BIG SKY DOG TRAINING

Develop an optimal relationship with your dog


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Teaching A Puppy or Dog To Stay

Often, teaching a dog to stay in one spot is critical to his safety and might be used in combination with other commands. They are undoubtedly several ways to accomplish a stay. This is just one of the methods that has been successful for many of the dogs and puppies I have worked with.

Pre-work –

Your puppy should have started attention and focus on you.

Your puppy should know how to sit. – However if the dog stands during the stay command, it is okay.

Let’s start with 2 people. One person will hold the dog on a leash with the puppy at their side, this person is called “the Tree.” They do not talk, move or interact with the puppy. The second person is called “the Trainer.” This person is going to walk up to the puppy and ask them to sit (facing the puppy). They can use a treat or toy and hold it at their chin to keep the puppy focused on them. The other hand will be straight out with the palm facing the dog, in a stop sign fashion. The trainer will ask the puppy to stay. They can use the puppy’s name just this one time, i.e., “Spot, stay.”

The “Tree” person is still standing facing the trainer and has taken the slack out of the leash, but not holding the leash too tight, just enough so there is no loose leash. Again, they say and do nothing but hold the puppy in one place.

The trainer then walks backward away from the puppy for a few steps, and repeats the word “stay” to the puppy without using the puppy’s name. The use of the word “Stay” is teaching the dog the English word and the hand signal is teaching the dog a non-verbal signal. After the trainer walks back a couple of steps, they then walk directly back to the puppy. If the puppy stands up when you walk back, just re-ask the puppy to sit. Mark the good behavior with a verbal “Yes” then reward the puppy with the treat, if used.

Note: Do not say the puppy’s name while you are asking the puppy to perform a stay. By using the name during a stationary exercise the puppy might think you are going to ask another command or exercise.

As you work on this exercise, continue to lengthen the distance you move away from the puppy, however always remember, you must go back to the puppy. DO NOT call a puppy or dog from a STAY. Stay means, stay they until I come back and get you. If you want to work on recall, use the word “Wait” instead of “Stay” and do not do the exercised during the same training session. By doing them at the same time, the puppy will get confused!

When you are ready to move to a one person Stay, put your thumb through the handle of the 6 foot leash and hold your hand in a stop sign position. Take the treat or reward in the other hand and hold at your chin. Ask you puppy to sit and then Stay. Take one step back and one step forward, mark the behavior, then treat/reward. Then repeat the exercise moving further and further back. Eventually you can use a long line and move the exercise outside, which holds more distractions.

Remember, if the puppy is failing, back up a step or two and/or lower the distractions.

5 Types of Rewards; treats, touch, loose leash, play, voice.

 

Call or e-mail if you have any questions, good luck

Montana C. Hayes

847-997-4707

montana@bigskydogtraining.com

 


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Dogs and owners need a bit of training every day

Spending 10 minutes a day or 10 minutes every other day on training helps your dog’s mind stay stimulated. He/she can keep up on their skills and even learn something new. Try something your dog knows how to do and make it more complicated. You can build on a training exercise by adding distractions, like moving the training exercise outside, or to a new venue. Add length of time or distance. Think about taking another class, even though your dog might be doing well; just like people enjoy going to a class, meeting new people and learning something new, you dog will like meeting new dogs and puppies and learning new things.


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New Group Class Locations

Big Sky Dog Training is now teaching at PetPeople in Deerfield, IL, a great new store for our community. I have classes on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. You can start the 6-week training program any time, as registration is “Open Enrollment.”

PetPeople Stores
775 Waukegan Rd, Ste 150, Deerfield, IL 60015
Phone: 847.964.9841
Website: http://www.petpeoplestores.com/

The other location is at Dogs In The Ring in Skokie, IL. I have classes there on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Again, you can start the 6-week training program any time, as registration is “Open Enrollment.”

