Leading a Pack

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Leading a Pack
Although dogs have been living with humans for thousands of years and in spite of their modern appearance, they still have retained many of the mannerisms of their ancient ancestors. They all display and are capable of reading the same body postures and signals. Their instincts for survival and reproduction are as strong as ever. The strongest, healthiest and cleverest still dominates their pack. They still turn around a few times before lying down even if there are no critters in the grass to chase away. Every member knows its place or pecking order and the alarm giver still barks his warnings. Or so it should be. Read the rest of this entry »

Separating dogs in a fight 2

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Separating dogs in a fight
There is no such thing as a nice dog fight. They are all horrible even if little damage was done. Worse is that someone may get bitten trying to stop the fight. Shouting, screaming, kicking, water spraying etc. usually has little positive effect, in fact it can make matters worse. Owners are often bitten by their own dog because grabbing the dog’s neck is to him an attack and he does not look to see who it is. Read the rest of this entry »

Puppy Cuddles

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kissPuppy Cuddles
Puppies are the most adorable creatures ever, right? That’s why you could not stop cuddling your new puppy. You petted him, stroked and kissed his warm little body. You just had to pick him up, hug him close to you and you rubbed your nose in his fur before putting him down. I just love how puppies smell when you press your face close to their bodies.
Puppies are little fun creatures and they enjoy the cuddling and attention they get from you just as much as you love them. That is why they bond with their owners and in turn learn to adore the ones who showed them so much affection. Put a puppy down and walk away and it will come running after you. You can hug, kiss and touch your puppy everywhere any of the time.
During a puppy’s lifetime it comes into contact with its veterinarian, groomer, trainer, visitors, pet sitters and all who will have a role to play in caring for your precious puppy that is growing fast and will not know these people. It is your job then to get puppy comfortable early on to accept human touch and also from strangers at times.
Desensitising a puppy as early as possible prepares him for a lifetime of low-stress handling. Read the rest of this entry »

Obedience Training for Pups and Young Dogs

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Scamp

Scamp

Obedience Training for Puppies and Young Adults
Owners of medium and large breed pups and young dogs who want to do obedience training with them face a dilemma. On the one hand they want their dog to obey their commands but on the other hand they have a dog that has been running free of any restrictions since birth and has not been forbidden much. These young dogs arrive at dog training clubs and clearly do not like the idea of restraints being put on their behaviour. They do not like to be made to sit still in a special place and/or position. One sees it all the time. Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing 2 dogs to each other

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Introducing 2 dogs to each other at a new home
I am often asked to assist in bringing two dogs together when the need arises to bring dogs together at a new home. It may be sudden like after a death in a family or a relocation or emigration. Sometimes a dog or dogs are adopted from a rescue facility but in spite of their tests and counselling the dogs fight at home. This makes it more difficult when I am called to assist. However, my method has been mostly successful and I pass it on to be used by others. Read the rest of this entry »

A Puppy’s Farewell

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A Puppy’s Farewell
“You got tired of me and took me to the shelter. They were overcrowded and I
drew an unlucky number. I am in a black plastic bag in a landfill now. Some
other puppy will get the barely used leash you left. My collar was dirty and
too small, but the lady took it off before she sent me to the Rainbow Bridge.

Would I still be at home if I hadn’t chewed your shoe? I didn’t know what
it was, but it was leather, and it was on the floor. I was just playing. You
forgot to get puppy toys. Would I still be at home if I had been house broken?
Rubbing my nose in what I did only made me ashamed that I had to go at all.

There are books and obedience teachers that would have taught
you how to teach me to go to the door. Would I still be at home if I hadn’t
brought fleas into the house? Without anti-flea medicine, I couldn’t get
them off of me after you left me in the yard for days.

Would I still be at home if I hadn’t barked? I was only saying,
“I’m scared, I’m lonely, I’m here, I’m here! I want to be your best friend.”
Would I still be at home if I had made you happy? Hitting me didn’t make
me learn how. Would I still be at home if you had taken the time to care
for me and to teach manners to me?

You didn’t pay attention to me after the first week or so, but I spent all
my time waiting for you to love me. I died today.

