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All About Doberman Pinschers Tips, News and Information

About Doberman Pinscher Tips, News and Information. : Dog Training : January 2006

January 10, 2006 20:24 - Dog Training Tips: Things I've Learned About Agility Dog Training

by Melissa Buhmeyer

I've owned many dogs, throughout my life, but have never known exactly how to train them properly. I based my training on punishment and just couldn't figure out why that didn't work that well. But, almost two years ago, I started training my Papillon for agility competition. She was extremely high-drive and I knew she'd really love it. So, I found a good agility training school and off we went. We've been competing, very successfully, for almost a year now and, looking back, I learned so many important things about dog training!

First of all, most trainers require that dogs have completed at least a basic obedience class before proceeding to agility training. This is critical to agility training and, in my opinion, every dog and handler could benefit from a basic obedience class. I learned that I have a food-motivated dog and that she will work her heart out for highly prized treats, not for punishment! There are skills you and your dog will learn, through an obedience class, such as recalls, sit/stays, down/stays, and walking nicely on a leash. Each of these skills is something you will need every time you compete, not to mention day-to-day life with your dog.

The pace of your training will always be set by your dog. Each dog learns at a different speed and, what comes easily for one dog, may not come easily for another. So, be very patient while training your dog any skill. Make it a game. Let your dog take as much time as it needs, without getting impatient or frustrated, to figure out what behavior you want from it.

All tasks must be broken down into small pieces, whether the task is a simple sit, the beginnings of obstacle training, or more complex tricks or agility sequences. If you break the task down to something small, then mark/reward and repeat, several times before making the task larger, you will have success without stressing the dog out. For example, when training an agility tunnel, you scrunch it up to its smallest form. Have someone place your dog at the entrance while you sit on the ground at the exit, with a treat, and call your dog. As soon as the dog comes through that little piece of a tunnel, you mark/reward. Slowly begin expanding the tunnel using the same technique. In just a few minutes, you'll have your dog going through however long a tunnel you need.

For agility training, once the dog begins obstacle training, there is never a wrong answer. Dogs get confused, and may shut down, if they start being told they're doing the wrong thing, so keep the training light and never scold for doing the incorrect thing. If the dog doesn't do what you want it to, you simply do not mark/reward for that action. You just ask again and, the minute you get the correct response, mark/reward and make a huge deal of it. That will make your dog more anxious to give you that same answer again. As you start competing, you might want to use a particular word to indicate the incorrect response, such as "uh oh," or "oops," but not with a scolding tone. This will indicate that the dog will be asked to try again but everything is fine between the two of you.

Lastly, always keep the training fun for both you and your dog. Even when you start competing, or have been competing for a long time, this is critical. If you start getting caught up in the competition and title-winning, you might forget why you started agility to begin with: because it's fun! When the game stops being fun, your dog won't enjoy it anymore and neither will you. Agility is a wonderful sport and will forever secure the relationship between you and your dog. Run fast, run clean, and, above all, have fun!

About The Author

Melissa Buhmeyer has been involved in dog agility training for two years and is co-founder of http://www.dogtraining-school.com/, a site built for aspiring and professional dog trainers. A seven year breast cancer survivor, she is also the founder of http://www.breastcancer-treatment.us, focusing on breast cancer treatment options, news, articles, and survivor experiences.


See our training puppies for "take out" time guidelines

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January 11, 2006 11:17 - Puppy Training Tips for the New Dog Owner

The Best Ways to Teach Your Puppy the English Language

by: Dy Witt

Puppies are eager and willing to do the right thing. They love your happy face and the squealy noises you make when they have done something great. They will do ANYthing to please you because of the loving rewards they get from being a Good Dog. They just cannot get enough of your praises and cuddles.

Moving towards "What a good dog!" from "Bad Puppy!" is based on one thing. Your puppy does not know the English language, and the faster he learns it, the better for all, because the minute he knows what you want he will DO it. Make it faster and easier for him to learn by keeping these tips in mind:

1. Be consistent in the words you choose to teach him commands. If you say, "Wanna go potty?" in the morning, and "Have to go out?" two hours later, and "Wanna go pee?" two hours later, etc., then that is THREE phrases you have asked him to learn in one day instead of only one. Decide which words to use, and make sure everyone in your family uses the same ones.

2. Use his name in the command if you want action, do NOT use it if you want him restricted from action. This is very important. Hearing his own name makes a puppy leap into action by his very nature. When you want your puppy to come, say, "Puppy, Come!" [insert his name instead of the word Puppy, of course] When you want him to lie down, simply say, "Down".

3. Do not confuse your puppy with the same words for different commands. If you are teaching him basic obedience, the word "Down" means LIE down, usually followed by "Stay." If you don't want him on the couch, do not say "Down", say, "Off." This word can be used to keep him from jumping up into your lap, onto the couch, chair or bed because it is the ACTION of jumping up you are trying to restrict. Saying "Down" when he jumps onto the couch will just make him lie down on the couch! See the difference?

Do not ever hit your puppy, you dont need to. The worst punishment he ever needs to learn a lesson is your sad frown and walking away from him. One or two minutes is the limit though, do not overdo this. After a minute of ignoring him, give a command he knows well and praise praise praise, with a big smile.

These three tips, used with gentleness and consistency, will teach your puppy all the words he needs to know to be a happy and obedient companion in a matter of days.

About The Author
Dy Witt has shown, bred and trained standard poodles for 25 years. Vets and groomers of her pups send word back of how wonderfully happy and easy to handle they are. For more on her training techniques, more free articles and info on her new ebook on dog training, visit http://www.DogTraining15MinsADay.com.

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This is an excellent dog training course that embraces all aspects of dog training. An indispensable dog training tool that provides the techniques needed to transform your dog into a well mannered obedient member of the family.

For the Dog Trainer - for all your doberman training gear needs.

