Wade’s Dogmanship | Teaching Stay

Stay is hands down one of my favorite commands to teach. It’s so much more than some trainers give it credit for in their group classes and the effects and possibilities are limitless. Stay is a command that teaches the dog many things and it’s so much more than just “Stay right here for a few seconds”. Stay is a way of getting a dog to focus on “being still”; a form of meditation if you will. For a dog who is used to engaging in every little things and who has a hard time slowing down and relaxing, this skill can be paramount to his/her rehabilitation to becoming a more balanced dog. A stay can help a dog with separation issues tolerate controlled separation from his/her owner. Instead of leaving the dog alone, you ask the dog to stop following you around in the house and be okay with staying away from you.

The main thing I use stay for is two fold: 1.) I want the dog to focus on being still and calm. Many dogs have a tendency to be on the move in exploration mode and contently looking for something to engage in, but never take the time to relax and be still. Humans can  suffer from this same condition which results in stress and anxiety in US. It’s easy to see how it might have a similar effect on dogs. 2.) I use it as an opportunity to build cooperation, trust and respect between me and the dog. The way I teach stay is done without food, without punishments and with respect to the dog. 

Also, a difference in how I teach stay compared to some others is something I adopted from a few different trainers. I want the dog to understand two things when I command “stay”. 1.) Stay in this location (not position) and 2.) I’ll come back to you to release you from the command. If i put a dog in a sit and the dog lays down, I don’t view that as a bad thing. The dog is committing MORE to the stay… he/she understands he might be there for a bit, so they’re seeking to be more comfortable. I’m alright with that. Also, I don’t CALL a dog from stay. If I put the dog in a sit stay and walk ten feet away and call the dog to me, eventually, the dog will anticipate the command, making the stay itself less stable (dog is waiting for his next command). In competition training, that’s not a bad thing. In real world, pet dog training, that’s not necessarily desirable. I want a dog to completely relax when I tell them to stay somewhere. 

I’ll put up a video eventually on how I teach a dog to come when they’re called.

So, the video below is a video of a dog who was with me for a 6 Day JumpStart BootCamp and she’s helping me with an instructional video of how I teach stay

Hope you enjoy

Wade

Advertisements

Dog Vlog | Dogs and Babies

Early May of 2013, I found out I was going to be a father. It was exciting, hectic, nerve racking, terrifying all balled up into a pile of wow. There were many things in my life that would change forever with my son Brennan’s arrival, least of which being, my dogs. Many people asked me questions or expressed concerns about the whole “baby/dog” thing, and rightfully so. You see, many folks don’t see their relationship with their dogs the way I see my relationship with mine. Questions like “do you think they’ll be jealous?” and “Do you think they’ll be protective of the baby?” were commonly asked questions so much so that I had the answers down to a rehearsed science.

You see, welcoming new pups into the pack is a natural occurrence for more wild canids. The domestic dog may never get a chance to welcome a litter of puppies into the pack, but bringing a baby home brings it’s own set of rules and boundaries. The way I handled it was the same way I would expect a bitch to protect her whelping pen. My dogs were kept at a distance until the point they could exist around Brennan with an energy level of 1 or lower (on a scale to 10). If they were unable to do so, they were removed from the 5 foot space bubble I insisted on being around Brennan at all times. 

The thing that makes the transition for a new baby into the home with dogs easiest is being clear to the dogs on what is expected and understanding the human side of the equasion. For instance, humans think the dogs need to be right up close to “sniff and get to know the baby”. That’s not true. A dog can catch the babies sent from ten feet away in a decent sized room… there’s no reason for him to be in baby’s face. 

Hopefully, this video helps you understand a bit better on how to prepare for your newest addition as well as aliviate some anxiety you might be feeling if you’re in this position now.

Enjoy,

Wade

Are you or someone you know expecting a baby? Is your dog untrustworthy? are you concerned with his behaviour around your new addition? 

Visit: www.wadesdogmanship.com for program details

The problems you have today could be history tomorrow!

Dog Vlog | Pet Dog Style Obedience Vs Competition Style Obedience

Back in the day, well before I was considering training dogs for a living, a man named William Koehler (Pronounced Keeler) wrote a book named the Koehler Method Of Dog Training which is still praise-worthy even by today’s standards. Something that made this book stand out from others over the past almost forty years is the fact that upon completion of this book, you could not only take, but most like pass (if you did your homework) the AKC Novice routine getting your dog a nifty little “CD” at the end of his name (Companion Dog). 

Now a days, ring-style obedience is much different. It’s more precise, it’s more energized and exciting to watch, but that leaves us with some dogs that are so driven and adrenalized they can be hard dogs to live day-to-day with. 

When people come to me and ask how I train dogs, one of the first things I tell them and my first goal is: Teach a dog to find calmness. The second goal being: Help him stay there as much as possible. 

Some trainers think I’m short changing my clients by having “loose standards” for what the dog does, but in my mind, cooperation is worth it’s weight in gold when it comes to companion dog training now. You get the same reliability, sans flash and adrenaline… so I don’t see how it’s a bad thing…

To each their own!

Anyways, here’s this weeks Dog Vlog

The Three Things That Would Make Every Dog Owner Happier!

