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Good Dog: Activities & Sports
Target Training Your Dog: Go to Your Mat
A Teachable Moment
The ability to target a specific place is a valuable skill for your dog to have and will pay for the teaching time invested many times over. The finished exercise looks like this: On your cue—let’s use “Go to your mat”—your dog moves out to find her place, lying down and staying until the release word is given. This behavior is very useful for times when she needs to take a little break, or...
Blog: Karen B. London
Finding Time to Train
One minute here, one minute there
Many people struggle to find the time to train their dogs, and with today’s busy lifestyles, I am very sympathetic to the problem. (Between my work with dogs, my writing, teaching at the university, being a wife and mom, coaching soccer and my running, I am always strapped for time. In fact, lately I have adopted a policy of, “If it’s not on fire, I’m not putting it out yet.”) And yet, I think it...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Victoria Stilwell: How to Deal with Out-of-Control Barking
You have questions, she has answers
You’ve no doubt seen Victoria Stilwell in action on It’s Me or the Dog, where, using positive reinforcement, she shows wayward pups and their sometimes equally wayward guardians how to get along. Now, Victoria joins our roster of training experts in offering sound and practical advice on a variety of, shall we say, behavior faux pas. Please join us in welcoming Victoria to The Bark.   Q: My dog’s...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
To Tug or Not to Tug?
Discovering the benefits of playing tug-o-war
A few weeks ago, I wrote about entertaining your canine crew with a variety of indoor activities, including a tugging game. One of our readers commented that they’d always heard playing tug-o-war can encourage biting, a common misconception about this game.  I can see why tugging could be mistaken for encouraging aggressive behavior with all the pulling and growling, but the bad rap is...
Blog: Karen B. London
Stay Makes Life Better
Avoid common mistakes when training this cue
If your dog can stay when asked, life is easier. It’s so wonderful to have a dog who will stay throughout dinner when guests are over, and it’s great to have a dog who can stay when needed to keep her safe. I love teaching this cue to dogs! Teaching stay takes time, especially if you want that stay to work when you really need it. The first step in training a dog to stay is teaching her what the...
Blog: Karen B. London
Training Your Foot Warmer
Sitting in an odd place takes practice for dogs
Previously, I wrote about using a visiting Pomeranian as a foot warmer, and I mentioned that I had to teach him to sit on top of my feet. The first time I lured him over and gave him the cue to sit, he looked a little confused and was not as quick to respond as usual. He started to lower his back end hesitantly, unlike the usually sharp way he sits on cue. I praised his initial lowering to let...
Blog: Guest Posts
“We Need to Get Rid of Him”
For me, this phrase is a call to arms
This evening, I received an urgent phone message from a woman whose name sounded familiar. She mentioned her young dog and it all came back to me. She had called this past summer to ask if I taught a puppy class. I did not, but told her I was available for in-home lessons to get him started off on the right paw. I discussed my positive training philosophy and how I encourage dogs to think and...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Hungarian Super Pups
A training method that focuses on the whole dog.
You may have already seen the viral You Tube video of a group of dogs decorating a Christmas tree, or the recently posted sequel of the same pack setting up a beach scene.  These incredible videos have been leaving many animal lovers wondering who trained these dogs, particularly if you don’t speak Hungarian. The group behind these well-trained pups is dog club, Népszigeti Kutyaiskola. The...
Blog: Karen B. London
January 2010 Is for the Dogs
It’s National Train Your Dog Month!
They say every dog has its day, but soon they will actually have their own month! The Association for Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) has proclaimed January to be National Train Your Dog Month. This new annual event promotes the benefits of socialization and positive training, which include enhanced and healthier relationships between people and dogs. January is the perfect month for emphasizing training...
Blog: Guest Posts
People’s (and Pups’) Choice
Victoria Stilwell coming to Bark in 2010.
Has canine supernanny Victoria Stilwell steered her shiny black convertible into your heart yet? She’s the dog trainer who brings positive strategies to some gnarly behavior challenges with effective aplomb on Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog. No television, you say? That’s not a problem anymore. Starting in February, Ms. Stilwell will write an exclusive column on training for every issue of...

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