Week Two Homework: The list of practice tasks are explained following the list!

This week we build on our attention skills and begin the process of teaching recall; a critical behavior for safety. We also work on our basic cues and continue practicing mixing up the Sit Down Sit Stand Down Stand Cues to continue the important attention and behavior skills. We also start out training for walking loose on a leash -  an essential skill for every dog. This is a main skill you will need to prevent your dog from getting hit by a car.Sit stay walk on the leash is another important skill this week.

1. Watch and teach these beginning recall skills:

2. Practice mixing up the order of Sit-Down-Sit-Stand-Down-Stand

3. Come Sit, come sit, come sit Reps!(see instructions below).
4. Practice Again Reward Train find your face (see last week’s homework)

5. Practice “Watch me” in a down position. This is the foundation for down stay.  See if you can do a down and “watch me.” We may have a "watch me" competition next week!
5. Practice Sit-Down-Sit-Stan d-Down-Stand routine read why and how below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENcl04S6tio
6. Practice mixing up the order of Sit-Down-Sit-Stand-Down-Stand
7. Practice Sit-Stay & Walk On-Leash. From Assigned Reading Below
8. Practice recall: “Come.”(Read below.)
9.Get your dog proper exercise! This is important for behavior and quality of life for your team.
10.Chew Toys – Use ‘em! Seriously.
11. Ask Everyone in the Household to Make a Commitment to Training.
12. Do NOT use aversive methods for punishment.

 3. Come Sit, come sit, come sit Reps!

Stand toe to toe with your dog and have her sit facing you. Get your treat ready for motivation if you need it. Jog backwards saying come and come several feet backwards. Stop and say “sit.” Get your dog to come and sit and come and sit just like we did in class. Start out as always treating each time then become more sporadic with the treats. Always give your verbal marker “yes” for doing the right thing. Be enthusiastic and fun! Increase the distance and treat frequency until you can do it many times without treats. Practice in many environments.

In all of these situations do not “bribe” your dogs. In other words after about the first  5-10 times you should not have to show the dog the treat to get them to do it. The treat is to show your dog what to do to teach him the words and what you are asking, not to bribe him. We use treats at the beginning but you must phase them out as quickly as possible with each skill, otherwise you will be relying on them for life. If your dog knows how to perform a behavior ask yourself the following question “Does my dog know how to do the behavior in this context?”  In other words has your dog ever been trained in that context? Although a dog might be good at doing quick downs in the kitchen that does not mean s/he will know it outside at first or in the field. You will have to show them a few times in each new situation and then if they ignore you the training stops. That should be a punishment. Not a physical one though. YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE TRAINING SO MUCH FUN THAT IT IS A BUMMER FOR YOUR DOG TO STOP TRAINING!!! That means a positive attitude and getting excited (but not too much to overstimulate the dog) about training.

4. Practice Again Reward Train find your face (see last week’s homework)

Practice “Watch me” in a down position. This is the foundation for down stay.  See if you can do a down and “watch me.” We will have a watch me timed competition next week!

5. Practice Sit, Down and Stand.
This a GREAT way for your team to learn communication, to teach your dog English words, and is a foundation of good training. Start by luring then quickly work towards hand and verbal signals with no lure. Get your dog performing for your empty hand. You can move your hand as if you have a treat in it to get them into positions but and they second they are done, treat them out of your other hand. Treat after each position for one round then try and work to all 6 positions with a treat only at the end. (It should not take more than 3-5 times to get to no food lure.)
  If you are already able to instruct each position by using hand and verbal signals without the lure, move to asking for each position with the hand signal only and then the verbal cue only. Can your dog go from sit down sit stand down stand and any mix up of those positions on verbal only? What about on hand signal only? That is the ultimate goal. This week your only goal is to master the positions using as little luring as possible but if you want to go for the big time you now know what it is. Always take baby steps. The number one mistake in training is going too fast for where the dog is at. Here is an excellent video by trainer Zak George who explains all of it very well along with a few other super helpful tips in just 4 minutes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENcl04S6tio

 6. Mix it Up! If your team (you and your dog) have the sit-down- sit-stand-down-stand routine trained well then mix it up! Go from a down stand –sit- for example. Keep going until your dog really knows the hand signals and verbal signals well. You will see that your dog will not do each behavior until s/he really knows the words. Just keep practicing. If you’ve got sit-you know it’s possible! Start where  your dog is at and don’t get frustrated. If your team can only get to sit and down and sit again in this class – that’s great as long as you are working consistently with your dog each day. Get to being able to do it with hand and verbal signals with no lure.

