Welcome!  For more videos please visit my YOUTUBE CHANNEL


Adolescence can be very challenging. It's a time for lots of brain games to keep your dog from being bored and exercising those brain cells! We all know a bored adolescent looks for something to do and often ends with them doing something we don't like. We often see an increase in destructive behaviour such as digging, chewing, jumping and overall obnoxious behaviour. Exercising with a flirt pole can be a great way to burn off some of that energy while practicing tug, drop, sit, and take/get it. If you have a dog who gets super aroused during play and ends up jumping on you, consider setting up an ex-pen with you standing inside it. The dog is on the outside but still able to play. You can make a flirt pole yourself as I did in this video or you can purchase one. This is Henry's first experience with the flirt pole. His human is doing a trade to get Henry to drop the toy. This step will be faded out and Henry will drop when asked. Dropping and sitting begin the game. Good manners and calm are reinforced.

Big or small, learning to give up items when asked is an important life skill.

Luna has practiced with easy items and is now practicing with every dog’s favourite, paper (in this case, a tissue).
Trades need to be practiced with many different items.

It also needs to be practiced in different environments, indoors and outdoors (Remember dogs don’t generalize so it’s necessary to begin at step one).

Enrichment, enrichment, enrichment. Why do I push this so much? This little monkey is excitable. Lots of jumping and biting anything that moves, like most pups. 
Before we popped her in the pen she was grabbing, biting and generally being a nut.
She had 15 minutes of chewing a bully stick then another 10 minutes interacting with this homemade food puzzle.
That’s a solid 20 minutes or so of not biting humans.
Puzzles don’t have to be fancy or expensive. I fashioned this one out of paper towels and an empty container sitting on the counter. I wrapped some kibble and treats into a few strips of paper towel then placed them in the container with a bit of the end sticking out. That was to make it easier for the pup to grab. 
When she was interacting with the puzzle she used her mouth, teeth, paws and most importantly, her brain.
In order to make your day easier, prep these types of puzzles the evening before so you are not scrambling while your pup has a grasp on your leg!
Be proactive.

Giving correct feedback to your dog is a skill which needs to be practiced by the human holding the leash. Being able to realize you've made a training error and correct it is very important for the learning process.

I love this video as it shows the human being aware of errors and correcting them so the dog is able to get the correct feedback.

The reinforcer needs to be delivered by your leg. If you reward, off to the side, away from your leg, your dog will learn to walk a foot or two away from you.

The other thing I love is when the dog veers off to the right. The human doesn't yank or raise her voice, she simply adjusts herself to ensure the dog continues to follow and reinforces accordingly.

This little monkey was unable to walk outside without losing his mind. After a lot of practice on u-turns, name response, hand targeting, reinforcing a loose leash, changing directions, being mindful of triggers, practicing classical counter conditioning, he is able to go for lovely walks. 

There is still lots of work to do but being able to get outside and walk is a huge accomplishment!

Kudos to his humans!

Rocky is learning to wait at the exit point until given permission to cross the threshold. It's important to teach this in steps beginning with rewarding sitting to start. Difficulty is gradually increased as we ask the dog to sit while the door gets wider and wider.
First steps are done without any distractions. Once the skill is strong, we add the movement of human stepping across the threshold.
We want Rocky to learn it's the word "okay" that gives permission to cross and nothing else. We practice by tossing a treat or toy as well as with people. Always rewarding the pup for doing the right thing!

Learning to wait until given a verbal release takes time and practice beginning with very easy criteria to start. Once the skill is stronger, we add the movement of human stepping across the threshold while Rocky maintains his position.

We want Rocky to learn not to step across until he hears "okay".  When introducing a person, we would ensure they are far away from the gate to make it easier for the pup to succeed. Distance would gradually decrease until they could stand by the gate while the pup maintains a polite sit until released to say hi.

I am a big fan of teaching wait vs stay. What's the difference? For me, stay means don't move a muscle. If you are sitting, remain sitting. No position change allowed.
Wait is more forgiving. It means stop forward motion, hang on a minute, pause.
You can move backward but not forward. I use that cue far more often than I do a formal stay.

 Taking the time to teach your puppy or dog to enjoy the grooming process is important. Here we are teaching Flurry the brush makes cream cheese appear!

polite door greetings in ThornhillTeach your dog to greet guests politely at the front door with "Go Say Hi".

sit at front door Learning not to dash out the front door is an important skill for all dogs.

dog training Thornhill Having a dog willing to give up items is a great skill for him to have. Avoid the urge to chase him around if he grabs something and just do a trade!

Halloween and fearful dogHalloween can be a very scary time, especially for young dogs. Please avoid the urge to take them out with you as a fearful experience can result in a lifelong issue. Provide a safe comfortable place for them in the house. Provide a yummy chew toy and some relaxing background music such as Through A Dog's Ear cd's.

Dog Training Hand TargetingMolly learns to target the palm of my hand for the first time. This is such a valuable skill to have. For reactive dogs, it's a way to turn the dog's head away from a trigger. It can be used to get a dog back to heel position, as a recall (come!), as a safe way for a shy dog to interact with a person (instead of being patted on the head), as a way to move a dog off or onto something. 

Playing Tug Dog TrainingA game of tug or opportunity to chase a toy is the way most of my Beardie's behaviours have been taught.  

Dog Training Impulse ControlTeaching your puppy to wait until given permission is an important lifelong skill. Impulse control exercises can  begin very early in your puppy's life bypracticing with a food bowl or food dispensing toy.

Jagger is a fabulous puppy and will be an awesome adult! Here he is learning to not to pull on leash. It will take lots of practice, time and patience until he is reliable but this is a great start!

Puppy Training Leave ItCopley is 12 weeks old is and learning for the first time to "leave it" when something is on the floor. She is being rewarded for not fussing at the treat. We want her to eventually learn to look up at her person when she hears the cue. The next step of this behaviour is to expose the treat more and more. Then to be able to toss it onto the floor.

Teaching your puppy to pay attention to you is a very valuable skill. Here Carson is learning for the first time in a park that good things happen when he pays attention and follows. You can reward this with food, the opportunity to go sniff or with play. The more your dog learns to keep an eye on you the better off leash control you have.

The Penalty Yards game is a great way to teach your dog  to walk politely without pulling forward. It teaches your dog that pulling gets you further away from what you want. A warning cue of "oops" then moving backwards teaches your dog to keep a slack leash. After a few repetitions, Winnie will stop walking forward as soon as she hears "oops" and it won't be necessary to physically move backwards.

Incorporate training into everyday moments. If you want your dog to keep 4 on the floor in the kitchen, practice reinforcing either sit or down regularly. Don't wait until he has his paws on the counter then try to deal with it. If you can't pay attention when you are prepping a meal or washing dishes, use a crate, tether or other confinement space to prevent him from jumping up.
Set him up to be successful from the get go. Keep counters clear of temptation during the training phase.

Greeting people at the front door politely is a learned behaviour. You need to prevent your dog from rushing to the door and jumping.  Baby gates are a great tool for that. Any unwanted behaviour you would like to change requires prevention as the first step. 

@ 2011, sitstaylearn. all rights reserved | designed by big egg studio
Dog training and Puppy Training available in Thornhill,Richmond Hill,Markham,Woodbridge |www.sitstaylearn.ca