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


The Secrets of a Dog Trainer!

sweetie_pieWell, here it is. The post you all have been waiting for. Within the murky shadows of dog training, there must be a secret. . .

Secrets? you kidding me, right? Does anyone really believe there is a SECRET of dog training?Genuine secrets are revealed everyday; don’t we imagine that any dog training secrets would have been exposed?

Okay, I’ll play along. I train dogs, therefore, I know all the secrets. Only they are not secrets. Anyone can learn to train their dog or puppy. It’s not that hard, really.

If dog trainers were adorned with”secrets, I would have Cesar Milan’s wealth! I don’t.

Forget about short cuts and secrets. The real truths about dog training can be found in hundreds of publications and web sites. But within this vast sea of information is contradicting information. That’s why I have put together this web site. It is for anyone who wants to learn how to teach their puppy or dog to be the canine companion of their dreams.

If you want to learn these secrets about dog training begin with the “START HERE” category of posts. Here’s a popular one about Dog and Puppy Training Plan.

Oh, by the way, thanks to the 13, 378 unique visitors in the past 120 days to http://dogand.com.

Alan J Turner

Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer, Canine Specialization

How’s Bentley – Memphis, TN

Alan

FREE – Dog Won’t Come? Teach Your Dog to Come Bump Your Target

criscojailPlease read Start Here AA-1 through AA-5 before you teach your dog to target.

Crisco, the turbo Jack Russell Terrier in the picture, will almost always come when called. Crisco has been very well trained by her owner via the use of targets!

Here are some thoughts about targets introduced to me by Kayce Cover, B.S., M.A.

Targets give the dog critical information about where success will take place. Examples of targets are a simple wooden dowel with a piece of tape on one end for contrast, your hand, extended fingers, or other items such as a business card, ink pen, plastic lid from small food container, piece of tape on the wall, dot of light from a laser pointer, etc.. You can purchase a target stick from pet supply stores.

Many trainers use targets to teach service dogs how to operate light switches, press doorbells, open doors, pick up items, et cetera. The dog is taught to go to the target, bump the target with his nose (or any other body part) maintain contact with the target, sit / lay on the target, pick up the item touching the target, or any number of behaviors, depending on the type of target and the application.

The use of target(s) is an excellent method to teach motion behaviors or to teach the dog where a behavior should occur.

Simple applications for target sticks are teaching a dog to spin and to heel.

Target Touch

Here’s how to teach your dog to bump a two finger target. To form a two-finger target, extend your index and middle fingers and tuck your ring finger and little finger into your palm with your thumb.

You will present the two-finger target on a plane, horizontal to the floor, as if you are pointing to someone next to you. The dog will touch the outside or knuckle side of the target.

Say “Touch” and immediately position the end of the target one inch from your dog’s nose. He will sniff it.  Do not move your target to touch his nose. He should come to you!

Mark the instant (with your conditioned marker) he touches your two finger target with his nose and immediately withdraw your target. Deliver a reward. Repeat three times, but place the target a bit farther away and to the left or right of your dog’s nose on trials 2 and 3. Now you can use the two-finger, nose target, to guide your dog into position.

Target Here – Foster a Partnership

The “touch” exercise is much more than a simple command. It is a very clear method to tell your dog what you’d like him to do and exactly where success will take place. It is a powerful tool for building an attitude of cooperation, a partnership.

The target provides a visual focal point, a precise point in space, where a behavior is to take place.

Using a target is one method to recall your dog. To use it for a come command, do this. Instead of saying “touch”, say “here” and then present your two finger target a few inches from your dog’s nose. Practice “here” at various distances in very short sessions. I usually practice this command 3-5 times during a short practice session.

I view “here” as a tool for nurturing a senior – junior partnership with Bentley. When I ask him to target, I’m really holding a two way conversation about cooperation.

I’m asking Bentley – “Hey Bent, I’d like you to come over here and bump my target with your nose. Do you understand what I want you to do? Do you understand where success will take place? Do you understand that I will pay you for your cooperation? Are you willing to cooperate? “

Bentley races over to bump my target. He’s replying, “Hey Alan, I know what you want me to do. I know where success will take place. I know you’re going to pay me. I’m willing to cooperate.”

