November 28, 2009

up up and away

up up and away

Emotional “Hello’s and Goodbye’s” are when you greet your dog or say goodbye to your dog in an excited way.

Many people don’t know that by “you” displaying this excitable behaviour you are teaching your dog, directly and indirectly all sorts of things, usually the wrong things, like jumping on you, being overexcited, maybe urinating, chewing, digging, barking, separation anxiety and other obedience and control problems…

If you would like the rest of this blog post, first subscribe to this website, then use the comment form below to explain your dogs behavioural issues (along with your email) I will email you the rest of the blog

Following the advice is not going to be easy, because you have to adjust to your dogs needs and learning capacity, but if you can follow the advice then you are a true dog person- putting your dogs needs- ahead of your own.

Spray Correction Collars

November 25, 2009


Many years ago, I was contacted by a company to test a new correction collar that didn’t involve a shock but used citronella spray as a correction.  I was sent both a bark spray collar and a remote spray collar. I quickly realized these were much better than the shock collars that were being used at that time. People bought shock collars because they thought it was a “quick fix” solution to behavioral and obedience problems, and for many reasons they were more trouble than they were worth.  You can read more of my thoughts about shock collars  here>: SHOCK COLLARS

Back to my story. I tested the spray collars and thought they were great! The spray doesn’t just directly affect one of a dog’s senses (like the shock does) but four of them, which is why they are more effective than the shock collars.  When sprayed, they can see it (it’s a mist) the can feel it (under the chin) they can hear it (pssst!) and they can smell it (citronella).  The remote collar set-up worked great for stopping the more difficult behaviors, like digging, chewing, jumping on the other side of the door (to name a few).

There are 3 buttons on the hand-held remote, and when you press the first button, it emits a double beep sound on the collar. The second button emits a short duration of spray (1 second). The third button emits a longer duration of spray (2 seconds).

I thought this is great; you can vary your correction or re-direction by warning them first with the beep sound and because many dogs are sensitive to sound, the beep was the correction, so you didn’t need to spray. If the dog didn’t respond to the beep, the short and longer spray could be used.  Those dogs quickly learn the beep was a warning to the more startling spray correction, then after a few beep and spray experiences, the “beep” became the correction. The collars are only part of the behavior modification process, I also incorporated a re-direction reward after the beep or spray marker. I also made sure the dogs had plenty of time to be dogs and get exercised and understand at least five obedience commands, because a tired dog is less likely to display behavioral problems and a smart dog learns not only what to do, but what they’re not supposed to do.

After my evaluation input,  the company (Premier Pet Products) wrote in the instruction book to use the beep as a positive sound, letting the dog know that when they hear the beep it’s a good thing.  There was also no mention of the redirection follow through reward, which to me is the most important part.  When I read that in the instruction manual, I knew the testing from other trainers who gave input was not done properly nor did they read or take my input seriously.  Too bad, because many dogs get sprayed when there is no need, and what a waste of the proper use for the beep sound.  I haven’t read their instruction booklet in several years, I wonder if changes were made?

Today, I rarely use these collars but it’s nice to have them on hand when I run into the more difficult cases.  I can see however, where a few people can benefit from using them, as long as they understand the right way and take all the other steps needed.  If you ever purchase a remote spray collar, I don’t recommend using the beep as a reward marker as per instructions.  That’s what a “Clicker” or the word “Good” is for.

Top Tweets

November 10, 2009

I’ve posted over 1800 tweets on twitter and have over 5000 followers.  The 10 tweets listed below are ones that other people have either responded to or re-tweeted to their followers.

1. NEVER use laser pointers as a chase game for dogs! It may be entertaining 2 U, but it literally drives dogs crazy! Really!..Warning About Laser Pointers

2. If you’re wondering if you should get a dog or not? I say, Don’t Get A Dog ….(DON\’T GET A DOG)

3. You’re saying “goodbye, be a good doggy”, they hear nah nah I’m leaving you all alone, all by… (NO EMOTIONAL HELLO’S)

4. Pointing only gets them to look at your finger, it’s not until they’re trained do they know what your pointing at.

5. Around 5 MILLION dogs and cats (in U.S.) are euthanized each year. Leave breeding 2 professionals. Spay /neuter your pet!

6. Dogs are unaware of the dangers and social expectations within the human world. It’s your job to educate them

7. It’s just a tennis ball to us, to them it’s NIRVANA!

8.  Your dog’s mind is a terrible thing to waste, educate, don’t dominate

9. For many years I’ve questioned the veterinarian immunization schedule for dogs because I believe immunizations can…(SHORTNING A DOGS LIFE)

10. Why the pack leader mentality 4 training and living with your dog is out of date and inappropriate. The dog training…(Old vs. New)

A few of my favorites:

Little dogs don’t know they’re little but owners keep trying to convince them they are.

A dogs “G” spot is behind the ears, the chest or tummy and right b 4 the tail on their back.

A dog living in the backyard will only learn things that will keep them there.

Follow me @ MalibuDogTrainr