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Guy richardson dog expert

Guy richardson dog expert


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Guy richardson dog expert

Richard Richardson, PhD, CAAB, CAE, FAAA, AAW

Dog Behavior and Trning

When it comes to dog behavior and trning, the phrase "dog trning expert" sounds very serious, very scientific, and highly technical, and perhaps even intimidating. However, even the most professional trners and trners of trners can run into difficulty working with certn dogs and certn dog owners.

At the same time, many dog owners also lack trning expertise, including trning themselves. And, even among trners and trners of trners, not everyone is familiar with what makes the best dogs in every situation. Consequently, the most successful trners are those who are extremely organized, disciplined, patient, flexible, creative, and a little bit of an all-around problem solver, rather than experts on any particular subject.

When working with people and their dogs, a professional trner should be familiar with how and why many common dog problems occur. They should have answers and options for how to deal with each type of problem, even when those options may not seem to work well for their dog. For example, it is not uncommon to receive a call from a confused, frustrated owner that they have recently "learned" to trn their dog and their dog is doing or behaving in ways that are completely unlike their trned behavior. In this situation, a trner needs to help the dog and the owner understand that the problem is not that their dog's trning doesn't work but that their dog's behavior is the root of the problem. Most of the time, an owner has unwittingly taught their dog to go into a fight or flight response when they have not taught them to do that, or they have over- or undertrned them to do that. In other words, it is the owner's trning that needs to be improved.

If you are a trner, you will have to be able to apply the same principles to your own trning. It is no different than learning a skill. There are some that can do it right away and then the rest of us have to trn for it—you need to trn like a dog trner for it. There are some people who just walk into any situation they want to change, or worse, assume they can just change things on their own, and the end result will be that they are not being effective at helping the client change because they are not doing it right.

We are constantly getting more calls and letters about dog behavior problems, and every time someone comes to us, we have to ask the person about their goals and how they are going to work to attn those goals. We ask them to describe their dog's behavior so that we can help them identify their own trning priorities. This is the first step to any behavioral change: understanding and describing the behavior that is going on. There are a lot of books and websites out there on dog trning. For this reason, we have created a list of the more popular books and trning programs so you can decide for yourself which one you would like to try first. We recommend that you choose one that appeals to you, that you have heard good things about, and that you feel you are willing to follow through with, or if that is not possible, that you have some way of testing out the ideas in the trning program first.

**SIGNS OF TRNING IN THE PUPPY**

Every puppy trner wants to know what kinds of behaviors to look for so they can decide if the puppy has learned the basic behavior that they want to teach. There are signs of trning at a puppy level that should be identified before you turn your attention to basic obedience and house manners.

For instance, the following are behaviors that should not be taught to a puppy.

• Pushing, pulling, and head butting

• Running away

• Biting and nipping at the wrong person

• Destructive chewing

• Eliminating in the house or in the yard

• Marking territory, such as scratching furniture

• Getting into something that is dangerous

• Excessive licking, which is just another name for mouth-biting

These are the only types of bad behaviors that should be seen in puppies. Any other type of undesirable behavior may just be a normal part of growing up.

On the other hand, here are some signs of trning that you should watch for as you watch the puppy grow up:

• **Good Behavior**

**1.** Getting along with people and other dogs

**2.** Showing interest in other animals, including members of your family

**3.** Learning to listen when someone is talking to him

**4.** Using common sense and manners in appropriate situations

**5.** Doing whatever he's told (even if he doesn't understand why!)

**6.** Responding appropriately when strangers and other dogs greet him

**7.** Following directions (in general)

It is up to you to decide which of these behaviors you want to see in your dog. The good news is that almost all puppies respond positively to trning.

**A happy, well-behaved puppy loves his new toys.**

**W HEN TO START TRNING**

**D ON'T START BEGGING**

Your puppy is now old enough to start learning some basic lessons that he will need to know when he grows up and becomes a reliable and trustworthy adult dog. These lessons usually include learning to tell the difference between people and other animals, learning to listen, learning to respond to commands, and learning to walk on a lead.

**TEACH THE LABELS**

Whether you are teaching your puppy to stay off the furniture or your child to stay off the mashed potatoes, teach your dog or child first and be consistent. You will get faster results that way and have fewer problems with a well-trned dog or child.

The old saying, "You must first catch them young," is especially true when trning your dog. When catching your one-and-a-half-year-old puppy, be careful with the methods you use and the equipment you employ. Handling your dog too roughly could cause serious injury. The puppy's skull is delicate and can't take a direct blow. If you don't have the financial resources to buy your puppy his first set of canine first d supplies, check with your vet to see if he can recommend someone in your area who can teach you what you need to know. You will also need to find out about different trning ds before you start using any of them.

Start with comfortable, well-washed hands. Gently touch the puppy with a small part of your hand and let him see your fingers. Do not squeeze the puppy's paws or use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the puppy's toes. Puppies are very sensitive to touch and feel. If you start to trn your puppy and he starts to wiggle away, stop. Wt for him to settle and then continue.

Keep trning sessions positive. Prse and encouragement are just as important as the treats and lessons you teach. If you are using rewards with your puppy, use them as soon as you see evidence your puppy is learning. For example, if your puppy is doing well to come when called, give a treat when he comes to you. If he keeps coming back, give him a treat each time. Within a week or ten days, your puppy will begin to associate prse and the treat with learning to come to you.

Don't forget about your commands. Use the same command, "LEAN LEFT," every time you practice moving your puppy's left hind leg toward your left leg. The puppy will


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