7. Sit-Stay & Walk On-Leash

Stand still, holding the leash in one hand and kibble in the other with both hands held high up and close to the body. Ignore everything your dog does until he sits. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Eventually, your dog will sit. Many dogs will go through an entire repertoire of behaviors that worked in the past to make you walk. The dog may lunge into the leash, bark, circle and jump-up. Just stand still and ignore your dog’s unwanted antics. Wait for your dog to sit.

The longer your dog takes to sit, the better he learns that his previous attention-getting and leash-pulling antics no longer work. When he eventually sits and receives immediate praise and a piece of kibble, he will have a Eureka-experience. “Ahhhh! So sitting is the secret to get my owner to move forwards.”

As soon as your dog sits, immediately say, "Good dog," offer a food treat, and then take one huge step, stand still and wait for your dog to sit again. Your dog will likely explode to the end of the leash, thereby illustrating the reinforcing nature of you taking just one step. Wait for your dog to sit again. Most likely he will not take as long this time. When your dog sits, praise, offer a piece of kibble, take one big step and stand still once more. Repeat this sequence until your dog moves forward calmly (because he knows you are only going to take one step) and sits promptly when you stop and stand still.

Your dog has now learned he has the power to make you stop and the power to make you go. If he tightens the leash, or bounces and barks like the proverbial banana, you stop. But if he slackens the tension on the leash and sits, you take a step. After a series of single steps and standstills without pulling, try taking two steps at a time. Then go for three steps, then five, eight, twelve, and so on. Now you will find your dog will walk attentively on a loose leash and sit automatically whenever you stop. And the only words you have said were "Good dog."

Occasionally, stand still and delay giving the kibble for longer and longer periods. Praise your dog as he remains looking up at you in a sit-stay. Count out the length of the sit-stay in “good dogs”—“Good dog one. 

8. Practice recall: “Come.”  Watch the videos above and do this reading on how to teach your dog to come.

Coming when called could save a dog’s life. When teaching come, the key elements are that you make it fun to come to you, that “come” does not gain a negative connotation by being associated with something unpleasant (such as play time is over, or you must go back to your kennel), and that you do not make the “come” cue irrelevant by using it when you have no way to follow up during the training process. Can your dog come from 5 feet away? How about 20? How about from a different room? How about outside?  Use a leash outside, unless you are in a safe area. Practice in many situations. If your dog comes to you inside from any room in the house but not outside you will need to practice heavily outside. You will need to purchase a 15-20 foot training lead. Go outside and ask your dog “Rover Come.” Only do this if your dog knows what come means and can come to you from anywhere in the house.  As soon as you say come, if s/he does not come immediately, pull the leash straight towards the center of your body (don’t yank). Keep the line coming in until your dog is up to you. As you pull him in tell him come on in a happy voice- make him want to come to you. As soon as he does praise like crazy and give a treat. Continue this daily and many times until he’s coming to you 95% of the time. Phase out the treats going from one time to every other, then randomly. Always expect more from your dog as s/he progresses. If s/he fails to come go back a few steps and start from there.  Once you get good at it practice in areas of higher distraction; the park, the side yard of a parking lot, being sure it is a safe area and keeping your dog on leash in necessary areas. Other dog’ should not be able to come attack your dog while you are practicing or this will be sure to backfire.  If your dog knows stay do not ask him/her to come from a stay. Stay will be taught more in depth later. Asking your dog to come from a stay only weakens the stay command at this point.

Start just a few feet from your dog and get her to come to you by being happy and enthusiastic (but not too excited to encourage poor behavior).As the dog comes to you say “Come.” Give verbal cue “Yes/Click” and treat. In this situation it is important to reward the dog as she is performing the behavior—as she is coming toward you. You are teaching her the command while she is in the act of coming. It is also great to say the command just as she starts to come but be sure she is actually going to come to you when you say the word otherwise you are teaching her that when you say the word she does not have to come to you.

Practice on leash in a very quiet, low distraction area. Call your dog by saying his name and then use the recall word (come) as he is moving towards you. In the beginning, you want to use a very high rate of reinforcement (reward) for the dog when he comes to you. This means feeding him for 20 to 30 seconds while talking excitedly and happily. You want coming to you to stand out in his mind as quite an awesome event! Once the dog is doing well, you can move to the next step.

Practice moving backwards on leash with the leash pulled in toward the middle of your stomach and with treats in hand. Call the dog’s name and start moving backwards, and say the recall cue while moving. Say the word clearly and sharply so that the word really stands out to the dog. Don’t chatter the word or mumble it as it becomes “white noise” to the dog. It is better to say “Come!” then“come come come come come come come.....” Keep your voice happy and communicate enthusiasm to your dog. You are teaching the dog to:a) come to you when you say the word, and b) focus in on coming to the center of your body (rather than running past you).

