Dog and Puppy Training Tip: Teaching your Dog to Fetch

Playing fetch is a great way to have fun with your dog and exercise him/her at the same time.

Some dogs play fetch naturally, but few dogs intrinsically understand the concept of retrieving.

Some dogs will chase after the toy but then won’t bring it back, while others simply look at you with a confused expression, wondering why you repeatedly throw the toy away!

Choosing the Right Toy:
Dogs can be very particular about the toys they’ll play fetch with. Some prefer a tennis ball, others are happiest with a plain old stick. Experiment with different toys and see which ones excite your dog the most. Here are a few popular choices to try:

  • Tennis ball
  • Plastic or rubber stick
  • Regular stick
  • Squeaky toy
  • Frisbee

If your dog doesn’t like to put toys in his/her mouth, try soaking a plush toy or a tennis ball in chicken stock or stuffing an old sock with treats. This will entice your dog to taste the toy.

The Reluctant Retriever:
For dogs who really don’t grasp the concept of chasing after toys at all, you need to start with the basics. If your dog likes to play tug-of-war, start by playing a short game of tug with a soft toy that your puppy likes to tug on. Then take the toy from his/her mouth, and toss it just a few inches away. If your dog runs to the toy, immediately snatch it up and start another fun game of tug. If he/she just stands there and looks at the toy you’ve thrown, reach out and wiggle it around on the floor again until he/she finds it irresistible.

As soon as your dog gets it, toss it another few inches away. Continue doing this until your dog chases after the toy. When he/she does, you can reward your dog with another quick tug game.

Soon they’ll reliably chase the toy when you toss it and you can start throwing it greater distances. When he/she gets the idea that bringing the toy back to you leads to a tugging battle, your dog will be eager to run and fetch the toy.

Once you start throwing it a few feet, it’s helpful to turn and run away as your dog comes towards you with the toy. This will encourage him/her to run faster and chase you. When he/she catches up to you, play tug with the toy.

Eventually, you won’t have to play tug every single time your dog fetches the toy, but be sure to do so intermittently to keep him/her eager to play.

To follow up please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.

Happy Training!

Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT
121 Dog Training – Hong Kong (no longer operational)
Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, UK
Dog Training, Dog Walking, Dog Day Care, Home Dog Boarding

Dog and Puppy Training Tip: Play Biting in Dogs and Puppies

Owning a puppy or dog that play bites can be frustrating and painful! It is normal for puppies to play by biting each other and they actually teach each other not to bite so hard. We want to teach our puppies that play biting is not an acceptable way to play with humans at all and we do this by using dog body language. When two puppies play and one bites the other too hard, one will squeal in pain and the two puppies will stop play, separate by moving away from each other, then finally resume play.

When your puppy bites you hard, you need to let him/her know that this is not acceptable behaviour by saying a command such as “STOP” and immediately standing up and turning around cutting off all contact for a while before resuming play. For sensitive puppies, this is all that is needed but some puppies are very persistent and need a firmer approach. If your puppy repeatedly bites you hard, even though you have walked away, you will need to physically remove your puppy from yourself and put him/her in a “Time Out” area. The object of “Time Out” is to separate the puppy from you, so that he/she is not getting any attention from you.

Keep repeating the “Time Out” approach many times. This can be exhausting as the puppy just never seems to stop!! But keep going as you will soon get results.

Do not push your puppy away as this will encourage him/her to jump right back at you!
Eventually, your puppy will begin to understand “gosh – these humans have very sensitive skin”!!  Start off slowly with this training and allow gentle mouthing for the first week, so that it gives the puppy a chance to learn what is expected of him/her.

Remember: Play-biting is a “work in progress” and you will only see small improvements every week until the behaviour has been eliminated.

To follow up please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.

Happy Training!

Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT
121 Dog Training – Hong Kong (no longer operational)
Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, UK
Dog Training, Dog Walking, Dog Day Care, Home Dog Boarding

 

Dog and Puppy Training Tip: Using “Positive Reinforcement” in Training

Positive reinforcement is usually something pleasant added that follows a behaviour that makes it more likely that the desired behaviour will occur again in the future. A Positive Reinforcer is the stimulus presented following a desired behaviour. Reinforcement can also be described as positive or negative. It is something an animal wants to acquire more of, or something it wants to escape from or avoid. Positive reinforcement can be used to improve proficiency, teach new skills, maintain existing behaviour and fine-tune particular desired behaviours.