January 11, 2006 19:47 - Free Dog Training Tips

Mealtime is the Perfect Time -- for Dog Training, That Is

by: O'Neal Hendrix

Eating is one of the most primal activities for dogs. They love it, and they have respect for whoever gives them food (the leader in the pack). You can use your "power" of being pack leader to enhance your dog training efforts -- every day.

The following suggestions will help you establish your role as pack leader and reinforce dog obedience, deferment to your leadership, dog training techniques, and overall attitude and disposition (yours and your dogs).

1. CONSISTENCY

A good habit to have in feeding your dog is consistency. Dogs love routine and food is a very important subject to them.

For example, feed your dog at approximately the same time(s) each day (some modification is fine for weekly schedule changes.) If feeding two times a day, pick two windows of time that you can be consistent with, for example, between 7:00 and 8:00 am and then again between 5:00 and 6:00 pm.

Having a window of time helps prevent anxiety in a dog expecting to be fed at a specific time each day (5:15 pm -- yes, dogs can zero in on a specific time of day like 5:15).

This is a very real concern for dogs and some dogs can fall apart emotionally and physically if they are expecting food at that time and don�t get it. Ever hear of the dog that is panting and spastic and throwing up or having diarrhea? This dog is anxious. Setting a window of time and sticking to it will help your dog remain calm. Practice the same routine every day.

2. NO RUNNING BUFFET

A big mistake is to offer up the running buffet, where food is available around the clock. This is actually a pretty common feeding program in many homes because it�s simple for the humans -- add food as needed.

So why not do this? Because it leads to an obese, lazy dog who doesn�t listen to your commands, respect your leadership position or adhere to rules you�ve set forth in your dog training.

3. MEALTIME IS DOG TRAINING TIME

Wonderful things happen at mealtime -- for you and Fido. You get the opportunity to have your dog perform (reinforcing all that dog training you�ve done) for his meal. This could be sit, down, come, place.

So what, you say? Well, this is the easiest way you have of getting your dog�s affirmation of you being the leader and reinforcing dog training. If you aren�t the leader, guess who is. It will be the demanding, obnoxious dog bossing you around for a meal.

What exactly does it look like? Hold the food bowl in your hand. Your dog may be spastic, jumping, yipping, and pawing at you for the food. This is another dog training opportunity for you -- teaching him to be calmer at mealtimes.

State your command once and wait (good to start with a sit, which is usually the easiest). Your dog sits and the bowl of food goes to the floor with praise for a good sit and a release "OK" that they can move to get the food.

When your dog complies with your command, he has just deferred to your leadership in the pack. (When beginning this program, you may need to help your dog with completing his command and praise warmly and then give food.)

Once your dog has the program down, you can introduce other feeders such as spouse, responsible children, etc to gently let your four-footed family member know her position in the pack.

CONCLUSION

By changing your dog�s feeding routine, you change so much more. You get to reinforce all the dog training and dog obedience you�ve worked so hard on -- and it feels effortless. You get increased respect from your dog for providing the important commodity of food and for being a consistent provider. The more you establish yourself as leader of the pack, the more your dog will want to please you and dog training will be a snap.

About The Author
O�Neal Hendrix is a premier professional dog trainer in Atlanta, GA. For many years, she has "worked miracles" with dogs and their owners. See what works on her website -- Trainer's Pick dog supplies, http://www.dog-supplies-dog-accessories.com/.

Dog Training Guides Find a dog training program appropriate for your dog.
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January 12, 2006 10:12 - Puppy Agility Training Tips

Puppy Agility Training
by: Brad Carlson

You may be asking, "When can I start agility training with my new puppy?" Puppies are always learning, so every time you are with your pup you can be playing and socializing with agility in mind. Always remember, if you can control your puppies environment, you can teach and train the behaviors you want, left on their own, even in a fenced yard, puppies will learn and develop behaviors that later we may want or need to extinguish.

One of the first behaviors we teach our pups is "Table" or "Box". This behavior transfers to the agility pause table. But more than that, the table is the center and control point of our puppy training. We introduce pups and older dogs to the table set at a 12 inch height. If you have a very small pup you could use an 8 inch table, but even with bigger dogs we use the 12 inch table and not higher. To begin, lure pup up on a low pause table, treat him for getting on the table. Once the pup is comfortable getting up on the table, then lure the pup up to a sit. You can also lure to a down.

Next you want to work on distance to the table. If you have a person to help you you can use a white target plate on the table, take the pup and step back from the table about 3 feet. Have your helper make a noise to get the pup's attention, and place a treat on the table. Release your pup to, "Go table." The pup gets his reward only when getting up on the table. If you don't have a helper, than place your treat in a covered container that will be recognized as a treat box for your pup. Leave the treat container on the table, step away from the table about 3 feet, face the table and say, "Go Table".

If your pup is very young, you can hold him as you lift him off the table and move away from the table. If your pup is too big for you to hold then use a flatbuckle collar and light dragline for your pup.

Now introduce your jumps to your pup. But you are not going to use the jump bars yet. First you want your pup to go through or between the jump uprights. Set a jump about 4 feet away from your table. Take your pup to the other side of the jump. So you are lined up pup, jump, then table. You want to get your pups attention to the treat on the table, either with a helper or a treat container, release your pup to the table, "Go Table". Let the pup run ahead of you, but go meet him at the table so that he can get his treat, praise him then offer him another treat for sitting on the table.

Progress with adding one extra jump at a time. Spacing the jumps about 3 feet apart. You are developing a jump chute that will lead the pup to the table. Remember your goal is to build the command, "Go" and "Table". You are also teaching the pup to move out ahead of you, working away from you and getting comfortable working around tables and jumps. Your pup is getting familiar running through the jump uprights, but you are not focusing on having your pup jump.

