The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Dog Training The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Dog Training
Showing posts with label Dog Training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dog Training. Show all posts

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Tips To Help Stop Your Dog From Sitting Down On Walks

Some dogs just love walking on a leash and getting some exercise and fresh air.

Sometimes, your dog will be tired, bored or just not up for the walk, so he might sit (or even lie) down and not get up.

The problem is that once your dog starts sitting down on his or her walks, it could become the new normal.

And if this does happen, you need to correct the behavior right away.

To read more on this story, click here: Tips To Help Stop Your Dog From Sitting Down On Walks


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Dogmantics Dog Training - Separation Training Tips

Leave your dog alone while you are home - This teaches the dog to enjoy being alone while it is not associated only with you leaving the house.   You can use baby gates and pens to keep your dog in one part of the house while you are in another.   You can give your dog food puzzles, chews, and hide treats for your dog to find while you are in another part of the house to make the alone time highly reinforcing.

To read more on this story, click here: Dogmantics Dog Training - Separation Training Tips


Sunday, August 2, 2020

Researchers Trained Dogs To Sniff out COVID-19 Infections In Just A Few Days

After just a few days of training, dogs in Germany proved capable of identifying people infected with COVID-19, according to researchers. The dogs, part of a study by a veterinary university in Germany, were able to sniff out the coronavirus with stunning accuracy.


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Teach Your Dog To Be Home Alone

Number one canine problem behavior is “home alone.” Don’t panic if someone tells you that your dog suffers from separation anxiety. It’s probably not the case. Anxiety is a serious disorder and most dogs don’t have any anxiety when left alone. They are either under-stimulated and burn their surplus energy by wrecking the furniture, they’re having fun and don’t know that it is wrong to destroy human possessions, or the owners have not taught them the desired routines when left home alone.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

These Common Training Mistakes Might Be Causing Your Dog to Disengage

You’ve gone to training classes, read books, and even watched videos. Yet your dog still seems to dislike training with you. This is usually around the time a pet owner will tell her dog trainer that her pup is either dumb or stubborn, and therefore cannot be trained. However, in situations like this, an owner is often accidentally sabotaging the training sessions.

AKC GoodDog! Helpline program manager Penny Leigh, CPDT-KA, reveals some of the most common mistakes we make that can cause a dog to disengage.

“Owners need to always approach training with a positive attitude and avoid telling the dog ‘no’ or making negative sounds like ‘ehhh,’ etc.,” says Leigh. While the idea of a “negative marker” has been around for decades and was originally used by positive reinforcement trainers, research has shown that a negative marker actually hinders learning.

“Dogs need to feel confident in order to learn new skills,” explains Leigh. “If they are constantly being told that they are wrong, then they don’t want to try anymore.” Enter what many dog owners describe as the “stubborn” dog. This is a canine companion that seems to be ignoring his owner — doing everything except what is asked of him.

To read more on this story, click here: These Common Training Mistakes Might Be Causing Your Dog to Disengage


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Kids and Puppies, The Chasing the Nipping, the Jumping

You may as well get your coffee now, dredge up any cuss words you think you’ll want to call me and be prepared for the truth, because if you did not get it in the prior blog article on kids and dogs it will be explained again here but a little differently. If you got it, good for you!

Okay, so last time I talked about going over the rules of teaching your kids to respect a dog’s space and while I was referring to dogs that are adopted and older, this week I’d like to talk about kids and puppies. Puppies that nip, chase, and bite your little ones, until your little ones are screaming all the time and have become so petrified of the puppy that it makes you just want to pull your pull hair out!

Trainers get so many complaints over this problem and if you have not read my previous blog about teaching your children how to respect dogs, then please do so before moving forward here. 95% of the puppy’s actions are not the puppy’s fault, so take that newspaper and hit yourself over the head for not being more aware of what to expect and how to handle the two together. If you have any uncertainties about the training of a dog, set up classes and be ready to learn before the little love bug occupies space in your home. Maybe pre-puppy kindergarten class needs to be taught before puppy kindergarten! You know, similar to how the public school system analyzes your kid to see if he/she is ready to join the ranks of daily learning and torture! This way we can weed out the puppy parents that are not truly ready to have a puppy live with them.

So why did I go with 95% and not 100% of bad behavior being the puppy’s fault? Well, because due to bad breeding there are a percentage of mentally unstable pups who due to neurological problems can act out. And 95% is just my guess based on the amount of questions I deal with on a daily basis. 

