Nose Game – Great way to Enrich your Puppy’s Environment

Okay, so last Tuesday evening, I arrived home around 8:00.  Earlier that evening, I taught my group mini course at Collierville Pet Hospital. My Australian Terrier, Bentley was quite happy to see me finally get home. I had a few high value treats in my pocket, leftovers from group class. Rather than let Bentley earn the treats via a few commands, I decided to play a game to enrich his environment. I call this game the Nose Game.

AUstralianTerrier3I grabbed a fistful of  pieces of his normal dry dog food and tore the training treats into very small pieces. I scattered the handful  of dry food and treats on my patio and invited Bentley to come outside and sniff around. He was excited to smell the treats, but because the bits of goodies were scattered amongst the dry kibble, he had to use his nose to find the best pieces. It was fun to watch him by pass dry kibble while he sniffed diligently to find the few fragments of the training treats. Once all the treats were gone, he sniffed around and ate the dry food.

These sorts of food scattering games will enrich any dogs’ environment and give them a chance to use their noses to find food.

Environmental enrichment is a term used to describe an event or procedure which provides animals a better chance to use their natural gifts. One might enrich a giraffe’s environment by placing hay or grass feed on a platform several feet into the air, so that the animal must use his long neck, and stretch to get the food.

Any sort of food finding game is great for your puppy or older dog! Food toys like the tug-a-jug and plain ole scatter feeding are wonderful ways to make your pup’s day!

Here’s another great food foraging toy for your pup.

Six Facts You Need to Know to Raise a Perfect Puppy

BentPup

Fact #1: Forget about alpha and pack.

A nine year old child, or a 85 year old grandparent in a wheelchair, can teach and control any dog by following a few, simple, kind rules. There is an excellent, simple way to teach your puppy, and it has nothing to do with alpha or dominance. As neat as it sounds, your family is not in some sort of mythical pack with your dog. You do not compete with your puppy for food, territory or reproduction rights. You do not have to intimidate your puppy into submission. That little guy wants to be your friend!

Access this and other training articles quickly and easily on my new iphone / ipad / android FREE app

Fact #2: : Mother Nature will potty train your puppy.

97.3% of the millions of dogs who ask to go outside, were never taught to go to the door and ask.  Mother Nature did it! The dogs just naturally ask, without any training from humans. Puppies get house trained as a result of a natural, built -in process known as classical conditioning. It has little to do with consequences, scolding or tasty treats. Yes, your actions can enhance potty training, or your actions can unknowingly teach your puppy to pee and poop inside the house. But, the truth is, nature is responsible.  Follow two simple rules, and let nature take its course. Your puppy will “become” house trained.

Fact #3: You have 12 -16 weeks to create a friendly adult dog.

Events during the first few months of your puppy’s life will determine if your adult dog will be a social butterfly or a frightened, shy, neurotic, anxious dog.

***********Every certified applied animal behaviorist is familiar with the mid, 20th century, classic 20-year study of genetics and the social behavior of dogs at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor Maine.

John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller proved that events and exposures (or lack of events and exposures) during a critical period of socialization affect a dog for life. The critical period of socialization for domestic puppies begins when the ear canals open (about 21 days) and ends at 12 -16 weeks. ********

Here are four simple things you can do right now to introduce your young pup to the good life with a capital “L”.

 

  • Have your puppy meet 10 new people each day
  • Pop open an umbrella – – – just so he won’t be startled when he sees one spring open later
  • Tune into the Cartoon Channel and turn up the cartoons: What an excellent way to get your turbo puppy used to loud, unpredictable noises!
  • Race around your living room on crutches

The idea is to let your young puppy see, hear, feel, and experience everyday events, along with life’s surprises, at a very early age.

There are many easy things you can artfully do to raise an easy-going dog who will experience the ups and downs of life as a natural unfolding of events.

Take advantage of this 16 week

critical window of opportunity.

You will be glad you did!