With all your puppy training, have fun with your pup. Use all your puppies motivators, praise, toys, and food. It is up to you to be more interesting to your pup than all the other distractions out in the yard.

About The Author
Brad Carlson is a dog trainer at Agility by Carlson. For more training details, visit our website at http://www.carlson-agility.com/.

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January 12, 2006 15:22 - Dog Training when Your Dog is Young

Dog Training � Early Training Is Essential
by: Declan Tobin

Dogs are a fantastic edition to any family but like all youngsters they need training. If you do not train your puppy now it will take a serious amount of help from a training school to get him to be obedient later on. Puppies just like babies learn mostly in their early years and unfortunately will also pick up the bad habits also. Early attention will save you heartache later on and give you more quality time.

House Training:

Dogs has to go to the toilet, everybody has experienced a new puppy making a mess on the tiles or carpet, not a pleasant experience but one that allows you begin training. You should allow your dog out on regular intervals; he will learn that this is the time to go to the toilet. If he happens to go in the house let him know that this is wrong by using a familiar word such as �No� and put him in the yard for a few minutes. Do not hit your dog, by doing so you will only break his spirit and make him nervous of you and others. It can by very frustrating at times but words work better long term and hitting. Never ever put the dogs nose into his urine, so many people do this thinking it is a good way for the dog to learn his lesson but in actual fact all you are doing is burning the animals nose, this is equally as bad as hitting.

Furniture and your puppy:

Teething can be a bit of a nightmare but you can eliminate the damage caused by puppies to furniture in a number of different ways. Boredom is a common cause for dogs to get up to mischief. Make yourself available for about 20 minutes playtime per day (excluding walking). Playing ball in the yard is a great exercise for the dog and apart from exercise it bonds you and him together. Toys are ideal in the house and will occupy the dog, if there are no toys such as a chewy bone the dog will find other ways especially if you pop down for some shopping and leave him alone � the furniture will get it. Different types of sprays are available to spray on the furniture and can be very effective. Remember to change the toys around from time to time as the dog will become bored with the same toys month in month out.

Walking:

Starting your puppy on a lead can be comical. It will take some time for them to get used to being on the leash but once they do it will be no problem. A dog will try to pull you along as this is in their nature. Do not run with the dog as this is giving in and they will expect this all the time. Put the dog on a short leash (not to short) and it will discourage them from trying to dictate the pace. After a week or so both you and the dog will be at ease with one another on the walk. Remember to bring the doggy bag with you. Starting off expect the dog to be curious of other dogs and new surroundings. Do not drag him along on the lead as this is his time for enjoyment.

Feeding:

Your dog has a different intestinal setup to you. So many people feed their dogs the same type of food as they eat themselves along with the dog food. Obesity in animals is common place along with humans. Do not feed your dog chocolate or other sweet foods as this will only lead to bowl problems. Dog food is designed to give the dog all the nutrients he will need to live healthily. Dog treats are available; they do not need our junk food. Check with your local vet or seek advice online for the amount of food your dog should consume on a daily basis.

Dog Treats:

Dog treats should be used as an incentive for obedience. Training a dog can be hard work and patients are needed. Basic training such as the command to sit should be rewarded with a dog treat. The dog will begin to understand that this is a good behaviour move and will do it less reluctantly with time.

Remember dogs will obey you more lovingly if treated properly without hitting; simple words will work much better than smacking. Make time for your dog, leaving a dog out the back yard day and night is no life, do not get a dog into the house under pressure from children, it has to be a well thought out decision.

About The Author
Declan Tobin is a successful freelance writer providing advice on purchasing a variety of Pet Supplies which includes Dog Training, Pet Food, and more! His numerous articles provide a wonderfully researched resource of interesting and relevant information for all of your Pet interests. http://www.no1-in-pets.com.
declan@no1-in-pets.com

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January 13, 2006 10:09 - Dog Training Tips ...Is Your Dog Digging up Your Yard?

Dog Training: Tips and Tricks to Stop Your Dog from Digging Up Your Yard
by: O'Neal Hendrix

It's downright infuriating to look out the window and see Buddy digging another hole in the yard. You yell out the window; he may or may not even acknowledge he's heard anything; then back to the digging. This dog behavior has got to stop.

WHY DOGS DIG...

Did you ever stop to think WHY Buddy digs? (except to make you mad!). This is the real trick - to figure out why he's digging in the first place, the motivation behind the dog behavior. Then you can take dog training steps to discourage it, redirect that energy and possibly stop it completely.

1. I'M BORED!

Location: Digging along the fence lines and at the gate.

Why? He is bored and wants to get out for some action.

Solution: Provide more exercise for your dog, both physical and mental. The more exercise the better, according to your dog. A tired, happy dog will rest nicely between great outings.

2. I'M HOT!!

Digging along the edge of the house or shallow "pits," especially in the heat of the summer.

Why? Your dog is most likely creating a cool spot in the cool under-earth. If under the porch, he's creating a den.

Solution: Check to make sure you are providing fresh cool water throughout the day and night.

Is there adequate shade to protect your dog from the hot sun? Is good air circulation available or possibly a nice breeze? Or is the space filled with stagnant air?

Provide plant life (trees, bushes) for shelter from the hot sun. Cool grass keeps the ground heat down.

3. IT'S JUST MY NATURE!

Sometimes it's the breed of dog, not so much the environment. Some breeds tend to be burrowers -hounds, huskies, malamutes are a few examples.

Solution: If this is the case, work with your dog to agree on a place he can do his thing and camouflage it with something like plants or fencing.

4. I LIKE IT!!

Some dogs just like to dig, and dig they will, no matter how much you yell and scream.

Solution: Create and help them with the ideal digging place - a sandy blend with hidden treasures that reward digging at that spot. Having a prepared area encourages the digger to focus the digging to the area you set up in an out-of-the-way place. Remember to keep the area stocked with assorted treats and toys.

