Dog Obedience Training: The Options For Man’s Best Friend

They are man’s best friend, but what can you do when you have a dog, you love it, but it just won’t stop chewing on your best shoes, or polishing its nails on your precious sofa?

Regular training
We train them to become, not only more sociable, but also a reliable company. This can be done by taking your dog to a professional dog-trainer, or simply at home, following instructions from books. Since the first option requires time to take the dog to a trainer, to go check on it, and take it back home, most people choose to house-train their pets. However, the second option has many disadvantages, since you are not a professional, and you do not have experience. Many even think, that after the dog/cat learned where “to go out”, the training is over. You could not be more wrong.

On-line training
There is a third way, a new one, but as efficient as taking your dog to a trainer, but less time consuming. On-line training. Don’t think of putting your dog in front of a PC and let it learn from there. Through on-line training I mean visiting sites specializing on dog training. The following few paragraphs will be a guide to a few of these sites.

www.perfectpaws.com
Gwen Bohnenkamp owns this site. She has been working with pets since1985 and also, she instructed the first course in Animal Behavior. The site itself is easy to navigate, easy to read, but most important it contains valuable information on training your pets, may they be cats, dogs or even guinea pigs. In addition, you can find tips on how to get closer to your companion, and how to become a certified dog-trainer. The subjects are well categorized and easy to get. If you want, you may purchase online books written by Gwen, herself.

www.dogproblems.com
The renowned dog trainer, Adam Katz, publishes this site. It covers almost all aspects of dog training, you can buy Katz’s book, which apparently, is the best-sold book of its type on the internet, and join a forum where the topic is no other then DOGS.

www.sitstayfetch.net
This is the easiest to use site I could find about dog training. The “mastermind” behind this site is Daniel Stevens, a dog trainer, who wrote the book “SitStayFetch!” On this site you can find testimonials of people who have used his book and the way it helped them.

Conclusion
However, you may choose to train your dog, bear in mind one thing: an untrained dog can be more of a nuisance than a friend. So, please, help your dog help you.

Click And Treat Training For Dogs

The first major improvement in dog training since choke chains and spiked collars, click and treat has quickly establishing itself in becoming a big hit in the world of dog training. Currently, there are over 10,000 trainers who are using this training method everyday.

One advantage to using this form of training at home is it’s easy to learn for both the dog and his trainer!

Originally used to train marine mammals, click and treat breaks down the process into two separate steps, information and motivation. The click is the information, the treat is the motivation. While other trainers still work on these two steps, they try to teach them all at once, which can confuse the animal and slow down results.

Most trainers will verbally praise a dog for good behavior, while at the same time motivating the dog to repeat his actions. This can be a good method, however it takes longer for the dog to understand which behaviors and actions caused the praise from the trainer.

With the click and treat method, the processes are easily taught. In normal training, a person would say “good boy” when a welcomed action occurs and proceed with giving a treat. The clicker becomes a substitute for verbal praise and can actually catch the “good boy” behavior quicker than saying it, letting the dog know exactly which behavior he is being rewarded for.

Another way to look at click and treat training is viewing it as a secondary reinforcement, while food, water, physical affection and play (things the dog wants) become primary reinforcement. When you take a dog for a walk, the leash works as a secondary reinforcement. It is obvious to the dog that the leash is not taking him for a walk; the owner is, however, it triggers a reaction in the dog, telling him that the leash will let him know where he will go and where he will not. And if he reacts to the leash with good behavior, his reward will be a nice leisurely walk.

Click and treat works the same way. When a dog hears the clicker, he will know that he performed a good behavior and as long as he keeps hearing a click, there is a treat coming his way. So, the clicker works as a secondary reinforcement, teaching him boundaries and appropriate behavior.

A couple advantages of the click and treat method include;

1) Faster response than verbal praise. The clicker can identify the exact behavior at the time it happens.

2) It takes the place of treats. While motivating the dog to hear clicks, it will also teach him to work without the expectations of having treats given to him each time he does something good.

3) If the trainer is working at a distance from the dog, the clicker will still work, without having to be right next him.

Are you ready to try clicker training?

The first thing you’ll need to do is go to your favorite pet supply store and invest in a clicker. The clicker is nothing fancy and should just cost you under five dollars. While you’re there grab some pocket treats, little bits of dried liver work well.

