Fixing training mistakes

Hey remember when I wrote about teaching the touch/hand target? And I said, “never ever let your dog use teeth?” Whelp, here is the story to go along with that. Dog training fact: Whatever you reward your dog for is the behaviour you are going to get. So I accidentally taught my dog that hand targeting = “Hey! Run over to me and bite my hand.” Not hard, mostly just a gentle mouthing, but since I often use hand targeting

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Do dogs get better at learning with practice?

When Betsy was young(er) and I first started teaching her tricks, we both found it quite challenging. I’d spend several days focusing on teaching her a new trick, Betsy would express her frustration on day one, and slowly we’d build up until she had a mental breakthrough and suddenly everything would fall into place. (As soon as Betsy figures out what I want, she gets all excited and performs the trick so joyfully, I swear she’s puffing up with pride

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Meanwhile, on the Internet (#3)

Staying under threshold – finding the right pieces to the puzzle A nice piece on keeping your dog under threshold when you’re working together, something that I am always being instructed to keep in mind. What I learned is that moving slow, talking quietly and a tug/release game was very effective in getting my dog to focus on me and what I was asking of him. Stages of Engagement A nice three-part series by Denise Fenzi on excercises to do

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Raising a puppy and the joys of the crate

When I told my mom/landlord that we were planning on getting a dog, she had one firm rule: The dog had to be crate trained, and it needed to be in that crate whenever we were out of the house. “Unsupervised dogs can cause massive amounts of damage,” she told me, citing our own first family dog, who had allegedly (ok not just alleged, she was guilty as charged.) chewed through drywall and cost my mom a whole lotta $$.

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The greeting stretch

I have read lots of articles about the basics of dog calming signals, and lots too about all the different play moves that dogs will try, but less about other, more everyday dog body language, like, “Hey ‘sup.” I never really thought about it too much… I had read so many articles about calming signals that I guess I just assumed, “Whelp, that is how dogs talk. Just lip licks and yawns all day every day. Done deal.” But then

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