The most important aspect to remember when using a positive reinforcer for a dog is that the reinforcer must be something that the dog find desirable. If a reinforcer is delivered to a dog and it does not result in the desired behaviour, it is possible that what you think is a reinforcer and what the dog thinks is a reinforcer are two different things.

One advantage of using Positive Reinforcement to train dogs is that anyone, including children, can use positive reinforcement effectively to train their dogs. This method does not require physical strength or experience and is not dangerous to the owner or dog during training. Another advantage of this type of training is that it allows the owner to communicate clearly with the dog. The owner can decide what behaviour they want their dog to display and reward the dog when he/she displays it. This increases the probability of the desired behaviour happening more frequently in future.

The advantage of using this training method is that it can be used for a wide variety of behaviours. Fearful dogs can benefit hugely from Positive Reinforcement and on the opposite end of the scale, aggressive dogs also respond favourably to Positive Reinforcement. Should aversive punishment be used on dogs with these types of behaviours, a dog that is scared or fearful of certain people or situations may become even more fearful when punishment is used as a training method. Very often, aggressive dogs become even more aggressive in the face of punishment.

Finally, Positive Reinforcement training methods help strengthen the bond between dog and owner. The dog is much more likely to enjoy the presence of the owner if he/she is being rewarded rather than fearing punishment. While other training methods may teach the dog how to behave, positive reinforcement leads your dog to produce more desirable behaviours, hence builds the relationship on trust and leadership.

To follow up please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.

Happy Training!

Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT
121 Dog Training – Hong Kong (no longer operational)
Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, UK
Dog Training, Dog Walking, Dog Day Care, Home Dog Boarding

Dog and Puppy Training Tip: Recall Dog Training. Teaching your Puppy to Come

There is only one reason why anyone’s dog won’t come back when called. It’s because you’re not interesting enough! If your dog would rather sniff a lamppost, rummage in a hedgerow, scamper off to meet other dogs or people, or chase someone else’s ball, it’s because they think all those things are more interesting than you are.

To get your dog to come back to you or “recall” every time, you have to be more interesting than anything else on earth. Very difficult perhaps? Yes, but certainly achievable.

Most dogs will benefit from learning a new set of rules about coming back when called. There isn’t a ‘secret’ to teaching the RECALL command, just plain ordinary training that all dogs can understand. Some dogs responds best to their names, other dogs prefer a dog whistle. To train this command, you will need to understand how dogs learn so that you can implement the training in a way that will work quickly, and work for you.

The first stage will be to teach your dog what ‘come’ really means. It means ‘if you come here you will be rewarded for it’ and like all dog training it is best started in a place with no distractions. Indoors is best to achieve fluency before generalising to the great outdoors.

It’s understandable that people get very frustrated and angry when their dog doesn’t come back when called. However, when their owner is angry, a dog can tell from their body language and tone of voice that all is not well and will be even less likely to want to go back to them. So, how do we go about convincing the dog that you are the best thing on offer? By never punishing a dog when they return, no matter how long you have been waiting, shouting and worrying, and always rewarding the dog when they come to you, however long it takes. Punishing includes smacking or hitting, shouting or yelling, frowning or scowling, or even just ignoring.

To follow up please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.

Happy Training!

Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT
121 Dog Training – Hong Kong (no longer operational)
Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, UK
Dog Training, Dog Walking, Dog Day Care, Home Dog Boarding

Dog and Puppy Training Tip: Separation Anxiety

Owning a dog who shows signs of Separation Anxiety can be a worrying time for many dog owners. Separation Anxiety is described as a dog that gets overly stressed when left alone by its owners. It can manifest itself in destructive behaviours, for instance: –

  1. Recreational chewing, digging or tearing.
  2. Excessive barking.
  3. Hyperactivity, like constant pacing or stereotypical behaviour such as running up and down the stairs repeatedly.
  4. Psychosomatic problems like diarrhea or vomiting.

Or it can manifest itself in a more personal basis to the dog, for instance: –

  1. Depression.
  2. Anorexia – refusing to eat before or after the owner has left.
  3. Self-mutilation, like paw chewing or excessive licking.
  4. Aggression when the owner leaves which may include growling, blocking exit or nipping at the owner’s ankles.

