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

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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

Teach Your Dog Commands for Moving Through Doorways – Inside / Outside

Bent_InsideInside – Outside

Description: The dog moves through an open door on command, on and off leash.

Function: Teach the dog to move through doors on command.

Prerequisites: Condition a reward marker; “Sit”, “Attention – Without Cue”;

Target Here”

Time: 4 Days

Many of my clients complain that their dogs will not enter and exit their houses on command. The dogs ignore their owners, stand and look at their owners, or run away.

Off leash obedience is an advanced skill, even when the dog is in a fenced area. Before you can expect your dog to obey when he or she is 50 feet away, first you should practice when the dog is on a short leash, then a long line.

There are many reasons a dog might not be motivated to obey. Some dogs may prefer the inside because of the weather outside. If an owner has a history of calling their dog inside, placing the dog in  the crate, and leaving the house, the dog may remember and be hesitant to come inside. Other dogs like to chase critters and bark at noises outside.

Regardless of the underlying reasons, training and practice is the solution. I use the “Inside – Outside” game to teach dogs to move through doorways. To play the game, follow these suggestions.

First Day:

Place your dog on a 6 foot leash.

Stand inside your house next to an exit door.

Tell your dog to sit. Praise your dog for the sit.

Tell your dog, “Outside”.

Open the door and walk outside. Don’t pull that rascal through the door. Make some “kissy” noises to charm your dog as you and your dog walk through the door to the outside. Mark the instant he or she passes through the doorway.

Close the door.

Drop the leash.

Toss a treat on the ground outside, several feet away from the door.

Pick up the leash.

Tell your dog to sit. Praise your dog for the sit.

Tell your dog, “Inside”.

Open the door and walk inside. Don’t pull that rascal through the door. Use your voice to charm your dog as you and your dog walk through the door to the inside.

Mark the instant he or she passes through the doorway.

Close the door.

Drop the leash.

Toss a treat on the floor inside, several feet away from the door.

Repeat the sequence 2 more times for a total of 6 trials (3 Outside – 3 Inside) during each practice session. Hold 3 of these practice sessions every day. End each session with a walk, a game of fetch, or any of your dog’s favorite play activities.

Next Day:

Play the Inside – Outside game 3 times each day for a total of 18 trials. Practice at each door you plan to enter and exit with your dog during each session. For example, if you use 2 doors, practice the sequence 2 times at 1 door and 1 time at the other door. If you have 3 doors, practice one sequence at each door.

Third Day:

Stand inside your house next to an exit door to a fenced area, with no leash attached.

Call your dog, using the two-finger target.

Mark the instant your dog touches the target and immediately tell your dog to sit. Praise your dog for the sit.

Tell your dog, “Outside”.

Open the door.

Step into the door opening.

Your dog will pass through the door.

Mark the instant he or she passes through the doorway.

Toss a treat on the ground outside, several feet away from the door.

Close the door. Your dog will be on the outside and you will be on the inside.

Immediately walk outside. Close the door.

Call your dog, using the two-finger target.

Mark the instant your dog touches the target and immediately tell your dog to sit. Praise your dog for the sit.

Open the door and tell your dog, “Inside”.

Step into the door opening. Your dog will pass through the door. Mark the instant he or she passes through the doorway.

Toss a treat on the floor inside, several feet away from the door. Close the door. Your dog will be on the inside and you will be on the outside.

Repeat the sequence 2 more times for a total of 6 trials (3 Outside – 3 Inside) during each practice session. Hold 3 of these practice sessions every day. End each session with a walk, a game of fetch, or any of your dog’s favorite play activities.

Fourth Day:

Fade the marker and the food treat, and reduce your motion of moving into the doorway. When your dog moves through the door, offer verbal praise and toss a ball or a toy instead of a treat. You can step inside or outside with your dog, or not.

Stand inside your house next to an exit door to a fenced area, with no leash attached.

Tell your dog to sit. Praise your dog for the sit.

Tell your dog, “Outside”.

Open the door.

Your dog will pass through the door.

Praise your dog.

Toss a ball or toy outside, several feet away from the door.

Close the door. Your dog will be on the outside and you will be on the inside.

Open the door and walk outside. Close the door.

Tell your dog to sit. Praise your dog for the sit.

Open the door and tell your dog, “Inside”.

Your dog will pass through the door.

Close the door. Your dog will be on the inside and you will be on the outside.

Repeat the sequence 2 more times for a total of 6 trials (3 Outside – 3 Inside) during each practice session. Hold 3 of these practice sessions every day. End each session with a walk, a game of fetch, or any of your dog’s favorite play activities.



iPhone 3Gs Video ** Ace Doberman Shadow Dance

Doberman AceI visited Ace the AKC registered, Doberman puppy today in Collierville TN.  Ace already knows: “Look”, “Two Finger Target Here”, and “Sit for Folded Arms”. Today we practiced “Leave-It (it’s impossible), and “Stay”. This young rascal is quite the turbo!