To read more on this story, click here: Kids and Puppies, The Chasing the Nipping, the Jumping


Friday, October 27, 2017

Humane Rescue Alliance: Is Your Dog Out of Control When Guest Arrive? Enroll Them in Our Specialized, Four-Week Mini-Series on Manners

Washington, DC - Is your dog out of control when guest arrive for the holidays? Register your pup for HRA's specialized, four-week mini-series focused on teaching your dog appropriate manners for when guests come to town. Dogs will learn to go-to-place when people knock at the door, leave it with decorations, food, and presents, and how to relax on their mat during human meals instead of begging for food. They'll also learn how to offer more polite greetings to friends and family. 

To Learn about this mini-series, click here: Four-Week Mini-Series 

Please Share!


Monday, March 27, 2017

iSpeakDog: A Website Devoted to Becoming Dog Literate

An easy way to become dog fluent

I'm pleased to announce a new group called iSpeakDog that focuses on the details of dog behavior, communication, and emotions. I'm also very glad that I was able to do an interview with its founder, dog trainer and journalist Tracy Krulik. Our exchange went as follows.

Why did you form iSpeakDog?

The tipping point for me was the day I saw a man hit his Pointer for growling in a crowded veterinary lobby. The room was packed with dogs, cats, and people, and this Pointer was stationed right next to the door and the reception desk. She became visibly more uncomfortable as each person and dog walked in, and she had no way to hide. So this Aussie walks in and sniffs her, and she growls. I’m thinking, “I can’t believe it took her THIS long to growl,” and, “Good girl! Give him a warning signal rather than biting him.”  But the man hit her and apologized to the Aussie’s owner, saying that his dog can be so aggressive. I nervously (not wanting to get hit myself!) commented that she looked scared to me--pointed out the crowded room, the tucked tail, the massive eye whites showing, the shifting body weight, etc.—and explained that dogs often growl when they are scared, to ask things to back off. The man immediately softened, said that he hadn’t thought of it that way, and then gave the pooch a kiss on the head.

To read more on this story, click here: iSpeakDog: A Website Devoted to Becoming Dog Literate


Monday, September 19, 2016

K-9 Teams at Dallas/Fort Worth International and Dallas Love Field Airports Failed Important Certification Tests that Check How Accurately They Can Detect Explosives

NBC 5 Investigates has learned several K-9 teams at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport failed important certification tests that check how accurately they can detect explosives, calling into question whether those teams are training enough to stay at the top of their game and keep passengers safe.

The mission of explosive detection K-9 teams is to keep bombs out of airports and off planes by screening baggage, cargo and passengers for potential threats.

New records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request raise questions about the top dogs at some of the nation’s biggest airports.

The records show K-9 teams funded by the Transportation Security Administration have failed annual certification tests at large U.S. airports, including D/FW Airport and Love Field, more than 50 times between Jan. 1, 2013, and June 15, 2015, the most recent detailed numbers TSA provided. Some teams failed to find explosives, while others had too many false alarms that could cause unnecessary airport evacuations.

K-9 teams that fail are pulled out of service and cannot work in airports again until they can pass the test, but experts NBC 5 Investigates spoke with say clusters of failures at some airports raise concerns about how well those teams are being managed.

The TSA said the failures are just a normal part of upholding high standards. But multiple failures at D/FW Airport and Love Field raise questions about whether those teams have been training enough to maintain the highest level of readiness.

In a statement, the TSA tells NBC 5 Investigates, “If a team does not meet TSA’s rigorous guidelines, it is decertified and restricted from working.”

“The team must successfully meet certification standards before returning to search duties. Dog teams that are unable to return to TSA’s high standards are subject to removal,” the TSA said.

The agency said teams performed better in the latter half of 2015 – with a 93-percent passing rate nationwide. But the agency would not share any detailed records for that time period or for 2016, so it’s unknown if there are still some airports with clusters of failures.

“We rely on K-9 teams a lot more now than we ever have in the history of aviation security,” said airport security consultant Jeffrey Price.

Price said the lives of passengers depend on how well the dog teams perform.

“Dogs have always been considered the gold standard in explosive detection. So when you’re considered the best, you better be the best,” said Price.

At Love Field, K-9 teams assigned to protect the airport failed four out of 14 tests with a failure rate of nearly 30 percent over two-and-a-half years. In 48 tests over the same time period, teams at D/FW Airport failed five times, or 10 percent of the time.

