The Next Step In Training: TBD

The Next Step In Training: TBD
This Saturday was the first one in a while that we didn’t have training class. Our membership is up and the trainer and I want to figure out where Riley will do best next, so we’re planning on having an evaluation meeting and trying Riley at a few different things to figure out what she’ll enjoy (and make sure she can handle the next level of training). Since ideally that next step will be a sports class, I’ve been really working with Riley on her touches and targets (touch being with her nose and target with her foot). I’m still not completely sure she understands that...
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Zuke’s Mini Naturals: A Product Review

Zuke’s Mini Naturals: A Product Review
Riley is a bit of a treat snob—as in there are numerous treats out there that she just ignores. Forget using a treat to catch her attention if she’s distracted. That’s out of the question entirely, even for only low-level distractions. She’s just not very food motivated and hasn’t been since we adopted her. That’s why for the most part I use cut up bits of hot dog and then rely heavily on Pup-Peroni dog treats, which until today were the only treats I’d found that she’d reliably eat. We’ve been working with just those two types of treats (plus peanut...
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Hound On The Town: Signs of Progress

Hound On The Town: Signs of Progress
The dog training center where we attend classes has a weekly out-of-center dog walk, which they call “Hounds on the Town.” Essentially it’s a chance to get out and about with other dogs and their owners, explore new locations and work on our lessons in a training-supported environment. I went into today with big hopes. I’d just finished reading a Susan Garrett post about reinforcement. In it she talks in depth about the concept of controlling rewards—and figuring out what’s rewarding a negative behavior so you can control for it. So I wanted to try to find something...
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My First Treibball Match

For a while now I’ve been hearing all about Treibball and how it’s the latest dog sport. Well, when I heard that a local training facility was going to have a fun match, I decided I wanted to check it out. I definitely want to get Riley into a dog sport where we can compete and train with a focus and I’ve had several people recommend Treibball to me as something the dogs really enjoy. So this past weekend I drove about half an hour away to see what the big deal was. The video above is from the fun match I visited (though I didn’t see this pair in person). What is...
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Training Impulse Control with a Game Courtesy of the ASPCA

Training Impulse Control with a Game Courtesy of the ASPCA
Personally, I think one of the reasons Riley barks when she’s excited (either by other dogs or something else) is because it’s self rewarding—she really just enjoys barking. Yet we really want her to learn that it’s NOT the most rewarding thing there is and to teach her that making me happy is MUCH more rewarding that just barking. And that comes down to impulse control. As per the ASPCA: Dogs are similar to babies. They have no idea that they can’t have things they want right when they want them and can’t do everything they want right when they feel the urge. Most dogs...
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