Dogs in the Ring
7243 St. Louis Ave, Skokie, IL 60076
Phone: 847-677-0680
Website: http://www.dogsinthering.com

The cost for these classes is $175.00 for each 6-week session. If you need to miss a class, you are welcome to make it up, hopefully within 8 weeks from your start date.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or to register.

Thank you,
Montana C. Hayes
Owner, Big Sky Dog Training
847-997-4707

Talking to your dog about the rules in the house.


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Demonstrate Leadership…Don’t Be A Dominant Alpha Or Yeller

Featured image Let’s throw away the saying, “I have to be the Alpha of the pack.” First of all, when you bring a puppy or dog into your home, they become part of your family, not part of a pack. A pack of dogs are dogs that are unrelated and usually means 3 or more animals together. Like at the dog park.

Leadership is one of the most forward-thinking training procedures you can use on your puppy or dog. I am using Leadership in this instance to mean setting boundaries, both physical and behavioral. You wouldn’t let your young child decide what time to go to bed, or let them decide what time to eat, so why do that with your puppy and/or dog?

You don’t need to yell…yelling can aggravate the situation by bring more stress into the situation. If you don’t want the dog to beg at the dining room table during meal times, put the dog away during those times (i.e., crate or tether it). If you don’t want the dog to jump on you and your friends, then don’t let him/her do it when they are a puppy.

Physical boundaries relate to where your puppy or dog can physically go in your home and outside, depending on the dog’s age. Discuss these with your family:

  • Can the dog be up on the furniture?
  • Can the dog beg for food at the the dining or kitchen table?
  • Can the puppy have free run of the house? If not, what room(s) can he have access to?
  • Should the dog wait at the door before being let out?

Behavior boundaries relate to what behaviors are okay for your puppy or dog. Again, discussion with your family leads to compliance from everyone in the family, even the dog.

  • Can the dog jump on you?
  • Can the dog bite you or your clothing?
  • Do you want the dog licking you or your friends excessively? (Do you really believe a dog’s mouth is clean? Not!)
  • Is the dog allowed to pull on the lease?
  • Can the dog chase small animals? (My fear is of skunks!)

Give me a call and we can discuss way to avoid pitfalls and get you on the right track.


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Do’s And Don’ts For Effective Training – AKC

You can teach your dog to do many different things, but there are a few general guidelines that will help make sure your training goes well. The American Kennel Club’s (AKC®) Canine Good Citizen® Director Mary Burch offers the top tips for effectively training your four-legged friend.

Do reward behaviors you like. Observe carefully when training your dog and reward the behaviors that you’d like him to continue. Treats, toys, and your attention are great rewards and can eventually be phased out and replaced with praise.

Do manage the environment. When training your dog, managing his environment will help him succeed and not do something that you don’t like. If you keep your shoes in the closet, your dog can’t make a snack out of them.

Don’t reinforce behaviors you don’t like. Reinforcing behaviors you don’t like is very common, and you might not even realize you’re doing it. Petting and playing with a puppy that jumps on you when you enter the room will more likely than not ensure that he’ll continue jumping on people because you’re giving him the attention he wants. Instead, wait until he’s not jumping on you to pet him.

Don’t forget about exercise. Exercise plays a critical role in preventing many behavior problems. Exercise also helps to relax your dog so he can pay more attention to you during training.


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Fear Based Agression

Fear Based Aggression –
Aggression is defined as growling, barking aggressively, snarling (showing teeth), lunging, “nipping” with bruising or serious biting with punctures. Aggression is usually a defensive behavior in response to fear (fear masked as aggression).
Instinctively, animals are continuously aware of the physical space between themselves and other objects in their environment, including other animals, people, equipment and machinery. Animals continuously attempt to maintain what they perceive as a “safe” physical distance between themselves and other objects in their environment.

If an animal is crated, leashed, or positioned in a manner that makes it difficult for the animal to retreat, he may feel the need to protect himself, and respond with a “fight or flight” response behavior. Image

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