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Cyber Rally Club -- Come join the fun!
Happy Housebreaking!
Things to Keep in Mind with a Leash-Reactive Dog
Training in Hot Weather
The Formality of Training

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Cyber Rally Club -- Come join the fun!

K-9 Prodigy Cyber Rally Club was started earlier this summer to provide both current and former clients a fun, free extra-curricular training activity. It’s also intended to bridge the gap between private training, where the distraction level is specifically tailored to each dogs needs, and group training, which features its own distractions (mainly via lots of other dogs and handlers.) Now you can have both!
 
Cyber Rally is a dog obedience sport that’s video-based; generally you download courses from the official website, video you and your dog working through them, and then submit the videos for qualifications, titles and ribbons!

Happy Housebreaking!

When you bring your new puppy home, right off the bat you get started in housebreaking! Housebreaking a puppy seems so mysterious to so many, but it’s really not. It’s really just establishing a habit of going to the bathroom outside, and not going to the bathroom inside. I’ve housebroken many puppies and they’ve all been very reliable and you can do it too! Here are some hints:
 
1) Don’t give your puppy free reign of the house right away. Free reign of the house is for dogs who are housebroken.

Things to Keep in Mind with a Leash-Reactive Dog

Living with a leash-reactive dog isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Most leash-reactive dogs are at least moderately fearful of various things in the world – usually people or other dogs – and when they see one of these feared beings while out and about, they respond by putting on an aggressive display, usually barking, snarling and lunging to the end of the leash.
 
It can be embarrassing and scary and potentially dangerous, depending on how strong your dog is. A simple walk can turn into a major chore.

Training in Hot Weather

Training in the hot weather – no one likes to do it! I’ve always wondered what people who live in constantly hot locations – Arizona, Las Vegas etc – do about the hot weather when there’s dogs to be trained. Does everyone just rent air conditioned training buildings?
 
Luckily, Oregon is really only truly hot for a few weeks out of the year. Here’s some of the ways I’ve found to cope:
 
Train early! It really, really, really is worth it to get up an extra five or ten minutes early and do a very short training session, especially if you’re working on something that’s high energy like recalls or jumping.

The Formality of Training

When many dog owners view highly-trained dogs, especially dogs competing in the obedience ring,  they see a picture of strict formality. The handler stands straight as an arrow and verbal commands are often brisk and firm. There is no talking to the dog during a training exercise and only limited praise afterwards. The dogs are not performing for rewards; the handlers are not carrying rewards. Everything is as tight and polished as a military drill.
 
I think this gives people the idea that in order to get their dogs to look like those highly-trained ones, they should look and act just like the handlers in the ring.

The Non-Compliant Dog

Before determining that your dog is truly non-compliant, make sure of the following:
 
Is your dog in any pain or is it feeling unwell? Often the first signs of illness will be non-compliant behavior. Years ago I was called out to work with a dog who was causing some trouble in the yard. He was digging in the flower beds and then refusing to move out of them. This sounded bad, but when I went to see, the dog was obese (like, morbidly obese.) The yard was out in full sun and the dog would drag himself, panting, to the only shady cool spot (the flowerbed.

How big should your dogs world be?

I always pick up great new methods and techniques whenever I attend a training conference or seminar; sometimes I also pick up good concepts or “themes” for training. At this most recent seminar I attended about working with fearful, aggressive or reactive dogs, a discussion popped up about how “small” a dog needed its world to be on any particular day or any particular time, and it was great so I thought I’d share it with you!

Many fearful, anxious, reactive, aggressive or stressed dogs simply can not cope with too much at one time.

Secret Training Weapon: History of Reinforcement


Many dog owners search and search for the correct tone of voice, hand signal, or word to get their dogs to do what they want. If there was just a magic “tone” that would get the dog to come when called, for example! People will try a friendly tone, a calm tone, a warning tone, a growly tone. Maybe a new tone works once or twice, but then it stops working, and the owner is back on the search for yet another tone. Or hand signal. Or body language and posture. Or whatever.

Now, tone and body language and hand signals and cues definitely all figure in to your dog’s obedience, but not in the “magic” way that many people think!

How E-Collars Work

Some people swear by electronic collars (also called “e collars,” “stim collars,” or “shock collars”),  and some would never even consider putting one on their dog. Recently several countries in Europe have begun banning them; the Humane Society of the United States and the American Veterinary Association have officially recommended against them, and the number of both professional trainers and pet dog owners who use them is greatly reduced.
 
So how do they work? And what makes some people such believers in them?

The Beauty (and necessity) of Maintenance Training

Once your dog has received basic training, great! You have put a lot of time into training your dog. He’s functioning at a high level. You’re having a great time taking him out and about and doing all kinds of fun things together. Your friends and neighbors are jealous. Everything looks great.
 
As the months go by, however, there’s a little slip here and a little blip there. Your dogs once good leash-walking skills are now “usually” good leash-walking, but sometimes he pulls towards things he really wants.
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