Siberian Husky Training

Siberian Huskies are characterized as loving, gentle, playful, happy-go-lucky dogs that are fond of their families. This is a high-energy dog, especially when young. Good with children and friendly with strangers, they are not watchdogs, for they bark little and love everyone. Siberian Huskies are very intelligent and trainable, but they will only obey a command if they see the human is stronger minded than themselves. They are also known as masters of escape. If you want to keep Siberian husky on the back yard, you might need 8 ft. high fence.
During Siberian Husky training we have to remember that establishing our leadership is the first duty. Make sure you act first in interactions with your dog. For example, you should walk through doors first, and the Husky should follow you. When you come home let the dog come to you first before giving him attention. Do not lower yourself to the floor when you are petting your dog.

Rewards In Siberian Husky Training.
During obedience training we need to reward for good behaviour or discipline for undesirable behaviour within 30 seconds of occurrence. Otherwise Husky is not going to understand what was this for, as he has short attention span. Never hit the dog as he will start to fear you not respect you. When giving correction do not call the dog to your side, but approach him and then give correction. Otherwise the dog will understand that the reward or reprimand was for coming.
During Siberian Husky training keep all your commands short (the best one word) and very consistent. Try to give your Command just once. Siberian Husky training needs to be repeated often until we are sure that he is executing all the commands at all times.

Teaching Siberian Husky to “come”
The most difficult command to implement during Siberian Husky training is “come”. The easiest way to teach it is with the help of family member or friend. Each person should have treats. Take turns saying “come” and when the dog comes, praise him and give him a treat. If the dog doesn’t come, the person giving the command should run to the dog, get his attention then run back while saying come and when the dog runs back along give him a treat.
Do not release husky from the leash until his training is completed. If you want to provide him with enough exercise from the beginning we would advise using training lead. You might try biking along as well.

Training Adopted Dog.

Training Adopted Dog.

I wrote in my previous article about training a puppy. Our days a lot of people are looking at the adoption of dogs from shelters and rescue groups as the way of getting dog cheaper and reducing numbers of unhappy and abandoned dogs. Dogs are getting into shelters because of many different reasons: It can be because  of necessity to move or transfer to work in remote area, sometime because of dog misbehaving and getting in conflict with the local bylaws and sometime just because of not proper match of the bread with owner situation and desire.  Every adopted dog has to be carefully re-train. Training adopted dog, even the one that is very well behaved is necessary, as after changing the pack dog needs to learn the rules of new household, respect the leader and recognize all new pack members. Dog has to get custom to new odours, noises and learn new sound of commands. We never know the whole history and the past experience, therefore we have to start from the beginning watching very carefully dog’s reaction on each and every command and provide immediate correction if it is not executed properly. If we encounter some annoying behaviour such as excessive barking, chewing, smelling the trash, jumping on people, stealing food, digging, biting, fighting with other dogs or urinating in the house to mark his territory, we have to correct our dog immediately.

Excessive barking is one of the most common behaviour among adopted dogs that owners have problem with. It is enough that neighbours complain and owner may end up paying hefty penalties. Sometimes dog owners give up and send their lovely pets for adoption. When we are training adopted dog first, we should figure out why our dog is barking. Is it from fear, loneliness or just to attract attention? It is also possible that previous owner taught him to bark. If he is barking out of fear, we should socialize him  more with people and introduce him to strangers. Your dog should learn a difference between passerby and person invading your home territory. If he barks when there is a reason for it you should award him, when he barks when is no reason say “no”,  “quiet” or “hash” (whatever you taught him before). Always use the same word for the same situation. If your command does not work, you can use a squirt bottle with water. I found the last very useful with larger dogs. Dogs don’t like stream of water in the nose, so they react fast. Never try to hit your dog. You want him to trust you and to defend you not to be afraid of you. If your dog is lonely, sometime may help to invite dog from neighbourhood for a play time. When dog looks for the attention, he barks because he expects owner most to react right away and try to comfort him to calm him down or even give him a snack to make him stop. If this is the case squirt bottle is a very good choice, as it is not going to be pleasant.