Trot backwards on leash and if the dog starts to go around you, change direction so that the dog has to continue following the center of your body, and reel in the leash to your body so that the dog has to come right to your center. When the dog comes to you, feed and praise him for a full 20 to 30 seconds. If your dog loves a favorite toy, you can also use the toy and play with the dog as reward for coming.

Once the dog is doing well with this in a low-distraction area on a 6 foot leash, use a long line (8-10 feet) or go off leash in a FENCED IN YARD  and practice from farther distances. Once the dog is doing well with a farther distance, move out to more distracting areas to practice. If there are distractions and you need to, go back to working from a 6 foot leash and do not move up to the long line until your dog is coming to you reliably from the shorter distance.Just remember the minute you say "come" and your dog ignores you- it's over. Your dog has learned that he can ignore you when you've asked him to come. If he ignores you- you must go get him. If you train this behavior well going from a low distraction to gradually a higher distraction area you should have less error teaching this cue. An off leash dog is often a dead dog. Dogs getting hit by cars are a frequent killer. The best policy for safety is to always leash your dog- especially in the city. If you are in the woods do not let your dog loose unless your dog comes to you reliably all of the time. Many dogs get lost in the woods every day and some do not return.

When working around distractions, any time your dog comes to you despite a powerful distraction such as another dog, a squirrel, a thrown ball, etc., remember to really powerfully reward your dog and give him extra special praise and treats and enthusiasm.
Never call your dog to you for anything he considers unpleasant. If you need to get him in to take him to a bath, for example, it is better to go get the dog, put on his leash and bring him to the bath and say nothing. Always gives lots of praise and treats in these situatio

You can reinforce “come” in many ways. Here are a few great ways:

Come when called round robin with another person. (See video above.)
• “Restrained Recalls” Have someone hold the dog with the leash while you call the dog’s name and run away from her. Run about 10 feet away, then drop to the ground and open your arms and call the dog with your recall cue. The handler should then release the hold on the long-line. Reward your dog exuberantly for 30 seconds when she comes to you. You can also have your handler distract the dog with a food treat or toy, and then call her despite the food distraction. When she comes to you, give her a “jackpot” extra special reward.
• “Toy Chase Recalls” Tease the dog with a favorite toy while another person restrains the dog with the leash. Run away while calling the dog to come to you using your reliable cue. The handler should then let go of the leash, or long-line, and when the dog comes to you reward him by playing with the toy for 30 seconds. This is from (www.mydoghasclass.com Lesson 5 page 3of 4)

What if he does not come when called?

• If you call the dog to you and he does not comply, go and get the dog and bring him to the starting place from where you called him, and try again. If the dog still has trouble complying, go back a few steps. You may be moving too fast, too soon for the dog to understand.

• Make sure you are rewarding the dog heavily for coming to you and increase the value of your food rewards. For example, if you’ve been using kibble, try cut-up hot dogs, freeze-dried liver, cheese, etc. Make sure your praise is enthusiastic, happy, and excited.

• If there is anything around more exciting than you (a dog in another yard or walking, a noise, or a person for example, the dog will not pay attention to you. You have to make yourself more attractive so the dog pays attention to you and not any of the other distractions. Sometimes the only way to be successful at this is to remove the distraction or wait for it to pass. Whatever you do, do not repeat the word “come” repeatedly or he will learn to ignore it.

• If the dog doesn’t come to you, you can grab a favorite toy and play with it excitedly while ignoring the dog, or leave the room or yard for 20 to 30 seconds; you want the dog to think they’ve missed out on something great. If you are practicing when there is another dog around or walking by, and he does not respond to "come", ignore him and walk away.

9. Get your dog the proper exercise from now on.

What breed is your dog? How big is your dog? All dogs need a certain amount of exercise daily. For a young hyper lab or retriever for example, they need at least one 40 minute walk or run a day and another one of at least 20 minutes. Older large dogs and smaller dogs need less but be sure your dog does not have a boring life. That is a number one reason for behavior problems. Consult with your veterinarian about the proper amount of exercise for your dog. If you have a hard time getting your dog tired out and happy teach your dog to retrieve and play fetch. This can be taught to most dogs even those who are not retrievers. Most dogs were bred to hunt, retrieve, pull, chase, herd, etc. If they are not physically stimulated though exercise their needs are not met and they will be less content. A tired dog is often a super good dog! Many of us spend hundreds of dollars a year on gym memberships while our fury companions wait at home bored. Take your dog on a run. That way you can burn calories and get what you need together like the team you are. Then if you still want to- go to the gym.