Fact #4: Your puppy already knows how to come, sit, and lie down

Your puppy already knows how to do every basic obedience command. You just haven’t found the best way to ask your puppy, and you’re not quite sure how to kindly motivate your puppy to want to perform for you. . . (keep reading and you will know). . .  Anyone can learn how to kindly tell their dog WHEN, WHERE, HOW LONG, and WHY to perform basic commands.  It’s easy and it’s not a secret. You will succeed when you start off right with your puppy.  Nurture a relationship based on trust, consistency, clear communication, and rewards for cooperation.

Fact #5: Puppies and dogs do not hang their heads in shame

When your puppy hangs her head and lowers her body, she is not saying, I’m sorry. She is saying, “Please do not attack me, I mean you no harm”. Some of you may be thinking, “but she lowers her head before I even talk to her.” Puppies are observant and smart. They quickly learn to read situations and human body language. Dogs know more about human body language than most humans. But this does not mean they feel guilty or know right from wrong? If you do not believe me, walk up to your puppy when she has done nothing wrong. Use the same body language and tone as you do when there is a mess on the floor. She will lower her head. Does that mean she knows she’s done something wrong?

Fact #6: There are no dog training secrets in this world; you too can be an expert.

Dog training gurus want you to think only they have the secret. Hogwash. There are hundreds of books about dog training. Unfortunately, many of the books are written by people who gained their information from reading other books. Outdated, 20th century information is being sold as new and improved! One reason I studied companion animal behavior and learning, (and canine abnormal behavior modification), was to be able to sort trendy, well marketed information, from realistic everyday solutions with accurate information that applies to all dogs and all owners.

Your search is over. I can help.

The problem you new owners are facing is you don’t have time to sift through volumes of information. It’s tough to find dog-friendly, 21st century information from an expert . . . especially one who has the experience to back up his words.  I work with all kinds of animals: happy, exuberant, fearful, shy, aggressive, and compulsive.

As of December 10, 2009, I have helped 1621 pet owners. 25% of my clients have naughty dogs with aggressive, anxious and fearful behaviors. Veterinarians refer the new puppy and the crazy dog behavior cases to me, because I get good results. I get these results using kind, consistent, easily taught techniques. That number continues to rise, because this is my full time job.

I will give you the benefit of all my experience and education. When it comes to enjoyable, healthy relationships with our animal friends, there should be no secrets.

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Alan J Turner

How’s Bentley’s Gateway to Free Articles and Serives

Memphis TN


Three Steps for Puppy Play Biting Solutions


White lab puppyPlay biting is a stage of development. It is likely to occur when your puppy is EXHAUSTED or UNDER EXERCISED. Most pups naturally grow out of the stage at about 6 months of age unless people do things that prolong the period.

I’ve met some older dogs, 1-2 years old, who still nip and mouth, which poses a true problem. This is an indication that their humans did not understand play biting and unknowingly created a play biting habit.

Here are three steps you can use to deal with play biting by a puppy 8 to 16 weeks old. If your older puppy is play biting, CLICK HERE for SOLUTIONS.


STEP ONE: Stop asking your puppy to bite during playtime.

Avoid games that involve pushing, poking, tumbling, hugging, especially game that involve getting on the floor with your puppy. Hands off during play! Rough play gives puppies the wrong ideas! Play games like sit for a treat, hide-n-seek, chase the toy on a rope, or fetch.

STEP TWO: Tell your puppy that play biting makes you go away.

Tether your puppy. Engage him or her to play with a toy. When the puppy bites you, say ouch and then walk away. The puppy cannot follow you because he or she is tethered .

STEP THREE: Teach your puppy how to bite and play with toys.

Immediately return to your puppy and offer a suitable toy. Praise your puppy for chewing the toy!

ALan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Tough Boy Trick- Capture your Dog’s Cute Behaviors – Place on Cue

21dogandImagine a photographer with a camera focused on a bird’s nest – just waiting for the baby birds to pop their heads up. The instant the birds show their heads, the photographer captures the image by releasing the shutter.

