Why “Luring” With Treats Isn’t How You Want To Obedience Train Your Dog

Why “Luring” With Treats Isn’t How You Want To Obedience Train Your Dog

The vast majority of modern-day trainers will teach obedience commands by “luring” the dog to do the desired behavior. Usually with edible treats, but the same can be done with a ball, squeaky, tug toy, bone, or other desirable item. For instance, to get “Sit” you raise a treat above the dog’s head; that tilts […]

The Failure Of Treat-Focused, “Purely Positive” Dog Training

The Failure Of Treat-Focused, “Purely Positive” Dog Training

So-called “purely positive” training is a huge new fad. It means you only reward your dog’s good behavior; you never correct the bad. Most purely positive trainers are what I call “treat-focused”, centering around giving the dog edible treats at the exclusion of other more readily available, natural, and fulfilling rewards like offleash play, pets, […]

Why Walk Your Dog?  (The Answer May Surprise You!)

Why Walk Your Dog? (The Answer May Surprise You!)

All good owners know they need to walk their dog. Granted, there are exceptions … like the nice lady who called me because her dog was chewing and destroying the house, and then looked surprised when I told her the problem had at least something to do with her not having taken her dog outside in over a year. […]

by Anthony / 1 comments /
“Don’ts” When Training Recall (“Come!”)

“Don’ts” When Training Recall (“Come!”)

In my last post I explained why what I call “Leading” is a more helpful obedience ritual to have mastered than recall (“Come”) when taking your dog offleash. Still, “Come” can be a very useful command, particularly in various emergency situations. For instance:  your dog is disappearing into the woods; running toward a busy street; about […]

by Anthony / 3 comments /
Offleash obedience:  the “Zig-Zag” lead

Offleash obedience: the “Zig-Zag” lead

Ask anyone, including most dog trainers, what is the most essential offleash obedience exercise to practice, and 99 times out of 100 you’ll hear “Recall” (aka “Come”). “Come” is an extremely important command to have under your belt. I will lay out what I consider the best ways of cementing recall in my next post. […]

by Anthony / 0 comments /
Edible Treats vs. Situational Rewards

Edible Treats vs. Situational Rewards

I consider myself a non-“treat-focused” dog trainer. This can be helpful when working with phobic or anxiety-ridden dogs who won’t accept treats in key trigger situations, or also with hyper or dominant/demanding dogs who are more in need of calmness and leadership than motivation. But even in cases where treats can be helpful, it is eye-opening not to […]

Can You Use Your Dog’s Name Negatively?

Can You Use Your Dog’s Name Negatively?

It always catches my attention when I find myself doing something with my own dogs that runs contrary to standard training advice. The list is decently long: playing tug of war; rewarding with rawhides; repeating the “come” command; not ignoring demand barking; not turning away when jumped on … (I’ll blog about each of these eventually.) One common bit of dog […]

by Anthony / 0 comments /
Dog Park Etiquette #417:  “Scoop Two!”

Dog Park Etiquette #417: “Scoop Two!”

I recently decided that whenever I scoop my dogs’ poop in the dog park, I will pick up any other old poop that I see lying nearby. At first I had to make myself; but now it’s become habit. And it feels great! If everyone did this, think of how clean our dog parks would […]

by Anthony / 0 comments /