Trust

If you don’t have your dog’s trust, you have few options other than force to get what you want.

Let’s take nail trimming for an example. Few dogs like to have their nails trimmed. When they pull their paw away from you or try to bite your hands during nail trimming they are saying “ Don’t you do it!” and you go ahead and do it any ways. They don’t trust you not to hurt them. Read More...

Nothing is free:How to use positive reinforcement with your canine

In our every day life with our dogs we have a tendency to give them almost everything they want when they ask, because we love them.

In a very short time the dog comes to believe we are their slaves put here to do their bidding. And as with most slave/master relationships when the slave asks the master to do something and the master doesn’t want to do it, there is little the slave can do to inspire the master to comply. So to with the dog, if he feels the person is subordinate to him and that person asks for a behavior there is little to inspire the dog to do it unless he wants to. Getting angry and using force to get the dog to comply will damage the relationship or cause the dog to become defensive and attack. There is a better way to gain control of the situation and cause your dog to see you as a valued part of his life, happy to respond to your first request.
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Targeting

“What is the purpose in teaching the dog to target?”

I was asked this question the other day and it really got me thinking about the value of targeting.
Targeting has so many applications I know I’ll never think of them all.  Let me start with what I feel is the most important use of targeting.
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Training you puppy to not jump

“Why does my dog keep jumping on me?”

When a dog jumps on someone while greeting them they are trying to get closer to the person’s face, making the greeting more personal. A dog that jumps isn’t being “bad," he’s behaving in the only way he knows how. It is our responsibility to teach the dog what is appropriate in a well thought out, systematic way and that is clear to the dog what the correct response is.
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Are you a psyco-human to your dog?

“He knows, look how guilty he’s acting.” “ He peed/pooped on the floor, chewed the couch or ruined my best shoes because he’s mad at me for leaving him.”

What looks like guilt to us is actually an act of submission by the dog. A dog can be made to look “guilty” by leaning over them and using a stern voice or just standing still and looking upset. Dogs are not capable of acts of revenge or “pay backs”. When a dog becomes destructive or fouls the house when you are gone, more than likely it’s due to the stress of being alone.
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Puppy biting

All puppies love to play, wrestle and bite. Unfortunately when they bite us it hurts!! Instead of punishing your puppy, management and positive reinforcement are key.

 
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    Understanding your dog's behavior

    As far as the dog is concerned, behavior is behavior, only humans label behavior as good or bad.

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