The nation’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, did better than those in Dallas with only two failures in 75 tests (3 percent) over the same two-and-a-half year time period. All K-9s managed by the Atlanta Police Department passed while two TSA managed teams failed.

To better understand why more K-9 teams failed at airports like Love Field and D/FW Airport, NBC 5 Investigates went to Alabama to one of the nation’s top K-9 training centers at Auburn University and AMK9.
AMK9 works with the university training dogs in explosive detection for agencies across the country.

“You need to convince that dog that there’s a reason to work,” said John Pearce, who used to help oversee training for the TSA.

Pearce said the main reason some dogs fail certification tests is the people in charge of those K-9 units don’t always set aside enough time for constant training. He sees a direct relationship between the quality of the training and the success the dogs have on tests.

“Our primary job is to find an explosive, as a dog team, but that dog believes its primary objective is to get that toy that’s in the handler’s pouch,” said Pearce.

In airports, dogs rarely find explosives, so unless they practice locating test explosives frequently, they may lose interest.

In addition, handlers also need constant practice to accurately recognize the dog’s cues.

Pearce said handlers need to train daily.

“Train, train, train and train as you’re going to work,” said Pearce.

NBC 5 Investigates wanted to know if the people in charge of the K-9s at Love Field and D/FW Airport are spending enough time training.

Some of the teams are managed directly by the TSA, but many are run by D/FW Airport police and Dallas police that get their dogs, training and funding from the TSA.

Dallas police declined an on-camera interview and would not answer any questions about their teams at Love Field.

When asked about the teams decertified at D/FW Airport, a spokesman sent a short statement saying, “All of the canine teams maintained by the D/FW Airport Department of Public Safety are currently certified and active.”

In 2013 the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, found “some K-9 teams were repeatedly not in compliance with TSA’s monthly training requirement.”

Since then, the TSA has made changes, including a new program starting Oct. 1 to hold local airport police departments more accountable for training and to enforce higher training standards.

With multiple failures at airports including D/FW Airport and Love Field make some experts wonder if supervision and training is needed in a business where there may not be a second chance.

“Lives depend on the proficiency of the teams,” said Price. “You don’t get a do over in real life. If that team misses an explosive, then that’s a device that can end up on a plane.”

The TSA’s records have shown nearly a dozen teams failed at Washington Dulles International Airport and more than 20 at Los Angeles International Airport from January 2013 to June 2015. NBC 5 Investigates will be on NBC’s Today Show Thursday morning with the national part of the report and on NBC 5 News at 6 p.m. with what other major airports are doing to pass tests and make sure their teams are ready.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Golden Retriever Sits Outside Store Waiting For Owner…Patiently

Jackson, the Golden Retriever, sits patiently outside a busy Target store waiting for his owner to return. Adopted from an animal shelter less than a month ago, the 3-year old Retriever has been training every day. 

He visits local high-traffic locations to practice ignoring distractions while his owner hides just out of sight and keeps an eye on him.

People walk by and pat him, but he doesn't move…and surely is not going to leave with anyone. 


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Humping: Why Do Dogs Do It?

At a local dog park in Atlanta, the other dog owners have a nickname for Lois Gross’ dog, a Dutch shepherd. “They say ‘Here comes Humping Taz,’” the Atlanta resident says of her 5-year-old, spayed female, Taz. “She doesn’t want to play or run, she just wants to hump all the other dogs in the park. We kind of joke about it, but some people get really upset when she gets on their dog so I have to watch her constantly.”

Although the image of a dog humping a person’s leg, a pillow, or another dog can draw a laugh in a movie or on television, in real life it can be annoying, embarrassing, and even cause fights between dogs.

To read more on this story, click here: Humping: Why Do Dogs Do It? FOLLOW US!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Don't Make This Tragic Mistake With Dog Training

Picture of german shepherd puppy
This is a sickening story I'd rather not repeat, but there's an important message in it, so I hope you'll bear with me.

The owners of a 1-year-old German Shepherd dog brought their pet into a veterinary clinic for incoordination (loss of muscle coordination) and circling to the left behavior.

The owners were honest in admitting the dog had been "disciplined" a few hours earlier by being suspended off the ground with a choke collar for almost a full minute. When the owner lowered the dog to the ground, the poor animal was panicked and soon lost consciousness.

