training tips

How to Pick a Dog Trainer?
Unfortunately, there is no formal certification to be a dog trainer.  Many people will advertise credentials such as Association of Pet Dog Trainers or Similar Online studies but most are just that.  Online studies.  Dog training is experience with many different breeds, different issues, different sport training goals, different ages, different circumstances.  

A good dog trainer is a problem solver.  A excellent dog trainer is one with years of experience, insurance to cover it's clients and self, and a resume of past accomplishments, not just a few weeks at the local shelter or training back yard clients at the park.  Ask him what he/she has done with their dog, their clients dogs, what types of training have they excelled at, and for me, what titles or accomplishments they achieved with their dogs and their clients.   

Titling a dog in sport, or getting a certification on a dog, tells me, a third party, of judging experience has assessed the training put on that dog, the handling skills of the trainer, and the ability to work though conflict with a dog to achieve success.



What is Dog Training?
Training consists of
Engagement - the ability of your dog to want to play, interact, engage, and offer behaviors to you


Teaching - Shaping commands, rewarding for success, withholding reward for no success.

Correction - A correction is "anything that changes behavior".   Make sure your dog understands the exercise fully before you initiate a correction. 

Proofing:  Introduce Distractions to command well taught.  Reteach the exercise, then proof the exercise in the new situation.   A new area is a new distraction.  Just because your dog has an awesome "sit" command at home, does not mean he will "sit" in a different
environment.

Don't be afraid to take a step back in training.  If your dog is confused, this will lead to mistakes.

What is Clear Communication?
Keeping your training simple and consistent will allow the dog to learn faster, process the information, and perform the exercise with consistency.  Be black and white in your expectations.  Use the same words.  Do not teach your dog sentences.  Be able to define your words so they are clear to the family members.

Just want to Teach Come?
Come is not a priority word for your dog.  If you are not consistent in your training on other commands, the dog cannot be consistent in come.  All commands should be important to the dog; therefore, there is no grey areas when the work "come" is used.

Want my dog to be friendly with other dogs?
Ask yourself this question?  Why?  
The answer should be so they are not aggressive, reactive, or hard to handle when they encounter another dog.  It should NOT be so they have a playmate.  Dogs are pack animals. We are their pack...If you want the dog to bond with you, become their pack. Be more important than anything else in the environment.  Your dog will become neutral to other dogs but focus attention on you so when you give a command, the dog will obey the command...like come..

Housebreaking Training Tips:
A Crate is Important
The crate should only be big enough for your dog to turn around
Your pup should be on a house leash
Monitor and Distribute Water
Keep a log of your dogs bowl/urine movements.  You are working on the puppies schedule not yours when housebreaking
Housetraining is NOT the dogs fault, it is your working the dogs schedule


Rules should be Taught

We live in a structured society with rules, discipline and accountability?  Why not our canines?  Clients like to add the human factor when training dogs and understanding behavior.  Canines are not Humans and Humans are Not Canines.  They learn, process, test, and communicate differently. Don't treat them as humans.  

Mental Vs Physical Stimulation
While it is beneficial for dogs to have their physical exercise, especially working breeds, dogs need as much mental stimulation as well.  It is the mental stimulation that keeps them out of trouble (rules of the house).  Dogs demand to use their brain.  If you don't use it for good behavior, you will have bad behavior.  (Aggression, dominance, circling, excessive licking, diarrhea, destructiveness, digging, chewing etc). 
Obedience not only teaches your dog self control but it also allows it to think and respond.  Teaching your dog anything from tricks to simple obedience commands gives it an outlet and allows thought processes to over-ride negative behaviors.


Why Crating is Positive?
Most dogs sleep the majority of their day. Dogs like to have a safe place to go to, especially in an active household with a slightly insecure dog.  Crates keep your pups safe while away from home.  It eliminates destructive behaviors and pattern habits.  It provides structure ...a needed tool in your pups life.  It provides a forced way to settle a high energy, high driven dog.  It will be helpful at some point in their lives like when visiting vets office, on vacation, traveling, visiting family/friends, or groomers.

Training is not 6 weeks

While we applaud individuals who seek out training in puppy class, socialization classes, or beginner basic class at a young age...please don't stop there.  We dont go to school to just learn how to spell, we go to school so we can read, speak, write, and develop.

Dog training should not be a 6 week and out mentality.  Get your foundation done, train for neutrality with other dogs, new environments, basic commands with consistency and accuracy and you will have a well trained dog for life with just slight maintenance.

Maintenance

Everything requires maintenance, our cars, our house, our hair, nails, health, weight, nutrition, and learning.  Why not our dogs?  Dogs are like people as they get a little lax, we get lax in their training,, we accept their half obedience, and then one day we are annoyed they are no longer obedience....Maintain your training periodically and keep the dogs mind as well as your objectives in sight.