House-training Puppies In The Winter–Educating Your Puppy In Cold Weather

Is housebreaking puppies in the winter significantly more difficult than at any other time of the year? Should the onset of winter make you think twice about bringing home a new puppy? In my opinion, the answer is a solid “no!” The essentials of housebreaking a new puppy remain the same. Our (my wife and I) dogs have been received housebreaking training during the winter and did just fine. In fact, they love the winter, but you, as owner, must take certain precautions due to the nature of the season.

There really is no need for concern where the winter weather is concerned. As mentioned above, the way housebreaking works does not really change. However, it is important to pay attention to the cold climate and understand that you may need to take extra care to be sure that your puppy is not at risk.

First, never turn your puppy outside by itself. That is particularly true for a very young puppy, but regardless, never leave your puppy unaccompanied. Stay outside with your pet until it ready to come inside.

The second main point to keep in mind is that puppies are much more vulnerable to cold weather than adult dogs. Because of this, the timing of when you take your puppy outside is important, and so you want to observe your dog carefully and notice when it looks as if it may need to go outside. This is important as puppies are especially sensitive to frostbite and hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a condition of too little warmth (hypo=not enough or under and thermia=heat). The puppy’s body temperature falls too low to keep it warm. If you see your puppy start to shiver, take it inside immediately and warm it up. A rule of thumb to follow is that if you are cold so is your puppy. Take it inside.

Frostbite is tissue damage to the skin due to cold. You will notice damaged skin turn pale or white. The most vulnerable areas will be the webbing between toes, the ears, and possibly the tail area.

When housebreaking your puppy, follow these basic guidelines, and you won’t go wrong:

(1)Start puppy housebreaking around 8 weeks old. (2)Establish a regular schedule. (3)Take your puppy outside when it looks like it wants to go. (4)Take the puppy outside approximately every two hours. (5)Be sure to take your puppy out not long after you have fed it. (6)Always stay outside with your puppy. (7)When weather is extreme, do not linger outside.

If you do nothing else but follow the pointers above, you and your puppy will survive a cold winter without problem. Even better, once the weather improves, your dog will continue to use its new skills as a housebroken pet.

Discover the key to puppy training techniques right now! More free info on housebreaking your puppy!

Clicker Dog Training

One of the easiest ways to train your dog is to capture the behaviors you like. Capturing behaviors means waiting for your dog to perform a certain behavior, and rewarding it so he will repeat it again. It won’t work for everything you want to teach your dog, but you may be surprised at how quickly your dog learns to do new things when you use this clicker training technique.

What You Need

To capture your dog’s behavior, all you need is a handful of small treats and a clicker. It’s also important that your dog understands the meaning of the clicker (i.e. a click = a treat). The more clicker savvy the dog, the better this technique works, and the more behaviors you can teach this way.

The Rules for Using a Clicker to Capture Behaviors

The best thing about capturing behaviors is that you can do it anytime and anywhere, as long as you have your clicker and some treats on hand. You can even do it during commercial breaks while you watch television. The only rule to remember is that you should only work on capturing one behavior at a time.

How to Capture Your Dog’s Behavior

First, you need to decide which behavior you want to capture. It can be any behavior you would like your dog to perform – lying down, sitting, rolling over, etc. Then all you have to do is wait. As soon as you see your dog perform the behavior you want, click the clicker and give him a treat.

If your dog is new to clicker training, or if you have not attempted to capture behaviors before, it will probably take him a little while to understand what you want him to do. Start with a simple behavior like “sit” or “down.” You can work on more difficult behaviors once he is used to this training technique. Once most dogs get the hang of this type of clicker training, it becomes a fun game for them.

If your dog is already an expert at clicker training, chances are he will catch on quickly. Once he hears the first click and gets his treat, he will start offering behaviors in an attempt to figure out what you want him to do. Soon after he figures it out, he will begin repeating the behavior you want fairly quickly.

