Exercise

This is what dogs should look like after they have been exercised! This is after our morning hour long walk around Tonawanda. We take our boot camp dogs (brindle guy on the far left) on many walks around the neighborhood. To help them learn to do it nicely.

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As Good As It Gets

Before I get too involved in this post, let me just start by saying that there is a big difference in my mind between training dogs for competition obedience, and doing what I term “Real world dog training.” Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of similarities as well, the most important being that both are grounded in the use of learning theory and classical and operant conditioning. However, understanding the differences can be very important especially for the individual who is filtering through the masses of conflicting information about training methods out there, and trying to determine what is best for their dog.

In my view, one of the most important distinctions in this matter is the Type of dogs used for the competition style training. When I say type, I am not referring to breed, but rather to individual traits that can vary across breeds. Most importantly, the overall motivation level, or drive, of the dog. Since most modern competition style training is founded primarily on the use of positive reinforcement, the drive of the dog is an extremely important factor.

How much overall motivation your dog may have is in large part (not entirely) determined by genetics, and it matters because the more the dog wants what you have, the harder he will work to achieve it. In other words, the higher the dog’s motivation or drive state, the more you can do with positive reinforcement alone. The average pet dog can vary widely on this singular trait, and where your dog falls on this spectrum will in a large part determine how successful you may be in a positive only training program. This does not make the dog “better” or “worse”, it just means that we need to balance our training accordingly with the use of positives and negatives to achieve the optimum result (my philosophy on balance in dog training is a separate topic).

The flip side of all this is that although the more motivated dogs can often be easier to teach, they also are often the more difficult dogs to live with. They tend to be more active, more curious (which often leads them into trouble), and more in need of physical and mental stimulation.

O.k. you may be wondering where I’m going with all this. So, with all that being said,  This Link is of a video of one of my favorite dog trainers, Michael Ellis, and his competition dog Pi. Pi currently holds a Modio Ring III title (very tough competition), and Michael plans on competing with him at the national and international level. Pi is a very high drive dog, and Michaels use of positive reinforcement training is about as good as it gets. This video is an awesome example of how, if you have a highly motivated dog, you can combine playing an training to create a beautiful and almost artistic activity. This is the Craft of dog training

Thank you to Ed Frawley of Leerburg.com for producing this video making Michael Ellis’ expertise available to a wider audience.

Tired pups

This is what two 7 month old Golden Retrievers look like after a good training session, exhausted! Sabertooth and Thriller were just signed up for group class, and they’re going to do great!

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Dogs and the road

This is lead dog trainer Josh Moran’s dog King. Here he shows how a dog NEEDS to behave around the road.

Pack Walk

 
It’s been cold, windy and rainy here in Buffalo, NY, but dogs still need to be walked. Don’t let the weather be an excuse for not giving your dog the mental and physical activity that they need.
If your dog pulls you, or walks in front, then call K9 Connection and we’ll train them to heel perfectly.

Playing and Training With Apollo the Doberman

This is the beginning of week 2 of a “BootCamp” dog training program with Apollo the Doberman. I am using my own Dog Lobo a Belgian Malinois to help provide distraction and Apollo works on downs. At this point Apollo has been training with us for 8 days.

I love training sessions like this because they are for for both human and dog, and they get the dog used to transitioning quickly from excited to calm states. My sidekick Lobo had a good time too; he always appreciates an opportunity to show off his skills.

On a side note, I was really pleased as this was the first time since I got Lobo in November that I had him interact with another un-neutered full grown male. Having two un-neutered males meet for the first time can always be a little hairy (no pun intended), but all these boys wanted to do was play and have a good time.

 

Competition Heeling

I recently finished the third video in a series on competition heeling. To make it simple I thought I’d post all three together.

Enjoy

Pack To Basics

I am very pleased to announce that we will be hosting a workshop with Chad Mackin and his revolutionary Pack To Basics program.

Chad has been training dogs professionally since March of 1993, teaches workshops for professional trainers throughout the US and Canada. He is a proud member  and board member of the International Association of Canine Professionals http://www.canineprofessionals.com

The key to Pack To Basics is to use the dog’s naturally strong social behavior to reduce stress and fear; build confidence and language skills, allowing for many common behavior problems to slip away.  This is an approach like none other!

Pack to Basics is a comprehensive approach to canine socialization, specifically gear towards dogs with known socialization issues. It includes everything from the initial evaluation to pre-training dogs before they can enter the social arena and preparing the questionable dogs to safely enter the socialization classes.

Pack to basics is an advanced socialization process that focuses on the dogs that are typically excluded from doggie day-cares and other socialization venues. Because of this fact, Pack to Basics offers us an opportunity to help dogs that otherwise might not be able to ever run with other dogs.

You can download the workshop flyer by clicking the link below:

Pack To Basics Flyer

The following video shows a Pack To Basics work in progress. Ringo is a from South Texas Lab Rescue and was facing an uncertain future because of his aggressive behavior towards other dogs.  We have done no training with Ringo besides Pack to Basics socialization classes, what you see below is the result of less than two weeks of work and only a handful of sessions.

Bullet


Bullet just arrived for a 2 week boot camp. He currently lives in his owners garage because he can’t control himself inside. He doesn’t get enough exercise because he can’t be trusted off leash and his owner can’t control him on leash due to his strength. Bullet’s life is about to get a whole lot better!

Bullet and Sasha, our boot camp students, enjoying a rainy stroll. Keep in mind this is Bullet’s first day of training, and prior to today his owners couldn’t walk him because he pulled so much.

Check us out and save some cash!

Come see us tonight and all day tomorrow at Eastern Mountain Sports on Niagara Falls boulevard. You can see the K9 Connection dogs in action, and take advantage of 20-30% off anything in the store!