Click the  link below to see Ace the AKC registered Doberman puppy doing his shadow dance.

Doberman puppy 2

Doberman pupy 3

Doberman 1

Happy Training!

How’s Bentley

21st Century Canine Relationship Solutions

Memphis TN

New iPhone app -Dog and Puppy Shake – Fun Facts and Trainer Truths
21st Century Dogs – Dog and Puppy Club

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

Mini Goldendoodle Puppy Training Plan

Mini GoldendoodleLiving with an untrained dog can be exhausting, for years . . . and years.

We often develop elaborate plans for ourselves and our families that include life stages, education, careers, finances, property, vacations, remodeling, and one-time events.

The key to planning any event is to understand your goals and expectations. Raising a mini goldendoodle puppy (or any puppy) is a chore!

People who have a clear idea of their expectations and goals have much more fun!

Here are a few questions to help you with your puppy training plan.

What do I expect to gain from the relationship with my dog?

How would I classify our relationship with my dog – master/slave, buddy/buddy, owner/property, senior partner / junior partner?

How will my dog’s life stages affect my family?

How long will my dog live?

Which skills will s/he need to develop?

Which behaviors make up the skills I desire?

Which behaviors should be first on my list?

Wouldn’t it be neat to develop a global training and care plan for your canine companion? To read more about puppy training plans, skills and behaviors, please visit this dogand page Dog & Puppy Training Plan-Obedience Commands

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

21st Century Canine Relationship Specialist

You Should Not Stop a Dog from Jumping Up on Counter

200 lb. Deaf Great Dane, George, & Oreo the Boston TerrierForget about stopping naughty behaviors.:) Instead, spend a little time with your dog and teach him a behavior that is incompatible with jumping up on counters such as to Go-To-Place.

If you focus on stopping behaviors, you are destined to make a full-time hobby out of training. For example- If you focus on stopping a dog from jumping on the counter and succeed, you really haven’t taught the dog what behavior is acceptable, or how he might behave politely and earn a reward.

The dog may abandon the counter jumping behavior only to start scratching the lower section of the cabinet under the countertop, start barking at the counter, or worse!

Go-To-Place is one of my favorite commands.

The “Place” is a very comfortable dog bed strategically placed in the kitchen where you can reinforce Go-To-Place behavior!

CLICK HERE for Go-to-Place instructions.

If you focus on teaching this one behavior, you won’t have to “break him” from jumping up, licking the dishes in the dishwasher, barking, object stealing or any number of behaviors that annoy you!

It’s much more efficient to teach dogs a few basic behaviors that are incompatible with many unwanted behaviors.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Goals of Off Leash Obedience or Guard Dog Performances by the Family Dog

p_480_320_1E6B3BD9-8F00-48B9-BC22-54B4AE73B475.jpegOkay, so you want your puppy to stay in the yard, when off leash. You want your puppy to ignore that sandwich your toddler is dangling at her nose level.

You want your puppy to sit calmly while you vacuum. You want your dog to protect and guard your home and family.

You want your puppy to grow into a combination of Lassie, a Guide Dog for the Blind, or a canine Police Officer.

Good for You!
Lofty goals are great, for without them man would not have accomplished space travel or the Internet!

But, before your puppy can get a PhD in pet performance, she must learn basic obedience commands. She should graduate from Kindergarten, attend Grade School, pass Middle School, excel at High School level behaviors, and then attend College and Graduate School. And, your puppy will need an expert teacher.

You get the idea. All these goals may be within your reach. But, you’ll never know unless you learn a bit about communication, motivation, and how dogs learn. You’ll never know unless you form a training plan, apply your knowledge during every interaction with your canine companion, and you practice every single day, with increasingly higher levels of distractions.

You will be your dog’s Kindergarten mom, Grade School principle, Middle School counseler, High School mentor, and College Professor.

You, my newly appointed animal training intern, are on a steep learning curve. You, my enthusiastic new puppy owner, have much to learn, and much to do, if you want to reach those goals.

Don’t fret.

Dog training is not quantum physics! Anyone can learn how to succeed. Here are your first steps.

Meet your dog’s physical, social and emotional needs.

Kindly prevent your puppy from practicing unwanted behaviors.

Establish a meaningful method to communicate. Condition a reward marker.

Enact the Rewards Awareness Program.

Establish a Reward System.

This dogand site is filled with instructions and tips about raising and training a dog.

Look around and begin your adventure!

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner
How’s Bentley – Memphis
21st Century Canine Relationship Specialist

Meet Your Dog’s Physical Needs for Balance – Commercial, BARF, Frozen & Organic Diet, Food Choices

ReddogPhysical needs are related to the physical well-being of the dog. Routine vaccinations are one example of physical health requirements.