To read more on this story, click here: Don't Make This Tragic Mistake With Dog Training FOLLOW US!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Are You Contributing to Your Dog's Bad Behavior?

Before you blame your dog for annoying behaviors such as excessive barking, unruliness on the leash or bolting in the other direction when you call her, first consider that there are reasons your dog behaves the way she does, and some of those reasons have to do with you and the other humans in her life.

You're not entirely responsible for how your canine acts. Factors like genetics, early environment and inadvertent learning through experiences outside of your control all contribute to her behavior, but human-related factors greatly impact a dog’s actions.

Whether we realize it, our dogs are learning every moment. Learning to behave occurs mostly outside of structured training sessions. Canines at all ages and stages can learn new behaviors through training, but most behaviors are shaped in regular, everyday moments. Even canines who have not had a single training session have been trained — albeit inadvertently — by people through day-to-day interactions and experiences. Human-directed factors, like a canine’s daily environment and routine, work together to either set up a dog for success or make her more likely to display undesirable behavior.

There are numerous things people do to stress out their dogs, usually without even realizing it. Beyond that, how you interact with your dog and the training you provide either work for you and your canine or against you.

Here are the top three human behaviors that exacerbate a lack of manners and hinder desired change.

Human behavior 1:  Focusing on eliminating behavior rather than rewarding what you want

Punishment-based interactions tend to be harmful to your relationship with your dog and ineffectual for breaking unwanted habits. Punishment is rarely done right. It’s usually doled out too late and is too broad for the animal to pinpoint what she did wrong. Dogs also become accustomed to the punishment — such as a spray from a bottle or jerk on a leash — so it must increase in frequency or intensity over time to have any effect. In addition, it risks the dog making negative associations with the punisher and objects or people they are punished around. With punishment, a behavior may be temporarily stifled, but without the dog learning what to do instead. The behavior will typically come back or be replaced with another, equally irksome behavior.

Rubbing a dog’s nose in an accident she had in the home only makes the dog averse to humans; it teaches the dog nothing. The dog does not associate the punishment with the behavior or she might learn that voiding in general is bad. The dog may become conflicted around people, whom she sees as unpredictable, and start to hide from them when she goes to the bathroom, making the habit of going in the house harder to break. She doesn't learn to do her business outdoors instead. Punishment tends to escalate negative emotions such as fear and frustration, which contribute to unwanted problems. Thus, when the emotional state is turned more negative, the unwanted behavior, while temporarily inhibited, can escalate.

Punishment has been shown to increase aggression and conflict-related behaviors in dogs. When a dog is punished for growling or barking, she can no longer give a warning signal to show she is uncomfortable . That means the dog remains highly aroused, agitated or fearful, but rather than using her innate warnings, like snarling, a dog may escalate faster into aggression and even a bite.

Parents and grandparents be warned: Children often emulate the actions of adults, even if warned not to. That means that a child will model a parent’s yelling, scolding or physical intimidation of a dog. When a child copies the punishment techniques he witnesses, there is a good chance the dog will react with aggression toward him.

Instead of punishing your dog, use reward-based training with the entire family. It takes refocusing your mind on the good and what you desire to have happen, and rewarding your dog for those behaviors. Rewards can include treats, toys, praise and a favorite activity. Train your dog to do what you want, or reward the desired behavior she already does, while also limiting her ability to make an unwanted choice or get too upset to handle the situation. Allow your dog only into situations she can handle, and in those situations, show your canine what you want and reward her for doing it. Also, look at replacement strategies for channeling natural behavior in dogs. For example, if you have a problem chewer, offer acceptable chewing alternatives such as a stuffed Kong.

Human behavior 2: Lack of consistency and clear expectations

Canines need consistent guidance from the people in their lives regarding the behavior and manners that are expected of them. It’s unfair for the dog to have the rules change from person to person. If something is OK with one person and not another, it becomes very confusing to the dog. For instance, if the man of the house is allowed to hand-wrestle with a dog, but the dog cannot put teeth on other members of the family or play roughly with them, there is trouble to be had. The dog is likely, through practice and reward in the one scenario, to act the same way in others. The more predictable a dog’s life is, with clear boundaries and rewards only for certain behaviors, the better behaved the dog will be.

