Shaping! We all know what a great tool it is when it comes to teaching our animal new behaviors. Do we know why? In this article I will list some of the advantages of shaping, a self-directed strategy of learning. There are many great things we can do with our learners, using shaping skills.
Training session, you cue your dog to sit, and instead of doing so he lays down! Dog has made a mistake… NO, there is nothing more wrong that saying “a dog has made a mistake”
Imagine it’s your first day at the new school. Your are not really the self-confident; bravery type of a person. It takes a lot of courage and strength to face this new situation. During one the classes you decide to give it a shot and try to answer the teacher’s question. The answer it wrong. The whole class, including the teacher makes fun of you, they say you should try harder next time. Despite this situation you try one more time during the next day. You think you know the answer, you try hard to make a good impression on teach and new fellow classmates. Again the answer is wrong. Both teacher and class tease you, make fun of you and criticize you. How do you feel now? Would you ever try again? Would you have the courage to face such situation? How many times would you try again if the reaction of the class and the teacher remained the same? Even being perfectly prepared would you risk?
When was the last time you asked your dog what he wants? If he really wants to work with you? Does your dog know he has a choice not to work? Does he know how to communicate it to you? Do you know when he communicates it to you?This article is the core of my dog training philosophy. It is the very basic of where I start work with each dog. Choice is what defines not only R+ training but simply a happy and willing work partner. Without it we will not be able to move any further in pursuing engaged and active dog.
At some level of our knowledge we settle down. We start to feel confident and safe. We become comfortable with what we know. This feeling can be dangerous.
We limit learning foundations to the minimum extend, just enough to move forward. We do not broad knowledge of our discipline, instead we settle for shortcuts and mediocre, expecting fast results. This work routine leads to the vicious circle of repeating the same mistakes, over and over again, the process of learning is chaotic. On the surface it looks like we can achieve quite a lot, but the truth is our whole knowledge (and the dog’s work foundations) turn to be a house of cards, any unsuspected event is enough to destroy it.
Summer is coming, with sun and warmth we have been all anxiously awaiting (at least I was ;)) In the last July and August temperatures have been know to raise above 30 Celsius. I love heat and sun, I really regret I was not born closer to the equator. So when finally, summer is giving us its best I feel perfectly. It my dogs do not always agree with me. Although, they definitely prefer warm over cold, they are not as big fans of suffocating heat as I am.
Pressure is inseparable part of every sport. It is not a big deal if we are aware of its presence and if we can control it. The thing is we often use it unintentionally or worse: we overuse it because we want to achieve something. Based on my experience I can say the worst combination is when we do both simultaneously.
If your dog is fragile and insecure he will freeze and shut down, that will lead to a detrimental influence on your relationship. On the other hand if your dog is drivey and strong you can end up with an emotional and frustrated wreck.
Dog pouch is a sport version of a woman’s purse. I always have a mess inside it and tons of unnecessary things. After the last walk in a terrible weather conditions (rain and mud), I was forced to wash my pouch. It was a great occasion to write this post. Recently, there has been a few articles on polish dog bloggers about what they have inside a pouch. So now it is my turn :)
After one of the very first articles on my blog, a few people have asked me how I work with Gunia. In this post I want to take a deeper look into our management strategies and what do I do when she is presenting some of her aggressive behaviors. This article is not supposed to be any form of behavioral, psychological therapy. I will not give you quick answer nor any magical solution what to do with an aggressive dog. I will just sum up in a few points how I deal with it.