Tips and Advice
I know you have a million questions about how to properly train your animal. I want to help you get started with a few training essentials. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, or you come up with some questions of your own, please let me know. Making new connections and developing lasting relationships with my clients is a passion of mine.
Show your dog it is rewarding to pay attention to you and develop a clear way to communicate when they've done something right!
We do this by first establishing what is referred to as a Reinforcement Marker.
Video instructions: https://youtu.be/at8nw8uvSAU
Get dogs attention
Say your chosen marker word in a voice different from your regular conversational voice (preferably 1 syllable, quick, clear and precise) My go-to's are "Yes!" or "Nice!"
Give dog treat AFTER word has been said
After a few repetitions, incorporate a snuggle between the word and the treat. "Yes!" --> snuggle --> treat
Charge for 30 seconds, twice a day. You'll know your word is charged when your dog hears it and, no matter what they're doing, they come running to you to get their snuggle and treat.
Remember, the snuggle and treat happen in your bubble. Do not reach for your dog, expect them to come into your bubble to get the reward.
Build Value in Engagement
There's another quick and easy way to show your dog that being near you pays more than being far from you. Check out our High Value Low Value game!
Video Instructions: https://youtu.be/0bv_ilGppJg
Does your dog know their name? Do they actually give you attention when they hear it? After all, the purpose of naming them is to be able to get their attention, right? If we look at a dog's name as nothing more than a cue for attention, we can better understand how to properly train said cue. As long as your marker word is charged, you will be ready to play some Name Game.
Video Instructions: https://youtu.be/8Y1usgLLhyo
At a minimum distance, with minimum distraction, say your dogs name.
The second they respond, mark the attention with your marker word.
Allow them to make their way to you to get their snuggle and treat. "Fido!" --> (he looks your way) --> "Yes!" --> (he runs to you) --> snuggle --> treat.
If the dog doesn't look your way, DO NOT repeat their name. Instead, try the following:
make weird, repetitive noises that change in pitch
shuffle your feet
throw a big, loud, fun party on the other side of the room
DON'T FORGET to mark as soon as the dog looks your way and encourage them to make their way to you. Once they get to you, give them a snuggle but no treat (if you burn calories, you get the treat).
As you up the challenge with this game (increase 3 D's) be sure that snuggles and treats always happen within your bubble. Don't reach out for the dog or go to them. The idea is that they realize they have to be in your space in order to get the good stuff.
Ping-Pong. Once you've been able to increase your distance to a reasonable amount, ask a friend for assistance.
Stand across from each other with the dog in the middle. when the dog's attention is on the other person, call their name, mark when they give you attention, and give them a snuggle and treat when they run to you.
Gradually increase the distance between you and your friend. You can also incorporate some distraction by placing objects (furniture, toys) between you and the dog.
REMEMBER: Name Game is not meant to be a recall. It is a building block to a recall. If your dog is not giving 100% the behavior you are looking for (looking your way as soon as they hear their name then running to you to get snuggles and treats) do not throw in your recall cue.
Other Free Sources
There are some really wonderful resources out there and I want to share them with you! Stop by during office hours to rent one of my books or, download these free PDF's:
Keep an eye out for more!
Choosing the Right Pet Food
The available information regarding pet food can be confusing and overwhelming. Luckily, our friends at consumer advocates spent over 200 hrs researching pet food so you don't have to!
When making decisions on what to feed your 4-legged family members, be sure to save some time by looking through their research!
For personalized in-person training catered to the needs of you and your family, fill out a training inquiry!