dog training

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,...

 
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...

 
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,...

What if We Practiced Dog Ownership First?

 

We’ve all heard the familiar pleas: “Can we get a dog?” “I want a dog, look how cute he is!” Dogs are tons of fun and having a canine companion is great, but what’s involved with owning a dog can catch a person off guard.

So how about this rogue idea for first timers or parents teaching their children – set up practice sessions (think training trials for humans) and actually do several of the things involved with being a dog guardian BEFORE actually getting a real live dog? Test the waters so to speak. A stuffed animal dog would be a light and funny surrogate, a form of “successive...

AN EXCITING NEW CURE FOR SEPARATION ANXIETY

Given that we developed the AutoTrainer nearly 26 years ago, I find it surprising that only recently, (largely due to feedback from dog owners and trainers), we have discovered that the device is extremely effective for the rehabilitation of dogs with severe separation anxiety. 

We designed the AutoTrainer to reduce recreational barking and other vocalizations, which it does extremely effectively, as evidenced by reviewing the barking history and plotting the decrease in number of barks per day. Our original research showed that in addition to reducing barking, the dogs paced less and spent...

Dr. Ian Dunbar's Top Ten Tips For Success

Ian Dunbar's Top Ten Tips To Become A Successful Dog Trainer

We recently posted a free course on DunbarAcademy.com: The Top Ten Tips to Become a Successful Dog Trainer

1. What's Common & What's Not 

You need to understand what are the common issues and problems that dog owners (your potential clients) are likely to face with their dogs. Although the types of behavior and training problems are truly unlimited, just a handful represent the vast majority of cases. Learn 1-2-3 solutions for these few predictable problems and don't get bogged down with the rare cases.

2. What's Dangerous & What's Not 

You need to be able to accurately assess...

Beauceron Jumping Fun Dog Training

We Need A New Kind of Dog Training Show On TV

I love dogs. Obviously. Dog behavior has been my life for nearly 50 years and for me, dog training has always been the most intriguing aspect of the whole field of animal behavior. I have always found dog training to be interesting, challenging, fulfilling, beyond useful, exciting, tantalizing and above all, fun. 

Training is the very essence of sharing life with a dog. How we communicate with our best friend, i.e., teaching them ESL, so they understand what we would like them to do. How we motivate them to want to do what we would like them to do. How we ask them questions? Yes, objective,...

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