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BamBam waits patiently in his crate away from the search area in Nose Work class

Why there is No Nose-to-Nose in Nose Work

Group dog training classes are always fun and entertaining in addition to being useful on several different levels. Watching other dog/owner teams work out some of the same issues you are facing is both comforting and educational.

 

For new nose work students one of the first eye-opening things about an official K9 Nose Work ® class (if taught by an instructor certified by the National Association of Canine Scent Work) is that all dogs must be crated or safely secured away from the scent field when it is not their turn to work. The dog that is working, does so with just his owner and the

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

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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! 

 
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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 All-Access Pass. 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...

 
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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 The All Access Pass at DunbarAcademy.com

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 treats

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...

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