Positive Training using food

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Positive Training using food treats.
Dogs are not obedient to commands: they are obedient to the laws of learning.” Jean Donaldson
Anything that will increase the likelihood that an act will occur again is called a reinforcer. A positive reinforcer, in dog training, is something that the dog wants, such as food, a toy, petting or praise. Simply offering food treats as positive reinforcement to strengthen any behaviour is the most rudimentary part of dog training. And for a puppy, what can be better than a nice treat? Fortunately we do not have to teach a dog to eat. Behaviour that is already occurring, no matter how seldom, can always be intensified with positive reinforcement training. Read the rest of this entry »

Emergency stop

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Emergency stop
What would you do if your dog was about to run into a busy street?
All dog owners should be able to stop their dog at a distance in an emergency situation because it can save its life someday.
Over many years as a dog trainer I twice had to make use of such an emergency call.
Once, while looking for a missing cat I noticed that Coyote had gone across the road. As I called him back I noticed a car come speeding in our direction. A quick “Platz” had Coyote drop on the spot and once the car had passed he safely joined me. On another occasion, while we were playing with puppy, Polo on the sidewalk, Quanto had ventured across the road to check on some smells. As he started his return to us a car approached at speed and I again was able to stop him instantly and so avoid a bad situation. Read the rest of this entry »

Basic Obedience Training

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Basic Obedience Training
All dog training is based on motivation either positive or negative. This may take the form of food reward or withholding food, added pressure or pressure relief etc.
The dog must be an active participant in training and must understand the consequence of what he is doing. Show him what you WANT him to do and let him KNOW instantly, exactly what he has done right by marking and rewarding that behaviour. You cannot tell your dog to “Stand” when he has no idea what you are talking about.
Obedience Training teaches a dog to DO something like sit, stay, lie down, stand, fetch, watch/look, come when called and many other tricks.
Behaviour Training teaches him NOT to do things like jumping up, chewing, digging, barking, ignoring a call to come, chasing the cat or cars etc.
Both Obedience and Behavioural training form part of successful dog training intervention. Read the rest of this entry »

2018 CGC tests

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Congratulations to all the Sun Valley Dog Training club members on achieving a 100% pass rate in the tests that were conducted in Fish Hoek for the first time.

Canine Good Citizen Tests 18 August 2018
False Bay College Fish Hoek 10:00
1. Lilly Shar-Pei Katarina Bova
2. Franklin Cross Breed Jeremy Byren
3. Snow Collie L Alexander
4. Rosie Poodle Jos McMinn
5. Jack Border Collie L Montaqu-Fryer
6. Lucky Aussie/Collie X Richard Weingaertner
7. Stuart Little X Breed TEARS Luke Kruyt
1. Emma Chow –Staffie David Nagle
2. Lilo Carver Rose Eedes
3. Lilly Shar-Pei Katarina Bova
4. Maui Shar-Pei Russel Olsen
5. Arya Airedale Luisa Wintour
1. Misty Mixed Breed Bob Hulsman
2. Tovy Husky X Lab Shereen Pearson
3. Cher GSD Chris Barratt

Dog Movies 2

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Buck Brannaman is a well known expert “Horse Whisperer” whose methods contain many similarities of horse, child and dog training.

He teaches people to communicate with their horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment.

A must view for serious dog lovers and dog trainers.
Read the rest of this entry »

Verbal “Clicker” Training

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Verbal “Clicker” Training
Clicker training is both a training technique and a training philosophy and is based on BF Skinner’s theory of Operant Conditioning. In clicker training, trainers use a marker – usually a noisemaker called a clicker – to identify behaviours that they like. Then, after they mark the behaviour, they reinforce the behaviour, usually with a treat. The theory of Operant Conditioning says that reinforced (rewarded) behaviours are more likely to be repeated.
In clicker training the click or marker is a “moment in time” that pinpoints the activity that is being trained. It tells the dog that what he has just done is right and that he is going to be rewarded for it. So, when I see my dog has done what I want him to do, I click at the right moment before giving him a reward. The dog must learn that it is his behaviour that makes the reward come out. He must figure out what he needs to do to make me give him a reward. Read the rest of this entry »

Understanding Dog Play

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Understanding Dog Play

All too often, dog owners misread the language of dogs interacting with one another. They confuse innocent play as dangerous fighting and separate the dogs before they have actually started playing. They do not recognise a play bow as an invitation to play or often do not realise that what is actually aggressive behaviour that should be stopped. It is most important for dog owners to learn and recognise what dogs are saying to each other through their play. Read the rest of this entry »

