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Hide and Seek with your dog!

March 8, 2013 | Fun Games, Training

Training our dog to “come” was certainly a challenge.  He grew up mostly as a city dog, so he was rarely off-leash.  Coming when we were playing inside was never an issue, but that’s mostly because there weren’t any distractions for him.  No squirrels in the hallway or birds flying by!  So when we tried to train him outside with those distractions, it took some effort.  If you are still learning how to train your dog to come, here’s a great way to start the process.  Play a game of hide and seek!

I found this blog to be helpful when training our pup – http://www.naturaldogblog.com/blog – and one fun activity was Hide and Seek.  The idea is to increase your dog’s attraction to you by engaging their prey instinct.  With repetition, you become more appealing to them than any distraction (like a squirrel) that may be present.  Take some time to try this fun game.  Just find a secluded place to play that doesn’t have a lot of distractions (a trail in the woods is perfect).  Then here’s what you do:

  1. Have someone hold your dog’s leash
  2. Run down the trail and then find a place to hide that your dog can’t see
  3. Once you’re hidden, loudly call your dog’s name
  4. As soon as your friend hears you call, they should drop the leash so your dog can come find you
  5. When your dog finds you (they always do), give them lots of praise and some treats
  6. Play this game for a bit, but stop before your dog loses interest

*Check out the full post about the game here.

This game is lots of fun for your dog and helps you become the focus of their attention.  Keep doing this, along with other recall training techniques, and your dog will love to come when you call him!


Is Your Dog Stressed?

March 6, 2013 | Good Reads

I’m loving Lowcountry Dog Magazine – it’s always filled with great articles, good tips, and fun upcoming events.  Every time I check out an article, I get sucked in and end up reading the whole thing.  The latest issue is worth the read  – check it out here: http://lowcountrydog.com/issue/februarymarch-2013

My favorite article was “Frazzled Fido” that starts on page 8.  After just going through a big house move with our dog, I was definitely worried about his stress levels.  He seems to be handling it well, though, and is enjoying lots of new perks – like more windows to look out, more sunny sleeping spots, and lots of backyard grass to roll around in.  If you are worried about your dog’s stress levels, this is a neat read that provides some good tips on how to help them out.


10 Dog Training Tips

March 3, 2013 | Training

Learning how to train your new dog?  Check out this short article for some helpful tips – http://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-training/dog-training-tips/.

Here are my favorites:

  1. Be Consistent
    • Whenever you’re training your dog, it’s important to get as many family members involved as possible so everyone’s on the same page
  2. You Get What You Reinforce – Not Necessarily What You Want
    • If your dog exhibits a behavior you don’t like, there is a strong likelihood that it’s something that has been reinforced before. A great example is when your dog brings you a toy and barks to entice you to throw it. You throw the toy. Your dog has just learned that barking gets you to do what he wants. You say “no,” and he barks even more. Heaven forbid you give in and throw the toy now! Why? Because you will have taught him persistence pays off.
  3. Be Generous With Your Affection
    • Most people don’t have a problem being very clear about when they are unhappy with their dogs, but, they often ignore the good stuff. Big mistake! Make sure you give your dog lots of attention when he’s doing the right thing. Let him know when he’s been a good boy. That’s the time to be extra generous with your attention and praise.


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