Saturday, 8 February 2014

Who Says You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

To quote the rock band Chicago, they say it's a hard habit to break.  Perpetually stereotyping employment, marriage, and singularity: Age is but a hindrance but not for long. With approximately 15 minutes of training daily for 2 weeks straight, according to The Animal Planet, even the most stubborn dogs will give in.  These enduring canines will sit, roll over, and do whatever your heart desires. All you need is a strong sense of consistency, and a mouthful of patience under your sleeve. 

In order to make this a quick fix, the trainers (or owners) should develop a positive attitude.  To feel frustrated and angry will not help at all. As a matter of fact, pets somehow feel how their owners experience; and that would not speed up the progress for even a bit.  As for the owner's side, unreasonable expectations should not be made for their pets. Unlike children sent to school for a 12-year formal education to get the basics, it is quite irrational to invest an uptight 12-week course for your dog to acquire the desired behavior, and earn the respect and discipline needed. Remember: all relationships require a bit of work.

It also involves recognizing the dog's previous training, then deciding on what certain applicable and viable changes are needed for a greater effect. You highlight the dog after a day's work with plenty of rewards such as treats, and verbal praises such as patting him on the head for doing a good job. Take it nice and easy, as not to shock and confuse the pet. It is necessary to change the behavior in small steps rather than a complete change all at one time.

However, there is a difference. One has to put in mind that training an older dog is remembering that this dog has, most expected, to having been trained once. This means that it has an established thinking as to what acceptable behaviors are, and what behaviors are most not welcomed. It takes a great deal of endurance to train an older dog, and should be at the very least regular to receive the best outcome.

But do keep in mind that although the owner is the master, the dog still is an individual, as in it has its own personality; so a little give-and-take affiliation will not hurt. The key is to enjoy the whole teaching-an-old-dog-new-tricks activity, as you build a better relationship with him. That is the sole purpose of dog obedience training.

What you give is what you get; therefore being the educator, you are responsible for the way your pet responds. Dogs are social creatures, and are among of the most loyal. If you have a senior dog around who needs a bit of a push, do not fret; all you need is give your little furry friend some feisty motivation.  Who ever said you can't teach old dogs new tricks?

That saying is meant to be taken more literally to humans, for we've got a lot of habits that are harder to break.

Useful Dog Obedience Training Tips

Okay, so you just bought that cute female puppy that you've been eyeing on for months. Now, what are you planning to do with her? Are you thinking about teaching her new tricks? If you are, then as early as now, you must accustom her to being handled for grooming and veterinary care so she'll respond nicely. Whenever you have free time, take her in your lap and gently brush her.

Speak to her softly and say words like, "That feels good, doggie, right?" Then, stroke her paws and simply run your fingers through her. That way she will learn that touch is pleasant and not something that is frightening. Once you are able to handle her well, it will not be that difficult to start teaching her new tricks like making her obey your "sit", "wait or stay", and "do not jump" commands. Anyway, here are some useful dog obedience training tips for you. 

For the "Sit" Command

This is actually one of the easiest tricks to teach and often the most useful. Since your pet is still a puppy, as early as now, you must teach her how to obey the sit command because it is a great way to reinforce your status as her leader. How to do it? First, you have to get her attention. Start by showing her a treat and then slowly move it upward in a way that she has to raise her head for her to see it further. You'll notice that in order to do this, she will move into a sitting position, just like most dogs do. If she doesn't do this, slowly push down on her rump while you move your hand back over the head to give her the idea. And once she's on that sitting position, give her the treat. 

For the "Stay or Wait" Command

This one can be more difficult than the sit command as dogs tend to move a lot. To teach your dog to wait or stay, simply place her in a sitting position. Then, hold up your hand, on which the flat of your palm is towards her face, and tell her to wait or stay. Now, move a few steps backward. If she stays where she is, give her words of praise, like "Good girl or good doggie!" But if she moves towards you or away, do not shout at her or punish her. Just put her back in position and start all over again.

For the "Do not jump" Command

A jumping puppy is very cute to look at, but when her size has doubled and she still does a lot of jumping, it will not be too fun at all. So, you must replace that jumping behavior with the sit command. Instead of pushing her away, simply pivot so that she misses you and then tell her to sit. When she obeys, give her praise or a simple treat.

These are just some useful dog obedience training tips that you can keep in mind. Take note, your puppy will be more lovable if she learns how to obey your simple commands.

Training Sniffing Dogs

Do you ever wonder how dogs find criminals in a passenger ship? It's simple: by sniffing. They are called detection or sniffer dogs. Trained to detect people and substances, through their senses, such as explosives, illegal drugs and blood; almost always the sense of smell, which is two thousand times much stronger, and fifty times more sensitive than that of a human's. In addition to sensitivity, a dog's sense of smell is pricky.

