perhaps especially then, formal dog obedience lessons will help you and your dog in many ways.

Of course, you will be able to address any particular obedience problem, but you will accomplish more. Formal dog obedience classes will form a basis for future learning between you and your dog. Your pet will be more confident in everything they do. They will be happier and more eager to please than ever. Most important, obedience training lessons will lead to a better relationship between you and your dog.

However, you need to make sure you choose the right dog obedience school. If you receive the improper obedience training, problems could become worse.

The dog obedience training specialists at Alpha Paws will assess your dog’s obedience training needs before developing a plan specifically designed for you and your dog. Alpha Paws uses a natural approach in their dog obedience training school that not only results in improved obedience, but it teaches your dog how to learn.

Basics of Dog Training Article

It’s essential for Dog parents like you to know certain basic factors that determine your relationship with your Dog and can go a long way in training him effectively.

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Before you begin training your Dog, it is absolutely essential that you build a loving bond with him. This is important as it helps you to understand his needs and instincts and also allows your Dog to have complete trust in you.

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How To Bond With Your Dog

Building a bond with your Dog is the first and the most crucial step involved in training him successfully. As soon as you bring your Dog home, you must first try to develop a caring and loving relationship with him in order to win his trust and confidence.

When Dogs are secure in the knowledge that they belong to the family, they are more likely to respond better to their owners’ training commands. Just like with any relationship, there must be mutual trust and respect between you and your Dog.

Trust takes time to develop and respect comes from defining boundaries and treating any breach of those boundaries with firmness and fairness.

Without enforceable limitations, respect can’t be developed. And when there is no respect, building a bond with your Dog is almost impossible.

4 Golden Rules To Building A Relationship With Your Dog:

  • Spend quality time together;
  • Take him out in the world and experience life together;
  • Establish and promote a level of mutual respect; and
  • Develop a way of communicating to understand each other’s needs.

Building a bond with your Dog will not only help you manage him better but will also make your Dog calm, quiet and an extremely well-adjusted pet.

Love Your Dog and He Will Love You back

Once you’re succesful in building a bond with your Dog, you can rest assured that training him and teaching him new and clever tricks will be a cakewalk.

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How Your Dog Learns…

Your Dog’s learning period can be divided into five phases:

The Teaching Phase – This is the phase where you must physically demonstrate to your Dog exactly what you want him to do.

The Practicing Phase – Practice makes Perfect. Once a lesson is learnt, practice with your Dog what you have just taught him.

The Generalizing Phase – Here you must continue practicing with your Dog in different locations and in an environment with a few distractions. You can take your Dog out for a walk, or to a nearby park and command him to practice whatever you’ve taught him.

Practicing the learned lessons in multiple locations and in the presence of small distractions will help him learn and retain lessons better .

The Testing Phase – Once you’re sure that your Dog has achieved almost 90% success….he responds correctly almost every time you give a command, you must start testing his accuracy in newer locations with a lot of distractions.

Example: Take him to the local shopping mall and ask him to obey your command. He may not come up with the correct response the very first time you do this, but you must not lose hope.

The idea is to test your Dog to see how he responds in an environment which is new to him. Set-up a situation where you are in control of the environment and your Dog.

There are only 2 possibilities:

  • Your Dog succeeds!!! (Trumpets please!)
  • In case your Dog fails, re-examine the situation. Review and/or change your training. Then try testing again.

Keep on testing until he succeeds. Follow the rule of the 3 Ps – patience, persistence, praise.

Internalizing PhaseFinally, comes the extremely rewarding phase where your Dog does everything he is taught to do even without your commands.

Remember:

  • Never scold your Dog if he fails. It’s not his fault. You have failed as a trainer!
  • You must be patient and persistent for your efforts to show rewards.
  • Appreciate and love your Dog when he does it right! A little encouragement will work wonders for your Dog.

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Copyright (c) 2018 TrainPetDog.com

Dog Agility Training for Your Puppy

You may be thinking, “When can I start agility training with my new puppy?” You can start immediately, with certain recommendations. Puppies are always learning, so every time you are with your pup you can be playing and socializing with agility in mind. Always remember, if you can control your puppies environment, you can teach and train the behaviors you want, left on their own, even in a fenced yard, puppies will learn and develop behaviors that later we may want or need to extinguish.

