Mandy and Ellie Training

4 Techniques to Boost Your Dog Training

The speed at which your dog learns each new skill will depend on what the skill is, how consistent it is taught, the ways that she is rewarded, and patience. The very first element of dog training starts with you. You MUST be in the right frame of mind before beginning a session. Forget what just happened with the kids. Forget about what’s going on at work. It’s just you and your pooch. You must be calm, confident, assertive, and in the right frame of mind when training.

Once the 2 of you have bonded with some exercise/activity and you’ve gotten her attention, you can begin training. Here are 4 techniques that will start your training sessions off on the right foot.

1. A Solid Foundation for Your Dog Begins with the Basics

Knowing the Basic Commands has several advantages for your dog:

  • She develops good manners through learning basic skills.
  • Having a solid base is essential to learning more complex skills later.
  • Basic commands can be used in a multitude of situations.

Here is a list of the basic commands to start your pooch out with:

  • Look: Looks at you for direction. Gets her attention if distracted.
  • Sit: Sits where told
  • Down:  Lays down where told
  • Wait:  Waits in a spot (sitting, lying or standing) until released – Usually temporary
  • Stay: Waits in a spot (sitting, lying or standing) until released – Usually longer period of time
  • Come: Comes to you when called
  • Off: Get down from a person or object, such as furniture
  • Leave it: Leaves an object alone. This could be food that is harmful, a toy, etc.
  • Heel: Walks nicely beside you with a loose lead.

2. Consistency

Having everyone in the family on board with training is very important. Similar to children, dogs will learn that they can get away with bad behaviors if some family members allow certain behaviors and others don’t. It’s not that it’s intentional, but it’s confusing for them. With everyone on the same page, you will see new skills learned quicker and bad behaviors disappear.

If you feel you don’t have enough time for “formal” training sessions, try having smaller sessions 15 to 20 minutes at a time at least 3 times a day. You can also work on skills while you are home with her. Catch her doing “good” things.

Example: Say your dog has not completely learned the “Down” command. As you are watching TV one evening, you look over at her and see her lying down. Say to her, “Good Down!” This reinforces the good behavior. This method in conjunction with regular short training sessions will help her master skills quicker.

3. Reward

Rewards are one of the highlights of your dog’s day and these can come in many forms. While some dogs are food driven and love a tasty morsel as a treat, others thrive on toys or play as a reward. Using your dog’s preferred reward will enable you to teach new skills much quicker.

Since play is many times a reward in itself, teaching a new skill while playing can also work very well.

4. Positivity and Patience

Training your dog is a very rewarding experience, but it can also be frustrating at times. Think about how you feel when you’re not in the mood to go for a walk, get out of bed, or do chores. Your dog feels the same way sometimes. Don’t fuss or get frustrated when they don’t behave like you think they should. When teaching new skills, some will take longer than others simply because your dog may not enjoy one skill as much as she does another. Just remember to be patient. Don’t let your dog see you frustrated. If you begin to feel frustrated, walk away for a few minutes. Dogs sense your feelings and they need stability. Keep things positive. Always. Every day.

Dog training takes patience and lots of it. The more time you work on their skills and the more consistent you are with them, the quicker you will get the results you want. If you have any questions about any of these dog training techniques or would like to schedule a consultation, call or contact me today at 762-218-3708. We currently serve the Evans/Grovetown area.

Have some behavioral problems you wish you could eliminate? Next week I’ll be covering Solving Common Behavioral Problems in the final part of this series.

 

*NOTE:  If your dog is unresponsive to these techniques or you don’t feel comfortable implementing them, contact a trainer who is familiar with behavior modification in dogs. Do NOT attempt to do anything that will jeopardize your safety.


 

4 Essential Elements to Effective Dog Training

This post is part of a series. Click below to learn more.

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[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]
Why Exercise with Your Dog is Crucial to Training

Why Exercise with Your Dog is Crucial to Training

[/zozo_column]
[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]2 Ways to Take Control That Will Grab Your Dog's Focus

2 Ways to Take Control That Will Grab Your Dog’s Focus

[/zozo_column]
[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]4 Techniques to Boost Your Dog Training

4 Techniques to Boost Your Dog Training

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[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]What to Do When Your Dog is Out of Control

What to Do When Your Dog is Out of Control

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How to Help Your Dog Enjoy Thanksgiving Safely

How to Help Your Dog Enjoy Thanksgiving Safely

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, it’s important to talk about food safety for dogs. Many people love to include their canine companions in holiday festivities including feeding them some of the leftover Thanksgiving meal. However, they should not eat many of the foods that we eat. Dogs have a different digestive system from humans. Some foods can even be deadly! If you feel bad for leaving your companion out of the Thanksgiving feast, know that you are keeping your dog’s best interests in mind.

I have created a 2 Free Dog-Safe Thanksgiving Resources

First, a quick guide for Dog-Safe Foods. Stick this guide on your fridge as a quick reference for the whole family.

Second, an easy Thanksgiving recipe specifically for dogs.

