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Training

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.
Dog on leash

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!

Best Types of Crates for Dog Training

Whole Dog Journal has written a lot in the past about the usefulness of having a comfortable crate your dog calls home. Crates are a convenient way to keep your dog out of harm's way, out of your way, and away from guests when necessary. A crate is regarded as the safest way to transport dogs in the car, and if you ever fly with your dog, you're going to need a crate for that too.

Feeling Alone in Group Training Class

Group training classes are a mixed bag of pros and cons. And I say this as someone who has made a fair amount of my annual income by teaching group training classes. I also attend group classes with my own dog. By design, the ideal candidate" for a positive-reinforcement group manners class is the generally happy-go-lucky

Training Tips from the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

When dogs fail to correctly perform cued behaviors in new settings, or in the face of distractions, they aren't being stubborn, willful, or dominant, as many people believe. Rather, they are struggling to meet the demands placed upon them in that moment. In order for a dog to truly know a behavior – for it to become fluent – we must invest the time to train for the many types of situations we are likely to encounter with our dogs.

Teach Your Dog to Choose Things

Our dogs have very little opportunity for choice in their lives in today's world. We tell them when to eat, when to play, when...

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