volunteers can improve the "curb appeal" of these dogs
Depending on who you talk to, “hunting dog” means very different things. The only thing in common may very well be that the human end of the leash historically toted a gun in pursuit of some type of “game.” The game in question was not after-dinner parlor entertainment, but the entree on your dinner table. That might be pheasant, duck, or squirrel. Through hundreds of years, the real-life pursuit of food for one’s family has morphed into a competitive sport for people who rely upon Safeway to meet their nutritional needs.
When I was a kid, nobody talked about “socializing” their dogs, and most of the dogs we knew were just fine with kids. What’s the big deal? At risk of sounding old, when I was a kid, it was a different world. The only dogs I knew who weren’t free to run around my rural neighborhood were either hunting dogs or watchdogs; kids knew not to fool around with any of those dogs. And all the ones running loose in the neighborhood were extremely “good with kids.” That’s because they were constantly exposed to kids! I want my dog to be as rock-solid with kids – and every other type of person – as he is at resisting the urge to chase cats. So we’re going to have to practice.
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.
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.
and calls him to us for a pet or a treat. He's learned that coming straight to us is consistently rewarding
or threatening his general well-being if he made the wrong move. It wasn't fear of punishment or fear of me or some sort of amorphous "respect" that he had for me
and then it means leash jerk! The dog's not learning to walk close to me because he wants to, he's learning to walk close to me because he fears what's going to happen to him if he doesn't. I have to say this was a long, long, time ago. I thought, This is bizarre
Why should training be fun for the dog? Briefest possible answer? “It’s the law.” How animals learn is the most-studied phenomenon in the history of psychology and is up there with gravity in terms of its lawfulness. One of the big ticket principles is that anything one tries to teach a new learner (such as a beginner dog) will get stronger in direct proportion to how many times it is rewarded. And (of perhaps even greater interest) every time the new learner does the behavior and is not rewarded (as in, say, “drilling” the same behavior over and over again) the behavior gets weaker. (Not just “doesn’t get stronger” – gets weaker.) In other words, it’s better to do nothing at all than to drill without rewards.
Dogs are one of the rare species of animals who play throughout their lifetimes; perhaps it's one of the reasons we have such strong bonds with dogs, because we too play as grown ups. Humans and canines appear to be what scientists call neotenous": as adults
you'll find that your training really slows down . . . and it's easy to blame the dog for this