Waiting for food

Waiting for food

Does your dog sit and wait for his or he food at dinner time? Awesome work!

As a person who easily gets hangry, I marvel at how well dogs can wait for food.

Because they’re dogs and food is usually a top motivator, we can use feeding time to our advantage for good manners.

From what I’ve observed over the years, here’s some tips to make this skill work to your advantage even better:

  • Make sure your dog doesn’t go for the food until they get a release word
  • Set the rule that your dog has to look at YOU (not stare at the food) to get their release to eat
  • After putting the bowl down, if your dog has mastered waiting, practice a couple of other commands they have to do before released to eat

If you are finding yourself wondering how other people do this and thinking your dog would never wait for their food and would just about crash tackle you to get to the bowl, this is a great opportunity to work on some training that is actually more simple than you might think.

Get started at the Dog Matters Academy to learn the principles to help you teach this and much more:

  1. Browse the free lessons in the Dog Matters Academy
  2. Sign up for Academy Premium and take the full training program that will improve any behaviour you’re struggling with with your dog
  3. Read my free ebook, The Good Dog and submit a question for me to answer within the same module area

 

He’s not a bad dog

He’s not a bad dog

You don’t need to feel ashamed if your dog is behaving badly. I think that’s what causes MANY people to say to me, “he’s not a bad dog,” or, “she’s really a sweet natured girl.”

Of course the reason they are speaking to me is usually because the same dog is showing aggression, destroying property or jumping up on people to the point of hurting them.

What I want people to know is, I KNOW your dog is not a bad dog. It’s okay.

The truth is, good dogs can display bad behaviour.

Of course, what is, “bad,” is a matter of interpretation and preference.

At the same time, if your dog is a danger to you, themselves, or others, the issue needs to be addressed.

Training through behaviour problems is about moving forward and creating positive change.

If you’re feeling like you will be judged when seeking help and it’s stopping you from taking the next step, I want you to know that there are non-judgy trainers (like me) out there and it’s about finding that right fit that you feel comfortable with.

You can also be selective with where you post online. Large free-for-all dog groups aren’t always the safest spaces to seek help without judgement.

The more serious or ingrained the issue, the more likely you will need in person help.

Sometimes though, you might feel like the issue is really bad and super embarrassing, but it might be simpler than you think to address it!

It’s all about taking that first step.

So when you’re ready for that, here’s 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Browse the free lessons in the Dog Matters Academy
  2. Sign up for Academy Premium and take the full training program that will improve any behaviour you’re struggling with with your dog
  3. Read my free ebook, The Good Dog and submit a question for me to answer within the same module area

 

Don’t name it til you love it

Don’t name it til you love it

If you are in a foreign country and you don’t know the language, no amount of repeating the same word to you is going to make you understand it.

You would need to be shown what it means by pointing at an object or using a translator.

Remember too that your dog speaks a different language to us.

When they aren’t listening to something it is often because they don’t yet know the translation and need to be taught what the word means.

While repetition is the key to learning, this doesn’t mean repeating a word over and over and hoping that your dog will eventually get it.

It means repeating the behaviour until the dog knows that this behaviour leads to a good outcome.

And THEN we introduce a word, the new language.

That’s why you’ll often hear me say, “don’t name it til you love it.”

While I’m training something new to a dog, the owner often asks me, “why aren’t you saying a command?”

I’ll often start out saying little other than praise words (your dog needs encouragement).

But if I say the command before the dog knows which behaviour I want, the chances are they won’t get it right, which means they are being set up to fail AND as a human, my next step would be to start repeating the word.

When we repeat the word without meaning with it, it becomes less meaningful and easier for your dog to ignore.

So repeat the behaviour before you repeat the word, and don’t name it til you love it 😉

Woofs and wags

Tenille

PS Whenever you’re ready, here’s 3 ways you can improve your dog’s behaviour today:

  1. Browse the free lessons in the Dog Matters Academy
  2. Sign up for Academy Premium and take the full training program that will improve any behaviour you’re struggling with with your dog
  3. Read my free ebook, The Good Dog and submit a question for me to answer within the same module area
Not aggressive

Not aggressive

“She is biting the kids – but she’s not aggressive! She just wants to play!”

