Thursday, June 3, 2021

10 Great Training Tips

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Top 10 Dog Training Tips by Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700 Tip 1: Choose Your Dog's Name Wisely Part of the fun of bringing home a new puppy or dog is finding the perfect name for them. But did you know certain names are better for training? It helps to consider a short name ending with a strong consonant that they can always hear clearly. A strong ending, like in the names “Jasper,” “Jack” and “Ginger,” perks up puppy ears — especially when you place emphasis at the end. If your new pet is an older dog, they’re probably used to their name at this point. However, changing it isn’t out of the question. And if your new pal is coming out of an abusive situation, a new name may even represent a fresh start. Dogs are extremely adaptable. If you decide to give them a new name, use it consistently and soon enough your pup will respond to it. Whatever their name, be sure to associate it with fun, pleasant experiences as much as possible, rather than negative ones. Ideally, your pup should think of their name in the same way they think of other fun stuff like walks or dinnertime. Tip 2: Decide on the House Rules Before your new furry pal comes home, decide what they can and can’t do. Are they allowed on the bed or the furniture? Are parts of the house off limits? Will they have their own chair at your dining table? If the rules are determined early, you can avoid confusion — for both of you. Tip 3: Set Up a Private Den Like humans, dogs need their own space. As early as possible, give your pup their own private sleeping place, such as a crate or large dog bed. Your dog will benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of its den; it can also be a valuable tool for housetraining. Be sure to reward your puppy or dog if they remain relaxed and quiet in their den. Tip 4: Help Your Dog Relax When your puppy gets home, give them a warm hot-water bottle and put a ticking clock near their sleeping area. This imitates the heat and heartbeat of litter mates and will soothe your puppy in their new environment. This tip may be even more important for a new dog that previously lived in a busy, loud shelter, particularly if they’ve had a rough time early in life. Whatever you can do to help your new pet get comfortable in their forever home will be good for both of you. Tip 5: Reward Good Behavior Reward your puppy or dog’s good behavior with positive reinforcement. Use toys, love and lots of praise — and don’t forget the treats when they’re getting it right. Along those same lines, never reward bad behavior, as it’ll only confuse them. Tip 6: Teach Your Pup to Come When Called Jasper, come! Good come! Always praise the command, not the dog! The first command you teach your pet should be to come. Get down on their level and tell your pup to come using their name. When they do, get excited and use lots of positive reinforcement. Next time, try the “come” command when they’re distracted with food or a toy. As your puppy gets older, you’ll continue to see the benefits of perfecting this command. Tip 7: Train on "Dog Time" Puppies and dogs live in the moment — two minutes after they’ve done something, they’ve already forgotten about it. So, when your pup is doing something bad, use your chosen training technique right away so they have a chance to make the association between the behavior and the correction. Consistent repetition will reinforce what they’ve learned. Tip 8: Discourage Jumping Right Away Puppies love to jump up in greeting, and some adult dogs have learned bad habits. When your puppy or dog jumps on a person, don’t reprimand them; just turn your back on them, ignore the behavior and wait until they settle down before giving positive reinforcement. Never encourage jumping behavior by patting or praising your dog when they’re in a “jumping up” position. Tip 9: Say No to Biting and Nipping Instead of scolding your new pet, a great way to discourage your mouthy canine is to pretend you’re in a lot of pain when they bite or nip you — a sharp, loud yell should work. Most dogs are so surprised that they stop immediately…and they certainly don’t want to hurt you. Tip 10: End Training Sessions on a Positive Note Your puppy or dog has worked hard to please you throughout their training. Leave them with lots of praise, treats and some petting or five minutes of play. This almost guarantees they’ll show up at their next training session with their tail wagging, ready to work!
Bonus tip: When your puppy is old enough, think about getting them neutered or spayed. The same goes if you adopt a dog. A neutered or spayed dog might be more docile, less aggressive and more open to successful training. Plus, it staves off cancer. For more information on training your pup, feel free to contact us here at Alpha Dog Training, (801) 910-1700.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Your Dog May Not Like Being Sniffed by Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700 All dogs have a different tolerance for their greetings with other dogs. As dog owners, it is our responsibility to set our dogs up for successful interactions and greetings with new dogs and people. Invading your dog’s space can turn a well-trained dog that is typically a great doggy citizen into a "reactive" dog. Can we train our dogs to be okay with these meetings? Yes, we can. You must improve upon these behaviors through socialization and diligent training. However, first and foremost, lets spread the word on setting our dogs up for more successful interactions by communicating and reading their body language. Most importantly remember always to ask fellow dog parents if it is okay for your dogs to meet. Even a 6ft leash is not always short enough to pass other people and dogs on a tight trail. In these situations, it is smart to keep your best bud close to you to give the other dog space.
Doing so will prevent any potential reactive situation from taking place. If your dog does a great job passing another dog or meeting another dog, be sure to let them know how awesome they are! Not all dogs understand that they did the right thing in these situations, and need to know when they are doing well. Many times, we see handlers react to their dog's negative behaviors, while instead, it is WAY more important to respond to their awesome behaviors. Let's build that pawsitive relationship and have pawsititve greetings with other dogs!

