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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A Dog, A Box and Learning to Think

A Dog, A Box and Learning to Think
Today’s class went great — although we didn’t wind up demonstrating our bow technique. It was a really full class (5 dogs) so it was high intensity and it took a while before everyone was quiet, focused and working.  Dealing With Reactivity And Teaching Leave It That said, Riley resisted temptation very nicely several times during class today. She once I got her quiet initially she mostly stayed that way, even when other dogs were barking, lunging or otherwise acting up. That’s a big improvement from where we started! We did an exercise to work on the “leave it” command...
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Socializing with Major

Socializing with Major
Whew! Where the heck did the week go? Here’s the rundown from the days I missed: Wednesday The weather Wednesday left much to be desired, so we stuck mostly to indoor training. That said, we had a nice session that morning — Riley actually gave me a bow on command several times, so that’s super exciting. She still gets confused occasionally and lays down instead of stopping at a bow, but it seems to be getting better (of course she also offered a prolonged bow before laying down when I gave her a down command, so we’ll definitely have to do some alternating once she’s got the...
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