Beginner Dog Training

Debunking the “Alpha Dog” Theory

so he's trying it again.üIs this dog dominant or acting like an "alpha dog"? No; he's been trained to jump up and bite on cue."

The Importance of a Dog’s Name with Regards to Training

There's a new dog coming into your life who needs to learn her name. A puppy perhaps? Or maybe an adult rescue do-over" dog? You might even have a dog who's been with you for a while

Using Your Dog’s Bowl As a Training Tool

You may think feeding your dog is a simple matter of dumping food in his bowl and plopping it down on the floor in front of him. You may be wrong. Mealtime is fraught with significance for your dog, and loaded with opportunities for you to influence his health and his behavior. Failure to take advantage of these could actually contribute to the development and/or escalation of problems that might otherwise be averted. A few deliberate decisions and choices on your part can go far in creating harmony in your home.

Training Small Dog Breeds

There’s a reality show that airs on TLC called Little People, Big World that chronicles the daily lives of the Roloffs, an Oregon family made up of both small (both parents are under 4 feet tall) and average-sized people. The series tastefully portrays how every day activities and seemingly uneventful situations can affect the family members differently based on their size and how society views them. Most importantly, it successfully shows that size does matter, particularly in a society built for the average-sized person. I just wish there was a show, or at least an effective way to get that point across regarding small dogs. They and their owners have long been misjudged and misunderstood.

Best Dog Training Treats for Different Training Scenarios

Experiment with a wide variety of foods to find out what treats your dog loves most. If higher-value treats don't work, remove your dog to a less distracting environment, gradually increasing distractions as he's ready to handle them.

Training Your Newly Adopted Dog

I have had a number of dogs over the years, but Otto is actually the very first dog that I’ve gotten as a co-owner. A former boyfriend paid the $40 or $50 that a Bodega, California, sheep rancher wanted for my heart/soul dog, Rupert, way back in 1989, but the puppy was a birthday present for me; Rupe was always my dog. He stuck close by my side through the breakup of that relationship and the next few, too. When Brian (the man who later became my husband) came on the scene, he and Rupert formed a bond, but still, Rupe was mine. Later, a summer of dog-sitting my sister Sue’s long-haired Chihuahua, Mokie, turned into a several-year stay. Mokie has since gone on to live with my sister Pam, who won’t ever give him up; Brian was more than happy when I did so. He tolerated Mokie, but never fully embraced the idea of a yappy little house-dog, no matter how smart and cute. So, while Brian and I have shared a home since 1996, we have never truly shared full ownership of a dog, like we do now. I selected Otto from a shelter, but Brian was the one who gave the signal that it was time for us to get a dog. When Brian and I got married, I kept my own last name, but Brian wanted to be sure that Otto took his surname, and even made sure the dog’s full name (“Otto Maddock”) was engraved on his ID tag. And Brian has been a real champ about sharing dog-care duties with me.

Teaching Your Dog to “Leave It” On Cue

mark the desired behavior with the click of a clicker (or the word "Yes!") and feed him a different treat.üPractice "Leave it!" with everything your dog likes in real life: food

Training An Older Dog

You've no doubt heard the adage, You can't teach an old dog new tricks." If you have an older dog

The 5 Most Common Dog Training Mistakes

You'll never hear me say that coercive dog training methods don't work; they can. Nor will you ever hear me say that positive dog training turns every dog into a model canine citizen. It doesn't. There is a big difference, however, between positive and coercive training. When methods that rely on the use of force and application of pain fail, it's often because of the dog's inability to tolerate coercion and intimidation. This can result in serious long-term behavioral damage and sometimes physical injury.

Dog Training Using Positive Techniques

and who are appropriately reinforced for the ""right"" behavior

Dog Trainers Note How Men and Women May Train Differently

Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Dogs are from Neptune. A well-known trainer recently made a public comment about men’s inability to act silly with their dogs, to the detriment of their ability to use positive training methods effectively. Are we really three alien species, destined to live forever in a world of miscommunication and misinterpretation? Is one gender truly better suited to bridge the communication gap between the human and canine species?

Latest Blog

Straight talk for senior adopters

The older we get, the more we need a backup plan for our dogs, in the event of our deaths.