Troubleshooting Target Here

Teaching your dog to touch your two finger target can be frustrating! Sometimes the dog will bite your fingers, or just quit targeting altogether.

If your dog is biting your target, check for these common errors. Review your timing and target placement. You should mark the instant he touches the target, not one second afterwards. Are you withdrawing your target immediately after you mark the instant he touches it? If you leave your target in place after the marker, your dog may mouth or bite the target. It’s best to remove your target immediately after you mark the touch.

If your dog sometimes ignores the target, review the placement of the target. Position the target nose height or lower.   The target should be horizontal to the floor (as if you are pointing to something next to you).

What are your actions after he bumps the target? Are you moving the target towards the dog (thus bumping him right before he reaches the target)? Do you end his fun or mark the instant and give a reward?

Some dogs lose interest if you repeat the exercise more than 2-3 times during a short session.

Print This Post Print This Post

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer, Canine Specialization
Private and Group Dog Obedience Training
Member: APDT

How to Teach your Dog to Come when you Blow a Whistle

bigstockphoto_girl_blowing_blue_whistle_38094411Whistle Come

There are many different methods to teach dogs to come when called. Here is an easy way to teach your dog to come when you blow a whistle. You may be creative with your whistle signal. For example, you could blow a short toot followed by a long toot.

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

Get a whistle.  Any type of whistle will do. Sporting goods stores stock a selection of whistles. Walmart and Target have some in their sporting goods sections.

Use special treats for this exercise, not the normal treats you use for training. Small pieces of chicken, ham, cheese or turkey work well. The idea is to choose a treat that your dog will LOVE! Choose a unique and delicious treat that your dog never ever gets any other times!

From this point forward, you will only blow the whistle during whistle come exercises.

IMPORTANT:Do not use the whistle to call your dog when he or she is misbehaving!  It will increase the misbehaviors! THEREFORE , if your dog is digging or barking or misbehaving, first get your dog’s attention, then blow the whistle when he or she is looking at you.

Do not speak to your dog, or touch your dog during Steps 1 and 2.

Step 1) Go to your den or family room and have your dog next to you. Blow your whistle and hand your dog a treat. Wait a couple of seconds, blow your whistle and give your dog a treat. Repeat 4-6 times. You are finished now. Put the whistle away.

Wait 3-5 minutes and repeat the sequence in another room of your house. Do this in 3 or more different rooms during 3 or more different sessions.

Step 2) Go to an outside area and have your dog on a short leash next to you. Blow your whistle and hand your dog a treat. Wait a couple of seconds, blow your whistle and give your dog a treat. Repeat 4-6 times. You are finished now. Put the whistle away.

Wait 3-5 minutes and repeat the sequence in another area outside. Do this in 3 or more different outside areas during 3 or more different sessions.

Step 3) Practice in the front yard or other unfenced areas with your dog on a 10-25 foot line. Practice in 3 or more different outside areas during 3 or more different sessions. When your dog comes, hand him or her a treat. Praise your dog! Toss a ball! Play with your dog!

Step 4) Go to a fenced area outside with your dog off leash. Let your dog wander around for 5 minutes. Blow your whistle and wait. When your dog comes, hand him or her a treat. Praise your dog! Toss a ball! Play with your dog!

After several sessions, vary the rewards.  Use treats sometimes, or use praise and play as rewards. Soon, your dog will always come when you whistle!

Access this and other training articles quickly and easily on my new iphone / ipad / android FREE app. Get the app here: https://alanturner.cardtapp.com/

IMPORTANT:Do not use the whistle to call your dog when he or she is misbehaving! It will increase the misbehaviors! THEREFORE , if your dog is digging or barking or misbehaving, first get your dog’s attention, then blow the whistle when he or she is looking at you.
Print This Post Print This Post

Happy Training!

 

AT

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

Private and Group Dog Training in Memphis,

Owner: How’s Bentley – 

 

Jump Start – Puppy & Dog Obedience Training Booklet – $4.95

bentpup5
Bentley, 9 week Australian Terrier, September 1999

Picture is Bentley, my Australian Terrier at 9 weeks.

For puppies and dogs of all ages!

