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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What you Need to Know about Training Equipment

What you Need to Know about Training Equipment

Welcome! One of the most common questions that many people have about the training process is the best type of equipment to be used.

This is certainly understandable as a major component in successful training is the equipment that you use. There are many types of collars, leashes, muzzles, and crates. Use the information below to help you gain an understanding of their uses, then determine the type that you think will be most beneficial and comfortable for your dog.

Collars

There are a variety of different collars available. Choose the one that is most appropriate for your dog and his needs.

Flat or Buckle Collar

This type of collar is fit around the dog's neck. These are available in a variety of materials such as nylon, leather, and cloth.

This collar is good for basic restraint for dogs that do not pull forcefully on a leash when walking. If he pulls too hard on the leash, he will choke or gag against the force of the collar. If you need to train your dog not to pull on a leach, this is probably not your best collar.

Halter or Head Collar

This type of collar is fitted on the dog's muzzle and neck. It basically serves the same purpose as a halter on a horse, meaning when his head goes in one direction, his body will follow in the same direction.

The head collar does not use very much force so there is very little pain for the dog, yet there is a maximum amount of control so the dog will move in the direction you want him to.

A head collar can be somewhat uncomfortable for a dog to wear. Some dogs don't accept a head collar, even when he has been wearing it for several weeks. For example, they may stand still and refuse movement, or they may try to remove it with their paws or other objects.

Martingale

This is a slip collar that looks like a typical collar yet it can only be tightened to a certain point. This way, the dog will be comfortable, but it will also give the owner a fair amount of control. This is a very easy collar to fit. It can either be slid over the dog's head, or it can snap around the dog's neck.

An advantage to a Martingale collar is that it can not be easily removed from the dog's neck-even if he is pulling backwards. It has a restricted range of tightness that prevents the dog from choking. However, the Martingale does not work effectively if the dog is a consistent puller.

Choke Collar

A choke collar is a training collar that should only be used for extreme cases of aggressive training. This collar tightens around the dog's neck when it is jerked. The tension is released when you let up. A choke collar can be very dangerous if it is not used properly. If you choose to use this type of collar in training, it is essential that you know how to use it and that you use it with the utmost care. If you don't, you could traumatize and hurt your dog.

Harnesses

A harness is a device that wraps to the dog's body, with the leash attached at the top of the dog's back at the shoulder blades. This is different than a collar because a collar only controls a dog at the neck or head. A harness distributes the dog's pulling force evenly across his chest and shoulders, which can actually allow the dog to pull even harder.

There are several styles of harnesses to choose from, so pick the one that is most comfortable to the dog. The regular harnesses are usually pain-free for the dog and are useful for dogs that have had previous neck injuries.

Hopefully this has provided you with some of the information that you need to understand the equipment that can be used in the training process. Through good quality dog training resources, you will be able to gain the information you need to make the training process much easier for both you and your dog.

Sharda Baker

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios. Click here for more dog training help and advice.

Nipping Chewing in the Bud

Nipping Chewing in the Bud

Welcome to this issue in our newsletter! We will be discussing the problem of chewing in this issue and looking at different ways that it can be overcome!

Chewing

It is very common for puppies to chew when they are teething. The act of chewing helps their teeth break through the gums. Older dogs, generally chew if they are bored or anxious.

If a dog is bored, it is because he has built up so much energy, but has run out of ways to exert it. So he finds something interesting to chew.

The only problem is, is that he doesn't know what is permissible to chew unless you have taught him. So the sooner you teach him, the less likely he will chew your household items.

A dog may also chew if he has been left alone and not within the comfort of his own crate. This is known as a "spite chewer." He is upset that you have left him so he will start chewing as soon as you leave.

By keeping your dog in a crate when you leave your house, you are not "punishing" him, rather you are keeping him in a safe and comfortable environment. You can place lots of fun chew toys in the crate to keep him occupied while you are away. If you don't keep him in a crate while you are gone and instead let him roam about, he will help himself to chew on anything he wants!

When you return home to find that your dog is in the act of chewing something he shouldn't be, give a sharp "no," but do not yell. Take the object away and ignore him for five to ten minutes. If you start to play with him or feed him, he will think he is being rewarded for the chewing.

If you don't catch your dog in the act of chewing, don't scold your dog, but instead ignore him. Some trainers recommend that you pick up the destroyed object and look at it angrily. However, you don't want your dog to misinterpret that as you are upset with him (even though you are!)