Friday, May 21, 2021

#alphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity You Are Your Dog’s Biggest Cheerleader by Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700
Dogs have lived with us for thousands of years. During this time, they learned to read and understand our micro expressions. What this means is that you cannot hide your feelings, attitude, or mood from your dog. You need to be genuine with them. If you are not in a good mood or are trying to pretend while something is upsetting you, you are not going to have a very good training session with your dog. Dogs can help us in a lot of ways. They are always present; they don’t care what happened yesterday or what tomorrow may bring. By effectively working with your dog, you must live in the moment as they do. You will say what you mean and mean what you say. Your words, tone of voice, and temperament will match your physiology. There are several things that you can do to best maximize your time with your dog. Those things are: your state of mind, having fun, communicating clearly and following through. By properly using these principles you will build a positive relationship with your dog and get the most out of you and your dog’s potential. We’ve mentioned that your dog can read how you are really feeling. If you are in a bad mood, you will generally get one of two reactions from your dog. They will either fear you, or they will want to rub up against you. If they are timid or fearful, they may avoid getting too close to you. Even if they have no history of abuse, they may just want to avoid that negative energy. Other dogs may want to rub up against you. We think this is them comforting us, but more likely it’s an appeasing behavior letting you know they are not a threat. To get the most out of your training and build a better relationship with your dog you need to be in the best frame of mind possible. Statistically, dog owners live longer than people without them. One of the reasons cited is that they are more active because their dog gets them to go out more. Maybe your dog can also help you be motivated to improve your mental health, too. Every time you work with your dog, try to be in the best possible state of mind. Remember one important point…you must be your dog’s biggest cheerleader!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