Teach your puppy or dog very quickly using kind methods! Everyone who wants to use rewards based training methods to teach their new puppy or older dog will benefit from owning this 46 page booklet! How’s Bentley Jump Start is a “must have” for positive reinforcement trainers.

Most of the information in this PDF e booklet is on this site for FREE.

This PDF e booklet is for those who want an indexed copy of some of the instructions on this site.

Written by Alan J Turner,

Basic Obedience and Manners – 46 pages including cover and table of contents.

Steps to Success – How to Communicate – Establish a Reward System – Condition a Reward Marker – Cues – Capture Sit – Door Knock Game – Teach Target Here – Lure Down -Teach Attention (with command and without command) – Target Touch – Go to Place – Stay – Inside/Outside, and More!

You may purchase PDF ebooklet on the “Products” page.

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

Door Knock Game- A Solution For Dogs That Bark and Attack the Door $.99

codyscarf
Cody, AKC Yorkshire Terrier

You can teach a dog to come when you blow a whistle. You can teach a dog or puppy to come bump your fingers. You can teach the dog to come when you say “come” and when you say “here”. Dogs can learn multiple signals or cues that mean, “perform come behavior”.

Does your dog bark and attack the door when people come to visit?

If your dog barks at visitors, but likes them once they come inside, teach your dog that the sound of the door bell or a knock on the door is a command to come to you! Once your dog knows “come”, you teach him or her to perform “come” when someone knocks on the door.

The door knock sound and visitor outside can become the command or cue for your dog to come to you.

Cues are words or signals we use to talk to our dogs. It’s best to begin by selecting a single word, simple hand motion or short phrase for each command or cue.Cues are words or signals we use to talk to our dogs. It’s best to begin by selecting a single word, simple hand motion or short phrase for each command or cue.

When first teaching new behaviors, everyone in the house should use the same cues.

You can make any visual signal or word into a cue. If the dog’s senses can receive the signal, it can be a cue. I like to use normal events as cues.

That’s why you can teach your dog that the sound of the door bell or a knock on the door is a command to come to you!

When working with deaf or blind dogs, get creative with your cues!For instance, a thumbs up or high-five signal can be used as a marker when communicating with deaf dogs. Stomps that cause vibrations on a wooden floor can be used as cues when working with dogs that are both deaf and blind.

There are other topics to consider about cues! I have put together a document so you can learn about:

Teaching Multiple Cues for the Same Behavior – Follow the instructions and teach your dog that a knock on the door is a command for “come”.

Rules for Repeating Cues – Yes, you may repeat the command while teaching, but not without changing something.  Follow these rules to teach your dog that you only ask once!

You can purchase the Door Knock Game document for the price of a song – .99!
Please visit the “Products” page and purchase Door Knock Game today!

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


Video ** Puppy Clicker Training Demo – Harry in Class: 4 Commands, attention, here, sit, down

img_2019Click the You Tube link below this text to see Harry, the AKC registered Norwich Terrier puppy, perform 4 obedience commands. The commands are Attention on Cue (Look), Here, Sit (verbal command and “folded arms” cue) and Down (with hand signal). Harry is less than 4 months old in this video; The client chose to use a clicker as the reward marker. The client’s excellent timing of the click tells Harry the instant he succeeds. Using a reward marker is a very quick method to teach your dog basic and advanced obedience behaviors!

You can hear me coaching the client as they work with Harry. This was my second session with the client, and Harry’s first introduction to the Down command. First we lured him into the position with a hand signal and then taught him to “down” with a non-verbal hand signal.

Our non-verbal cue is a raised hand at shoulder, as if you are taking an oath. It took Harry less than 3 minutes to learn the hand signal for down- smart puppy!

After the short time training (6-7 minutes), we ended with a play session of fetch. That puppy, Harry, is a real turbo terrier!

Want to teach your dog to sit for the “folded arms” cue in less than 5 minutes?

Would you like to teach your dog to “look” and “here”?

Follow the linked words above for FREE Instructions.

CLICK HERE for YouTube Video HARRY IN CLASS

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

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

Print This Post Print This Post

Happy Training!

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

Private and Group Dog Training in Memphis, TN

Owner: How’s Bentley