TO FILL OR NOT TO FILL - EXISTING HOLES

The second part of the story is...

What to do with the holes that keep reappearing, no matter what you do? Have you back-filled holes dug by your dog only to find them dug again, over and over?

When this happens, the next stage of hole-filling is called for.

You might think this next step it involves yelling at your dog, or rapping on the window. Nope. Are you really going to stand and stare out the window hoping to correct the situation while it's happening (which would be the only way to really correct it using this method)?

TECHNIQUES FOR "FILLING" HOLES

There are two better techniques to encourage your dog to rethink digging that hole.

The easier of the two is to fill the hole until almost full. Mix the last portion of dirt with dog poo, pinecones, moth balls, or other repelling non-harmful substance. The next time your dog arrives for the big dig, he quickly finds the game has changed. Most dogs quickly change their behavior.

The second method is more time consuming but effective. Cut a section of chicken wire or similar to cover the hole plus 8" or more. Dig a hole a few inches deep that surrounds the hole and will fit the wire shape.

Fill the hole and then press wire in place and cover with dirt. Pack the area well, particularly around the wire edges. When your dog returns, the wire will stop his digging progress.

If along a fence line, secure the wire to the fence along the inside of the fence, just a short distance from the ground. When the wire gets to the ground, keep going vertically a short distance underground. Then bend the wire so the bottom is perpendicular to the top (forms an L). Bury the horizontal part underground inside the fence, pointing away from the fence. When your dog digs he is stopped by the wire and his weight on the earth helps keep the wire in place. The result is the dog gives up on that area.

Pretty cool, huh?!

CONCLUSION

We humans see digging as bad dog behavior. Dogs don't, and they dig for different reasons. If you can figure out why they're digging, you can put dog training steps in place to stop it. Some dogs dig, that's what they do. Set them up a space to dig and you both win!

Try these dog training techniques to change unwanted dog behavior. They seriously work.

About The Author
O'Neal Hendrix is a premier professional dog trainer in Atlanta, GA. For many years, she has "worked miracles" with dogs and their owners. See what works for her. Check out her website -- Trainer's Pick Dog Supplies, http://www.dog-supplies-dog-accessories.com/.

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January 14, 2006 10:40 - Crate Training - Tips on Puppy Training

Crate Training Your Puppy the Easy Way
by: Dy Witt

Teaching your puppy crate training is the first and best step in his life. It makes all the other steps in his training go so much smoother, much like a solid foundation makes for a superior wall. Establishing you as the Alpha member of his �pack� is one very good reason for starting your puppy in a crate when he is very young.

Another reason for crate training is that dogs love predictability. To know what is going to happen in any given situation makes him happy, and more apt to be the best-behaved dog he can possibly be.

A strong crate is the very basis of good puppy training. A wire crate with a lock is the best kind. Make sure it is large enough for him to stand up and turn around. But not so large that he can roam and wander around. A too-large crate will inhibit house breaking.

A crate that is just the right size will be perceived as his �nest�, where puppies never �go potty�. They will learn to hold it if you don�t make a prison out of it. Never leave a puppy under 8 weeks longer than one hour in his crate. He will soil it, after struggling and suffering as long as he can.

Put a nice pad in there with a bone. Start with placing a tasty treat in there, he will go in and get it. Do this several times without closing the door, let him come in and out freely for an hour or so. Praise him highly each time he goes in, make it all very pleasant.

Then when his attention is on his treat, close the door. Praise him quietly, �What a good boy, it�s ok, such a good boy!� In 10 or 20 seconds, no longer, let him out without a word, no praise, just a pat. Do this for increasingly longer intervals, but do not give him a chance to get upset. You can do this several times the first day.

Make sure every training session ends on a happy note, this is crucial.

Once he sees the crate is his own private territory, he will go in there on his own, expecting treats and your attention. When he does, say, �Wanna crate?� with a happy face while getting his treats. Start leaving the room while he is in there for 2 minutes and onward, gradually. When you return, don�t make a fuss, just walk over and open the crate. In 3 days he will be officially crate-trained, ready to be left alone for an hour, no longer at first. Leave him gradually longer, slowly and carefully.

Q. Why do I want a crate for my puppy? A. Because they love it is the best reason. They feel very safe and secure in there. Here are some more:

When you leave a puppy alone, he always has some measure of separation anxiety. This leads him to any behavior that brings him comfort, which is chewing, digging, or when it is severe, voiding his bowels.

When placed in a crate, he feels safe because nothing can get to him, nothing can harm him. He will sleep and chew and wait for you to return.

When leaving him overnight at the vet, if your dog is not crate trained he will cry the entire time, feeling lost and abandoned. With crate training, he is sure you will return, you always do. Of course the vet�s office is strange and will cause him some anxiety, but nothing like the pure terror he will feel without experience in being locked in.

NOTE: About crate-training, do not make a prison of his crate. Do not use it as punishment. Do not leave him there for more than 2 hours, just time for a long puppy nap and some chew time. After that he will cry. Do not remove him while he is crying. This will make him think he has to cry to get out. No matter what, make sure he is being good when you open the door. He will learn he has to be quiet to get out. Do not make a fuss when you are letting him out, just quietly open the door and take him out to potty. When he potties, praise him to high heaven! Dogs naturally do not go where they nest, but sometimes it happens. Do not scold, just clean it out with a bland face. He will learn the lesson. If possible, try to clean it while he is outside so he returns to a clean crate.

In 25 years of training dogs, I have never seen any one thing more critical for a dog's well-being than good crate training.

About The Author
Dy Witt has shown, bred and trained standard poodles for 25 years. Vets and groomers of her pups send word back of how wonderfully happy and easy to handle they are. For more on her training techniques, more free articles and info on her new ebook on dog training, visit http://www.DogTraining15MinsADay.com.


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January 15, 2006 18:56 - Dog Training and Your Relationship With Your Dog

by: Melissa Buhmeyer

My best friend is incredible! She�s one of those rare types who hangs on every word you say. She�s content to be quiet when I need stillness, even though she�s one of those high-drive types. All I have to do is call and she�s there in an instant, no matter what she was doing before. She puts me ahead of all her other friends, never fails to make me feel special, and is a redhead just like me. But she�s not a person, even though she�s sure she is. She is a butterfly dog; a Papillon.

When I brought this eight-week-old bundle of joy home, I didn�t know what to call her. I�m not very good at naming anything, so I usually just observe for a couple of weeks and let the animal name itself by its personality. This puppy�s name became evident in nothing flat: Tazzie. She whirled around the house, jumping up on furniture five times her size, zooming and zipping and totally charming me. She was, indeed, a Tasmanian devil pup. I quickly realized the athleticism of this dog and knew I�d have to find her a �job� when she got a little older. High-drive dogs, that don�t have �jobs,� will certainly find other outlets for their energy and those outlets aren�t usually things you would enjoy!

You already have a burning love for your puppy, but what is your relationship like? Does it come when you call it? Does it sit or lay or stay? From your first class, at your dog training school, your relationship with your dog begins to change. I will warn you, however, that anything you want to teach your dog won�t come just with a once-a-week class, even if you have the best dog training school in the world. You have to practice with them, just a little bit, every day.

Tazzie was a very food-motivated dog, so the fact that she got food every time she did something right made training a blast for her, all by itself. And this happened every day! Bonus! She made fast friends at her new dog training school, so going to class was fun as well. She got to where she would whine, as soon as we pulled in the parking lot, until I finally got her out of that car.

So now you�re taking your dog to classes in a place they love, and you�re working with them every day. During that time, you�re paying complete attention to them, teaching them to pay complete attention to you, and they get their favorite food as icing on the cake. This does incredible things for the bond between you and your dog. They learn to focus on you, no matter what, and good things will come. They get praised and fed, or praised and allowed to tug on a toy, whichever motivates the dog more, so your relationship can�t help but blossom.

Ever since Tazzie and I started training together, she has claimed me as her own. When my other two dogs want to sit on my lap, she�ll push them out of the way to get the best spot because, I am her property, as far as she�s concerned. I do give the other dogs personal time as well, but I have to put her in a sit/stay or a down/stay so she�ll let them come get love.

She is, by far, the one I can trust the most, not only because of her training, but from the bond we gained through the training. She never takes her eyes off of me, since we began at our dog training school, and it serves us well in the agility ring!

If you want to forever alter and solidify the bond you share with your dog, find yourself a good dog training school, for whatever discipline you prefer, and go for it. With a little time, money, and patience, your relationship will become a forever relationship. If you do, your dog will turn out to be your best friend too!

About The Author
Melissa Buhmeyer has been involved in dog agility training for two years and is co-founder of http://www.dogtraining-school.com/, a dog training school resource site for aspiring and professional dog trainers.

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January 16, 2006 19:46 - Dog Agility Training for Your Puppy

by: Brad Carlson

You may be asking, "When can I start agility training with my new puppy?" You can start immediately, with certain recommendations. Puppies are always learning, so every time you are with your pup you can be playing and socializing with agility in mind. Always remember, if you can control your puppies environment, you can teach and train the behaviors you want, left on their own, even in a fenced yard, puppies will learn and develop behaviors that later we may want or need to extinguish.

Expose your puppy to different surfaces. One of the first behaviors we teach our pups is "Box" or "Table". This behavior transfers to the agility pause table. Lure pup up on a low pause table, treat them on the table. You can call the pause table anything you want. (If I was starting over I would name the pause table "Box" instead of "Table" for my dogs because on the agility course there is the potential to have too many "T" words, i.e. tunnel, tire, table, and teeter. The problem is I am also a creature of habit, and under pressure revert back to my default words, "table" would be one of them.)

Teach your pup to "Box", meaning to get up on a variety of obstacles. In our training field we use "Box" for upside down kennel tops, the bottom of barrels turned upside down, bird crates, and more. Be creative with your pup, get them to get up on all kinds of surfaces, exposing them to different shapes, sizes, and textures. Once your pup is comfortable getting up on a "Box", then you can begin to ask them to sit on the box also.

You can also begin to use Buja boards for motion training. Buja boards are generally made from plywood, 36" x 36" with a painted surface or covered surface. On the underside, there is a 2x4 box where a partially deflated ball is placed. This enables the Buja board to rock gently. At first you can reward your pup for getting one paw on the board, then reward for two feet and eventually all four. Depending on your pups temperament will determine how fast they get comfortable on the Buja Board.

Perch training can also be started with young pups. The Perch is generally a 1'x1' wood surface that is raised by 2"x4"'s underneath. So the Perch is about four inches in height. The Perch helps teach pups rearend awareness. Again, you can reward your pup for getting one front paw on the perch and then the other. Perch training is mostly used with just the front paws on the Perch.

These are just a few behaviors you can teach your young pup. Exposure to a variety of surfaces and heights will help your pup build confidence in his future agility training.

About The Author
Brad Carlson is a dog trainer at Agility by Carlson. For more training details, visit our website at http://www.carlson-agility.com/.

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January 17, 2006 19:12 - Basics of Dog Training

The most important things in dog training are consistency, keeping dog�s attention and understanding your dog. To get the respect of your dog you must be consistent. You should make a set of do�s and don�ts for your dog. Follow these guidelines to the letter, if a dog does something desirable always reward it, if a dog does something bad punish him or her appropriately. In dogs world consistency is a sign of a leader. You will make your training my easier and effective by being a leader who the dog respects and follows.

