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

How’s Bentley Group Dog Obedience: Mini Course Syllabus – Beginner Course

Groupcartoon

How’s Bentley Mini Course Syllabus – Beginner Course

For all friendly, vaccinated, puppies and dogs 16 weeks or older

COURSE FEE & LENGTH – $85,  3 weekly sessions, 55 minutes each

By Reservation only:– Please review this checklist to see if group courses are best for your dog

 

DOGS – 3-10  dogs per class – all friendly, vaccinated puppies and dogs over 16 weeks may attend.

PEOPLE – Adults 18 and over may register and one adult will handle the dog.  All family members are encouraged to attend. Teens and children can assist the adult handler.

METHODS – Dog friendly, rewards based teaching methods, no leash jerks

INSTRUCTOR –  Alan J Turner, owner of How’s Bentley,  is the instructor. Alan is a companion animal behavior counselor and trainer with a specialization in canine behavior. Alan is a certified Syn Alia Training Systems Trainer, Lay Level 1. Alan is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Please Visit these links to learn more about Alan.

How’s Bentley

Syn Alia Training Systems

Association of Pet Dog Trainers

COMMANDS – look, come, sit, down, stay, go-to-place

REACTIVE  DOGS – Group Course setting is not suitable for aggressive, reactive, or fearful dogs. Please contact Alan about private sessions.

BRING TO CLASS – copies of current vaccination records, signed Group Mini Course Enrollment Form, small food treats, chew toy, water bowl, hungry, exercised dog; Sessions 2-3 dog bed, high value long lasting chew treat

EQUIPMENT – Leash: 4 to 6 foot nylon, leather, poly, or cotton lead – Collar: any neck collar, head collar, or harness is acceptable as long as the dog is not choking and the dog cannot escape from the equipment. Weeks 2-3, bring a dog bed, rug, kennel pad, something to use as the “Place” for Go-To-Place

REGISTER– Contact Brown Dog Lodge to reserve your spot. 

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Behaviors for Beginner Mini Course (click words below for detailed instructions):

Look (Attention on cue / while standing), Capture Sit, Target Here (optional Whistle Come), Lure Down (or Capture Down), Stay, Go-to-Place



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Preparation for First Class – Lecture Notes

Please select the link below to view helpful articles in preparation for the course. AA3 and AA4 are the most important!

http://dogand.com/category/dog-training-obedience/start-here/

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Here are the steps for teaching a dog anything you want.

  1. Condition a reward marker, a signal you will use during training to tell your dog the instant he or she has succeeded.
  2. Establish a Rewards System, so your dog will be motivated to cooperate.
  1. Get the dog to perform the behavior (or some portion of the behavior) during very short, practice sessions.
  1. Mark the instant your dog succeeds.
  2. Reward your dog to reinforce the behavior. (Deliver some “version” of F.A.T.)
  3. Refine the behavior through repeated, very short, practice sessions in many different areas.
  4. Add distractions so your dog will always perform the behavior.
  5. Practice the behavior in real life.

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SYLLABUS ***************************

1st Class Session- Exercises

Condition an instant reward marker.

Capture sit for folded arms.

Teach attention on cue – while standing.

Teach your dog to come bump your target (Here).

Teach additional commands for the same behavior (teach the word sit).

Video Demo

http://dogand.com/category/dog-training-obedience/training-video-demonstrations/

Obedience Training –> Video Demo

Here’s a video demo of a puppy doing “look”, “here”, “sit” and “down”. My client is using a clicker as the conditioned reward marker.  When you string several commands, you mark each “success”, but don’t deliver food treat after every mark. In this video, my client is using a clicker for the reward marker.

HOMEWORK WEEK ONE

Here’s a goal for this week.  Hold at least 5, 60 second, practice sessions every day. 10 would be better! 🙂 Practice Look, Here, Sit

Wait 10 minutes minimum between these short sessions. You could do all 5 within one hour, but it’s better to sprinkle the sessions throughout the day- or split between AM and PM.

During these short (1 minute) sessions, practice “sit for folded arms” and “attention on cue”.

Problems with “Sit for Folded Arms”? CLICK HERE for TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS.

CLICK HERE for a Training Log. Print the log so you can keep a record of your practice sessions.

You will mark each “look” or “sit” with your reward marker (X is one of my favorite reward markers). And you follow the X with some version of FAT.

