Fun and Motivational Dog Training Want
to strengthen the human-canine bond? Just get involved in positive-oriented dog
training. Did you know that a dog who is taught to pay attention and to follow
certain cues is going to be more secure?
Get started with a GReat article from
Dr. Overall on
understanding how dogs learn, as well as the articles below to
understand the different training philosophies. And, then sign up for training
classes to provide the incentive to work with your dog on a regular basis and
get assistance from instructors who can better evaluate any difficulties.
We have a HUGE collection of
training web resources and articles
here that cover a multitude of learning skills, as well as behavioral problem
areas. And, be sure to take the first step toward incorporating your newly
learned skills by learning how to obtain a Canine
Good Citizen (CGC) title for your dog.
Dominance Position Statement
statement has been developed for the purpose of clarifying how AVSAB
views the theory of dominance relationships between animals. We also
hope that it helps to dispel some myths that have recently become more
prevalent among some who work in this field.
Punishment Position Statement
statement focuses on the use of punishment in the training of animals
and the learning theories that exist which put the use of punishment
into proper perspective.
Puppy Socialization Position Statement
This statement hopes to increase awareness of the need socialization in
puppies and raise the issue of how vaccination protocols effect the
socialization process in puppy classes.
He is definitely the "Anti-Cesar
Millan" as identified in Rafkin's 2006 article, succeeding for 25 years
with lure-reward dog training but usurped by the flashy, aggressive TV host.
Dr. Dunbar received his veterinary degree and a Special Honors
degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London
University) and a doctorate in animal behavior from the Psychology Department at
the University of California in Berkeley, where he spent ten years researching
olfactory communication, the development of hierarchical social behavior, and
aggression in domestic dogs.
To keep up with the continual flow of exceptional dog
themed materials, a MUST is following Dr. Dunbar's
Dogstardaily.com website and subscribing to his
(an amazing 480 videos as of 10/2010).
Dr. Ian Dunbar: Three simple strategies to
successfully training a dog
The website is a daily updated magazine
with news, blogs and articles about dog behavior, as well as a comprehensive
digital dog training textbook.
Everything you need to know about dog training,
from raising a puppy to teaching an adult dog and fixing behavior problems, is
Because of the strong belief that proper training
information is so important, the information is FREELY available to all, with the hope that dogs (and their
humans) will be happier and healthier because of it.
We love the honesty in this recent video from Dr.
Dunbar on binary feedback. We find that there is too much black and white in the
training world, instead of realizing that a common sense eclectic approach that
embraces the realistic grays of life is crucial.
The force and fear-based training of old is sadly
still very much present today, with the utilization of positive and motivational
approaches very much in the minority.
And, it may be due to such training being given
continuing voice in the media, such as we see in the strangely named, and in our
opinion, horrid Dog Whisperer (Cesar Millan's) show on the National Geographic
Dr. Ian Dunbar explains that the best feedback for
training is binary. It's most important that we praise and reward the dog when
they're acting appropriately, but it's also necessary that we punish dogs when
they're acting inappropriately.
However, this punishment needs not be scary or painful, and it can even be
Too many trainers use only rewards OR punishments,
and they dispense them in sterile, quantum doses.
The best training should feature continuous,
differential, binary feedback, in the form of a trainer's voice. In other words,
Science-Based Dog Training (with Feeling).
Dr. Sophia Yin
Force) Veterinarian, animal behaviorist & writer,
Dr. Sophia Yin, has a
mission: to improve our understanding of animals and their behavior so that we
can care for, appreciate and enjoy our time with them better.
Ever since she was a child, Sophia wanted to be a veterinarian, and in 1993,
her dream came true. But once out in private practice, she quickly realized that
more pets were euthanized due to behavior problems than medical ones. She went
back to school to study animal behavior, and earned her Master's in Animal
Science in 2001 from UC Davis where she studied vocal communication in dogs and
worked on behavior modification in horses, giraffes, ostriches, and chickens.
During this time she was also the award-winning pet columnist for the San
Francisco Chronicle. Upon receiving her degree focused on animal behavior, Dr.
