AA-4 Dog & Puppy Training Plan-Obedience Commands

Australian Terrier BentleyHow’s Bentley Training Plan for All Dogs

Before you can begin to teach your dog or puppy, it’s best to have a training plan. The plan begins with a list of coping skills and behaviors that your dog will need during his or her lifetime.

Think about helpful, real-life skills and their applications. Prioritize each skill and write your definition of success. Identify all the components that make up the behavior as well as the prerequisite skills necessary to perform the behavior.

For example, “loose lead standing” is a prerequisite for “loose lead walking”.

Click the links to follow links to detailed instructions.

To Begin: Establish a Reward System and Condition a Instant Reward Marker

Manners / Coping Skills

Potty Skills

House training

Signal the need to eliminate

Eliminate on command

Eliminate on and off lead

Eliminate in poor weather conditions

Eliminate while you hold a container

Crate training (a crate trained dog will relax in the crate when the family is throwing a party)

Drink on command

Medical Care

Relax at vet clinic

Accept grooming, handling and inspections

Swallow pills

Present paws for inspection / nail clipping

Coping Skills

Accept leash, collar, harness and equipment pressure

Relax during car rides

Relax during severe weather

Relax in crate when the family is home

Walk on various surfaces

Walk next to street traffic

Relax for visitors

Relax around infants

Relax around puppies and dogs

Relax around cats, other animals

Senior Skills

Navigate stairs and steps slowly, one at a time

Learn visual and audible cues for all behaviors (helpful if dog becomes deaf or blind)

Towel assist walk (walk with towel supporting front or back portion of body)

Basic Obedience Skills

This list contains the basic skills all dogs should learn. Teach these in this order if you have a new puppy or an older dog that is not trained.

Kindly prevent your puppy from practicing haughty behaviors. Be a zookeeper, use a tether.

Attention – Condition a Instant Reward marker

On-Cue, while standing, while walking / Attention – Without Cue, while standing

Description – (On cue) respond to name by attending to handler – while standing – while walking

(Without cue) stay connected to handler while standing

Function – communication, wait,

Prerequisite – handler significance

Sit

Description – Sit until handler releases, squarely on haunches, front feet aligned, near and away from handler on various surfaces, sit from down-stand-walk-trot or run, multiple cues, tuck in rear for competition sits

Function – Default behavior, incompatible with many unwanted behaviors

Prerequisite – handler significance

Target Here (Whistle Come – come when handler blows a whistle)

Description – Come to handler and touch nose to handler’s two-finger target, from near and far, regardless of the obstacles, regardless of distractions –including food

Function – Recall with a specific final destination clearly defined by visual target

Prerequisite – touch

Stay

Description – Remain in particular location while in sitting, standing or in down positions, regardless of distractions, remain until handler returns and releases, the length of time in stay position varies with the goals of handler

Function – Remain in one location while the handler moves away to attend to other immediate needs, default for sit or down

Prerequisite – Sit, Down

Lure Down Or Capture Down

Description – Lay until handler releases, near and away from handler on various surfaces, down from sit-stand-walk-trot or run, multiple cues, tuck in rear legs for competition down

Function – Default behavior for excited dogs, incompatible with many unwanted behaviors | Prerequisite – Sit

Go to Place

Description –Go to specific area and lay until released

Function- Incompatible with begging, jumping on visitors, et cetera

Prerequisite – Down, stay

Heel – on Lead

Description – Walk on lead at pace equal to handler’s pace, with shoulders aligned with handler’s leg. Remain aligned during turns and variances of speed and regardless of distractions, Heel on left and right sides.

Function – Allow for safe walks outside Prerequisite – Attention – Loose Lead Standing

Additional Skills

  • Off you go (release)
  • Find the keys, the phone, the children, the cat, another dog, burnt electrical receptacles, etc.
  • Trade
  • Drop
  • Leave-It
  • Spin
  • Get
  • Hold
  • Carry
  • Bring
  • Off Lead Commands
  • Fetch
  • Go home
  • Go out
  • Jump
  • Watch for moving cars
  • Stay off street
  • Left, right
  • Over / Under
  • To the car
  • Show me
  • Yes / No
  • Target with nose, paws, hip, ears
  • Lookout for snakes
  • Safe / Careful / Danger
  • Pain
  • Tricks

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Happy Training!