Imagine a dog owner (me) walking his turbo Australian terrier (Bentley).

Imagine Bentley scratching the ground with his feet (like a bull), immediately after he urinates.

Imagine me marking that behavior and then giving Bentley some version of  F.A.T. (Marking is when you click a clicker, say a crisp X, or use whatever signal you use as a marker. F.A.T. is a reward system, consisting of food, attention, and touch.)

I thought Bentley’s natural behavior of  “scratching out” was cute, so I decided to teach him to do it on command. All I did was mark the instant he did it and then give him a reward. At this point I am not saying anything to Bentley. I am patiently waiting, then marking.

I am like the photographer in that I patiently wait for something in particular to occur, then I act.

During one walk with 3 or 4 instances of Bentley scratching out and me marking the behavior, Bentley caught on. To test his understanding, I waited for him to scratch out, and I did NOT mark the behavior. He looked up at me as if to say, “hey stoooopid, I  scratched out – where’s the mark?”  Now I was ready to add the command or cue. On our next pee stop I slipped the words. “Tough boy” immediately before he scratched out. I marked the behavior and a new trick was born.

Now I can ask Bentley, Are you a tough boy?” and he will scratch out like a bull!

You can capture any behavior your dog naturally performs. This means you can teach sit and down via the capture method. It’s too easy but it works very well!!

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – Canine Relationship Solutions – Memphis – Collierville – Germantown – Dog Training – Cat Training – Bird Training – Horse Training

21Dog

How’s Bentley – Dog and Puppy Shake – Fun Facts and Trainer Truths – iPhone, iPad, iTouch app.

Teach your Dog Inside Voice – Capture Dog’s Natural Behavior and Place it on Cue

Big_MacOne of the neat things about using an instant reward marker is how you can capture a natural behavior and then teach your dog to do it on cue.
Here’s a recent email exchange with my client, Elizabeth, who has a 4-5 month old large mix breed dog, Big Mac.

BETH’S EMAIL:
Well, I taught him….Inside voice….and he acts like he is going to bark but doesn’t make a sound……Now he just sits and looks at me and gives me inside voice!!!!  This is fun……Thanks!

OK….I have created a monster!!!!!  This new trick he learned for inside voice…..HE WON’T STOP!!!!  He just sits there an looks at me and keeps doing it…..I keep praising him and I sometimes give him a treat….but ok…what do you do when he has it down right?????

MY REPLY:
Hi Beth,

I’m glad to hear you are teaching Mac new stuff!!!!

Please tell me, in detail:

How did you teach him? Did you mark the behavior with your instant reward marker when he used the inside voice (IV)?
Did you tell him anything about outside voice?
Did you say anything?

Now- do you ask Mac for inside voice? If so, how?

Your next step is to place the behavior “on cue”, which means he only does it when you ask.

Answer my questions and I’ll tell you how.

BETH REPLY:
How did you teach him? Did you use the “X” when he used the inside voice (IV)? Yes….I caught him doing it once and said X and gave him a treat.  Did that a couple of times  I caught him again said X and inside voice and again gave him a treat….  Then I just said inside voice and he started doing it….Now I don’t say anything and he keeps looking at me doing it….This is where I don’t know what to do…..I don’t want to discourage him

Did you tell him anything about outside voice? No I have not said anything about outside voice

Did you say anything? Yes inside voice

Now- do you ask Mac for inside voice? Yes If so, how? Now I put my index finger to my lips like SHHHH quiet and I say Inside voice……He’s got it down tooooo well.

Your next step is to place the behavior “on cue”, which means he only does it when you ask. Ok….Now how do I do that because right now he is sitting here looking at me doing it over and over and over……I praise him but he’s not looking for praise he wants a goodie!

MY EMAIL:
Hi Beth!

You are almost there. I’m so proud of my new student!

Exactly what do you want Mac to do, and under what conditions do you want the behavior to occur?

