Dec 042012
 

Guest Post Author: Dog with a Blog

You Can Run But It’s Better To Hide!

A couple of years back when I was a bit more boisterous than I am now, Mum decided to take me to agility classes held at the local kennels. (for the full, hilarious story on that fad, check out my blog post G.I. Jay). A lot of dogs, especially working breeds, can benefit from physical stimulation in an effort to change their behaviour. Agility classes are excellent for this and are also great for socialising your dog and bonding with the owner.However, what most dog owners do not know is that mental stimulation is actually better for draining the energy out of your dog than its physical counterpart. A dog who is tired is a dog who is more susceptible to being trained.

by James Barker

A dog who is bored and untrained can be a very destructive force in your home. I remember when Mum started work and I was home for a few hours in the morning alone. I was bored and so it was natural for me as a dog to find something to occupy my mind. It was not until 4 days later when I overheard Mum on the phone to the post office, screaming that we had not had mail for a week, that I knew I had been naughty. Ripping up the mail and eating it relieved my boredom, so I did it.

Find Your Inner Child

Your dog really enjoys going for walks each day. Leading you onwards on what you dog considers to be a leisurely stroll. You on the other hand, are being dragged down the street, your hair flying in the wind, half running, half walking and grabbing you dogs lead for dear life (if you have a large breed of course). What would be just as fun for your dog and more fun for you would be a great childhood game of Hide & Seek. This works best with 2 humans in the house; 1 to hold the dog whilst the other goes and hides. You dog will not use as much energy s dragging you around the block, but I guarantee he will sleep for hours after you have finished and he will have so much fun he will be more susceptible to training the next time you play.During this game, you dog uses his nose sniffing instincts to sniff you out; he uses his memory to think where you might be or usually go; his heart rate increases as he gets excited about the game and when he finds you he feels like he has done the best job in the world this is the time to praise and treat!


CAN YOU HEAR ME?

A nice, straight forward rule when training your pooch

This part of the post is dedicated to those times when your dog pushes your buttons a little too far (i.e. peeing on your new rug, lying on your bed with muddy paws, eating mail when it contains cheques etc). When you raise your voice to your dog to reprimand them for doing something bad, your dog actually thinks you are playing along with them and the more irate you get, the funnier he thinks it is. You are actually teaching him to do it again because he gets lots of attention.

  • When you want to train your dog and teach him, you need to be firm and assertive, never loud and aggressive
  • Commands of one or two words work best,saying ‘off’ works better than ‘can you please get off the sofa?’
  • The key is to repeat, repeat, repeat

Treats and food rewards are used as ‘positive reinforcement’ during training sessions with your dog. to communicate effectively with our dogs. What humans should actually be looking for when using treats to train is that the dog associates their behaviour or action with the food.
Example
1. You ask you dog for his paw
2. He gives you his paw
3. You give the dog a treat
4. The dog associates giving you his paw with getting a treat

After a while you can substitute praise for the treat and eventually the dog will just give you his paw on command as am instinctive, reflex action.

Patience is the key to all training….

 December 4, 2012  Posted by on December 4, 2012 General, Posts, Training & Behaviour  Add comments

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