Feeding Time. Will It Be Lobster or Cereal?

Posted by Janis Mikelberg, B.A. CPDT-KA on Sunday, August 13, 2017 In : Using Food in Dog Training 

Feeding meals, or at least some meals, via food dispensing toys is one of my favourite ways to enrich a dog's daily life. It's easy to do and it's fun for the dog. 
When discussing this with a recent client an analogy popped into my head. (My apologies to the vegetarians and vegans who read this).
It's like eating lobster in the shell vs over a salad.  You need to work at getting the meat out. It takes time and effort. It's most satisfying when you finally get that small little bit out of the c...
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I Didn't Really Train My Dog

Posted by Janis Mikelberg, B.A. CPDT-KA on Friday, May 5, 2017 In : How Dog's Learn 

It can feel overwhelming when you think of the many skills you want your dog to learn and try to find the time to train them all. If I stopped to think of all the skills my children needed to become the well adjusted, successful adults they've become I would have locked myself in a closet and never come out!

It might be easier if you think of it as “giving appropriate feedback most of the time” vs "training skills".

While I don’t want to say raising children is the same as rai...

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On Being Alpha Dog

Posted by Janis Mikelberg, B.A. CPDT-KA on Saturday, April 1, 2017 In : How Dog's Learn 

If there is one word that gives me cause to question someone's training credentials it's "Alpha". If I read on a website or hear an individual say to be successful the human needs to become the "Alpha", it tells me that trainer is not up to date on research or on the science of learning. 
That myth has been debunked over and over, yet people still cling to it. There is a place for correct use of the word Alpha. Just not  in describing anything to do with modern dog training.
I don’t expect th...

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Why Your Dog May Not Listen To You

Posted by Janis Mikelberg, B.A. CPDT-KA on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 In : How Dog's Learn 

We all start off with the best of intentions and desires. To have a dog who does what we ask, when we ask. To clarify, I don’t want a robot dog but I do want a dog who is responsive.

Most people begin saying their pup’s name along with other cues (commands) the moment he comes home. The results are not often stellar. You chant the pup’s name, use it all the time for various reasons. You repeat come, come, come. The pup may eventually do it. Not always, not consistently.

You think the d...

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A Game for Puppies and Children

Posted by Janis Mikelberg, B.A. CPDT-KA on Friday, March 10, 2017 In : Dogs and Children 

It’s not easy raising children and puppies at the same time. As parents we find ourselves needing to teach both the puppy and the children to be calm.
This is a fun game. We gave each child a number to remember to make it more interesting for them.
They must sit on the couch and wait for their number to be called before getting up to feed the pup.

It’s great for a number of reasons including:

  •  The children get to reward the puppy for lying down.
  •  The puppy learns to enjoy the children ap...

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