Archive for the ‘New’ Category

Car Chasing No More: Day 4 (Final Training Day)

Gemma | February 4th, 2006
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This is the day of the final exam, and graduation!

Cut the long line in half, and allow the dog to drag about 15 feet of line. Have a member of your family release the dog in the front yard, still dragging his line.

You should position yourself in the backseat of your assistant’s car. Have your driver make as many passes as is necessary to convince you that your dog has kicked the habit, is now reformed, and views automobiles with absolute disgust.

The most hardheaded, stubborn dog, who views the short line, and your absence, as a reason to go charging, is in for quite a surprise. At his charge, have your driver stop the car. The shock of you emerging from the car will shock the dog even more than before. Now grab the line, jerk your disobedient dog toward you, making sure that his two front feet leave the ground and remain airborne, while you apply the loudest verbal assault you have even given him.

Really lay this disobedient chewing into the dog, making it count!

Keep in mind that this could mean life or death for your dog in the future so do not feel bad about laying your anger into him in order to communicate through the animal’s mind.

Remember that there can be no such thing as compromise. Your dog will either associate this experience with displeasure, or not. It’s up to you to make sure that it is as displeasing as humanely possible. Send the dog scampering back into his yard as you get back into the car and drive away.

A Final Word For All Of The Humanitarians Out There

For the humanitarians who will gasp and point the accusing finger at this perceived inhumane way of training a dog, let us remind you that we are literally training your dog to avoid a bloody, painful, flesh-tearing death. And remember that the dog will always be a victim, the car’s occupants will be shocked, and the culprit will always be the dog’s owner.

A few days of jerking your dog by the line, yelling and screaming, and using shock therapy to create the association of displeasure with a moving vehicle, is nothing compared to your family dog lying around on the streets for hours with broken bones, torn flesh, mangled body parts all the while motorists drive-by without a care in the world until finally somebody stops, only to be too late as your lovable canine passes away.

Isn’t your dog worth it?

Car Chasing No More: Day 2 & 3

Gemma | February 1st, 2006
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On the second day of training your dog not to chase cars and other moving objects, the exact sequence should be repeated as day one with the dog dragging the thirty-five foot line. In each instance where an automobile passes without the dog yielding to temptation, he earns your praise; genuine, enthusiastic praise!

Let him get started with his charge before you make a grab for the end of the line. If he detects you moving for the line and breaks off the charge, you must follow through with the sequence just as if he had gone all the way through the chase behavior. Any dog smart enough to sense a correction coming, and modify his actions accordingly, soon will be playing a game of catch me if you can.

Your dog must know that any infraction, however slight, automatically brings the full force of the correction. At the conclusion of the day’s lesson, confine the dog away from temptation as before.

Day 3

By the time the third day rolls around, your dog will be getting the idea that you don’t want him chasing cars, that his actions in doing so displeases you greatly and causes you to get angry.

So far, you have made the first breakthrough in communications with education. On the third day, you must broaden this education to include the automobile as an object of displeasure, and tied this in with your displeasure.

You will need the assistance of a friend or neighbor on the third day, who will volunteer to drive their car. You will also need a few additional training aids. Three or four tin cans tied together on a string should be in the front seat beside the driver, along with an empty aluminum soda can with about 10 or so pennies inside, and maybe a few water balloons.

Allow your dog to drag the line around the yard while you go inside and out of sight. Watch your pet from a concealed vantage point. As the dog charges the car, the driver should let go of the tin cans (without slowing down). You don’t want the cans to actually strike your dog, but rather scare the animal by the loud clinking noises.

This action is followed immediately you, the dog owner, emerging from your place of concealment, grabbing the line, and reeling the dog in for a good shaking and a verbal chewing out.

Meanwhile, the driver circles the block and you should retreat back into the house, leaving the dog alone for the next pass of the automobile. On the second pass, and each succeeding pass where the dog makes no attempt to charge the car, you should emerge enthusiastically, and give your dog an over-abundance of praise.

If the dog chooses to charge the car, the driver should let go with another shocking training aid. Four or five such passes should be all that is necessary. Even if the dog starts to charge, but aborts his goal before he gets close enough for the driver to let go with the tin cans or water balloons, you must emerge from the house, grab the line, and verbally chew out the dog once more.