Grooming and bathing, quality food and clean water are other obvious needs. Shelter from environmental extremes and refuge from everyday household commotion are important for the physical health of your puppy.

The ability to move about, sufficient bathroom access, and daily exercise are components of physical needs.

Health Care

Routine Home, Health Inspections

Some health problems can be easily recognized by routine home, health inspections.

Ear infections are common, especially in dogs with floppy ears. If your dog is constantly shaking his or her head or scratching his or her ears, there’s likely to be an infection.

Ear infections are stinky. To determine if your pup’s ears are infected, place your nose directly into your pup’s ear and take a whiff. Do this a couple of times every week so you’ll notice any changes in the odor, before the infection develops into a serious problem. Contact your veterinarian if your dog’s ears are smelly!

Skin irritations are another common problem. Visually inspect your dog’s skin for signs of redness. In addition, you can sniff your dog’s skin. Any changes in the odor of your dog’s skin could be signs of a problem.

The consistency of your pup’s stools is another indicator of overall health. Generally speaking, you should be able to pick up your dog’s stools with a napkin. If your puppy has loose or runny stools, contact your vet.

Veterinarian Wellness Checkups

Wellness checkups are much more than disease protection and a quick once-over. Extensive blood work and a thorough examination are helpful for identifying potential health problems before they affect the life of your animal. Blood chemistry results are compared and contrasted from year to year.

Comprehensive wellness exams provide veterinary professionals with a baseline for measuring the pet’s medical health.

Disease Prevention

Check with your veterinarian if you have any questions related to the prevention of global or regional health threats to your dog. I live in Memphis, TN. In the southeast, we have a saying.

There are two types of dogs, dogs that are always on heart worm and parasite prevention and dogs that are on the path to contracting parasites and heart worm disease.

Grooming

To all social mammals, grooming is a form of social interaction, a sort of bonding exercise.

Routine grooming has benefits beyond a neat coat. Brushing stimulates healthy skin. Grooming teaches your dog to accept handling, a most helpful coping skill.

Some puppies accept grooming and others view handling as an opportunity to bite. Please read subsequent chapters about socialization and play biting for tips on how to teach your pup to accept routine grooming.

Bathing

Bathing requirements vary greatly from breed to breed, as do ear and dental examinations. Check with your veterinarian and groomer about a schedule best suited to your dog.

Dental Care

Dental problems can develop into dangerous, life threatening conditions. Dogs with squashed faces (brachycephalic breeds) are at a higher risk for developing dental problems than breeds with a wolf-like muzzle.  This is because the same number of teeth is condensed into a smaller area.

Dirty teeth can affect the health of the heart. Talk to your vet about starting a dental care program suitable for your breed.

There are many consumable products advertised to improve your dog’s dental health and breath. Chewing bones and other, hard, abrasive chew items can help to reduce tarter.

I’m not sure if eating a mint flavored chew item actually improves long-term breath or not. I have fed Bentley some of these and never noticed a long term change in the odor of his dog breath. Try some and see for yourself.

Diet Choices

Pet food is a multi-billion dollar industry. Choosing a food can be very frustrating because you will hear different advice from everyone.

If your dog is healthy and happy on his or her current diet, then my advice is to stick with that diet.

If your dog has chronic medical or behavioral health issues, then perhaps a diet change is warranted.

One of the first questions I hear from clients is, “What do you feed Bentley?”.

I feed Bentley a prescription diet purchased from my veterinarian because of his heath condition, chronic pancreatitis. A portion of his meal is canned food placed in a bowl. The remaining portion of his meals is dry food, delivered as treats when training.

Even though the ingredients are not what I consider to be of the highest quality, the balance of nutrition, fat, and protein is well suited for his medical condition.

Dry versus Wet Food

From a nutritional point of view, it stands to reason that wet or canned foods may contain more nutrients than their dry counterparts. Quality of ingredients, storage, and processing affect the nutritional value of all foods.

Many people claim that dry dog foods are better for dogs because dry foods help maintain clean teeth.

I’ll accept that dogs who actually chew dry food may receive some teeth-cleaning benefits from dry foods. But, I’ve met many dogs who only ate dry food and their teeth were very dirty. Maybe this is because they didn’t really chew the food or maybe it’s an individual trait of that dog.

For whatever reasons, some dogs need annual teeth cleaning by a veterinarian and other do not. Ask your vet for a teeth cleaning schedule that’s best for your dog.

Diet and Behavior

I am not a nutritional expert. I have absorbed information from those who I consider to be well educated in the field. I do know there is a link between diet and behavior.

Diet affects physical health. Physical health affects behavioral health.

Studies with children indicate that children who eat a balanced diet have a learning advantage over those who consume a less balanced diet.

Any parent will tell you that their child’s behavior is influenced by the amount of junk food the child consumes.