Exactly what do you want Mac to “not do” and when?

BETH REPLY:
Exactly what do you want Mac to do, and under what conditions do you want the behavior to occur?  Kinda like your tough guy thing with Bentley….it’s just something cute!  Do it on command……Mac….Show your inside voice!

Exactly what do you want Mac to “not do” and when?  I don’t want him just sitting at my feet doing it over and over again……I feel if I don’t acknowledge when he does he will get discouraged.

My EMAIL
Here’s what you do:
Step 1: Reinforce the behavior you want.
Step 2: Punish the behavior you don’t want.

Don’t add touch or his name or talk to him during this exercise.  Follow these instructions as written! 🙂

Step One:
Cue the behavior (shhh signal), X the behavior, give tasty food treat. Don’t talk or pet him. Repeat the same sequence 3 more times for a total of 4 cycles.

Step 2: Say nothing- no cue – no talk – no touch. Wait until he vocalizes. (DATA A:note how long it takes for him to vocalize). Immediately look away, turn your back on him for about 10 seconds. Do not speak or make eye contact during this time out.

Turn back towards him, say “Hi Mac”-
Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until DATA A equals 10-15 seconds.
When you do Step 2, he will probably bark louder and be more demanding. Perfect. That means he’s about to give up!
When he quiet for 10-15 seconds in Step 2, praise him! Add touch!!!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Private and Group Dog Training – Memphis, Collierville, Germantown TN

Stop your dog from pulling you on walks!

Canny Collar USA Dealer

Challenges of Raising Puppy Litter Mates

Labrador Litter MatesAnyone of the millions of dog owners knows . . .it’s easy to fall in love with puppies! How many of you went to “look” at a litter of puppies, only to arrive home with a new canine addition? These guys pull at our hearts!

An even stronger heart tug is when only two puppies are left. Many people make split second decisions to adopt both puppies. People are thinking,”heck, it’s not much more trouble to raise two puppies instead of one puppy. And I don’t want to break up the family. They can entertain each other, right??”

Yes, adopting litter mates is easy; raising and training litter mates is not so easy!

You see, litter mates often become “one unit”.

They sleep together, eat together, play together and are never alone, even when their humans are off to work. The puppies become best friends and all seems well.

Challenges with this oneness arise as they get older.

You’ll notice that when apart, the dogs are not quite the same. This may not sound like a problem, until you live it.

At some point, you’ll need to separate the dogs for training, walking, emergency vet visits, et cetera. Depending on how the puppies were raised, these brief split ups can be very traumatic or non eventful.

Now, they are 7 months older and much stronger. You haven’t really taught them to walk nicely on a leash, and they pull like crazy. When someone comes to the house, you have to grab their collars and prevent them from mugging the visitors. You can get one dog to sit politely for a moment, but the other one jumps and barks. By the time you get dog # 2 settled, dog #1 is through being polite and starts to jump and bark. It’s a circus!

This scenario is even more frustrating when one dog is naughty. It’s impossible to fix behavior problems such as fear, anxiety, aggression without separating the dogs.

You now realize it’s impossible to train 2 dogs at once; you decide to take one dog outside for training. The instant you exit the house with one dog, the other dog is whining and crying in the doorway, not quite sure why he or she has been abandoned. The dog outside with you is hesitant to walk away from the house, puling at the lead, trying to get back to his or her playmate. Neither dog will eat a treat, or pay any attention to people, because they are very anxious about being apart.

Help your Litter Mates Become Independent

If you have litter mate puppies, teach them about being apart when they are young and not fused together. Take one for a walk, then take the other. Crate one puppy while you teach the other basic commands. Spend time with each puppy, when the other puppy is somewhere else. Do this from the start. Your puppies will be less likely to freak out when they are apart.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley Memphis Dog Trainer

Group and in-home, private dog training sessions

Puppy Making you Crazy? Tether that Turbo Girl!

tetherMost of us would not walk an untrained puppy, off leash, next to a busy street. We realize the puppy is not trained, and she may wander into the street and get hit by a car.  We use a leash to keep the puppy safe.

