Teaching a reliable “Come Here” Recall

COME/ HERE Games

I play games with my dogs to have a fast fun recall that is solid! Keep in mind that “Here” just means show up! So at this stage, do not ask her to come and sit in front of you, she just needs to appear and you should be very happy and excited!

Important> ALWAYS be very happy & cheerful when you call your dog.
NEVER call your dog to punish or when your upset! This will give a negative thought about
coming to you!

Play a tracking game. say your dogs name with come here ( ex “Sophie Here”)
as she approaches, put the treat on the ground, immediately turn the other direction and repeat Sophie Here, again putting the treat on the ground, do this back and forth many times. start sliding the treat on the floor getting some distance from you , so Sophie must grab it an rush back toward you. Once she is into the game you take it up a notch by adding in Hide N seek. This is a fun game with a goal of as soon as she hears the words “Sophie Here’ that she jumps into action perk up and immediately starts hunting for you.

Start Hide N Seek working the tracking game and sliding the treat a distance away and then stepping behind a table, counter top, couch, etc half of you should be seen, half of you hidden…. when she “finds” you praise praise praise her!!!! heavily!!! as she gets into searching for you, disappear (step into) into a room ,and repeat heavy praise when she finds you. Make it more challenging as the weeks go by.

Restrained Recall
Have someone hold your dog’s collar. Get your dog’s attention and walk around the corner or into another room. Call to “Come Here” (very happy & cheerful). Have the holder release as soon as the dog starts pulling. Practice this exercise several times a day

Play Ping Pong
Have 2-or more people stand in a loose circle. each person should have treats in their hand. take turns saying “Sophie Here” She should begin to speed up bouncing from each person.
*you may need to lean/reach forward with the treat in your hand placing it close to her nose, get her attention and repeat “Sophie Here” so she understands what are your expectations are. once she is responding continue to increase the distance between the other family members, and continue to take turns. as she finishes getting the treat then another person should begin saying Sophie Here” then repeat a number of times.

Note.. always pet and praise her a lot her while giving the treat! it will help you remove the treats replacing it with total praise in the near future.

Leash practice drills
While walking with your dog …. Quickly, without warning, take 5-7 steps backward, as you clap and cheer saying “Sophie Here” once she spins around and chases you a few steps stop and Praise and reward her heavily with lots of affection!
*if needed crouching down will encourage your dog to come more quickly to you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LEASH WALKING 101

Leash walking Help

One of the biggest complaints that we hear is “I can’t walk my dog on a leash”

I believe that getting your dog out of the house to see a change of scenery is vital to the health and well being of the dog. There are many benefits to exercise, it keeps them fit & trim, provides a wonderful opportunity to really bond with your new pet, but you may not have realized how important it is for your dog to have a change in scenery…..I love my house and it is decorated just how I like it…but if I were trapped in it all day, every day, I would go crazy! it is no different for your dog, he needs to get out and enjoy new experiences in a positive and controlled setting. So here are a few tips to help you have a more pleasurable walks.

Put your dog into the heel position (on your left side). Put all of the leash in your left hand, leaving one hand free to make corrections (taps, bumps, and distractions) Stand up straight, relax your arms, the buckle or clip of the leash should hang slightly downward, giving you a loose collar. Note if the collar is tight all the time while the dog is front of you, beside you, or behind you ..there is no reason for him to change his behavior, because he is being choked from every point. There has to be a clear understanding of your desires & expectations of him (I’m happy…loose collar, I’m Not happy …make a collar correction *snap and release to the collar* )

Put your dog into the Heel position. Using the phrase “Lets Go” take your first step using your left leg (if you left handed your dog will be on the opposite side, so step off with your right leg).
Stop walking & say stop, immediately, if your dog is pulling on the leash.
I tend to draw an invisible line (my thigh even with the dogs chest) if the dog crosses the “invisible” line then it is an infraction, that warrants a penalty. My choice of penalty is to immediately turn, 180 degrees, into the opposite direction. This is great because it redirects the attention back to you, the dog learns that he does not gain any ground toward his destination. Continue to change directions without notice and keep the dog guessing until he looks at you.. then say “yes” and proceed.
Your dog should not be leading you, so if he/she is…add in some practice surprise turns. Remember to move quickly (timing is very important).

