Archive for November, 2010

As Always: the key word to training your dog is Praise – and Not Punishment.

Intermediate Training:

This Level is known as the Intermediate Dog Training. This training aims at teaching your dog the same things that were taught in the basic training course, in a more detailed form.

Here your dog is trained to Stay for a Longer Span of Time, and also taught to follow the orders given by other people. If you are working with a trainer, they should go over what commands should be accepted by your dog, from other people and what commands should only be given by you.

Intermediate Dog Training generally lasts for about 8 to 10 weeks. This training is meant for dogs no less than 5 months old.  It is Essential for your dog to have Completed the Basic Dog Training Course. Your dog should be accustomed to the Basic commands first.

This level of dog training is Not for Puppies. It is for those Adult dogs that Have Undertaken the Basics, either formally or at home by their owners. This intermediate type of training teaches your dog to heel, more training on walking on a leash, fetch something and return. It also revises the basics of sitting, staying and coming etc.

Leash Highlights:

As from my previous post, training to walk on a leash can be frustrating and will take some time and patience. Here are the basic highlights to keep in mind.

Stand Still until puppy stops prancing  or pulling.

Hold the leash waste high. When he walks along on a loose leash, praise him  give treat! He starts to pull – Stop! Stand Still.  Don’t yank him toward you or pull him back to you.  Instead call him – reward him when he does.

Take two steps forward then stop.  Ask your pup to sit. Then start again – only increase the number of steps when he has mastered the few steps.

The Art of Fetching:

Fetching is a wonderful way to bond with your dog. It’s fun for him and great exercise!

Waving the ball is often the movement that attracts dogs, so get him focused on the ball by moving it back and forth.

When he  picks the ball up, softly clap encouraging him to move toward you.  Do Not call his name or say come as he will probably drop the ball and come to you, he’s been taught to do that.  Keep clapping softly encouraging him to come to you with the ball.  Dogs love to play chase, so when he comes to you, with ball in mouth, don’t try to take the ball from him.  He considers this an onslaught to “chase” and will start running from you.  Do not run after him, instead turn around and run the other way.  This will lure him back to you.

If he does bring the ball toward you and drops it near your feet, pick it up and throw it instantly. Don’t just hold the ball, ask him to sit, etc. He wants the ball – so throw it.

Most dogs will only fetch a certain number of times.  When he has stopped chasing the ball, just pick it up – game ends.  Don’t push it, if he only fetches 4 times – next time only throw the ball 3 times – this will leave him wanting more.  Some dogs pick up on this game very quickly where others take a little longer to get the hang of it. That said, I have a Golden Retriever that from day one could not have the ball thrown enough!

Bringing it back and “giving it to you” is the real challenge!  Chances are, he doesn’t want to give you the ball. When he gets near you, fold your arms and turn away.  Dogs who love the game of chase will try to face you; keep moving your vision away from him – he will eventually drop the ball.

The key to fetch is move away encouraging him to come to you, praising good returns and ignoring his attempts to have you chase him.

I hope this helped you out in the next step of training your best friend. Next we will go into Advanced Training. Also, check out my other posts for valuable links to help with your dog training.

Have a Great Day!

Ellen

In the last post, we talked about Preschool training for your pup.  We are now going to cover the Second Level – Basic Dog Training.

Basic Dog Training 101:

This Second Level is meant for dogs that are at least 5 months old and is known as the basic dog training. The duration of these classes is usually about 8 to 10 weeks. This is the basic course, where your dog is taught:

– Sitting and Staying,
– Coming and Heeling,
– The Art of Walking properly on a Leash

Basic Dog Training is meant for Beginners. Although it’s mostly for young puppies,  this course is also essential for grown-up dog who are being trained for the first time.

SIT:

As with All Levels of Training, be sure and have Dog Treats.

Make sure that you choose a quiet place for training, so as not to distract your dog’s attention. Ask your dog to sit again and again while you hold the treat over his head. He will have to turn his head up and will sit there, willingly, in order to get the treat.

If he still doesn’t sit, gently push his back down. When you have made him sit, praise him and give him his treat.

If you repeat the word “sit” your dog will realize that the command is related to sitting and will obey you in order to receive his reward.

STAY:

This is a command which your dog will have to learn first before teaching him to “Come”. The overall purpose is to make your dog sit in one place, without any direction, and stay there.

