Week 4 Obedience Class Hand Outs

These are the dog training hand-outs for group dog training classes held in Hornell NY. If you are interested in a small group dog training class using positive dog training methods and you are able to bring your dog to Hornell NY in Steuben County NY Sign up for class. Classes are held all year. You can also call 607-698-9122 for more information
Week 4 homework –
Practice psychological heel with distractions.
Do not have your dog sit with scary things,
practice hand up,
loose leash,
come, stay, down, sit.
Take a very cute heart touching picture of your dog.

Daina Beckman
Happy Tails Dog Behavior & Training

Stay is a very important command. It can keep your dog safe. It can also protect people who are not comfortable with dogs.

The hand signal for stay is a flat open hand with palm facing the dog and help for 2-5 seconds a few inches in front of the nose. If you have adopted a dog who has been hit with a human hand you will have to use a different hand signal. Try a closed fist knuckles facing the dog and held a few inches from the nose.

Stand up tall. Give the hand signal and the command at the same time. Believe in the dog and your ability to give the command. “I believe in me I believe in you, we can do this”.

Step 1 –have the dog sit. Say the command and give the hand signal then count to 10. If the dog did not move praise and bring the treat to him.

You will always go to him with the treat and praise. He should not meet you part way. If he does he has broken the stay and does not get the treat. You will need to put him back where he was and start again.

Step 2 – Have the dog sit. Say the command and give the hand signal then step back one step and count to 10. If he did not move step forward to him and praise and treat.

Step 3 from this point on we will always assume the dog is either in a sit or down. And that you will say the command and treat at the same time.
Step back 1 step and count to 20. Return and praise & treat.

Step 4 – step back 1 step increase count to 30 praise and treat. Now increase the time to 1 minute. Praise and treat.

Step 5 increase the distance to 2 steps and start with a count of 10. Prise and treat. Continue increasing the time until you can stand at 2 steps away for 1 minute.

Continue to increase the distance and start the count at 10 or 20. Then increase the time until your dog will sit for 2 minutes.
You are going to increase the time and then the distance. When your dog will sit for 5 minutes with about 25 feet away then progress to going out of site. Once you step out of site you will begin with a count of 5 and gradually increase the count until your dog will stay for 5 minutes with you out of site.

I recommend that a dog is trained to stay in a sit for 10 minutes with you out of site. This will give you time to clean up a broken glass, deal with the UPS man or anyone else who may come to the door.

Exercising Your Dog©
Daina Beckman
Happy Tails Dog Behavior & Training

Exercise can have a positive effect on mood and increases the serotonin activity in the brain. Rhythmic exercise of moderate to high intensity can prevent stress, and help correct learned helplessness. Exercise can improve cognitive function and increase confidence. Stable results will happen after 6 weeks of moderate to intense exercise sessions of 5 days per week, one hour per day.
Exercise done wrong can increase stress, increase anxiety and contribute to aggression in some cases. To produce benefits relating to aggression the exercise should be aerobic, predictable and rhythmic. (It should also follow the pack leader and pack restructure rules. Leaders Lead, subordinates follow. Leaders are gentle, positive, wise, trustworthy and will not lead the pack into what the dog perceives to be a dangerous or an unreasonably risky place to be. The pack leader will not ask so much of a pack member that it becomes physically painful.)
Before you begin an exercise program for your dog it would be a good idea to have your veterinarian give your dog a check up. You may have to alter your dogs exercise program if he has certain health issues. For example if your dog has joint problems you will want to use low impact exercise. If he has hip dysplasia, swimming my be the best choice.
If your dog is over weight, you could put him on a lower calorie diet and start slow perhaps with short walks gradually increasing the distance as he begins to loose the fat and get in better shape. Telephone poles are a good way to gauge distance. For a dog that needs to start out slowly and gently start by walking the distance of 2 telephone poles and back again. Each week add the distance of one telephone pole.
If you are exercising a puppy under 18 months old avoid any exercise that would be pounding or jarring on his joints.

