Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Don't Pop Your Release Cue!! - Milton Ontario Dog Training

Yikes, I see this a lot, and thought I'd better make note of it. Owners need to make a conscious effort not to leash pop their dogs on the "release cue" - being the words "ok", "free" or what ever you like to call it. The best thing to do to indicate to the dog that the task (often being the stay) is complete is to use movement when you give the release, NOT a leash pop. A leash pop is a negative, and we want the dogs to know that they have done the task correctly, so adding a pop after the release is technically correcting them for carrying out the command in the right way - definitely not the message we want to convey. So, when you are training your dog, make the effort to keep a loose leash and use movement instead of adding a negative to the positive thing that they've done. Use your release command, and then step away as you reward so that the dog follows and understands completely that "ok" means I can get up know or I'm done.

Happy Training!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Puppy Class in Milton Ontario

New Puppy Class starting on February 9th 2013!

We get your puppy to enjoy learning in a fun, positive environment. We use positive motivation to teach and the puppies thrive with this type of training.

This class is a must for anyone with a new pup. We go over typical puppy issues and how to deal with them, basic puppy obedience training and intro to some agility equipment.

This class runs for 5 weeks. This class is for puppies from 10-20 weeks of age. Cost is $160.00 and first shots (and preferably 2nd) are required.

Come learn with us and get a head start on your puppies education.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Positive Reinforcement Sheldon Style

A funny look at positive reinforcement training. Yes, Sheldon has explained the scientific term "Negative Reinforcement" incorrectly  (which means the removal of an aversive stimulus), where is should have been labeled "Positive Punishment" (the squirt bottle that he speaks of or the electric shock - adding a negative stimulus) but you get the idea.

(Disclaimer: please don't use chocolates with your dog)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Trained Dog Makes EVERYONE Happy - Dog Training in Milton

Training your dog, of course, benefits your own family and close friends, but training your dog also benefits everyone who your dog comes into contact with. Vets, groomers, dog walkers, pet sitters, people you pass on a walk, etc. are all people who are directly affected by your dogs behaviour, training or lack there of.

Two of the people most affected are your vet and your groomer. They have to handle your dogs in a way that can make them uncomfortable, clean teeth and ears, give needles, take temperatures ... well, you get the point. If your dog hasn't been trained and will not accept handling, their jobs become A LOT more difficult and the stress on your dog can be overwhelming (not to mention cost involved with a dog who will not co-operate).

But, if your dog has been trained, and has learned to accept handling and is reliable it can make vets and groomers jobs a pleasure and possibly reduce your bills in the end. I will relate to you a small story of the benefits of having a trained and reliable dog in a veterinary situation.

We had to rush the little white dog into the emergency vet a while back for a puncture wound. Of course, after speaking with the vet and an initial examination (where she was stoic as usual), they said they would need to take her to the back, sedate her and clean out the wound. At this point, I offered to go back and hold her, telling them she doesn't need to be sedated because she will allow you to do the job with no fuss. As per usual, "the back room" is reserved for vets and staff only, but they said they would see how she reacts and sedate it needed. Cost was not an issue for us, but knowing that sedation of an older dog can cause issues was my motive for helping out.

They took her from me and brought her to the back room for what seemed like an eternity. But when they emerged with a saline solution cleaned, little white dog, awake and happy to see us, they related that she was so well behaved that they neither needed my help, nor did they have to sedate her, making their jobs easier, her life better and bringing the cost of the visit down.

This would not have happened if she were untrained. Untrained dogs will resist handling, they will not heed your words, especially if they are in pain or stressed and they will make everyone's lives more difficult, even if those people are trying to help them.

This is only one of hundreds of reasons why you should train your dog and why it will make yours and a lot of other peoples lives easier. Training your dog is a daily process, and taking advantage of new opportunities to train in, like the vets office, the pet store etc., will be of huge benefit to you both. The dog learns that he/she has to behave, regardless of where they are, and you can relax knowing that your dog will be under control no matter what the situation.

If you need help with any training, please don't hesitate to contact us at dogtraining101@hotmail.com and we can put you on the road to gaining a trained and happy companion. Remember, a trained dog is a happy dog and has a happy owner.

Monday, January 21, 2013

What type of training do we use? Milton Ontario Dog Training

While we start every dog off with positive reinforcement to teach commands/positions, in the form of treats paired with praise and touch, our goal as trainers is to fade out the lure, or hint of a lure, as quickly as possible so that we can avoid a dog who will only listen when you are holding a cookie in front of their nose.

By in large, most owners don't want to have to carry a bag of treats with them where ever they go, nor do they necessarily have the time to co-ordinate such methods when family, children and work are involved. We keep our training as real to life as possible in order to accommodate those who actually have other obligations, not just their dogs. I speak from experience when I say certain methods don't fly when you're walking two dogs and a child in a stroller.

Combining both positive reinforcement, to encourage behaviours, and corrections, to discourage and proof behaviours, tends to get the quickest, and most reliable results. Of course, not all dogs are created equal, so methods must be adjusted per personality type, owner type and drives of the dog. Over all though, the goal of our training is to enable you, the owner, to gain a dog who is under control and easier to live with. We want you and your dog to succeed and we are always excited to see our clients come away with a better behaved canine companion.

Contact us today to sign up for group or private sessions dogtraining101@hotmail.com and visit our website for details www.smartdogsk9.com

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Place Command - Dog Training in Milton and Burlington

I cannot emphasize how important the PLACE command is for our dogs in everyday, real life situations.

For those who are unfamiliar with it, the PLACE command is a loose form of stay wherein the dog is taught to GO to his or her allotted area (be it a mat, rug, pillow, dog bed etc.) and stay there for an extended period of time. The dogs can get up, spin around, chew a bone, basically do anything they want while in PLACE, but cannot leave the mat.

