Are you always tripping over dog toys? Did you know that, according to the CDC, tripping over dog toys caused almost 10% of pet-related fall injuries? Fortunately, you can avoid becoming a statistic by teaching your dog to put away his toys in the toy box!
If your dog is fluent in more than one behavior, those individual behaviors can be linked together by learned cues to form a sequence! This allows us to teach dogs more complex tasks, such as go to his mat and lie down, without pausing to reward him at every transition. It is also helpful in dog sports which requires a dog to perform a series of behaviors without stopping.
All behavior is impacted by the environment. Even if the trainer does nothing consciously, the animal will still perceive cues that are in the environment during training. In this video, Ken Ramirez uses a kitchen timer to ensure that he is keeping his training sessions with Marlin short. When the bell rings, Ken ends the session and asks Marlin to relax on his mat. After only four training sessions, upon hearing the bell Marlin went to his mat automatically—without any cue from Ken. The bell had become the cue for Marlin to go to his mat!
One of the most common problems that pet owners want to solve is how to teach their dogs not to beg at the table. So how do you restore peace to mealtime? One of the most effective ways to prevent that unwanted behavior is to replace it with a behavior that is incompatible. Incompatible behaviors are behaviors that interfere with other behaviors. For example, a dog that is lying down on his bed or mat cannot be begging at the table at the same time!
What types of useful behaviors can you teach with targeting? In last week’s blog Teaching Your Dog to Hand Target, we explored the many useful applications of teaching your dog to target the palm of your hand with his nose. Once you have a solid hand target, you can build on it by teaching your dog to target other body parts, such as his cheek. Cheek targeting can be useful for husbandry care and veterinary visits, particularly when administering eye or ear drops.
Think you’re a great dog trainer? Try training a cat, bird, guinea pig, or horse! Training other species is not only fun, but it will ultimately improve your dog-training skills. Working with another species will hone your observations skills and sharpen mechanics such as clicker timing and reward delivery. Working with another species is an important part of the curriculum of Karen Pryor Academy’s Dog Trainer Professional and Dog Trainer Comprehensive courses! In this video, Dog Trainer Professional student Erica Grier, and Rambo the cat, demonstrate just how fun training another species can be!
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