The Dog Blog

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Puppies vs. Adult Dogs and Breeders vs. Shelters/Rescues

I am often asked, (actually, “criticized” and “chastised” might be more accurate terms): 1. Why most of my seminars, articles, books and DVDs focus on puppy raising and training rather than adult dog training? and 2. Why I promote (which I don’t) buying pure-bred puppies from breeders instead of adopting adult mixed-breeds from shelters?

1. Why Puppies? Basically, because every adult dog was once a puppy. More specifically, every adolescent/adult dog with difficult-to-resolve behavior, temperament, or training problem was once a puppy that was literally begging for an education to learn how to...

 

Litter Longevity Index

Breeding for Longevity

Initially, dogs were domesticated and bred as working dogs, for hunting, herding, draft and protection. Later they were bred for competition in their working abilities, plus conformation, obedience, agility, etc. In the past century or so, many of these dogs were invited into our homes as companion dogs.

When breeders selectively breed for work, show or competition, they significantly “cull” the litter by selecting the best puppies (by physical or behavioral phenotype) and offering the rest for sale as pet dogs. In fact, for a long time in the dog world, the term...

 

Eugenics or Dysgenics

Natural Selection is nature's fail-safe method to maintain eugenics (good genes and fine offspring). All dogs are different; individual variation is an inherent characteristic of sexual reproduction. Different dogs fair differently in different situations: those dogs best suited to the immediate environment (the genetically fittest) do well; the less fit do less well; and the unfit usually die. In the wild, the process of natural selection promotes the survival of the fittest and the elimination of nature's mistakes.

Additionally, nature has a wonderful way to promote good breeding —...

 

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 one is telling them. Consequently, their puppies develop predictable and preventable, relationship-destroying, behavior, temperament and training problems and sadly, many are surrendered to shelters in search of a “second chance”.

DunbarAcademy.com has recently embarked on a new program to educate new puppy owners, so that all puppies get a first chance — an education that they so rightly deserve and so...

 
Tags:  puppy training

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 majority of the time and energy that it takes to train a dog, 

The key to motivation is harnessing the activities that your dog enjoys, and using them as rewards in training. As your dog's owner, you have control over their access to most of their favorite activities, and if you manage that access carefully you can teach your dog that the best way for them to do the things they want to do is by

 

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, being trained by their owners, interacting (socializing) with other people, or playing with other puppies as opposed to the percentage of time that puppies were on-leash, while owners sat in chairs listening and watching the instructor lecture, or demonstrate. The results were quite shocking. In all of the classes surveyed, puppies spent 50–75% of the time on-leash! Neither an efficient nor an...

 

Quick Tip: The Gift of Gab – Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Training by Talking to your Dog!

Your voice is one of the most useful tools you have in dog training. Sadly, it's also one of the most underutilized. Many dog owners don't understand how much they can communicate by using their voice, and as a result, they fail to give their dogs the feedback they need to learn how to behave. 

Of course, your voice is most powerful when you use words that your dog understands, but even when you use words they don't understand your dog will appreciate the tone and intensity and that can communicate quite a lot!

Watch the video below to learn more:

 

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 could easily end up costing $300-$2000, or more. Once you factor in seminar registration, travel, accommodation, shopping and hotel-food costs and time away from family and work, education was expensive, time-consuming, often inconvenient and not that effective — How much information from a one-day seminar was actually retained?

Nowadays, online education is either open-source or very affordable...

 
Tags:  education

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Why so much learning theory doesn’t work too well in practice.

An applied learning theory is essential for teaching/training all animals, people included 

These days we are being increasingly advised that dog training should be based on peer-reviewed, published studies. I feel this is a bit silly because there are so few research studies on dog training. In fact, there are next to none. Certainly, there are wonderful studies on the behavior of wild canids, on feral or free-roaming domestic dogs and there are some really interesting studies on cognition in companion dogs but … there...

 

Quick Tip: Handcrafted – How to make the best use of your HANDS during training

You have to know how to use your hands correctly if you want to be a good dog trainer. Excellent dog handlers know how to use their hands to energize, calm, lure and reward.

On the other hand, when owners don't know what they're doing, they can accidentally train their dog to become afraid of human hands, which can lead to anxiety and aggression problems.

And of course, the best thing about your hands is that they are one of just a few tools that you always have with you!

To learn more, watch this video:

 

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