A good method to use when getting started with click and treat is to stand in front of the animal. Click the clicker and give a treat. Continue doing this for 20-30 minutes, or until the dog becomes startled by the sound of the click. This will familiarize him to the clicking sound, while teaching him that every time he hears it, he has done something good. After he gets the hang of it, begin by adding commands, such as “sit” and “stay.”

Click and treat has proven to be a simple, yet consistent training method with quick results. So for the trainers out there who are looking for a new and innovative way to motivate and praise their animals, get out there, buy a clicker and…..click!

Clicks Instead Of ‘Good Boy’ For Dog Training

The first major improvement in dog training since choke chains and spiked collars, click and treat has quickly establishing itself in becoming a big hit in the world of dog training. Currently, there are over 10,000 trainers who are using this training method everyday.

One advantage to using this form of training at home is it’s easy to learn for both the dog and his trainer!

Originally used to train marine mammals, click and treat breaks down the process into two separate steps, information and motivation. The click is the information, the treat is the motivation. While other trainers still work on these two steps, they try to teach them all at once, which can confuse the animal and slow down results.

Most trainers will verbally praise a dog for good behavior, while at the same time motivating the dog to repeat his actions. This can be a good method, however it takes longer for the dog to understand which behaviors and actions caused the praise from the trainer.

With the click and treat method, the processes are easily taught. In normal training, a person would say “good boy” when a welcomed action occurs and proceed with giving a treat. The clicker becomes a substitute for verbal praise and can actually catch the “good boy” behavior quicker than saying it, letting the dog know exactly which behavior he is being rewarded for.

Another way to look at click and treat training is viewing it as a secondary reinforcement, while food, water, physical affection and play (things the dog wants) become primary reinforcement. When you take a dog for a walk, the leash works as a secondary reinforcement. It is obvious to the dog that the leash is not taking him for a walk; the owner is, however, it triggers a reaction in the dog, telling him that the leash will let him know where he will go and where he will not. And if he reacts to the leash with good behavior, his reward will be a nice leisurely walk.

Click and treat works the same way. When a dog hears the clicker, he will know that he performed a good behavior and as long as he keeps hearing a click, there is a treat coming his way. So, the clicker works as a secondary reinforcement, teaching him boundaries and appropriate behavior.

A couple advantages of the click and treat method include;

1) Faster response than verbal praise. The clicker can identify the exact behavior at the time it happens.

2) It takes the place of treats. While motivating the dog to hear clicks, it will also teach him to work without the expectations of having treats given to him each time he does something good.

3) If the trainer is working at a distance from the dog, the clicker will still work, without having to be right next him.

Are you ready to try clicker training?

The first thing you’ll need to do is go to your favorite pet supply store and invest in a clicker. The clicker is nothing fancy and should just cost you under five dollars. While you’re there grab some pocket treats, little bits of dried liver work well.

A good method to use when getting started with click and treat is to stand in front of the animal. Click the clicker and give a treat. Continue doing this for 20-30 minutes, or until the dog becomes startled by the sound of the click. This will familiarize him to the clicking sound, while teaching him that every time he hears it, he has done something good. After he gets the hang of it, begin by adding commands, such as “sit” and “stay.”

Click and treat has proven to be a simple, yet consistent training method with quick results. So for the trainers out there who are looking for a new and innovative way to motivate and praise their animals, get out there, buy a clicker and… click!

Dog Behavior Training – Dog Aggression Toward Its Owners

A dog that growls at and/or bites its owner does so for some reason, even if the behavior appears to be “unreasonable” to the owner. If your dog displays aggressive behavior towards you, for the safety and welfare of you, your family and your dog, it’s important to find out why as quickly as possible.

Call your vet right away and schedule an appointment for a complete medical examination. Talk with your vet about testing your dogs hormonal balance, neurophysiologic functions and allergies. The test results may reveal the underlying cause. This has been especially helpful in dogs that have mood swings.

When growling or biting has erupted as a consequence of scolding or punishment for behavior such as chewing, jumping, general unruliness, or over-protection of food, these problems must be dealt with swiftly and firmly to correct the aggression it is initiating.

As the dogs owner, you must understand that your dog growls or bites at you as a result of defensive feelings. Even the dog that growls when ordered off the couch is reacting defensively, as it feels its dominance status has been threatened.

If scolding and punishment provoke aggression, your dog is reacting to a perceived threat to its physical safety. In either of these situations, your own threatening behavior may be producing negative results.

