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Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

Straight Fronts

If you are a treat trainer, you know, most people teach dogs to sit in front. Then, when people move to obedience training, we work so hard on those sits at heel that our nice pretty fronts get lost. This was a big problem with my current 5 month old puppy Blaze.

Here are some ways that I am fixing our crooked fronts and getting some nice straight fronts.

Hallways and Cabinets!

These are your friend! If your dog tends to lean to the left, then have the cabinet on your left. Ask for that sit, and guess what – their rear end is going to hit the wall. This is good for backing up and asking for sits.

Box Work

I’m a huge fan of boxes for dog training. I haven’t ever really used them before but had seen other trainers using them. The first step with this is getting your dog used to the box – or standing on the box. Then you can work on that great sit, feeding the reward with BOTH hands right in front of your body. This not only helps their straightness, but also their closeness. Make sure you are leaning back a bit and that your shoulders are square.

Finding front

This is a great game, once your dog has a good front position. You can toss a treat away at different angles and reward when they come back to you. Finally, you can begin to turn your body to make your dog really work to get into front position. Beware of the dog that tries to stand on your feet! That just isn’t allowed in AKC.

Learn how to Plan Smart Dog Training Sessions

Its easy in dog training to move too quickly through the exercises. The biggest problem I see in my dog training clients is that they see some success early on, and then progress quickly through adding in distractions and the dog begins to fail rather than to learn. This article will guide you through how to plan your dog training sessions for success!

Start by choosing one specific behavior to work on. Try to be specific about what it is you want from the dog, dont just work on "heeling", work on one portion of heeling – whether it be attention while walking beside you for a few steps, or where the dog is positioned. If you are doing stays, choose something specific about the stay to work on – either adding distance between you and the dog, or adding distractions, but don’t work on both at the same time.

Once you have your specific behavior for dog training, choose your location. It should be somewhere quiet where the dog can easily focus. If your dog is too interested in the outside, then go somewhere inside. If you are working on distraction dog training, then being outside is a good idea, provided you are working on some very simple behaviors.

Bring your timer and set it for 5 minutes. Work for that time period, SOLID – no taking breaks, no answering the phone, no letting the dog run off to pee, just practice over and over.

To make dog training successful you want to go by the rule of 3, if 3 times its too easy, make it more difficult, if 3 times its too hard and the dog doesnt get it (even if its something they know) do something easier! Set them up to succeed and they will work longer for you. If you notice yourself or the dog getting frustrated with the dog training, go back to something simple, keep to the 5 minutes, and come back to it later. Doing 5 dog training sessions throughout the day is wonderful if you can do it!

Dog training is a slow process, just like learning a foreign language. You have to get the basics of dog training, work on small increments, and over time you and your dog will become fluent!

Traning your new puppy!

Step 1- be in charge.

Step 2- stay consistent.

Step 3- meet their physical and emotional needs.

Sounds easy right? It is actually.  I spoke with a nice guy yesterday who had done his research and his reading.  He read books by Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell – great authors which you can purchase at  What did he learn?  Force isn’t required with puppies.

To meet goal #1, be in charge, start by having your pup follow you around (not the other way) with a lead or some cheerio rewards. Ask for sits before petting, playing, going outside, coming out of hte crate, eating dinner – its the easy way to teach “please”.

Goal #2, consistency.  Make  up rules, whatever they are, and follow them 100% of the time.  If you give in 1 out of 10 times then the dog learns that there is a chance to get away with whatever it is.  Lets say its jumping. The dog jumps, you ignore the pup for 30 seconds.  Every time! that means if you are sitting on the floor, standing, outside, 100% consistency.

Goal #3,meeting their needs.  Often times people think this means exercise, exercise. It doesn’t! Puppies do not need to run that much, or walk that much.  10 minutes two times a day is typically adequate for a young puppy (under  14 weeks).  Meeting their needs means exposing them to new things daily, challenging their every sense and  giving them mental stimulation.  Make them use their brains – try buster cubes, kongs, hide and seek, find it, or learn a new trick. My favorite game is called 101 things to do with a box. More  about that one later!

Good luck and happy dog training.