Post by Category : Dog Training

5 Training Tips for Reliable Recall  0

Reliable Recall Training | MassachusettsThe most important behavior you need to teach your dog can also be one of the hardest– recall. You want to be able to rely on the fact that if an emergency ever arises and you need your dog to come– now– they will listen. So what is the best way to make sure your pooch’s recall command is reliable? Here are five tips to help you get started with this important behavior!

1. Don’t use the word “come.” We say “come” to our dogs all the time without ever really thinking about it. At this point in your dog’s life, they have most likely heard this word enough that they have also learned to ignore it. Pick another word that you rarely use, and start training with that as the command. Toss a treat a few feet away so your dog goes after it, call out your new word for recall, and reward your pooch when they come back to you. This is how you teach successful reliable recall.

2. Don’t use your new recall word in a situation where you know your dog will not listen. If you are at the Dog Park and need your pooch, put the leash on him and walk him out instead of trying to call him to come to you.

3. Along the same lines, don’t use your recall word to call your dog and then have him do something he doesn’t like to do. If you need your dog to come so you can put him in the crate and leave for work, or if you need him to come so you can get in the car and go to the vet, approach your dog and put him on leash instead of calling him.

4. When you call your dog and he does come make sure you always have high quality treats to reward him. You want your dog to know that obeying this command will get him a great reward every time, and he will be more likely to listen when he hears that magic recall word.

5. Practice often, and in many different situations. You can work on this command in the house, in the yard, and even on leash when you’re out for a walk. More is always better!

Don’t be discouraged if your pooch doesn’t catch on right away. Reliable recall takes a lot of practice but will be more than worth all the work in the long run!

 

About the Author: Jessica Vezina is a certified dog trainer, working with animals full-time at Manypaws Pet Villa in Westport, MA. When she is not at work, Jessica does occasional volunteer work, and enjoys spending time with her three cats, and rescue dog named Stella. She can be contacted at vezinadogtraining@gmail.com and/or 508-642-4863.

How to Teach Your Dog the Drop It Command  0

Drop It CommandTelling your dog to “Leave it!” before they can pick something up is one thing– but what about having them let go of something that is already in their mouth? I find this to be a very hard behavior to teach a dog, because why in the world would they want to give up something awesome?

The answer is simple– they will give it up for something better!

In order to teach your dog to “drop it” when they have something like the remote control, your shoes, or part of your dinner, you have to perfect the behavior with things they are allowed to have. You can teach this behavior with a toy or a bone.

Next time your pooch is chewing on their favorite Nylabone, grab a tasty, smelly treat. Put the treat in front of their nose, and chances are they will drop what they have in their mouth to take the treat. While they are chewing, pick up whatever it is they dropped. And then– give it back!

The importance in giving your dog their toy back a couple of times is to show them you are not taking away the item forever, or they will catch on and become unwilling to drop a prized possession for food. Of course, when that prized possession is your shoe, you won’t give it back. But since that is not what normally happens, they won’t take it too personally.

Once you have practiced the behavior a few times, add your cue– “Drop it!” Say this as you are putting the treat under your dog’s nose, right before they drop their toy. The goal is to eventually have your dog respond to the verbal command without seeing a treat. Your dog will be able to do it with enough practice, but make sure you have treats handy for the time they grab something they shouldn’t, just in case.

Practice this behavior often, and soon you will have a dog that has no problem letting go of anything from a tennis ball to a remote control…as long as they know there is a tasty treat on the way!

 

About the Author: Jessica Vezina is a certified dog trainer, working with animals full-time at Manypaws Pet Villa in Westport, MA. When she is not at work, Jessica does occasional volunteer work, and enjoys spending time with her three cats, and rescue dog named Stella. She can be contacted at vezinadogtraining@gmail.com and/or 508-642-4863.

Poison Prevention for Your Dog  0

The easiest way to keep your dog safe from things they shouldn’t have is simple… you want to keep it away from them. Chocolate, onions, and garlic can poison your dog if they consume the wrong amount. The same is true for caffeinated products and chewing gum. If you want to keep your dog safe, you will need to keep them from getting into things and consuming something that can harm them.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Dogs are sneaky and known for getting into all sorts of things. As dog owners, we all make mistakes and leave something out we shouldn’t. For this reason, I encourage you to teach your dog a simple command to stop them from putting something in their mouth that should not be there.

Poison Prevention“Leave It” is a command that takes a little patience at first, but once your dog has it down you will be glad you took the time to teach it. This is a command you will use if you drop some medication on the floor or accidentally leave a bulb of garlic within grabbing distance and you want to stop your dog before they can get it in their mouth.

An easy way to start teaching any command is with a tasty treat in your hand. Present a closed fist to your dog (with an enticing treat inside) and let them try whatever they want to your hand in order to get it. Dogs will nibble, lick, paw and even bark at your hand. Your job? Wait them out! Eventually your dog will get bored and look away. Some dogs will take a lot longer than others, but no worries. The second your dog looks away, tell them good and give them a treat from your other hand. Continue this until your dog catches on and starts looking away almost immediately. Now you can add the command: “Leave It.” Present your closed fist to your dog and say “Leave It”. Your dog will back away and get the treat from your other hand.

From this point you will work up to food in an open hand and eventually food on the floor using the same strategy. The most important thing to remember with this command is to never allow your dog to have the food you are telling them to leave. Always give them something else, just as good, from your other hand. If you see your dog going after something they should not have, you should be able to say “Leave It” and most of the time they will. Teaching the “Leave It” command involves consistency on your part and practice for your dog.

As your dog gets better at mastering the “Leave It” command, be sure to have tasty treats hanging around as a reward. Positive reinforcement is the way you can be certain that your dog will succeed every time!

About the Author: Jessica Vezina is a certified dog trainer, working with animals full-time at Manypaws Pet Villa in Westport, MA. When she is not at work, Jessica does occasional volunteer work, and enjoys spending time with her three cats, and rescue dog named Stella. She can be contacted at vezinadogtraining@gmail.com and/or 508-642-4863.