Prepare yourself ..You may not make it to your intended destination. Keep in mind that 15 minutes of walking …. Is 15 minutes of walking! It is more important that you have a successful session back in forth in front of your curb over being dragged all the way around your block.

Let go of old rules like the dog must be on your left side. This only applies if you are planning to compete in an obedience competition, if you simply desire to have a great walking experience with your dog then keep him in the “heel position” to remove his bouncer body guard tendencies but you will get better results if you switch sides from time to time placing yourself between any object that your dog could find interesting (another dog, friendly people, a bush or tree, etc). this puts you in a better position to effectively block your dog from the object and if you keep moving your knee or foot may lightly bump your dogs cheek preventing him from continuing to try to pull you over to meet the other dog. putting yourself between the oncoming object and your dog will also relax your dog because he is not open and vulnerable to outside interference. So in the beginning, lots of switching once your dog realizes that you will protect both of you and you know where your going…he will relax and enjoy the walk J
Happy walking from Wiggles and Wags pet Resort, Tempe, AZ
===================================================================

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dog(s) with Aggression

The article I have written below address the most common reasons for aggression.

Dogs are pack animals they need to know what their job is and how they fit into your family. Dogs instinctively are driven to know their position. Dominance issues are not typically random or only in one area… it is very important to create a calm stable pack of dogs. This can be done with leadership and guidance. Leadership should start immediately with your house rules. Building a strong trusting relationship with boundaries, leadership and mutual respect will cement the friendship that you desire!
Leaders are calm assertive, and can effectively manage the household. if your dog believes he can do a better job at leading the “pack” he will begin to plot a to take over. You may notice more scuffles between existing dogs in the household, taking items from each other, pushy or bullying type behaviors…if gone unchecked it will lead to other aggression problems like excessive barking, growling at people, rushing the door, snapping, guarding, and more. Dogs do really well with clear guidelines, basic rules and structure.
As a leader it is best for you to assign a pack position to your dog(s) and enforce it. If you do not assign one, they will fight amongst each other, and possibly your children, to establish one. An easy way to do this is to assign position#1 to the dog you have had the longest and then on down the line. Everything goes in this pecking order (baths, nail trims, serving of food, acknowledgment, treats, training, entering and exiting doorways, etc)
For the first few days, watch and learn your new dogs’ signs and signals. Aggressive or assertive signs may include; hackles raised, showing of teeth, growls or stares. For the best results, all corrections must be made at the first sign. Corrections may simply be a touch, a taps, knee bumps, body language, posture, tone, grabbing of the cheeks or just staring them down.. When applying a correction; be assertive, be quick, attach a loud deep tone and then move on. Be ready to repeat a correction if needed as many times as needed to get the desired results.

Tips on easy ways to show leadership…. Have your dog work for your attention. For example; have him sit before petting him or have him sit to get his leash on. Enter and exit through doors first. Touch every part of your dog. Get him use to having you handle him. Touch his feet, ears, teeth, toes, tail. This will also be useful when you need to brush his teeth, or give ear medication or trim his nails. Consider hand feeding your dog a small amount from his bowl before giving him the whole bowl of food.
Safety is a big part of a dogs’ world, so we must make them feel as if we have things under control. When your dog sounds off an alert bark then you should investigate the bark and give a release word like “thank you”. Your dog will know the situation has been properly addressed and there is no danger. If we do not address the situation your dog will escalate and potentially become an excessive barker or worse.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nutrition

Investigate and educate yourself to find a healthy nutritious dog food. It is worth the extra time. A poor diet can lead to a host of medical problems costing you a lot of money at the veterinary clinic. For an independent review of dog foods that is easy to read and understand visit: www.dogfoodanalysis.com or www.dogfoodadvisor.com

Do not follow the feeding guidelines listed on the bag. It is their job to sell dog food, so it is often in their interest not yours.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stop Barking

Excessive barking needs to be dealt with in several areas to be effective. All 3 are outlined below (Address outside barking, Calm them inside, and door manners).