Inside the house, it’s a little safer. No cars are going to break your puppy’s legs, and your puppy can’t run away from you and get kidnapped or lost. But she can get into trouble and be quite a nuisance!  You can always crate your puppy, but that doesn’t teach her how to behave inside the house.

The same applies to backyard adventures. Puppies dig in flower beds, run on top of pool covers, chew air conditioning low voltage wires and eat plants – RIGHT in FRONT of YOU! You are not going to teach your puppy by yelling and screaming or spanking when the puppy gets into trouble. Your job is to prevent the puppy from practicing naughty behaviors. You’ll teach that rascal later, but for now, PREVENT the practice!!

You need a sort of halfway house, something between crating and letting your puppy run loose and terrorize the backyard or household.

The easy solution is to use a tether. A tether is a rope, with a snap attached to one end.  It’s like a leash without the handle. You can tie the loose end around a doorknob, table leg, or your waist to prevent your puppy from stealing objects and racing through your house. Never tie your dog to a piece of furniture and leave him. Tethers are for the times when you are nearby. When guests come over, ask your puppy to sit and then step on the rope to prevent jumping or racing out the door. I like to tie it around my waist so I can give Bentley instructions, and tell him what to so (sit, down, stay, etc.) when life gets exciting.

I buy 50 foot packages of nylon rope from Lowe’s to make a tether. The rope is round, and unlike a flat leash with a loop, it’s not as likely to get wedged under a furniture leg. The rope is inexpensive. I buy smaller diameter rope for small dogs and 1/2″ or 5/8″ diameter for medium and larger dogs.

If the puppy chews it, so what? I’ll have a shorter tether or make a new one.

I like them to be 5-9 feet. That gives me enough slack to wrap the tether around my waist or around a piece of furniture.

Attach the tether and let the puppy drag it as she explores your den. You can step on the tether to keep her from jumping up or running away with your remote control.  You can tie it to a piece of furniture with a dog bed nearby. You can wrap the end around a door knob as you change clothes. You can use the tether outside too.  Instead of calling and calling, and having your puppy ignore your come command, just pick up the rope and coax her to come to you.

If you use the tether, it’s a good opportunity to teach your puppy about leashes, collar pressure, and staying connected to you. Instead of pulling the puppy with the rope, use your charm and coax her to stay nearby. Practice LOOK (attention on cue) and HERE, as you putter around the house.

If you prevent your puppy from practicing bad habits, you will be glad!

Alan J Turner

How’s Bentley – Memphis

Private and Group Dog Obedience Trainer

Collierville, Memphis, Germantown TN

New Year Resolution for Your Dog

HNewYearTake 2, 20 Minute Walks each day.

In addition to the obvious exercise benefits for you and your dog, walks build relationships.

Many people avoid walks because their dogs pull. Teaching a dog to walk nicely is easy – if you have the right tools!

Alan J Turner – Private Dog Trainer – Memphis – Collierville-Germantown, Bartlett, Tn,  Olive Branch MS
Group Dog Obedience Mini Courses – Memphis – Collierville

When Can I Start Training My New Puppy?

Westie_PuppyYour puppy’s training starts the minute you bring that little furry critter home!

At this age, your concerns will be house training, play biting and socialization. However, you can introduce a young pup to basic commands: look, here, and sit. Just make sure your expectations are realistic, and be kind. Puppies and dogs do not ever need to be spanked!

Follow this link to see a video of Harry, a very young Norwich Terrier perform look, here, sit. The client is using a clicker for the instant reward marker.

Raising a perfect puppy is much more than teaching basic obedience and house training.

The truth is, every time you do anything with your puppy, your puppy is in class, learning. Chances are, you might teach bad habits if you don’t think about your actions.

