Supervising dogs: management v training

July 16, 2015
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From time to time people ask me how to cope with a dog that is displaying unwanted behaviours in a situation where the dog is completely unsupervised. One example is the dog that is left alone outdoors, in a large unfenced garden or yard, with easy access to the world outside. Another example is the […]

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Are you bribing your dog?

July 9, 2015
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Does your dog ignore you when you leave your treats at home? Has he figured out that when you don’t have cheese, there is no point in coming back to your whistle? This is a very frustrating experience for any dog owner, and one that is often mistakenly assumed by traditional trainers to be the […]

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Event markers in dog training

July 3, 2015
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Many modern dog trainers use a useful ‘tool’ to help them train their dogs. This tool identifies,  for the dog,  the behaviour that the trainer wants. We call it an “event marker”. Why use an event marker? Often, when we are training,  a dog will exhibit several behaviours in a row. He may sit down […]

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Help! I can’t get my dog back in the car

June 29, 2015
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This week, one of our readers wrote in asking for help with a dog that won’t get back in the car at the end of a walk. This is a really common problem.  And a serious one. It is no joke hanging around in a car park for an hour or more, until your dog […]

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Traditional versus modern dog trainers

June 27, 2015

Traditional dog trainers are often bemused by the enthusiasm for modern, science based methods. They struggle to see the point. Their old methods work. They really do. So why is everyone in such a rush to change? Not to mention the fact that many traditional trainers see themselves as rescuers of the many people that get […]

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What is Negative Reinforcement in Dog Training?

June 22, 2015
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It is very common for people to get in a muddle with some aspects of the terminology that surrounds behavioural science when it comes to dog training. Most people nowadays do understand what Positive Reinforcement is.  They understand that this means teaching dogs the right thing to do by reinforcing good behaviour with rewards. However, […]

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Fading rewards in dog training

June 21, 2015
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People often get confused about the concept of ‘fading rewards’ used in dog training,  so it is worth looking at this in some detail. When we begin teaching a new skill,  we reward the dog each and every time he gets it right. But, over time,  to ensure that the new skill is maintained many […]

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3 principles to help you train a naughty dog

June 8, 2015
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Principles are the often unwritten, unspoken rules that guide us through our daily lives. Having a set of principles at heart helps us to make the right decisions in all aspects of life, and dog training is no exception. With naughty dogs, it is often tempting to let all our principles fly out the window, […]

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Stage One in Dog Training

June 3, 2015

Stage One in dog training is all about getting a new behaviour established. There are no ‘commands’  or ‘signals’ involved.  No words, and no names. You are not going to say ‘sit’ and then force your dog to ‘sit’. You are not going to say ‘come’ and then yell at your dog if he doesn’t. […]

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My dog is really good except for..

May 29, 2015

A lot of the questions people send me start with this sentence.  “My dog is really good except when there are people around” Or “my dog is very obedient until other dogs come along” Or – a common one in gundog breeds  – “my dog is very attentive until there is the scent of rabbits […]

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