You may be asking why should the dog be corrected if he changes his mind in the middle of the charge. In the mind of a dog, things are either black or white. There are no gray areas in between. To a dog, and owner who is willing to compromise is an owner who is willing to surrender unconditionally. Therefore, the dog must be corrected for any overt movement toward passing cars, so that he eventually comes to realize the necessity of ignoring the car altogether.

Car Chasing No More: Day 1

Gemma | January 27th, 2006
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As dog owners, we are left with the necessary task of finding a way to educate our pet to let him know that chasing cars, and bicycles, however thrilling and pleasing, simply will not be tolerated any longer.

Because we cannot appeal to our pet’s intellect, and share a cup of coffee together as we discuss the problem of car chasing, we must ensure that each and every instance of chasing culminates in a displeasing (and very humiliating) experience for the dog.

Because no two dogs are exactly alike in personality and temperament, neither can there be just a single method to accomplish educational lessons for all dogs. Your dog may respond to just one particular method, and he may get the message quickly. You may have to use a combination of several methods and the schooling may take up to four days because it takes the average dog approximately four to five days to learn the average thing.

An important key is consistency. Consistency here doesn’t mean selecting one method and sticking to it, instead, consistency is desired in that each instance of car chasing must culminate an unpleasant consequence which the dog must be able to relate to his action of chasing the car.

You can’t run out the door, after the fact, or even during the actual chasing, call your dog to you and beat him senseless, and expect them to learn anything. If that type of action resulted in learning, it would simply be his response in your command come would result in getting his brains knocked in. The dog must be able to relate the consequences to the act of car chasing, and nothing else!

Tackling this problem will require time, effort, and perhaps some creativity on your part. If you truly love your dog and are concerned for his safety, the safety of others, and your personal liability, you’ll devote the next four to five days to the task of convincing your dog that car chasing always will conclude in an unpleasant consequence.

Day 1

Tie a length of clothesline rope to your dog’s standard slip-chain training collar. About 35 feet of line will do just fine. Allow the dog to drag the line around the yard. Position yourself close to the end of the dragging line to await for your opportunity.

Act relaxed, but keep one eye on the dog and the other on the end of that line. Do not give any attention to your dog so when an automobile approaches, watch for the moment he starts his barking charge. You want your dog’s attention focused entirely on the car during that specific moment.

When that moment has arrived, pick up the end of the line and jerk it as hard as you can, giving it everything you’ve got. This jerk should put a shock into your dog as he is stopped in mid-air. Pull the line and when your dog is at your feet, give the animal an abrupt shaking, enough to really give him the message. Verbally shock him as well, with loud, angry words, showing your complete and total displeasure.

The foregoing procedure must be fast accomplished. Remember, the dog must be able to relate this displeasing series of events with his act of chasing the car. If you’re too slow to jerk the line then the dog’s mind will sidetrack to something else. And just as the timing of the pool is important, so is the importance of your verbal assault, ensuring that he knows you are unhappy with his decision to chase the car.

Behavior Training How To Change Your Puppy’s Shy, Timid

Gemma | January 22nd, 2006
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Behavior Training How To Change Your Puppy’s Shy, Timid Behavior

Are you the proud owner of an extremely shy puppy? This fear-based behavioral characteristic is very common if you have a toy dog breed. However, it’s a known fact that every litter will have a least one shy puppy that will need to be treated a little differently than the rest of the pups.

When these shy puppies grow up they can become extremely needy and look towards their owners for reinforcement in almost every situation they come across. And unfortunately, while this need to run to mommy or daddy every time she gets scared, your dog may start to initiate aggression if she is not getting the soothing attention needed. This could be labeled as aggression induced by fear.

Ironically enough, if you constantly caress and soothe your puppy when she demonstrates extreme shyness and becomes frightened, you are only reinforcing the behavior. I realize that it’s hard to imagine ignoring your shy and scared puppy when she needs you, but if you would like to change her behavior and help the dog become a bold and social animal, you are going to have to quit letting her know that it is okay to be afraid.

Helping Your Shy Puppy Change

If your dog is showing signs of fear and timidness early on, then you will have to be patient when desiring to help her adjust. You must coax the dog along to realizing that you will not be her protector anymore. Behaviors that she is used to doing when getting scared will need to be stopped, such as barking while hiding behind your legs when startled, darting away whenever seeing a normal part of the outside, like a person walking or a bush swaying by the wind, etc.

