Success Stories 6
We love to see our students making a difference in the lives of dogs and their owners by utilizing modern, science-based, positive reinforcement training methods.
Gina Chang, Basics Pro Student
Owner, Coastside Canine, Half Moon Bay, CA
Dogs can learn new tricks at any age. In fact, the earlier the better, it’s never too early to start developing good basic manners. As your puppy gets a little older, you can add to its growing set of skills.
At Coastside Canine, we utilize effective, science-based, positive reinforcement techniques that help your dog learn and make it easy for you to maintain the new behaviors over time. Our unique approach to training turns lessons into games, making it fun for both humans and their canine pals.
Kristy Houck, CCDT
Owner, Beyond Barks, Jefferson, MD
The importance of a reliable recall:
A recall with targeting is valuable in real life in many ways with safety being a primary one. Another name for recall is come. Targeting involves the dog touching your hand or a designated item. This command will allow you to give your dog certain freedoms that other dogs cannot have. It can be used at the dog park, on a hike or if a gate was left open accidentally. If your dog has a reliable recall it could save their life one day. While visiting my parents one weekend our black Labrador retriever decided he wanted to go under the fence of the neighboring horse pasture. Once the horse noticed him in the pasture it was ready to charge. I gave our dog the come command and thankfully avoided a possibly tragic outcome.
Andi Myers, Master Class Student
Owner, Suzy Q’s Animal Services, Stewartstown, PA
On chew toys:
Three reasons why dogs need to chew on chew toys is that they keep them from chewing on non-toy items, chew toys are a great item for puppies while they are teething, and chewing is a mild form of exercise and helps satisfy bored dogs. Personally I recommend to rotate the dogs toys otherwise the dog becomes bored with the toys. If you rotate the toys weekly the dog(s) always have a “new” to chew on.
On head halters:
Head halters work because “where the nose goes, the body will follow”. The head halter does not need a lot of human body strength to control the dog’s movements and it’s a great training tool to aid in the loose leash and behavior management process.
Anita Anderson, Basics Pro Graduate
Owner, Anita’s Loving Pet Services, Lomita, CA
Benefits of play:
Play provides exercise for both, bonding for both, and teaches dogs training is fun, and it’s a great motivator and reward. It releases good feeling endorphines, increases oxygen to the brain enabling learning to happen more effectively, and it reduces stress for both parties.
Camille Personne, CCDT
Trainer, Applause Your Paws, Miami, FL
Be sure to have what your dog wants: make sure the reinforcer you choose is strong enough to get your dog’s attention in a high distraction environment. Start in easy situations: set your dog up for success and build his confidence before increasing the difficulty. Be flexible: dogs have good days and bad days, work at the dog’s actual level and not the level you think he should be at.
Improving fear-based behaviors:
Above the trigger threshold, the dog’s ability to learn is severely compromised since he is in a reactive mode. In order to work sub-threshold, it is important to properly identify what triggers the dog. From there, when a dog is at sub-threshold, he is aware of the trigger but does not react to it.
Gabrielle Kelly, CCDT
Owner, The Good Mannered Dog, West Middlesex, PA
On separation anxiety:
Your goal is to teach your dog a new association by teaching your dog to dis-associate the triggers with your departure. Five times each day, do one trigger at a time, without actually going anywhere. If putting on your coat is a trigger for your dog, then get your coat and ignore your dog completely. Do anything for a minute or two: watch TV, talk on the phone – do anything but leave the house. Then take your coat of and continue to ignore the dog. Repeat this whenever you can. The idea is to teach your dog a new association – that coats, or keys, or hairbrushes, don’t mean much at all. Don’t do this within an hour of leaving, or you might just sensitize your dog to be more anxious.