'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Bronze Certificate (part 1).

Bronze Certificate from Sarah Fisher and Marie Miller's 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog (pages 52 to 100).

11) Practise calm containment: p53.
a. '1. Kneel on the floor and sit back on your heels. Place the puppy between your knees and thighs with him facing away from you to reduce the chances of him jumping at your face. 2. Put your heels together to form a V-shape so that the puppy cannot reverse. 3. Keep your arms relaxed and place your open palms lightly on the pup's chest. 4. Go with his movement: if he tries to walk forward, gently draw him back to you, keeping your hands relaxed, and contain him in the original position. The aim is to create a mobile barrier, not to pin him to one spot. 5. Some dogs accept this very quickly but others continue to wriggle. Stay calm and keep repeating the gently containing movement until your dog relaxes and is happy to sit quietly with you.'

12) Work on all-over handling: p54.
a. 'Teaching your dog to accept and enjoy contact is an important part of his development. It enables you to make regular health checks, to handle him without causing upset, trim toe nails, groom him, treat minor cuts and grazes, clean muddy paws, towel dry him and so on.'
b. '1. Start by containing your dog or sitting next to him. 2. Run your hand lightly and slowly over his body without applying too much pressure. Use the Clouded Leopard TTouch (p.37) to help keep him calm and to show him that contact is something that is truly pleasurable. 3. If your dog is wary about contact around his hindquarters, for example, start by working on another area and use the light Zigzag (p.38) to access the pelvic reigon. You can also use this technique for helping him to be less sensitive to having his paws handled. 4. Use different textures so that your dog becomes accustomed to lots of different sensations and does not develop a fear of being groomed.'

13) Teach your puppy to accept the collar: p55.
a. 'If your puppy writhes around when you attempt to put on the collar or attach a leash, squeeze some soft cheese or pate on to the door of a refrigerator or washing machine to change his focus.'

14) Teach the 'off' or 'leave' cue: p56-57.
a. '1. Hold a treat between your finger and thumb. Offer it to your dog with the palm of your hand facing up and allow him to take it gently. Repeat this a few times. Say nothing at all. 2. Offer another treat and as your dog moves forward to take it, turn your hand over and close your fist, making sure that your thumb is tucked inside. He will probably push at your hand, or he may paw it, but ignore this behaviour. Keep your hand still and refrain from speaking to him or reprimanding him in any way. 3. The moment your dog stops trying to gain access to the tidbit, turn your hand over, palm up and give him the treat. 4. Repeat this process a number of times, making sure that you give more treats than you withhold.'

15) Introduce appropriate greetings: p58.
a. '1. Offer the back of your hand to your dog. Have your fingers pointing downwards and hold the clicker in the otherh and well away from his head. When his nose gently touches your hand, click, pause a couple of seconds and then give a small soft treat. 2. Make gentle eye contact (half-close your eyes) and then offer your hand. Click when your dog touches it and, as before, give a small treat. 3. Repeat step 2 a few times, increasingly making more direct eye contact until your dog is confident. 4. Gradually lean and move more quickly towards your dog until he accepts this approach by immediately touching the front of your hand. 5. As your dog gains confidence, begin to involve oter people in training this behaviour, talking them through the exrecise. He should greet them with a hand touch and then turn back to you. 6. Finally, when your dog is offering this behaviour consistently as a greeting, put in a verbal cue, such as 'say hello'.'

16) Teach a calm 'sit': p59.
a. '1. Hold a small tasty treat near your dog's nose with your fingers curved and pointing upwards; this forms the basis of the hand signal. 2. Slowly raise your hand at a slight angle so the dog follows with his nose and begins to tip his head back; click and treat. 3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 and click when the dog is almost sitting. 4. Repeat step 3, but this time wait until his bottom actually touches the ground before you click and treat. Your dog is now responding to an upward hand signal. 5. When the dog is consitently responding to the hand signal introduce a word cue by saying 'sit' as you give the signal. Click and treat.'

17) Give lessons in 'down': p60-61.
a. '1. Most dogs find it easier to learn the down from a sit position. Hold a small tasty treat near your dog's nose, with curved fingers pointing downwards; this will form the basis of the hand signal. 2. Slowly lower the treat in a straight line towards the floor. 3. As your dog begins to follow your hand with his nose, click and after a few seconds drop the treat between his paws. This will encourage him to get into the habit of looking to the floor for the treat, which will diminish the chances of him learning to do 'doggy press-ups' and following your hand back up in search of another treat. 4. Again from the 'sit' position, take the treat loer so that this time the dog's nose is close to the floor and his front legs begin to bend. Click and after a few seconds drop the treat. 5. Still from the sit, lower the treat from nose to floor and then slowly push it back towards his chest. 6. Wait until he drops his wole body into the 'down' position then click and after a few seconds drop the treat between his paws. 7. Repeat this a few times until your dog gets the idea. Then try lowering your hand, giving the same hand signal towards the floor. 8. Click when he takes the down position and after a few seconds drop a treat.'