Addressing outside Barking

You may also notice that your dog is nervous or anxious and does a lot of guarding and patrolling (windows, doors, fence lines, etc) This is because they feel insecure in their environment. It is important for the mental health of your dog. to address any alert barks (check out the area in question, turn and face your dog and walk into them moving them away from the area, saying your code word or phrase) then your dog will feel safe and protected. This simulates what would happen in a pack. The alert bark would be “checked” by the leader or parent and they would either rally or relax. In our human world we tend to relax when we are home because we know we have locks, and security systems, and a schedule of when the landscapers will arrive, but your front door was removed leaving a huge opening… it would not take long before you were on alert and worried about potential theft or harm from strangers. This nervousness is what your dog feels now. It is amazing quickly your dog will calm down and relax knowing he is living in a protected home simply by addressing each alert.

Getting them Calm inside.

In addition to addressing alert barks, watch your dog and discover his vantage point. The place where he can see what is going on outside like a window, a door, an entry way, etc now each time he goes to that spot, walk over to your dog and make him move… face your dog and walk into them moving them away from the area, say a word like MOVE or GET . This will calm your dog’s nerves inside and outside making him relax in the fact that you have things under control and he is safe.

Good Door Manners

The next step is to teach your dog good door manners. This is important because if the dog does not feel as if the guests have been properly screened, then we are all unsafe. so we need to “screen them in order to relax the dog.
If you have more than one dog focus on the stronger more dominant one the others will follow.
Please allow 45 minutes for this exercise. Practice makes perfect :) I often practice without anyone at the door by simply knock on a wall and act like someone is there and go through the motions explained below.
If you have a willing participant, let them know ahead of time, that they will need to be patient and ready to knock repeatedly. It may take a few tries before they make it inside. First time is more challenging because it is new, but. it gets better fast :) Select a place for your dog to sit and stay while you answer the door. The spot should be close enough to the door for the action, but not to close that you do not have time to correct your dog before he is to the guest, and it should easy to access this area during training. Now, envision an imaginary boundary line(maybe where the carpet meets the tile, etc) at no point should your dog cross your invisible line barrier with any body part (nose or nail) without being sternly corrected and pushed back into place. Let’s get started! Have someone knock on your door, walk over to the door, turn and face your dog walk into them with confidence and say in a deep tone “move” or “get back” continue walking into your dog until he is at the chosen spot. Once there reward him “yes” followed with a firm “sit” and “stay”. Turn toward the door, if your dog gets up, correct him and push him back to the spot. Repeat until you can walk to the door and jiggle the door handle and immediately approach your dog to praise reward for staying (you go to your dog to reward, he does not come to you!!!). Quickly ask for a new knock, this time open the door and speak to the guest briefly, then shut the door and go reward your dog. Quickly ask for a new knock, this time open the door, speak to the guest and ask them to step in and out of the doorway very quickly… shut the door and reward your dog, finally open the door ask your guest to come in and stand talking to you in the human only area, when your dog is relaxed, behaving and calm, walk over to him with your guest and pet and introduce the guest to your dog “this is my dog “buddy”. Practice makes perfect! Repeat any phase of this exercise until you have success before moving to the next step.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When to Praise, How to Praise, Accidental Praise at the wrong time