This is an awesome command to use when you have guests over, while you are eating or preparing dinner, if you have a new baby, watching TV or working, basically any time you would like to have your dog under control, but out with you as well to enjoy the family.

Consistency is key with teaching this command, and it is built upon similar to the STAY - duration then distance. What is great about this command is it translated to other objects, meaning you could use a dog bed in one room, a mat in the next, and a towel in the other, as long as the dog can differentiate between the floor surface and the PLACE object.

Need help with teaching your dog control? Contact us to set up training sessions any time at dogtraining101@hotmail.com and visit the website for more details www.smartdogsk9.com

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Leash Is Your Friend - Dog Trainer in Milton

Often times I am called out to clients home's with dogs who have had a minimal amount of training and are somewhat out of control in their own environment (this includes both puppies and adults dogs). Many times these dogs have been given so much freedom that there are very little rules to follow and no way of enforcing them. Owners become frustrated and disheartened at the lack of control and response from their dogs, yet most times, no one considers the option of putting their dog on a leash in the house in order to gain back control.

I am here to tell you that the leash is your friend. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having your dog on leash in the house, especially dogs and puppies who have been recently adopted. The leash and crate are two VERY important tools in the process of raising and training your dog, and should not be shyed away from.

The leash gives you the ability to directly supervise your pet and give them some freedom without giving them run of the house. It aids in house training, obedience training and teaches your dog to follow you rather than the other way around. Common training problems can be solved by putting your dog back on leash and working up to off leash freedom again. Dogs need to earn their freedom, regardless of if it's in home, or out at the park, and the best way to do this is start at step one - with the leash.

If you are experiencing any training or behavioural problems with your pooch, feel free to send us and email and dicuss how we can help you gain back control and build up obedience with your dog dogtraining101@hotmail.com.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dog Agility Class in Milton and Burlington

Ever Wanted to Try Agility Class with

your dog??

Smart Dogs Canine Training is offering our Fun Agility Intro Class over the winter, indoors.
A great class for building confidence, having fun with your dog and as an intro to the world of dog agility. Basic agility equipment introduced, handling skills, and brushing up on the basics. Keep your dog's mind and body active - a tired dog is a happy, well behaved dog.  Must have basic obedience skills and be able to work around other dogs without issues.

Starting January 19th 1-2pm, class runs for 6 weeks.

Check us out on the web www.smartdogsk9.com and feel free to contact us at any time for more information dogtraining101@hotmail.com

Dog Training Classes in Milton and Burlington

Fun and Effective Basic Obedience Training for your Dog!

Our new Smart Dogs Basic classes will be starting Saturday January 19th, 10-11am, so if your dog is driving you crazy, this is the class for you.

This is a great class for anyone who owns a dog. Learn how to gain control, and have fun doing it. We make learning enjoyable for both owner and dog, and utilize positive reinforcement to teach commands.

You and your dog will learn all of the basics (sit, down, stay, come, heel and place) and you will come away with a more manageable canine companion.

Class runs for 7 weeks (45 min. to 1 hour each week).

Check out Smart Dogs Canine Training in Milton and Burlington's website www.smartdogsk9.com for all sign up information. And feel free to contact us, we are always happy to answer and questions you may have.

Puppy Class in Milton and Burlington Ontario

Puppy Classes Starting January 25th!

Get your puppy started off on the right foot!!

We are offering our Smart Puppy beginner class starting January 25th, 7-8pm.

We get your puppy to enjoy learning in a fun, positive environment. We use positive motivation to teach and the puppies thrive with this type of training.

This class is a must for anyone with a new pup. We go over typical puppy issues and how to deal with them, basic puppy obedience training and intro to some agility equipment.

This class runs for 5 weeks. This class is for puppies from 10-20 weeks of age. Cost is $160.00 and first shots are required.

Come learn with us and get a head start on your puppies education.

We are conveniently located between Milton and Burlington.

To sign up visit www.smartdogsk9.com and contact us through the site or email dogtraining101@hotmail.com

Friday, January 4, 2013

Another New Year, Another New Opportunity to Train ...

Learning how to pull

Make this years New Years Resolution one that will benefit both you and your canine companion. Make this years resolution to train your dog. It's never too late or too early. It's not rocket science, it's common sense. It doesn't have to be a chore, it's fun. It doesn't have to be for nothing, it enhances your dogs life.

Don't think that you need to drill your dog for hours a day on obedience commands, that's unrealistic, and boring for your dog. It takes little effort in the beginning to start; 3-5 times a day, 5 minutes at a time. Everyone who owns a dog has at least 25 minutes a day to spend with their best bud, so why not make that time quality time. Keep your sessions short, fun and always end on a positive with something you know your dog is able to do.

Use every opportunity in your dogs life as a training opportunity. That doesn't mean every waking hour is spent on obedience training (that's what the above 15-25 minutes is for), but it means enforcing basic manners in every day life occurrences. No jumping, no pulling, no mouthing, no mounting and so on. Its easier to prevent problems from day one, rather than correcting them later on. If you don't like a behaviour, don't allow it to happen, period.

Remember exercise is part of a dogs well being, and part of a well behaved dog. Exercise also benefits the human side of the partnership, so make an effort to get out with your dog every day. It will enhance both owner and dog health, it's free, and there is no excuse not to do it.

So make this year's resolution one that will benefit not just you, but your best friend and others around you. Get out there and train your dog! You buddy will love you for it - a trained dog is a happy dog, and has a happy owner.

New classes starting this month with Smart Dogs Canine Training, so here is your opportunity to start training: