The benefits of a well-trained dog are not something to be barked at. Clear communication is paramount to fostering a happy, healthy, anxiety-free pooch as they are easily able to understand what you’re asking of them and thus, they know the response that they need to give in order to get the love and attention they desire.
In our previous article, we looked at the progression over the last 30 years of dog training philosophies, and specifically, the move towards a positive reinforcement training method over those previous beliefs that dogs had to be “broken” in order to be trained.
So now that we understand that positive reinforcement training is ultimately about rewarding those good behaviours and ignoring the not so good, let’s have a look at how to get off on the right paw with training your dog using this method.
The Golden Rules for positive reinforcement training:
1. Choose your training environment wisely - Always opt for a quiet area away from distractions when you’re finding the...
Training your dog is one of the most important responsibilities that you have as a dog owner. Not only, if done correctly, does it lead to a well behaved K9 companion that is good mannered and keeps themselves of mischief, but it also fosters respectful exchanges between you and your dog, enabling open lines of communication that help to create a positive relationship of trust, confidence and reverence. Let’s face it, a well behaved pooch also makes your life, and the lives of everyone around them, just a whole lot easier; incessant leash pulling, chasing cars, or hovering around the dinner table can not only be frustrating and tedious, but some of these actions can also be dangerous and unsafe – chasing car tyres doesn’t always end nicely.
Over the last 30 years there has been a strong move away from old, punishing forms of training techniques to more of a positive reinforcement framework. Milo Pearsall, writer of a number of published books on dog training and obedience such as “Your...
Experts reckon dogs can master up to 165 words. Chaser, a border collie demonstrated recognition of 1,000 words. Who’s a clever boy?! But, do their human pets really understand what they are trying to tell them? Wish you could know exactly what your pup is thinking?
Learn to read your dog’s actions and body language and you can figure out what is going on in their head.
‘Me Love You’
It is pretty easy to tell if your dog is happy (spoiler; look for relaxed ears, a soft pant and soft eyes). Are they staring right in to your eyes?! This is your pup telling you not only are they happy but this is a powerful way for them to show affection to you and creates oxytocin (the love hormone). Ahhhh...
‘This is my SUPER excited face!’
Tail up, excited running, extreme tail wagging, excited barking, grinning, spinning in circles and jumping. All easy to spot signs your pup is interested and excited. Getting tackled as soon as you walk through the door might not be ideal when you have your...
Learning how to work as a team, improving discipline and getting better at communication between you both – you and your canine partner can benefit in so many ways from agility training. But even more importantly – it’s just so much fun! How else can you explain the phenomenal and growing popularity, of the sport?
What exactly does it involve?
Directed by you, your dog runs through, over and under a series of obstacles such as tunnels, hoops and around poles. The aim is for your dog to complete the course without you touching either your canine friend or the obstacles and using only voice or hand signals. The dog with the least ‘faults’ wins the competition. Meanwhile, competitions tend to be split into three distinctive groups, based on dog size.
From this description it sounds as if most of the effort is done by your dog, but that’s simply not the case. Many of the courses are so complicated that he or she wouldn’t have any idea where to head to next; your dog is totally reliant on your...
As dog lovers we as a whole think our mutts are savvy in spite of the insights of the most intelligent breeds, with Border Collies being at the top. However, dogs are much more intelligent, there is more knowledge to a pooch than simply playing fetch or answering to our commands.
Did you know that according to American Urological Association, dogs can detect some cancers in humans? Sounds odd right but think about, dogs are trained to sniff out drugs, explosives and even intruders. Canine sense of smell is said to be 100,000 times more acute than ours and prostate cancer cells may discharge particular scents . Researchers from American Urological Association trained Belgian Malinois Shepherd Dogs to distinguish the smell of urine from men with prostate cancer and those without, at the end of the study the dogs correctly identified 63 out of 66 samples.
What else do we know about dog intelligence… Well, did you know that humans aren’t the only ones with an IQ. It's hard to believe, bu...