All too often we forget to praise. When we give praise is extremely important. It is how we will begin to teach them the behaviors we want from them. Praise is; your time, your attention, petting, and or verbal sweet talk. Only give your dog praise when he is displaying the behavior that you want in a calm, stable way. Be cautious not to give accidental praise during a bad behavior. Timing is very important. Time your petting to happen only when all four of his feet are on the ground. Make corrections for unwanted behaviors and make sure you praise the good ones. Your dog will learn your expectations. Remember your desires may be totally different from the previous owners. It is just as important to praise at the proper time as it is to make corrections!
To stop any unwanted behavior you must be in control. Dogs do not know our language. They do, however, understand your tone, your body language and your posture. Use these until you can begin teaching him your commands in an obedience class. You must have your dogs’ attention for any training to happen. You cannot begin to teach until they are focused on you. You must be the center of their world.
Break down each command into individual actions. In this way you are teaching your dog what each word means. He is now learning your language. This will give your dog a better understanding of what you want from him, as well as provide a foundation that you can build on.
Your words must have value. It is important that you ask once and show them the second time. This will teach your dog the meaning of each word and provide a clear understanding of the definition of that word.
One the most important things you can teach your dog is his name. The easiest way to teach this is by using food/treats. Say his name and immediately give a treat. Move all around the house and repeat his name, immediately give a treat. Minimize your distractions. Only speak your dog’s name when you are ready and can lavish him with your affection! When you call your dog’s name, you should always be in a happy, upbeat mood. This should be a rewarding
exercise for your dog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blending Pets in the home

It does not matter if you are bringing home a puppy, or an adult dog with or without pedigree. All dogs have a similar time line. The first few months is your honeymoon phase. It is when they are learning the basics of the household (where when and how they get fed, who each member of the house is, etc) then they begin to push for boundary lines, rules, expectations, and pecking order. This where we usually get your call . Dogs will excel in home with rules, guidance and structure. It is important to have all family members on the same page and in agreement of the expectations and house rules.

Dogs are pack animals so they will need to know what their job is and how they fit into your family. Dogs instinctively are driven to establish and know their position within the group. It works best if that position is assigned and enforced by you. This will prevent any scuffles or fighting for advancement between the existing dog and the new one. An easy way to do this is to assign position#1 to the dog you have had the longest and then on down the line.
Everything goes in this order (nail trims, feeding, treats, brushing, bathing, leashing, etc) if your new pup takes from the existing dog, remove it from him and return it. If the new pup, Bumps, knocks around, or pushes your current dog out of the way, then immediately get involved.. correct and move the new pup away.
Do not allow staring, glaring, or posturing from the new addition.
If both dogs realize that each has an assigned and protected pecking order then both dogs will relax due to the feeling secure.

For the first few days, watch and learn your new dogs’ signs and signals. Aggressive or assertive signs may include; hackles raised, prick ears, showing of teeth, growls or stares. For the best results, all corrections must be made at the first sign. Corrections may simply be a touch, a tap, grabbing of the cheeks or just staring them down. For excess barking, use your hand to grab the top of the muzzle and give a quick, firm verbal command. When applying a correction; be assertive, be quick and then move on. Be ready to repeat a correction if needed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Start teaching right away

Since homes and expectations can vary greatly. It is best for you to not worry about what your new pet may or may not know, and just start from scratch teaching him exactly what you want by breaking things down and praising positive behaviors and responses.

Start immediately with your house rules. Building a strong trusting relationship with boundaries, leadership and mutual respect will cement the friendship that you desire!
Leaders are calm, and assertive so enforce the house rules this way. Establish your leadership position. Have your dog work for your attention. For example; have him sit before petting him or have him sit to get his leash on. Enter and exit through doors first. Touch every part of your dog. Get him use to having you handle him. Touch his feet, ears, teeth, toes, tail. This will also be useful when you need to brush his teeth, or give ear medication or trim his nails. Consider hand feeding your dog a small amount from his bowl before giving him the whole bowl of food.
Safety is a big part of a dogs’ world, so we must make them feel as if we have things under control. When your dog sounds off an alert bark then you should investigate the bark and give a release word like “thank you”. Your dog will know the situation has been properly addressed and there is no danger. If we do not address the situation your dog will escalate and potentially become an excessive barker or worse.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bringing Your New Pet Home

