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
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!
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:
give your puppy free reign of the house right away. Free reign of the
house is for dogs who are housebroken.
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 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Many fearful, anxious, reactive, aggressive or stressed dogs simply
can not cope with too much at one time.
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
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?
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.