Begin Training

Controlling Your Dog

The Training Game

Although how your dog behaves is serious business, and you are serious about him behaving appropriately, training doesn’t have to be a dull and serious chore. Approach the teaching of your commands as a game. Right away, this fosters a positive attitude in your dog toward learning new things, and creates a desire to work …

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Repetition Consistency

Consistency & Repetition

Consistency In training, lack of consistency will come back to bite you in several ways. Inconsistency in commands causes confusion, like if you try to make one command have several meanings. For example, don’t try to have the word “Down” mean lie down, get off the couch, and get off you. How is your dog …

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Timing in Dog Training

Timing is a critical part of successful dog training. There are several intertwined ways that good timing can significantly improve the success of your training program. Timing Reinforcement Your timing in delivering reinforcement is absolutely critical to your dog’s understanding of each exercise. As far as your dog is concerned, what you reward is what …

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Using Treats Effectively

Using Treats Effectively

There is a great deal of controversy regarding the use of treats in the dog-training process. You certainly don’t want to have to carry a bag of treats around for the rest of your dog’s life to get him to listen, but you do want training to be an enjoyable and positive experience for yourself …

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Conditioned Reinforcer

Primary and Conditioned Reinforcers

Reinforcers can be primary, or hard-wired, like food or social contact. Practically anything that your dog likes and will work to get is a primary reinforcer. Secondary, or conditioned reinforcers, are reinforcers that your dog (or you, for that matter) has learned to like because of its association with a primary reinforcer. Your paycheck is …

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dog Outdoor Containment

Outdoor Containment

If you have a yard and want to allow your dog access to it, you’ll need a way to keep him in the yard. You have some basic choices when it comes to outside containment options for your dog, including solid fences; invisible or electronic fences; portable kennels; and tether, runner, or trolley systems. Depending …

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Getting the Behavior You Want on Command

Deterring Misbehavior

Much of what people think of as misbehavior is actually normal, healthy behavior that has gone awry. Maybe the dog chose an inappropriate target when she picked up the remote control instead of one of her toys when she had the need to chew. Or perhaps she picked a bad time or place to urinate, …

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Timing in Dog Training

Indoor Containment or Confinement

Indoor confinement options will help you housebreak your dog, as well as help prevent property damage from inappropriate chewing. You will probably want to crate your dog when you’re out of the house and when you’re home but can’t pay attention to what your dog is doing. Gates can be used both to keep your …

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Teaching Your Dog to Come

Laying Down the Law

It’s so easy to spoil a new dog. Let’s face it, an eight-week-old puppy can poop on your foot, and it’s almost cute. Not so with an eight-month-old! Not allowing the cuteness factor and feelings of guilt or pity to override common sense are two of the biggest obstacles you have to overcome to become …

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Competitive Performance Sports

What Are You Rewarding?

The behaviors you reward, even unintentionally, will be repeated, whether you actually like the behavior or not. It’s very easy to let puppies get away with behavior that you won’t find acceptable later on, simply because they are small and cute. The same is true with a rescue dog. You may want to let a …

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