Dog trainer queens ny

How to manage a dog in your house

There are barely any hard rules in dog training. This is why a lot of people do different things. My goal with a pet dog is to integrate the dog into society and to be social and defer to their handler for any minor things. This is when I take a dog out into the world and see how they are when it comes to new experiences- objects, people, environments, other dogs or animals. This is important to me because I want a dog who is confident but not aggressive or fearful. I will discuss this training in another article. But today I’m going to be talking about how you live with your dog in your home. Check out my blog post titled “ 6 tools needed for a new puppy” to get started. After that you are ready to start managing your dog. You need rules, a schedule, management skills, and what to do when a dog is acting a specific way.

Rules

You need rules to establish yourself and so that your dog knows what to expect. You shouldn’t hold a dog accountable for something he has not learned yet. Some example of rules is:

  1. When Im not around my dog is in the crate

  2. no begging for food. when we eat my dog goes to its dog bed

  3. no jumping on furniture

  4. not allowed in certain rooms

  5. my dog will eat in its crate

This is not a full list just a sample. It depends on what you like

Schedule

Being on a schedule makes life for a dog predictable. Which makes life for him easier and in turn easier for you too. Being on a schedule is just doing the same things at the same time everyday.

For instance,

8am walk my dog

10 am - 12pm relax in xpen

1pm feed ( if its a puppy) then walk the dog 15 minutes later

6pm feed and walk my dog

Management skills

It is best to be proactive then reactive. I always recommend redirecting a dog in the beginning stages of a behavior that might be a problem such as barking, staring and eventually lunging at other dogs, digging, biting on furniture, and others. So when your dog is digging and its a puppy or just started doing this behavior it is best to tap your dog on its butt, or get its attention somehow, and redirect your dog away from the digging site. Have the mindset of” instead of digging come play this little game with me over here”. The same goes with staring. Once you notice your young dog staring too long, then redirect them away from the dog. After a while you will start to notice what causes your dog to react whether its another dog, cars, or loud noise from a construction site. Now you are prepare and can begin to proactively avoiding an outburst from your dog. If you see a dog coming then immediately whip out some treats and start playing food games. Same thing goes if you are going pass a construction site or people your dog doesn’t like. Avoid the problem so your dog doesn’t get a chance to practice negative behavior.

What to do when your dog act in certain ways

Hire a professional dog trainer!!! No seriously, I get calls from people thinking they can solve problems that is too complicated for someone not knowing what they are doing. Its not a simple as punish a dog and reward a dog. Sometimes there are psychological factors we have to consider. For example, if your dog lunges at another dog you can punish that behavior. The problem with this and what Ive notice is that dogs who have this happen to them tend to become unpredictable. SInce they are afraid to exhibit their true emotional state they will do it in unpredictable ways.

Hope you guys enjoyed this post. Let me know if you have any questions

How to motivate your dog using their natural ability

There are many drives that a dog has there is food drive, play drive, and prey drive to name a few. I will briefly talk about each and then Ill explain the reason for this.

  1. food drive is also known as hunger drive. This is your dog’s motivation for food. Usually you will see this with hungry dogs. A dog that has not eaten all day will be excited to do whatever you ask in order to get the reward, which is food. Food drive goes down as you give a dog food and treats. You need a hungry dog to have the motivation for food. There are exceptional dogs that will continue to eat after they are full and puppies have a large appetite for food. However, the average dog will get full and no longer be motivated for food.

  2. Play drive is a dog’s motivation for play. A lot of working dogs love to play tug or retrieve. You will see this with dogs who go crazy for a ball or crazy for any toy. They go from normal and casually walking around to being fired up and ready to go. If you are following me on Instagram( which you should be) you can see a little clip of a video of a Belgian Malinois that was so driven for his toy that he was shaking uncontrollably.

  3. Prey drive is similar to play drive. The difference is that when a dog is in prey drive he likes to chase things. This same dog could love a certain toy, but when you move the toy away from him the fun really begins. This can be used in pet dog training, but we will mostly use food and play drive.

How to use food drive to your advantage

First I would like to say that most of us Americans feed our dogs like we feed ourselves- too much. When I worked in an animal hospital I heard one of the Vets talk about how its healthier if a dog is a little skinny. That might shock some people as they immediately think of abuse when they see skinny dogs. After that brief form of self expression lets talk about how to help you motivate your dog using their food drive.

  1. Dog must be hungry for food.

    To be honest, some of the dogs I’ve seen can afford to skip a meal. Its not going to kill them Obesity will however. Feed your dog regularly as you do. When you take them out for a training session notice their energy levels. Do they swallow the food whole or do they have a “ i could take it or leave it” attitude? If its the latter then, your dog needs to skip a meal. The next day the should come back ready to work for their food.

  2. Feed your dog only from your hand and not out of a bowl. Use training time to feed them . There are no free meals over here

  3. Quality of rewards is very important. A major reason a lot of dogs have a “ i can take it or leave it " attitude is because the food that you give them sucks. The treats are dry and not tasty at all. Try giving your dog a cooked piece of chicken and watch how their attitude changes.

  4. Size of reward matters also. For a small dog dont give a huge piece and for a big dog dont give a small piece of food. It sounds like common sense but its not. Many people I’ve seen give a dog the size of a German shepherd a piece of food smaller than a penny.

How to use play drive to your advantage

Play drive increases with time unlike food drive. You want to work with whatever your dog naturally likes. I was guilty of trying to get a dog to play tug with me when the dog prefer to chase balls. When I stop doing it my way and did it his way training became much easier.