18) Play a shared game: p62.
a. '1. Start with your dog on a flat collar, or harness, and trailing leash. Choose a toy that is big enough for you both to hold. Wiggle the toy along the ground and encourage your dog to mouth it. When he takes the toy, stroke him, praise him and have lots of fun. 2. While you are both holding the toy, stroke your dog but quietly pick up the end of the leash before you release the toy so that your dog cannot bounce away with it. 3. When your dog is happy to share the game and to give up the toy when you ask for it using the 'off' or 'leave' cue, start to throw the toy a short distance, but leave the leash trailing so you can contain the game.'

19) Introduce the fun retrieve: p63.
a. '1. Put a toy on the ground and when your dog looks at it, click and treat. Repeat this a couple of times. 2. When your dog looks at and then begins to move towards the toy, click and treat. Repeat this a couple of times. 3. Wait until your dog moves forward and touches the toy. Click and treat and repeat so  that your dog understads the game. 4. Continue to slowly shape the behaviour until your dog is picking up the toy. 5. Once he has grasped the idea that you want him to pick up the toy, callhim to you as he picks it up and turn away to encourage him to come to you. If he drops the toy, encourage him to go and pick it up again.'

20) Teach the recall: p64-65.
a. '1. Start at home where there are few distractions. Every time you remembre that you have a dog, call his name and say 'come'. Have your hand in front of you holding a tasty treat and draw him towards you. Make sure you are standing or sitting upright as this will encourage him to come closer; if you lean forward he will probably hang back. 2. As he arrives let him scent the food you have in your hand. Raise your hand slowly so that as he lifts his nose to follow it, he will sit. Give the reward. Use calm, verbal praise and avoid high pitched tones. 3. Talk to and touch your dog and on some recalls give a small piece of food every few seconds. It is essential he learns that it is worth staying with you, rather than simply grabbing a treat and running off.'

21) Start line training for recall: p66.
a. '1. Attach the line to your dog's harness and let him go. As soon as he passes you or moves too far away, but well before he reaches the end of the line, call 'this way' and change direction so that you are moving away from him. 2. Use the clicker to help him understand this exercise. Click as he turns and begins to follow. He will continue towards you to get his treat. Remember you are not clicking to gain his attention but to mark that he had already changed direction and started moving towards you. This is the behaviour you want him to repeat. 3. When your dog is consistently changing direction to follow you, drop the line and allow it to drag on the ground.'

22) Introduce recall with a whistle: p67.
a. 'When your dog understands recall with a whistle, it is important to give the high value treats only for a high value recall. If he is lazy in his response, thank him for arriving but withhold the food or give a bland food reward.'

23) Coach appropriate behaviour for greeting children: p68.
a. 'Dogs need to learn how to approach children calmly without bumping into them, jumping up or knocking them over. This can be overwhelming and frightening for small children.'

24) Ask your dog to follow a hand target: p69.
a. '1. With your dog watching you, move your hand a centimetre or so and as he begins to follow it with his nose, click and treat. The treats can be delivered from the hand or dropped to the floor. 2. Gradually extend the distance and time that your dog will follow your hand. Teach him to follow both hands. 3. You can now encourage your dog to follow a hand while walking by your side to gain his attention when he becomes distracted.'
b. 'In potentially distracting situations, use hand targeting to encourage your dog to follow you.'

25) Teach walking on a leash: p70.
a. 'A dog's natural movement is usually much faster than human walking pace so unless you teach your dog to walk slowly and in balance he may find it diffcult to walk without leaning into the leash.'

26) Lead from both sides: p71.
a. 'Teaching your dog to be comfortable being led from either side can be beneficial if you are walking along a busy road or need to switch sides to avoid an oncoming bouncy dog.'

27) Make use of a target mat: p72-73.
a. '1. Put the mat on the ground near your dog. Sit on a step or a chair nearby. When your dog looks towards the mat, click and throw a treat to the other side of the target. 2. As the dog moves back towards you having retrieved the treat and either looks at or touches the target, click and throw another treat over the target. 3. Repeat this step until the penny drops and your dog understands that the click is linked to him interacting with the target. 4. The next stage is to pause for a rew seconds as he stands touching the target then click and treat.'

28) Introduce 'stand' on cue: p74.
a. 'Try standing sideways on to your dog and lure him into a stand position with your fingers curved sideways away from him. This will form the basis of a hand signal. Take care with your hand height: if you hold it too high he is likely to sit, if you hold it too low he may lie down. When he is in position click and treat.'

29) Practise safe travel in a car: p75.
a. 'Take your dog out in a vehicle as soon as you can. Begin by going on short drives that end in a lovely walk so he associates cars with something pleasant. ... Make sure that he has been able to relieve himself before he gets in the car and avoid feeding him prior to travel to limit the chances of carsickness.'

30) Work on controlled exits: p75.
a. '1. Ask your dog to sit or stand when you open the door. 2. Clip on his leash and ask him to wait using a hand signal so that he learns not to leap out the moment you step back from the car. 3. Ask him to jump down or lift him if he is small and ask him to sit or stand by the side of the car.'

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