 10. Give Your Dog Chew Toys!  Do  you have a stuffable indestructible treat toy for your dog that you can stuff every night with a yummy substance? Do you have other chews for your dog? If not it’s time to get some. Chewing is part of a dog’s natural instinct and helps your dog enjoy life and relieve stress. I give my dogs one kong toy with two teaspoons of peabut butter every evening while I eat dinner. This helps them focus less on the smell of my food and more on the great reward they are going to get for laying down and not pestering me during dinner. It works every time. Some dogs have problems with peanut butter but not cheese. You will have to figure out the best food for your chew toys. Even the dog’s regular kibble is fine. Leaving your dog for the day can be a real negative for your dog. Change that to a positive by putting your dog’s entire meal in the kong right before you leave. If a dog has several chewtoys s/he is trained to love, your leaving will not be a bad thing. Most dog anxiety occurs in the first half hour after an owner leaves. Those chew toys can fill that time with a positive activity. This can also help immensely with destructive chewing at home. Be aware that any chew toy left unsupervised poses risk- but so does any  other item in the house that can be chewed. Experiment with chew toys while you are at home first to be sure your dog does not have problems with them. Dogs with powerful jaws can chew a kong in half but usually cannot chew the big black ones in half. Although I gave my dogs chew toys as puppies, I stopped doing it for awhile once they got beyond their destructive chewing phase. It was only upon taking more training classes did I realize the benefits of continuing to give them treat filled toys. Cooked sweet potatoes mashed into a Kong can keep your dog happy for quite a while and s/he will really appreciate it!

Understand rewards are related to both good and poor behavior: If a dog performs a poor behavior (such as getting into the trash at home) and you are not there to prevent it he is getting a reward (the trash) some of the time.  He does not know this is a poor behavior and may have inadvertently been trained, yes by you, that getting into the trash or going on the counter are good behaviors when you are not around.  Getting a reward some of the time will actually make his behavior more likely to do that action- whether it is a behavior you want him to do or not. When training, although you may not be rewarding with treats or toys every time- you can always use praise. If your dog is getting into your trash get a locking trash can immediately. I can suggest several options. It is not your dog’s fault that s/he is going into the trash or chewing shoes. S/he has learned that doing these activities is OK and rewarding when you are not home. Destructive chewing relieves boredom and frustration. If this is occurring refer to the behavior blueprints. Often people will tell me, “My dog gets mad at me so s/he does--- this bad thing. (fill in the blank, it could be chewing furniture, getting into the trash, etc.) Know that dogs only want the good thing to start again and the bad thing to stop. The minute you are out the door the dog often knows, “OK I can do that now. It’s OK because no one said it’s not.” It is difficult to get this concept across but dogs are not doing bad things to get back at their owners. Management of shoes, the counter, the trash, and other things are critical and you must set your dog up for success by controlling access to these forbidden items. It’s not fair to your dog to set him or her up for failure.

11. Ask Everyone in the Household to Make a Commitment to Training.
You and those you live with will need to make a commitment to ensure a successful training program. Simply put, the more time you put into training the more successful your dog will be. Also, the more people living with the dog who are able to come to the course and implement the training correctly, the better it will be. If you cannot get your household members to the course explain what to do when you get home and provide them the reading materials. Spouses and children should always commit to help train. With roommates we realize that can be more difficult. Get as much help as you can. Commit to training your dog initially 10 minutes or so three times a day. Training is a lifelong process for you and your dog to continue to bond and learn together. It should be a fun activity and hobby for you and your dog to do together.

12. Do not use aversive methods. Best Friend Dog Training of VT is committed to stop the use of training methods that have been shown not to work well and have also been used to abuse animals. No aversive methods such as shock collars or physical punishment are permitted with Best Friend Dog Training of Vermont.  For an in-depth article about why punishment does not normally work  read the Dog Star Daily Digital Textbook; Section “After You Get Your Puppy.” Even if you have an adult dog this section of the text explains exactly where punishment goes wrong: You can download it here and the punishment section starts on the bottom of page 51. http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/after-you-get-your-puppy