Bringing Your New Dog or Puppy Home

Bringing your new pet home is such an exciting time. With all this excitement, it is also important to begin working on your leadership skills. Building a bond of trust and friendship between you and your dog right from the beginning will ensure a successful long term relationship. You can start with establishing your house rules and then gently, but firmly, enforcing them. Put your new dog on a routine and a schedule. Dogs excel in homes that have regular set routines! They want and need direction from you, as the parent, to guide them and let them know what your expectations are from the day one. Your dog is a rescue but treat it as if it were a new puppy with a clean slate. Try not to dwell on the fact that it may have had a rough life prior to the life it will have with you. It’s a new beginning!

Prepare your house for your new dog

Prior to bringing your dog home, select and make comfy a small area in a high traffic zone where your new dog will spend a lot of time. This will aid in housebreaking and keep your new pet in a safe controlled area that you can supervise while you teach your rules and the new schedule.
Prior to bringing your pet home, do some puppy proofing. Puppies are not born knowing the risk of living in a human environment. They do not know how dangerous a moving car or a live electrical cord is to them. Here are a few safety precautions that you can take: Put up baby gates to keep your puppy close to you. Remove all items from low shelves or tables. Cover all electric wires so that they cannot be chewed. Put away any chemicals or poisons.
Keep blind cords out of reach. Have a crate set up in the main dwelling area of your home. Crates provide safety when you are away. They are also helpful in housebreaking your new pet!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Housebreaking Tips

Please remember that small dogs and young puppies have small developing bladders and do not have the control to “hold it” like that of a large adult dog. You must be prepared to take them outside for a potty breaks at least every 2-3 hours. It is very import that you are diligent and consistent with the program until they have more control. If they ever designate their own spot inside your home, it is much more difficult and requires more diligence on your part to correct them.

Dogs need things simple so we have to make it clear and consistent for them to understand what we expect of them. So if you want them to potty outside pick a spot in the yard and always go out the same door into that same area every time .

Never take your eyes off your dog until you have success. It is easier to monitor the situation if you block off rooms to any areas you cannot see into. If you are busy or simply cannot watch your dog like a hawk put them into a crate or outside in your yard for that period of time. *it is vital to watch them and have control of your pet so they do not slink off and eliminate behind a couch or in another room.  Free roaming access to your home is earned not just given. Open up and expand one room at a time. Do not rush this part take your time.

If you want them to potty outside, Never not use paper or potty pads in the house (they promote the dog to eliminate inside the home and confuse the dog because they do not understand why it is okay to potty inside sometimes and not other times)

While your dog is doing going to the bathroom in the “potty spot” I attach a word like “potty” to the action. This will teach them to go on command, which is great for cold or rainy nights. Remember to praise and make a huge deal out of the successful event. Yeah! What a good Potty!

It is a good idea to limit your dog’s water intake. Drinking excessive amounts of water will make your dog need to relieve his bladder more often. Do not give rawhides as they contain high amounts of salt which promotes the need to drink more water.

Never play with your dog in the “Potty area” this will only confuse the dog (do I play or potty)?

If you catch your dog in the act of eliminating inside your home, Act quickly and immediately yell and make a huge fuss over the incident ( Bad dog, I’m upset with you, etc.) scoop em up  even if they are not finished, and rush them outside, to the potty area, if they finish here, praise & reward this behavior a lot.

If you do not catch them in the act, Take them to the scene of the crime and scold them (do not rub their nose in it) they are smart and know what happen. Follow up a trip to the potty area. Praise them if they go in the area.

Always take them outside to the potty area especially after;

Eating ,Drinking, Waking from a nap, First thing in the morning, Last thing before bedtime, After 10 to 15 minutes of play time (because any time they get excited, they have to go).

Posted in Dog Training | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment