Learning From Meal Time Manners

IMG_6337Almost every person who calls me will say the following. “I know my dog can learn fast, I taught him to sit for his meals after only a couple of days. Now, he sits as soon as I pick up his bowl”. Let’s have a look at this scenario and understand why our dogs learn this skill so quickly and how you can apply meal time manners learning pace to other skills.

There are three reasons our dogs learn meal time manners fast, 1) training is consistent 2) location stays the same 3) massive reward.

Consistency. Teaching meal time manners usually occurs at meal times, this means that practice will happen at least once every single day or up to three times every day for years. Continue reading

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How To Warm Up Your Dog

Dash warming up with me

Dash warming up with me

A warm up is essential to most things in life and this includes training your dog. Walking in to a distracting environment ‘cold’ and then expecting your dog to work for you when he is already over excited will perpetuate impulsive behaviours. Think of a warm up as time to explain to your dog what you need from him before he gets too distracted, this will help refresh his memory and also helps form healthy behaviours.

Before you give your dog off lead time you should always warm him up with a few off lead control games that you can do on lead. Continue reading

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Puppy Mouthing

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Dug and Nemo practicing perfect bite inhibition.

Puppy mouthing is one of the most frequent causes of concern among new puppy owners. Lets take a look at what it is, why puppies engage in mouthing and what you can do to manage this behaviour with success.

The first thing you need to know is that mouthing is normal, almost every puppy will mouth. Mouthing usually occurs when puppies are happily excited, it usually targets hands and feet. Appropriate mouthing is gentle, the puppy will usually keep their mouth wide open with many low pressure bites. Mouthing should not be hard enough to break human skin, even with a puppy’s sharp teeth. Some breeds have a tendency to mouth more than others, such as Labradors, German Shorthaired Pointers and Retrievers will be ‘oral’ for their whole lives.

Mouthing serves many important functions for a puppy. Continue reading

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Yes, You Can Socialise Your Baby Puppy

Socialise your puppy with calm, healthy older dogs

Socialise your puppy with calm, healthy older dogs

I want to get the message out there that you can socialise your puppy before they have completed their course of vaccinations, in fact you must socialise your puppy as soon as you bring him home. Too many people are keeping their puppies completely shut off from the outside world because they are receiving incomplete information. Part of being a responsible dog owner is to educate ourselves on disease prevention and socialisation to make an informed decision. Continue reading

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Steps To A Happy Dog

Growing a happy, confident dog takes lots of effort, but worth every bit of it.

Growing a happy, confident dog takes lots of effort, but worth every bit of it.

Everyone wants a happy, healthy dog. When we decide to bring a dog in to our lives we have already formed a picture of wonderful walks, fun play times and total loyalty, we seem to expect these things. What we skip over is the level of commitment required to attain such a relationship. There are steps that everyone needs to be aware of to increase the likelihood of having a good dog. The more you are able to answer ‘yes’ to the following questions the more likely you will have a dog who is confident and happy and therefore easy to live with. If you are reading this and don’t have a dog yet, you are my favourite person! Continue reading

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