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Dog Training Secrets | Trick Your Dog

Want the answer to a better behaved, more reliable dog?

Trick him.

I mean it. Do this and you will have a fantastically well behaved dog that responds to commands reliably.

Why trick your dog?

Training your dog to learn ‘tricks’ is fun in and of itself. But training your dog to learn tricks forTraining_dog_trick tricks sake, say for example; training your dog to grab a drink can from the refrigerator may not be a ‘necessary’ task for the dog (or human) but what it will do for you and your dog IS really remarkable.

Remarkable? Sure. Here’s why. In my example where you train a dog to grab a soft drink from the refrigerator you’re really training more than one thing. The dog is learning many things and you are probably going to be more interested, motivated and engaged in training when the outcome is not only practical but has a fun/show it to friends component. Right?

Who wouldn’t want to show every friend/relative/Facebook friend a video of their (previously un-trainable dog) going to fetch a drink from the fridge-on command and bringing it back! how cool is that!! Isn’t training your dog to that more motivating than say, just teaching your dog to ‘come’??

But wait! You get more….

Training your dog to do something fun, as in the above example is so fantastic for you, your dog and your dogs trust and relationship with you because..

You’re not training one behavior!

By properly training your dog to grab a drink from the refrigerator your dog is being trained for MANY things:

1) GO TO- teaching your dog to go to a named object or place (go to door, car etc…)

2) PULL- pull open the door (refrigerator, inside door, drawer, tug toy)

3) OBJECT- getting a specific object like a can of juice, soda or anything

4) RETRIEVE- Bringing back to you (think ‘come’ command with object. Bring keys to me…)

5) PUSH- When I trained my dog to grab a can of PEPSI I trained her to go back and push shut the  refrigerator door.

6) BONDING- Training in this way is more fun, motivating and increases the trust and bond with our dogs.. How happy are you when your dog sits vs. when your dog can grab you a cold one from the fridge and bring it back to you… My guess is you’ll be as thrilled as i was and my dog was the recipient of all that excited-ness and praise.. not once, but every time i showed this to every visitor to my home..

Dog Training Secrets | Three Must Know Commands- Part 1

Dog Training. Does Your Dog Listen?
There are three things every dog MUST know.Three commands every dog must know for their safety and their families sanity.

Most dog owners want a dog that does three behaviors consistently. Today we’ll explore the first of the three “Must Know Commands”, define it so that we (and our dog) are on the same page. So to speak.

The First ‘command…ment’ is: (your dog’s name here)

Your dog’s name IS a command. dog-training-attention
When you say your dogs name you expect something from him. Right?
When your dog hears you say his name you get ‘something’, some response or behavior, right? So then [Read more…]

The Best Age to Start Dog Training is…

One of the most common questions I’ve heard in two decades of training dogs is “What is the best age to begin training a dog”? The answer may surprise you….puppy training

The best age to begin training a dog to appropriate behavior is as soon as you get her. I mean as soon as that puppy comes home. Train? You mean put a choke collar or pinch collar on an 8 week old puppy? Nope.. The training I’m referring to is behavioral training and its simple.

Behavioral training start-

Before you begin training, actually before you even get the dog its very important to decide on what the rules of the house will be for your dog. So often folks put off making decisions about whats acceptable behavior and what’s not. Instead  choosing a ” Make up the rules as you go” approach. The issue I have with that is the puppy gets mixed (read: confusing) messages. For example do you want your dog to come onto the furniture? Really? If so, that’s your call. Just be sure that will be OK with the other members of the family. Now if you do allow your dog on the couch for example, will he be the one to decide when he gets on, or will he only be allowed when he’s given an explicit, “OK, UP” command/directive. Now, what about if he puts his paws on the couch. Is this acceptable way of ‘asking’ to come up? or do you want him to lie or sit patiently without asking and have THAT be the cue that gets you to invite him up on the couch?

What about nipping.. aka biting? what mouthing behavior is acceptable, if any? I spoke for years about a binary, or yes/ no model.. teeth on human NO. Its no no matter how hard the dog is biting. This way its the behavior that censured and we don’t have to be concerned with levels of biting intensity.

Training. Proper training is best when started early. Actual dog training begins as soon as the dog comes home. However deciding on what’s acceptable behavior as well as where the dog will sleep and stay when he’s not out of the crate should be decided beforehand if possible. Also, I strongly encourage the use of a regular leash for the dog to drag around IN THE HOUSE… or preferably keeping the leash attached to a person while in the house helps tremendously when first house-training the dog to go to the bathroom outside.

The notion of training many have is of putting a leash and choke collar type device on a dog an forcing him to sit or to stay or come..  Training begins as soon as you get the dog. As soon as your dog is in the house or with you you’ll shape his future behavior by what you reinforce or correct. There is no ‘warm up the dog to the house’.. training happens immediately. The question is do you want to shape your dogs behavior to get acceptable behavior right away or do you want to wait and try to correct problem behaviors when the dog is older, bigger and stronger?

Steve Schwartz is a behavioral dog trainer in the New England Area. He has been training dogs professionally since 1991. He began training owners to successfully train dogs shortly after.