 

Love,
Your Puppy

Anon

Speed training

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Speed Work
In dog training there is a saying, “The fast dog loses marks slowly but the slow dog loses them quickly.” When two dogs do an exercise such as a “Recall” or “Retrieve” equally well, in my experience, the judge is likely to favour the one that executes the exercise the quickest. Quick sits or downs create a very favourable impression and speed should always be encouraged in obedience training. When a dog runs with speed he will not notice or interfere with other dogs on the way.
However, dogs like people can be very different from each other in that some can naturally do things very fast but others cannot do it as quickly. They can sit correctly but not very fast. We can encourage the dog by reserving our rewards/treats for quick sits. But does the dog understand that the treat was given because he was now sitting slightly faster than the previous time? The dog may not know the difference. Read the rest of this entry »

German Shepherds

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Why We Love German Shepherds 
Quanto 060• Written by: PetPlace Staff
It’s not easy to earn worldwide respect and admiration, yet one canine breed has accomplished just that.
Renowned for intelligence, physical prowess, and functionality, the German shepherd has developed into one of the most popular breeds across the globe. This fact comes as little surprise to most German shepherd owners, who’ve witnessed this breed embody some of the most desirable traits any human or dog can offer, including loyalty and heroism.
The German shepherd first achieved international prominence following World War I, when soldiers returned home raving about the intelligence this breed displayed while serving as military messengers and rescue dogs. Since then, this breed has been both purposeful and beloved while occupying roles ranging from police and military service to household protection and devoted companionship.
Here are six reasons we adore German shepherds: Read the rest of this entry »

Dogs and Food

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Dogs and Food
Treats in Training

If it is true that “Food is to a dog like money is to people” then it is silly not to make use of food treats in our dog training exercises. From experience we know that food treats can be used very effectively as a lure in puppy and novice dog training when we want to teach them the meaning of words and their hand signals. To capture a sitting position we simply allow a pup a brief smell on a treat before moving it over the nose and head and you instantly have him sitting so that you can give that position a name, “Sit.” Read the rest of this entry »

Abandonment Training

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Abandonment Training
While out on a walk you meet up with another owner coming towards you with her dog walking in front of her. Your dog’s attention focuses on the approaching dog and starts pulling forward. You notice his tail rising above his back, ears forward and his hair rises in two places- on the scruff and just in front of his tail. This is all too familiar. A scrap looms.
You know that you must take responsibility for your dog but what to do this time? Pulling back on the leash in the past has caused more frustration and aggression in your dog. Yelling has no effect. You are embarrassed and frustrated because, “here we go again” the walk is going to be spoilt and you have to fight your dog to avoid a dog fight. Does this sound familiar? Read the rest of this entry »

Training tips

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Meeting a Dog
When you are introduced to a new dog or come across a dog that you do not know, make a habit of calling the dog to you rather than you going to the dog. The dog must show his willingness and friendliness by deciding to come to you or not. Over 95% of dog bites occur when people approach dogs.
Territorial behaviour
Often, when visiting homes, I find dogs fiercely barking at me at the gate. After ringing the bell I move as close to the gate as is safe and completely ignore the barking dogs by turning sideways to them and standing still. I do not look at them or try to speak to them while waiting for the owners to come. When the owners arrive the dogs have had a good sniff of me and are already turning away to allow me into their territory. The owners often respond with, “How on earth do you do that?” because their dogs do not usually allow people in without first being restrained by their owners.
The dogs must come to you. No confrontation must take place. No eye contact is made. They must see that you are not a threat. The dogs must lower their heads and/or move back to signal that it is safe for you to enter before moving forward.
Respect older dogs
Respect dogs especially older ones. No two dogs are the same. Four German shepherds or Labs may be in the same class but they will all be different in behaviour. It is the personality or temperament of a dog that drives their behaviour. Older dogs are more fixed in the way they react to people so they must be treated with more respect.
Avoid “encouraging” aggression
Many owners regularly walk their dog past homes where dogs run up and down their boundary barking loudly at passers-by. The dog out on a walk will retaliate by barking back at them and strain to get closer to the dogs behind the fence. The owner usually has a difficult time trying to control his dog. Within a short period the dog out on a walk starts anticipating a confrontation by straining on the leash long before he gets to the houses where dogs usually bark. Without realising it the owners are contributing to their dog’s aggression by regularly walking the same route and allowing their dog to walk in front of them. When walking past barking dogs shorten the leash to 1 foot (12 inches) and hurry past the property on the opposite side of the street.