Prevent Chewing

There are some proactive steps you can take to help eliminate the act of chewing. These steps can be used by puppies and adult dogs.

  • Puppy-proof - As you learned earlier in this E-book, you need to puppy-proof your home. Even if your dog is older, you still need to take precautions to make potentially-destructive objects out of your dog's reach.
  • Provide Toys - Make sure your dog has a plentiful selection of chew toys available to him at all times.
  • Provide Sound - Instead of turning off the television or radio when you leave the house, turn them on. The extra background noise will help your dog feel more at ease.
  • Increase Exercise - Providing your dog with frequent exercise will help him burn off excess energy that he could otherwise use towards items in your home.

Correct Chewing

It is your responsibility to initiate training to correct your dog's chewing problem. Practice this training by placing some inappropriate objects on the floor, such as a book, a shoe, etc.

As he approaches the inappropriate object, give the "leave it" command. Take the object away and replace it with a chew toy or bone. Once the dog starts chewing the chew toy or bone, praise him.

Practice this training exercise several times a day with many different inappropriate objects.

That's a wrap for this issue of our newsletter. Remember that if chewing or other behavior issues continue to be a problem, you can always learn more from good quality dog training resources.

Until next time, best of luck to you and your dog!

Sharda Baker

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios. Click here for more dog training help and advice.

Jumping-What you Need to Know to Stop it

Jumping-What you Need to Know to Stop it

Welcome! Is your dog a jumper? If so, you are definitely not alone. Many dogs are prone to jumping and it can create big issues. If your dog is a jumper, read on for details to find out how you can discourage it and put a stop to it.

If your dog is a jumper, one thing that should be understood about dogs is that many, if not most, of them are naturally prone to jumping. It is part of their nature and it is one of the most common ways that they demonstrate excitement.

It can be quite cute when your dog is a puppy and he jumps on you when you return home from work. It is a completely different story when your dog is much bigger, particularly if he is a larger breed of dog.

Keep in mind that if you do not wish your dog to jump on others you must not allow him to jump on you either. Your dog has no way of being able to discern the difference. If you allow your dog to jump on you, then it should not really come as any surprise when he jumps on the next guest that walks through the door. The best way to curb this type of behavior is to simply not allow your dog to jump on anyone; yourself included.

Whether you have a puppy that you wish to train not to jump or it is an older dog that is already in the habit of jumping, it is important to understand that this habit can be broken. For that is exactly what it is; a bad habit. Just like with humans, it can take some time for dogs to break a bad habit. In fact, you may find it helpful to replace your dog's bad habit of jumping with something else that is positive, such as sitting and waiting for attention or praise.

Teaching your dog not to jump will take some time, so you must make sure that you exercise patience when training your dog. Do not allow yourself to lose your temper. Work with him consistently and you will begin to see results.

When trying to teach your dog not to jump on people, keep in mind that the best thing you can do it to pre-empt the behavior. Pay attention and be aware of your dog's behavior so that you will know whether he is about to jump on you or someone else. If you see that your dog is about to jump on you, raise your knee and tell your dog 'off.' When you raise your knee it will automatically make it more difficult for your dog to jump on you and he will begin to understand that he is not to do this.

In order for this technique to be effective, you must make sure that you do it before he actually jumps on you. If you wait until he has already jumped on you to raise your kneed then your dog could be hurt and that, of course, should always be avoided.

Keep in mind that dogs do not understand that they can jump sometimes and not at others. You must be consistent with your dog. He is not able to discern that it is okay to jump on you when you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but not while you are wearing business clothes. Therefore, in order to avoid confusing your dog, it is simply best to make sure that you do not ever allow your dog to jump on you or anyone else.

Always make sure that you provide plenty of praise when your dog does as you command and does not jump in order to continue maintaining the appropriate behavior.

Like any other problem behavior, you can teach your dog not to jump through consistent, dedicated practice. Good quality dog training resources can also help you through the process of teaching your dog not to jump. Until next time, all the best to you and your dog.

Check out the link below for more details about good quality dog training resources.

Sharda Baker

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios. Click here for more dog training help and advice.

Housetraining-The Good, the Bag and the Ugly

Housetraining-The Good, the Bag and the Ugly

Welcome! In this issue we are going to discuss one of the most difficult aspects of welcoming a new dog into your family-housetraining! While housetraining is often an issue with puppies, it can also be a problem with older dogs at times as well.

One of the very first training exercises you will want to work on with a new puppy or an adult dog moving into your home is-housetraining! Housetraining is indeed a real test of your patience, but it is one of the first opportunities that you and your puppy will have to bond.