Here are some tips that you can use to help your puppy become less shy:

1. Explain to your family and friends to ignore your puppy’s fear-induced barking or crying whenever they approach. Up to this point your dog has acted out of fear whenever someone approaches and when these people naturally stop the approach, your dog has learned that this behavior works in her favor. However, from now on your dog will start to understand that fear-induced barking will not work anymore so long as your friends and family respect your training wishes.

2. Whenever you are expecting guests to arrive at the house, be sure to keep your puppy secured by a lead. Take her with you as you approach the guests if you can allow the dog to be with you all times. The difference from now on is that when she starts crying, barking, or hiding behind your legs, you will now act in a confident matter and without petting or soothing her. This will help your dog become more brave while teaching her that her old behavior will not work anymore.

Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part

Gemma | January 19th, 2006
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Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part 6)

Once Puppy School Is Finished

The typical puppy class is one hour per week for for, six or eight weeks. When you and your puppy graduate from puppy class, are you done with training? No way!

Training has really just begun. Just as a child who graduates from kindergarten has only started his or her education, so has your puppy’s education just begun, and you should continue teaching your dog during adulthood.

Now that doesn’t mean you must continue with group classes there are other variables to consider. If you’ve owned and trained a dog successfully in the past, you may be able to continue your new puppy’s education on your own. But many dog owners find that it’s beneficial to work with a trainer and a group class, or a dog training club. When problems pop up, and they always do (no puppy is good all the time), someone is available to talk to you about it.

It’s important that you follow through with your training, as much or as little as you and your puppy need. But no matter what you decide to do with your puppy in the future, whether your dog is going to be a search-and-rescue dog, a competitive obedience dog, an agility star or just a treasured family companion, it all begins right here at the beginning with puppy training.

Final Tip: Resources To Help You Find A Trainer

Several parent organizations for dog trainers and dog obedience instructors exist, each with its own mission statement and guidelines. Most trainers and instructors belong to one or more of these organizations, so that he or she can keep up with new techniques and tools within the profession, and so he or she can communicate with other professionals.

The ideal puppy class instructor is able to communicate well with people. He or she should have a well-trained dog of their own that can demonstrate what the instructor is teaching. Additionally, the instructor should be gentle, yet effective, when teaching the puppies in his or her class. Students should be excited to come to class, feel that they learn something worthwhile each time they come, and should be eager to teach their own puppies.

Dog owners can also contact these organizations for referrals to members of their community. The predominant organizations include:

Association of Pet Dog Trainers
150 Executive Center Dr.
Box 35
Greenville, SC 29615
(800) 738-3647

International Association of Canine Professionals
P.O. Box 560156
Montverde, FL 34756
(407) 469-2008

National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors
729 Grapevine Hwy.
PMB 369
Hurst, TX 76054

Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part

Gemma | January 17th, 2006
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Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part 5)

Every trainer will set his or her own guidelines as to when puppies can begin puppy training classes. Most will accept puppies between 10 and 16 weeks of age, because this is the time when socialization is most important. At this age, puppies are sponges ready to soak up everything they can be taught. They have short attention spans, sure but quick and short training sessions can overcome that.

Puppies attending classes at this age are vulnerable to disease, though, and care must be taken so they are not exposed to unvaccinated or sick dogs. Most veterinarians are split on the best timetable for this advice: Some doctors believe that one set of vaccines is sufficient to begin puppy class, while others recommend two sets before starting any kind of group-canine class or get-together.

Either way, all vets advise puppy owners to watch out for unhealthy dogs, dogs that haven’t had at least one set of vaccines, and overly aggressive dogs as well (there is no point in getting your puppy hurt by a larger, more dominant dog in the group).

A Professional Opinion

Jenny Schiebert, D.V.M., of Shadowridge Veterinary Hospital in Vista, California, says puppies should definitely have at least two sets of vaccinations that include parvovirus (a highly contagious disease that is often fatal in puppies).

Dr. Schiebert goes on to say, The class location should be secure and available only to well-vaccinated dogs [such as a private training yard], and not a public park where unvaccinated dogs can roam, or a pet-supply store where a variety of dogs come in and out all day long. As long as the vaccination policy is enforced, I think small risk of infection is outweighed by the benefit of puppy training and socialization.

