In this Blog I will teach you how to prevent your dog from biting a person by helping you understand when your dog is feeling stressed and needs more space from an unfamiliar person. Dogs will offer requests for distance, called distance cues until they learn that their requests go ignored by the human. If they are still afraid, they will simply bite as their fear overrides their ability to think.read more
In my last blog, I mentioned that changing your dogs behavior begins with good management which prevents him from practicing the unwanted behavior.
I will now explain how to change your dog’s response when meeting a stranger, using the processes of counter-conditioning and desensitization. Counter-conditioning means changing the negative association the dog has formed about people, and replacing it with a positive, happy association using something the dog loves. Desensitization means exposing the dog to the “stimulus” (in this case, a person) at a distance, far enough away that it does not provoke a fear response from your dog, and gradually reducing the distance to the person until the dog is relaxed with the person nearby. Subsequent training can continue as your dog remains calm, and is able to accept treats or play with toys.read more
For shy or fearful dogs, having a human move into their space is very scary, and it takes away their personal choice. In the Treat and Retreat game, we reverse this situation. Instead of adding social pressure to the dogs, we remove that pressure. This adds to the dogs feeling of control while also giving the dog another opportunity to make a choice. Removal of social pressure should always be part of the Treat and Retreat game, as a way to check how the dog is doing and help keep them under threshold. If a dog goes over threshold, they learn that snapping works, period.read more
There are many ways to get behavior from an animal, for example you can hold your dog down when he jumps up on you, this may work for you, but the negative is that your dog may start barking more when guest arrive. Some dogs will become really wiggly and jumpy with strangers as a way of showing appeasement to the guest to ward off that scary punishment of being held down. This can also make your recall much moreread more
Dog training is a process of shaping behaviors that are wanted by the human. With that in mind, why do so many of us reward unwanted behaviors? I have met many dogs who are still offering bad behaviors even at 2 or 3 years of age.read more
We have 3 different conversations going on in this photo. Note the open or closed mouths. Where are their eyes looking? How are the tails held? Are there any paw lifts? Do you note soft orread more
Many dogs get a reputation for being dog aggressive, when they are IMG_1590simply responding to adolescent dogs with rude behavior. My foster beagle was one of those very rude adolescent greeters who invades other dogs space without an invitation.read more
Many people contact me to help them with recall or getting their dog to come when they call them.
A good recall begins with a strong relationship between the human and the dog. The dog who happily comes when called shares a bond with them and trust them completely. They go to them repeatedly because they associate their owner with good things.
If you call your dog and they look at you as if to say why? “Why should I?” It would be nice if relationships were that easy, but we know any relationship has a balance of trust and respect. Anyone parenting children can see similarities as we are able to say “because I said so!” Many of us have learned to give a specific reason, expressing our intentions clearly we will have better success and maintain a healthy relationship with our children in the process.read more
I am house training an adult 3 yr old dog that has been allowed to use pee pads all his life. This handsome mix is a very shy boy and did take a day for me to be able to body handle him without him screaming. He is vetted and in good health, just has no idea where the toilet is.
Does Age Matter?
House training a new puppy or an adult rescue dog, uses the same technique, as you are assuming the dog has no idea where to eliminate. While you are conditioning a puppy a new behavior and your are counter conditioning an adult dog a different behavior needs to be considered in your time line for sure. Counter conditioning behaviors will most often take longer.
As a Professional Dog Trainer, it is my job to teach you how to teach your puppy or rescue dog to have a soft mouth. This goes for your puppy mouthing a human, child or another dog.
If you have adopted a rescue dog, can you be assured this dog knows not to bite?
I discuss a soft mouth in all my classes because it is so important and many of you have rescued a dog. If I approach your tethered dog holding a scarf, glove or toy, will your dog lunge and grab the item along with my hand? Have you tried yelling, “no!” Did yelling teach your dog an appropriate behavior? Instead of yelling, you can simply walk away the second the feet come off the floor. Approach the dog again, if his behavior is not appropriate, walk away, repeat until he sits or does not jump, then reward with play! Rewarding your dog for the appropriate behavior is much faster than telling the dog “no”.read more