 

[zozo_button url=”https://www.pawsforlifellc.com/library/DogSafeFoods-and-Recipe.pdf” style=”custom” size=”large” color=”” hover_color=”” bg_color=”#fac310″ bg_hover_color=”#f9881c” border_width=”” border_color=”” border_hover_color=”” icon=”fa fa-paw” icon_pos=”left” extra_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”” target=”_blank”]Download Thanksgiving Guides[/zozo_button]

Dog-Safe Foods

No

  • NEVER give your dog anything with SALT, SUGAR, ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER (Including XYLITOL), or CAFFEINE.
  • NO onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes, raisins, nuts, citrus, dairy, avocado, or raw/undercooked meat. These foods are extremely toxic for dogs.
  • Some “Natural” and “Organic” treats have salt and/or sugar in them. Be sure to read the ingredients before purchasing.
  • Cook ALL foods for your dog with no salt, no sugar, and no additives.

Yes

  • Turkey– Meat only – NO Bones, no salt, pepper or otherwise. You can use add herbs like rosemary, oregano, basil or parsley. 
  • Ham – If it is unsalted and unsweetened – no bones
  • Vegetables – Carrots, Sweet Potato, Peas, Green Beans, Spinach (All cooked without salt/sugar)
  • Dessert – Apple slices (no core, no cinnamon), Banana (peeled), Peanut Butter (only small amounts)

Thanksgiving Dinner Recipe for your Canine Companion

Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Turkey or Chicken (Deboned and Skinned) OR 1 lb Ground Chicken/Turkey
  • ½ cup Cooked Brown Rice (No butter. No salt. – You can use 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil.)
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • 16 oz Carton of Egg Whites (I use Egg Beaters – Natural)
  • ½ cup Cooked Vegetables of your choice (Carrots, Peas, Green Beans, and/or Spinach)
  • ¼ tsp of each: Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Ground Rosemary

Directions:

  1. Fill pot with water and season with  herbs like parsley, oregano, rosemary and basil. Place Turkey or Chicken in water and simmer until done.  
    *If using ground meat, brown in coconut or olive oil.
  2. Cook Rice according to directions on package. Substitute butter with coconut or olive oil. Don’t forget: NO SALT. NO BUTTER.
  3. Cook Sweet Potato until done.
  4. In a separate pan, cook Egg Whites thoroughly.
  5. Cook Vegetables of your choice with no seasoning.
  6. Place cooked meat in a bowl and shred, cut into small pieces or use a food processor and pulse a couple of times.
  7. Combine cooked rice, sweet potato meat, cooked egg whites and cooked veggies.
  8. Use a potato masher to blend ingredients together well and serve!
    *Be sure to check the temperature of the food before serving. You don’t want your pooch to get burned!

[zozo_button url=”https://www.pawsforlifellc.com/library/DogSafeFoods-and-Recipe.pdf” style=”custom” size=”large” color=”” hover_color=”” bg_color=”#fac310″ bg_hover_color=”#f9881c” border_width=”” border_color=”” border_hover_color=”” icon=”fa fa-paw” icon_pos=”left” extra_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”” target=”_blank”]Download Thanksgiving Guides[/zozo_button]

Happy Holidays!

2 Ways to Take Control That Will Grab Your Dog's Focus

2 Ways to Take Control That Will Grab Your Dog’s Focus

In order for any training to be successful, you MUST have control of your dog. If not, you’ll be talking to deaf ears. Just like children in a classroom, you have to have their attention before learning can begin. If at some point during training she gets distracted, you’ll need to gain control once again.

The key is to limit your training sessions to 15-20 minutes each. Some dogs can tolerate more, but beginning with shorter sessions is recommended. Depending on your schedule, 3 or 4 short training sessions per day is ideal.

You and your canine pal have just finished your morning exercise and are ready for skill training! Aren’t you? Well maybe. There are a few factors to consider. Do you have a dog that you’ve just adopted from a shelter who has had absolutely no training? Maybe you’ve just gotten a new puppy? If you’ve exercised your pooch and still can’t seem to get their attention, here are 2 techniques you can try.

Ignore the Behavior

If you have a puppy/teenager who has had no training, you are probably facing some challenges like jumping, distraction, and nipping. I like to give my canine students the opportunity to figure out what they’re doing wrong first. By patiently letting her figure it out, the modification will stick.

Ignoring unacceptable behavior is the way dogs handle this between themselves. Granted jumping and nipping can be quite painful. If you can’t handle it, then don’t do it. You don’t need to get injured. Try tucking your hands in your arms (to keep them from being handy biting objects), turn your head away from your dog or even turn around. Completely ignore her without saying a word. As soon as she calms down, give a quick praise with a treat or a rub. Don’t talk baby talk or give excessive praise since this will cause her to become excited again.

Supervised Tether and Control

Mandy and Emmett Training with Tether

This technique will require 2 leads, a harness with a ring on the back, and a collar.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Attach one lead to the harness. This will be your tethered end. Take the loop of the lead (where you normally put your hand) and put it around a sturdy sofa or chair leg. You want to make sure if she pulls, the furniture won’t follow.
  2. Connect the 2nd lead to the collar. This will be used in front of the dog as your control lead.
  3. Once you have your dog in position, you may have to wait a few minutes for her to settle down. This is normal. Just wait it out.
  4. Make sure you don’t have too much slack in the tether lead, but enough for her to move around a little. Hold on to the control lead. You want your dog to “figure it out” themselves. You may need to place your foot on the control lead to help especially if you have a larger dog.
  5. NO petting since this will act as praise, making her think moving around is what you want. Wait quietly and still. Once she settles down, give praise and a treat, then you can begin your training.

