Although it is National Train Your Dog Month, dogs shouldn’t have all the fun! Try training your cat to provide much-needed enrichment, manage unwanted behaviors, and add fun new tricks the cat’s behavior list. In this video, KPA Associate Director Gretchen Carey and her cat Frankie demonstrate one fun trick: wave!
Capturing your dog’s attention is an important foundation for all other training, and it demonstrates the positive relationship you have with your dog. A simple way to get a dog’s attention is by teaching the dog his or her name. The name can become a cue that tells the dog “look at me!”
Shaping, teaching a new behavior by breaking it down in small increments, is an essential tool for teaching complex (and often useful) behaviors. In this video, KPA CTP Megan Ramirez uses shaping to teach her dog Rim Shot to flip a light switch—in just a three-minute training session!
Most dogs are social animals, which is why teaching puppies the appropriate way to greet other dogs is a critical skill. A dog that greets other dogs politely can make your walks less stressful and prevent conflicts that often result from overzealous (or rude) greeting behavior. However, teaching puppies how to socialize appropriately during a time of social distancing can be challenging, especially if you don’t have other pets. Fortunately, you can begin teaching your puppy how to interact with other dogs in a positive and safe way from the comfort of your home—using stuffed animals!
Have you ever wanted to reward your dog for a job well done, but didn’t have food treats with you? Consider playing with your dog to reinforce good behavior! Using play as a reinforcer adds variety to your training routine and helps strengthen your relationship. The key is to find a toy or interactive game (tug, retrieve, chase) that your dog enjoys.
When training at a distance, there are many different objects that can be used to help your dog to stay in place, such as a mat or raised platform. These training aids give your dog a definitive place to be. However, sometimes you may find the need to train your dog from a distance without the use of a platform or mat to anchor him. This was the case for Ken Ramirez when working with his dog Marlin on The Ranch.
Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Jen Biglan will lead the KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in Dublin (East Bay), CA. (Application deadline March 5, 2021. Apply before January 5, 2021 and save $200.)
In the course of their lifetimes, most dogs will get an ear infection that requires ear drops. However, administering ear drops to an ear that is already sensitive and/or painful is intimidating for the caregiver and frightening for the animal. Cooperative care involves training an animal not only to tolerate handling and husbandry procedures such as receiving ear drops, but to be an active, willing participant in these experiences.
The joy of raising a family dog should be a great family experience. One of the benefits of clicker training is that, with clear instruction and supervision, young family members can easily grasp what to do and can participate. This involvement and investment creates strong and healthy bonds with the family dog, and teaches children how to understand and communicate with their furry family member in a way that is kind, respectful, safe, and fun!
Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Alexis Davison will lead KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) programs in Sydney, Australia (application deadline 1/25/21) and Adelaide, Australia (application deadline 5/5/21).