Sunday, February 20, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity 7 Essential Commands Your Dog Needs to Know Published by Alpha Dog Training https://alpha-dog-training-slc.com/ 801-910-1700 Teach your dog these basic obedience commands for a well-behaved pup. When you get a new dog, whether it's a puppy or an adult rescue, she probably needs some obedience training. More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No commands" because they're the ones most people will use with their pets on a routine basis. Help them stay safe and well-behaved, whether they spend most of their time in the backyard, at the dog park, or walking the neighborhood with their human companions. With several 10-to-15-minute practice sessions each day, most pets can master these core skills in just a week or two. 1 Sit Teach Sit first because it’s the most natural concept for most dogs. It's therefore also one of the easiest for them to learn, so even pets who are new to training can get the hang of it within a few sessions. And because it's also a transition command, once a dog can sit, you can move on to other directives. 2 Down A sitting dog is like a car in park, but it's still easy for her to boogey out of there. But when she’s lying down, you’ve cut the engine. Because the command helps you control your dog, it’s also a great transition to more complicated tricks like rolling over or playing dead. 3 Stay A dog who knows how to stay won’t run into the street if she gets loose, so this is one of the most important skills for any dog to learn. Teach your dog when she’s tired and hungry so she won’t get too hyper to focus. And be patient: Most dogs take at least a couple of days to understand Stay and it can take a few weeks to master it. But because it protects your dog from danger, keep a bag of treats or kibble handy and keep practicing until she's a pro. 4 Come If you plan to take your dog anywhere off-leash, she must know how to come when called. It can keep her safe at the dog park if a scuffle breaks out, get her away from the street if she breaks off the leash, or ensure she stays close when hiking or just fooling around in the backyard. Teach Come after Stay, since having the Stay skill first makes the process easier.
Saturday, February 19, 2022
Friday, February 18, 2022
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity How Science is Revolutionizing Dog Training Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com/ (801) 910-1700 About a month ago I was into raising a new border collie puppy, Lyla, when I came to an embarrassing realization: my dog had yet to meet a person who doesn’t look like me. Most trainers agree on at least one thing: proper socialization of a puppy, especially during the critical period from eight to 20 weeks, means introducing her to as many people as I possibly could. Not just people, but diverse people: people with beards and sunglasses; people wearing fedoras and sombreros; people jogging; people in Halloween costumes. And, critically, people of different ethnicities. Fail to do this, and your dog may inexplicably bark at people wearing straw hats or big sunglasses. This emphasis on socialization is an important element of a new approach to raising the modern dog. It eschews the old, dominating, Cesar Millan–style methods that were based on flawed studies of presumed hierarchies in wolf packs. Those methods made sense when I raised my last dog, Chica, in the early aughts. I read classic dominance-oriented books by the renowned upstate New York trainers The Monks of New Skete, among others, to teach her I was the leader of her pack, even when that meant stern corrections, like shaking her by the scruff of the neck. Chica was a well-behaved dog, but she was easily discouraged when I tried teaching her something new. I don’t mean to suggest I had no better option; there was then a growing movement to teach dog owners all about early socialization and the value of rewards-based training, and plenty of trainers who employed only positive reinforcement. But in those days, the approach was the subject of debate and derision: treat-trained mongers might do what you want if they know a biscuit is hidden in your palm, but they’d ignore you otherwise. I proudly taught my dog tough love. This time, with the assistance of a new class of trainers and scientists, I’ve changed my methods entirely, and I have been shocked to discover booming product lines of puzzles, entertaining toys, workshops and “canine enrichment” resources available to the modern dog “parent,” which has helped boost the U.S. pet industry to $86 billion in annual sales. Choke collars, shock collars, even the word no are all-but-verboten. It’s a new day in dog training. The science upon which these new techniques are based is not exactly new: it’s rooted in learning theory and operant conditioning, which involves positive (the addition of) or negative (the withdrawal of) reinforcement. It also includes the flipside: positive or negative punishment. A brief primer: Petting a dog on the head for fetching the newspaper is positive reinforcement, because you’re taking an action (positive) to encourage (reinforce) a behavior. Scolding a dog to stop an unwanted behavior is positive punishment, because it’s an action to discourage a behavior. A choke collar whose tension is released when the dog stops pulling on it is negative reinforcement, because the dog’s desirable behavior (backing off) results in the removal of an undesirable consequence. Taking away a dog’s frisbee because he’s barking at it is negative punishment, because you’ve withdrawn a stimulus to decrease an unwanted behavior. Much has changed about the way that science is applied today. As canine training has shifted from the old obedience-driven model directed at show dogs to a more relationship-based approach aimed at companion dogs, trainers have discovered that the use of negative reinforcement and positive punishment actually slow a dog’s progress, because they damage its confidence and, more importantly, its relationship with a handler. Dogs that receive too much correction—especially the harsh physical correction and mean-spirited “Bad dog!” scoldings—begin to retreat from trying new things. These new methods are backed by a growing body of science—and a rejection of the old thinking, of wolves (and their