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Tara's Dog Training Blog ~ TarasDogTraining.com
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Daily Walks

I often see people walking along with their dogs looking like they can't wait to get off their end of the leash, then wondering why their dog's focus is on everything else but them. 

From the dog's point of view, mom or dad seems bored and uninterested so what else is out there? Other dogs, people, kids, bikes... and the list goes on and on.


How do you, as an owner, compete with all of that? Well, ask yourself this, what makes it worth it for your dog to pay attention to you? 

Here are a few ideas that can help make those walks more fun for you and your dog. 


Instead of the same route every day, go a different way and see what new discoveries are to be found. 


Switch up your pace during your walk. Try different speeds and maybe even add a cue to each speed, such as, quick or slow.


Ask your dog for different behaviors on your walk. Keep your pup on his toes by surprising him with different commands.


Bump up your energy! Make the walk fun for your dog. If you seem bored your dog will inevitably find something else more exciting to focus on. 


Look at every walk as a training opportunity, a chance to work on your dog’s behaviors in a different setting. If your dog is getting slow at offering a down, then start asking for that during your walks. Sneak some treats into your pocket and offer him one when he offers you his fastest down. Find new ways to keep your walks fun, positive and productive! Your dog will definitely start thinking about what you're about to do next and less about his next marking spot. 


Posted by tarasdogtraining at 5:54 PM
Updated: Sunday, 20 December 2009 6:07 PM
Friday, 4 December 2009
Gentle Leaders
Topic: Gentle Leaders

Do you have a dog that pulls you down the sidewalk and never looks back? A GENTLE LEADER (GL) is a good tool to have. It's described as "Power Steering for Dogs". The GL is often confused as being a type of muzzle because there is a strap that wraps around the back of the dog's snout. The function of the strap directs the dog's nose down when he/she pulls on the leash, which in return causes the dog to return some slack in the leash in order to look forward. The dog can still drink and even eat with the GL on. The GL is simply used as a walking device and should not be left on the dog unsupervised and it should be removed after walks. 


From a Trainer standpoint, this is a golden piece of equipment that should be as common as a leash and collar for most dogs. I've seen dramatic differences in dogs that are normally reactive on leash, but with the GL the dog can be refocused by the owner in half the time. This also increases reward opportunities, because your dog is more likely to stick next to you rather than pull on the leash. 


Desensitization needs to be done before using the GL. I often hear owners tell me they tried the GL and the dog didn't like it so they stopped using it. This happens when no desensitization has been done. The GL was most likely put on the dog's face and then expected to work immediately. With any good thing, there's a little bit of work that needs to happen first before hooking on the leash. 


I highly recommend this product for persistent pullers of all sizes. They are available in all sizes and even come with a Training Guide and DVD!

You can find more information here: 

Premier Pet Gentle Leader!















Get your dog use to having the GL loop around his nose by placing the loop over his nose and rewarding with a treat. Once he's almost done with the treat, take the loop off of his nose. Do this quickly about 10 times so your dog has no time to think, "I don't like this on my nose".

1. Place the loop over your dog's nose

2. Give your dog a yummy reward

3. Before your dog finishes the treat, take the loop off of his nose

Do not clip the strap behind his ears yet, simply reward your dog for having the loop over his nose and getting use to the feeling. 

Once your dog starts to welcome the loop coming over his snout, you can then clip the strap behind his ears quickly and then feed him for 1 minute straight. Don't give your dog time to fuss with this new thing on his face. Feed him treats and when you have fed him for about a minute, allow him to finish his last treat and right before he does, take the entire GL off quickly. Repeat this 2 times a day for 3 days.

Once your dog welcomes the GL being on his face, because it's now associated with great things, we can attach the leash. Be aware that your dog will fuss with the GL once you attach the leash and begin walking. Stay calm, wait until your dog stops pawing or fussing with it and once he stops, reward. Reward your dog for walking nicely with the GL on for the next few days and then you should be able to phase out food completely.

Posted by tarasdogtraining at 8:51 AM
Updated: Sunday, 13 June 2010 2:54 PM
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Seek Positive Training for your pooch!
Topic: Adoption

Tara's Dog Training is helping every shelter dog stay in their home through positive training. Most shelter dogs end up back in the shelter because their owners were unprepared for the behavioral problems some may have from being bounced around from home to home, living on the streets and/or extended stays in shelters.

Before adopting a dog find yourself a trainer who can get you started on the right path from Day 1! Encourage all friends who have a rescued pooch to get training and make sure it's the positive kind! Whether its a rescue or a new puppy, seek training for your dog and give him/her a chance at a happy, full, stimulating life.


Posted by tarasdogtraining at 8:06 AM
Updated: Friday, 8 January 2010 3:57 PM
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Socializing a Puppy
Topic: Socialization

A great way to socialize a puppy is to play PASS THE PUPPY. Gather friends you know to come and meet your new pup. Start out by having everyone sit in a circle with some treats in hand. Each person holds and feeds the puppy a few treats, then passes him/her to the next person. This helps the pup get use to lots of different people and the treats help to make the new people a positive thing. Your puppy will definitely start wagging his/her tail at the sight of all your friends after a few rounds of this game! Happy Passing!


Posted by tarasdogtraining at 7:12 PM
Updated: Friday, 8 January 2010 3:57 PM
Loose Leash Walking
Topic: Gentle Leaders

Before setting off on your walk with your dog decide what you will reward your dog for and what you will not. For example, if you start off your walk and your dog is there by your side, make a choice to reward that and continue to reward that throughout the walk whenever your dog is in the heel position.

If your dog pulls, one thing you can do is turn around and wait until your dog is by your side again and offer praise once he/she arrives there in the heel position. 

Remember that nagging your dog or yanking on the leash doesn't convey much information for your dog, so think positive and find those reward opportunities...your dog will thank you for it!



Posted by tarasdogtraining at 3:40 PM
Updated: Friday, 8 January 2010 3:59 PM
Monday, 30 November 2009
Potty Training Tips
Topic: Housebreaking

There are a few good points to remember before beginning your treatment plan for housebreaking.

Be sure to NEVER punish a dog for accidents. This will only make the dog avoid eliminating near you. He may end up sneaking into another room to be able to go while you’re not around.

You must begin to desensitize the pup to a crate by placing his food inside as well as fun toys. Make sure the crate is empty and is only 1 1/2 the pup’s length minus the tail.

Whenever you leave a dog in a crate he must be well exercised and his bladder should be empty. He should also be placed inside with a good chew toy.

A pup can be expected to hold his bladder by the number of months he is + 1. You can extend the hours that the pup can hold it through the night by withholding food and water 2-3 hours before bedtime. By doing this, a 2 month old may be able to hold it for 6 hours through the night before needing to go.

Posted by tarasdogtraining at 8:40 PM
Updated: Friday, 8 January 2010 3:59 PM

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