Ninety percent of your dogs training will be getting his or hers attention and keeping him focused on yourself. If your dog cannot focus on you, it will not listen to you, and thus making the commands you give fall on empty ears. I will describe a technique on how to get and keep your dog�s attention with few very simple exercises. First, most dogs will respond to their name, so call them and when they look at you tell them �watch�. After doing it few times the dog will associate the command with looking at you. After you have perfected the �watch� command, start doing exercises aimed at expanding your dog�s attention span. A good technique is to hold a treat with your teeth and while standing in front of your dog give it a watch command. Stand in position for a few seconds keeping dogs attention, then praise. Repeat the exercise until your dog focus on you for about a minute. The more attention your dog can give you the better student it will be.

A vital part of dog training is the understanding of how a dog thinks. Dogs, like small children, have a very short attention span. Most dogs can be focused on training for about ten to twenty minutes, after that time they will start loosing focus and will require a small break. A good idea is to make regular training sessions of 20-30 minutes per day. Another important thing is to make the training fun for the dog.
Make the dog look forward to the training time instead of dreading it. To achieve this you should always make their effort worthwhile. After every successful command make sure to give them a treat or praise them with very excited voice. The more willing the dog is to train the more effective the training will be!

Incorporate these techniques into your training sessions and in no-time you will be ready to proceed to much more complex obedience training exercises. You and your dog will both enjoy the time spent together, your dog will respect you for being a responsible owner and other people will appreciate your dog�s great behavior after you are done!

Dmitry Belov is founder of Dnepr Import. Visit their site at: Dog Training

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January 18, 2006 14:08 - Benefits of Dog Training, Socialization and Exercise

by: Susie Aga

I would like to share my professional opinion on the benefits of dog training. Through training you will build a strong lifelong bond between you and your dog. A well-behaved dog is more likely to become an active member of your family. Well-socialized, trained dogs make it easy for you to take them on vacations, to parks, and on visits to family members� homes without it being stressful for either of you. Training requires consistency, motivation and timing. The main thing most people do not realize is that the training is for the owner as well as the dog. Dogs cannot think like we do, but we can surely think like them; we just need to learn how. Dogs are pack animals, and in their pack there is always a leader, the Alpha. We just need to understand how to become an alpha. Communication is the key. The alpha dictates everything to the pack; she/ he will teach boundaries as well as what is acceptable and what is not. If we train like we are the alpha then it is instinctual for the dog to understand that we are in charge.

Socialization

Builds your dog�s temperament, and an even-tempered dog is less likely to be aggressive or fearful and will have fewer behavioral problems. Dogs that have been exposed to many different people, places and objects are much easier to train as well. If dogs are not exposed to different places, people, terrains and objects they can build up a fear of anything new or of any change in their routine. Always make sure your dog is fully immunized before you start any socialization. Check with your veterinarian first before any socialization occurs. People do not realize that dogs must be exposed to as simple a thing as sand, for example. I had a client call me while on her vacation; she was stunned that the dog she thought was well-socialized would not get on the beach. Her dog was scared of the sensation of her feet sinking into the sand. Now she remembered I had told her to take her puppy to sand early on, so there would not be an avoidance of it later in the dog�s life. She found out the hard way that socialization has many forms, shapes and textures. Another example involved a lady that moved into a new home where there were 4 stair wells. One was outside off a deck and you could see through to the other side, a very scary situation for some dogs. Now the dog is 2 � years old and does not know how to go up or down stairs. The importance of socialization is tremendous. The main thing we all want is a well- mannered, well-behaved dog, and this can be accomplished through Socialization and Training.

Exercise

Dogs build up a level of stress and energy everyday which can determine how they interact with you, your kids and other dogs. Exercise releases stress and energy. Your dog needs exercise every day for this release. A bored dog can become a "bad dog", whereas an exercised dog leads to a calm, well- behaved dog. Remember, an exhausted dog does nothing wrong! One form of exercise is getting your dog interested in a ball or Frisbee. Find places (if you do not have a fenced back yard) to allow your dog to run. Long walks are helpful, but running releases the most amount of energy and stress. Allow your dog to have "dog time" where he/she can just be a dog, and run, jump, play, chew and dig. Most of a dog's natural behaviors are what we want a dog not to do; seems a little unfair, don�t you think? Dogs naturally greet one another by jumping, mouthing, and smelling. Within their pack the greeting is a big deal. There is competition for attention, and that naturally raises the dog�s energy level. You can teach a dog another way to greet you besides jumping, through training and consistency . Dogs are social animals and want to be with their "pack"- you are their pack. Have fun! Exercise, Socialize and Train your dog and the rest is simple!

About The Author
Susie Aga
Atlanta Dog Trainer
http://www.atlantadogtrainer.com
770-754-9178

Susie Aga is a Certified Canine Behavior & Training Specialist who received her certification from Triple Crown Academy, a world leader in pet education. She has 20 years experience and is recommended by over 35 Veterinarians in the Metro Atlanta Area. Susie was chosen by Turner Broadcasting to be their featured Pet Expert.
You can find her on their web site: www.tbs.tv/stories/story/0,,34516|324014|0,00.html
Susie is a member in good standing with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Her training includes, but is not limited to, Basic through Advanced Obedience, Off Leash, Agility and Behavior Modification. Susie�s specialized training includes Special Odor Detection, Search & Rescue, Tracking and Protection Work.
She has four rescue dogs of her own and donates much of her time and services to Rescue Organizations. You can truly say her life has gone to the dogs and that is just the way SHE WANTS IT!

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January 20, 2006 13:37 - Puppy Crate Training -- Fast Track to a Contented Dog

by: Charles Burke

Puppy crate training is one of the most effective ways to housebreak your new puppy.

Puppy crate training takes a little patience, but it's a good way to set your puppy on the right path. This method has an impressive track record.