The first couple of days, give your dog a small food reward (after you mark the instant of success) 3 out of every 5 times you mark. As your dog learns the commands, you can discontinue the use of the marker.

After 2 days, experiment with the reinforcement schedule.  Use a variable intermittent schedule of reinforcement; give a food reward sometimes, and give attention (praise, yee haaas, fun noises) or touch without the food treat, other times. Mix it up!

Practice in 4 different locations inside your home. Practice in 2 different locations outside.

2nd Class Session- Exercises

Practice: Look, Here, Sit

Lure Down or Capture Down

Introduce Stay, Go-to-Place

Discussion – Making Behaviors Reliable

Schedules of Reinforcement

HOMEWORK WEEK TWO

Practice: Look, Here, Sit, Down, Stay

Hold 5 daily, 2-3 minute practice sessions. Practice in 4 different locations inside your home. Practice in 2 different locations outside.

Optional – Teach: Whistle Come

Optional – Teach and practice: Inside / Outside

3rd Class Session- Exercises

Practice: Look, Here, Sit, Down,Stay, Go-to-Place

Practice: Attention while standing – without cue

Discussion: Real Life Applications

Instructor, Alan J Turner, SATS LL1

How’s Bentley – Memphis, Germantown, Collierville TN

Group Dog Obedience Courses

How’s Bentley Group Dog Obedience: Mini Course

HBMini

Look, Here, Sit, Stay, Down, Place

Group Mini Course Syllabus & Notes


Group Dog Obedience

Mini-Course

3, 1-hour Sessions @ Brookhaven Canine Academy $75

If your dog will always look when you ask, come when called, sit on command, stay in one area, go to place, and lie down, you have a well trained dog.

Teaching these basic commands resolves many normal annoying behaviors such as jumping up, racing out the door, et cetera. More importantly you will learn how to communicate exactly what you want from your dog and you will learn how to motivate the dog to want the same things.

The mini course will give you the information you need to succeed!

Reservations:: Click Here to reserve your spot -Online Enrollment Form


This service is for all friendly rabies vaccinated puppies and dogs 12 weeks or older and their human house mates. Courses are segregated according to dogs’ ages

Thursdays @ 6:15 PM or 7:30 PM @ Brookhaven Canine Academy

732 W Brookhaven Cr, Memphis TN –

Reservations: Click Here to reserve your spot -Online Enrollment Form

Forget About Stopping Your Dog’s Naughty Jumping Behaviors with a Knee in the Chest

Yorkshire Terrier, Cody
Yorkshire Terrier, Cody

Many of my clients become engrossed, almost obsessed, with the notion of stopping their puppies or dogs from performing some obnoxious or naughty behaviors. They believe that teaching a dog what “NO” means, is the method to train.

That, my friend, is a long and rocky path, which can spiral into trouble and frustration.

You will succeed much quicker if you focus on:

  1. preventing the rude behaviors (be proactive)
  2. increasing the good behaviors (teach your dog what he or she should do in a particular situation)

For instance, suppose the puppy is jumping up on guests. Some of my clients address this common problem by grabbing their dogs’ collars and pulling them off the guests, while saying “NO”.  Other clients instruct their guests to knee the dogs in the chest. How primitive! 🙂

I’m not saying you shouldn’t interrupt jumping behaviors, you should. But every time you grab your dog’s collar, she just scored a goal, and you are not even aware that the game has begun!

Using your knee to punish jumping is equally inefficient, and not a good choice for many situations. How does that work with a 5 pound Yorkshire terrier? a 85 year old client? Even if you have the motor skills to pull it off, and your dog is the perfect size, it will only teach your dog that jumping on you is a bad idea. It will not necessarily stop your dog from jumping on every one else. And it gives your dog no useful information about what he or she should be doing at that exact moment.

You know that your dog will jump and nip. Instead of waiting for your dog to misbehave and then reacting, be proactive.

Attach a leash or tether and prevent your puppy from practicing rude behaviors. You are not going to yell and jerk the leash, just calmly hold the leash and prevent the behavior. Teach your dog Basic Obedience Commands, so she will know exactly what to do when people approach.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer

Private and Group Dog Obedience Training in Memphis, Collierville, Germantown TN

How to Teach Teach your Collierville TN Golden Retriever Dog or Puppy to Stay

JackGRStay

I use stay as a temporary command whenever I want Bentley to remain in one spot for a brief period.

