A Bit About Learning Theory

Posted by Janis Mikelberg, B.A. CPDT-KA on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 In : Dog Training 

Puppies and dogs explore their world via their nose and mouth. Behaviour, which is perfectly normal for them, is often unwanted by us. Dogs bark (they don’t speak English), bite, chew, dig, run, jump, roll, shred things, avoid eye contact (it’s the polite thing to do in the canine world), sniff, guard items (a skill necessary for survival in the wild) and more.
As humans, we want to teach our dogs to sit politely, walk slowly, not bark, avoid rolling in disgusting things, be happy when we ...

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Grooming Positively with Chase N Chomp Sticky Bone

Posted by Janis Mikelberg, B.A. CPDT-KA on Friday, December 22, 2017 In : Grooming 

Teaching Your Dog to Enjoy Being Brushed

Dogs don't come naturally loving the grooming process. We need to make a really good positive association with all aspects of the process from combing, to brushing, to bathing to drying and everything in between.
In the video below, Ruby is happily licking cream cheese out of the Chase N Chomp Sticky Bone toy while her human combs out her back end.
Brief, successful sessions are far more effective than trying to brush out the entire dog at once. We did...
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Treat or Reinforcer?

Posted by Janis Mikelberg, B.A. CPDT-KA on Sunday, December 3, 2017 In : Using Food in Dog Training 


Two of the Definitions of Treat as found both in Miriam Webster and Oxford Dictionaries
a: to provide with free food, drink, or entertainment 

b: to provide with enjoyment or gratification.

There are many definitions of the word “treat” including to pay for someone’s meal or to treat a patient, to treat a person badly or well.

When working with dogs, it’s my belief most people have hesitation or objection to using food as it’s immediately thought of as definition b: to provide with en...

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Does Giving My Dog Human Food Cause Begging?

Posted by Janis Mikelberg, B.A. CPDT-KA on Saturday, September 23, 2017 In : Dog Training Tips 

"I don't give my dog human food because I don't want him to learn to beg".
I hear this quite a bit. Dogs do not learn to beg just because you give them human food.

Begging, as most people describe it to me is - sitting near the table waiting for food while they are eating. That behaviour is easily changed with management or training. Have your dog in a crate, tethered away from the table or in an ex-pen during meals. Teach your dog to go lie on a mat away from the table. 

Our food smells great...

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Mini Training Tip

Posted by Janis Mikelberg, B.A. CPDT-KA on Thursday, September 14, 2017 In : Dog Training Tips 
When in the early stages of teaching a new cue (command) give your dog a chance to respond. It takes time to process the request and put it into action. They are learning a new language and often go through their repertoire before offering what they think is correct.
If he is correct, great! If not, assume he doesn't yet understand vs assume he's ignoring you.
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