Category Archives: 101-dog-training-tips

Beagle Training

I’m a Beagle that plays with cats

Beagle Eyeing Black Cat on table

Beagle Eyeing Black Cat on table

Beagle Play Biting Black Cats Head

Beagle Play Biting Black Cats Head

This is my cousin’s Beagle. Since it’s a girl I wonder if that make it a begal? The first thing I noticed when I showed up is that this dog likes to jump and run and play a whole lot. Active puppy behavior is normal. However, a little structure can often go a long way to making a puppy’s behavior a bit more manageable. Even regular dog obedience training would make a big difference.

Beagle Play Biting Black Cats Neck

Beagle Play Biting Black Cats Neck

Beagle Play Biting Black Cats Neck Again

Beagle Play Biting Black Cats Neck Again

Beagle Playing with Black Cat

Beagle Playing with Black Cat

More of Begal Playing with Cat

More of Begal Playing with Cat

When I work with puppies like this I usually work a week on foundation training to teach focus and a few basic commands. The foundation exercises that I teach are what make my puppy training different than standard dog obedience training.

Are you curious about what I first teach in my puppy training programs? If the dog is comfortable enough I usually teach don’t touch with positive reinforcement, touching drills, to respond reliably to “Good”, sit, down, and to come when called.

Talking Dogs at Long Beach Dog Park

Over the week end I met with another dog enthusiast at one of the dog parks in Long beach. We had a nice chat about dogs and dog training. For people who live a dog centric life chatting about dogs can include just about everything one does.

If anyone reading this would like to meet up and talk dogs perhaps we can set up a day for this. I do need to mention that I spend most of my time in the Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Gabriel and Orange County areas.

Here are a few Long Beach Dog Park Picture for you to enjoy

Red Boston Terrier

 

Small White Dog Black Spots

Small Terrier Dog
Small Terrier mix

Small Terrier and Chi

Long Beach Chihuahua

German Shepherd and In home dog training

Here are some photos from our last training lesson. I usually do a 5 lesson dog training package. This is a very good dog, when I showed up he was getting back from playing with the neighbor’s puppy.

Hey dad you have my attention - GDS training

Hey dad, you have my attention – GDS training

Did I hear a squirrel?

Did I hear a squirrel?

False squirrel alarm

False squirrel alarm

Tired German Shepherd

Tired German Shepherd

I’m ready for a little rest

I’m ready for a little rest

Come on people, this German Shepherd is ready to go back inside

Come on people, this German Shepherd is ready to go back inside

More Dog Beach Pictures

Here are a few more pictures from my dog beach excursion. I am always pleasantly suppressed by the wide variety to dog breeds one can see at Orange County’s favorite dog beach.

I found it interesting that many of the people I talked with at the beach had done some training with their dogs. It appeared that most of the people I encountered had done training with food.

Enjoy

Dogs On the Beach HB

Dogs On the Beach – HB

Bulldog on a Surf Board - HB

Bulldog on a Surf Board – HB

 

Bulldog with flying disc

Bulldog with flying disc

Malamute at Dog Beach in Huntington Beach

Malamute at Dog Beach in Huntington Beach

Dog riding in a basket at dog Beach

Dog riding in a basket at dog Beach

Golden Retriever climbing the cliff at Dog Beach

Golden Retriever climbing the cliff at Dog Beach

Schnauzer posing for the camera

Schnauzer posing for the camera

Rhodesian Ridgeback Posing for the camera at dog beach

Rhodesian Ridgeback Posing for the camera at dog beach

We'll end with a dog in the water and a girl on the beach

We’ll end with a dog in the water and a girl on the beach

Teaching Focus, Off, and Handling to a Fearful Dog

Here is a video where I’m using the Off exercise and doing some handling exercises to help overcome fearfulness

There is a lot more going on with these dogs than the video shows. These dogs have already been exposed to a couple weeks of dog training. I did not start by picking the light colored dog up or by having the male member of the house hold it. Several issues have been addressed in the previous training session. At this point I am most concerned about building the white dog’s confidence. It must be mentioned that the last training session went very well. To build the dog’s confidence I’m using the off exercise in combination with other training drills, including handling and touching exercises. We are also using walks and outings to help the white dog bond with people.

Video teaching a pit bull the Off exercise

Here is a very short video of me teaching a pit bull the off exercise using food. With this training technique we are allowing the behavior of grabbing the food undergo extinction. Extinction occurs because the behavior of grabbing is never reinforced after the controlling signal “Off” is heard.

Next we are rewarding a behavior that is incompatible with grabbing. The incompatible behavior in not touching the handler.

Plan Your Dog’s Training – Plan Your Training Prompts

dog training action plan and human friendly dog training

An action plan functions as the controlling signals for taking needed action. When we first start a new endeavor we often don’t have enough experience to know what actions to take. One of the tasks of an experienced teacher, instructor, or coach is to teach us what we need to do. I know this is true in dog training. It seems that everyone has an opinion and advice on how to train a dog. I often arrive at a person’s home to find they’ve tried four or five training suggestions from friends and family members. On top of friendly advice we now have television advice too. Not only is there a lot of free advice, but a lot of it is contradicting as well. One person will says you’re not human if you do one training technique. Next you are told by another that you have to do that same technique to be a good dog owner. What is a person to do? What is a person to believe?

To separate the chaff from the wheat it’s helpful to get advice from a well rounded professional. However, some professionals are better at harvesting the meaty kernels of truth better than others. Dog training is an interesting blend of tradition, myth, and science. I happen to be one of those strange people who does not condemn many training systems. I do have some reservations about some training styles, but I acknowledge their functionality.

I believe through dog training we have more to learn than just how to control our dogs. This insight probably puts me three quarters the way into the holier than thou positive reinforcement camp. I believe that humanity must learn how to use positive reinforcement as a default response if we are to survive as a species. On the other hand I also see the value of using aversives in controlling behavior. While I don’t like that the primitive use of aversives works so well in some oppressive societies, it’s been my observation that they can be effective. I feel the primitive use of aversive control does tend to make us more animal like and therefore speaks to our more primitive lower nature.

My observations and insights have put me in an interesting situation. I know what needs to be done to help owners in a way that will give that individual the best results within certain limits of a household’s dynamics. I also must be aware of what training aversives the people in the house are inclined to use and will accept. Aversive control is usually thought of as punishment or negative reinforcement. Usually people are more likely to want to use punishment or negative reinforcement when the dog’s behavior problem is aversive to the humans. I feel it’s justified to use strong aversive control if it’s needed to save a dog’s life.

When implementing a training program I judge what a person will accept by how they handle the dog. It’s best to structure and apply aversives in a way that will be useful and have the most benefit with the least chance of doing harm. The training plan should set up rules that replace random emotion based punishment with a very measured and well planned response. Developing control over the use of punishment and negative reinforcement allows us to transition into using less aversive control. As we use fewer aversives we can increase our reliance on positive reinforcement.

I also know what CAN be done with positive reinforcement. The problem is what can be done and what most people do are two different things. The plan is that once we are involved in a training program the dog’s behavior will begin to reinforce the family’s increased use of positive reinforcement. I try to give the people in the household some choices in which training technique to use. Most of the time people will pick what works best for them and their dog. What works best often revolves around time? When people realize that rewarding behavior is less work than other forms of control they chose to use positive reinforcement. The idea is to let the dog’s family choose to use positive reinforcement without forcing them to conform.

The whole point being that there is often a plan behind a method. I have a very strong feeling that most of the positive reinforcement trainers I know really don’t like the way I train. However, I do train with positive reinforcement, it’s just that I emphasize being human friendly.

Wishing you the very best in dog training and in life,
Andrew Ledford
I can be reached at 714-827-4058

 

Dog Training Plan and Training Goals

Benefits of a dog training plan

From training our dogs we can learn that it’s often beneficial to have a plan. Planning is one of the steps that helps us progress toward our goals A training plan allows us to perform the appropriate behavior when an opportunity presents itself. Sometimes a training plan may be just having the right tools available at the right time. When working with their dogs, owners often don’t have food rewards available when rewards are most needed. When and where are the places that food is most often needed? I have found the main areas to be doorways and the main living areas. In my house I always have food by the front door, back door, and my desk.

If I have food reward available when they’re needed then what’s most likely to happen? When food rewards are available it’s more likely the dog will be rewarded for the desired behavior.

By having food handy I have made plans to use it.

“Making plans and calculating their outcome distinguishes rules of progression as a separate definable part of history.”
Andrew Ledford © 2000 –2009

Planning involves more than just training the dog, usually before I visit a new clients house I will look on Google Maps to evaluate the neighborhood. I want to see if the geography may contribute to any of the dog’s behavior.

Once I meet the dog and talk with the owners I will form a lesson plan for that day and beyond. During the first lesson I develop an idea of how I would like the training to progress, but I also try to remain flexible.

I do have a method or system. However, the order and how the training exercises are taught does vary.

This is a two part post the second part is on my self-improvement website.

Wishing you the very best in dog training and I life,
Andrew Ledford
I can be reached at 714-827-4058

4th of July discount for Online Dog Training Course

I have lowered the dog Basic Online Dog Training 101 course to $12 for a 180 day subscription. That is a little less than half what I was offing it for. Being reward oriented I wanted to reward people for trying the new format. This is a win win for those who are interested in trying my online training. I will get feedback on how helpful the new format is and you will get a dog training program for less than large bag of dog treats

I made the answers much easier to work through by highlighting the correct responses in bold. To make it slightly more memorable I’ve left the commands as bold text too. You will notice that sometimes the answer is the command so you will still need to work through each page. I am trying to find a happy medium between enough effort for proper retention while making it easy enough for people to complete.

You will need to registrar with the site before you can subscribe to a training package.

Sometimes the password gives people a little trouble when registrar for the site. It needs to be at least 8 characters long and have at least 1 uppercase and 1 lowercase letter, as well as, at least 1 number and 1 non-alphanumeric character (!@#$%^&*). To see your password tick the box next to the password field