The type of exercise you choose should correlate with the dogs structure and conditioning. Some dogs love fetch so much that it is hard to get them to stop. Fetch would be great exercise for these dogs. Other dogs don’t want anything to do with fetch. Perhaps swimming would be a better choice. Some dogs love noting better than walking and trotting along enjoying all the smells. The type of exercise chosen should match the dogs structure and conditioning, but should also match the dogs personality. It is important also that the exercise match the ability and conditioning of the owner. If you are a runner that runs miles, don’t expect you dog to start out keeping up with you. If you had a hip replaced, don’t expect to keep up with your dog on a trot. See below for some fun alternatives

The variables Intensity, Frequency and Duration will depend on the dog and your goals. Work up gradually. All 20 minute work outs are not the same, keep this in mind. Twenty minutes of Frisbee is far more intense than 20 minutes of walking.
Remember your dog wants to please you. Many dogs will play or exercise to the point of very near death from heat exhaustion because they want to please you. You have to watch your dog for signs that it is time for him to stop.
NOTE- short muzzled dogs have a harder time breathing during exercise. Breeds such as Bull dogs Mastiffs, pugs and other short muzzled dogs need to be watched closely for signs of stress. Go more slowly with these breed. Perhaps aim for duration rather than intensity.

Keep an eye on your dog. Watch for signs of fatigue and take cool down play breaks if your dog needs it. Adjust the intensity, and let your dog work up slowly to the next level.

If the exercise program becomes painful or stressful it will become an aversive. A negative thing from your dogs point of view. The dog will view the exercise as punishment. This could put you in the position of being an untrustworthy pack leader.

Signs of fatigue.
Excess panting (the tongue may be widened at the end)
A stressed look on the dogs face (anxiety) look for a wide grin with furrows under the eyes and behind the mouth.
Stumbling or tripping.
Lying down. Remaining down when you ask the dog to do something.
Dragging his feet.

Warm ups & Cool Downs.

Warm ups increase the nutrients and oxygen to the muscle & nerves. Warm ups help to stretch the muscles, tendons and ligaments which will help to prevent injury.
A good warm up should begin with a good rub down. This will make your dog more aware of all of his body parts. Next do some spine stretches. Stand over your dog with your legs on either side of his back end. Use a treat and for him to follow first toward your right leg then your left. Do a few repetitions. You could also teach your dog to bow (placing his front legs stretched out on the floor and his butt up in the air.
Now that you have rubbed and stretched your dog you should finish the warm up by having him do a soft trot for 50 or so feet to get the blood flowing.

Cool downs

Duration should be proportionate to the intensity. If you are doing an intense workout, make it shorter in duration.

During intense exercise, take frequent play breaks. You should not suddenly stop the exercise, but use the cool down recommendations instead.
If you do not cool down your dog after exercise blood can pool in the extremities. When you exercise your dog vigorously the blood vessels dilate to allow for maximum circulation. After exercise when the heart slows the blood may not make it back to the heart from the tissues adequately. This can cause dizziness. (Zink 1997)
A SLOW five to 10 minute walk will be a sufficient cool down and will prevent blood from pooling in the extremities.
Provide water before, during and after exercise. Do not allow the dog to gulp large amounts of water. Do not exercise your dog for 2-3 hours after a meal as this can lead to bloat a sometimes deadly condition.

Try to avoid repetitive movement exercise programs. This will help to prevent strain and wear on specific structures. Mix it up. Swimming, Fetch and jogging are a possible combination.
Do not exercise your dog during very hot weather. During warm weather watch your dog closely for signs of fatigue. Take frequent breaks, try to exercise out of direct sunlight. Swimming is a good choice on hot days.

Once your dog has worked up to an exercise program you should vary the duration and the intensity. Try to keep the frequency fairly consistent. Varying the duration and intensity should be pretty random to keep it fun.

Vary the exercises that you use within each session to keep it fun. Varying the exercises will help to prevent injury.

Some fun possibilities.

Fetch during walks
Treadmills – these can become boring.
Trotting while you are on a bike or inline skate can be dangerous for both you and the dog. I feel the risks outweigh the benefits.
Mushing or pulling. This should be restricted to larger breeds such as Nordic breeds (huskies malamutes etc.)
Agility – lots of fun. You can get a simple back yard agility kit for around $50.00. I carry them, get in touch with me if you would like to purchase one www.dogpsychologyhelp.com/default.aspx or daina@dogpsychologyhelp.com
Flyball – only if you can trust your dog off leash. Best for breeds such as terriers that are more suited to intense exercise.

Dog/dog play. I recommend you find a friend or family members dog that you know. I am not a big fan of dog parks. Many owners are unable to control their dogs if a problem should arise. You never know the whether or not there will be an aggressive dog there. You also don’t know if any of the other dogs that are there have contagious illnesses or parasites.

Read the article If Your Dog Gets Lost