Schiebert advises caution, too. As far as walks in public, I recommend waiting until two weeks after the puppy’s four-month immunizations, she says. This also goes for trips to the beach, dog parks and pet stores.

To simplify the advice here in the case of watching out for your own puppy, all you have to do is avoid areas where lots of dogs gather and eliminate, which can be sources of parvovirus and distemper. Dogs that are coughing and have mucousy noses may be showing signs of canine influenza or other diseases.

Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part

Gemma | January 12th, 2006
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Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part 4)

Most puppy classes show you how to physically handle your puppy, also called social handling. By handling puppies often and gently, they learn to accept being touched, including looking inside the ears, touching the teeth, and handling the paws and toenails. This gentle handling makes grooming much easier, especially combing, brushing, and checking for fleas, ticks, burrs and tangles in the hair.

A significant part of puppy class also teaches you how to prevent future problem behaviors. For example, by teaching your puppy to sit and stay at an open door or gate, you can prevent your puppy from learning to dash through that opening to the outside world, and perhaps running away or getting hit by a car. When your puppy learns to sit for petting, jumping on people is no longer a problem.

A puppy class should set up practical solutions because often, it’s everyday routines that cause the biggest problems for the pet dog owner. The class should also address problems within the family over the pup, including inconsistent training.

Finding The Perfect Puppy Class

There are many ways to find a great puppy training class. Like any business, reputation and referrals are the best. Look at dogs you admire and ask the owners where they went to class. If you and your puppy go for a walk and you see a wonderfully behaved, friendly dog, do just that. People love to talk about their dogs, and will gladly share dog training stories with you.

You can also call around to local veterinarians and ask where they recommend their clients take their puppies for training. Veterinarians and their staff see all kinds of dogs, including those that are well-trained and easy to handle, as well as dogs that have no training at all and are difficult to treat.

When you have the names and phone numbers of a few different trainers, give them a call and talk for a few minutes. Ask where they train. Is it in a public place that might be a hazard to a puppy or do they have a private, enclosed training yard? What steps have they taken for the participants’ safety, particularly for small dogs? When do they recommend puppies begin training? What vaccinations do they require?

Then ask if you can come back and watch a class. Leave your puppy at home and watch how the instructor teaches the class. How does the instructor teach the students? Are the students attentive? Are they having fun? Does the instructor relate well to the dogs in class? Is the instructor’s dog well-behaved? After watching the class, would you be comfortable in this class?

As you watch the class, keep in mind that every trainer and instructor has his or her own training style and techniques. Some trainers use clickers; others use positive methods, such as food treats but no clickers; and some trainers use other techniques. Choose something that you would feel comfortable with and that works best for you and your dog.

Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part

Gemma | January 8th, 2006
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Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part 3)

Puppy classes also provide a wonderful opportunity for puppies to get to know other people and puppies. This early socialization is vital for the puppy’s general well-being as it grows up.

Puppies that are exposed to a variety of people learn that people come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages, and that people are fun to be around. Puppies that are exposed to friendly puppies and dogs learn that dogs, too, come in all sizes, shapes, colors and ages, and that other dogs are fun as well.

Puppy play sessions should be held in a secure location (a fenced-in training yard, for example), and on a surface that’s safe for the puppies. Concrete isn’t good; nor is a slick floor both for obvious reasons.

If the puppies are all about the same age, large and small puppies can play together. However, if there are some very large puppies and some toy or small breed puppies, two play groups should be set up, with puppies matched for size. The puppies should be allowed to play by themselves with as little interference from owners as possible; this is the puppies’ time to play not the owners!

On the other hand, puppies that are being bullied (overly rough play or biting) can be picked up by the instructor and given a time out. They can go back to the playtime when they’ve calmed down. It may take two or three play sessions for some puppies to figure out they’re not allowed to be bullies.

Interacting with other people and dogs at a young age builds the puppy’s confidence and gives it the impression that the world is a friendly place and nothing to be afraid of, says Samantha Morrison, a local staff member of the San Diego Dog Training Center in California. Once you remove the doubt from a puppy’s world, learning the house rules and building new skills is quite simple.

