The Fundamentals

It's always worth remembering the fundamentals, whether you're training a puppy or an older dog, teaching something new or problem solving an unwanted behaviour the same fundamentals will ALWAYS hold true. Your dog only does 2 things. 1. Tries to get things he likes 2. Tries to avoid things he doesn't like I could go on and on and on about this with 100 examples but every dog is different and the things that one dog likes or doesn't like is not the same for the next dog. You need to learn about YOUR dog and know what things they like and don't like in order to make this work for y...
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Reactive Dogs: Arousal

For those of you with reactive dogs or who are struggling with the walk, impulse control or aggression here's the key. Arousal. Arousal is your enemy. Arousal is the point before the outburst (whatever kind of outburst that may be) when your dog's mental state changes and the body generates adrenaline, the muscles tense up and the dog kicks into fight or flight mode. This moment, immediately prior to the outburst, when the dog becomes aroused, THIS is the point where you need to intervene to de-escalate. You might think your dog is 'just excited' but I can assure you that what you se...
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Will Neutering Fix My Problem?

This can be a hot topic and one which has people coming out strongly in favour of or against this medical procedure. Neutering is the generic term to describe the de-sexing of a dog. For males it's also called castration or for females it's known as spaying. ✂️ What does this have to do with dog training? After all, we train what's between the ears, not what's between the legs! Well, you may or may not be surprised to hear that the same urban myth continues to be shared by the ill informed and uneducated professionals and amateurs alike, online and offline, in parks, training classes ...
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What Are You Allowing?

Left to their own devices, dogs will do what they want to do whenever they want to do it. When dogs live with us as pets, more accurately they will do whatever they're allowed to do, whenever they're allowed to do it. So if you are reluctant to impose boundaries on your dog it's quite likely they will exhibit behaviours which people will find anti-social. Like barking a lot, jumping up on people, mouthing, nipping, soiling indoors, resource guarding, showing aggression towards people or other dogs. Now, there are hardly any people who could honestly say they do not impose any boundaries on ...
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Using Natural Drives

Is your dog chasing birds, rabbits, deer, something else? Is he digging holes all over your garden? Obsessing about something? Our dogs all need to have an outlet for their natural drives and instincts. The drive or instincts of your dog will vary according to their breed and also to their individual temperament. Some of these tendencies can be a real nuisance to us as dog owners and whilst it's possible to reduce or suppress some behaviours in the short term it's also often best if we can find an outlet for our dogs to fulfil these behaviours safely. If your dog is chasing the birds ...
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Driving a Car

Give yourself a break! No one was born with the ability to drive a car. Training and handling dogs is a lot like learning to drive a car. It takes time to develop the ability to press the clutch, steer, check the mirror, change gear, operate the wipers and have a chat with your passenger at the same time. However, over time, with instruction and practice, you learn. It's always good to watch other people you admire as good dog handlers and observe their body posture, their position, where and how they reward their dogs, what they do to motivate them, how they hold the leash, what they...
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The Dance

When we dance as a couple there is a leader (usually the man) and a follower (usually the lady). In order for the dance to be smooth and fluid there must be a leader and a follower. Ladies....this one is for you. If you can dance in hold you will understand exactly what I mean when I say you must trust your partner, you must follow your partner and even when something goes wrong and the steps are not as expected, when you are a team together you will go with the flow and dance through it and no one will know there was an error. When you are learning to dance and your partner doesn't know...
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The Walk

Top 5 Tips for Getting The Walk Right 1. A well fitting collar and lead is the first thing, or a slip lead, but not a harness which is designed to help dogs pull. 2. Make sure the dog is calm and attentive before you leave the house. 3. Changes of pace and changes of direction will help keep your dog focused on you instead of the exciting smells. 4. Keep your leash short, only enough length for your dog to be right next to you 5. Walk at a smart pace. The walk is for exercise!
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Timing is Key

Whether you're trying to build a new behaviour or stop an old one, timing is key! When we use a clicker to mark a behaviour - like a shutter of a camera capturing a moment - we must take care as the dog is watching our every move. It's critical that we firstly mark the behaviour we want as it happens (click!) and THEN move to reach for the reward. The same applies when marking unwanted behaviour. The mark ("No!") must come before the consequence you are trying to pair it with. If your timing is off, or you don't reward or apply consequences CONSISTENTLY (and we've covered consist...
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