‘Tough Love’ Painting by Gabriele – http://www.ipaintyourpet.net
Timing is everything! Dogs will only recognize the meaning of a reward or a correction if the time between them is very short. Most behaviorists say that one must deliver feedback within a second of the behavior. This is not only because dogs have a short attention span and memory. If you like him to sit but don’t give feedback the second he puts his bottom down, he might be already back up. In that case it’s better to not reward at all then to reward the wrong behavior. Move the treat out of sight and say “UH OH!” Then ask him to sit again and reward immediately. Rewarding or correcting your dog immediately also teaches him to act fast and not hesitate when a command is given.
Consistency is another must. Mixed messages confuse dogs and can make them anxious and non responsive.
Can he jump up at you or not? If you allow him to greet you by jumping up at you, but yell at him if he does the same comming back from a muddy run, what message are you giving him?
This goes for anyone handling your dog which is sometimes hard to enforce. Especially people who don’t have dogs, need to be educated unless you want to spend hours un-training the bad behavior. In my experience this is especially difficult around food. Because dogs can be incredible cute and persistent around the good smells of home cooking, it is difficult to keep people from feeding him with table scraps. Unless you don’t mind your dog getting obnoxious as soon as you sit down for your dinner, you need to be as firm with your friends as with your dog. A good trick is telling them your dog is allergic to people food.
Using consistent commands is also important. Dogs can, with training, associate the word ‘come’ with coming to you. But it confuses them when you have taught them the word ‘come’ but then ask them to ‘come here’ or ‘here’ . What in the world does ‘here’ mean, he might think.
One of the biggest mistakes is to punish your dog when he finally comes back to you after you told him to do so for the last ten minutes. Grind your teeth and reward him for coming back at all. If you yell at him you will have taught him that it was a mistake to come back and he will stay away longer next time. (By the way, a good trick to get your dog to come to you, if he is not yet properly trained, is running away from him. If you run after him he’ll think it just a fun game, if you run in the opposite direction he’ll want to follow you. Have your treat ready when he does.)
Most dogs react more to the tone of voice than what is said. Try saying ‘Good Boy’ in an angry voice or ‘Bad Dog’ in a high pitched happy voice and you know what I mean.
“Olds dogs can be cloudy-eyed and grouchy, gray of muzzle, graceless of gait, eccentric of habit, hard of hearing, wheezy, lazy, and lumpy. But anyone who has ever loved an old dog, these things are of little consequence. Old dogs are sweetly vulnerable. They show exorbitant gratitude and limitless trust. They are funny in new and unexpected ways. But above all, they seem at peace.” -Gene Weingarten
Most dog trainers recommend the use of a clicker to train a dog. This is a simple device that produces a clicking sound if pressed. The idea is that your dog will quickly understand that each time he hears a click, he will get rewarded. This way you can mark the exact behavior you want your dog to repeat with a click, which is easy for your dog to understand. The click provides a bridge between the reward and your dog’s behavior. A click promises a reward even from a distance or with short delay and encourages the dog to think and figure out what you want, so he will actively participate and enjoy his lesson.
In the beginning a clicking sound will mean nothing to your dog, although he may look up to see what is making the noise. You need to teach him that the click is positive, rewarding, and worth responding to.
Start by showing your dog that you have treats, so you have his attention. Hold the clicker in one hand and the treat in the other. Click and treat. Keep repeating this, aiming to click when your dog is looking at you. You can try throwing a treat on the floor, clicking once just before your dog eats it. Keep repeating.
If your dog already knows a trick, you can test if he understands that click equals reward.
If he can sit on command for example, say sit, click as he does so and reward once he is sitting. Move away; repeat the command, click, reward, and so on.
Once your dog understands that the click always means a reward, you have a vast array of possibilities at your finger tips. Simply wait until a natural behavior happens, like a leg stretch or a head shake, click, then give him a treat. Your dog will soon try to recreate the action that resulted in the reward. For example, if he does not know how to sit on command, be ready to click when he sits down naturally. Repeat the next time and so on. Your dog will soon make the connection. Once he does, add a voice command.
A few tricks to know:
– Only click once at one time even if you give lots of treats.
– Add a voice command only after he understands the trick.
– Always reward your dog after a click but have him guessing how many treats he gets and when. Sometimes give him a handful for doing particularly well and occasionally ask for two or tree repetitions of a move before rewarding.
– Don’t always click at the end of a behavior, as this will teach your dog to always stop at this point. For example, on circle moves, sometimes click after half a revolution, sometimes after one and a half circles.
Source: Dog Tricks by Mary Ray and Justine Harding
Heatstroke in dogs:
Dogs do not sweat through their skin like humans – they release heat primarily by panting and they sweat through the foot pads and nose. If a dog cannot effectively expel heat, the internal body temperature begins to rise. Once the dog’s temperature reaches 106°, damage to the body’s cellular system and organs may become irreversible.
All dogs can get heatstroke, but geriatric dogs and short nosed dogs like English Bulldog, Pekingese, Boston Terrier, Bullmastiff, Shih Tzu, and Pomeranien are more susceptible.
• Vigorous panting
• Dark red gums
• Tacky or dry mucus membranes
• Lying down and unwilling to get up
• Collapse and/or loss of consciousness
• Thick saliva
• Dizziness or disorientation
What to do:
Move your dog out of the heat and away from the sun right away.
Begin cooling your dog by placing cool, wet rags or washcloths on the body – especially the foot pads and around the head. DO NOT use ice or very cold water! When the body temperature reaches 103°, stop cooling.
Offer your dog cool water, but do not force water into your dog’s mouth. He could choke on it.
Call or visit your vet right away – even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye.
• NEVER leave your dog alone in the car on a warm day, regardless of whether the windows are open. Even if the weather outside is not extremely hot, the inside of the car acts like an oven – temperatures can rise to dangerously high levels in a matter of minutes.
• Avoid vigorous exercise on warm days. When outside, opt for shady areas.
• Keep fresh cool water available at all times.
Drop some of your dogs favorite kibble into each well of an ice cube tray, fill with water and freeze. Watch your dog slurping it up to get to the treat. This is great summer fun and also good for teething puppies
Nearly all dogs (and cats for that matter) love having their ears rubbed. Ears are one of a handful of nerve centers on a dog’s body that are extra sensitive to touch. It’s pretty hard to rub dogs’ ears in ways they dislike. To launch them straight to cloud nine, however, you need to hit as many of the nerves as you can. Starting at the base of the ear, hold the flap between your thumb and forefinger, Dr. Makowski suggests. Very gently pull the ear straight out from your dogs head, letting your fingers slide as you go. If you do that about four times, moving your fingers each time so they slide over a different section of the ear, you’ll hit just about every hot spot, and your dog will be very, very happy.
Source: The Secret lives of Dogs