descendants, dogs) as dominance-oriented creatures. The origin of so-called “alpha theory” comes from a scientist named Rudolph Schenkel, who conducted a study of wolves in 1947 in which animals from different packs were forced into a small enclosure with no prior interaction. They fought, naturally, which Schenkel wrongly interpreted as a battle for dominance. The reality, Schenkel was later forced to admit, was that the wolves were stressed, not striving for alpha status. A study from Portugal published last fall in the pre-print digital database BioRxiv (meaning it is not yet peer-reviewed) evaluated dozens of dogs selected from schools that either employed the use of shock collars, leash corrections and other aversive techniques or didn’t—sticking entirely or almost entirely to the use of positive reinforcement (treats) to get the behavior they wanted. Dogs from the positive schools universally performed better at tasks the researchers put in front of them, and the dogs from aversive schools displayed considerably more stress, both in observable ways—licking, yawning, pacing, whining—and in cortisol levels measured in saliva swabs. These new findings are especially relevant this year. Dog adoption in the COVID-19 era has ballooned, arguably because isolated Americans are newly in search of companionship and because working from home makes at least the idea of raising a puppy feasible. Before the pandemic, it was young city dwellers driving the boom in demand for and supply of dog trainers who employ positive methods, and an explosion in the proliferation of professional trainers across the globe. Often because they’ve delayed or decided against having children, millennials and Generation Z are spending lavish amounts of money on pets: toys, food, puzzles, fancy harnesses, rain jackets, life jackets and training. And those professional trainers, from the Guide Dogs for the Blind organization to renowned handler Denise Fenzi, have formed a legion of experimenters. They universally report that the less negativity they use in training, the more quickly their dogs learn. Over the past 15 years, handlers with Guide Dogs for the Blind, which trains dogs to be aides for sight-impaired people, have extinguished nearly all negative training techniques and with dramatic results. A new dog can now be ready to guide its owner in half the time it once took, and they can remain with an owner for an extra year or two, because they’re so much less stressed out by the job, says Susan Armstrong, the organization’s vice president of client, training and veterinary operations. Even bomb-sniffing and military dogs are seeing more positive reinforcement, which is why you might have noticed that working dogs in even the most serious environments (like airports) seem to be enjoying their jobs more than in the past. “I don’t think you’re imagining that,” Armstrong says. “These dogs love working. They love getting rewards for good behavior. It’s serious, but it can be fun.” Susan Friedman, a psychology professor at Utah State University, entered the dog-training world after a 20-year career in special education, a field in which she has a doctorate. In the late 1990s, she adopted a parrot, and was shocked to discover that most of the available advice she could find about raising a well-mannered bird involved only harsh corrections: If it bites, abruptly drop the bird on the floor. If it makes too much noise, shroud the cage in complete darkness. If it tries to escape, clip the bird’s flight feathers. Friedman applied her own research and experience to her parrot training, and discovered it all comes down to behavior. “No species on the planet behaves for no reason,” she says. “What’s the function of a parrot biting your hand? Why might a child throw down at the toy aisle? What’s the purpose of the behavior, and how does it open the environment to rewards and also to aversive stimuli?” Friedman’s early articles about positive-reinforcement animal training met a skeptical audience back in the early aughts. Now, thanks to what she calls a “groundswell from animal trainers” newly concerned about the ethics of animal raising, Friedman is summoned to consult at zoos and aquariums around the world. She emphasizes understanding how a better analysis of an animal’s needs might help trainers punish them less. Last year, she produced a poster called the “hierarchy roadmap” designed to help owners identify underlying causes and conditions of behavior, and address the most likely influencers—illness, for example—before moving on to other assumptions. That’s not to suggest old-school dog trainers might ignore an illness, but they might be too quick to move to punishment before considering causes of unwanted behavior that could be addressed with less-invasive techniques. The field is changing rapidly, Friedman says. Even in the last year, trainers have discovered new ways to replace an aversive technique with a win: if a dog scratches (instead of politely sitting) at the door to be let out, many trainers would have in recent years advised owners to ignore the scratching so as not to reward the behavior. They would hope for “extinction,” for the dog to eventually stop doing the bad thing that results in no reward. But that’s an inherently negative approach. What if it could be replaced with something positive? Now, most trainers would now recommend redirecting the scratching dog to a better behavior, a come or a sit, rewarded with a treat. The bad behavior not only goes extinct, but the dog learns a better behavior at the same time. The debate is not entirely quashed. Mark Hines, a trainer with the pet products company Kong who works with dogs across the country, says that while positive reinforcement certainly helps dogs acquire knowledge at the fastest rate, there’s still a feeling among trainers of military and police dogs that some correction is required to get an animal ready for service. “Leash corrections and pinch collars are science-based, as well,” Hines says. “Positive punishment is a part of science.” The key, Hines says, is to avoid harsh and unnecessary kinds of positive punishment, so as not to damage the relationship between handler and dog. Dogs too often rebuked will steadily narrow the range of things they try, because they figure naturally that might reduce the chance they get yelled at.