That’s it! Three things that you have to learn as a dog owner and you’ll fix 90% of your dog-related problems and have a happier dog in the process. The catch is two of them you’ll have to teach and the third is a skill that you must work on…

Thought you were getting off with a get rich quick scheme? Noooo…

The first thing I think every dog owner should know is how to “interrupt” a behaviour with the goal of both “stopping it in its tracks” as well as making the dog think twice about doing it again. I think it’s monumentally important to understand how to influence your dog’s behaviour as a human using things that dogs use with each other… things like spatial and social pressure are important to both understand and use, but this one principle is key as well.

First, you need something that will snap your dog out of an excited, adrenalized and highly-aroused state of mind. There are two things I recommend: 1. Pet Convincer/Pet Corrector 2. A technique brought to my attention by Gary Wilkes which he calls Bonking. A Pet Convincer and a Pet Corrector are very similar in nature but different in application… both are canisters of compressed air that make a loud “HSSSS” sound which most dogs aren’t to fond of. My Lab is the only dog I know of that the noise doesn’t bother, so if you think your tough Rottie won’t be touched by this tool, try it before you jump to that conclusion. The only difference is a Pet Corrector is a “disposable” device where as the Pet Convincer has refillable cartridges so you can reuse it over and over. Also, the Pet Convincer can be applied directly to the dog’s skin where the Corrector warns not to.

Here is a link to the blog by Gary Wilkes in regards to the Bonking Technique: http://clickandtreat.com/wordpress/?p=370

The remaining two things are skills your dog must be taught:

1.) how to respect and listen to the leash

2.) a place command

Now when I say “listen to and respect the leash”, that doesn’t necessarily mean structured, high and tight heel. It does mean, don’t pull me all over the place, don’t walk in front of me and don’t stop and smell the roses if I don’t choose to. The main rules when a dog is on leash should be as follows:

  • I decide where we go and how fast we get there
  • Respect my space and I’ll respect yours (that means, if you cut in front of me or walk under my feet, get ready to be stepped on… best to just stay off to the side)
  • When we’re moving together, I decide the distractions we investigate… that means if there’s squirrels, other dogs or the neighbor cat, I want you ignoring them and focusing on our pack activities

If you have a dog with issues like reactivity on leash, the above methods and tools will help you “interrupt” that unwanted behaviour.

I’m not going to get into why I allow my dogs to lead me and that doesn’t make them dominant… that’s for another day. Best way to teach respect for the leash is with a long line where they have ample opportunity to simply wander and explore without tension. Also, it’s significantly more fulfilling than simply walking. Dogs explore their world through their sense of smell, so it’s best to let them see the world that way. You’ll find after a few days of this, your dog will be much calmer and happier after the walk.

Teaching the Place Command

I plan to do a video on my YouTube Channel about this at some point, but for now, I’ll give you a step by step with some problem solving.

Step 1. With a leash on your dog make sure he/she is comfortable walking over whatever you expect them to be placing on. In most cases, it’s just a dog bed which their most likely fine with. After you can guide them over without any resistance, move to step 2.

Step 2. Stop them on it. At this point, they might be doing this step by themselves but if they aren’t, stop them on the bed by applying pressure on the leash in an UPWARD fashion. It doesn’t have to lift them off the ground, but it must be enough to stop their forward motion. Let them know they’ve done well!

Step 3. Start walking short distances away (no more than 6 feet at the start… so if you have a six foot leash, don’t reach the end). One of two things will happen: 1. the dog won’t get off the bed, in which case they get love for staying 2. they get off the bed, at which point you mark the mistake with “no” and replace them on the bed. It doesn’t have to be overly firm (unless your dog is warranting being firm), just guide him back on with the leash.

Step 4. Build clarity. Look for things that might encourage your dog to break the Place Command and then mark it with “no” and move him back onto the bed. Be aware if you’re being unfair… for instances, if whatever you do for a distraction is still causing him to break 3 reps later, make it easier for him to understand or less distracting by making it less intense.

A good test I give my clients is have your dog hold a place command while you’re watching your favorite TV show. That’s thirty minutes! And every time he gets off, simply say “no” or “ah ah” or whatever you’d like to stay to mark a mistake, and replace him WITHOUT CONFLICT! That’s the important part. Some dogs are looking for that spike in adrenaline and drama; don’t give it to them! Do it calmly and insistently and eventually they’ll let it all go and relax.

You can use this one command in many different ways: your dog follow you around the house getting under foot? Place Command. Your dog trip up your guests at family gatherings? Place Command. Your dog constantly begging for attention? Place Command!

And those are your three things!

1. The ability to stop and influence behaviour fast!

2. Respect for the leash

3. A place Command

I can promise you that other trainers would say I’ve left out a lot, but for me and my experience, if more dogs had basic impulse control from the place command and an understanding of how to go with the leash and the human could stop bad behaviour quickly, I’d be getting less calls.

If you’re interested in learning these skills from me personally, please visit http://www.wadesdogmanship.com for information on my Dogmanship Essentials program where all the above and MORE are covered!

The Dogmanship Minute (or some less chessy title should you be able to give me one)—Essential Obedience and Accidental Rhyming

Hello Everybody!

and welcome to Kingston Dog Trainer.com… what I hope to be a helpful outlet for free dog information and entertainment to the folks of Kingston (and around the world!!!)

Today, I present you with the first of what I hope to be a weekly presentation… a vlog! Because I get sidetracked and off topic when I write (and most likely when I vlog too)

If you have something you’d like me to talk about or discuss or you’d just like to hear my opinion on, please by all means email me and let me know:

wade@wadesdogmanship.com OR kingstondogtrainer@gmail.com

Hope you guys enjoy!