Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Get Your Dog to Come to You

How to get a dog to come when called is probably the most abused command in the animal world. Most people don't even realize how much so.

You never want your dog to fear to come to you so don't use the command if you are about to scold your dog for something else. Only get your dog to come to you with the "come" command if you are about to do something with your dog that they will enjoy. You don't want your dog to associate the command with fear of being punished. Remember, it is important that your dog have a trust and comfort level with you. When you are disciplining or scolding the dog, you should go to them and not say the word "come".

A dog can be like a man in the aspect that the best way to their heart is through their stomachs. When teaching a dog to come when called, you should make sure they are hungry. It is best to start at their feeding time (again, remember structure in a dog's life is important). Stand about five feet away from your dog in the beginning with their food bowl in hand (dry food is best to start this training process) or you can use a dog treat too. In intervals, move further away from the dog each time. I think it's best to start at meal times though. This should be around the same time each day and in a routine. When your dog comes over to get the food, praise him. Use an excited tone and pet them than put the food down for them to enjoy. I can't stress the importance of tones of voice when it comes to training a dog to come to you (or any type of dog training for that matter). They need to hear when you're happy with them and when you are not.

Another great way train a dog to come is to play the very basic game of hide and seek with them. Hide from your dog and yell the "come" command from where your dog can't find you. Dog's are like kids in that aspect as well. They are going to come look for you. This needs to be made fun for your dog. When he/she finds you, reward them with a treat or praise or both. Again, remembering to keep your voice very positive. The "come" command always needs to be associated with positivity.

Remember, never tell your dog to come to you if they are being scolded for something or if you are taking them somewhere they might not associate with positive (such as the vet). You don't want your dog to think that you are telling them to come and than they get into trouble or have an unpleasant experience.

Stop your dog from fearing car rides

How to stop your dog from fearing car rides? It is not unusual for dogs to be afraid of cars or car rides when they are first introduced to them. You have to teach your dog to trust the car.

You need to show your dog that there is no reason to be afraid to ride in the car. The best first step is to just sit in the car with your dog. Do not turn the car on though. You don't want to startle them. The point of this is to just let them see that nothing bad is going to happen to them by sitting in the car.

When your dog gets comfortable just sitting in the car, try turning the car and the radio on. If they get uncomfortable with this, turn the car back off and spend a few minutes petting them and reassuring. When they calm down, turn the car back on again. Once they seem calm with the car being turned on, take them for a short ride and talk positively to them while driving. Take them to a place they enjoy such as the park. Show them the positivity associated with being in the car. DO NOT take them to the vet on the first few car rides. If they are feeling too uncomfortable the first few times, return them home (where they feel secure) and practice again the next day. Just keep practicing until they are comfortable in a moving car.

Once your dog gets comfortable being in the car for short distances, increase the distance at intervals. It is best to start this when you don't have a vet appointment for a while. You don't want your dog to always associate the car with negative thoughts.

After your dog gets comfortable with the car, you will see their eagerness to go on car rides increase.

Monday, December 5, 2011

How to teach your dog to kiss

Kiss is a very easy trick to teach your dog. It is when you have your dog lick you everytime they hear the word "kiss".

Easy steps to remember:
Whenever your dog licks you, just say "Goodboy or Goodgirl, kiss me. If you want, you can put a small amount of peanut butter on your face to tempt your dog to lick it off. When your dog licks the peanut butter off of your face, say "GoodBoy/Girl- Kiss me. Eventually, your dog will lick you whenever you say the "kiss" command. Remember to keep a very positive tone in your voice

Dogs thrive from positive tones. They aim to please their pet parents.

Happy Dog Training to You!

How to teach your dog to shake hands

The hand shake trick is to have your dog "shake" when in a sitting position. If the dog understands the trick, he/she will raise either his right or left paw in the air so you can shake it.

You will need to teach the dog the "sit" command prior to teaching them to shake hands. We already covered this trick previously in the blog. At then end of the post, I will link back to that post (in case you haven't read yet)

A good routine to follow when teaching your dog to shake hands is as follows:
* Tell your dog to sit
* Kneel down and hold your hand openly with palm up in front of your dog
* Tell your dog to "shake".
* If they don't respond, use your other hand to slowly lift one of their paws into your open hand.
* When you put his paw into your open hand, say "shake" and congratulate them by petting them or giving them a treat.
* Put his paw back on the ground and do the trick over
* If your dog puts his paw into your hand without any help when you say "shake" you will need to congratulate and treat him with twice as much as you do when you put his paw into your hand yourself.

Remember to keep your tone of voice positive and enthusiastic. Dogs respond to positivity

If you haven't taught your dog to sit yet, refer back to the below linked post

Teaching your dog to sit