Building a Better Team involves how you interact with your dog every day! Use all your interactions to build your team. Below are some ideas to strengthen your team (from most recent to older material).
- Training is about providing good consequences for desired behavior. I was reminded by a student's dog last week that the treats are great but the interaction with the trainer is invaluable. Remember to make it fun for your dog to train with you. The cookies are quickly swallowed but they remember the fun they had with you.
- Have you earned your dog's attention? This is a link to an article by clicker trainer Bob Bailey. I found it helpful. http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2002b/attention.htm
- "I have learned in the last few months that perhaps dogs really can read our minds. I have done some "energy" work with my dogs in the last few months and they have responded in ways that indicate that they knew exactly what I was telling them. Now I know my dogs are bright, but they aren't fluent in English. So something else must be happening. I wonder if they see the mental images that I am creating. I know that I sense a greater depth of the character of my dogs as I learn more about them and how to be a better communicator to them." -- Self
- "Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to
feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new." -- Brian Tracy
- Beef Heart Training Treats Recipe
I have been asked to put my recipe on my website so here you go? I don't do anything fancy at all. Slice the beef heart if it didn't come that way. Lay the slices in a Pyrex dish and sprinkle with garlic powder. Cover with some paper towels (I try not to use plastic anymore) and microwave. After maybe 5 minutes, rotate the slices around so the inside ones are now on the outside. Nuke some more until the pink is gone, or mostly so.
Lay the slices on paper towels to absorb the juice from the meat. Save the juice in the dish for to put on your dog's food. When cooled, slice the heart into little bites. Freeze in bags for future use. Sometimes I am more lazy and throw the cooked slices in the freezer and cut them up at a later date. If you freeze them on a flat surface, you can toss them in a plastic bag after they are frozen and take them out one at a time for chopping into little training treats. You can also use them yourselves for dishes such as adding to simple soups.
- "The first time you teach a dog something, they remember how they felt at that time. So make it a positive experience. Dogs also donï¿½t forget how they felt in that environment." -- Leslie McDevitt
- "The more present you are with your dog, the better a trainer you will be." -- Self
- "People will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog." -- Charles F. Duran
- "Build a good foundation. Repairs are never as good as a strong foundation.
Help the dog make the correct choices. It's all about choices! Set them up for success.
Behaviors reinforced will encourage the dog to repeat the behavior. Behaviors not reinforced will be extinguished unless the dog is getting other reinforcement for it.
Help your dog make the correct choices. The steps are:
1) know the desired action,
2) set up the dog to make the right choice,
3) observe it,
4) reward FAST. Use clicker or verbal yes to immediately mark the correct choice. Follow with petting, food, praise, toy, or smile.
All rewards are contingent on something the dog does.
Get 80% success rate on 2 separate training sessions before adding challenge.
Keep a training journal to track your progress and problems.