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How to Potty Train A Dog

Preventing your dog from pottying in the wrong place is the first and most important housetraining task. Since most of us cannot keep our eyes on our dogs every minute, having a safe, comfortable confinement area is key to housetraining success. Most dogs naturally avoid going potty in their sleeping areas, so confining your dog in a small enough area that is more bed-like than room-like not only prevents unwanted accidents but also will help him develop bowel and bladder control.

Tips on Introducing a New Dog

Be sure to reinforce both/all dogs for calm, appropriate behavior in each other's presence. Your reinforcers should be calming: treats, massage, and verbal praise are good choices; tug and fetch are not. You can use tethers, if necessary, to create calm, and follow Norwegian dog trainer Turid Rugaas' suggestions to have dogs approach each other in a curving line rather than directly, allowing them to sniff the ground and do other displacement and appeasement behaviors such as looking away, as they choose.

How to Teach A Dog to “Leave It”

There are many times in your dog's life when she needs to be able to control her impulse to engage in a behavior. Last month, we discussed Wait" and "Stay" – but impulse control goes far beyond these "don't move" cues. "Leave it" is another impulse-control behavior that is very useful for your dog to know. The cue means

Shaping Your Dog’s “Sit”

Shaping – taking a desired behavior, breaking it into small steps, and reinforcing the steps until you build the final behavior – has become a standard dog training tool, especially in the force-free world. Those who are familiar with shaping regard it as invaluable for teaching and refining behaviors. If you don't yet have experience with shaping, try this exercise with your dog. It will help you realize how subtly and precisely you can influence the movement of virtually any part of your dog's body.

How to Teach Your Dog Object Names

but don't respond if he targets the new item. Give the cue for the first item and click/reward when he targets the first item.üAnother item has been introduced

The Marvelous Mutts

At a performance by The Marvelous Mutts, as the name suggests, you won't see any pedigreed dogs, but you will definitely witness focused owners and competitive dogs! Looking at a photographic gallery of The Marvelous Mutts, one could easily be confused with having found the listing for a rescue promoting their mixed-breed adoption candidates. Instead, it's an inspiring model, both for what rescue dogs can do and what highly motivated dog owners can do for shelter and rescue dogs.

Clicker Training 101

If you use a clicker as your marker, you would create this association initially by clicking the clicker and then immediately feeding the dog a treat. You repeat this a number of times – click, treat; click, treat; click, treat – until your dog's eyes light up when she hears the click and she looks for the treat. We sometimes refer to this process as charging" the clicker; we've given the click significance

Your Dog’s Behavior: When to Manage, When to Train

How do I stop my dog from stealing food? How do I get my dog to stop drinking toilet water? Why does my dog run off all the time? These are just a few of the countless things dogs do that make their guardians run to professional trainers for help. The reality of dog behavior modification is that often the solution to a dog's bad habit is not through training the dog, but through carefully managing every opportunity the dog has to practice unwanted behaviors.

The Emotional Lives of Dogs

Traditionally, dog trainers have spent little or no energy considering a dog's emotions when training or changing behavior; indeed, trainers or owners who did talk about emotions were often ridiculed and accused of anthropomorphizing. But when emotions are driving behavior, a dog cannot simply choose to stop doing the behavior without ramifications. The reality is that animals (including people) are quite often not rational actors. If that sounds counterintuitive to you and you believe that behavior is largely chosen rather than the result of emotional experiences, perhaps a few examples will help you understand.

Dog Collars or Harnesses: Which is Better?

You may see a lot more dogs on the street today wearing harnesses rather than having their leashes attached to collars. Are harnesses safer for dogs than collars? Should you abandon the your dog's traditional collar altogether? The fact is, there are many types of collars AND harnesses on the market, and some serve specific purposes. The front-clip harness, for example, is heralded as the best kind of restraint tool for a dog who pulls on the leash during walks. Head halters, on the other hand, should really only be used by professional dog handlers in specialty situations, like in show rings.

5 Essential Dog Training Supplies

You don't need to spend a lot of money on dog training supplies to be prepared to train your dog effectively. For most dogs, a well-fitted harness, comfortable flat-buckle collar, sturdy leash, and some tasty treats are all you will need to teach your dog to love training time! When dogs love their training, they learn behaviors quickly, and the best training never over-complicates things. Save your cash and time on fancy high-tech dog training gear and stick with Whole Dog Journal's 5 positive dog training gear essentials!

Latest Blog

What Happened to Odin’s Eye?

After months of weighing all options, I have finally agreed to have Odin's compromised eye removed. He is healing quiet nicely from the surgery, and seems to be enjoying not having to take medicine 12 times a day.