Puppy Socialization goes Beyond Play

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

Puppy socialization is not just about playing with other puppies or being petted by humans. Practicing body handling, introducing novel objects, and desensitizing puppies to sounds are all key steps for ensuring that puppies are comfortable in all situations. The goal is to create fun and positive experiences, not just any ordinary exposures! In this video, KPA CTP Holly Ovington demonstrates how to expose your puppy to a multitude of situations and environments.

How to Create a Safe Place for Your Dog

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

Is your dog fearful of loud noises or events, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or even the vacuum cleaner? Or is your dog fearful of certain people, like children or strangers? Creating a safe place where your dog can escape as needed can help reduce your dog’s anxiety during stressful situations. It also helps establish clear boundaries—if the dog is in the safe space, the dog needs alone time and does not want to be pet or played with.

Modifier Cues in Action

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

When people think of dog training, they don’t often think beyond teaching basic cues. However, dogs are capable of so much more! Instead of simply cueing your dog to retrieve an object, you can teach your dog to retrieve the object on the left versus the object on the right—or the big object instead of the small object. Or you can teach your dog to go over an obstacle or under an obstacle, through an obstacle or around an obstacle.

Teach Your Dog to Accept Eye Drops

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

As eye infections in dogs are common, your veterinarian may prescribe eye drops for your dog at some point. After introducing your dog to eye drops to acclimate your dog to the approach of the eye-drop bottle, your dog now has positive associations with the bottle. However, the application of the actual drops can be aversive for many dogs (and humans), so how do you teach your dog to cooperate?

Teach Your Dog a Controlled Retrieve

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

Is your dog obsessed with chasing balls and toys? It’s tempting to try and wear out your dog by mindlessly throwing the ball over and over again. However, often this only increases your dog’s arousal and risk of injury. By being thoughtful and controlled about retrieve games, you will not only provide safe, physical exercise but mental exercise as well!

Using “Go Sniff” as a Reinforcer

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

Does your dog spend most of your walks sniffing the ground? Well, there’s a good reason for that! Unlike humans who rely on sight for environmental cues, dogs rely on scent. Sniffing is how they learn about their environment. Sniffing also has a calming effect on dogs. For these reasons, sniffing is a primary reinforcer, or something that is inherently reinforcing. So, why not harness a dog’s need to sniff by putting it on cue?

Puppy Socialization: Puppy’s First Vet Visit

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

Vet visits are stressful for many dogs. Being placed on strange surfaces and touched all over your body with strange objects can be unnatural and frightening. However, a vet visit doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience! By getting your puppy comfortable with what might happen at the vet before the first visit, you can help minimize those fears and have a profound impact on how your puppy views vet visits!

An Introduction to Clicker Mechanics

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

What is the first step to becoming a good trainer? Good clicker mechanics! By practicing your clicker mechanics before you begin training your dog (or any animal), you will become skilled at communicating to your dog precisely which behavior earns treats. Sloppy mechanics can cause frustration for both the teacher and the learner, so brushing up on these skills is important for novice and experienced trainers alike!

Low-Cost Enrichment Through Shaping

Julie Gordon All, Homepage blog, News & Events Leave a Comment

Shelters can be a stressful environment for dogs. Fortunately, there are simple, low-cost enrichment activities that can be implemented to provide comfort, reduce stress-induced behaviors, increase confidence, and promote adoptability. Enrichment can also be used to teach shelter dogs how to interact with their environments in a way that delivers a positive outcome. One easy way to provide enrichment is with shaping, the process of gradually teaching an animal a new action or behavior by clicking and treating the animal during each step of the process.