Monday, November 12, 2012

The importance of calm greetings - Part 1

Getting your new puppy or newly adopted dog involved in a training program can prevent assist in opening the lines of communication between you and your dog. 

When your dog arrives in your home, they speak a different language.  They need to be coached on what the ground rules are in your home and reinforced positively for making good decisions. 
Sure maintaining a sense of structure like asking your dog to get on their bed when people arrive is a good thing. 
How one goes about it is important.  When asking your pup to do something specific when an event happens, (i.e: someone entering your home)  is a great idea in theory.  The goal that may be desired is to prevent any jumping up on your visitors.  Something that I come across is guarded behavior from the dog that is 'man handled' when the dog fails to do the task requested. What I mean by 'man-handled' is frequently yelled at to get back on their bed or physically made to.

What this creates for the dog is when someone comes over, tension rises in the home and visiting people are a time of stress.  Your dog may see this as you get stressed, and they feel that too.  

How this impacts your dog long term? Greetings become stressful.  Greetings with anyone that comes in your home and anywhere near it potentially. 

Depending on your Dog's current state at the time of greetings with people and other dogs, this may need some behaviour shifts from you and your dog.

Tip #1- Allow your dog to say hello with a sit first and releasing them to greet someone.
Tip #2- If your dog is on leash during greetings with dogs or people, ideally maintain a slack leash during the interaction. This prevents any unnecessary stress being fed through the leash and collar/harness your dog has attached to them.
Tip #3- If your dog is not wearing a collar when greetings are challenging at the home level, simply placing a leash and collar/ harness on them during visitors arrival and departure for two weeks can help restructure the excitement or stress that shows up during this time.

Training your dog to happily welcome and accept house guests inside the home is an important step in having greetings outside the home, become welcoming and calmer as well.

If you or someone you know requires some assistance with their dog - please forward this article to them or have them contact for a free phone consultation.

Happy Training!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The importance of Puppy training. PART 1

The importance of Puppy school. PART 1 Getting your new puppy involved in a puppy class where there is some social time with other dogs and a structured agenda for each class is encouraged for many reasons... First - puppies need to be socialized with other dogs, big and small! They need to be able to stand up for themselves within a safe environment with trained professionals standing by - to help break it up and calm the pack down before more play is allowed - yes there should be someone refereeing these animals. If things get too out of control - a simple time out is put into play for all and when they have all calmed to a suitable level the play is resumed. Amazingly enough the play is much more subdued than before, thus the puppies have learned to play only to a certain level of excitement, if they go over this level - the fun police step in and break the party up. After the play has calmed to a reasonable level your trainer will ask for the pups to be leashed up and now the lessons about how to communicate begin. Dog language to human, and human language to dog. Our DogStars certified trainers are versed in how the dog perceives you and how you may be perceiving your dog. Coaching and guiding you both into getting to the same page with time, consistency and practice.