For instance, suppose your cute puppy raises up on two feet and places paws on your leg, and looks up at you with those “I love you” puppy eyes, and barks. Most of us will automatically reach down to touch or pick up the puppy. Yikes, you are  teaching your puppy to jump up and bark for attention!

Another common error is when children get on the floor and let the puppy jump, lick, and play bite as they wrestle with the puppy using their hands. It seems so fun and the puppy is so little. What’s the harm?

This teaches the puppy that us two-leggers play just like other puppies. Sure, your 8 year old daughter is having some fun now! But in another couple of months, when the larger puppy tackles your daughter, nips at her clothes, and bites her (all in play), it won’t seem so fun anymore!

Children should play games like hide and seek, sit for a treat, and chase the stuffed toy on a rope!

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley

Private and Group Dog Training – Memphis, Germantown, Collierville, Bartlett, Cordova TN


Should I Get Another Dog / Puppy?

2DogsHere’s the deal. Your 7 month old Labrador Retriever is driving you nuts. Walter has so much energy, you can’t seem to wear him out. You take him on 2, 30 minute walks every day, one in the morning and one when you get home from work. He is crated during the day, because Walter would “remodel” your house otherwise.

Every evening, you play fetch for at least an hour. You want to teach Walter some obedience commands, but with your busy schedule, you just don’t get around to it.

Walter knows sit, and will usually come when called, unless he sees a squirrel or other dogs.

People tell you, “Get another dog. They can play and exercise together.”

This sounds like a great idea! If you add another dog, a playmate for Walter, they can wear each other out. Walter will have a friend and your life will be easier. Right?

Things to consider:

Can I afford the expense of another dog?

Expect to spend anywhere from $60 – $235 per month, per dog.

Will Walter  get along with my current dog?

There is always the chance that your friend for Walter may become his enemy! Managing a multi-dog household can be tricky, specially if the dogs are untrained. They might fight over your attention, rawhide chews, or that perfect spot on the sofa.

How will I find the time to train 3 dogs?

When you have 2 dogs, you have the training workload of owning 3 dogs. You’ll need to train Dog A, when Dog B is not nearby. Then you’ll train Dog B, when Dog A is not around. Great, now you have two dogs that will listen to you. Put them together and it all goes down the drain! The dogs act differently when they are together. They are another Dog, let’s call this one Dog AB. So, you really have 3 dogs to train. Train Dog A, Dog B, then train Dog AB.

Will I become a 3rd wheel?

Anyone who has litter mates can tell you. They become very accustomed to each other, so much so that they become anxious when separated. If you have time to work with each dog, without the other dog nearby, you can remain relevant. If the 2 dogs are always together, they may become one unit. And you may be the 3rd wheel.

What if both dogs chew up my stuff?

Dogs play in many ways. They chase each other, wrestle, jump and mouth each other. AND, dog dig together, hunt together and chew together. Monkey see, monkey do! One dog may never dig, but when the other starts, he or she may decide to dig too! Two dogs can destroy a set of patio furniture, or remodel a couch much quicker than 1 dog!

Will Walter teach my new dog bad habits? Or vice versa?

Dogs feed off each other’s ill manners. For instance suppose Walter is a friendly guy to everyone. He watches out the window at passing dogs and people, and rarely barks or jumps at the window. Enter new dog, who is always on patrol, barking and jumping at the window anytime anyone passes by. Walter watches and then decides to get into the act. Now you have two dogs barking and jumping! House training is another issue. If one dog has accidents inside, it’s likely that the other dog will too! Some dogs start to mark their territory when another dog is introduced. So, a problem that did not exist before is dropped into your lap!

Conclusion

When you add dogs to the house hold, you are taking on a greater responsibility for training and meeting the social, physical and emotional needs of your pets. I never suggest that a client add a dog if they are having trouble meeting the needs of 1 dog. On the flip side, if the client has one, well balanced trained dog, another dog could be a great addition!

Alan J Turner – Howsbentley

Dog Trainer – Memphis TN