Vincent practicing holding articles still and firm. Chewing is not ideal so we have been rewarding just the moment the hold becomes still and ignoring any chewing. Also a firm hold is important because whilst the dumbbell will stay in the mouth even with a soft grip, the Australian UD articles are thin and flat and light, if the dog doesn’t actually hold the article firmly then there is a risk of it slipping out as they run back or as they sit in front. So the criteria for reinforcement is: centred, behind the canines and gripped firmly. The three articles are wood, leather and metal. Obviously most dogs don’t love metal immediately and you can see the slight hesitation from Vincent for the metal article still. https://youtu.be/uxtE3aSQ7E8
Vincent is learning how to get what he wants by ignoring it! This has been trained with positive reinforcement only. There have been no corrections, and no blocking or stopping. Instead this has been trained by increasing the movement and noise incrementally and then rewarding his choice to ignore the item. He has now progressed to remaining focused even with substantial distraction. This is an excellent method for dogs who naturally find movement and noise exciting. This 1 minute video shows a few examples of Vincent ignoring distractions. https://youtu.be/i5JvFnorl3A
Instead of being asked to remain still for blow-drying, Vincent is allowed to play with his toy. Associating blow-drying with a fun game is important for a dog who will need a lot of blow drying in his life! In this one-minute video you can see how relaxed Vincent is about the sound and feel of the blow dryer. https://youtu.be/ibYmh6TGWUE
Online titling is very popular nowadays and is an excellent addition to regular competition. It is also a great option instead of competition (as it is less expensive than traveling to a regular competition, less time-consuming than attending an all-day or all-weekend competition, and is less intimidating for anxious dogs or less confident handlers). Here is a video of Vincent at 10 months, passing all 10 exercises in the FDSA TEAM 1 title. (Note - the video starts with about 15 seconds of play, before the exercises start.) https://youtu.be/jGuZSKgjLwQ
In this video we discuss the purpose of enrichment. We also look at practical suggestions for implementing an enrichment program for your dog.
Vincent (8 month old standard poodle) practicing remaining in the heel position through forward, sideways and backwards steps, as well as 180 degree left and right turns.
Here's a quick video on how to acclimate your puppy or dog to a harness.
Sometimes videos like this use a confident dog or a stuffed toy, but you will notice in this video we demonstrate each step with an actual puppy that is initially quite wary of the harness. This will help you recognise the confidence level the pup must display at each level before proceeding.
Here's a video of Vincent (8 month old silver standard poodle) and Jericho (2 yo apricot standard poodle) practicing how to find the heel position with me stationary. You can see the better straightness in Jerry's sits compared to Vincent, who has only just started this exercise. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TW0od2iooU&feature=youtu.be
An understanding of the four quadrants of operant conditioning can help animal trainers achieve their training goals. Unfortunately some of the quadrants are frequently misunderstood. In this presentation we discuss the four quadrants in detail. We also look at issues associated with reinforcement-based techniques, as well as issues connected with punishment-based methods. There is also a description of the Humane Hierarchy and how the LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive) protocol can be implemented.. https://youtu.be/pPOECXDCPeQ
Sharon Carroll from Avanti Dog Training discusses strategies for choosing the right dog or puppy for your family. Considerations such as size, coat type, breed and purpose are discussed, as well as considerations relating to the timing of purchase.
Vincent (8 month old standard poodle) in his second session on dumbbell pick up. The criteria is very low at this stage - "pick up the dumbbell in the middle and hold it until I say YES" - then he can spit it out and have a treat. This will be shaped into a formal dumbbell retrieve for obedience competitions over the next few months.
Good preparation is the key to success. Knowing ahead of time what new skills your dog might need, allows you to take your time in the training phase. Undertaking lots of desensitization ahead of time is important. Often routines need to change - your dog may need to have a different greeting routine at the door, there may be rooms or areas that he will no longer have access to, and he may no longer be able to jump on your lap every time you sit down. Making all these changes well ahead of time will reduce the likelihood of problems developing when you bring your baby home.
Many people can identify a visibly stressed dog, but a lot of people miss identifying the more subtle signs. Also, due to exposure to specific training strategies, some dogs "mask" their feelings. Anxiety can also be missed in dogs with passive coping styles.
It is important to identify anxiety in dogs in order to improve their welfare, but it is also essential because aggression is often linked with fear and anxiety. This video discusses the more subtle signs of anxiety, and describes strategies to reduce anxiety and improve overall confidence.
Puppy socialization protocols involve structuring interactions with lots of different people, dogs and environments. However, exposure itself is not enough, and in fact exposure alone can be detrimental. This video describes the socialization window, and the importance of positive experiences during that window.