Sometimes our dogs are reluctant to slow to do something that we have been training them to do. It gives the impression that the dog is "stubborn" or stupid. What is more likely is that a dog is not responding to a cue that has been "poisoned".
This means that the cue given to the dog to indicate to do a behaviour has a negative association with it, and the dog is not motivated to do it.
In this video I show how to remedy this. I'm sure we all have a cue or two that has turned out this way.
There is one thing that as a dog training professional I find frustrating. The desire and habit of most dog owners to want to stop using food rewards too soon.
This results most often in poorly trained behaviours. You can often see this in public at obedience trials or when a person repeatedly pesters a dog to "comply" to a "command". The fact is, the behaviour is simply not properly trained and needs more work.
Humans usually want to stop using food rewards because of the long standing idea that the dog should "do what he is told" immediately. The reason he is not doing so is because he needs more training. Plain and simple.
Our latest video shows how to do this with one simple idea, with proof of the result in the video. GIVE MORE FOOD REWARDS UNTIL THE BEHAVIOUR IS WHERE YOU WANT IT.
Because there is snow here and we can actually go sledding, it's time to work more on sledding behaviours. JoJo has always been a little worried about having something put over her head and this includes the sledding harness.
Last year we did some work on getting her more comfortable with this, but this year I decided to do more. I want her to be completely comfortable with putting her head into the sledding harness so that doing so will constitute her consent for continuing with putting on the harness. The vide below has our first session this year. Not everything is perfect - in a few places I went a bit too fast for her liking but we fixed that and continued on.
JoJo has achieved her Advanced Trick Dog (ATD) title with Do More With Your Dog and is well on her way to Expert! She is such a fast learner, it makes me wonder why the Australian Shepherd is #42 on the "so-called" Dog Intelligence List. The list is so wrong it's ridiculous. That's what we're out to prove and is the whole reason behind All Dogs Are Smart!
So, I did this video over a year ago, with the intention of showing how easy it is to teach a simple behaviour without making it complicated. Teaching your dog to look at you is best taught by waiting for the dog to give you the behaviour.
At first you will be "capturing" the behaviour of you dog glancing at you (and away from your hand with the food in it !) and then progress to shaping a longer and longer duration of eye contact. The idea of eye contact is to make it enjoyable for your dog to do so, so that he defaults to it in stressful and exciting situations. You don't want to always have to be calling your dog or soliciting his attention at these times. This behaviour is especially important to teach those highly distractible dogs.
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.