Chewing is a common behaviour that owners are struggling with young dogs. We cannot teach dog to stop chewing as it is his natural behaviour, but we can look for the toy, chewing bone from raw hide that our dog will enjoy more than our shoe or our furniture. If substitution doesn’t help, the best next idea is to take his objects of attraction out of his reach and protect furniture with spray (available in any pet store)

If your dog is smelling or tearing up the trash, you have to catch him in the act and tell him “no”, scare him away or squirt him with water. This kind of situation should be arrange few times, so get ready by providing something smelling very good on the top of the garbage, wait till your dog gets attracted to it and again scare him off. If problem persists, try to secure garbage to be out of reach. If your dog steals food from the table the training method I the same as with the trash.

Biting is another problem that endangers dog to be put for adoption or even euthanized.  When we train adopted dog we have to observe him very closely and correct him for any aggressive action he takes including growling and aggressive barking. When your dog growls on passing by dog or person, pull the leash, say “no” and sit him to give him time to cool down, then walk for a while holding leash very short. If such growling or barking occurs when dog is on your yard, you can use water from squirt bottle or garden hose. Stopping first signs of aggressive behaviour teaches your dog to look for a guidance from you to tell him when danger is coming.

About fighting with other dogs I wrote separate articles. Once more though I would like to point out that training adopted dog requires consistency, patience and good communication

Good luck.

Search and Rescue Training

Search and Rescue Training

Search and rescue Training requires special abilities from a dog and also commitment, time and effort from a handler. Not every dog has ability to become a search and rescue dog. Dog needs to be intelligent, it needs agility training, it has to be confident, fearless and able to put devoted attention to his handler. Selection of the dog for this job is very important. Some SAR members are searching for their future teams at the dog agility show.

The most promising breeds for search and rescue training are German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, and Labrador Retriever, but sometime other dogs or mixed breeds are showing ability to for this type of training if it has stable temperament, or easy to train, it has high drive and good focus. If you are choosing a puppy watch if he is well socialized and has outgoing nature. This hind of dog would like to play a ball or toy with just about anybody and he would not get easy tired of playing. He will focus on the play avoiding any other distractions.

Before search and rescue training you should start from basic obedience training. During this time you can incorporate playing with toys and socializing your puppy. Intensive play with balls and toys will make easier real training, as puppy will think of it as a play. Hide and seek is the best play to start with. First set the toy in a visible distance and ask to find it. Next hide his favorite toy under the table or in an open box. Later try game with kids. Ask your children to hide behind the bush and ask your dog to look for them. Next step would be search in the park. One person hides behind the bushes and the other holds the dog and later asks to find it. Gradually you increase the difficulty of the search for the dog so he has to work harder in larger areas, at different times of day, over different terrains, etc.   The dog will likely use more than one style of scent work to find you or your family members.  Some dogs are more prone to air scenting naturally while others prefer ground scenting.  Some dogs will flip between the two depending on the situation.

Next step is to take agility course. However you could probably train your dog in agility yourself, during organised training more variety of equipment is available. If you think that your dog is suitable for the further Search and Rescue training you should contact your local SAR training Club. Members of the club can evaluate your dog and provide you with further group training

SAR clubs train dogs for a variety of situations (live person, cadaver, water, wilderness, urban, disaster, etc.), There are a lot of different steps of training depending on what you would like to do.  Full search and rescue training can be anywhere from 6 months to a year or two depending on how many hours you invest in the training process.  SAR training is a time consuming process! If you are committed to it, it can be a very awarding.