What to do About your Puppy’s Resource Guarding

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity What to do about your Puppy’s Resource Guarding by Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700
When dogs guard stuff (e.g., their food, bones, toys, crates, sticks, their humans, trash and other items they steal)the term we usevis“Resource Guarding.” They are guarding what they think is a valuable, prized resource and they don’t want anyone to even try to take it away. Resource Guarding is actually a “normal” canine behavior. It’s a survival technique. However, when it happens it can become a dangerous behavior. If you have a puppy that is between 8 and 12 weeks old, Alpha Dog Training offers you the following protocol to follow. PUPPY FOOD BOWL EXERCISES: Never isolate your dog outside for meals or make him eat away from people. Do not make a habit of taking things away from your puppy because he should just give it up, or annoying your puppy at mealtimes. It is vitally important that your puppy knows “good things happen to me when people and kids are around me when I’m eating my meals or chewing on bones.” While your puppy is eating, approach him, call his name, and stroke him ONCE, then walk away. Also, while your puppy is eating, approach him, call his name and reach toward the food dish and place a treat in the bowl. Then walk away. While he's eating, sit on the floor a little away from him and keep puppy company while he’s eating. Don’t bother him though! Just let him eat in peace. Also, while your puppy is eating, call his name, then show him a special treat and throw it away from the bowl. Quickly pick his bowl up before he comes back to you. When he returns to you, immediately place the bowl back on the floor. And never take your puppy’s food away for no reason. 1. While puppy is chewing on his bone or other chew toy, place a treat over his nose. When he opens his mouth to get the treat, say, “leave it.” Give him the treat and give him his chew toy back immediately. Practice teaching your pup the “Leave It” cue. 2. While your puppy is chewing on something, call his name, then toss a treat away from where he’s eating his chew toy. When he goes to retrieve the treat, pick up the bone or chew toy he’s been chewing on and place it behind your back. When he comes back for it, give it back to him immediately. 3. Anytime you have to take something of his away (bones, Kongs, favorite toys, something he stole) or out of his mouth, make a food exchange for it. This will teach your puppy that whenever you take his stuff, he can get something even better. Also, teach your children never to pester your puppy while he’s eating. At Alpha Dog Training we have lots of ways to teach your dog the “leave it” command. Feel free to contact us at any time for free info. (801) 910-1700.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Your Child's New Puppy

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainerssaltlakecity Your Child’s First Puppy by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training (801) 910-1700
Your Child’s First Puppy At Alpha Dog Training we find that children living with pets are generally better off than those who don’t have one. Families with pets are more physically active, and have better general health. However, when it comes to establishing a strong bond between your new puppy and your child early on, you may not know where to start. From the importance of slow introductions to involving your child in the puppy training process, here’s how you can set them up for success. Fostering safe introductions Bringing home a new pup is an exciting event, but it’s necessary to introduce your child and their new furry friend slowly, and in a safe way — especially if you’ve never had a dog around your child before. In order to prevent an unpleasant interaction, supervising the first few encounters and ensuring your new dog is on a leash or using a harness can help. The benefits of playtime together As your child gets accustomed to having a new dog in the house, setting time aside for them to play together can help greatly in further strengthening their bond in a positive way. Whether it’s soccer, fetch, Frisbee, or simply running around together in the backyard, physical activities are a fantastic way to get and keep your new pup active and healthy. And they can also present a positive outlet for your child. Coming home to play a game of fetch with their dog can allow them to blow off some steam, focus on something enjoyable and relieve stress, too. Introducing a bit of responsibility Pets are well known for introducing responsibility to children. Alpha Dog Training suggests making it a good idea to introduce some responsibilities whenever you deem it appropriate to do so. Allowing your child to take part in daily rituals like brushing and feeding the dog can not only teach them how to care for their pet, but can allow them to cultivate a positive connection and bond with the dog through caring for them and spending more time together. Bringing home a new pup is undoubtedly an exciting event, especially if it’s your child’s first pet. You can support a positive and healthy relationship between the two, from safe and supervised introductions and designated playtimes, to teaching your child valuable lessons in responsibility.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Bringing Home the New Rescue Pup