Be sure to prepare everything ahead of time. Even before you bring your new puppy home, have the puppy crate ready and waiting.

The size of the crate is important. For proper puppy crate training, you should have plenty of room in the crate for the puppy to turn around, stand and lie down, but don't get one that's too big. Puppies feel uncomfortable in a crate that's so big they rattle around in it.

If your puppy is a breed that will grow large, it's okay to buy a bigger crate for him to grow into, but make sure it has an adjustable partition in the back. This lets you keep his living space comfortable and cozy, but you can still expand it by moving the partition back as your puppy grows to full size.

When you are ready to begin puppy crate training, place your new puppy gently in his crate. Make sure you've also put a towel or small blanket and a treat or toy in the crate. If you're using a wire crate for puppy crate training, always remove the puppy�s collar first so it won�t get snagged on the wire.

You may hear some whining or even crying at this point. You need to ignore it. Sometimes it helps to cover the crate with a blanket so his home feels a little cozier. Remember, dogs are not claustrophobic. They like an enclosed space. It's their den.

After your puppy has remained in the crate for about twenty minutes, remove him from the crate and take him outside. As soon as he goes potty, praise him, pet him and make him feel loved and close.

The next step in the puppy crate training process is to bring your puppy back inside and play together for twenty to thirty minutes. Then it's time to put your puppy back in the crate. You'll be able to gradually increase the crate time to two hours.

Puppies will not usually go potty in their crates. If your puppy has an accident, never scold. They really don't understand the idea that going potty is bad, so scolding doesn�t help. It only confuses them.

For best results with puppy crate training, you'll need to have a schedule. And when you take your puppy outside, always make sure you take him to the same spot each time. Especially at first, every time you remove him from his crate, you'll want to take him outside. This builds a clear association in his mind.

As your puppy begins to get the hang of puppy crate training you'll be able to leave him in the crate for longer periods. Eventually he'll feel so at home in the crate that you'll be able to leave the crate door open overnight and for short periods during the day.

Successful puppy crate training has two simple requirements: patience and a regular schedule. With those two things, your new puppy will soon be a happy, well-adjusted member of the family.

About The Author
Charles Burke
http://www.Puppy-Toy-Tips.com
Learn great ways to use puppy toys for training and socializing your new pup. Make sure you're on the right track wnen training your dog. Also, go and get the free eBook of puppy coloring pages for your kids.

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January 21, 2006 11:58 - How to stop dog from jumping on people

Easy Steps to Stop Your Dog from Jumping on You

by:O'Neal Hendrix

When you bring home that adorable puppy her dog behavior is so cute. She puts her feet up on you to get your attention, jumps in your lap, jumps up and down on her hind legs begging to be picked up.

And what do you do? You reinforce all those dog behaviors. Give her attention, pick her up, make sure she�s comfortable on your lap. Then, lo and behold, she grows from 15 pounds to 75 pounds and is still jumping on you. That cute puppy behavior is now bad dog behavior. In fact, it�s downright maddening and you can�t get it to stop.

Humans often give dogs mixed signals -- telling them to do one thing, but reinforcing very different dog behavior. Or expecting dogs to read our minds -- is it ok to jump up sometimes but not others? Which is which? Dogs can�t figure that out.

You probably don�t even know you�re sending mixed signals.

Situations change throughout the day- you love that your dog jumps up on the bed to wake you with sloppy, wet kisses; it is endearing to have your dog greet your return with the big stretch to reach up so you will pick them up or love on them; it is helpful when the dog jumps up on a chair to help you put the leash on the collar.

It becomes a problem when guests come over and the dog jumps on them; when you are dressed up and now dirty feet have ruined your outfit; or when it is just simply not convenient.

STEPS TO STOP THE JUMPING

As humans, it�s our job to teach dogs how we want them to behave. Here are some easy tips to change that unwanted dog behavior.

1. BE CONSISTENT

Figure out what you want and then be consistent with what you desire. Do you want your dog to jump or not? Dogs don�t understand "sometimes".

If the answer to the question is, I want the jumping to stop, then take a look at your situation and ask yourself these questions:

When does it happen?
What are your various responses?
When are you consistent?
When are you not consistent?
How can you be gentle and clear with your responses?

2. DO NOT REINFORCE THE BEHAVIOR

This seems obvious. But oftentimes it�s not. You have to change your behavior before you can expect Fluffy to change hers.

3. GIVE AN INCOMPATIBLE BEHAVIOR COMMAND

The very easiest way to correct this behavior is to give an incompatible behavior. For example, Sit is a great choice. Most dogs know it and it is easy to put a dog into a sit if needed.

4. GO STIFF

When your dog begins jumping, stop your body movement and go stiff. Turn your back slightly. Give the new command "Rover, sit". Help Rover sit if needed.

Let this become your new response to Rover�s jumping. PRAISE the sit. If Rover pops up out of the sit and jumps up, start over. Go stiff, give the command (Rover, sit), help with the sit if needed. PRAISE (and treat if handy) the sit.

As you are consistent, your dog will comply with your new desires. PRAISE each time your dog sits. This is the new polite way of getting your attention. PRAISE whenever your dog comes and sits in front of you. This is the signal "please" for attention, outside, treat, etc.

Super-exciting times to a dog will probably result in the old jumping but be consistent and patient, and as you do this, you gain leadership respect from your dog.

CONCLUSION

Dog behavior modification can be done very quickly and your relationship will get better and better. Be patient, kind, loving and consistent. Your dog wants to make you happy. Use these few simple steps to STOP THE JUMPING!

About The Author
O�Neal Hendrix is a premier professional dog trainer in Atlanta, GA. For many years, she has "worked miracles" with dogs and their owners. Check out her dog blog, http://www.dog-supplies-dog-accessories.com, for her advice on everything dog!