“He rushes up to other dogs and fights break out – but he is just being friendly – he is not aggressive!”

“She’s growling at strangers – but she is not aggressive.”

These are things I hear almost daily and I want people to know – it’s okay. I know your dog is not a bad dog.

I know that when your young dog mouths your family members, he is not being aggressive – he is being playful and doesn’t know any better that teeth are not allowed on people.

Mouthing and play biting and straining on the lead out of frustration are not aggression.

If the dog is growling, this can lead to aggression and in fact many trainers would define growling as an aggressive act.

Just because a dog is acting out of fear, it doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t cause harm. In fact, most aggression comes from some type of fear or insecurity.

To a degree…

Aggression is built in to every dog.

It’s a tool built into their instincts to protect them and help them survive.

Aggression brings down a hunt to feed and nourish them.

Aggression wards off threats to protect them from harm (hence fearful dogs will growl, lunge and bark)

No matter why a dog is displaying aggression, being that they are living in the human world, aggression from dogs is not acceptable – but there is hope.

If your dog is displaying aggression, seek the help of an experienced trainer.

If your dog is one of those dogs who is mouthing, biting, lunging or making people feel threatened through unruly behaviour, but is not aggressive, much of this can be solved with some basic manners training and a better understanding of how dogs communicate and why they do the things they do.

To start learning how to understand your dog better and address these unwanted habits, visit the free Dog Matters Academy hub here.

Woofs and wags

Tenille

Are you still struggling with leash pulling?

Are you still struggling with leash pulling?

Time and time again, I see people online trying to figure out the secret to stop their dog pulling on the leash.

They’ve tried gadgets and gizmos a plenty, as The Little Mermaid would say…

They’ve tried changing directions.
They’ve tried standing still.
They’ve tried luring with treats.

Why does their dog still pull?

Is this something you’re struggling with, ?

The thing is, it could be a combination of using tools that don’t offer the best help, using techniques incorrectly or guessing them, or poor timing.

While loose lead walking isn’t rocket science, there are a few things that need to be going right at once. And there’s definitely a few things that you need to stop doing – like following the dog a single inch when the lead has any tension in it at all. Do that, and you’re directly rewarding the pulling, making the behaviour stronger.

And while you might think, “easy for you to say,” I want you to know that my only advantage is being taught the right skills and practice. I used to struggling with achieving loose lead walking too!

If you want to learn the right combination of timing, tool and technique for your dog and stop leash pulling for good, you can start with the free section in the Dog Matters Academy….

….but if you want to address the whole picture of your dog’s pulling and other undesirable behaviour, I recommend taking my signature program,  Frantic To Focused ← you can either buy FTF as a once off or join the Academy premium and get access to this program and all my others for one low monthly payment. Get all the details here

It’s a program that enables you to have the joyful relationship with your dog that you know you’re meant to have. Plus if you’re in the premium Academy membership, I’ll be right by your side in the member’s only group to give you feedback and answer your questions.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Woofs and wags

Tenille

Markers

Markers

Do you use markers in training? How many? Or are you reading this asking, “Tenille, what the heck is a marker?!”

In today’s quick video I explain three types of markers we use in training and what they mean to your dog. Why use markers? Clarity! It’s the best way to make it clearer to your dog what you want them to do.

Click here to watch the video and comment if you have any questions

Marker training is used in zoos, aquariums, circuses, training facilities and research centres around the world. And it’s no coincidence – it really does help with our communication with our animals (not just dogs!) immensely.

Woofs and wags

Tenille

PS If you want to learn more about marker training and how to apply it through different skills and challenges, you’ll want to get into the Dog Matters Academy. Start free or get stuck right into premium for one low monthly fee, cancel any time. See all the details here