Therapy Dog Training

Therapy Dog Training – preparation

We often hear that in the hospitals, senior homes or schools with handicapped children volunteers are using their dogs to provide a comfort for their occupants. Not every dog can be used for this kind of purpose. Dogs suitable for the Therapy dog training should be selected very carefully. If you are thinking of using your family pet for the therapy dog training you have to understand the requirements your dog has to fulfil.

All therapy dogs have to be housebroken and well trained in basic obedience. They should be able to execute basic commands such as: sit, down, stay and come. He should put attention to handler and be able to avoid distractions.

Dog good for the therapy dog training needs to be calm gentle nature. He should be able to handle gentle touching and more vigorous one. He should be also comfortable in environment of strangers and enjoy their companionship. He should calmly permit strangers to get close to you, hug you or even pat you in the shoulder.  He should not be defensive or aggressive in any way. Certain behaviours are not permitted such as jumping, burking, sniffing, licking and growling.

To prepare your dog for the therapy dog training you should take him to the crowded places such as parades, outdoor shows, to introduce him to different type of noises.

You have to teach your dog to walk on a loose leash, heel when you walk and sit when you stop. Your dog should put complete attention to you, even when other dogs are around.

Remember also that your dog has to be fed well and groomed well.

When your dog is ready then you can enroll in therapy dog training course and obtain a certificate. Remember that being a volunteer with dog used for a therapy is a big commitment, but very rewarding.

Guard Dog Training

Guard Dog Training

Most dogs have natural instinct to guard their property and their owners. Some dogs such as German shepherds, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinschers, Bullmastiffs are known to have genetic guarding predisposition and they will usually do their job with little or no training. For general home owners guard dog training should be limited to defence. If you need guard dog training with the use of an attack, you should rather get help of a professional dog trainers specializing in attack training.

Before starting guard dog training you should have your dog trained in basic obedience. Such commands like “sit”, “stay”, “come”, “stop” or “no” should be executed without fault every time. You must have a control over your dog. During training you should use rewards for well executed command. It is helpful if dog is not fed just before training, as then is more eager to work for the reward.

Socialize your dog well. Accustom him to other animal destructions, such as cats, rabbits, squirrels and other dogs. Accustom him to family members, and visiting friends. Take him for walk in crowded places to show that people passing by can be ignored.

Guard dog training shall be started with the controlled barking. Encourage him to bark at the unknown people at the door or at the fence. Call your dog to assist you at the door every time somebody knocks or ring the bell. Let him bark until you give him command to stop.

Teach your dog borders. If you live in the city you probably have fenced yard. If you live in the country property is much bigger and rarely fenced. You should walk your dog along property lines few times. If your dog crosses the borders, you might need to use for a while the invisible fence collar. It is important that your dog will not follow the intruder further than property line.

If your dog might have natural tendency to jump at intruder or even bite, post warning at the property line (such as Guard dog on duty) and observe if your dog knows the property borders.

When training guard dog, do not let him accept food from anybody, but you. Your dog should not be hungry when on duty. Thieves often try to throw sausage with poison clear their access to property.

Aggressive Behavior and training

Dog Aggressive Behavior – training

Did your dog growled at you or other member of the family or showed his tees? Did you get scared that he could bite you, his owner or visitor at your home? This kind of aggressive behavior should be treated right away as it will escalate if you don’t take control.

If dog is showing aggressive behavior towards you it means that you are not a very strong pack leader and your dog wants to get up the ladder in the pack. You have to show him that you are the Alfa dog in the pack and he has to look up to you for permission to be aggressive.

How to show your dog that you are leader of the pack?

Train your dog to follow basic commands. Execute them without repetition. Teach your dog very important command “No”. If you still didn’t do so, or your dog doesn’t respond substitute this command with growling. Dogs understand this language better.

Growl  at the bad behavior and award good behavior with patting.

Feed your dog according to his status in the pack: you first, your other family members next, your dog on the end. If your dog is trying to get closer to the table or beg, you growl or say ‘No” with serious determined voice. You might even stamp your food to show that he is out of place.

