Those of us who love dogs tend to assume that everyone else in our circle of friends and family does, too. Sadly, that's not always the case. In fact, even those who do share our passion for canine companions don't always appreciate the over-enthusiastic attentions of a happy hound, especially when they are trying to enjoy the company of human friends in the comfort of a private home. Whether you are a visitor bringing your own beloved dog with you to someone else's house, or a host greeting friends at your own front door with your canine family members milling about your feet, here are some tips to help you make sure your dog/human visits go well.
give the cue
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.