JoJo and I have decided to show in conformation. I haven't done any showing for about 5 years so I was a little rusty. But JoJO had some training as a puppy with her former handler, so she was very easy to work with. We have been practicing at home since and now have a good showing procedure for our next shows which will be in August.
TryDogs already know how to find things. The term "scenting" for humans means that a dog finds what WE want him to find. In scenting, we are teaching dogs to focus their amazing ability onto ONE thing, a particular smell.
Dogs who we consider to be exceptionally distracted or "difficult" to train benefit greatly from this because they generally prefer to SNIFF things rather than pay attention to us humans.
If we can give them some direction and teach dogs to understand that they will be rewarded for finding things, we are directly communicating with our dogs through their most important device - the nose. Try working with your dog on scenting.
To celebrate winter and our dogs I made a creative editing video featuring the music of Erhling - Palm Trees. Dogs likely can have fun no matter what the weather or the environment.
The most important thing to me is to have fun with my dogs. This video is a tribute to my wonderful dogs, past and present, who have made my life great.
The dogs in this video are:
McCoy, Eli, Finn, Miranda, Emmett, Tommy - Australian Shepherds
AJ, Ira - Kuvaszok
Cyndee - spotted mixed breed rescue from Funds For Furry Friends
Check out Ehrling's fabulous music on SoundCloud
Make no mistake. Your dog can be trained to walk on a loose leash without using a choke, pinch or shock collar.
The following video shows two dogs walking in super heavy distractions (both at #42 onthe dog intelligence list so not TOO smart, LOL), and they both learned to walk on a loose leash completely without corrections. I know this is true because I taught them!
If you think you need training tools other than a clicker and food rewards, I am here to tell you that is an incorrect assumption.
YOU personally, may not be able to train it because of lack of skill or knowledge, but any dog can LEARN to do it if you are willing to teach it.
Choke, pinch and shock collars are designed to cause PAIN to the dog in order to stop a behaviour you don't want. That is why they work. They cause pain. You don't need them.
Instead, develop a closer relationship with your dog by learning how to communicate better with him. Learn doggie language and then communicate what you need your dog to learn.
You don't need to use pain to do it.
Ira achieved his Intermediate Trick Dog Title - a legitimate dog sport title - this week. The titling body is the Do More With Your Dog Association headed by Kyra Sundance. These titles are also now recognized by the AKC as well.
For anyone thinking that Kuvasz shouldn't be learning tricks for whatever reason, I ask you, what should a Kuvasz, or any normal dog, learn? Learning prevents dementia in both dogs and humans. Learn, anything you can. Keep your dog, and yourself, active mentally and physically.
Well, as usual, and for most people, this year has had its good parts and its bad parts. This is our "so-long" video to 2017, a creative editing attempt to show how much the dogs (we) have accomplished. When you put your mind to something, have a goal, and stay calm and focused you can get stuff done.
Everything takes time, especially when you are in partnership with another living being who has her/his own interests.
All I can say is work WITH your dog to accomplish training. Work on not getting upset when things go wrong, and staying calm if you want to communicate better with your doggie. It is worth it on several different levels.
Happy New Year friends!
Our new channel intro. Finally, I feel like this intro explains things well and suits us better.
I heard some music today and it reminded me of the video I made of our camping trip to Riding Mountain National Park with the dogs. Our Kuvasz AJ is in the spotlight in this video. She loved being out in nature and looking at and sniffing stuff.
I sure miss her.
I thought I would post Ira's first training session this week again. He has been steadily improving and learning quite quickly over that past month or so, probably due to maturity! The training is definitely paying off.
For those of you who know some of the difficulty of training a livestock guardian dog, you may be happy to know for sure that consistent training DOES work so keep going on it.
This video footage was taken on September 17, the day after we arrived home from picking up Ira in Ontario at Huron Kennels.
It is sledding season here already. We have SNOW! I am behind in my training so to help with this I thought I would make a few posts about sledding to get me going on it.
Since we have two new dogs, it is important to do the work BEFORE you start any kind of real pulling work.
Dogs love to pull (for some reason) but you can ruin an enthusiastic dog easily by not doing the proper work ahead of time.
Some dog humans are afraid to let their dog(s) do sledding because it might not translate well into a nicely walking dog after that.
In this video, I show how easy it is to make the distinction between pulling and not pulling.
I recently found some training information that discussed NOT teaching your dog a "LEAVE IT" cue.
This is particularly appealing because it results in your dog leaving things alone that are on the floor or ground.
I am not totally convinced yet though, that this is a good idea. Yes it is nice not to have to always be telling your dog to leave things alone and be always on the lookout for stuff he could pick up in his mouth.
However it also prevents, to an extent, your dog from interacting with the environment. If you dog was to not even sniff at things because he was trained to stay back or away from everything on the ground, that would be unfair to the dog. Dogs need to interact with the environment. They need to sniff.
This is why I teach my dogs a default leave it AND a "LEAVE IT" cue. I want them to sniff things on the ground when we are out for a walk but if there is too much sniffing in one place, I would use the "LEAVE IT" cue.
Recently I have been having a bit of trouble getting Ira to return with the retrieve toy, no matter what kind of toy that was. even though he has been getting training for this behaviour since he was a tiny puppy, this is still one of his problem areas.
I decided to start using an alternative reward because he enjoys play with toys sometimes more than getting tasty food pieces.
Watch the video to see what happened.
One of the things that I like to do when getting a new dog is to be prepared.
When two of our dogs suddenly went deaf, we had to do some training with a recall hand signal. The dog KIND OF knew the hand signal but not totally, so we did some work on it.
This reminded me that it is a good thing to be prepared in case of different situations. This behaviour is not hard to teach and can and should be done with even a puppy. Then you won't have to worry if your dog goes deaf in the future.
This month we are participating in VEDA - vlog or video every day in August. We are also starting our new feature - fun dog fridays.
Post a picture of your dog having fun on Friday and use #fundogfriday. I will hopefully find it and retweet or repost on Twitter or Instagram.
Today JoJo and Ira had fun playing for a half an hour.
This spring we found out that Ira was reactive to lawn mowers. Last fall when we got him, there was no reactivity, even though he was exposed to one as a pup. He barks excessively at either just seeing the stationary mower and while it is moving.
This was cause for concern because it was obviously causing him stress. So I have started on a program to desensitize Ira from his fear of small moving objects/vehicles.
This was our first session.