It can discern a specific scent; meaning it can recognize cheese in a fish and vegetable market thousand miles away from where it is standing. Hunting dogs that search for game and search dog that search for missing humans are generally not considered dogs. However, there is some confusion with cadaver dogs, only trained to detect human remains.

As to not make a fuss, they are taught to learn two kinds of alerting: the passive and the aggressive. Drug dogs use an aggressive alert, where they dig and paw at the spot where the smell the dugs. On the other hand, there are some cases where this kind of alert would be bad news. Placed in a situation where bombs are included, scratching can be very disastrous. In these cases, a passive alert is used.

A good example for this type are the beagles used by the Department of Agriculture where the dogs are trained to sniff out produces that are not allowed to enter the country. The Beagle Brigade, as how they are called, sniffs people's luggage while they wait in lines at airports and border crossings. In other countries, some also are used in emergency search actions. Because no one wants a dog digging in their belongings, the USDA beagles have been trained to simply sit down when they are able to smell it.

Trainers have come up with a strategy for dogs employed to sniff out drugs. On odd cases, they seem to eat them when they have found the illegal substance. Is it because they are addicted to those drugs themselves? In fact, the dogs have absolutely no interest in drugs. What they are actually looking for is their favorite toy. In an article found in, the "toys" that are mostly often used are white towels. Since dogs love to play this vigorous game of tug-of-war, they have generated the "White Towel Game" idea.

To begin the training, the handler simply plays with the dog using a towel, which has been washed carefully to appear null and without scent for the trainee. Later, a bag of marijuana, for instance, is rolled up inside the towel.

After playing for a while, the dogs starts to recognize the smell of the drug as the smell of his favorite toy. The handler then hides the towel, with the drug, in various places. Whenever the dog sniffs out the drugs, he digs and scratches, trying to get his toy. He soon comes to learn that if he sniffs out the smell of drugs, as soon as he finds them, he'll be rewarded with a game of tug-of-war.

As training progresses, different drugs are placed in the towel, until the dog is able to sniff out a host of illegal substances. The same method is used for bomb-detection dogs, except various chemicals used to manufacture explosives are placed in the towel instead of drugs.

Training Dog Obedience Using Hand Signals

Are you doing some dog obedience training to fix your dog's behavior problems? If you are, then you must use hand signals in addition to verbal commands that you want your pet to follow. The hand signals work most of the time, especially when your pet cannot hear you. Actually, these are more effective ways to ensure your dog pays close attention to you even from a couple of meters away, as long as it can see you.

And these are what trainers of agility dogs and hunting dogs use to control the actions of these dogs while in the field. By using the right hand signals during dog training, they can make the dogs turn left or right, go fast, stop, or stay put. Now, you can also do these to your pet without using verbal commands. Learn these first three hand signals and teach them to your dog while doing dog obedience training.

1. For the "sit" command, here's the hand signal: bend your arm upwards at the elbow and then raise your hand with fist closed up to your head's side while you command your dog to sit simultaneously. Keep on doing these hand movements while commanding your dog to sit. Later on, your pet will soon learn how to associate the hand signal with your vocal command. Now, if you are not able to get your dog's attention the first time you try the hand signal, don't punish it. Instead, keep trying or better yet, make sure you have a leash in your left hand. 

2. For the "down" command, the hand signal is just like when you are asking someone to sit down at the same time saying, "Have a seat." To teach your dog the hand signal for down, you need to hold your arm out towards your pet and then lower your hand, on which your palm faces down towards the floor. While doing this, give the "down" command, and your dog will follow your hand signal into the down position. Just like in the sit hand signal, keep repeating this until your dog learns to associate the lowering of your hand towards the floor as part of the "down" command.

3. For the "stay" command, first, put your dog into the sit or down position. Afterwards, hold out your arm towards your pet, with your palm's position similar to that of a policeman who's using hand signal to stop traffic. And just like in the previous two commands, do this at the same time command your dog to "stay", with your firm tone of voice. If at first, your dog does not follow, try it again until he recognizes that hand signal means "down".

Using hand signals can really do a lot when training your dog. Although you may find it difficult to make your dog obey at first, don't give up, but instead keep repeating the signals until it understands what you are trying to communicate. Take note that if you are consistent and thorough in showing your pet those hand signals, the faster it will respond. 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Labrador dogs for people

Max B (age 4)

People who have once owned Labradors tend to be spoiled for any other type of dog. Most breeds have their devoted followers but few have such a large and enthusiastic fan club as Labradors, the most numerous breed in much of the Western world.