I always address diet when discussing problem behaviors.

There have been small studies about diet content and abnormal behaviors in animals. These studies claim that protein and carbohydrate levels can affect behavioral health.

My success with diet changes and behavioral improvements is unclear. Since I always present a multi-point behavior modification program which includes diet change, it’s difficult to measure the effects of the diet change.

In 1% of my behavior cases, changing the diet did cause dramatic improvements. I know this because the clients admittedly did nothing but change the dogs’ diets.

More apparent is the relationship between defecation and diet. Dogs who eat foods with more “junk” produce more, larger stools. Sometimes this can be a factor to consider while house training.

Commercial Foods

There are commercial foods marketed for toy dogs, working dogs, large breeds, puppies, adults, seniors, et cetera.

Some foods are advertised to be breed- specific, such as food especially for Yorkshire terriers.

I’m not sold on the necessity of selecting breed-specific foods, but I’m no expert. I avoid food marketed as suitable for all life stages.

Life-stage and weight control foods make sense to me.

Puppies require different levels of nutrients than seniors. Seniors need different levels of fiber, fat, protein, etc., than younger dogs. Overweight dogs should consume fewer calories.

Contact your veterinarian with any questions regarding the best food for your individual dog at his or her current life stage.

Rendered Foods

Dog foods contain ingredients that originate from the same sources as our people food. Lamb, rice, chicken and vegetables are common ingredients. The quality is usually of a lower grade than served to people.

Most commercial dry dog foods are rendered so that we can easily store and serve the product. Rendering is a type of heated reduction or extraction process in which fat soluble and water soluble products are separated from solid products.

Homemade Diets

There are some who profess that a B.A.R.F. diet is the best for our canine companions. Bones And Raw Food make up the B.A.R.F. diet. I haven’t been exposed to studies about the effectiveness of the diet, but I believe  the B.A.R.F. diet has merits.

Many people prefer to make their dogs’ food. There’s no question that fresh foods are more nutritious than processed foods.   I have no doubt that some people research and learn how to meet the nutritional requirements of their pets. Their dogs may indeed live longer, healthier lives than dogs on commercial diets of lesser quality.

Some of my concerns with homemade diets are related to balance and life stages.

Unless the people follow a well researched recipe, the animal may not receive necessary nutrients in the ideal quantities. In addition, life stage nutritional requirements may be overlooked in home made diets.

Another concern when discussing home made diets, especially the B.A.R.F. diet, is a group of bacteria known as salmonella.

Improper handling of raw foods places humans and pets at risk for illness.

Common symptoms of salmonella infection are diarrhea, fever, or abdominal cramps.

Frozen & Organic Diets

There are alternatives for those who do not want to prepare home made foods nor feed a traditional dog food. Frozen and freeze dried raw diets as well as organic dog foods are other choices.

I question some claims posted by some niche-food manufacturers.

I wonder how a very small company can purchase organic ingredients, process, package, (sometimes freeze), and ship the finished product for a fraction of the cost I would incur by only purchasing the same ingredients.

Add in the cost of business and payroll taxes, insurance, various other business expenses plus a small profit and the math simply does not support their claims.

These and other non-traditional dog food selections might be good choices for those who want to purchase a higher quality diet, assuming the maker follows sanitary guidelines, has a nutritionist on staff,  and uses the stated ingredients in quantity.

Table Scraps

Some people feed their dogs table scraps. Others pride themselves on never feeding people food. Some randomly toss food to their dogs when eating at the table.

Feeding dogs from the table can create a begging, obnoxious dog or can create a wonderfully polite dog!  It depends on the timing of the delivery. If you toss a bite immediately after your dog whines or barks, then obnoxious behaviors will increase. If you toss a piece when your dog is waiting quietly, then polite behaviors will increase.

Feeding table scraps might temporarily upset your dog’s digestive system.

In some instances, ingesting large quantities of high fat table scraps can permanently affect a dog’s digestive system.

I never feed Bentley substantial quantities of table scraps, but he does get people food.

Feeding table scraps will aggravate Bentley’s chronic pancreatitis.

I often let Bentley lick my empty plate. If he waits quietly and patiently, I rinse the plate and place it on the floor. Bentley doesn’t really get any food or food juices from the rinsed plate.

People Food Treats

Some people food can be used as training treats.

I often use carefully selected people food for training treats.

Many of my clients use boiled chicken, turkey, other low-fat meats, organic cereals, and bits of fruits and vegetables. All these are great training treats. Unsalted, plain popcorn is another favorite.

I do not feed high fat, high salt treats like corn and potato chips as well as any candy, cakes, ice cream or sweets.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner

Canine Behavior Counselor – Memphis TN

Aggression, Fear, Puppy Manners, Obedience – Private and Group Animal Training and Behavior Services

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