Don’t give your dog treats for nothing.

Don’t treat him like a spoiled child.

Dogs don’t show aggressive behavior towards pack leader, unless they feel that they can become a leader. Remember that you must be confident but kind, fair but tough, loving but firm to prove your leadership and to earn respect. Use your body language, attitude, and, yes, a little growling and your dog will understand and will submit to your leadership.

Vacation With Dog

Vacation With Dog

Summer is approaching and many of us ate planning some type of vacation. Many of us treat the dog ab part of the family and want to have him together with rest of the pack during vacation period. Unfortunately this kind of vacation requires a lot of planning and preparation to be stress free and relaxing.

Vacation with dog on camp sites:

Before leaving insure that your dog has valid vaccination.

If you are planning to spend vacation in the wilderness you might reserve camping spots. On all biggest camp sides in US and in Canada (provincial camp sides) dogs are welcome but on the leash at all times.  Your dog should be leash trained.

Vacation with dog using hotels

If you are planning to travel with stops in the hotels, check hotel pet policy before making reservation. Now days many hotels are accepting pets, but even these might have restrictions for some breeds or sizes.

Traveling by car for vacation with dog

If you are going to travel by car the best idea is to have dog crate trained. Arrange the crate in the car, Line the crate with his blanket add couple of toys or chewy bone (rolled up hide or something similar). Traveling in a crate insures the dog that he has sufficient space. If longer trip is planned allow for the breaks to let your dog to stretch, run and sip some water. For meals you might consider a pick-up and consume it on the picnic area, where your dog can rest as well. If you have to leave your dog for a while in the car remember to park in the shadow and leave open window, as during hot day temperature in the car might rapidly grow up.

Traveling for vacation with dog by airplane:

Some airlines are accepting small size dogs in the cabin. The larger breads have to go in crates as cargo. Check with the airline for costs and crate requirements before purchasing your tickets. Information about airline pet policies may be found on internet. In latest years some airline refused taking large crates. Crate training is a must before travel to avoid anxiety. If travel is long include water supply in crate.

Traveling for vacation with dog – calming your dog anxiety.

A study published by the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association showed that lavender had a positive effect in calming travel induced excitement in dogs.  The results showed that when each dog was in the environment of lavender scent, they remained seated the majority of the time, were calmer, and less vocalized than the dogs that traveled without lavender scent.

Stop Your Dog From Jumping

Stop Your Dog From Jumping On People

Dogs jump on people for few reasons. First is to call attention, second is to great and smell and third when they want to intimidate. In the nature this would be their natural behavior towards any species bigger than them. For us people this behavior is not acceptable. In case of the bigger dogs this behavior can be dangerous, as dog over 60 lb. can easily knock somebody over. Quite often dogs, when jumping, are keeping their mouth open and by accident can scratch or tear our clothing.

I met many time dogs jumping on me during their walks on off leash area just because they could smell treats in my pockets. Their owners were screaming, apologizing and picking them up. I can be sure that the same dogs at home are jumping on their owners at the door to get attention and treats. Sometime we might think that to stop your dog from jumping on people is almost impossible task. If we are consistent with our training we can get rid of this unwanted behavior within a week or two.

If your dog is small the easiest way to stop your dog from jumping on people while greeting at the door is to completely ignore him. If your dog jumps do not look at him. Look past him and walk around him. When he will follow you to get your attention, turn around, ask him to sit. You should kneel or lower yourself to his level and pet him. With the time you can teach him a trick how to shake a paw and use it for greetings. Your guests will be amazed.  If your dog jumps on you outside just turn your back to him and walk away. Do not play with him any more for a while.

If your dog jumps just on the visitors, snap the leash on your dog before opening door. To prevent dog from jumping you can step on the leash while holding it with the hand. Next command “sit“ should follow. This method can stop your dog from jumping on people even if he is a large one.

