Functional Cues: Get Your Dog “Away” From You!…

SarahDog Training, Dogs and Family, Indoor Manners1 Comment

…And away from your friends, your family, the pizza on the kitchen counter, the ice cream cone in your child’s hand and the unstable neighbor dog. Great effort has always been placed on training your dog to come to you. It’s even very common these days to see training classes specifically dedicated to “Training a Great Recall,” or getting your dog to come to you on cue, especially amidst distractions. And rightly so. This could be the single most important thing that you instill in your dog, and could very well be a lifesaver in an emergency situation. With all the emphasis on asking dogs to come to us, I believe that it might be arguably as important to train your dog to move away. Have you ever been bombarded by a pogo puppy immediately upon entering the house from a long day at work? Boing! Boing! Boing! Have you … Read More

One-Armed Positive Training is Easier

SarahDog Training, Dog Walking4 Comments

Easier than what, you ask? Training with leash-corrective methods, like choke chains. Let’s face it… we’re Americans. We’re always looking for ways to make life easier, aren’t we? This musing is really not intended to be disrespectful or a slam on anyone. My honest opinion is that choke chains aka slip collars are challenging to use. You must have exceptional timing to effectively change your dog’s behavior through positive punishment (adding punishment to change unwanted behavior). And two, you must be of sound physical strength and stature to use this training tool, as intended. Before we get to the real issue here, let’s go back one step. A good friend and colleague had said recently that it was refreshing to see a new generation of dog owners come through her obedience classes, one where individuals have no idea what it means to make a collar correction. If you fall into … Read More

The Puppy Point-of-View

SarahDog Training, Puppies, Seasonal2 Comments

St Louis Dog Training Dog Walking

Puppies are cute. They are too cute. So cute they could get away with murder. They are manipulative, demanding, thieving fuzzy little things that interfere with too much of our personal time, our work time and our sleep time. So why do we insist on wanting puppies?… Because they are cute, that’s why. Seriously, puppies are not only cute, but bring such a tremendous amount of joy to our lives that it can’t be put into words. I’m not a mother myself, but I’m sure this joy is only second to raising a child, seeing it grow, mature, make good decisions and become a respectful and responsible citizen of society… influenced solely by you, but of course! Your new puppy, on the other hand, may have somewhat different intentions for their future. So here are a few insights into what your puppy might be thinking as it navigates its way … Read More

There’s Somethin’ Happenin’ Here – Training Wars

SarahDog Training1 Comment

I was struck yesterday by an extraordinary ordinary moment while bringing in the groceries. A man I had never seen before was walking his 5-month old or so, extremely adorable Labrador Retriever down the street towards my house. As he approached, a couple things stood out. One, his dog had a very clean and tagged brightly colored flat buckle collar around its neck. Two, he was walking on a black Easy Walk anti-pull harness. Nothing too unusual here, but very pleasantly surprising. As the man approached closer with his pup, I notice one other thing. He had a green treat pouch around his waist. I couldn’t be any prouder of this man if he had been a client of my own. “Cute puppy!” I shouted to him as he walked by the porch. As I went inside and bent down to start putting the groceries away, I heard a very … Read More

Positive Interruptor… or Just Good Spin?

SarahDog Training2 Comments

When I first learned about clicker-training, I must say that I had to question if clicker and positive trainers were agreeing with some of the same concepts as traditional and balanced trainers, just using more “politically correct” verbiage to make the point. Concepts like Direction vs. Discipline, No Reward Marker vs. Correction and Treat Placement vs. Luring left me wondering why we bothered to split so many terminological hairs. Having a career in marketing and sales, of course I am one to recognize and relish in some impressive spin when I hear it. Before I’m quickly run out of the positive dog training community, please let me attempt to explain myself… Having learned of – and unfortunately utilized – corrective methods in the past, it was going to take some solid proof before someone convinced me that you do not need positive punishment, or adding an aversive like a collar … Read More