This is useful if I drop or spill something and want to pick it up without being “mugged” or bothered by a curious dog.

When I ask Bentley to stay, I am saying, “Please remain in this location. I am going to leave or perform some task. I will come back to you and give you a reward for staying.”

When teaching stay, I never walk away and then call the dog to me. I always return to the dog and release him from the stay.

I teach stay in cycles. Each cycle I add a bit more movement or action. Once the dog learns the concept of stay, I add distractions. I might practice the same cycles with items in my hand, while waving my arms, clapping, dancing, etc.

Once the dog will stay for my distractions, I work with the dog and invite other people to play the role of distractions.

Before you begin training your dog, you’ll need to learn a bit about communication and motivation. Please visit the Dog Training Start Here Category. There you will learn about markers and rewards, two excellent topics for communicating and motivating! A prerequisite for “stay” is “Attention on Cue”. It doesn’t hurt if your dog already knows “Sit” too!


Cycle 1:

With the dog on a lead, I say “stay”, wait 1 second, and then push my open hand towards him – like a stop signal. Then I withdraw my hand.

I wait 2 seconds and then deliver the reward marker to release the dog, followed by  a food treat.

Cycle 2:

With the dog on a lead, I say “stay”, wait 1 second, and then push my open hand towards him – like a stop signal. Then I withdraw my hand.

I take a couple of steps with each foot, but do not move forward or backward. I march in place. I stop moving my feet.

I wait 2 seconds and then deliver the reward marker to release the dog, followed by  a food treat.

Cycle 3:

Same as cycle 2 except I might take a backward step and then return, or twist my upper body or shoulders just a bit.

I stop all body motions.

I wait 2 seconds and then deliver the reward marker to release the dog, followed by  a food treat.

Following Cycles:

Each cycle I get a bit more creative with my actions or movements. I always return to the dog, pause 2 seconds and then release him by delivering the marker.

Troubleshooting Stay

Many people tell their dogs to stay and immediately turn and walk away.  Naturally the dog follows. He has no clue what stay means. When this happens, people just repeat the sequence but say “Stay” a bit harsher, as if now the dog will understand.

The key to success is teaching in cycles. Add one small bit of motion during each cycle. If your dog does not stay, reduce the motion and try again.

It helps to have a particular goal in mind. For instance, teach your dog to stay when you drop a pencil and then pick it up. Each cycle will add a bit more of the motion involved in bending over and picking up an item.

Be patient, add small “pieces” of distractions and you will succeed!

If your dog follows you, herd him back to the beginning location, repeat the command and try again. This time use less motion. If your dog fails 2x in a row, make sure you succeed on the 3rd cycle. Perform an easy cycle with no distractions.

I never let my dog fail 3x in a row. THree failures in a row tell me that I am adding distractions above his current skill level.


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Happy Training!
Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN
Private and Group Dog Obedience Training – Collierville TN

Teach Your Memphis Labrador Retriever to Respond to Your First Command

HersheyLabSome of my clients repeat a cue or command to their Memphis labrador retriever puppy or dog many times, either in efforts to get the behaviors, or to keep the behaviors. For example, many people repeat the word sit when their dogs don’t sit on the first command.

Saying stay…stay…stay… while walking away and extending your hand out like a stop signal is another common example.

I have a set of “loose” rules for repeating commands. Generally speaking, I use one technique with dogs that are learning or practicing. Another is for dogs that have learned and practiced a command (in a similar environment) and are not cooperating.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know if the dog is not cooperating or genuinely confused.

Unless I am certain that the dog can perform under the current circumstances, I always address the situation as if the dog is learning. I try to help the dog perform the behavior.

In other instances, I might treat the dog as if he is both learning and not cooperating.

Dogs Who are Learning, Practicing and Cooperating

Before I repeat the command, first I change something about my body language, the dog’s position, or both. Then I ask again. These position changes are quick, fluid and sometimes unnoticed by an observer. I may change position several times as I try to get a particular behavior.

Some of the adjustments involve only my positioning and body language. Others prompt the dog to change position.

For instance, suppose I ask for sit. If the dog doesn’t sit, I might lean towards the dog with my upper body or lead the dog a step or two to the left or right and try again.

If I am seated (when I ask the first time), I stand up. I might move a step closer to the dog, or take a step farther away, or bend forward, or tilt back, or square my shoulders, or kneel down, or whatever I feel might be helpful. After one or many of these small adjustments, I’ll repeat the command.