We should remember to be consistent and never award dog unless his feet are on the ground. If you have kids ask them to not play with dog when he is jumping and to not pet him unless he is sitting or lying down. Smaller children shall always play with dog under adult supervision, as unexpected push can cause child fall and serious injury. Stop your dog from jumping on kids even if it is a puppy

Teach Your Dog Tricks

How To Teach Your Dog Tricks.

Teaching your dog new tricks make increase communication between you and your dog, build up your dog confidence, give to your dog more activity and provide you with the tools to divert dog attention from undesirable behavior. It is a bonding time for you and your dog and some activity for fan and enjoyment. The best is to start training in very short sessions and focus first on easy tricks that are natural for the dog and easy to master. The same as with the obedience training, during when you teach your dog tricks you should use a positive reinforcement, such as awards after each task done properly. From the beginning it is good to choose some space with no distractions to have your dog focus on the training. Some dog breads are easier learning certain tricks than the other. Never get frustrated if your dog does not perform. Teach your dog first basic obedience commands before starting on tricks. Be consistent, patient and keep cheery atmosphere. If your dog is familiar with the clicker training use clicker to teach your dog tricks. It will speed up the process

The easiest tricks to teach your dog are: shake your paw or take bow.

Shake a paw. Make your dog to sit in front of you. Grab your dog paw gently and then award him. Repeat few times. Choose the word to associate with this activity. It might be “shake”, “paw”, “hand” “hi” or whatever you like. It should be one short word. Next time when you grab your dog paw say the word. After few practices say the word and watch for your dog reaction. Award any sign of raising the paw on command. It will take few sessions to teach your dog to raise the paw to your hands on command, but if you are patient you can teach just about any dog this trick.

Take a bow. The position of taking a bow is a natural dog position showing submission and invitation to play. Quit often you can observe it in your dog natural behavior. If this is the case you have to observe your dog and use your “Bow” command when you notice him in the right position. Repeated command often enough will teach your dog association of the word “bow” with this position. If your dog is not using this position naturally, you can try slow step by step training. Your dog should stand in front of you. Take a treat let is smell and then lower your hand to make his nose to follow. Use command “Bow” when he lower his front paws to reach for the treat. Then throw the treat away from you to make him stand up again. To not let him to lower his back you can put your hand under him. Practice this position in very short sessions progressing slowly to the desire position of front elbows on the floor and standing back legs. Remember to have fun. Tricks are not a serious matter. It is more of game with dog.

How To Train Your Dog To Walk Off Leash

How To Train Your Dog To Walk Off Leash

Parks for Dogs and Off Leash areas have been created by City officials to allow dogs to get proper exercise running and socialize with other dogs. These parks are very good for dogs and their owners, but these places are not fenced and often can be visited by wildlife like rabbits and coyotes. You should be sure that your dog will always obey your commands and will keep close to you even when distracted before taking the leash off.

First your dog should learn all the commands of obedience training such as “sit” and “come”.

Next you should train your dog to heel on the leash. When he is performing reliably you may try heel command of the leash, but in the fenced area. Then try changing directions. Observe your dog if he is always putting attention to you and what you are doing. If he is easily distracted wait a little bit longer. Some dogs mature later on.

Some dog breeds are difficult to train off leash, specially greyhounds, huskies, and roaming types like Pyrenees or Kuvasz. They need much more work in obedience training before they can be set off leash. With these breeds be very cautious.

Even if your dog passed obedience training, during your first walk off leash do not take off leash, but let your dog drag it behind him. If he performs to your satisfaction, next time substitute your long leash with short one. It is easier to grab short leash than collar in case your dog doesn’t listen.

Observe your dog at all the time. It is very important to observe your dog behavior towards other dogs. If you notice any aggression, recall your dog. Not all the dogs coming to the off leash areas are well behaved and not all the owners went through obedience training with their dogs. Do not let your dog follow the wild animals.