Dog Owner Education: Factual Learning Online; Hands-On Practice in Training Class

Many years ago, one of my Japanese students conducted a survey of off-leash puppy classes in the SF Bay Area. A basic index that she scored was the percentage of time that puppies were off-leash,...

Quick Tip: Superfood – What You Should and Should not be Feeding Your Dog

For many dogs, the most important aspect about the food you feed your dog is whether or not you use it in training. If your dog has behavior problems, you can, and should, use their regular food to

All Puppies Deserve a FIRST Chance — an EDUCATION!

Owners and their new puppies are still getting the short end of the stick. Dog problems are invariably blamed on “irresponsible dog owners” BUT they are simply at a loss for what to do, and, no...

Quick Tip: The Keys to the Kingdom – How to Use Life Rewards to Motivate Your Dog

Teaching your dog what you want them to do is just the first step in training. The second step is motivating your dog to WANT to do what you want them to do, and this actually represents the vast

Education Used to Be Expensive; Now, it’s Affordable for All — Anytime, Anywhere

Back in the day, when we used to buy books and DVDs and travel to dog training seminars, workshops and conferences, furthering our education could be pricey. A three-day seminar or five-day conference...

Quick Tip: Just Stuff It - How to Use Food Stuffed Chew Toys to Solve Home Alone Problems

The easiest and most effective tool in dog training is hands-down, the humble hollow chew toy filled with food. It's so powerful because it trains your dog tirelessly, for hours, without any

What To Do About Canine Flu: Canine Influenza Type A H3N2 & H3N8

As you probably know, there is currently an outbreak of Dog Flu in the South Bay and more recently, a number of cases have cropped up in other areas around the Bay. All dog owners, including myself, are understandably concerned about what they can do to reduce the likelihood that their dogs will be infected. However, there is no need to panic. Although Canine Influenza, or dog flu, is extremely infectious, it usually causes only mild symptoms for a few days to a couple of weeks and the dogs normally make a full recovery despite treatment. Yes, complications from the flu can occasionally be...

Dogs having fun doing nose work

Playing with Nose Work

We all know that dogs have a superior sense of smell and that smell is arguably one of their strongest senses. Dogs love to read the world using their nose, that’s just how they roll. The activity/sport of nose work isn’t “work” at all for dogs, it’s the love of their life! As a fellow dog-lover you know as well as I do that dogs just want to have fun, so getting to play with their sense of smell is a win/win!

 

If you haven’t heard much about nose work, I encourage you to research it and find a class near you. In brief, dogs learn to reconnect with their natural hunting instinct and find

Embedded thumbnail for Make Muzzle Wearing Fun!

Make Muzzle Wearing Fun!

Muzzles are useful tools in dog training and husbandry. Some people think they look scary and make a dog look mean. Many dogs don't enjoy wearing a muzzle because the only time they've ever had to wear one was when they're feeling stressed out, such as a the vet when injured or some other kind of emergeny or unpleasant situation. Teach your dog to enjoy wearing a muzzle, just in case, before you ever need one. Laz loves his muzzle because it means we are going to either train for his favorite sport, or play ball! 

 
Embedded thumbnail for When Can I Stop Rewarding My Dog?

When Can I Stop Rewarding My Dog?

“When I can I stop rewarding my dog for doing the correct behavior?” 

This is one of the top three questions I get from my students. Really, what these people are asking is either, “When can I stop training my dog?” or, “When can I start punishing my dog?” 

For some reason, people take offense when they think their dog is doing the “right” thing for a tangible reward, such as a paycheck, rather than for the intrinsic reward of obeying the master! 

It’s frustrating to me that people think of dogs in either a perpetually childish or subservient light, rather than as independent,...

 

Is Your Aggressive Dog Dangerous? Dr. Dunbar Says, Probably Not

This video clip was taken from the new online seminar by Dr. Ian Dunbar: Dog-Dog Reactivity, only available on the Dunbar Academy. Try your first month for just $1

Do you have an aggressive dog that barks, lunges, snaps, growls, or bites? If so, the next question to ask yourself is:

"Is my dog dangerous?"

Because the answer to this question determines how you should proceed. If your dog is dangerous, you should proceed with caution. We recommend you find professional help from a qualified trainer.

The good news is, most dogs are not dangerous. For the 90+% of dogs who display aggressive...

 
Embedded thumbnail for Flirt Pole Fun!

Flirt Pole Fun!

One of my top tips for students to improve their dog’s training performance is to play interactive games. Play will enhance your relationship with your dog and the stronger your relationship, the better your training will go. 

 

By interactive games, I mean games that include you, not other dogs. Fetch is a fun game that can reinforce your pup’s desire to return to you, which can help you with your recall. Chase games are great, if exhausting, but only work to your advantage if you are the one chasing your dog, never the other way around. Tug is an awesome way to both build...

 

How to Use Food Intelligently in Lure-Reward Dog Training

Based on Dr. Ian Dunbar’s lecture (of the same title). Only available on Dunbar Academy. Try your first month for just $1.

Food is extremely useful when training a dog …

Food is simply unmatched for classical conditioning and is incredibly useful as both lures and rewards when teaching basic manners. 

… Unless it becomes a bribe

If you're not careful, however, food can become a bribe and the food's ability to influence your dog's behavior for the better will gradually deteriorate as your dog progressively ignores you and your food lures more and more. Resorting to smellier, tastier

training goals require maps

Training Goals

In my last post I wrote about the training process and how it is so important to break every task you’d like a dog to learn into tiny segments in order to orchestrate many frequent, measurable, successful moments to build upon and link together to create an easily navigable staircase to your destination. 

With that in mind, today I’m thinking about goals. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t know both where you are today and where you’re headed. One must have a clear starting and end point in mind to properly draw up a functional map. 

This morning as I pondered where I would like to go on...

 
Tags:  dog training
I love my pibble

Open Letter to Rescue Groups

Earlier this year, I had a table at a 'Pet Awareness and Adoption' event that changed the way I feel about these events, and some of the rescue groups who participate in them. I have spent many hours, and sleepless nights, thinking about the events of this day, and what we can all learn from it. 
 
I am not going to name the location because I do not wish to focus on the hosts, nor on the individual rescue group personally.. This could have happened at any public adoption event, and to any of the countless rescue groups or animal shelters that showcase adoptable dogs at these events.
 
I was...

Belgian Tervuren Mars With Orange

Starting Over In Dog Training

It has been so long since I’ve written anything here at The Dog Star Daily Blog that it feels like I’m starting over. Recently, I’ve started training my young dog, Laz and my new pup, Mars for a dog sport that I haven’t attempted in over ten years. So it kind of feels as though I’m starting over in dog training, too. Here’s to new beginnings! 

As with anything new, it’s a very good idea to break a task down, start with small goals, and gradually increase complexity and duration. At the moment I am being reminded of this daily by my coaches as I plan training sessions for the very long,...

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed