My “Ten Commandments”

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During the training process, there are many commands to teach a dog.  I will reiterate

from my previous blogging, that consistency is key.  I do not care if we use the word “applesauce”

for the sit command, as long as it is ALWAYS “applesauce”. Of course, I use the term sit, I am just making and example.

With that out of the way, lets go over my top ten commands;  TEN COMMANDMENTS

1. Look-to may eye contact with the handler, the “name game” is a great game to play with your dog for this one

2. Sit-to properly sit on command

3. Down-to properly down on command

4, Wait-to wait such as at the doorway, not a permanent command, “I will be releasing you shortly”

5. Place-a comfortable place inside the home, to use instead of the crate, perhaps when guests are over or someone knocks on the door.

6. Leave it-to leave it alone, do not put it in your mouth

7. Take it-to take it, put it in your mouth

8. Drop it-to drop it out of your mouth

9. Recall-to come to me when called

10. Stay-stay means stay until you are released

These commands are the first commands I start all my clients and my own dogs on.  Some trainers may flip flop some commands, but for the most part, these are pretty general.  I also think that every trainer will agree with me that consistency is key when teaching commands.  Until next blog, love your dog!

Potty Training: The Basics

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This is the number one question that I get from my new puppy owners.  Why is my puppy still having accidents in my home?  The answer is simple, you, the owner, is not being consistent.  There are few instances that a puppy has puppy bladder excitement or maybe even a UTI, in that case, call your vet.  So, I will go over a few steps that will housebreak your puppy ten days or less.

1.  In the early morning take puppy out for a potty, bring treats, it is necessary to capture this natural behavior and positively reinforce it.  The puppy will need to use the potty first thing in the morning and capturing this behavior, rewarding it verbally and with treats will encourage the puppy to continue to use the potty outside.

2.  NEVER spank your puppy if he has an accident in the house.

3.  Restrict to a small area and always use that same area.  The puppy will smell its scent and continue to use that small area.

4.  Stay on a consistent feeding schedule and make a log of feedings and when the puppy uses the potty.  Learn your puppies schedule.

5.  Once puppy has eaten breakfast, wail 10-15 minutes and walk puppy outside and use the command “Go Potty” reward during (capturing) and immediately after he has gone outside.  If he does not go, I always recommend crate training (that will be another blog entirely)  Put puppy back in crate for 10-15 minutes and repeat step 1.

6.  I also recommend feeding your puppy three times a day, so lunch is same steps as dinner and taking puppy out for walks In between feedings helps.  Don’t forget the treats and verbal positive reinforcement.

7.  Get in the mindset that using the potty outside is a “business trip”.  There is no playing, no eating grass (shouldn’t do that anyways), playing fetch etc. until he is fully housebroken ad  Your only objective is to get your puppy to potty outside.

8. If your puppy has an accident in the house, take him outside and tell him “potty” outside.

9.  Do not get frustrated with this procedure, your hard work will soon pay off.  Sometimes it will be necessary to set your alarm in the middle of the night to let your puppy “potty” outside.

10.  CONSISTENCY IS KEY!!!

Stay Means Stay!

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There are two commands in obedience that are often used and often confused.  These two commands are #1 Stay and #2 Wait.  What is the difference between these two commands?  Lets first talk about wait, since this blog is about Stay, I am going to speak more on that issue.

Wait simply means to wait.  I teach my dogs to sit and to wait at each doorway, this is basic obedience and the psychology that I am the alpha (more to come on alpha and submissive in another post)  Wait is a temporary command and also a more informal command.  I don’t care so much the positioning of the dog because the dog will soon be released from the sit.  So essentially I am saying to the dog “hold on for just a moment”.

Stay, on the other hand is a formal, direct and committed command.  Under no circumstances is the dog to move his position once given the command to stay.  When working with a new client, I start off with a 30 second stay gradually increased rather quickly to a 60 second stay to reach my goal in basic obedience to a five minute stay.  In more advanced obedience, I will stay a dog for as long as needed.  Positioning is important, whether I stay a dog from a stance, sit or down position.  Under no circumstances is the dog to move from the position used, no distraction is important, I will use my release command, “okay”.  No matter how long I am gone or where I go, the dog is to stay.  Stay means Stay!

Dog Therapy 101

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Dogs, often known as “mans best friend” but why is this?  There are no expectations, unconditional love and complete loyalty.  I arrived to a training session last week, not knowing that the owner was an amputee to train his loving “Winston”.  The owner has a trembling hand but once he takes the leash, the trembles cease.  It was amazing to watch these two work together.  Once ‘Winston” gets his obedience down to a science, I can’t wait to begin his therapy training….to be continued

“Puppy S.T.A.R Training”

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I like to start all my puppies and my clients puppies with the AKC STAR puppy program.  This is the foundation that your puppy will need when he/she is an adolescent dog doing intermediate obedience to adult dog performing advanced obedience.  The STAR program, we teach the basic commands (sit, down, stay, come, heel, place) with minimal distractions, recalls from five feet away, walking on a leash comfortably,  standing for a groom and tolerate being touched (especially the paws and ears).  It is also important that the owner can give and take a toy away from the puppy.  For more information on the STAR puppy program, please contact us!

“Shaping” your dogs behavior in a positive & fun training technique

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“Shaping” is a technique used by many dog trainers. It is a positive and fun way to get your dog to be more obedient. It involves the psychology of the dogs’ mind and allows the dog to focus on making choices, positive choices are of course rewarded while negative choices are not. Clicker training is a great tool in teaching a “shaping” exercise to your dog. Also treats and voice fluctuation are another way to “shape” your pooch. For more information on “shaping” and following South Florida Premier K9 Trainers to having a well-balanced, healthy, happy and obedient dog, stay tuned for our next blog.

An Obedient Dog is A Happy Dog

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Does your dog chew up things that don’t belong to them?  Sometimes have “accidents” in the house?  Does not come when called?  These are just to name a few.  I had a new client call me this week that their Border Collie was jumping onto their glass table.  Very dangerous for the dog and the family.  These owners are at the end of ideas and were going to give the dog up for adoption.  After meeting with them for a couple of hours, and going to continue for weeks to come, this behavior can be modified and the family can go back having a healthy and happy, well behaved border.  I am glad I can assist.