When you think of the appealing things about dogs, you will find that all of them are present to an extraordinary degree in the Labrador breed. They are loving, loyal companions. They are friendly and good with children. They are intelligent, good-natured guide dogs for the blind. They have undying optimism and unquenchable love for the human race. They will fetch balls and sticks with undimmed enthusiasm until they drop dead with exhaustion if that is what you require of them.

In other words, they are archetypal dogs, and that applies to their appearance as well as their nature. In fact, it seems that when a cartoonist sketches a picture of a dog, he will more often than not find that his sketch resembles a Labrador. Think about one of James Thurber’s floppy, seal-like creations or of Brian the talking dog in Family Guy. They are both clearly Labradors, although Brian’s sarcastic spirit is definitely not typical of the breed. If Labradors could talk they would most certainly not be issuing wise-cracks or put-downs. 

In addition to their sublime dogginess, Labradors have some unusual features associated with their history as working dogs. They derive from a species of water dog, the St John’s Water Dog, first bred in Newfoundland to help with fowling and fishing. Because of this heritage, Labradors are excellent and enthusiastic swimmers, and they even have webbed toes to help. In the early days of the breed, there is a record of a dog observed paddling its paw in the water, in order to attract fish. Webbed toes also help Labradors in snowy weather, when they prevent the discomfort caused to some breeds when snow balls up between their toes. A further helpful feature for the wet is their unusual short, thick coat, which repels water.
While a Labrador is to many people the perfect dog, there are a couple of things (but only a couple) to be aware of when choosing one as a pet.

They were bred as working dogs, as retrievers for hunting and fishing. To remain fit, therefore, they need plenty of exercise: two half hour walks per day is the very minimum. They tend to shed hair, and in a temperate climate they can do this almost constantly. They will over-eat if given the chance, so follow any product guidelines on feeding your Labrador; otherwise the dog may become fat, with a negative impact on its health and well-being. Apart from that, the breed has few of the health problems which can plague pure-bred dogs.

All in all, it is really quite hard to think of much wrong with them. The happy love affair between Labradors and the human race is all set to continue.

For more details on dogs/Labradors care click here! It's a great site to learn all about them and more.

By Carol B 28th Jan 2014

My Millennium Dog Amber B (may angels give you wings)

Amber B ( 1st Jan 2000 - 14 July 2012)
About a Labrador Dog - Amber B:

There once was a dog named Amber B, she was a lovely Labrador who loved every one back. Her coat was soft and shone gold like the sun. Her favorite food was anything that was yours or her James Wellbeloved dog food. She was a happy and lazy dog at times but would always greet you with her puppy like eyes and tail wagging. One of her favorite things to do was make you chase after her when she has a toy, or go swimming and jump in off a hill about meter high, so she jumps in like a rabbit with a for paws sticking out. My sweet dog would even bound around when you mention 'Walkies' and grab the nearest pair of boots for you.
I remember when i first got my dog from my parents and how much my family and sister loved her like it was yesterday. A dog's love for others tends to be grater than the love they have for themselves. They truly are mankind's best friends. Even though mine has gone now before her time, I would recommend the experience of owning a dog to anyone just looking for a friendship that I believe will never end.

She learned many things in her millennium including:

  • Give a paw or other paw or take it to (mum)
  • Lay down and take up as much floor space as possible
  • Sit and listen and speak
  • Beg (though rarely used)
  • Stay and watch t.v (though prefers going out or play time)
  • Fetch (sticks or pick her own on the return (usually bigger), toys, boots etc)
  • Drop it (Some times she would try keep it and tease you back)
  • Hide and sneak into your room
  • Sneak a snack and lick plate clean
  • Hide evidence of naughty deeds by berrying (rarely) or laying on it
  • Keep you warm or snuggle up in bed with you when your asleep
  • Cheer you up when your down with her friendly disposition
  • How to make you fitter (some times dragging on lead)
There are so many things my dog could do and like many Labrador dogs grew up and had a dodgy hip. This didn't stop her though as she always had energy to play.

Amber B ( 1st Jan 2000 - 14 July 2012)
What took my dog away?
If I had to describe it I would say I can't say. I would call it evil and the pain of a bad possessions day, there are not many words that best describe it for me. It was that one thing that happened in just a few hours, that thing that made her ill that swelled up her neck and restricted her air flow (malignant cancer). When something hits you like this I found it best to be around your family and friends. What I will always remember though is that she was always there and will always be here in my heart.

By Carol B 28th Jan 2014