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January 24, 2006 18:59 - How To Find a Search and Rescue Dog Training School

by: Melissa Buhmeyer

There are many things dogs can be trained to do but, of all the tasks a working dog can perform, search and rescue ranks the highest for needing qualified, professional trainers. A Search and Rescue (SAR) dog�s performance, quite literally, can determine life or death to a human in need.

As shocking as it may sound, there is no set of standards for rescue dog training. Subsequently, rescue clubs, teams, and individuals emerge as trainers, when, in fact, they may know little, or nothing at all, about training a SAR dog. Attending seminars and reading books on the subject are worthwhile endeavors, but they do not constitute being a SAR dog trainer. Sadly, in a large percentage of cases, this is an assumption not only made, but followed, and replicated. In some cases, those touting themselves as SAR dog trainers scarcely have enough knowledge to teach a dog simple parlor tricks, let alone promptly and accurately scenting or tracking skills, where a human life hangs in the balance.

Even when the topical qualifications are in place, this is no substitute for failing to research the validity of those qualifications. You will hear the term �qualified instructor� often from those with police/military backgrounds. While this sounds impressive, keep in mind that there is no �qualification� standard to begin with, so the very title is misleading. Further, there may be a very good reason that the individual is no longer training/handling outside of the police/military venues. That reason may be a desire for work in the private sector, or it could be indicative of poor performance.

Now, I�m not trying to paint a bleak picture; there are a number of incredible SAR dog trainers out there. All of these great instructors hold one thing in common: they can bear your scrutiny with flying colors. If you�re making the huge step towards training your dog for SAR, then you really need to make the right choices. Here are the top things to consider when choosing a SAR dog trainer:

1. Experience. There is no substitute and there is no better gauge of a trainer�s value. Look for trainers who have years of experience in a wide variety of disciplines, not just SAR. Demonstrated ability, in more than a single focus, means that the trainer will be able to administer a wide variety of training methods to accomplish the end goal. Other potential disciplines to look for include: agility, obedience, hunting, or herding. This experience is easily verified by titles such as: Companion Dog (CD, CDX) Agility Dog (AD, MACH, NATCH), Schutzhund (I, II, II) to name a few.

2. Actual SAR experience is a must. SAR dogs perform a number of tasks that your instructor MUST have real-world experience with. They need to be well-versed, from first-hand experience, on how lost or fleeing people will act, how a crime scene needs to be preserved in cadaver searches resulting from criminal acts, etc.

3. The trainer should be well-versed on all breeds and capable of assessing and advising on the limitations and capacity of that breed.

4. Separate marketing from proven performance. If your trainer is good, you can bet he or she will have references. Contact those agencies and inquire about the specific services the trainer was hired for and their thoughts regarding the trainer�s services. Just because they have a polished web site, well-designed brochures, etc., does not mean they�re the best pick, by default. In some cases, a smaller organization may actually yield better references.

The decision for you, and your dog, to become involved in SAR is a big one. Take the time to do your homework. Your success and enjoyment will not only be richer but it may, in fact, save a life!

About The Author
Melissa Buhmeyer has been involved in dog training for two years and is the co-founder of http://www.dogtraining-school.com, a resource for aspiring professional dog trainers and all dog enthusiasts.
info@dogtraining-school.com

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January 27, 2006 15:48 - Dealing with a Dog Food Allergy?


by: Blake Kritzberg

Just as in humans, allergies can show up as a sneeze or rash, your dog's allergies can manifest as itchiness -- or even ear infections. In fact, if your dog is allergic to his food, it can cause him to scratch himself constantly, even with no obvious parasite problem.

Dog allergies rarely get solved with medicine, so the best we can do for our four-footed friends is focus on prevention. Providing the right type of food is essential to stopping your dog's scratching habit.

Many people like to share their food with their dogs or let them help "clean up" the kitchen after a meal. Little do they know, their dogs just may not be able to take the tasty food we love so much, and some breeds (like the greyhound) are extremely sensitive. Even common foods like cheese, beef sausage and tuna may cause allergic reactions in some dogs. So it's best to let dogs enjoy dog food and not human food, even though they clearly adore and want what we're eating!

Narrowing Down the Problem

To determine the exact ingredients your dog is allergic to, try an elimination diet. Although powerful, it also requires patience. In fact, the elimination diet can call for eliminating specific food for up to 12 weeks before you'll notice the effects. And if you still haven't found the right (and wrong) ingredients, you'll have to repeat the process all over again.

So is there an alternative to the lengthy elimination diet? Yes -- give your dog a brand or type of food he's never eaten before. But simply changing to a new brand of dog food might not be enough to eliminate his food allergies, since many brands contain similar ingredients. Instead, study the existing ingredients your dog is eating to determine which types of protein source he hasn't been exposed to. Then, hunt for a dog food that doesn't contain any of the ingredients you saw listed. For example, there are many brands of dog food that contains unusual protein sources such as rabbit or venison -- great for testing allergic reactions to other, more common proteins.

Perhaps the best way for you to get control of dog's allergies is to whip up your own dog food. That way, you'll know exactly what he's getting and what he isn't -- something that's extremely hard to tell from reading the back of a dog food bag. Making your own food is especially helpful in elimination diets. To start, combine a portion of rice with baby food and lamb -- so long as your dog isn't already eating lamb and possibly displaying a reaction to it.

Dog food allergies are a special condition that can be frustrating and take patience to solve. Since allergic reactions don't disappear overnight, you'll need lots of time and thoughtfulness to help your dog overcome this problem -- but his goofy smile and those scratch-free days ahead will probably make it all worth it.

About The Author
Blake Kritzberg is proprietor of Poodle-oo: Fashion for Toy Dogs. Stop by for toy dog couture and home decor, free toy dog postcards and the Toy Dog Blog.
http://www.poodle-oo.com/

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