There are many ways of treating separation anxiety, which involve environmental changes and systematic desensitisation. Systematic desensitisation means the dog is first kept calm and then introduced to the fear-evoking stimulus (being left alone) at whatever level the dog can tolerate without showing anxiety. Then the stimulus is gradually intensified at whatever rate the dog can handle whilst staying calm.

Environmental changes will be beneficial in the training programme too. These may include introducing a crate, if the dog does not already use one, can be useful and every effort should be made to make the dog comfortable and confident in their crate so that this becomes the dog’s safe haven when they are left alone. Giving them something to chew on like a bone or stuffed Kong and looking at the dog’s exercise requirements.

Lastly, seeking the advice of your vet for anti-anxiety drugs like Prozac can also be an option for many dog owners to help during the early stages of training.

To follow up please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.

Happy Training!

Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT
121 Dog Training – Hong Kong (no longer operational)
Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, UK
Dog Training, Dog Walking, Dog Day Care, Home Dog Boarding

 

Dog and Puppy Training Tip: Persistent Barking

Owning a dog that barks all day long can test any owner’s patience. It’s important to remember that some breeds of dogs bark more than others and some environments encourage barking in dogs more than others. The main causes of barking are boredom, loneliness, excess energy, excitement and attention seeking behaviour. Therefore, it’s important to address the root cause of the barking rather than just treating the barking itself.

Making sure your dog is well exercised and has something to keep him/her busy when you leave home will help alleviate excessive barking.

You can also teach your dog a “quiet” command so that you can gain control of your dog’s barking when at home.

Barking is a natural behaviour in dogs – it’s the only way they communicate with us. It’s up to us as owners to make sure our dog’s needs are met so that they don’t need to bark all day.

To follow up please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.

Happy Training!

Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT
121 Dog Training – Hong Kong (no longer operational)
Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, UK
Dog Training, Dog Walking, Dog Day Care, Home Dog Boarding

 

Dog and Puppy Training Tip: Pulling on the Lead or Leash

Owning a dog that pulls on the lead can make your daily walk not as pleasurable as it can be! There’s nothing relaxing about being dragged down the road by an over excited dog.

Training your dog or puppy to walk nicely on the lead takes time and patience.

Walking to heel is usually one of the hardest things to train – while being one of the most frustrating behaviours an owner has to deal with. There are many techniques you can use to help train your dog or puppy to walk nicely on the lead.

One of them is using the correct equipment. A head halti or anti-pull harness, available at various pet shops in Hong Kong will help you gain control of your dog while teaching him/her to walk by your side.

Another technique used is stopping the walk the minute your dog pulls – this teaches your dog that if he/she pulls forward, you stop – thereby sending the message to your dog that you will not move forward if he/she is pulling on the lead.

To follow up please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.

Happy Training!

Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT
121 Dog Training – Hong Kong (no longer operational)
Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, UK
Dog Training, Dog Walking, Dog Day Care, Home Dog Boarding

Dog and Puppy Training Tip: Excessive Jumping in Dogs

Owning a dog that jumps excessively can be frustrating. Not only is it a nuisance but it can also be dangerous when a large dog jumps on a small toddler or elderly relative.

Preventing your dog from jumping in the first place is much easier than trying to correct this behaviour when it has been long established.

It is important to remember that when your dog jumps on you, this is a normal behaviour for the dog – he/she is trying to get nearer to your face in order to greet you after a period of absence.

You may find getting down to your dog’s level will prevent that first jump but certainly not rewarding your dog with attention and petting when he/she jumps on you is the most important thing you can do as an owner.

Repeatedly turning your back on your dog when he/she jumps on you should send your dog the message that he/she will not get your attention until he/she stops jumping.

To follow up please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.

Happy Training!

Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT
121 Dog Training – Hong Kong (no longer operational)
Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, UK
Dog Training, Dog Walking, Dog Day Care, Home Dog Boarding

Dog and Puppy Training Tip: Hot Weather Grooming

If you have a long haired dog, as the summer heat approaches your dog is going to need a trim.  You might use a professional dog groomer or you might opt do it yourself.  Here is a video that shows you how:

[weaver_youtube http://youtu.be/G4PSLr_6S3U rel=0]

A good starter kit is the Wahl Dog Clipper and Trimmer.

To follow up please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.

Happy Training!

Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT
121 Dog Training – Hong Kong (no longer operational)
Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, UK
Dog Training, Dog Walking, Dog Day Care, Home Dog Boarding