Expose your puppy to different surfaces. One of the first behaviors we teach our pups is “Box” or “Table”. This behavior transfers to the agility pause table. Lure pup up on a low pause table, treat them on the table. You can call the pause table anything you want. (If I was starting over I would name the pause table “Box” instead of “Table” for my dogs because on the agility course there is the potential to have too many “T” words, i.e. tunnel, tire, table, and teeter. The problem is I am also a creature of habit, and under pressure revert back to my default words, “table” would be one of them.)

Teach your pup to “Box”, meaning to get up on a variety of obstacles. In our training field we use “Box” for upside down kennel tops, the bottom of barrels turned upside down, bird crates, and more. Be creative with your pup, get them to get up on all kinds of surfaces, exposing them to different shapes, sizes, and textures. Once your pup is comfortable getting up on a “Box”, then you can begin to ask them to sit on the box also.

You can also begin to use Buja boards for motion training. Buja boards are generally made from plywood, 36″ x 36″ with a painted surface or covered surface. On the underside, there is a 2×4 box where a partially deflated ball is placed. This enables the Buja board to rock gently. At first you can reward your pup for getting one paw on the board, then reward for two feet and eventually all four. Depending on your pups temperament will determine how fast they get comfortable on the Buja Board.

Perch training can also be started with young pups. The Perch is generally a 1’x1′ wood surface that is raised by 2″x4″‘s underneath. So the Perch is about four inches in height. The Perch helps teach pups rear end awareness. Again, you can reward your pup for getting one front paw on the perch and then the other. Perch training is mostly used with just the front paws on the Perch.

These are just a few behaviors you can teach your young pup. Exposure to a variety of surfaces and heights will help your pup build confidence in his future agility training.

Dog Training: Teaching Your Dog the Sit Command

Teaching your dog the “sit” command could be one of the most useful commands you ever teach him. A poorly trained dog is a direct reflection on you the pet owner and how much care about your dog. In fact an untrained dog becomes a nuisance to its owner therefore the dog and owner become unhappy. Whether it’s a puppy or a fully grown dog you can teach them to sit with a little effort on your part.

Have you been putting it off because you think your dog will never be able to learn a new ‘trick’? Don’t put it off any longer. Start teaching your dog how to sit today.

Use some of these tips to teach your dog to sit:

You are going to need some treats; unfortunately this is always the best way to get a dog to do something you want! You can use anything you know your dog enjoys: biscuits, chewy treats or household items.

The main goal is to get your dog to sit when you use the word. One way you can gradually get your dog used to the word is by saying the word when the dog is sitting anyway. Dog sits down – you say “sit” and praise them.

You will also need to practice this every day by doing the following:

– Call your dog and offer them the treat. Let them sniff the treat and get excited first!

– Slowly move the treat until it’s over the dogs head. The dog will naturally move into the sitting position.

– It’s important that the dog associates the activity of sitting with the treat, the praise and the action of sitting. Try to get your timing right.

– Keep bribing the dog and gradually decrease the size of the treat. Keep enthusiastically praising the dog.

– Repeat this exercise a few times a day. Don’t overdo it – you want your pet to think of it as fun.

– Try to practice around mealtimes when your dog is hungry; this will make him keener for the treats.

– Have the treats easily accessible, don’t fumble around – the treat needs to happen as the dog is sitting.

– Don’t push your dog’s bottom down; this won’t work because your pet will associate the action of sitting with having you push his bottom to the ground. If this really isn’t working you might want to consider obedience classes with other dogs.

– End each training session on a positive note.

Teaching your dog to sit using these positive reinforcement techniques will strengthen the bond between you. Consider it time well spent.

Once you have mastered the basic command ‘sit’ it should be quite easy to train your dog the other basic commands. “Sit-stay”, “down” ‘heel’ and ‘come are some of the most useful commands. Use the treats in a similar way. Training your dog is an ongoing process. You want to keep praising your dog regularly and never associate anger with the dog’s reaction to your command.

Make use of every new situation to train or put your training into practice. The most important part about learning how to sit – is that the dog sits under a variety of conditions. Sitting in new environments, around other dogs, around new people, when the doorbell rings etc.

Training your dog well is one of the most important things you can do for your dog. Besides having a well behaved dog you will also have an obedient dog. Dogs function as part of a pack – and you are the leader. Your dog will be better adjusted and happier if they know their place in the pack. Your dog is by nature keen to please you. Be a great pack leader and start teaching your puppy to sit today!