Dog Blog

January is “Train Your Dog” Month

A well-fitted harness that allows the full range of motion of your dog’s forelegs is an important piece of equipment that takes the pressure off a dog’s sensitive neck area and distributes leash pressure over the chest instead. But many dogs dislike wearing a harness, and often this has to do with their aversion to having the harness put on. Here is a good video by Chirag Patel showing how to teach a dog how to put its harness on.

Check out “The Best Front Clip Dog Harnesses” from Whole Dog Journal.

Photo by José Guilherme Moretti Gomes on Unsplash

January is “Train Your Dog” Month

Cooperative Care — brushing, nail trims, wiping paws, bathing, giving medications, cleaning ears, brushing teeth, doing body checks, tick removal — all of these can be easily trained using positive reinforcement and giving your dog the time and choice to willingly cooperate with the task. Taking the time to train these behaviours, especially BEFORE you need them, is a boost to your relationship with your dog. And it reduces major stressors in your dog’s life.

The Facebook group Cooperative Care With Deb Jones is an excellent free resource. As well, Chirag Patel has some excellent videos on this, including The Bucket Game. Here is a great video showing how The Bucket Game is used to teach a dog to accept ear medication.

Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash

January is Train Your Dog Month

Teaching your dog to come when called (Recall) is an important skill and it needs to be proofed in a variety of contexts, levels of distraction, and locations. And it needs to be practiced frequently so your dog’s Recall remains a strong behaviour with a long history of positive reinforcement.

Here is a fun training video teaching a Recall. It does a very good job of breaking down the skill into small pieces and shows the progression of the dog’s skills in varying levels of distractions. NOTE: you do not need a clicker (as shown in the video); you can use a marker word like “Yes!” if you like. And you do not need to use the same word as the verbal cue.

Photo by Oscar Sutton on Unsplash

January is Train Your Dog Month

Does your dog know SIT? In a high distraction environment? When you are sitting in a chair? From a distance? Without any body language cues from you?

Here is one of my favourite instructional videos for teaching a dog to SIT on cue. The instructor includes some important points about fading the lure and establishing a verbal cue. It’s a great review, even if your dog already knows how to SIT on cue.

photo credit Taylor Kopel on UnSplash

January is “Train Your Dog” Month

With just 5 minutes of training a day, teach your dog to relax and settle when people come to the door or when guests visit your home

Now is the time to start training to help ensure your dog is better-behaved and better able to relax when people come to the door or guests come over.

What you will need:

A blanket/mat/towel to serve as your dog’s “place.” A dog bed or crate will work, too, but if you use an easily portable mat/blanket/towel, then it can be used in many locations and you can easily take it with you to other locations outside the home (yard, park, a friend’s home, an outdoor cafe, etc.).

Small bits of food your dog likes. The food should be valuable enough that your dog will want to train, but not so valuable that your dog is too excited to relax. Using a portion of your dog’s regular meal may be ideal.

A non-toxic hollow food dispensing toy or a bully stick that will occupy your dog for 5 minutes (for teaching the beginning of SETTLE).

Contact me if you would like to participate privately, with or without online personalized instruction. I’ll email you 12 sets of instructions, each with a 5 minute training session to help your dog settle and greet guests politely and calmly.

Photo by Taylor Kopel on Unsplash