Some dogs need more help to get started.

With these guys, I’ll ask for “shake” or “touch” or whatever tricks or behaviors the dogs will perform. After the dogs perform, I ask for the initial behavior again.

When I do anything that causes a dog to move, I’m prompting cooperation.

The act of encouraging the dog to move creates a tension break, a sort of casual conversation.  It gives the dog a chance to warm up to the whole cooperation idea!

Eliciting muscle movements primes the dog to perform other motion behaviors. It’s like pushing a car. Once you get the car rolling, it’s easier to keep it rolling and to steer it!

Dogs Who are not Cooperating

If I am working with a dog with all of these attributes, A) knows the behavior, B) can do the behavior in the current environment, C) has done the behavior in the current environment, I rarely repeat commands with only a position change.

Instead, I tell the dog that he or she has failed to cooperate and I am disappointed.

Here’s how I do it.

Suppose I ask for sit and the dog just looks at me. Instead of repeating the command, I turn and walk away. For the next 5-10 seconds, I ignore any attempts by the dog to get my attention. After this brief time out, I turn and face the dog and ask again. The dog quickly learns that I only ask one time!

Happy Training!

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

How’s Bentley – Private and Group Dog Obedience

Memphis, Collierville, Bartlett, Cordova, Germantown, Arlington, Jackson, Olive Branch,Oxford, MS, TN



Barking Dog? Resolutions ** Danger! ** Do Not Use an Anti Bark Collar on Your Dog or Puppy, without reading this first!

bentleybarkOkay, so your dog is barking and you have the perfect, initial solution; buy one of those anti bark dog collars, right? WRONG!

Please do not misunderstand, I agree there are situations when an anti bark collar is a good choice, but spraying a dog with citronella, sounding a tone, (or using an e-collar ) are never at the top of my list of tools and solutions for barking.

Anti bark collars address the symptom, not the causes. You may very well stop your puppy or dog from barking. But, if the dog is fearful, aggressive, anxious, stressed or neglected, an anti bark collar could increase these emotional conditions.

DANGER! YIKES! We love our dogs and puppies. We certainly do not want to harm them! Before you use an anti bark collar on your dog or puppy, take a moment to review these thoughts.

Positive punishment (immediately adding an aversive stimulus to reduce the preceding behavior) rarely makes your pet dog less fearful, less aggressive, less anxious, less stressed, or less neglected!

Dogs bark for many different reasons. In many instances, obedience training, a change of schedule, and/or adjusting something in the dog’s surroundings will be part of the solution.

Here is a short list of resolutions I have suggested for clients:

Close the window blinds / pull the curtains

Crate train the dog (a crate trained dog is one who will relax in the crate, regardless of the activities surrounding the crate.)

Relocate the puppy’s crate

Teach your puppy to relax in her crate

Teach the dog a polite way to get your attention.

Increase physical activities

Teach your dog to ring a bell to signal the desire to go outside (or inside)

Teach your dog to go to place

Learn how to train your dog, and do it!

Teach the dog that all dogs and people are not dangerous or threatening

Teach the dog to relax

Teach “quiet” or “enough”

The first thing you should do is determine the root cause for the barking. Here are some guidelines for determining the cause of your dog’s excessive barking.

Normal Barking – Resolve via Obedience Training

  • Attention Signal to Owners, Other Dogs, Other Pets

Wants to go outside / inside / into room / other side of gate / out of crate

Soliciting Attention

Begging for Food

Soliciting Play-time

Soliciting Interactions with other Pets

  • Excitement

During Play, Before Walks

Barking at Door Bell, Door Knocks

  • Protecting, Guarding, Alarm Barking

Barking at Noises, People’s Voices Outside, Television Sounds, etc.

Barking at Neighbors, Passersby, Joggers, Bicyclists, Trucks, Cars,

Strangers, Other Dogs, Birds, Squirrels, House Cats, etc.

Abnormal Barking Resolve via Behavior Modification

  • Fearful – Distance Increasing Behavior

Barking at Cars / Trucks

Barking at Strangers

Barking at Dogs

  • Anxious or Stressed

Barking when confined in crate, laundry room, behind gate, etc (anxious barking is usually accompanied by excessive salivation)

Barking when alone

Happy Training!
Alan J Turner, Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer
Private and group dog training in Germantown, Collierville, and Memphis TN