Housetraining is a lot of hard work, but it is necessary. You will need to have a lot of patience-and maybe even a sense of humor-as you train your dog. But don't worry, after all of your hard work, you will have a dog that is housetrained!

When it comes to housetraining, every dog succeeds at a different rate. It takes some dogs only a few weeks to learn, where it may take other dogs several months.

Here is perhaps the most important thing to know about housetraining: The rate at which the puppy succeeds is determined by the amount of consistent training that you as the owner give him. Good quality dog training resources can help you to make this process much easier.

You should begin housetraining your puppy as soon as he arrives home, which is generally around 7 or 8 weeks. It is important to understand that he does not have full sphincter muscle control, so puppies are not able to hold their bladder and bowel movements for very long periods of time.

Training the Older Dog

If you are bringing an older dog into your home that has not yet been housetrained, it may be more of a challenge. Older dogs already have developed their habits, so it will take time to retrain him. However, it can be done!

All of the lessons below can be applied to both the younger and older dog. It may just take longer with the older dog, so be patient.

Additionally, older dogs eliminate fewer times than puppies throughout the day, so you have fewer opportunities in the day to train him.

Things to Know about Housetraining

Before you begin housetraining with your dog, there are some basics that you should know. Including:

Where Dogs Won't Eliminate

Dogs develop natural preferences for where they want to eliminate. For example, dogs usually don't want to eliminate where they eat, sleep, and spend their time.

You may be wondering "So why does my dog eliminate on the rug?" The reason is probably because he was expected to "hold it" too long and wasn't let outside. Or, he may have gotten overly excited about something.

Physical Capacity to "Hold It"

Young puppies will need to eliminate every one to two hours during the day when they are active. If your pup has been eating, drinking, playing, or exercising a lot, he may need to go even more. They may or may not be able to hold it throughout the night. Generally, the younger the puppy is, the less he can hold it.

Older dogs that are healthy have the ability to hold it for six to eight hours during the day and eight to ten hours over night.

Then, once you see a pattern, let him out 10-15 minutes before that scheduled time. Of course, he may need to go out more if he has been eating, drinking, playing, or exercising more frequently.

If the situation arises when you need to leave your dog for a longer period than which he can hold it, don't keep him in his crate. Rather, put him in a small room such as a laundry room or bathroom where he can eliminate in an area on newspaper if he needs to, and still keep his sleeping and food area separate.

This is the conclusion to this issue of our newsletter, but make sure you watch for our next issue because we will be discussing more critical elements involved in dog training. You can also find more information in the resource box below.

All the best until next time!

Sharda Baker

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios. Click here for more dog training help and advice.

Handling Aggressive Dogs

Handling Aggressive Dogs

Welcome! In this issue of our newsletter we are going to explore some of the issues that are related to handling aggressive dogs. While it would certainly be hoped that your puppy or adult dog would be quite compliant and well-behaved, the simple fact of the matter is that some dogs have a tendency to be rather aggressive. Read on to find out more!

There are some instances where a dog may be even more aggressive than the type of dog that we discussed in the previous chapter. The more aggressive dog will go beyond nipping and light biting and will exhibit behavior such as attempting to really bite humans and may even be aggressive with other dogs in public as well.

When handling aggressive dogs, it is important to make sure that you first avoid any triggers that would seem to set off your dog. This is part of the importance of getting to know your dog so that you will understand what might trigger your dog to display an act of aggression.

Behavior that is inappropriate is usually learned. The longer this type of behavior is allowed to continue the more difficult it will be to change. The importance of aborting this type of behavior as soon as it is recognized cannot be overemphasized. While it will take longer to teach an adult dog that this type of behavior will not be tolerated, it can be done. The key is to become committed to working with your dog and sticking with it. Good quality dog training resources can be critical in helping you and your dog work through these types of issues.

One of the most important things you must do when working with an aggressive do is to teach him to defer to you. Your dog must absolutely learn to defer to you in everything that he does. Before your dog is allowed to do anything, whether it is go in or out, eat, play or anything else, your dog must learn that he must defer to you. Whether your dog is an adult or a puppy, this is absolutely critical. Although it may take longer, no dog is too old to learn this principle. This will provide you and your dog the opportunity to have a closer, more trusting relationship and also help you to control your dog as well.

