My Goal for 2024 is to improve the social well-being of dogs like Greta, an adolescent German Wirehaired Pointer I had the pleasure of working with on New Year’s Eve. Greta was rescued by her humans 10 months ago. They had met with three other trainers to understand why she barked at dogs. They were […]
Playing Games with your dog can improve your relationship and reduce Resource Guarding. The Emotional dog The emotional, less social dog will likely grab and item and move across the room with a more purposeful feeling as he seeks a place AWAY FROM YOU to go under or behind to retain possession of his item.
The detail is in the Sociability + Arousal + Social Confidence Many puppies and adolescent dogs steal items which they find interesting. Some for consumption, attention, play, and some try to teach their human how to play tug! Some for the pleasure of chewing on a particular fabric, and some to full-fill an individual need
Help! My puppy has a rude play style! A client recently reached out with concerns about her five month old pups “over the top” play style. Petunia rushes up to dogs, uninvited, making fast physical contact while standing on her hind legs biting at their faces. Petunia becomes quite activated and persistent in her play
Understanding your dog’s needs When your dog is on a leash, you may see a change in your dog’s body shape or hear vocalization when approached by an unfamiliar person. The changes in your dog’s body shape tells you how she is feeling. These changes may be dramatic and occur quickly, showing a large change
Reactivity Defined: I will define another category of Reactive Dogs. In the past, I have written about dogs who are very social and react because they are “Persistent Players” and love to play with dogs. Our canine friends have different reasons for reacting at the sight of another dog. Once you are able to identify
Modern trainers use clickers to train their dogs because it aids in the animals understanding of what is rewardable. The animal quickly learns that when it offers the behavior again, it will be rewarded. This positive reinforcement approach will often cause an immediate “wow” moment for both handler and animal.
The clicker is a small hand-held gadget that emits a sound when you press it. The sound the clicker makes is a signal to your dog that the behavior it just offered is rewardable. This “click” is always followed by a food reward. Think: Click and Treat! Note, the clicker is NOT for getting attention.
“Why” your dog may not be able to change her behavior like other dogs…
Have you attended a dog training class, maybe a Leash Lunger or Reactive Dog Class? You see other dogs in class improving, but your dog continues to scan the environment instead of looking at you.
As a dog trainer, I often work with dogs who have bitten people, yet I am able to hand feed and often begin body handling them without getting bitten myself. Since dog bite prevention is a critical focus of my reward-based dog training, I will share some simple techniques to reduce your chances of being bit by a dog.
Learn to read dog body language:
If the dog is facing you, look for signs he is calm and relaxed. These would include a loose body (free of tension), open mouth, relaxed ears, soft blinking eyes, relaxed neutral tail and ears. These are communications signs from the dog that he is feeling okay about you near him. This handsome boy is offering me friendly relaxed body language as he stands at an angle showing he is feeling comfortable about my presence.