Don't Get Pre-Stressed!
When you are working with your dog, one of the most important things to remember is how much you and your mindset affect your dog and their mindset.
Meaning: if you are stressed, they are likely to be stressed as well. If you have faith in yourself, the work you are doing, the precautions you have put in place (i.e. muzzle, etc.) and your dogs efforts, they are much more likely to succeed.
What does "No" mean?
What does the word "No" mean in your household?
In most households, dogs hear the word "No" a million times a day and it means nothing.
Why? Because nothing happens.
If there is no consequence, follow through, or repercussions, it is just a word.
Is trimming your dog's nails a nightmare? Maybe your dog lets out noises that make you neighbors wonder if you are trying to murder someone or you cut the nail too short, exposing the quick and have a bloody mess on your hands? If that was my experience, I would pass too.
Good news, its not too late to introduce your dog to a Dremel sander that allows you to quickly but safely (and bloodlessly) trim your dogs nails as often as you'd wish!
What To Do When Drives Compete
Today, a rabbit decided to make a nest just feet from my back deck. This happens to be the same place where I let the dogs out everyday, which makes me question the scent abilities of the bunny, but that is besides the point.
The point is that both Lainey (off-leash) and Pablo (who has been with me for about a month now and was on leash) were able to quickly divert their attention from the rabbit back onto me when asked.
Dogs have many drives. Two of the most powerful are prey drive and food drive.
As it sounds, prey drive is the instinctual need to chase something that is smaller, perceived as prey, especially if it runs away.
Food drive is a dogs willingness to work for food. Instinctually, this comes from dogs being hunters, and most dogs still will do anything if you have a piece of bacon in your hand.
But what happens when these drives compete?
Your dog chases down the street after a neighbors cat. Do they respond when you yell, “Fluffy, want a treat?”
Rescue vs. Purebred Dogs
I currently have two dogs living under my roof as my own. Lainey, a boxer from a breeder purchased at 10 weeks old, and Pablo, a 1-2 year old mixed breed dog pulled off the streets of Mexico, it is rumored that he was picked up after being thrown out the window of a car.
Lainey has had quite the cushy upbringing, a full box of toys from day 1, off-leash training, frequent visits to the beach, family members homes, pet stores, and the best veterinary care we can afford. She’s also had a loving home from the day we picked her up. In fact, she’s really been a part of the family since then.
Pablo, on the other hand, has had a life we could only imagine as being crappy, although it is difficult to know for sure. From what we have heard, he lived in a beach town, but was thrown from a moving vehicle, chased off of farms with machetes, and ate out of dumpsters.
These two dogs live side by side in my home, and even though their lives started out completely differently, they are treated EXACTLY the same.
The Secret to Training a Deaf Dog
The biggest issue most people have in training their dogs is getting their attention. Dogs are easily distracted, are good at selective listening, and some are even good at ignoring us purposely!
When you have a deaf dog, this issue is magnified. Instead of your dog having selective hearing, they can’t hear you at all. So getting their attention comes down to finding other ways to get their attention. Some deaf dogs spend their lives on leash so their owners have a direct line to getting their attention whenever they need it. Sure, it works, but it takes a little something away from the freedom that most dogs enjoy. Other options for catching their attention include stomping your feet or making some other motion that the dog will feel, or catching their vision or sense of smell. All of these are possible, but there is a better option, the e-collar!
The Collar Wise Dog
So we all think we have the smartest dog, but how smart are they actually?
Smart enough to tell the difference between the sound of your engine and your neighbors? Yep.
Smart enough to have you trained to give them food when they do cute things? You bet.
Smart enough to memorize the way to the vet? Sure thing.
So it would only make sense that they would be smart enough to know when the collar (whether prong or e-collar) is on, it means that a certain set of rules apply, right? We would be fools if we said no.
They definitely know. There is no “maybe” about it. They know.
And it’s annoying.
So what do we do? How do we stop our dog who is a perfect angel with the collar on from becoming a total goof-on-the-loose when we take the collar off?
One of the most common questions I get from owners is when to incorporate food into training. I am all for adding positive reinforcements into balanced training. After all, balanced training is rewards and consequences working together to teach a dog what behaviors we want and what behaviors just aren’t okay.
Food can be a very powerful motivator in dog training, but it isn't always used properly, which can cause setbacks, or worse, a dog that only responds to training when there is food present. There are three main times when we reward our dogs, but owners can easily get these confused. These are luring, bribing, and rewarding.
The Messy Middle....
Sometimes training isn't pretty. Sometimes it looks rough, sloppy, and hard to watch. This is what trainers call the “Messy Middle.”
While some dogs go through training looking like they've been pros all along, most dogs don't learn so effortlessly. For a loving owner, this can be daunting or even frustrating. Working hard and not seeing the results at the rate you think you should can make you wonder if you are doing the right thing, or if training is even possible.
Welcome to Everywhere Dog Blog!
Tips, tricks, and lessons learned from Everywhere Dog and their journey!
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