Repeat the word “Stay” as you gradually walk back. Maintain an eye contact with your dog.  If he rises from his position, say “No” and start all over again. This training does take some time and patience. It would be easier if you, initially, could get a friend or family member  to sit and hold him back if he doesn’t “Stay”.

Once he has learned to sit and stay, when you back away from him, try walking away with your back towards him.  He will probably rise to follow you! Tell him “No” and repeat the process, asking him to stay in his position as you move away.

COME:

Once your dog has passed the “Stay Test”, it’s time to teach him to Come.

Ask him to Stay and then call him in a Cheerful Voice; thump/pat your knee as you repeat the word “Come”.  Be sure and reward him, as he will probably respond to your call promptly!

Once you have mastered these steps, move on to walking on a leash.

WALKING ON A LEASH:

When you first put a leash on your dog, first reaction will be to dance around and become overly excited.  Just stand there and let him get this out of his system.  He will realize you are not going anywhere until he calms down.

You should hold the leash waste high and not any higher. Start off by training your dog inside.  Walk around inside with leash in hand.  If he walks along on a loose leash, praise him and give him a treat.   If he starts to pull – Stop! Stand Still.   Don’t yank him towards you, or pull him back to you.  Instead call him and then reward him when he does.  Once he has mastered this inside, it’s time to venture outside.  This will be more challenging, because there will be distractions – people, other dogs, birds, etc.  You still follow the same regiment.  Stop and stand still if he pulls or decides to just sit.

When training, take two steps forward then stop.  Ask your pup to sit. Then start again, increase the number of steps only when he has mastered walking properly on just 2 steps. This takes some time but over time you will increase the increments to six, eight, ten, etc.

Again, the key word of training your dog is Praise – and Not Punishment.

Once your pup has mastered this level, he will be ready for Intermediate Training.  I have listed below training contacts that you might want to look into, if you need assistance. Each one of these places have inexpensive training classes.

Petsmart

Petco

SPCA

I’ll be back later with Intermediate Training!

Ellen

I am a member of the Guardians program with the ASPCA. I always receive  emails for tips and warnings.  I received this one regarding the Thanksgiving Holiday and thought it was important to pass on to my readers.  I hope you will read this article and click on the links to learn more.    If you are not aware of items and foods that are dangerous, this post has valuable information; for others that do know, this list could be a valuable update of items you might not be aware of. Six Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving with your pet is just that! “Happy” and “Safe”.

Thanksgiving festivities mean friends, family and food, food, food. But the ingredients for a happy human holiday can be distressing, and even dangerous, for pets. ASPCA experts shared raw or undercooked turkey—it could contain salmonella bacteria.

Not-So-Sweet Treats:
You’re probably aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, and you might know that raisins and grapes should be kept far from canine companions. But not everyone knows about the dangers of xylitol, a sweetener and baking ingredient found in many types of gum, mints, candy and pastries. Consuming a little bit of xylitol can give a dog seizures, low blood sugar and liver failure and can be fatal, says Dr. Murray. If any of the sweets you serve this Thanksgiving contain xylitol—or chocolate or raisins—keep them clear of Fido.

Off-Limits Snacks:
Sweets aren’t the only danger the holidays pose for furry tummies. At this cooking-heavy time of year, it can’t hurt to consult this list of foods you should not share. Alcohol, onions, yeast dough and macadamia nuts can all lead to stomach upset, diarrhea or pancreatitis. And sage, part of many stuffing recipes, can cause pets to suffer stomach upset and possible depression of the central nervous system.

Flowers to Weed Out:
Be careful with holiday floral arrangements. Lilies are commonly used this time of year, and all varieties, including Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Stargazer and Casa Blanca, can cause kidney failure in cats. If your dog or cat accidentally ingests flowers or any potentially harmful products, please consult your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or www.aspca.org/apcc.

Stranger Danger
Let’s face it: your pets are adorable, and guests may want to lavish them with attention. But guests can also cause pets stress and increase the risk that they’ll escape out the door. If you’re expecting a lot of company, make sure guests refrain from feeding your pets. They’ll be happily occupied trying to get their meal out, and way too busy to come begging for table scraps.

