Tag Archive for: off leash

Dog Training For The Whole Family

One of our K9 Connection Dog Training Clients, Sarah Giansante, is seen here with her young dog ‘Munson.”
I was amazed when I found that Sarah, at 8 1/2 years old had taken over the responsibility of training the family dog.
Sarah has done an excellent job of giving consistent leadership and guidance to Munson, so he can develop into a well mannered family companion.

Training Position Changes

This is a video clip showing Tyler Muto and ‘Gia” training position changes (heel, front, under.) This is a typical training session where a specific behavior is chosen and isolated for repetition. There are some minor variations thrown in to keep thing dog from anticipating too much which could cause problems down the line. These variations are important to keep the dog from thinking too much during training. When a dog thinks too much they stop listening to the handler. We always want to make sure that the dog is responding to the commands given, not just performing out of habit.

Teach Your Dog To Pay Attention

At K9 Connection Dog Training, one of the most important things that we teach our dogs is to pay attention to the handler. This is a crucial part of any successful training program, but what does attention really mean?

Attention can mean different things, or perhaps more appropriately, it can come in varying degrees. For instance: when I get home from work, one of the first things I do is check my email. Now imagine that one day as I am checking my email, my wife walks in and says “Tyler, the garbage really needs to go out.”

I turn to her and respond “Sure honey, I’ll take it out in one sec, just as soon as I’m done reading this message.”

So, in a sense, she got my attention, because I heard her, turned and looked at her, and responded. But most of my attention was still on my email which is why I sat and continued reading. If my mind were a pie chart, my wife maybe had 20% of my attention diverted to her and what she wanted me to do, and 80% was still on the email. I f she were somehow able to reverse that pie chart, and get 80% of my attention on her, then I would have gotten up and taken the garbage, because I would have had enough brain power left to focus on the email.

This is very often what is going on with our dogs when they don’t perform a known command. They’re not trying to be jerks, they are just distracted, and we are unable to redirect their attention adequately. This is usually when we start raising our voice or yanking on a leash. This of course does not solve the problem. Likewise, where most training programs fail, is a over-reliance treats. While treats can be effective as teaching tools to lure a dog into a new position, or reward appropriate behavior, all too often dog trainers and clients alike rely too much on the treat to attract and hold the dogs attention. What happens here is that the dog learns to pay attention to the treat, but never effectively learns to pay attention to the handler. Once the treats are removed from the picture, you are left with a dog who displays zero attention span, and who perhaps will perform a known command in the quiet of her own home where there is not anything more interesting, but soon as you change the environment, or introduce real distractions, it’s almost as if she’s not trained at all.

This is why we place so much importance on teaching attention. It is the overarching condition to all obedience. With clear understanding and proper attention, there’s no reason your dog should not perform a known command.

If you need help with your dog, contact K-9 Connection Dog Training at (716) 548-3642

Client Testimonial

This is Bob, one of my clients, and his 8 year old Jack Russell Terrier ‘Zoe” showing off some of their off leash obedience, and ‘place’ command on various environmental objects.  Zoe was pretty out of control before she came to K-9 Connection, but now she’s pretty impressive.  Bob and Zoe have really bonded because of the training, and I really enjoy working with clients who are as enthusiasic as him. Bob really knows how to have fun with his dog training, and it shows!

Highlights From The All Creatures Animal Hospital Open House

These are clips from the open house at the All Creatures Animal Hospital.  Doing public demonstrations like this right next to crowds of people and dogs is where people really get to see the benefit of our dog training programs. I always tell clients, dog training isn’t so much about what your dog knows, its about what your dog will actually do.  The unfortunate reality is that most dogs will only perform their known obedience commands when they are home and there is little distraction around. Thats where K-9 Connection comes in, we specialize in getting dogs off leash even around severe distraction. If you have a dog you need help with, just give us a call (716) 548-3642.

Have Fun With Your Dog During Training!!

We often see dogs that although being cooed over, petted or fed treats, still seem miserable while being “trained.” Positive motivation can be a tricky thing.

Dog training (dog learning) should not take on the flavor of a boring chore for the dog or handler. Some trainers will tell you to train early in the morning before you feed them, while others will tell you to train your dog only for 10-15 minutes maximum. The reasoning behind those approaches has to do primarily with ones ability to attain and hold the dogs attention more than anything else.

Below is a video of me with my dog “Gia”. She is a young rescue who was in pretty rough shape when I got her.  This video was filmed in Delware Park and depicts a typical training session together. Notice that I always have a toy in my hand, and I give her frequent breaks to release her drive and play with that toy.

At K-9 Connection we are teaching and reinforcing commands to our dogs around the clock. We teach (train) as we live, just like raising children. As parents we could not possibly take three 20 minute sessions a day to raise them, although some of us might like that program, but at that rate we might be raising them well into their 30’s and there goes retirement fun. Sure there are times when we focus on just learning one skill, but the most impacting agenda is for the dog to be comprehensive in the Dog Training Language.

We teach them a whole new language of communication that will enable you as the handler to have control of your dog at distances. This in turn, gives your dog more freedom. It is simple math in that proper repetition, breeds consistent behavior patterns. We aim to use every opportunity to mark a behavior, even for example if it is only for two seconds in a “place” for a puppy, or an advanced skill, like a remote down.

The main goal for any training method is to attain and hold the dog’s attention. Whether it is food, leash and collar, flat, prong, choke or remote collar. While all methods are all on an even playing field, ours is an exception to the rule since we can communicate and control our dog’s at distances. It should be noted that any punishment and intimidation comes from the handler, not the tool.

Like anything in life, no single person or dog for that matter, is ever punished into excellence. Our goal is to generate a happy well mannered dog. With that in mind, we strive for beginning and ending interactions on a high note.

You can give your dog treats and “good boy’s” all day long, but if your voice is flat and your body language is stiff, then within a matter minutes of interacting with your dog, there is a high probability of your dog mirroring that tone you have set, making the learning arena, less than exciting for the dog. There is tremendous value in tuning into your dogs drive levels. For example very high energy toy motivated dogs, need to be toned down a bit and flat dogs need a bigger dose of the handlers upbeat attitude. The handler should always be engaged and having fun, but at the same time, keenly aware to keep things in balance.