Remember

This technique should be used gently. It’s not for forcing your dog to do something. It’s simply making it so that she cannot move around the entire room and, in turn, puts her focus on you. Once she learns control, you will be able to train other skills without using the tether and control method. This technique should not be used permanently nor should a dog be left in this position/tethered after training has finished.

I strongly encourage you to work on these behaviors FIRST before moving into training mode. If you have any questions about controlling your dog or would like to schedule a consultation, call or contact me today at 762-218-3708. We currently serve the Evans/Grovetown area.

Now that you have control, you’re ready to Train!

 

*NOTE:  If your dog is unresponsive to these techniques or you don’t feel comfortable implementing them, contact a trainer who is familiar with behavior modification in dogs. Do NOT attempt to do anything that will jeopardize your safety.


 

4 Essential Elements to Effective Dog Training

This post is part of a series. Click below to learn more.

[zozo_columns container=”no” container_class=””]
[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]
Why Exercise with Your Dog is Crucial to Training

Why Exercise with Your Dog is Crucial to Training

[/zozo_column]
[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]2 Ways to Take Control That Will Grab Your Dog's Focus

2 Ways to Take Control That Will Grab Your Dog’s Focus

[/zozo_column]
[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]4 Techniques to Boost Your Dog Training

4 Techniques to Boost Your Dog Training

[/zozo_column]
[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]What to Do When Your Dog is Out of Control

What to Do When Your Dog is Out of Control

[/zozo_column]
[/zozo_columns]

Why Exercise with Your Dog is Crucial to Training

Why Exercise with Your Dog is Crucial to Training

It’s crucial to relieve your dog’s excess energy through exercise and play before any training can begin. I remember the first time I trained one of my dogs. I was so excited. I had done my research— looked at videos and read articles. I was ready! I took my dog to an empty room where there were no distractions; and I began our session.

Notice I said “I” began our session.

She was somewhere else in the room – sniffing, looking, bouncing, running. You name it. She was doing everything except paying attention to me.

Has this ever happened to you? For me, it was very frustrating. I couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t listening! What all of those videos and articles didn’t say was that in order to have her attention, she needed to exercise first. Here are a couple of ways to prepare for a productive training session.

Daily Walks

A daily walk is critical to your dog’s health and yours too. 20 to 30 minutes a day for most breeds is fine.  You can always make it longer though. Walks are different from backyard play. While on a walk, your dog is taking in different smells, sounds and sights that stimulate her mentally. This is important to her mental well-being. Passing other dogs and people politely while walking also fine tunes her social skills.

Backyard Play

Letting your dog out in the yard for her to entertain herself is not all she needs. Dogs are social creatures and need interaction with their humans. It’s important to stimulate your dog’s mind as well. Use play time outside for both physical and mental activities. This is also an excellent time for the two of you to bond and can be used to teach her skills.

Remember not to over-exercise her before training since this will make her too tired to concentrate. A combination of backyard play and walking are great together. In cooler weather, 30 minutes to 1 hour for both are enough. In warmer weather, you may want to reduce to 30-45 minutes. Pay attention to your dog’s cues and use your best judgement. If you have any questions about exercise and play with your dog or need help with dog training, contact me today.

Now you’re both ready for Control, the next element to Effective Dog Training!

 

*NOTE:  If your dog is unresponsive to these techniques or you don’t feel comfortable implementing them, contact a trainer who is familiar with behavior modification in dogs. Do NOT attempt to do anything that will jeopardize your safety.


 

4 Essential Elements to Effective Dog Training

This post is part of a series. Click below to learn more.

[zozo_columns container=”no” container_class=””]
[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]
Why Exercise with Your Dog is Crucial to Training

Why Exercise with Your Dog is Crucial to Training

[/zozo_column]
[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]2 Ways to Take Control That Will Grab Your Dog's Focus

2 Ways to Take Control That Will Grab Your Dog’s Focus

[/zozo_column]
[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]4 Techniques to Boost Your Dog Training

4 Techniques to Boost Your Dog Training

[/zozo_column]
[zozo_column size=”3″ column_class=”” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]What to Do When Your Dog is Out of Control

What to Do When Your Dog is Out of Control

[/zozo_column]
[/zozo_columns]

Welcome to Paws for Life

Welcome to Paws for Life

Welcome to the Paws for Life website! I’m Mandy Foster. I’m a trainer of humans and a trainer of dogs. Seriously – I have been training humans on a variety of business and technical skills for over 20 years. I’ve also trained dogs for almost five years. While I love doing both, I must say that dogs are my favorite.

Paws for Life is all about the dogs. My goal is to not only keep dogs from being surrendered to shelters, but to provide the resources to their humans to help them be the best they can be.

Be sure to follow my blog for weekly training and care tips. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!