Training a dog to target an object with his paw is easy and fun. A paw target is a foundation behavior that has many practical applications, including closing doors, wiping paws, ringing bells, and turning appliances on and off. It’s also a prerequisite behavior for many dog sports.
Most people understand the importance of socializing puppies, and there are numerous puppy classes available. However, many classes are not true socialization classes. Instead, they focus primarily on obedience training. While obedience and manners training are important components of behavior, at the puppy stage the focus should be on ensuring that the puppy is having positive experiences with as many new people, dogs, and situations as possible. This exposure is essential for developing a confident and well-adjusted adult dog that is comfortable with all life has to offer.
Waltham, MA, June 18, 2019— Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) is pleased to announce the selection of KPA Certified Training Partner (CTP) Annie Chastain as KPA’s new Application & Enrollment Coordinator. Annie will oversee new-student enrollment, expanding a rapidly growing constituency of more than 1,500 KPA alumni worldwide. With more than a decade of experience in member recruitment and retention, Annie brings a wealth of experience to KPA. Prior to joining the company, Annie helped support more than 1,400 members of the IATSE Local 480 in New Mexico. Annie completed the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in 2015, a transformational event in her life.
Everyone knows that you can teach tricks to dogs, but did you know that cats can be trained easily, too? Since many cats live their entire lives confined indoors, clicker training can provide valuable mental and physical stimulation. Enrichment improves cats’ lives, helping to make them healthier, happier, and more responsive companions. In this video, Megan Ramirez and her cat Pavlov demonstrate one of our favorite cat tricks—spin!
In early June, the Oshkosh Area Humane Society (OAHS) was awarded the $5,000 first prize in the Jackson Galaxy Project’s National High-Five Day contest. Voters selected the video of OAHS cats Charlie, Aven, Rocky, PJ, and Tracer offering high-fives for clicks and treats as the top submission from hundreds of entries. OAHS Behavioral Department Manager and KPA graduate Cari Tetzlaff was quoted in the press release from the shelter. “This means so much to us and is really a testament to how much our staff invests in the animals here. Cats deserve enrichment and learning opportunities just like dogs and I think this contest really showcased their ability to learn and bond with people.”
Chances are that when your dog was younger, you spent many hours training new behaviors like spinning, jumping, bowing, and more. Now that your dog is a senior and slowing down physically, he may not be able to do some of the same behaviors he used to. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop training. Just like people, dogs need to exercise both physically and mentally in order to age gracefully. In this video, Karen Pryor Academy faculty member Laurie Luck demonstrates a simple but fun game you can play with your senior dog—or with a dog of any age—using a simple Solo cup!
Visiting the veterinarian’s office can be a stressful experience, for both pet owners and their pets. Teaching a dog simple behaviors, such as hand targeting, ahead of time gives the dog a job to do and provides something positive to focus on at a veterinary examination. It also lets the vet examine the dog without having to restrain or manipulate him into certain positions.
Do you have a dog that barrels out doorways or from the crate? What about from the car? This can be a dangerous behavior, but boundary training can help. Anything can be used as a boundary. In this video, KPA faculty member Shelly Brouwer uses a leash on the ground to begin teaching her dog Bert to wait at an interior doorway.
Stationing—training an animal to go to a designated area and stay there until cued otherwise—is an essential tool for most training. In this video, Ken Ramirez demonstrates how good, solid stationing contributes to successful concept training!
Teaching your dog to turn his head is a fun exercise, and the skill is handier than it seems. A head turn can be used as the start of teaching “left” and “right,” a directional skill that is terrific for many dog sports. It can also be useful during veterinary exams for ear care. Most of all, the head turn is an easy and fun way for dogs to learn that they have the power to make things happen—every dog should know that!