If the results of a medical examination show no signs of a medical condition that would be causing this behavior, you will have to examine your own behavior closely to determine what you are doing to make your dog feel threatened.

Dog Training: How to “Lick” Your Dog’s Incessant Licking Habit!

Does your dog seem to spend an infinite amount of time licking himself? Why is he doing it? And how do you, as a dog owner, correct that annoying licking habit? Here are five of the most common reasons why your dog might be incessantly licking himself and the solutions to correcting the habit.

1. Your dog might have developed an unrelenting licking habit because he needs a bath.

If your dog spends alot of time outside, romping through the woods, tramping in the mud, rolling in the grass or wading in the nearest stream or pond, he is probably dirty. So, your dog may be constantly licking himself because the dirt is irritating him! Plus, all that outdoor activity may have gotten him infested with ticks, fleas, mites, or lice. Your dog’s incessant licking may be an attempt to rid himself of those nasty varmints!

Give him a bath with a veterinarian-approved flea and tick shampoo. Before bathing him, make sure you brush out all the mats and tangles from his coat or the bathing will make them worse.

2. Your dog might have developed a chronic licking habit because he has a skin disorder.

Some common skin disorders that a dog may develop are mange or dermatitis. Mange is a skin disease in dogs that is caused by various types of mites. The dermatitis could be caused by an allergic reaction to fleas, dust mites, mold or a certain brand of dog food. If you suspect that your dog has a case of mange or dermatitis, your veterinarian will be able to diagnose what the disorder is and
prescribe a course of treatment.

3. Your dog might have developed a persistent licking habit because he is under stress.

The stress may be a result of a new adoption, physical abuse, separation anxiety, or even a reaction to a new food. If you think separation anxiety might be the cause of his stress, there are several methods for solving the problem. Try exposing your dog to being alone for very short periods of time. When your dog has adjusted to being alone for that duration of time, gradually increase your departure period. If you must be away from your dog for a long period of time, while you are away at work, try to find a friend or neighbor who could come over and take him for a walk a couple of times during the day.

Perhaps a new dog in the family is causing the stress? It is very common to experience a period of stress and adjustment when a new dog is brought into a household that has an established pet. One way to help make the transition a little easier is to give your older dog alot of attention and love. It will let him know that he’s still a vital part of the family. Just remember that it will take time for your dogs to adjust to one another and be one happy dog family!

Changing your dog’s diet can also cause stress. If you’re thinking of feeding your dog a new brand of dry dog food, do it gradually and over a period of four days or longer. On the first day that you change the food, feed your dog one quarter of the new food with three quarters of the old food. Add in another quarter of the new food after a couple of days or so. After another two days, add in another quarter of the new dog food. Finally, after another couple of days or so, you will be able to leave out the old dog food entirely!

If you cannot determine the cause of your dog’s stress, talk to your veterinarian. He’ll be able to refer you to a dog behaviorist who will be able to determine the cause of your dogs stress. If your dog has severe separation anxiety, an anti-anxiety medication might be considered to alleviate the anxiety. Drugs are not a complete solution, however, and should be used along with a treatment program.

4. Your dog might have developed an incessant licking habit because he has an injury that has resulted in an open wound.

A dog that has developed an injury that has resulted in an open wound will lick himself incessantly in an attempt to clean the wound and keep it free from bacteria. Dog saliva has been proven to kill some germs and when your dog licks an open wound, it will aid in keeping the wound infection free.

Veterinarian treatment may be required if your dog appears to be in pain, the wound contains a foreign material and is deep enough to require stitches, is bleeding excessively or becomes infected.

5. Your dog might have developed a relentless licking habit because he has developed the bad habit of doing so.

Some dogs develop the habit of licking their paws incessantly despite them being clean, uninjured and parasite-free!

Your dog may develop the habit of constantly licking himself because he has alot of nervous energy and no way to alleviate the stress. He also may have learned this behavior because he is bored and this is a way to entertain himself!

Give your dog lots of time to play and run and work off any excess energy. If your dog is well-exercised and happy, he won’t feel the need to relentlessly lick himself to relieve stress or boredom!

The information detailed above will help you discover and correct your dog’s habit of chronic licking. With careful observation and a little attention to proper grooming, training, along with regular veterinarian visits, you can ‘lick’ your dog’s incessant licking habit!