Identifying and providing high-value rewards for good behavior is a crucial element to positive reinforcement – one of the four pillars of positive training. Often referred to as 'reward-based' training, the appropriate and timely delivery of a reward during training makes a dog more confident and able to manage successfully in a domestic environment. Importantly, Read More
Does your dog value you = Does your dog hate you? Big question, right? It’s at the root of so many of the struggles with dogs and relationships that we’ve come across. It’s the question we have to think about when there may be a recall problem, struggles with chase, lack of focus or even lack of self-control.
Our four legged companions have a much simpler value system based on the most basic aspects of life: food, water, shelter, territory, a mate. Then there are the secondary aspects: chasing things that move just because, following their nose because they can, shredding our belongings because it's fun, and on and on.
My eight-year old daughter loves school so much that when the last day of school arrived a couple of weeks ago, she and her friends were borderline devastated to face the fact that there would be no regular contact with each other and their beloved teachers for a few months. We knew from previous years Read More
Successful positive training relies in large part on determining exactly what motivates your dog the most. While each dog is different and some may be turned on by praise, play, toys, or life rewards like going for walk, very often food is that primary motivating force and can be a powerful tool for shaping new Read More
Do you want your dog to follow you because she wants to or because she’s scared of what will happen to her if she doesn’t? To most people, the answer to that question is clear. Positive training is the only way to develop a common language based on mutual trust, respect and love which guides Read More
It has been something of a thing recently in some corners of the dog training world to suggest that keeping an easily over-stimulated and/or reactive dog in his own home environment for a bit of time, along with enrichment toys, is a better idea than taking said dog out into the world to be walked. Read More
We can actually make our dog’s feel both calm and confident about their surroundings AND teach them a better way to cope when they do experience those emotions of overexcitement and overarousal.
“Should I send previous clients thank you cards?” “How often should I send them?” “What should I say in a thank you card?” I often hear these questions from new or even experience dog trainers. While they are well intentioned, we can and should strive to create better ways of showing our support than a thank you card every once in a while.
That 'training sessions must be huge, long and totally organised' way of thinking is what STOPS a lot of us training at times, so what can we do to clarify and simplify the whole training thing?
You may ask, “Why is that fact in a dog training blog?” Good question. Even better answer coming.
This is Part 1 of Bobbie Bhambree's agility series. Check out Part 2 here and Part 3 here. One of the main reasons I am an effective dog trainer and have strong mechanical skills when teaching and handling dogs is because of my many years as an student of agility. This dog performance sport takes the Read More
I have been an instructor for several years and I never really got the value of tug until I no longer had it with Tricky. Isn’t that always the case—you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone
I thought I knew how to train dogs. Then I adopted a Terrier/Chihuahua mix puppy and named her…..Tricky! People warned me when I named her Tricky, jokingly and affectionately telling me she would likely embody the name I gave her. They weren’t kidding.
In part one of this blog series, I introduced you to what a “Naughty But Nice” dog is and shared with you the first tip to training and living harmoniously with them! Now, the next tip - calmness!
The great R+ trainers see the fine details, so they see training opportunities in every problem. They are CREATIVE! The rest of us need to learn to do this too.
There is no quicker way to cause an internet fight than to ask a dog behavior question on a board comprised of regular dog parents. The responses will range from the absurd to the dangerous.
Recently, I was chatting with a friend whose dog Grace is a goofy, floppy lab mix. She’s well-behaved but goes bonkers when she sees other dogs in the park. It’s friendly but intense: She leaps and lunges and yips until she pulls her way to the other dog. “It’s the craziest thing,” Grace’s person told Read More
Lure-reward training is a highly effective way to teach your dog new behaviors. It is easy and fun for both dog and human, and dogs can learn new behaviors quite quickly with this training. This type of training simply involves using a food reward to guide the dog into the desired position or behavior. If Read More
There is a fierce debate raging in the dog training world between traditional dominance and punishment-based trainers and the positive training movement. Common Dog Training Myths: There is more than one way to train a dog. Positive training methods don’t work on 'red zone' dogs. Dogs only 'respect' leaders who assert their 'dominance.' Positive trainers Read More
Positive reinforcement in dog training can go by many names, most of which are valid and worthy: reward-based training, science-based training, force-free or pain-free training, etc. Regardless of the terminology, the general theory behind this line of thinking remains the same. So what exactly is positive reinforcement? If you give your dog a reward (praise, Read More
Rally Obedience (sometimes called 'Rally-O') is a new take on traditional obedience competitions. In both sports, dogs must perform heeling, sit, stay and recall. In traditional obedience competitions, these tasks are performed one at a time in a fairly predictable manner, and interaction between the handler and their dog other than quick succinct cues is Read More
Agility is a sport in which dogs manipulate obstacles and features while directed through a set course by their person. It teaches a dog to be athletic, confident and improves communication between dog and owner. Agility can be enjoyed as a back yard past time with your dog or as a competition event. Agility Training Read More
Dog sports are a great way to bond with your dog and give your canine companion exercise and mental stimulation. From the unbridled fun of dock diving to the quirkier but thrilling sport of skijoring, dog sports offer a fantastic opportunity to build and enhance the unique relationship we share with man's best friend in Read More
Trick training is a lot of fun and is a great way to enhance communication between you and your dog. From teaching your dog to 'wave' at you or give you a 'high five' to having the dog roll over on cue, the possibilities for dog tricks are almost endless. As with all training, though, Read More
Regardless of whether you have a new puppy or an older dog, it is never too late to start teaching your dog basic cues. From beginner cues like 'sit' and 'touch' to more advanced cues like 'stay' and 'heel' which require more impulse control, your dog should be taught using fun, force-free methods and every Read More
People used to think that dog training was only about teaching dogs obedience commands, usually through the use of heavy-handed punishment-based techniques. It was viewed as somewhat of a luxury for pet parents and was often wrongly considered to be something so straightforward and simple to achieve that anyone could do it on their own without Read More
For the majority of modern dog owners, choosing the right dog trainer is one of the most important decisions they will have to make regarding their dog. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult decisions to get right. Assuming you have already determined that you need the help of a trained professional Read More
To truly comprehend why food is so powerful, you must first understand the influence it has on the dog’s brain. Food has the power to not only enhance a dog’s ability to learn but also helps a dog overcome fear or anxiety by raising the levels of dopamine in the brain and stimulating the desire to seek or move towards the food reward.
Punitive training techniques that center on gaining control of your dog by dominating her into obeying can damage the human/animal bond and cause your dog to mistrust you and essentially switch off. You want to ‘matter’ to her by being the source of good things in her life, so that whenever you need her attention, she will give it to you.
I want to dispel a few myths about positive reinforcement training methods. There seems to be a great deal of confusion as to what positive reinforcement really is and about which dogs and behaviors it is useful for. For example, I have heard people say that positive reinforcement trainers only deal with obedience training, but Read More