Add the Command

Once your dog has figured out the behavior you want him to perform, and is consistently repeating it, it’s time to add the command. Give the command for the behavior, and wait for your dog to do it. For instance, if you’re trying to capture your dog sitting, tell him “sit,” and as soon as he sits, click and give a treat. You will know your dog understands the command when you see the time decrease between when you give the command and when he performs the behavior. As easy as that, you will have taught your dog a new behavior!

Dog Training Guide

When you brought your dog home, did you know you had to be a leader? You probably just wanted a companion but your dog needs a strong leader. The problem is that activities associated with the leadership role are completely at odds with those associated with the companion role. So if you are going to have a successful relationship with your dog you need to put the ‘companion’ role in the back seat and take up your responsibilities as a leader. Your dog will become insecure and attempt to assume the leadership role himself if you don’t.

It is necessary that you look at at things from your dog’s viewpoint if you are to become an effective leader. There are three principles that you should follow to become an effective pack leader. This training guide outlines three principles that you should always follow.

  1. Manage your Dog’s Time. Create a routine, dogs need to have a routine. Use a dog crate regularly to a predetermined plan. Confinement is most effectively and safely carried out in a crate. Your dog will not need any persuasion because he knows that he will be safe and secure. You should socialize him to it as soon as possible and continue to use it throughout his life.
  2. Direct Activities. When you dog is out of his crate you should have an activity plan available which is not just sit and be quiet. Actively practice obedience commands so that he knows how to behave in your home. The brightest star in your dog’s universe is praise, it is what his world is all about.
  3. Be Consistent. If you are not consistent you will confuse your dog. To get a certain action or behaviour, always use the same words in the same sequence. We all have bad days so make sure that you do not take the stress out on your dog. Good leaders do not behave in a temperamental way they keep control of their emotions.

So there you are – be ready to take up the reigns of pack leader and everything that it imples and you will end up with not just a dog but your best friend which is what you were looking for from the start wasn’t it?

This article is courtesy of RadioFence.com a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.

Common Dog Training Mistakes

These are the most common mistakes people make during dog training. You’ll be surprised at the impact these little, and seemingly insignificant actions can have on your dog’s behavior.

Not Paying Attention

It’s the easiest thing: just shift your attention elsewhere for a little while, and suddenly your puppy is off doing unspeakable things to your living room furniture. And you can not correct him unless you catch him in the act. Puppies have an extremely short memory: five minutes ago no longer exists and they will not connect any action you take to something they did minutes ago. When you can not pay attention to your puppy, he should then be in a safe place, like his dog crate, or tethered to you.

Putting Things Off For Too Long

This is so easy to do. You look at your little puppy, and think “he doesn’t need to learn that just yet”. “That” could be anything: walking on a leash, stay, coming when you call … especially when a puppy’s natural inclination is to stay by your side anyway, without any inducements. But if you let it go too long, you’re suddenly staring dog-adolescence in the face and he won’t want to cooperate anymore. Training while young is the most effective way to get the basics into your dog’s head for good.

Failing to Reward Your Dog For Good Behavior

Your dog won’t know he has done something right, unless you tell him in a language he can understand: happy praise, or obvious reward. Rewards don’t necessarily have to be tangible goods like treats, but your dog will need to connect the reward to his action in order for him to get the message. Immediate praise is the best reward you can give. It’s instant gratification for your dog, and gives you a few seconds to produce the tangible reward if you have one. That few seconds will bridge the gap between “Yay, I did it right!” and “Wow, what did I do to deserve this?” Thi is especially important during early training when you are trying to get your dog to connect actions to commands.

Inconsistency

It’s such a little thing, but it yields huge results. Constantly consistent responses are essential to dog training on every level. Deviate even just once from the usual, and you will have undone all that you have done before.