Beginning immediately, your dog must learn that he will need to earn everything that he wants. The way he does this is by deferring to you. When you are working to teach your dog to defer to you, you will need to work with him consistently on a daily basis. As we discussed earlier, your dog has a short attention span, so you do not want to overdo training. Limit your training session to about fifteen or twenty minutes; once or twice per day.

In addition, make sure that you do not hit your dog or scream at him when you are working with him. This is completely unacceptable and will not accomplish anything other than to make your dog fear you and that can actually make aggression much worse.

Before you can actually teach your dog to defer to you, he must know how to sit and stay. Therefore, if he does not already know these commands, you will need to invest some time in teaching him the sit and stay commands.

In our next issue we will continue to look at some of the most important issues related to dog training. You can find out additional information about dog training issues and solutions below. Until next time, all the best!

Sharda Baker

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios. Click here for more dog training help and advice.

Down and Off Commands

The Difference between the Down and Off Commands

Learning commands can be an excellent way for your dog to behave better and have a more enjoyable interaction with you and your family. While commands can be beneficial, many people have a tendency to confuse two particular commands. Those commands are 'down' and 'off.' Learning to use these commands appropriately can make a big difference in how well your dog responds in certain situations.

The Down Command

Now that your dog knows the "sit" command, the down command will be a snap! Start by luring your dog into the "sit" position. Hold a treat in your right hand between your thumb and index finger, with your palm facing down towards the floor. Your hand will be in front of your dog's nose.

Lower your hand slowly to the floor behind your dog's right paw and then back towards his buttocks. When you lower the food on at an angle to the floor, keep it close to your dog's body. Your dog will follow the lure and he will lie down on his hip. (This is called a "relaxed down" which is a safe and stable position for the dog's body.)

Once he is lowered all the way to the floor, give him the treat. Repeat this several times until you are confident that he will go down every time.

Once he does, start adding his name and the command, such as "Rover down." Once he is lying down, reward him with the treat and give him words of praise such as "Yes, Rover, good boy!"

Repeat this exercise several times at different locations throughout the house and in the backyard. Make sure there are plenty of distractions around so you can work on his concentration too.

Once he has mastered the "down" command, put him on the leash and practice it while walking for the best benefits.

The "Off" Command

The "off" command differs from the "down" command in that you use "off" when you want your dog to get off of a person or piece of furniture. Be sure to keep this in mind when you are trying to determine which command is best in certain situations.

This command is especially useful for when you or visitors walk through the front door. Your dog may get so excited that he stands on his two hind legs, with his two front legs up on you or the visitor.

To practice this command, have a treat in your right hand and hold it up high and close to your body. Your dog will try to reach up for it, so move your right arm with the treat to the right and down.

When your dog has all four legs on the ground, verbally praise him and give him the treat. Once you are confident that he will get down every time, start saying "Rover, off" right before he is down. Then praise him and give him a treat to encourage correct behavior.

Repeat this exercise several times at different locations throughout the house, especially at all of the doors, where this behavior will most likely happen.

Keep in mind that using the down and off commands appropriately and in the right circumstances can make a big difference in how your dog responds. Need help with applying the down and off commands? Good quality dog training resources can make the process much easier.

Sharda Baker

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios. Click here for more dog training help and advice.

Coping with Separation Anxiety

Coping with Separation Anxiety

Welcome! Do you have problems with your dog missing you too
much when you must be away due to work or other activities? It is actually not
that uncommon of a problem, although it can certainly be distressing for both
dogs as well as their owners.

This issue is known as separation anxiety and there are ways to effectively cope
with it and make it easier for your dog to deal with those times when you must
be away.

Signs of Separation Anxiety

There are many signs of separation anxiety including:
barking, chewing, defecating, digging, excessive salivating, scratching, and
urinating. Chewing, digging, and scratching are signs of your dog trying to
"escape." Barking, defecating, excessive salivating, and urinating are signs of
anxiety and fear.

Causes of Separation Anxiety

Such causes of separation anxiety include genetics, lack of
socialization, lack of training, lack of confidence, mistreatment by a previous
owner, extensive confinement, and too much bonding with the owner. As you can
see, most of these are the owner's responsibility.




Treatment of Separation Anxiety

There are things that you can do to prevent separation
anxiety. When you put your dog in his crate, don't have a long, emotional
good-bye. Simply, walk away. It is even a good idea to ignore your dog 5 minutes
before you leave. If you draw attention to your departure, your dog will worry
when the love and emotion is suddenly stopped.

Also try and teach your dog not to associate certain behaviors of yours with
your leaving the house and being away for hours. Dogs, as we have learnt in
Chapter 1 are good at associating certain actions with certain outcomes. You may
have noticed for example that as dress for work, or pick up your car keys, your
dogs begins to get anxious.

