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!

Achieving Dog Training Success With The 18 “Don’t s” Rules

A well-train dog usually leads a happier and healthier life and its owner also can enjoy a trouble-free life long companion. Dog training – basic obedience, house and potty training are therefore essential and important to a dog’s education.

The conventional method of dog training tips and guide would be to list a series of things that you should “Do” and you might even know the A-Z of dog training! But sometimes what should be done can be said best by telling what should not be done. Hope you agree with me!

This article seeks to list 18 “Don’t” when you train your dog. The reasons for the don’ts will become evident as the lessons continue and each one is based upon the distinctive psychology of the dog’s mind.

1. DON’T punish your dog while you are angry or lack control of yourself.

2. DON’T punish your dog with the lead or any instrument of training or anything he should associate with duty or pleasure.

3. DON’T sneak up on your dog or grab him from the rear.

4. DON’T chase your dog to catch him; he must come to you or run after you.

5. DON’T coax your dog to you and then turn upon him with the whip. You will regret the deception.

6. DON’T trick or fool or taunt your dog. It is cruel and inconsistent to tease your dog to come to you when he can not.

7. DON’T punish a dog by stepping on his paws needlessly. They are exceedingly sensitive. Don’t twist his ears playfully or otherwise. Never strike him on the backbone, in the face or on the ears.

8. DON’T grab your dog or reach for him quickly. He should never fear his master, should not be made nervous by his master, and should feel that punishment given is deserved.

9. DON’T nag your dog; don’t be giving orders to him constantly; don’t pester him with your shouting.

10. DON’T praise a dog for doing a certain act, then at a later time, scold him for doing the same act. If you permit him to bite your toes today and think it fun, do not strike him for doing it tomorrow, when you are not in good humor. Consistency is a chief virtue in dog training.

11. DON’T train your dog immediately or soon after he has eaten.

12. DON’T lose patience with a puppy younger than six months. Never throw or kick a puppy nor lift him by the head or leg or skin of the neck.

13. DON’T train him in feats requiring much strength or endurance until he is at least six months old.

14. DON’T work your dog without some short rest or play periods during training. A five-minute rest for every fifteen minutes of training is desirable.

15. DON’T permit everyone to give commands to your dog. While you are training him, he must be a one-man dog, depending on you alone to feed him and care for him.

16. DON’T consider tricks the chief end or the chief part of training. Usefulness is the object sought in all instruction of the dog. Acts that spring naturally from the dog’s instincts are to be fostered.

17. DON’T expect your dog to be a wonderful dog after a few weeks of training; four months to a year may be necessary in order to make the master proud of him, but the work is worth the effort. Training never ends.

18. DON’T jump to the conclusion that your dog is dumb. He may differ with you believing that the trainer should know more than the dog.

To end, try to remember these 18 Don’ts rules, enjoy training your dog and most importantly have lots of fun along the way!

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!

Basic Dog Training

If you have a new dog or puppy, you may be interested in getting some basic dog training. Dog training can be taught by an obedience instructor, or you can do the dog training yourself.

Dog training with an obedience instructor can vary in price and it usually takes place in a class. If you do the dog training yourself, it is usually free and you can do it from your own home. If you do choose to do the dog training yourself, it is best to get educated on dog training.

There are 3 basic things your dog should learn through basic dog training. These are: sit, stay, and come. The first part of dog training is to teach your dog to sit. To start this dog training, you will first need some dog treats.

Do this dog training in a quiet environment so your dog doesn’t get distracted. Tell your dog to sit repeatedly as you hold the dog treat just over their head. This way the dog has to look up and may sit on there own to reach the treat.

If not, gently push there rear down. When they sit, praise them and reward them with a treat. This kind of dog training works because the dog constantly hears “sit” and will learn to associate the command with sitting and receiving praise.

The next part of dog training is to teach your dog to stay. This is often a difficult part of dog training. This kind of dog training is also incorporated with teaching your dog the command “come.” Sit your dog in an area with no directions.

Tell your dog to stay repeatedly as you back away. Start out by keeping eye contact with the dog. If the dog gets up, tell it “no” and start again. Remember this dog training takes a while. You may need someone to sit with the dog to help reinforce the dog to stay the first few times.

Once you have made progress with this dog training, you then start by walking away with your back turned. Dogs will often get up to follow you at this point. Tell your dog “no” and start the dog training again by repeatedly telling your dog to stay as you walk away.

Once your dog has mastered this part, you can teach it to come. After your dog has stayed, tell it to “come.” Have a happy voice and pat your knee as you say “come.” Your dog should respond to this dog training right away and you may then reward it.

Always use praise instead of punishment with dog training. Dogs respond best to positive dog training, rather than negative. With all of this in mind, you should be able to teach your dog the 3 basis commands.

Follow all of this advice and you should soon have a more obedient dog that is worth everyone’s praise!