Begging is one of the best examples of this mistake that I can give. A dog that has never received food from it’s people when they are eating, will not continue to beg. He might try it once or twice early on in your relationship, but consistent “no”s and “go lay down” commands will discourage him quickly.

But if you, just once, give in and give him a chunk of whatever you are eating, he’ll know that it worked. And what works once, will eventually work again, even weeks later. Now you’re in for a battle of wills.

Calling Your Dog For Punishment

Let’s put aside the issues that I have with “punishment” to begin with, and just focus on why it’s bad to call your dog to your dog to your side in order to get mad at him.

Nobody wants to go to a person when they know they are going to get in trouble. It’s true of adults, children, and especially dogs. People know you’re not likely to forget your anger, but a dog is ever hopeful, and will diligently avoid you if he knows you’re mad. And every time you call him to you in order to do something unpleasant, you are punishing him for returning to you, and it just cements it in his head that he doesn’t want to go back to your side.

If your dog is in trouble, or you have to do something he won’t like, go and get him, instead of calling him.

Rewarding The Wrong Behavior

It happens to all of us, and it’s the most common mistake made in dog training. You may not even think of it as “rewarding” your dog. You may see it as “comforting him when he’s frightened”, or letting him in when he barks, or even giving him a stern talking to when he misbehaves. Attention of any kind when a dog misbehaves is a signal to the dog: “hey, this works. It’s not quite I want, but it’s still attention.” Even negative attention is better than none at all.

This article is courtesy of RadioFence.com a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.

Clicker Training Your Dog

Operant conditioning is a scientific term that describes the way animals learn from the consequences of certain behaviors. Positive reinforcement is a type of operant conditioning often used in dog training.

Dog clicker training, a common form of positive reinforcement, is a simple and effective training method. The clicker is a metal strip inside a small plastic box that makes a distinct clicking sound when pressed. The click is much faster and more distinct than saying “good dog” and much more effective than using treats alone. To teach a dog the meaning of the click, a treat is given immediately after clicking. Once the dog learns the positive effects of the clicking sound, the clicker itself acts as a conditioned reinforcer.

Clicker training is not meant to completely replace the use of treats. The sound of the click instantly tells the dog that what he has done will earn him a reward. To emphasize this, clicks should frequently be followed by treats. Otherwise, the clicker will lose its effectiveness. “While some clicker trainers may not give a reward every time they click, pretty much all clicker trainers continue to follow the click with a reward,” says Alyssa. “It’s very important to use strong rewards a lot during initial training stages, and treats are often the strongest reward for a dog.”

Here’s how to you can easily train your dog to respond to the clicker before moving on to basic and advanced training. The following steps are often referred to as “loading” the clicker.

  • Begin with your dog in a quiet area.
  • Have a handful of your dog’s favorite treats ready. Ideally, this should be done when your dog is hungry.
  • Press the clicker and immediately give your dog a treat. Repeat 5-10 times.
  • You can test your success by clicking when your dog is not paying attention to you. If your dog responds to the click by suddenly looking at you, then looking for a treat, you are ready to move on.
  • Next, begin teaching your dog basic commands. At the exact moment your dog performs the desired action, press the clicker. Follow with a treat and praise.

One of the best things about the clicker is the accuracy. “It’s like taking a photo of the exact behavior you’re rewarding”, Alyssa explains. The dog associates his action with the click and, subsequently, the reward. Not only does he better understand what he is doing, this also makes him more likely to repeat the action when asked in the future.

Clicker training can also be very effective for advanced training. “You simply click for small steps toward the behavior and work the dog toward the final, completed behavior,” says Alyssa. “This allows you to be totally hands-off (except for delivering the reward, of course). You don’t need to manipulate the dog into position, which can often slow the process.”

Overall, the clicker is a very valuable tool in the training process and should be an essential part of your pet supplies. When creating an obedience and training program for your dog, consider using the clicker and see for yourself how well the method works.

This article is courtesy of RadioFence.com a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.