Dog’s that aren’t socialized when they’re young are often afraid, even to the point of biting, when meeting new people or dogs; or can react in a more aggressive manner, trying to attack the unknown person or dog. Others simply don’t know how to behave around other dogs because they haven’t had any practice.

Although you can and should socialize your new puppy on your own, a puppy class provides a safe place for socialization under an instructor’s guidance and supervision. In addition, most puppy classes require participants to show proof of immunization (at least the first set of vaccines), so you can be sure your puppy won’t contract any communicable diseases such as parvovirus, which can be fatal to young puppies.

Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part

Gemma | January 5th, 2006
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Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part 2)

Most puppy kindergarten classes introduce you and your puppy to the basic obedience commands that will be used throughout the dog’s life. The most common include sit, down, stay, come and heel. Other commands may include watch me and leave it.

Ideally, the puppy-class instructor will demonstrate each command, showing you how to teach your puppy. Most instructors will demonstrate with one of their own dogs first, then with an untrained puppy in the class. By demonstrating with one of the puppies enrolled in the class you can see the technique in action. After all, the instructor’s dog is already trained and will make it look so easy!

After demonstrating a command, the instructor will then have everyone try it with their own puppies. He or she will help those that are having trouble understanding or performing the training techniques, and will show alternative techniques for the puppies that are having trouble. When everyone (owners and puppies) understand, the instructor will move on to the next exercise.

The techniques and methods used by dog trainers and instructors vary, depending upon the individual’s likes, dislikes and background. No one technique is right or wrong, as long as it is humane, fair to the puppy, and easy for puppy owners to learn.

There are a few bad training methods those that aren’t humane or are too difficult for pet owners to learn, but most trainers keep puppy training positive, with lots of positive reinforcements (such as praise, petting and treats), while also teaching you how to set rules and guidelines for your puppy.

The puppy-class instructor will also give examples of how to use these commands in daily life, and that’s one of the most important lessons you can learn from these classes. After all, training is not just for those few minutes when you and your puppy are in class it’s for your dog’s lifetime. When you know how to use these commands, and how to make them work for you, training is much more effective.

Important Tip: Use The Basic Commands Daily

The basic obedience commands you and your dog learn in puppy school are for much more than simply having your puppy perform them on command. Instead, they should be used throughout your puppy’s daily routine. By using the basic commands, you can teach your puppy acceptable behavior at home, as well as out in public, to prevent bad behavior from occurring.

Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part

Gemma | January 1st, 2006
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Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part 1)

It’s time you make the right decision and enroll your pup into puppy school. Take the following example from a friend of mine, Jim Bonza:

Just before my neighbor’s 100-pound, 9-month-old chocolate Labrador Retriever was about the be thrown away to the nearest animal shelter for doing what comes natural jumping up on everyone, running away every chance he could, and barking non-stop at anyone or anything I was able to save the dog by taking him in myself, Jim says.

He’s had no training; he chews everything in sight and isn’t housetrained. His owners had no idea how to train or control the dog, so they gave up on him.

This big puppy is the perfect example of why puppy classes are so important. Give your dog a head start in life by enrolling in puppy kindergarten classes. You don’t want him growing up and getting bigger, only to cause too much trouble for the family that he will need to be given up. Finding a new home for those types of untrained adult dogs is extremely difficult.

The Importance Of Puppy School

Early training for puppies can be compared to preschool or kindergarten for young children. The information being taught is vitally important for their future, yet the teaching process is designed for young minds with short attention spans.

In addition, in these classes young puppies and young children learn how to get along with each other. They learn to hold still when the teacher is talking, and how to play without hurting each other all very important lessons.

Puppy class has so many benefits so much so that many breeders require their new puppy buyers to attend these classes; some actually put that requirement into the sales contract. I’ve personally seen the success that puppy schools have; owners are happier because they learn how to communicate with their puppies and how to use their training.

Mario Lopez, a breeder from San Antonio, Texas, says this about his customers: When I’m screening potential puppy buyers, I ask up front if they have the time to train and can promise to take the puppy through kindergarten (and adult) classes.

Mario goes on to say, Taking a puppy to class helps establish a rapport between puppy and owner. Going to a class gives you a special time to focus on your puppy without distractions at home.

The education provided in a puppy class isn’t just for the puppies, though. It’s important that puppy owners learn what to do and how to do it with their puppies. They need to learn how to turn their puppies into good companions at home.