Archive for the ‘Dog Training’ Category

Dog Aggression Training

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Aggression Training – Guard Dogs

The aggression training of guard dogs and attack dogs that are used for the protection of people and property is a complex type of training that needs to be performed by a professional trainer. It is not something an amateur pet owner should undertake. A great deal of special personal protective equipment is needed in order to do it safely and avoid injury during the training process.

When one thinks of aggression training for dogs, it is usually training the dogs to cease the behavior. Aggressive behavior includes biting, excessive barking, and lunging. Attacks on people and children by dogs occurs far too often, and most local laws are fairly strict it. The concept of the family pet as a crazed attack dog will not go over very well in a law court.

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Dog Collar Training

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Collar Training

The term collar training does not mean training the dog to wear a collar. What it does mean is the use of a collar to aid in the training of a dog. New dog owners usually have the experience of purchasing a leather or fabric buckle collar, snapping on a short leash, and then proceed to let the dog pull them around where ever dog wants to go. Corrections, if they are even attempted, consist of sharp pulls on the leash to physically yank the dog back into control.

The experienced trainer uses one of several different types of collars to both control and train a dog. One of the most popular is a trademark brand collar called the Gentle Leader. This collar buckles around the dog’s neck with nylon cords that fit across his nose. The basic idea of the collar is that it uses the nose as a control and correction focus. Where the dog’s nose goes, the rest of him is sure to follow. A similar training collar is called the Halti collar. It works much like the Gentle Leader, except it pulls the dogs head to one side. Animals, as a general rule do not like to go forward with their heads to one side or the other, so the tug of the head controls the dog.

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Hunting Dogs Training

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The Training of Hunting Dogs

In the long history of the relationship between dogs and humans, the idea of the dog as pampered house pet is a rather new idea. Dogs were partners in some of the most important jobs that our ancestors had to accomplish. Assisting on the all important hunt for food was one of those jobs. Until the very recent past in the time line of humans and dogs, failure on the hunt meant more than simple disappointment at a recreational activity that was not as satisfying as it could have been. It meant starvation.

Hunting is for recreation now, and the dog has become more of a companion and pet than an essential element to our survival. Yet deep inside many humans and inside their dogs is still this primal urge to hunt. There are many theories on the proper training of a hunting dog, and debate rages about such diverse issues as the best breeds and if the hunting dog can also double as the family pet. Many people claim that the training should start as early as possible while others swear that it is better the let the animal get the “puppy” out of himself before he can even begin his training as a hunter.

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Clicker Training

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The Theory behind Clicker Training

Operant Conditioning is the name given to the way that an animal interacts and learns from its environment. This applies to any animal including human beings. Put simply, it means that they will repeat an action that results in a positive consequence and not repeat an action that results in a negative consequence. This principle can be applied to the training of your dog in both ways. If you reward the dog, he will do it again. This is positive reinforcement. If you punish the dog, he won’t do it again. This is punishment.

Most training professionals suggest positive reinforcement or reward as the better method of training. In either case, the problem is that the dog does not understand English, and so you can not sit him down and have a long talk explaining the reason for the reward or the need for punishment. The only way either is effective or understood by the dog is if it takes place at fairly close to the exact time the behavior takes place.

If you tell your dog to sit and he does so, you can not then run into the house for a dog treat and expect him to associate the treat with the behavior. Many trainers feel even the short delay in getting the treat out of your pocket and into his mouth might be too long for true positive operant conditioning to take place.

The solution is to find a conditioned reinforcer. This is something that the animal would not normally consider as a good consequence and would not work to receive. A primary reinforcer is the food or treats that the dog would be willing to work to receive. So, the conditioned reinforcer is coupled with the positive reinforcer and in the dogs mind they become equal. This is where the clicker comes into play. A clicker is a tiny metal toy that makes a clicking noise when pressed and released. It is the toy that used to be called a cricket. At the same time that the click is sounded, the dog is given a treat. When this has been done for a length of time, the dog will associate the click with the treat. The conditioned reinforcer has become a primary reinforcer. In other words, the click has become a reward.

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Barking Dog

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While there are many different reasons that dogs bark, it is agreed upon by all that most barks are uninhibited and unnecessary. It is within your dog’s nature to bark and in most cases he will feel that he is simply doing you a favor in warning you about the boy playing on his bike outside.

Most barks are simply in reaction to a strange noise, a knock at the door, or people walking outside. While a majority of the time this can be assumed, it is important not to forget that he may in fact be trying to tell you something.

Your pup may need to go outside, or he may simply need water or food. It is also likely that he may be bored and wanting some attention or playtime. After checking that all of these needs have been satisfied, it is usually safe to assume that your dog is simply barking to hear himself bark.

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Leash Training

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Train your dog to walk on a leash

For a new puppy or an aged dog, pulling on a leash can be one of the worst and most difficult habits to break. Dogs naturally get extremely excited to be outside, going for a walk, taking a hike, or whatever the activity may be. With time and persistence, your dogs leash pulling days will be over, and your arm will return to its socket, where it should be.

First and foremost, some puppies have a hard time adjusting to collars and leashes. Many will scratch them and refuse to move, while others ignore it and go on as if it were not there. For new puppies and adults alike, it is important to have a one-length leash rather than a retractable one for training. Training your dog not to pull on a leash is much more likely to be accomplished if he does not have free reign to pull as he pleases.

When you are preparing for your walk, ensure that your dog is sitting and calm before putting on his leash. If he starts out excited, he will remain that way and it will be difficult to calm him down. Even if you must stand for five minutes waiting for your dog to stop jumping up and down, he will soon realize that you are not going anywhere until he sits. Once he calms down, reward him for his good behavior, and continue on your way. It is important to do this each and every time you take your dog out, whether it is for a walk or simply to go to the bathroom.

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