Friday, February 11, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Introducing a Dog to a Baby Published by Alpha Dog Training https:/www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com/ (801) 910-1700 Bringing home your new baby is an exciting time. It can also mean a lot of change for your dog. You can help your four-legged family member adjust with some planning and preparation. Why is preparing your dog for a baby important? Your pet is part of the family. Bringing a new baby home can cause a disruption in your pet's daily life. Think about it from your pet's perspective. Suddenly there's another human, only smaller, with sounds, smells and moves that are different from yours. This can be distressing for your pet. Your dog may associate this stress with the baby, and that negative impression can last. That's why it's important to prepare both dogs and cats for your baby's arrival home. Before introducing your dog to the baby, it's especially important to start making gradual changes before bringing your baby home. 5 ways to prepare a pet for the baby It's best to make gradual changes in your pet’s routine rather than abrupt changes when the baby arrives. Fortunately, pregnancy gives you several months to prepare your pet for your baby’s arrival. • Adjust your pet’s routine to one you can keep consistent • Carve out special one-on-one times with your pet • Brush up on obedience training for your dog • Create a few pet-free zones in the house • Introduce your pet to baby equipment like strollers Tips for bringing baby home If mom comes in alone, it will give pets time to say hi without them jumping up on the baby. After that, bring the baby inside to a pet-free room so your dog can smell and hear the sounds your baby makes. It can be helpful to make introductions with a helper bringing the dog into a neutral room on a leash where you are sitting holding the baby. This gives your dog the opportunity to approach you and the baby calmly. A new baby is a new experience for your pet • Reward your pet for calm behavior with praise and special treats. • Give your pet plenty of attention when the baby is in the room. Your pet will associate positive experiences with the baby. • Never leave your pet alone with the baby, no matter how easy-going or friendly your pet may be.
Sunday, February 6, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Teach Your Dog to Go Potty on Cue Published by Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700 Have you ever found yourself standing outside in the rain or snow waiting and waiting and waiting for your dog to potty? Some dogs seem to make a habit of taking a long time to find just the right spot to “go,” but if you’re frustrated with waiting, you can teach your dog to potty on cue. Potty on cue is an extremely useful skill for all dogs to have. Not only does it come in handy during bad weather, but it’s also beneficial when traveling, before entering a building, as well as if you plan to show your dog in Conformation or any performance event. Additionally, pottying on cue is a valuable skill when bringing your dog to the vet in case a urine or stool sample needs to be collected. Selecting Cues It might sound too good to be true, but it’s completely possible to teach your dog to pee or poop on cue virtually anytime, anywhere. To make the desired behavior clear, it’s best to have a different verbal cue for peeing than for pooping. You can pick any cue you want. Common examples include the obvious “pee” and “poop,” as well as the slightly more subtle “showtime” and/or “business.” Teaching Your Dog to Potty on Cue The great thing about teaching your dog to pee and poop on cue is that you are adding a verbal marker to behavior that your dog already does regularly. This makes training the behavior much easier because you know you have multiple opportunities to practice each day. Starting to teach your dog to potty on cue is a little bit like going back to when you potty trained them as a young puppy—you’ll need lots of treats and patience. The easiest way is a training methodology known as capturing, where you add a verbal cue as your dog is already going potty. To do this we will be combining an audible marker and a reward, such as a treat, with the behavior your dog is naturally doing, which in this case is peeing or pooping. Step 1: Anticipate when your dog is going to need to potty, such as after play or naps, and be prepared with treats when you take your dog out to go. Step 2: While your dog is looking for the right spot to pee or poop, don’t say anything. Step 3: When your dog starts to go, get ready to cue, praise, and treat. Step 4: As your dog is finishing up, start to praise/click and introduce your verbal cue of choice. It’s important to only use your cue when your dog is actively peeing/pooping, but it’s a good idea to wait until they are nearly done to prevent them from stopping early when they