Most popular dogs in USA

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Most popular dogs in the US
Top 20 for the last 5 years

Breed Rank                2017   2016   2015   2014   2013

Retrievers (Labrador)     1         1         1          1         1
German Shepherd Dogs 2         2       2          2          2
Retrievers (Golden)        3         3       3          3          3
French Bulldogs             4         6       6         9          11
Bulldogs                         5         4        4        4          5
Beagles                          6         5         5        5          4
Poodles                          7         7        8        7          8
Rottweilers                     8         8        9       10         9
Yorkshire Terriers          9          9        7         6        6
Pointers (German Sh)   10       11       11       12     13
Boxers                           11        10       10       8         7
Siberian Huskies           12       12       12       13       14
Dachshunds                   13       13        13       11       10
Great Danes                   14       14        15       15       16
Pembroke Welsh Corgi   15       18       20       22      24
Doberman Pinschers      16        15        14       14      12
Australian Shepherds     17        16        17       18      20
Miniature Schnauzers    18        17        16       16       17
King Charles Spaniels    19       19        18       19       18
Shih Tzu                          20       20       19        17       15

How smart are Dogs?

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How smart are Dogs?
Dogs have long been man’s best friend, living as our domesticated companions for as long as 30,000 years. They do remarkable things. They follow complex instructions to herd sheep, they guide blind people through crowded city streets, they detect cancer and other diseases, and they seem to pay close attention when we talk to them.
Of course, we all know that our own pups are well above average intelligence, but just how smart are they really? People like their kids to be smart, and they like their dogs to be smart, but at the Yale cognition centre, Laurie Santos, a professor of psychology who directs the centre says. “Some people will call and sound apologetic, saying, ‘I’d like to bring my dog in, but he might be too dumb.”
“According to Dr. Brian Hare, professor of cognitive neuroscience at Duke University, author of the book “The Genius of Dogs,” says “What really has happened in the last 10 years is that we’ve learned more about how dogs think than in the previous 100 years,” There have been a lot of big discoveries … Dogs are very distinctly different from us genetically, but psychologically, they are more like us than some of our more closely related, more genetically related primate relatives.” Read the rest of this entry »

Handling & Gentling your Puppy

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Handling & Gentling your Puppy
Living with and loving a dog you cannot touch, cuddle, or hug is just about as silly as living with and loving a person you cannot hug. It is also potentially dangerous. Even so, veterinarians and groomers will tell you that hard-to-handle dogs are extremely common. Indeed, many dogs are extremely stressed when restrained and/or examined by strangers. There are few physical differences between hugging and restraint, or between handling and examination. The difference depends on your puppy’s perspective. Generally, puppies feel they are hugged and handled by friends, but restrained and examined by strangers.
Veterinarians and groomers simply cannot do their jobs unless your dog remains relaxed and still while being examined. Fearful and aggressive adult dogs and sometimes just plain wriggly adolescent dogs often need to be restrained, tranquilized, or even anesthetized for routine physical examination, teeth-cleaning, and grooming. Restraint makes the procedure much scarier for dogs. Untrained dogs are exposed to the risk of anaesthesia, the additional safety precautions consume the veterinarian’s time, and hence the owners must pay more money. It is just too silly. Adult humans do not require anaesthesia during routine trips to the doctor, dentist, and hairdresser; neither would dogs, if only their owners had taught them to enjoy meeting and being handled by people. Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Pulling on the leash

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Stop Pulling on the leash!!!

Without a leash you would probably be without a dog.” Dr Ian Dunbar.

The law requires that when you take your dog outside your property the dog must be on leash and for good reason. Unfortunately, taking a dog into a public area is quite often not a pleasurable activity for many dog owners. They need to overcome the most common problem that dog owners complain about …”My dog is pulling like mad when I take him for a walk – he is too strong and I cannot control him.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Congestive Heart Failure

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Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs

AD, BH, SchH 2, IPO 2, ITT 3, V, CD”Ex”, CGCT Gold, Breed Champion Quanto

Causes & Symptoms
Congenital Heart Disease in Dogs
Your beloved pet can have heart problems just like you. Know the symptoms so you can get your companion the help he needs. I lost Quanto, my favourite GSD, to a miss diagnosis when he was treated for kennel cough.
Heart disease may lead to congestive heart failure. That’s when your dog’s heart has trouble pumping blood to the rest of its body.
Heart disease can affect one side of the heart or sometimes both sides. It can progress slowly and may take years to spot.
Congenital means that the dog was born with a heart defect. But old age, injury, and infection can exacerbate it. Diet and exercise play roles too.
Take notice of these early symptoms of heart problems:
Coughing more than usual (during or after exercise or a few hours before bedtime)
Having a hard time breathing or exercising
Tiring easily
Pacing before bedtime and having a hard time settling down
Your vet will want to know any symptoms you’ve noticed. He or she will want to know what she eats, what medications and supplements she may be taking, and if she is current on heartworm protection.
The vet will listen to your dog’s chest and may want to run some tests, including:
A blood and urine test to check for any other problems that could be affecting your dog’s heart.
Chest X-rays. These use radiation in low doses to make images of your dog’s internal organs.
An EKG. This test measures electrical signals from your dog’s heart and tells how fast it’s beating and if that rhythm is healthy.
An ultrasound. Ultrasound uses sound waves to look at the size, shape, and movement of the heart.
Heartworm antigen test. Your vet will take blood from your dog to test it for heartworms.
Holter monitor. This is taped to your dog’s chest and worn for 24-48 hours to capture heart rhythms and rate.

The Little Dog Angel

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High up in the courts of heaven today
a little dog angel waits;
with the other angels he will not play,
but he sits alone at the gates.
“For I know my master will come” says he,
“and when he comes he will call for me.
“The other angels pass him by
As they hurry toward the throne,
And he watches them with a wistful eye as he sits at the gates alone.
“But I know if I just wait patiently that someday my master will call for me.
“And his master, down on earth below,
as he sits in his easy chair, forgets sometimes,
and whispers low to the dog who is not there.
And the little dog angel cocks his ears and dreams that his master’s voice he hears.
And when at last his master waits outside in the dark and cold,
for the hand of death to open the door,
that leads to those courts of gold,
he will hear a sound through the gathering dark,
a little dog angel’s bark.

Author: Noah M. Holland

Becoming the ‘Pack Leader’

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To communicate successfully with our dogs, it is up to us to learn their language,” Jan Fennel
When we adopt either a puppy or an older dog, we invariably set out to care for and train him properly. As soon as possible we join a dog training club where we start obedience training with our best friend. We teach him his name, to sit and stay, to come when called, to walk nicely and many other things. Soon, however, many of us encounter behavioural problems because we were not taught the most important task: how to become the pack leader in the eyes of our dog.
Although we consider our pets to be part of our family, our dogs still believe they are members of a community that operates according to principles directly descended from the wolf pack where pack dynamics ensure the cohesion and survival of the pack. All dogs, regardless of breed, still display the same behaviour patterns drawn from their ancestry. Therefore, should we still think and reason like a human when we want to help a dog? Dog-dog behaviour is quite different to dog-human behaviour. Instead of viewing a dog as one who will conform to our wishes if we give it some training, we should rather view the dog in light of his ancestry.
What will give you the right and rank to lead your dog is to understand your dog’s ancestry and accepting that most of it is instinctive and therefore needs guidance.” John Fisher Read the rest of this entry »

Dog Movies

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Movies for Dog Lovers
1. Eight Below
2. Hachi
3. Dean Spanley
4. Marley & Me
5. Old Yeller
6. Homeward Bound
7. Red Dog
8. The Rise of Black Wolf
9. The Call of the Wild
10. Bonbon
11. Greyfriers Bobby
12. Omar
13. Rin Tin Tin
14. A Dog’s Purpose
15. A Dog’s Journey
16. Turner and Hooch
17. All the Lassie movies
18. Big Red
19. The Ugly Dashound
20. A Dog’s Life
21. Air Bud

Walking many dogs

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Loose leash walking many dogs
Dogs need daily exercise and lots of it depending on their breed. Walking your dog/s is part of their fitness routine and should be enjoyable to both dogs and their owners. However, walking together, in a group, side by side, human and dogs, is much more of a challenge than just giving them exercise. It requires a special skill that pack leaders need to develop. Walking one dog free, off leash next to you is difficult enough. Doing it with many dogs is something not many owners are able to achieve. But it is a crucial skill that pack leaders need to develop. Read the rest of this entry »