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainerssaltlakecity Bringing Home a Rescue Dog By Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700 You just adopted a dog—congratulations!! This is an exciting time and we at Alpha Dog Training hope you’re enjoying it. Here are two best practices to do when you bring home your new pup. Since you are an animal lover, I’m sure you’re prepared to give your new dog plenty of love, affection, treats, food, water and shelter, so I’ll leave those items off my list. Instead, I’ll focus on the things most folks either overlook or don’t know about. 1) Crate train your new dog Most folks feel guilty crating a dog when it first arrives home. This is doubly true if the dog came from a shelter environment. I often hear statements like “He’s been in a cage for the last few months, but he doesn’t have to do that anymore!” That idea feels good in the moment, but it isn’t actually in the dog’s short or long-term best interest. If your dog came from the shelter, the crate is likely the only thing he sees in your home that’s familiar to him. Don’t rob him of that! Over the long haul, an appropriately sized crate is the safest way for your dog to be home alone. While crated, there is no risk of him ingesting any household items, chewing on furniture, peeing around the house, or developing bad habits, like nuisance barking. The crate should never be used as a punishment; in fact, when a dog is properly crate trained, a dog understands that the crate is his safe space and that it’s a place for relaxation. 2) Limit roaming around the house Another human impulse is to unclip the leash and say “Welcome home! Go explore your new territory!” While this is not a horrible thing, it’s also not helpful. You’re basically telling your dog in this moment: “Do whatever you want! You make the rules here!” Your dog is now free to develop whatever habits and behaviors he feels like, many of which you may want to undo later. Remember: Dogs come with no intuitive knowledge of what it means to be a family pet. For example, they have no natural understanding that it’s not appropriate to potty inside, that it’s not okay to grab food off of tables or counters, or that couches are not for launching off of. When you unclip the leash and let them have at it, you’re basically treating your home like your new dog’s personal dog park. Consider an alternative: How about keeping your new dog on leash in the house for the first few days and showing him the lay of the land yourself? Here’s a really concrete example of how that changes things: When you go to let your dog out of the crate first thing in the morning for his potty break, he may come bouncing out, jump all over you, sprint all through the house, and by the time you catch up with him he’s got his paws on the counter and is investigating your banana tree! You now have to scold him (for what, he’s not sure) and escort him outdoors to use the bathroom. Since he practices this behavior every morning, he’s solidifying some pretty problematic behavior patterns: arousal, jumping, sprinting through the house, counter-surfing, etc. But it doesn’t have to be this way!! If you open your dog’s crate and clip his leash on and escort him through the house instead, he practices exactly none of that. You can interrupt jumping, prevent him from sprinting around like a nut (knocking things/people over), and prevent him from counter-surfing. More importantly, you’re also teaching him what you expect from him in that situation. Every single morning he’s practicing walking calmly from his crate directly to the back door. If you’re consistent with this, it won’t be long before you can just open his crate and he’ll go directly to the back door—no shenanigans! Alpha Dog Training hopes this short post helps explain how to bring home a rescue dog in a way that develops positive behavior patterns over the long haul! Congratulations again on your new addition!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

"Collar Wise" Dogs

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainersutah “Collar Wise” Dogs By Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700 We use the term “collar wise” dog to describe a dog who only listens and performs when they are wearing equipment like a collar. When collars are taken off, the collar wise dog will ignore commands, perform at less than their normal level, and will not take direction from the owner. Here’s a big factor to consider: It’s the relationship with your dog. This is one of the most critical, and one of the most misunderstood aspects of why dogs become collar wise. Sometimes people will use an e-collar as a shortcut when there is a deficit in their relationship with their dog. This is especially true with recalls. If we have a young dog, and teach them recalls in a motivational way, with lots of rewards and strong positive emotions for the recall, it is very easy for us to then layer over the remote collar for proofing against things like wildlife. When we then go to remove the collar later on in our dog’s life, they love recalls, they love interacting with us and I have not allowed bad habits to develop around distractions such as dogs or other animals. Now let’s look at a different scenario. We have a dog who we really want to have off leash on the hiking trail, and he’s hard to motivate and doesn’t really like coming back to us. We could spend a month on foundation work, so we’re just going to rush into the collar work. For this type of dog, the collar has become the reason that the dog comes back, rather than a backup form of correction for rare mistakes.
This dog has a very strong likelihood of ignoring me completely when the collar is gone. It is the difference between a dog coming to you because he likes you and enjoys his job, and a dog who is only coming to avoid a correction. Be sure to use praise and happiness to get the dog to come back to you as dog are really only trained with happiness. Of course, happiness can be a treat. So, rotate a treat with verbal praise. It works every time.