Also I am completely 100% against shock collars. They are banned in several counties now based on their ineffectiveness and high risk of abuse. Unfortunately dog’s often bolt though electric fences and the other major problem is that when a dog sees another person or animal and gets shocked, s/he often begins to associate the pain of the shock WITH the person or animal they are seeing! This actually creates dog aggression towards these people or other dogs. This is exactly what you do not want. If you are already using an electric fence and it is working for you, don’t go and turn it off based on this. First find an alternative method (chain link or wood fence) then disregard your electric fence once you know your new positive methods is fail proof.  People often use shock collars for training. This is often counterproductive since the timing of the shock is difficult even for the best trainers. It causes your dog pain which can lead to phobias, fear, aggression and a host of other problems. Shock collars can also malfunction creating burns and more pain. Teaching proper verbal commands is much more effective. I encourage you read more about shock collars online or hear what Ian Dunbar has to say about them and a host of other information in this interview  http://www.examiner.com/article/to-shock-or-not-to-shock-there-is-no-question

The following excerpt it from the article above:
“Shock collars are absolutely unsuitable for the general public,” Dr. Dunbar said. “Most people try to use it to control their dogs off-leash.” Dr. Dunbar stated, “Shock collars are not a magic pill.” Comparatively, “With proper training, Voice Control is one hundred times more efficient.”

Dr. Dunbar, whose internationally followed, science-based, positive Lure-Reward training for puppies and adult dogs has replaced outdated and cruel training methods using choke-chains, prong collars, shock collars and physical force, elucidated, “Averse stimulus is not instructive.” Dr. Dunbar affirmed, “Depending on the setting, the shock collar is a form of harassment or abuse.” The goal of dog-training is to phase-out the training tools and rely on life-rewards. “Inexperienced handlers who use shock collars have not trained their dog.” Becoming reliant on the shock collars can develop “Learned Helplessness” in which a repeated averse stimulus traumatizes the dog and prevents any action.

“I find shock collars unnecessary,” concludes Dr. Dunbar. “I would never use them for correcting temperament or behavior problems, dogs that show signs of aggression, hyperactivity, or fear.”

In conclusion, Pat Miller, a highly esteemed Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Certified Professional Dog Trainer, who also provides training clinics and academies for trainers at her Peaceable Paws training facility in Maryland, testifies, “Shock collars give a false sense of security and control to the person pushing the button. Some dogs will continue on their mission despite the pain of the shock and the pain only aggravates and arouses them further.”

“If a dog’s intent is to approach another dog or person, not only may he continue to do so despite the shocks,” Ms. Miller says, “but his initially friendly intent, if it was that, may change to aggression as he associates the presence of the dog or person with the cause of the pain.”

“Although legal in this country, while illegal in others, shock collars are simply and completely unnecessary and inhumane.” Ms. Miller notes, “If a trainer chooses to use a legal pain-causing tool on private property, that is his or her unfortunate choice. But, it should not be approved public policy when a more humane, much safer physical leash does a far better job of protecting humans and dogs alike.”

Understand in order to be well-adjusted pets, dogs need both mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis. The desire to “keep busy” is deeply ingrained in the majority of dogs. Training with positive methods adds an element of mental stimulation that can be done with the dogs after exercise to help meet the dog’s needs. This type of stimulation will have numerous beneficial effects for you, your dog, and your relationship with your dog.

13. Help Dog Reactive Dogs Be More Successful:
If a dog you are walking is barking aggressively towards another dog on a walk, turn around and walk the other way until the dog calms down. Allowing it to continue to walk forward lunging toward the other dog is what it wants, and you are accidentally rewarding a bad behavior. You are better off walking the other direction for a little while until the dog you are walking calms down, or the other dog has passed. Reactive dogs like this can be rewarded when they are further away from other dogs and show signs of doing anything besides reacting to (barking or lunging) toward the other dog.

14. Jumping Dogs:
When a dog jumps up there are several tactics you can take: 1. Tell him “off” and get him to sit immediately. If he continues to jump put him in a sit stay and do not let him jump. Put his leash on and put it very short under your foot until he calms down. If he continues he may need a time out. Whatever you do, do not hurt or knee the dog. Pushing him back down does not always work- ignoring is a more constructive method because the dog gets absolutely no reward from you (including attention.) Try to give him another behavior to perform instead, as soon as he is off of you. A command he knows like sit or down is a good counter behavior. Another tactic some try is to simply turn your back on the dog and ignore him/her until she calms down. If one tactic does not work you must try another. What most happen though is the dog must know s/he is not going to get anything if s/he doesn’t stop jumping.

Other Behaviors to Watch out For:  If you really enjoy rough housing with your dog be sure it does not create or encourage biting or aggression.  Also, don’t allow the dog to grab or chew on you or your clothes, or skin. If you are playing with a dog and his teeth touch your skin be sure the game stops and try to get him calmed down. Turn your side or back to the dog and ignore until he stops the behavior. An overly excited dog may result in this kind of mouthing behavior. If your dog ever bites in play be sure you say loudly, “Ouuuuuch!” and give him a time out from play and attention