Try changing your dog's negative associations to your behaviors to positive
ones.

For example, on a weekend, dress for work, pick up the car keys and go outside
for a few minutes only, then come back inside and give your dog a treat. You dog
will eventually begin to associate you getting ready for work as a positive
association rather than a negative one.

Make sure you have plenty of treats and toys in your dog's crate to keep him
entertained while you are away. If your dog always knows that he'll have treats
when you leave, it won't be as traumatic for him.

Before you leave, turn on a radio or television so your dog has some noise. A
talk station is more effective than music, because the sound of human voices
could comfort him. You could even tape your own voice.

When you return home, don't give your dog any emotion or attention when you let
him out of his crate. This will reinforce that being outside of the crate is
better than being inside the crate. Let him outside to eliminate immediately.

In extreme causes a calmative type medication may be prescribed for you dog by
your Vet.

Separation anxiety is something that should improve over time. However, if it
does not, or if your dog shows signs of extreme aggression when he is let out,
seek a professional trainer and/or see you Vet for further assistance.

When you pay close attention to your dog's behavior, you are better able to
identify his bad behaviors and correct them through training exercises. Your dog
wants your attention and love, so when use this to your advantage when you are
training. Keep in mind that good quality dog training resources can help with
this issue.

Sharda Baker

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios.
Click here for more dog training help and advice.

Benefits of Dog Training

Dog Days-How Training Benefits Both Pet Owners And Pets

Welcome! Whether you are a new pet owner or you have had a pet in your home for some time, you know how delightful, and frustrating, owning a pet can be.

The joy of bringing a new puppy or dog into your household can be insurmountable. After all, there is no relationship quite like the one that is developed between you and your dog.

A dog can provide unconditional love, hours of entertainment, and genuine friendship. Or, a dog can provide unconditional messes, hours of destruction, and a genuine nuisance!

How do you ensure that your dog behaves in the manner of the first scenario described above? If you are thinking that the answer is "breed" you are partially correct. Indeed, breed does play a role in a dog's behavior. But an even greater factor in the dog's behavior is based on the training he receives. Good dog training resources can go a long way toward helping.

The Benefits of Training

If you are like most people, you are extremely busy. Some days, there just doesn't seem like enough hours to take care of yourself, let alone a dog! But, the time that you spend training your dog will reward you and your relationship for many, many years to come.

There are five main benefits of training:

  1. It builds a relationship.
  2. It corrects behavioral problems.
  3. It stimulates intellect.
  4. It encourages inclusion.
  5. It saves time.
Let's explore each benefit in further detail.
  1. Training Builds a Relationship.

    There is no better way to create a bond with your dog than through the process of training. You may think that training begins at the time you decide to try new tricks, but it actually begins at the very moment you acquire your dog.

    Your dog is constantly watching you and learning from your actions. He learns from the way you react to his actions. He looks to you for guidance, for food, for warmth, for comfort, and for playtime.
  2. Training Corrects Behavioral Problems.

    Barking at anyone who passes by the front window, chewing up your favorite pillows, digging through your freshly planted garden, bolting out of an open door...do any of these actions look familiar to you?

    When you have developed a trusting bond with your dog, you can teach him how to correct these behavioral problems. He will learn by your reactions whether or not his actions are acceptable to you. No doubt, he will test his limits!
  3. Training Stimulates Intellect.

    Yes, it is true that dogs are very curious creatures. With exposure to so many unusual smells, sights, and sounds, dogs can't help but want to explore. It's in their nature!

    Most dogs have the capacity to be very intelligent. But, they need to be stimulated first, and then they will be motivated to learn. Training is a huge benefit for stimulating your dog's intellect.

  4. Training Encourages Inclusion.

    The sense of "inclusion" is very important to a dog's security. From the earliest days of being a part of a litter, your dog feels comfortable being a part of the pack. That includes the pack of your household.

    You may be the primary dog trainer, but everyone in your family or household should take the time to train your dog. When he receives this undivided attention from everyone, he feels like part of the pack.

  5. Training Saves Time.

    Another huge benefit of training your dog is that it saves you time. Taking the time to train your dog now, will actually save you time in the long run. For example, if you take the time to train your dog to behave properly inside the house, you will actually be saving time cleaning up mischievous messes that he could create in the future-if he didn't have the training.

Sharda Baker

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios. Click here for more dog training help and advice.