TIP OF THE DAY – HOW TO MAKE PUTTING ON A COLLAR AN ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCE POUGHKEEPSIE DOG TRAINER

Losing the battle before the war starts –

Is the procedure of taking your dog out becoming more of a burden than an enjoyment? Are you finding that you dread taking a dog outside but it’s not the outside part that bothers you? Many people contact me in Poughkeepsie, NY and they state that they have issues such as leash reaction, fear aggression, aggression, etc. but will probably never address that first comes having a battle with the dog while trying to put their collar on them.

So you have to take your dog out to go to the bathroom or you want to go on a trip with them or maybe even hike with them. You call your dog with the collar in your hands and he doesn’t come to you or he does come to you. But when he can see it, he’s jumping he’s moving not staying still, sort of like trying to catch a jumping bean, making yourself tired before you even go outside. You try to wrestle with your dog and then after going through all of that fight you are still struggling outside. Your dog jumps, pulls, and barks at other dogs. You are asking yourself why this is happening, what can you do to stop this behavior. Essentially you are losing the battle before the war starts.

Everyone wants the perfect dog but a lot of times they miss the small pieces. By small pieces I mean calling your dog and having them come to you, then putting a collar on your dog while they are calm. If you start out on the right path you will continue on the same path. If you start out bad then things will only get worse and worse. So if you can’t put a collar on your dog, there is no way you going to build to have control over your dog outside.

Make an event a good experience, not a bad one –

Have you ever drove with a friend and they drive in such a way that it makes you car sick? Afterward, you don’t want to do that again, well dogs are the same way. If you make something a bad experience, then that’s what it will always be for them. But if you make something fun and enjoyable things will be a lot easier.

The following three steps will help to make a good experience before you even walk out of the door.

  1. Call your dog to you – One of the biggest mistakes is owners will go to the dog to put the collar on. Step one: call your dog and have them come to you.
  2. Reward before – Put each end of the collar in your hands and when your dog is next to you, reward your dog by rubbing them with both hands, make sure your dog is calm and staying still for you.
  3. Reward after – Clip whichever collar you decide to use (flat collar, E-collar, prong collar, fur saver, etc.) and then repeat step two: with both hands reward your dog by rubbing them. Now you will be ready to go outside and have some fun.
Poughkeepsie Dog Trainer

Poughkeepsie Dog Trainer

The following two steps will help to make a good experience after you come back home from your outdoor activity.

  1. Reward before – Before you take the collar off after coming back home. Reward your dog by rubbing them with both hands. Once again make sure they are calm when you give them this reward.
  2. Reward after – Unclip whichever collar you had on your dog. Then repeat step one: with both hands reward your dog by rubbing them and still holding on to the collar with both hands. At that time you may release them with whatever command you normally use.

After doing this for many weeks and many months that experience they were having before, or should I say the battle you were having before, will cease to exist and pleasure will emerge for both you and your dog. This is what I like to call the magic trick, between the two reward rubbings. You are sliding in putting on/off the collar with tons of goodness, just as a magician does sleight-of-hand.

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TIP OF THE DAY – WHAT CAN I USE FOR FOOD REWARD? – Poughkeepsie Dog Trainer

Why use food?

Dogs are like any other animals on this planet, they have certain needs and desires. When we train dogs we need to know what motivates them. Depending on the situation such as that the dog has insecure issues or more interests in toys, the majority of the time you begin to use food as a tool for training new obedience of behavior. If the dog responds to this reward, it is commonly known as “food drive.” Food drive is defined as the dog’s willingness to do behaviors for food. Some dogs have very strong food drive, to the point that you have fed them a few hours prior and they will still go crazy when they see more food. Then there are dogs who need a little bit of buildup in their food drive.

How do we build up food drive?

The way you to build up food drive is very simple. You cut back on the amount of food that you give your dog daily. This will build up the interest in the food more than before. If you feed your dog 3 cups a day, then you will go down to two and half cups or even 2 cups a day. It is very common for people to over feed their dog and many times it is not their fault. Owners will go by the back of the bag of dog food and comply with the instructions written there. The instructions on the back will state to feed a certain amount and many times that is way too much.

There are no free meals?

One of the best ways to grade the behavior that you want is to have the dog work for food as stated earlier. So keep the mindset that the dog will only get fed when you work them. If the dog does not want to work for food, then they will not eat. Please keep in mind this is not all a cruel method, it is up to the dog.

What are the types of treats that we can use for training?

Poughkeepsie Dog Trainer - Happy Howie's

Poughkeepsie Dog Trainer – Happy Howie’s

No matter what food you use for training please keep in mind that the size is very important. For example, it is better to feed a treat that is very small so that they could eat it and go back to training. If you give them a treat that is too big then it will take a minute or so to eat. This will delay the training and shorten the amount of reps done. In training, reps are a vital component in creating a new behavior or command.

The size of the treat should be no bigger than a dime. This will be small enough that you can hide it in your hand for luring and quick enough that they could eat it fast. Even the treats that you slice up should be that size.

Poughkeepsie Dog Trainer - Zukes

Poughkeepsie Dog Trainer – Zukes

The following are treats that you can use or food that you can use.

  1. Kibble or dry food that you are already feed your dog.
  2. Zukes
  3. Dog cookies that are broken up in smaller pieces
  4. Rolled up treats such as “Happy Howie” cut up into small pieces

Using food will help you in the success of creating better behaviors and obedience, particularly after combining that with reps. Working today will create a better dog tomorrow.

Want to learn more and train with Poughkeepsie top dog trainer?  Contact us today: