Training Archives

Is it Physical or Mental?

Dog trainers come across a variety of behavioral problems and questions while working with their students.

One of the more common ones that I’ve seen is the so-called “craziness” of dogs. Dogs that pull and yip and jump endlessly when they see anything that interests them. Their pet parents are often just fed-up with their behavior by the time they do something about it, because it’s not an aggressive response, it’s just hard to control.

Their statement is “They’re just too hyper!” and they look to their trainer for the magic cure to hyperness.

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Behavior Vs. Tricks in Dog Training

In many dog training classes, you teach ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stand’, ‘leave-it’, and more. You work with your dog daily for 15 minutes, or a half hour, in the morning or at night as you have time. You go for six weeks to a standard group dog training class at your local pet store, and you graduate and move on.

What really changes about your dog? They may calm down a bit, and they learn to sit when you tell them to, when it’s quiet and there’s not a lot going on. They know how to impress visitors once they calm down from their initial greeting by shaking hands and rolling over. These are good improvements, and as you see a difference, you’re happy with those six weeks you spent learning how to train them.

There is a difference, however, between teaching your dog tricks (sit, down, shake, rollover), and teaching them good behavior.

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Lights, Camera, Action!

Dogs are complicated creatures. They wag their tails, growl and snap, run in circles, snuggle on the bed, and eat the couch.

We all have those days when the family dog just drives us up the wall and over it. He won’t stop barking, he’s running around like a headless chicken, he’s chewing up your favorite shoes, and he marked the new table in the dining room.

Why are dogs so crazy? Why do they wreck the house when we leave, and sometimes when they’re unattended for a whole five minutes while you’re in the other room?

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Communication! It’s the most important thing you can participate in with your dog.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your friendly canine as you go about your day. Tell them about your successes and worries, your high points and low points. It will make you feel better, really.

Listen to them when they tell you something, such as they don’t feel well, or they really want their favorite toy that slipped under the couch. Let them remind you that it’s dinner time when you’re absorbed in a book, or watching your favorite television show. Read the rest of this entry

What is it about Dog Training?

Dog training isn’t just about teaching your dog to sit and lay down on command. It’s not even about things like leash training, or teaching them not to jump on visitors when they walk in the door.

Dog training is ultimately about the human-animal bond.

To build a bond with your dog, you have to trust and love each other. You have to know that your companion will turn on a dime and listen to you. Your dog has to know that you will be there for them if they need you. Read the rest of this entry

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