  1. Have a toy you dog likes. This could be a ball or tug or another object.

  2. Never let the dog play with the object by themselves. The toy should represent an interactive game with you. All good things come from you. You are like Sana Claus to the dog.

  3. Get the dog to bring the ball or toy back to you. This is an indicator that the dog enjoys the interaction and not just self satisfying on the toy alone.

  4. Monitor your dog’s energy levels. If your dog is allowed free reign they will use up their energy whenever they feel like it. This may not be good for you as it may be when you are trying to sleep. Instead set up a schedule and know when you are going to train. If its at 1 pm then keep your dog’s energy level relatively low early in the day so that all that bottled up energy can be put into training instead of jumping on the furniture. Use a crate for this.( It is important that your dog is crate trained first.) Take your dog out in the early morning to use the bathroom. Come back home and have your dog go on the place bed and stay or put them in the crate.

By following what is written above you can surely get your dog motivated to do the behavior you are asking of them.

Dogs are not kids... But my dog training principles can be used with both

I know this might make some people feel strange. Especially since there are two different types of people. First off you have those who dress their dog up like making their labrador retreiver wear a firefighter outfit including the hat. I see them all the time and its cute but annoying. They have a hard time viewing their dog as an animal and not as a child. Then there is those on the other end. Those that punish their dog in a way that is inappropiate. For instance, there was a client who had taken me up on my free consultation (who doesn’t its free) and he wanted to stop his 11 week old puppy from barking. He knew that I had did e collar work and that I was a fan of the ecollar. He made a suggestion I would never make and thats to use the ecollar to stop the barking. I was disturbed. For 1 the puppy is to young and 2 the puppy does not understand what we are asking. I don’t teach with the ecollar I just reinforce already known behaviors.

It is clear that dogs and kids are not the same, but my way of training is not about whether it is a dog or child rather about how you love them. I don’t have a child but I can say I loved every dog I had with all my heart and I wanted to see them reach their full potential. A lot of things I learned through protection sports about building a confident dog( not to be confused with aggressive at everything that walks by). These are a few ideas that I keep in mind when I am training a dog.

Being fair

I always believe in being fair to the dog. This includes making sure the dog understands what I am asking before I assume he understands and gve the dog a correction. I see this so much with dog owners. They phrase “ he knew what he was doing” is one i hear a lot. But the question is how can we be sure if the dog understands. Most people assume and believe because they understand what they are asking quite easily then their dog should too. Potty training is an excellent example. The old put your dog’s nose in its crap and hit their nose with a newspaper after. This is old school training that some people still put to use. The idea is that the dog knew not to use the bathroom in the house but still did it. This is the exact moment when i start to ask the dog owners questions. How old is the puppy? Has he/she ever used the bathroom outside? What is the puppy’s schedule like? I will prowl until it comes out that its actually not the puppy’s fault. He was never taught how to be potty trained. Yes dog’s do have innate traits, but a lot of stuff has to be taught to the by their owner. Dogs who aren’t taught but are scolded will learn to sneak and poop somewhere and walk around with their head down, leaving you to know that they pooped somewhere in the house but you have to find it. I prefer to keep my dog honest.

The equviolent to this is a kid who is beatened or shamed for using the bathroom in their diaper instead of telling their parents they had to go. Usually the reason they dont tell their parents is because they scolded and shamed the child in the first place. Another example is when little boys are scared of the dark. Now I will talk about how i feel you should work through this later, but for now lets talk about the not being fair part. This is no knock to moms but I notice this with moms who try to make their sons tougher. The boy is screaming and crying and runs to mommy. The mom tells the son “ stop crying big boys dont cry”. What she probably meant was grown men don’t cry, which is probably sterotypically true. But that is a boy and not a man. It is unfair to place those expectations on him.

Reward and Punishment

This is the way you let a dog know that their choices matter and has consequences. If the dog does something good then you reward the dog with a treat ( play time, or the chance to bite a tug can also be a reward for some dogs). If a dog voluntarily does something I don’t like then a punishment is added as a consequence. This makes sense when you think about it. You wouldn’t do the opposite of rewarding bad behavior, but it happens. Neglect is also know as extinction. This means that if you ignore a behavior it will go away. This sounds simple and easy with dogs, but with humans it is different. That screaming baby that you have to ignore if they are doing for attention becomes so unbearable that you give in and give the child whatever they want. Or how about that little girl who wants to please daddy, but everytime he comes home from work he ignores her. This can make her less likely to continue this behavior and give up. The moral of the story is that kids, like dogs need to know that their choices matter. That 35 year old drunk who wrecks his parents car for the 15th millionth time never learned that his choices matter. He was probably reward( giving the car) for his bad behavior(drinking and driving).

Working through something to make the dog or child more confident

As I mentioned earlier I learned a lot of this stuff through protection work. In protection work you want a confident dog that is not afraid of anything yet has impulse control. So how would I handle the little boy who is afraid of the dark? If he starts screaming and crying I would work through it with him. I will be his coach. I will go back in the room with him and sit there until he falls asleep. I will build his confidence and tell him he has nothing to fear. How about the child who pooped in their diaper? I would explain to them to let me know when they have to go. I would not shame them or scold them as best as I could ( none of us are perfect). How would I be fair to a kid and a dog? SImple I will explain the rules and teach them the rules. If you break the rules their are consequences, but I will also reward good behavior like getting a 100 on a test or standing up to a bully. And if the kid is afraid I will WORK THROUGH IT WITH THEM!!!!