hear the click/praise. Step 5: As your dog starts to make the association between the verbal cue and going potty, you can start to use it right as your dog starts to go. For example, as your dog stops circling and squats to potty, say “showtime” or whatever cue you have selected. When they finish, praise again with something like “yes showtime” or pair with your click (if you’re clicker training) and a treat. Step 6: After several days or weeks of building understanding with your new cue paired with knowing your dog is about to start or is actively going potty, it’s time to use the new cue. Get your dog to a quiet spot and cue them to potty. When they pee/poop, give lots of praise and rewards. Keep it Consistent Consistency is always important with dog training, but especially when teaching your dog to potty on cue. You need to be extremely consistent when pairing your dog pottying with your verbal cue of choice and a reward. To make it easy, try to keep treats next to your door so it’s easy to grab some any time you take your dog out to go potty. When they fully understand the cue, they will “try” to potty anytime they hear the cue (even if they don’t really need to go) by lifting their leg, or quickly squatting and trying to squeeze out a small amount of pee or poop. Be sure to highly reward these efforts, as it’s a clear sign that your dog understands potty on cue behavior. Keep Training Fun Although most people’s motivation for teaching their dog to potty on cue is to avoid spending a long time outside waiting in cold or wet weather, it’s important to consider why your dog might have previously been taking their time. Being outside in the yard or on a walk is likely very enriching for your dog and so they want to spend more time doing it. As you’re teaching the potty on cue behavior, keep rewarding your dog with treats and praise but don’t rush back into the house right after they pee or poop. If you do, your dog may decide that, even though they get a treat when listening to your cue, it stops the fun of being outside and having the opportunity to walk or sniff. This can give the new cue a negative association or make your dog reluctant to perform the desired behavior. To prevent this, in addition to praise and treats, be sure to give your dog access to environmental rewards like cueing them to go sniff, continuing your walk, or throwing a toy for them to fetch after they go potty.
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #Dogtrainingsaltlakecity More Pets Becoming Family Members Published by Alpha Dog Training www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com/ (801 (10-1700 Veterinarians reporting increase in demand for service as pet adoptions sky rocket during pandemic According to a new study from the American Pet Products Association, approximately 12.6 million American households got a new pet in 2021. The organization also reported exceeding $100 billion in sales for the first time in the industry’s history. The pet business is booming, and as folks prepare to head back to the office, they’re likely going to need additional help caring for their pets. "There's been so many new puppies, kittens and adult pets that have been adopted," says Patti Christie, Vet. That decreases the amount of appointment slots available." "There's been so many new puppies, kittens and adult pets that have been adopted," says Christie, that decreases the amount of appointment slots available." National Pet Industry Exceeds Over $100 Billion in Sales for First Time in Industry History Pets provide solace during difficult year; pet supplies, food, treats, vet care and products see largest increases with predictions up for 2021-22 STAMFORD, CONN. (March 24, 2021) – The American Pet Products Association (APPA), the leading trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958, today announced the industry has reached over $100 billion in annual sales, the highest level in industry history. The milestone was released in APPA’s 2020 State of the Industry Report during Global Pet Expo Digital Access. “We have reached a critical milestone, generating $103.6 billion in sales,” said Steve King, President and CEO of APPA. “We are bullish for the coming year, projecting growth of 5.8% - well above the historical average of 3 to 4%. This past year presented a host of challenges that resulted in consumers across the country turning to their pets for comfort and companionship. Interestingly, the product trends we are seeing in the pet care community mirror those of consumers – a desire for a healthier lifestyle, increased focus on fitness, turning to supplements for improved well-being, and technology playing a larger role in everyday life.” The State of the Industry Report was revealed at today’s Global Pet Expo Digital Access, the pet industry’s premier event, during the keynote presented by APP The Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) t