You have taught your dog to leave things alone when you are next to her. She is great about leaving food alone when you have guests over and are watching the big game or the New Year's Eve celebration on television. But, the moment you leave the room she makes a beeline for the table and grabs everything in sight like it is an after Christmas sale. What can you do?
It has been a rough couple of months with dogs that I know passing away prematurely. Two of my client's wonderful dogs died of cancer at a very young age. I hear more and more stories about this happening and it is difficult to know if it is happening more frequently or I hear about it more because I know thousands of dogs.
Did you know that there are training tasks you can work on when you are with your dog without even much thought? I always stress to my clients to "put the trainer hat on" a little more frequently throughout the day to achieve their goals. If you just think about training a little bit more every day, you can work on a list of goals whenever you are with your dog and he will be better trained before you know it!
If you are a savvy trainer, you can teach your dog to do behaviors on cue that are initiated by a change in the environment that happens naturally or that is part of your normal daily pattern. Unless you are working on a sophisticated trick, the reason to implement this strategy is to alleviate the need to ask your dog to a cue.
I read an article in the New York Times on December 13, called Who Invited the Dog? about certain people feeling slighted if they are not allowed to take their dogs to social events or family gatherings. Some even went as far as to bring their dog unannounced to a party that was intended for people-only.
Does your dog love your Christmas tree or other holiday decorations? If there is any chance of chewing or destruction, it is a great idea to work on Perimeter Training. You can teach your dog to stay away from a location, or do not go past a specific perimeter.
Providing clear instructions is critical in dog training. Have you ever thought about the cues we give our dogs from their perspective? Over the years I am sometimes completely amazed that a given dog is able to understand the trainer at all.
This morning I took my three dogs, Ranger, Trooper and Linus to the park. This is a necessity since I have two Collies and a Sheltie and live in Chicago. Until someone moves in with a flock of sheep to keep them busy, it is my responsibility to provide them with a heavy dose of physical and mental stimulation.
I love football. My wife is not too thrilled with this “problem” but she overlooks it once (or twice a week) during the winter. But, you know what? Your dog and your spouse doesn’t have to suffer! Use this as a structured training time to train your pooch. Here is one example of how to use your football time efficiently: