Hey everyone! Just a quick FYI to follow my instagram CoolCanines_DogTraining for a mini series I'm making on calmness and how we can grow it! Check it out and see what else I have to offer ❤️
I thought I'd hop on here and start sharing things that have worked really well for my dog and others dogs. We know they work for a few reasons. Lets first talk explain what ditching the bowl and routine are and look like.
Ditching the routine works because dogs are AMAZING predictors. They are efficient animals so they quickly work out that keys = leaving, those clothes = keys = leaving. etc. They get themselves into a different energy state before you've even done what you were going to do! Reducing the predictability means there is no point in getting to a different energy state because who knows what were going to do. They place less importance on our movement which is great skill to have when living day to day.
Now obviously they wont apply to every situation or dog. You have to assess your own dog, your own situation before you know if these will work in your life. Some dogs medically can't ditch the bowl for example. Ask a professional as well!
Welcome to my blog on the field of dog training!
How many trainers have you seen and how did you find them?
I ask because owning a dog who needs extra help in the training world can often be a complicated place. Where do we turn to, who is good, who is no good, how do we find out these things?
Dog training is unregulated, what this means is anyone can go out and say they are a trainer. Which often leads to taking advantage of those who need help. It also means in many cases going through numerous trainers before finding one that works.
I’m hoping with this I can make it a bit clearer and arm you with some knowledge and tools on your search for help in the world of dog training!
First tip is the term balanced trainer means the use of negative and positive. The term force free/trust based is exactly as it sounds. Its far more respectful and far more effective (research also backs this). I am the later, and it’s the only way we created results with our pooch at 4yo.
There are a few things you can do. (These are not in order of importance, all should be considered)
1. Have a look for memberships, has the trainer signed up to any associations?
These things do take time so if you can't see any, ask them. For myself I'm an APDT member, I'm working on the Pet professional guild and Minddog as well. Finding out this information is helpful because you can then google these associations and find out what they stand for. The ones mentioned above are great for finding respectful/force free/ trust based trainers.
2. Along the same lines, check out people’s certificates and training. I know experience and anecdotal evidence can be helpful. However, I also understand that improving our knowledge all the time only makes us better. Not all courses are made equal, however once you know what they have studied you can look into what the course covers. Dogs don’t need fear tactics employed to make them submit. What dogs need is respect and help to move through life. They need us to help give them skills to navigate the world. A trainer will be able to answer what they learnt at a course, if they gained value or if they don’t recommend a course.
3. Look into the style of training the person offers.
All current research says that the use of aversive isn't necessary and often has a negative impact on the relationship.
An investigation into the effectiveness of various professionals...
This is one such study.
I am force free and if I see you using force I will educate you as to why it’s not necessary and why it is a negative experience for the doggo. When you know better you do better.
4. Find someone you enjoy communicating with, you want to feel confident in asking questions. If things crop up that weren't expected, being able to ask for help is super important. In this sense as well check out reviews. See what people talk about, the trainers personality, the results, just have a read. Not everyone reviews so if you know people personally who have experience with the trainer ask them. At the end of the day peoples experience will be different. But I think they can still be useful.
Things that are important to me are being willing to learn more, as I mentioned before when talking about certificates. The attitude of "I know everything" doesn't help in any work place. Experience doesn't always trump knowledge. It helps, and experience makes you better, but how many people do you know stay in a job not necessarily because of the right reasons. How many people do you know resist change and refuse to learn because they know one way that works, even when there is a newer better option?
I'm always learning, always studying, always asking questions. I always say that the dog doesn't read the training manual so if they don't respond well tell me and we can change it up. This is how we learn. Instead of thinking we know everything, we take on information and make ourselves even better than before. Naturally the trainers most up to date will be force free/respectful of the dog and work on trust. We see it being more effective on the ground and the research overwhelmingly agrees.
Go Forth and Start (or continue!!) Your Training Journey!
Owner and Trainer at Cool Canines. With a passion for helping people live a stress free life with their dogs!
If you're on my socials you would have seen that I have had to momentarily cancel classes. Which is a downer, SO I'm going to use the time I would have used for all things classes and level up my dog training. I have joined the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia Inc. This is a group that is trying to improve the quality of dog trainers out there. So only those with relevant certification can join. Thats something worth getting excited about!
I'm working on getting more qualifications in more areas so look out! These are mostly relating to mental health and how our dogs can help us in this area.
We have found a venue for classes! Very excited to get this going. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
See you there!
Check this link out. I am so ready for this. 9 weeks of amazing learning, We are covering Reactivity, Basic Household Manners, and Off Leash Freedom. Vader and I will be following along, here to help answer any questions, offer guidance etc.
We are super excited, you should be super excited. I hope your ready to transform you dog!!
Jump in guys!
How to get real life results
Does your dog learn a trick and then still can't handle real life?
I came across an example just the other day. This beautiful dog had been shown a closed fist = sit back. Sounds spot on right? However you change the picture and shed come over and try to get the food.
Instead of impulse control she had been shown a picture. Change the picture she didn't know what to do.
Lucky I know exactly how to combat this! Make sure when asking a dog to leave something alone, you also build up value in it too. Say you're covering the food with a pot. Give heaps of easy wins, let them have the food under the pot. Then cover the food and wait for them to back up even just lifting their head away to start with. Then build value in it again.
Another classic example is recall. I'm going to cover that one on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/CoolCanines
Please ask me any questions, I'm happy to help!
AbsoluteDogs have made a great series of games to help get our kids involved in dog training!
These are not only fun and get your kids interested in training your dog, it also helps your dog by building concepts!
Do these along with STAS and you may find even more games your kids want to do!
Read the warnings and play smart with your dog ❤️
Presence doesn’t mean access.
It’s sooo important, particularly with covid, that we practise things like this. If our dogs are near us 24/7 they learn that everything we do is important, through that they learn our absence is also important. It creates seperation related behaviours. And our dogs are generally stressed. Which stresses us!
This is a relatively simple thing we can practise. In the photo you may see Vader behind the baby gate. His in the hallway and we’re in the living room. Or him in the girls old pen, with his kong. His been chewing/licking it for half an hour at least.
You can see my eldest running around and his really not phased by any of it. He looks at them occasionally but then goes back to the kong. We let him out once his done or just after so he recognises it’s a good deal.
We started simple. The girls were made to be calm so he didn’t have distractions (wasn’t easy ) and we built up to this. But it wasn’t a linear trip. We still practise this in distraction free environment to increase the value in chewing on his kong