By the same token, the entire family and those who interact with the dog need to be on the same page with how the dog is treated and trained. The cues or commands for the dog need to be the same among all the people in the home. The dog also needs consistent consequences for her behavior, like a reward for listening. Otherwise, the positive behavior loses strength. In addition, the management of unwanted behaviors, like pulling on the leash and jumping up, need to remain unrewarded by all people by never allowing the dog to move forward on the leash while pulling or never greeting the dog when she's jumping. If the behavior is rewarded by even one person in the dog’s life, the dog will be resistant to change. The infrequent reward increases persistence in the dog.

Unfortunately, I’ve found people within the same home will use different styles of teaching: one with intimidation-based training and others with rewards. That is extremely confusing to the dog. Expectations, consequences and structure need to be as consistent as possible among everyone in the family.

Human behavior 3:  Expecting too much of your dog without doing your part to help her

Just as a child needs schooling from preschool to high school and college, dogs also need increasing levels of training and practice to be prepared for what is expected of them. A dog needs training that progressively gets her skilled enough, through practice, to handle higher-level expectations, like responding to "Come!" in high- distraction environments. A dog may respond when the situation is low-key and minimally distracting, but in a high-intensity situation, the dog is less likely to obey. Training needs to progress to the level of what the person requires. That means preparing the dog through success at easier levels and gradually training to a more demanding level.

Unfortunately, when a dog has practiced a behavior for a while, people often give up and feel they’ve tried it all. Many times, though, the owner just needs to change small variables. As a clicker trainer, I’ve encountered people who say they already tried the clicker and it didn’t work. When I delved into what they were doing, though, their mechanics of using the clicker and rewards were off. After they relearned how to use the clicker, the problem fixed itself. Even for complex behavior problems, working with a veterinary behaviorist or veterinarian in conjunction with a positive reinforcement trainer can turn a dog’s life around, but it takes time. If a dog has just learned “leave it” with food in the hand, for instance, she cannot be expected to leave unattended chicken on the kitchen counter without further training.

Most of all, be patient with your dog. It can take nine to 12 weeks — or longer — to break a habit, even with consistent work. It’s not a quick fix, but through clear boundaries and expectations, your canine will be on her way to good behavior, largely through your dedicated guidance.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to Clicker Train Your Dog

What Is Clicker Training?

Clicker is a method of animal training that uses a sound—a click—to tell an animal when he does something right. The clicker is a tiny plastic box held in the palm of your hand, with a metal tongue that you push quickly to make the sound. Most people who’ve heard of the clicker know that it’s a popular tool for dog trainers, but clickers can be used to train all kinds of animals, wild and domestic—from lions to elephants to household cats, birds and rats!

Giving the Clicker Meaning

It’s easy to introduce the clicker to your pet. Spend 30 minutes or so teaching him that the sound of the click means “Treat!” (For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that you’re going to clicker train a dog.)

Sit and watch TV or read a book with your dog in the room. Have a container of treats within reach.

Place one treat in your hand and the clicker in the other. (If your dog smells the treat and tries to get it by pawing, sniffing, mouthing or barking at you, just close your hand around the treat and wait until he gives up and leaves you alone.)

Click once and immediately open your hand to give your dog the treat. Put another treat in your closed hand and resume watching TV or reading. Ignore your dog.

Several minutes later, click again and offer another treat.

Continue to repeat the click-and-treat combination at varying intervals, sometimes after one minute, sometimes after five minutes. Make sure you vary the time so that your dog doesn’t know exactly when the next click is coming. Eventually, he’ll start to turn toward you and look expectant when he hears the click—which means he understands that the sound of the clicker means a treat is coming his way.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Michael Vick Enrolled in Dog Training Classes at PetSmart

Quarterback Michael Vick, who served prison time for his role in a dogfighting case, was seen enrolling in a dog training class, a sports website reported.

The Philadelphia Eagles' player, whose contract was recently renewed, was spotted at a New Jersey PetSmart store enrolling in a training course, the Philadelphia website Crossing Broad reported.

"Vick, his family and a bodyguard have been attending dog training classes for Angel, the Vick family's young Belgian Malinois," the website said, adding, "Vick frequents the store and signed up for a total of six training classes on Monday evenings."

Vick was released from prison in 2009 after pleading guilty to involvement in an interstate dogfighting ring, and served 21 months in prison. Last October, he divulged he owned a dog, permissible after his probation terms expired last summer, USA Today reported Tuesday.

"Our pet is well-cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change," he said in a statement at the time.