Desensitisation and Counter-conditioning (CC&D)

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Desensitisation and Counter-conditioning (CC&D)
We know what a pleasure it is to live with a dog that is friendly, affectionate and loyal. Sadly, there are many dogs that react with aggression, fears, phobias and anxiety to people or things in their surroundings and they can be hard to live with. You cannot explain to a dog that his behaviour is going to get him killed or lose the home he is in. Their problems can usually not be solved with commands such as “Sit -stay” to prevent a “fight” or “flight” reaction. What is needed is to change the way they feel about something, to eliminate what causes the emotional response that is so characteristic of their behaviour. Read the rest of this entry »

Converting Prey to Play

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Converting Prey to PlayFrisbee 01
Modern living in suburbia makes it difficult for owners of herding – and working breeds to redirect the strong prey drive their dogs are bred with. These intelligent, special talented dogs such as Border Collies, Aussies, Bouviers, German Shepherds and Boxers to name a few are most often only adopted as “pets” or because “we like the breed.” Their owners have little understanding of their special needs. Left alone they end up barking, chasing cats, kids and cars as they race up and down along the boundary fence and as a result often end up abandoned or given up for adoption. Read the rest of this entry »

The Long Down

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The Long Down

042 The Long Down is generally associated with the obedience ring when dogs must hold a down position for periods ranging from two (2) minutes in sight in the beginning and up to ten (10) minutes out of sight at the top level. These stay exercises are, what I call, the “bread and butter” items where competitors, having taught the stays properly, can be assured of full marks. Fifty (50) marks at “C” Level is a “gift” you should never miss.
However, although it is one of the easiest exercises that you can teach your dog as soon as he arrives at home, it is not something I find that owners have attempted to teach before joining a puppy school or club. Puppies are taught to “Sit” but not to stay sitting and they invariably will not have attempted to teach the “Down” command to their dogs. Recently I demonstrated, in spite of distractions, how easily a five (5) month old Jack Russell puppy can be taught to stay down for a while demonstrating that other owners can do the same. Read the rest of this entry »

“Pushing”

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Pushing
Pushing is a basic dog training technique that aims to get a greater bond between you and your dog. It not only improves your relationship with your dog but helps him to relax during times of stress. It is the opposite of playing “Tuggy” when the dog’s effort is to move away from you. You get the dog to push against you by making use of his inherent prey drive (food drive) instinct. Read the rest of this entry »

Prey Drive in Obedience Training

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Prey Drive in Obedience Training
Prey drive is part of a dog’s food gathering behaviour which includes hunting and killing. Prey is always on the move, running away in an evasive fashion and often is panic-stricken. This behaviour in turn triggers pursuit, pouncing, biting, pulling etc. in the dog. Prey drive is inborn and is a trainable instinct that can be strengthened or reduced.
Many dog owners acquire high energy dogs as pets. These dogs can be difficult to live with because of a long list of behaviour problems they sometimes have to put up with. Destructive chewing is their most common way of dealing with their pent-up energy. Barking, digging, jumping, escaping and fighting can make matters worse. The physical ability required to handle these dogs properly can be very demanding as well as the fact that aggression in a dog greatly reduces its learning ability in obedience training.
Owners want to have voice control over their dog and also want him to enjoy training and display a willingness to work. Success in this regard depends largely on the owner and not the dog. Daily exercise, long walks, games and obedience classes can help to expend the pent-up energy and can be enjoyable for both dog and owner. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Obedience Train your Dog

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Why Obedience Train your Dog?

There is a saying, “If a dog is old enough to go to a home, it is old enough to learn.” When puppy arrives on your doorstep he can already do lots of things. He knows how to sit, stand and lie down, run, jump and bark and also how to eliminate amongst others. This he can do without our help. Our task then is to teach him to do those things and more, on command. When I say so! We also need to teach him the rules and routines of our home – what is allowed and what is not allowed. Read the rest of this entry »

Working Trials

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Working Trials

Originally Working Trials were based on training dogs for police work, but now Working Trials are purely a competitive sport. They develop and test many canine skills – obedience and control, intelligence and independence, searching and tracking, agility and fitness. Read the rest of this entry »

Temperament

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Temperament

gsdIMAGE_9A dog’s temperament is usually indicated by his behaviour towards people and other dogs. It can also refer to a dog’s steadiness and stability, his energy, alertness, loyalty and affection. It goes without saying that a well behaved dog with a sound temperament is a pleasure to live with. However, depending on how it was treated in the past, it can have a tendency to be aggressive towards people, have a fear of people, fear dogs or fight with dogs, be shy or hyperactive and you can have a lifetime of struggle with such a dog. Read the rest of this entry »

Body Language

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Body Language
Dogs don’t use words to speak to us but use their bodies instead to show how they feel or what they are about to do. It can be quite revealing at the club to observe the dogs as they arrive with their owners in tow who are usually quite oblivious of their own dog’s intentions. Some puppies want to play, others want to attack and some are more interested in smells on the ground. Yet their owners want them to say “Hi” to the other dogs even if the dog’s body language warns against it. They cannot tell the difference between a happy, friendly dog and a shy or scared dog or the body language of an aggressive one. Read the rest of this entry »




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