Does your dog go berserk when you come home? Do you wish your dog would greet you calmly rather than barking or jumping on you? Having your dog greet you (and your visitors) politely is a worthwhile behavior to train—and it’s easy!
In Teach Your Dog to “Leave It,” Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member Juliana Willems demonstrated the first step to teaching the “leave it” behavior: rewarding eye contact. In Part 2 of this series, KPA CTP Imogen Poropat works with her client and her client’s dog, Lou, to demonstrate how to use this skill in a real-world setting.
Many people feel guilty about crate training their dogs, as they think that confinement is cruel. However, when crate training is introduced positively, it can be extremely beneficial for both you and your dog. The crate can become a place where your dog feels safe and calm.
Shaping is the process of breaking down a behavior into small steps and reinforcing each small step as you work toward the final goal behavior. It is a great tool for teaching complex behaviors, as well as for increasing confidence in dogs that are hesitant to try new things.
Have you ever dropped a pill and scrambled to pick it up before your dog rushed over to scarf it down? Have you been out for a walk and your dog discovered a sharp chicken bone or other dangerous object on the ground? Teaching your dog to “leave it” is establishing an essential behavior that can save you an emergency vet visit!
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!
Training your dog is not only essential for teaching life skills and avoiding problem behaviors, but it also offers an opportunity for you and your dog to have fun together! In this video, KPA CTP Kristen Lee is teaching her dog Jenna to “tell her a secret.” Kristen trains this behavior by teaching Jenna to nose-target her ear.
Teaching your dog to spin is a fun and easy way to start teaching basic tricks. The spin behavior can serve as a solid foundation for advanced tricks. This video by KPA CTP Sabine Johnson shows Codi learning to follow a target to shape a spin.
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!”
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!