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Posts Tagged ‘training’

Dog Training Around Severe Distractions

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

This is footage from the recent event we did at Bounce Magic on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Having a dog who listens in the face of real world distraction means you and you family can take them virtually anywhere with you. An environment like this with hundreds of screaming kids in costumes is about as tough as it gets.

Training Position Changes

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

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.

Golden Retriever – Afraid of the Car

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

This clip shows progressions in a behavior modification dog training program for fear based behavior. ‘Bob’ was terrified of the car, and despite all their efforts, his owners could not get him in without excessive force. During the training sessions, we used a ball to motivate the dog to overcome his fear. We also used an electronic training collar to help him stay focused through the fear. Many people think that electronic collars are always used negatively, and will create fear. However, as you can see, with proper guidance, the electronic collar can be a very positive tool, that works to help a dog overcome fear, and become happy and confident.
If you need help training your dog in or around the Buffalo, NY area then contact K-9 Connection at (716) 548-3642

K-9 Connection Dog Training on the Radio

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

K-9 Connection Radio Clip

I did an evaluation for Keith Kelly from Z101 Radio and his 2 month old puggle Wanda this week, and I had an opportunity to show off my dog. Apparently, we left an impression. Click the link above to hear the clip.

Thanks Keith!

Teach Your Dog To Pay Attention

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

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

Free Shaping The ‘Place’ Command

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

This is a short clip demonstrating how to do a training exercise called free shaping with markers. Free shaping means that you are progressively marking behaviors that are closer and closer to the end behavior that you are trying to achieve. We use marker training to do this, the most common form of marker training is clicker training, however, I prefer to use my voice. I use the word “yes” in a consistent, happy tone to mark the behaviors that I want. The mark, lets the dog know that a reward is coming, and thus allows us to precisely mark the behavior we want, even if it takes up to a few seconds to get the actual reward to the dog.  The most important thing to remember with marker training, is that a reward ALWAYS has to follow the mark, even if you gave the mark accidentally. If you are not familiar with marker training, or if you want to learn more, please review Ed Frawley’s article on marker training your dog by Clicking Here.

In this video I am teaching Dante the ‘Place’ command, which means to have all four feet on an object. Dante has never done the ‘place’ command before nor has he ever done free shaping, so this is an entirely new concept to him. ‘Place’ is a very simple command to teach and for the dog to learn because there are not too many progressions to mark, and it is very black and white: Either you are on the place, or you are off. This is why I chose this exercise to introduce Dante to the game of free shaping, it is easy and fun. I will film more complex free shaping exercises in the future.

If you want, or need assistance training your dog, Contact K-9 Connection Dog Training at (716) 548-3642.

Dante’s Morning Workout

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

This is Dante at 15 weeks during his morning bitework session. This is his first time on a harness and tie back, and I am very pleased with his intensity, and commitment to the bite. I like to do his bitework first thing in the morning for a few reasons:

1) He is very intense in the morning, and is at his peak energy level.

2) He has not eaten yet. Remember, a dog always has more drive on an empty stomach.

3) The sun is not as hot, so he will not tire as quickly.

I keep these sessions very short (under five minutes), and I always make sure I leave him wanting more. Dante prefers a leather rag to jute or burlap, so I am using the leather bite rag from Elite K9 . I always follow the session with about five minutes of calm affection in his kennel run. I sit with him and calmly pet him while letting him know in a soft voice that he did a good job. I almost never give any affection before the workout. Finally, after he has calmed, I give him his breakfast (food is also a form of affection). It’s a great way to start the day!

Training Aggressive Dogs

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

This is a clip from this past winter of “Lola” a 5 year old aggressive Doberman. Lola’s owner was told that she either had to get rid of her dog, or move, due to the fact that Lola had attempted to attack several dogs in her building. Luckily, she contacted K-9 Connction Dog Training first. This video was shot durring her free evaluation,and this is the first time that we met the dog. It is our policy at K-9 Connection to always show the effectiveness of whatever training approach we reccommend, before the owner commits to anything. Needless to say, Lola’s owner signed up for training, and we are happy to tell you that only a few months later Lola is now an accepted member of her building! Thanks to Nancy, Lola’s owner, for all her hard work and commitment to her dog

Client Testimonial

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

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

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

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.