Check out their extended list of Thanksgiving pet tips at ASPCA.org, and have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Puppies have a period of development called the socialization period.  This period can range from 4 to 14 weeks of age.

Puppy training begins the moment you bring your new puppy home. Every year more than 5 million pets are euthanized in this country, mostly by owners who got off to a bad start with a new pet. A preschool program helps reduce this stress and help you raise a well mannered pet.

Puppies that are isolated during this period can develop problems later on.  Aggression, difficulty training, fearful behavior, etc.   They need to learn body language and how to communicate with other dogs and people.

Puppy preschool is designed to teach owners to better understand their puppy’s needs, establish effective communication, curb behavior problems, and to show owners how to properly socialize their new puppy.

If you do not have a great deal of cash, don’t despair!  Look into your local PetSmart and Petco stores.  These stores offer training courses that are  inexpensive!  Look into various pet organizations that offer training courses for your dog.  You can also contact the SPCA for their training classes. These organizations are there to help you and your dog and prevent your puppy ending up in the local pound and euthanized.

Training courses are broken down into 5 Levels. They should be done in order, as your pup can not learn properly, if you try to put him into an advanced level when  he has not been allowed to learn the basics first.

The first level of training for your new puppy is Puppy Preschool.  Teaching him good manners enables him to grow into a confident, friendly and sociably acceptable adult dog.

Puppy Preschool:

This course meant for puppies that are about 6 weeks to 5 months old.  Preschool classes generally last for no more than 6 to 8 weeks. In these training sessions, your puppy is essentially taught how to socialize with people and  other dogs. Your puppy also begins to learn how to Sit down, Stay at a place, and how to Come.  This is an Extremely Important Step in the development of your dog.

What Is Taught In Preschool:

1. Socialize your puppy – with other dogs, people and even cats.
2. Teach your puppy good manners, basic commands and obedience training
3. Educate you, the pup’s owner, on puppy development and basic pet care.
4. Be fun, and help your pup to enjoy coming to the vet!

This level also includes learning what is normal dog behavior and how to recognize behavioral problems in your dog before they get out of control.

Tomorrow I will be discussing the next level of School for your pet, Basic Dog Training. Once your puppy has completed Preschool, it’s time for him to go into Basic Dog Training.

THE BASICS OF DOG TRAINING

Have you recently brought home a little puppy? Then you may be interested in giving your dog some basic training. You can do it yourself, or get an obedience instructor for the job.

The fees of an obedience instructor can vary, you also have to take your dog to the class where the training would take place. If you decide to be the trainer, it would be  less expensive, plus you would be training out of your own home.  If you have decided to be the trainer,  you must have some knowledge on dog training first:

3 Basic Things Taught First:

– Sit
– Stay
– Come

SIT:

One thing you will need are dog treats.

Make sure that you choose a quiet place for training, so as not to distract your dog’s attention. Ask your dog to sit again and again while you hold the treat over his head. He will have to turn his head up and will sit there, willingly, in order to get the treat.

If he still doesn’t sit, gently push his back down. When you have made him sit, praise him and give him his treat.

If you repeat the word “sit” your dog will realize that the command is related to sitting and will obey you in order to receive his reward.

STAY:

The next step in training is “Stay”.

This part of the training can be a little difficult. This is a command which your dog will have to learn first before teaching him to “Come”. The overall purpose is to make your dog sit in one place, without any direction, and stay there.

Here’s how it works:

Repeat the word “Stay” as you gradually walk back. Maintain an eye contact with your dog.  If he rises from his position, say “No” and start all over again. This training does take some time and patience. It would be easier if you, initially, could get a friend or family member  to sit and hold him back if he doesn’t “Stay”.

If he has learned to sit and stay, when you back away from him, try walking away with your back towards your dog. He will probably rise now to follow you! Tell him “No” and repeat the process asking him to stay in his position as you move away.

COME:

Once your dog has passed the “Stay Test”, it’s time to teach him to Come.

Once again, ask him to Stay and then call him in a Cheerful Voice; thump/pat your knee as you repeat the word “Come”.  Be sure and reward him, as he will probably respond to your call promptly!

I hope you have found this post helpful and informative.  I will be posting more valuable information regarding levels of  Dog Training. Do stop by often for more Tips on Training Your Dog.

Have a Great Day!

Ellen

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