Recall -Coming when called

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Recall – Coming when called
There are many reasons for calling your dog. Come to eat, to play, to go to bed or simply to be loved. However, loving your dog means that you will protect him from harm. Stopping him from getting into danger and calling him away from it are good reasons why you should train the recall command. It will allow you to give him more freedom, more room for exercise and more importantly you can go walking off leash.
The two most important things you must teach your dog is a reliable Sit-stay and to come when called (also known as a recall). Both can save your dog’s life. If your dog will not remain sitting when told to do so or have a reliable recall then you cannot let him off leash in an unprotected area- ever. Quanto is allowed to walk at his pace on the sidewalk and on the command “Sit” will wait for permission to continue again or to re-join me.
If you work hard to achieve a reliable recall with your dog you will have ten years or more to love him, but if you can’t trust that your dog will come and be controllable, you face a life-time of anxiety and always having to be on high alert .
For the purpose of this article the training of a reliable recall will be discussed. Read the rest of this entry »

Home Training Sessions

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Home Training Sessions
Dog owners are encouraged to have some practice sessions with their dogs at home during the week. This can be confusing if you’re not exactly sure how to conduct a dog training session at home. Understanding what makes a proper training session is an essential part of training your dog. Training sessions will differ from person to person and from dog to dog depending on the individual needs.
The following tips should help you with your dog training sessions.
What is a Training Session?
A training session is a short period of time you set aside each day or two to work on specific dog training commands, cues, actions, or behaviours. Dog training sessions don’t have to be the only time to train. Use the opportunities that happen every day to reinforce your dog’s training.
When to Use Training Sessions
You can use training sessions throughout your dog’s life, but they should definitely be used when you are starting obedience training. You can use dog training sessions to introduce and reinforce basic commands and other behaviours.
Keep Dog Training Sessions Short
Dog training sessions should last no more than 15 minutes. Young puppies or dogs who are easily distracted may need even shorter sessions. If you run your dog training session too long, dogs get distracted and bored, and there’s a good chance they’ll start making mistakes. If my dog does what I planned to do perfectly, my sessions often end after 3 minutes and we start playing.
Stick to One Thing
Before going out to train, spend some time deciding on exactly what it is that you want to improve. It may be something that was pointed out at the club meeting. It can be one aspect or more than one. When you set aside time for a training section, plan on working on just one command. The quick, intense lessons will help your dog learn, and sticking with just one command or behaviour will help the dog stay focused. You can train more than one command in a day but try to stick to just one command for each session. An exception might be if the session is not going well and you want to get your dog to do something he knows to end things on a positive note.
In this case, it makes sense to switch to a simple action your dog already knows.
Start with Little Distraction
When you begin training a new command, dog training sessions should take place in quiet areas with little distraction. Too much activity or noise when you are introducing a command can make it harder to train a dog.
Start somewhere quiet like your living room and work your way up to dog training sessions at the dog park. As your dog gets better, you can start adding in more major distractions, like other people or dogs.
End on a Positive Note
All dog training sessions should end on a positive note. This is one reason you don’t want to keep them going for too long. A good stopping place is when a dog is rewarded for doing a behaviour you like. By keeping training sessions short and rewarding, your dog will have fun and learn to love training. Again, if your dog can’t seem to perform the desired behaviour, switch to something easier for the last bit of the session. This will help you end the session with something positive. After the training session, ask yourself, “How did it go?” and, “What could be better?” or “What must I ask the instructor at the club?”

First time a mistake is made by the dog = an accident.
Second time the same mistake is made = your fault.
Third time the same mistake is made = habit.

Dear Dog Owner

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Dear Dog Owner,

This chain letter is meant to bring relief and happiness to you. Unlike most chain letters it does not cost money. Simply send a copy of this letter to six other dog owners who are dissatisfied with the way their dogs are working, then bundle up your own dog and send him to the dog owner at the top of the list, and add your name to the bottom of the list. In one week you will receive 16,436 dogs and one of them should be a cracker.

Have faith in this letter. One dog owner broke the chain…
And got his own dog back!!!

Happy dogging.

G Smith
41 Wavell Avenue
Seaforth 7975

W J Sherry
77 Alcante Avenue
Table View 7441

R D Hunter
26 Upington Street
Plumstead 7700

A S Child
27 Richmond Road
Mowbray 7700

S J Blaau
55 5th Avenue

J C Esterhuizen
Main Road

The First Two Weeks With Your New Dog

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The First Two Weeks with Your New Dog Open Paw’s Guide

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! With a little work, some planning, and forethought, your new dog will be an effortless, well-behaved companion for years to come. It is important to recognize that first impressions are lasting ones and habits begin to develop from day one. Be sure to instil good manners and habits from the first day you bring your new puppy or dog home. Remember, good habits are as hard to break as bad ones. If you follow these simple guidelines, your dog’s transition into your home will be a piece of cake for both you and your new best friend. Read the rest of this entry »

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