Alan J Turner, Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer – Canine Specialization

Private and Group Dog Training in Memphis, TN

Owner: How’s Bentley

Why Do Dogs Dig?

Crisco, the Rough Coat Jack Russell Terrier, teaches Java how to dig for treasures!

Why do dogs dig?

There are many different reasons dogs dig.

  1. to get food
  2. to hide food
  3. to cool their bodies
  4. to warm their bodies
  5. to escape
  6. because they are anxious
  7. for self play
  8. for attention

Some of my clients want their dogs to stop digging. That’s okay and I can help. Like many other unwanted canine behaviors, I must identify the root cause of the digging before I can help.

First, ask yourself these questions:

Does my dog dig only when I am away, only when I am present, or both when I am away and when I am present?

Exactly where does the dog dig? under the gate, in the middle of the yard, under a rock, tree, or bush, under the fence (not at gate), adjacent to the side the house?

What type of hole? shallow hole – long enough for your dog to use as a bed? deep hole, narrow trench?

If the dog escapes, what does the dog do / where does he or she go? several hour neighborhood adventure? right next door or to a specific house? waits on my porch or in my yard?

Are there any specific times when your dog is more likely to dig and escape? before a storm? when you leave? when loud trucks pass by?

By answering the above questions, you can determine why your dog is digging and take appropriate actions to reduce the digging behavior.

For example, if your dog is digging shallow, broad holes next to your house, it’s probably to cool down or warm up. Install fans, awnings, or a wading pool to help your dog stay cool. Build a shelter with a light bulb “heater” to help your dog warm up!

If your dog is digging in the middle of the yard, he or she is playing or hunting for small rodents such as moles or voles. Increase your dog’s exercise and stimulation program and rid your yard of the moles and voles!

To learn more about moles and wildlife damage management, visit this site: http://icwdm.org/handbook/mammals/Moles.asp

Happy Training!

AT

Alan J Turner, Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer – Canine Specialization

Private and Group Dog Training in Memphis, TN

Owner: How’s Bentley

How’s Bentley

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How’s Bentley

Alan J Turner

Companion Animal Behavior Counselor

& Trainer

Canine Specialization – How’s Bentley – Memphis, TN

Bentley is a male, neutered, 20 lb., AKC Registered Australian terrier born in 1999. Affectionately called Turbo Terrier, he is just that, a turbo charged bundle of curiosity and energy.

How’s Bentley is the first question I hear from all my friends and acquaintances. I always ask my dog owner friends how’s so and so? It represents the universal camaraderie between dog owners and the genuine interest in each others’ pets.

Thanks to all the animals and humans that allow me to interact and learn during their difficult and pleasant experiences. Every interaction enhances my dedication to learn more about humans and animals and how I can improve mutually beneficial human-animal relationships.

Sincerely,

Alan J. Turner

Memphis TN

Member: Association of Pet Dog Trainers


Food Treats: Bribe vs. Reward

foodtreatWe want the food treat to act as a reward for performing, not as a signal to perform. If you use a food lure when initially teaching behaviors, when practicing in new locations, or in the presence of increased distractions, you should fade the lure quickly.

If food is always presented before the behavior, then it’s considered a trigger for the behavior. If you continue to use food as a lure, your dog will learn to perform only when food is present. Yikes!

This is a very common mistake and is so easy to avoid. Ideally the food lure will be used less than five times, in most instances only three times!

If your dog only performs when the food is present, here’s what you should do. In advance, place a treat or two high up on a shelf or mantle in several locations throughout your home.

At random times, ask your dog to perform a behavior and use the hidden treats as rewards. This will teach your dog that food does not have to be present (in your hands, pocket or a treat bowl) in order for him to earn a food treat.

Get out the treats when your dog is watching. Ask for a couple of behaviors and never deliver food as the reward. This will teach him that even though food is obviously in the environment, he doesn’t necessarily get it as a reward.

The idea is to make the “presence of food” in the environment irrelevant.

He might get a treat when food is not present and he might not get a treat when food is present.

Review the section Rewards Awareness Program. If you give your dog attention and touch for free, the only remaining reward (of which you have total control) is food.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner, Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer – Canine Specialization

Private and Group Dog Training in Memphis, TN

Owner: How’s Bentley