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Kathy Sdao Reward-Training Seminar will Rock Your World

(See the end of this post for a coupon!)

Why are reward trainers so sure that their methods are the more humane way to train? Because reward-based training works, and it works well, without harming or intimidating the dog.

But to get the best results with rewards, you need to know what you’re doing. The devil’s in the details when it comes to reinforcement. The more you know about training with rewards, the faster and more stress-free learning will be.

Reward trainers who only sort of know what they are doing just give fuel to the myth that training with rewards is somehow inferior. Don’t be that kind of trainer! Come to the Kathy Sdao Get SMART seminar on how to effectively use reinforcement on March 5-6, 2009 in Seattle, Washington.
Continue reading Kathy Sdao Reward-Training Seminar will Rock Your World

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How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

81-year-old singer Patti Page is my new hero.  You probably know her song, “How Much is That Doggie in the Window?”

Well…she’s decided to re-release the song, but has changed the lyrics to reflect the changing times and to promote her book, “This Is My Song.” She’s given the Humane Society of the US permission to use the lyrics to advertise their cause.

Here are the new lyrics, sung, of course, to the same tune of “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?”

Continue reading How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

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Clicker Trained Dogs take over Christmas!

This amazing video was made by a group of clicker trainers in Hungary. Just look at how happy and excited the dogs are.  They are really enjoying themselves! They’re also doing complex tasks from a distance.   

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, if you love dogs, you’ll enjoy watching these well-trained dogs and appreciate the power of clicker training!
Continue reading Clicker Trained Dogs take over Christmas!

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Marley & Me – Marley Needs Positive Dog Training!

If you see the movie “Marley and Me,” you’ll note that Marley is unruly to say the least. In the Real World, Marley might not have had a happy ending. How could we make him a better fit for a regular family?

Read the following press release from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers to learn more about Marley and how his family could benefit from positive dog training.
Continue reading Marley & Me – Marley Needs Positive Dog Training!

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Snow is Dog Cocaine

If you live in or near Seattle, you know that it snowed in the Puget Sound last night. We woke up to inches of blissful snow!  Almost nobody is driving.  I even saw two buses that are stuck on the road next to my house.

If you have a puppy, you should be especially happy about the snow. If you aren’t off of work because of the snow already, you should go home to take this chance to be with your puppy.

Continue reading Snow is Dog Cocaine

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Holiday/Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dogs

Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season can be dangerous for dogs. Cooked bones, especially turkey & chicken, can splinter and cause choking or intestinal problems, even death. While most of us know not to feed it to the dog on purpose, your guests may not know this or your dog may get bones out of the trash.
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Walking or Hiking Off Leash With Your Dog?

Walking your dog off leash is like picking your nose, but more dangerous.

Both are something that no one else should have to see you doing.  Okay, it’s not quite the same – dogs LOVE to be off leash, and it’s a lot of fun.  If you know the dog is safe, it’s enjoyable to watch.  But some people are afraid of dogs, some are allergic, and some dogs don’t like other dogs. And picking your nose isn’t against the law. On a trail, when the people you meet don’t know you and your dog, and vice versa, it’s important that leash your dog up as soon as you know they might be in contact with another person.

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Training Your Dog for Distractions (or Prepping Your VP)

We want our dogs to respond to us in any kind of situation.  When training their dogs to behave in the face of big distractions, people tend to make a few key errors and throw their dogs in over their heads. A solid understanding of the principles of positive dog training might also help Sarah Palin prepare for interviews.

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Pit Bull Breed Ban versus Dog Safety Legislation

Is there a middle ground between banning pit bulls in Seattle and ignoring the fact that attacks like the recent awful, terrible, scary mauling of a 71-year-old woman keep happening, by dogs reported to be pit bulls? I think so. It’s not enough to target pit bulls.  We need to prevent aggression from all breeds.   I don’t think we should settle for protecting Seattle against pit bulls. Legislation should apply to all dog breeds, whenever possible, for the most possible protection.

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April 2008 Newsletter

Hi folks! In May, I’m going to redesign several of the classes, including Puppy & the Basic and Better Manners classes. If you have taken any of those classes and are interested in helping us teach more effectively, I’d love your feedback. I need ideas on what you liked as well as what you didn’t. If you didn’t finish the class, why not? If you continued to the next class, why? Were you happy that you did? Just reply to this email with ideas. Thanks!

Continue reading April 2008 Newsletter

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What to Do When a Dog Refuses to Walk

Is your dog a stubborn Donkey Dog? A lot of dogs pull forward on leash, but some dogs and many puppies pull *backward* or refuse to walk. This happens to French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs all the time! Pulling harder or luring with a treat only makes the problem worse, so what should you do to help your dog or puppy get moving?!

Continue reading What to Do When a Dog Refuses to Walk

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Clicker Training – Reliability in Action

I just made a quick video of my dog, Peanut, at Magnuson Off Leash Park in Seattle. I have him do the same chain of ten behaviors twice in a row: wait, spin, jump, heel, left turn, right turn, wait, come, sit, and carwash. There are a few dogs that Peanut just met at the dog park, for distraction.

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Dog Fences: Invisible vs. Visible

I’ve been asked by dog training clients several times about my opinion on the Invisible Fence. The short answer is that I really, really don’t like shock fencing; I think it’s inhumane. Watch the video below, which shows several humans wearing a shock collar, for an indication of what it might be like for a dog to wear a shock collar. Continue reading Dog Fences: Invisible vs. Visible

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Comfort Trainer head halter – fitting

If you have tried a harness and that’s not enough to safely walk your dog, the Comfort Trainer head collar is a great way to reclaim your walk from your pulling dog. The collar portion of the Comfort Trainer head collar should fit fairly snugly, but not as tight as you might fit for the Gentle Leader. You want the collar on tight enough that if the nose portion does come off, the collar itself stays on. Continue reading Comfort Trainer head halter – fitting

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Dogs on the Bus in Seattle (King County)

Seattle is a very dog-friendly city. Dogs can even ride the bus in Seattle, you just may have to pay for it. If you have a puppy, the bus is a lovely way to socialize your dog will lots of different people. Bringing a dog on the bus changes the dynamic – even the “normal” people on the bus will talk to you if you have a puppy!

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Crate Training for Dogs Using Targeting

I wrote a different article about Crate Training Puppies and Dogs last week. Take a look at it before you read this one, if you haven’t done so already.

Many dogs can be crate trained faster by using targeting. With targeting, you first teach the dog to touch a target and then eventually put that target into the crate. Then you can put “getting into the crate” on cue. Continue reading Crate Training for Dogs Using Targeting

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How to Get Your Dog Comfortable in a Head Collar

There are many different brands of head collars for dogs these days. Popular dog head halter brands are Gentle Leader, Halti, NewTrix, and the ones that we carry on our website, the Comfort Trainer and the K9 Bridle. Head collars give you a lot of control, but dog’s can take several weeks to get used to them. This post gives instructions desensitize your dog to a head collar.  I also have a blog post with fitting instructions for the Comfort Trainer. Continue reading How to Get Your Dog Comfortable in a Head Collar