Yin served for five years as a lecturer in the UC Davis Animal Science
Department. Through these and an eclectic collection of other animal behavior
experiences, she came to realize the true secret to successful behavior
Dr. Sophia Yin with little Lucy
Sophia learned that every pet needs a human who can
lead. Not like a boss, but like a partner in a dance—someone who gives clear
signals, rewards desirable behavior as it occurs, removes rewards for
inappropriate behavior immediately, and sticks to the plan consistently until
the new, good behavior is a habit. She found that because pets don’t understand
spoken language, they rely on body language plus desired or undesired
consequences in order to learn. This means that humans must be aware of their
movement and actions because every move they make while interacting with the pet
influences the animal’s behavior and perception of them. Be sure to check out
her book, How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves)
and unique Manners Minder Remote Reward Training System.
Watch Dr. Yin with her dad's new puppy, Lucy, at 7.5 weeks of age.
first day at Dr. Yin's house. Lucy's already learned to sit for kibble. Now she
is training her to sit to be petted (getting attention), and Dr. Yin is removing
rewards for jumping. Then, she does the same thing with her own dog Jonesy
around. Lucy correctly reads Jonesy's signals and backs down when Jonesy makes
it clear he doesn't want her in his face.
Confusion with the term "Alpha Dog" and where it originates Below, Dr. L. David Mech talks about the terms
"alpha" and "beta" wolves and why they are no longer scientifically accurate. Be
sure to read and download his article,
Whatever Happened to the Term Alpha Woof? Dr. Yin refers to Dr. Mech and
this article in her discussion of the dominance controversy.
Clicker Training We love Clicker Training, a motivational method that works on positively
reinforcing your dog for doing something right. In turn, when your dog does it
wrong, s/he merely misses the opportunity to get the goodies, whether that be in
the form of food, interactive play, or praise. It is the ability of a clicker to
instantly mark a behavior—your clicking at the instant
your dog is evidencing a desired behavior—that makes
it such a powerful tool. Check out a mom who
clicker-trained a service dog for her son, and see videos of a
clicker-trained pig and a
9 Habits of Effective Clicker Trainers Part 1 Using Rewards
9 Habits of Effective Clicker Trainers Part 2 Timing
9 Habits of Effective Clicker Trainers Part 3 Criteria
Be sure to visit clicker training expert,
Karen Pryor, taking special note of her huge
library and dog training sections.
With Your Dog: Step-By-Step in Pictures, a book at Karen's site, is a great
one for getting started. It actually will show you how to teach a dog while
you're heeding nature's call. As Debi Davis says, "It's an ideal environment: small, quiet, you're the most interesting thing in
the room, and of course, it comes with a built in seat."
Here is Karen Pryor's way (from "Don't
Shoot the Dog!") to get your Goldens to reliably come to you when called.
And, that means even if they are really enjoying themselves doing whatever it is
that they are doing (probably smelling something yucky, etc.). It is a wonderful
way to deal with the dog who loves to get something nasty in his mouth and then
play keep-away so you can't get it from him.
Aunt Mary’s old Cairn terrier, Rowdy, got
out the door, and now he won’t come in. Everyone’s trying to catch
him before he gets out on the street. "Here, Rowdy, here boy…" Rowdy
comes close, wagging his tail, but when the boys lunge for his
collar, he zips out of reach again. Rowdy thinks this is a GREAT
game. Here’s how to fix that problem with the clicker—even with a
dog that’s not clicker trained at all.
Get some small, solid food you can toss, such as
little cubes of cheese. Sit on the ground. Call Rowdy. When he turns
his head, click and throw a piece of cheese all the way to him.
Don’t try to lure or bait him with the food. Throw it; make it easy.
When he’s eaten that piece of cheese, call him again, just once. If
he looks or steps your way, click and throw him another bite. A
greedy dog will usually approach you now. let him come two steps
toward you. Click, and toss cheese. Next time, wait for four steps
When Rowdy is nearly within reach be careful not
to grab at him or make any sudden moves. Now when you click, toss
the cheese closer to you, so he has to come in a bit to get it. As
he does so, click and hold cheese out in your hand. Let him take it.
Don’t GRAB! Now lure him to your lap; click and give him
the cheese in your far hand. If he dives away, let him. Shape him
back to your lap again. Put your hand lightly on his back. When you
click, take the hand away and give him cheese from the other hand.
Now, ruffle his fur, click, lift your hand away, give him
cheese. NOW, gently take his collar, click, give him cheese, and
haul him indoors where he belongs. Jackpot him there. Repeat as
needed. I predict that "catch time" will shorten to zero in three