One-On-One Dog Training

DSC07395Group dog training has been around for decades and has now become an acceptable norm when people seek to train their dog but for many people and their dogs one-on-one training proves to be a better option, particularly in the beginning of your training.

One-on-one dog training can be wonderful for anyone, people with an older dog, people with a puppy, families, individuals, novice handlers and even experienced handlers. The beauty of one-on-one lessons is Continue reading

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Mat Training

Coco learning to relax on her mat

Coco learning to relax on her mat

Teaching your dog to go to a spot and remain there through distractions can be a really helpful management tool. For dogs who are prone to excitability or fear mat training can give them boundaries for containment and security. Mat training will teach your dog to settle in a spot until released, where they can still feel part of the family. Mat training is not a ‘stay’ exercise, rather it’s a ‘relax’ exercise and is a great alternative to locking your dog away, it just requires some consistency and training.

Lets go through the steps of mat training. Before you start you will need the following, Continue reading

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Our Side Of The Partnership

Hello. I need some help with my human.

Hello. I need some help with my human.

When people call me we often discuss their dogs undesirable behaviours and it led me to think about the behaviours people engage in and how it may impact our dogs.

If dogs could call a human trainer here are a few things I think they may say. Continue reading

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Toilet Training An Older Dog

A dog door can help with toilet training an older dog

A dog door can help with toilet training an older dog

Many people choose to adopt adult dogs thinking they can bypass many of the ‘issues’ associated with puppies, and for many adult dogs this is true, but for some adult dogs basic skills like toilet training may be a lesson they still need to learn.

Older dogs can sometimes take a little longer to toilet train because they have already spent months, if not years learning to toilet inappropriately. This is particularly true for dogs who have spent their lives in cages or other small enclosed areas. You will need patience with an older dog to give him time to not only unlearn old habits but to learn new behaviours at the same time. Make toilet training a top priority in the first few months of living with your new dog, this may require a super effort but in a few months toilet training will be learned and you can move on to something else. Continue reading

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The Up/Down Game

The *Up/Down Game is all about teaching your dog to focus but without the pressure we often put on ourselves and our dogs.

Start by introducing this game at home either in your back yard or inside your house. Take a handful of food and drop one piece on the ground right in front of your dog, when he eats the food and looks back up at you toss another piece. Continue to toss one piece at a time only when your dog looks up at you.

Make it harder by tossing the piece of food a little further away from you and only toss the next piece when your dog looks at you, then you can start to turn your back on your dog and wait for him to come and find you. Over time you can play this game during your walks around distractions.

The Up/Down Game is a fantastic way to engage your dog before you ask him to perform a more difficult skill and it also helps settle over excited or anxious dogs. This game can be played by any dog, at any level and even children will enjoy this game. The only place the Up/Down Game should not be played is in close proximity to other dogs as it has the potential to trigger a guarding response.

If your dog shows no interest in the food or looses interest during the game you may have expected too much too soon, go back a step and use a food your dog loves. For example if your dog can play this in the back yard but looses interest during a walk start playing the game in your driveway as an intermediate step. This intermediate step is great for any dog who has difficulty controlling their excitement at the beginning of the walk as well.

Take a look at the video of Nemo and I playing the Up/Down Game, this is the very first time Nemo has played.

*The Up/Down Game was created by Leslie McDevitt, an American trainer who has written many wonderful books, one being Control Unleashed: The Puppy Program.

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