Training your dog with positive reinforcement

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Just because you say it, doesn't mean it's going to happen I think one of the biggest misconceptions people have about a dog's learning process is that they think the dog can conceptualize new verbal input. Let's take the famous "sit" example. What actually makes the dog understand "sit" and perform the "sit" reliably is…

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Thinking from the dog’s point of view

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The general advice for extinguishing unwanted behaviors is to “ignore” those behaviors. I think that simply saying "ignore the behavior" is not exactly the right way to put it. If your dog tends to bark or jump and you let your dog bark and jump and ignore those behaviors completely the dog might still bark…

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Rewarding Dogs Without Food

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Recently I learned more about the Premack principle in a webinar given by Kathy Sdao who is an admirable animal trainer. I was interested in learning more about how I could vary my reward system in my teaching. I was familiar with the idea of consequences, of course. When the dog offers to sit in…

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Small victories make me happy

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A couple of years ago I read a blogpost by the very thoughtful British dog trainer Kay Laurence. http://www.learningaboutdogs.com/ She had a new puppy at the time and she was musing about greetings and how dogs just love to greet us by leaping up to come close to our faces. Somehow she felt that there had to…

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Dog runs: what do you think?

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Zeldi just had a great play session with an adolescent border terrier who lives a block away from us. They had a very animated game, their playing styles were matched really well. Both the handler of the border and I were able to call our dogs back to us and they were also able to sit near…

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Reward strategies

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On a recent walk with my puppy Zeldi we came across a woman standing around in the street playing with her phone. She was wearing a billowing long dress. Zeldi found the fluttering fabric very interesting and the woman wanted to interact with Zeldi. Knowing how tempting her garb was to Zeldi I rewarded Zeldi…

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Fear mongering

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The current political climate is disturbing and yes, frightening. People are het up with fear and hatred, leading to an atmosphere of alarmism, reactivity and violent lashing out. Whatever impulse control we had going for a while has given way to pent up resentment. This is what dictators count on: dividing and conquering. Subjugates must…

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