Puppy class week 5 homework and hand-outs


At about this point in puppy class your puppys’ behavior may have suddenly become worse. This is normal. Be patient. Your dog is having extintion bursts and trying to go back to that soda machine. He is trying to get you to be the puppy. Leader lead – subordinates react. He has stopped reacting in attempt to be the leader.

The body will follow the nose, the nose will follow the treat. Remember if your pup is having trouble getting the definition of a word, use the word for praise.

Have fun with it… where will your dogs nose follow….

next week is all about what you want me to cover. Bring lots of questions and requests.

Remember to make a fair trade. Don’t chase the puppy to get something from him. Give lots of praise an a toy or treat when the puppy releases.

It is best to avoid punishment, as we don’t usually delivery it in a way the dog will understand. Use the techniques that I have shown you to distract your dog to a behavior he is allowed to do and then reward him for it. Don’t yell at him and chase him when he has something of yours. Get a treat and call him to make a fair trade for either the treat or the treat first and then one of his toys. Remember to praise him for accepting the trade. If people are constantly taking things away from the dog, he will view people as untrustworthy.

Punishing the dog after-the-fact by returning home hours, or even minutes later and “showing him” what he did wrong by dragging him to the object and yelling at him will have no affect on the dog other than to mistrust you since you are unpredictable. Sometimes you return home in a good mood; while other times you return angry and upset. AFTER-THE-FACT CORRECTIONS ARE USELESS AND TEACH YOUR DOG NOTHING EXCEPT FEAR, CONFUSION AND MISTRUST. Dogs live in the immediate present. They can ONLY connect your praise or punishment with the behavior they are actually engaged in when you give it. A punishment can only be effective if you catch him “in the act”. Your punishment must interrupt and end the unacceptable behavior. Many owners assume the dog “knows better” and punish him for acting out. Your dog is NOT ACTING OUT OF SPITE and misbehaving to get back at you.
If you arrive at the scene of the crime hours, or minutes later, do not punish your dog. He makes no connection with the punishment and the act of performing “the crime”. He looks forward to seeing you when you come home. His biological clock is ticking and he knows you will be returning soon. Not knowing what mood you will come home in, he becomes anxious, stress builds and begins to chew on something or bark to relieve his stress. Every time he sees a destroyed object, the object signals to him that he will be punished upon your arrival, NOT THE ACT OF CHEWING IT. He knows that you and the article in the same room will get might cause you to become angry and aggressive this is why he might run and hide and “look guilty”. He is not feeling guilty. He is exhibiting fear of the anticipated punishment. He is giving you appeasement behaviors, asking you to stay calm and not get aggressive with him. If you are harsh with your dog when he is asking you to be calm, he will view you as unreasonable and untrustworthy, you will damage the human/dog bond. This will create a lot of stress in your dog.
Some signs of stress in dogs are diarrhea, increased frequency in urination, excessive barking, self-mutilation pacing, panting and chewing. Therefore, the more you punish him after the fact, the more stressed he becomes. The more destructive the dog becomes, the more he will bark or exhibit other stressful behaviors, the more frustration the you feel. As you can see, this becomes a vicious cycle with a “no win” scenario. It should be obvious that if your dog could make the connection between the delayed punishment and the “crime”, he would certainly stop destroying objects to avoid punishment. No living creature enjoys being punished. If you come home and find a mess, ignore it! Bring your dog to another room or let him outside so you can return and clean it up. Do not rant and rave. This may go against your natural inclination, but stay patient and calm. Wait to greet the dog when you are both calm. Don’t keep repeating punishment that isn’t working.

Exercise. Destructive chewing is often caused by a dog who has pent-up energy. Even if you work all day, you must find the time to give your dog the physical exercise which he requires. (Please see exercising your dog the wrong way)
Each person in your family should share in the responsibility of playing with and walking your dog. You could get up 1/2 hour earlier in the morning to allow for time to play and walk your dog. Remember, exercise is good for you as well! If you have a fenced-in yard, spend time playing fetch, hide and seek, find it games, soccer, catch. Do not use your yard as a large crate by allowing the dog to be alone hoping he will get exercise. Dogs love to interact with others. Play builds a strong bond. If there is no one to interact with, his only option is to dig, fence run, bark, guard, chase small animals or chew on your patio furniture or house. This is not constructive time and will not eliminate his energy. He will become very independent and even worse, territorial aggressive as time goes on. Your dog should love to spend time with you and follow your rules; not make up his own. At night, after dinner, take him for another walk; this time in a different direction. Taking him on the same path each day becomes less stimulating. Ask your children, spouse or significant other to join you. This can be a valuable time for you and your family to be together, as well as fulfilling your dog’s needs. The dog loves it when the entire pack is together. Some breeds need more exercise than others. Working breeds, hunting dogs, hounds and terriers need extra time to burn up their extra energy. A walk usually is not enough. These breeds need to run in order to burn off their energy.
If I have instructed you to practice a psychological heel with your dog, make sure he does this for the first part of the walk, at least ½ of the walk. His reward for working will be “free dog” where he can walk and sniff without working so hard.
Daina Beckman
Dog Behavior Specialist / Dog Trainer
www.dogpsychologyhelp.com      daina@dogpsychologyhelp.com 607-698-9122

Dog Psychology And Training, The Basics
Obedience commands

Daina Beckman
Dog Behavior Specialist
Happy Tails Dog Behavior & Training


It’s what the dog thinks that matters.
I could go into a lot of discussion and facts about the human mind and thinking but that is not the purpose of this article. Suffice it to say that as humans we make a lot of assumptions that are not based on realistic facts. It is our nature. We believe what we are told by unreliable sources all the time. How many times have you believed something you heard or read in an advertisement only to be disappointed?
Unfortunately we make the same mistakes with dog training. We listen to all kinds of unreliable unscientific information about dog training.
Dogs do not think like we do. In order to be successful AND have a really happy dog you need to understand things from the dogs’ point of view. We are very good at making excuses and justifications for the way and whys of how we do things. Your dog will not understand your justifications. Inconsistency in training will lead to your dog being confused. He will think you are crazy or an immature puppy, or unreliable and untrustworthy.
1. Use positive reinforcement. Punishment does not work. You have heard about praise and reward. But how do you use it to be effective. Consistency. Every single time your dog is being good praise him. People are way to stingy with praise. Half hearted occasional praise will not get the results you want. If you are telling your dog “no” more than you are praising him, you are confusing him.
Let’s use driving as an example. Every day when you are going to work, the same police officer pulls you over and gives you a ticket. He does not tell you what the ticket is for, he just punishes you. In every situation you are trying to figure out the common factor. What is making him give you a ticked, what is it that he wants you TO DO? It would take a really long time for you to figure that out because you can not find the consistency.
If every day that same officer stopped you and said Thanks for driving the speed limit here is $10.00 or thanks for coming to a full stop at the stop sign here is $10.00, or thanks for using your turn signal here is $10.00; you would know for sure what you are supposed do. You would repeat those behaviors because you may get $10.00 and a pat on the back.
2. The praise & Treat must be on time. The praise you give for a behavior must be given while the dog is doing the behavior. Three seconds later is too late. Let’s use the traffic example again. You have approached a red light and turned your signal on at the appropriate distance before the red light. You came to a full stop. Check traffic then turned right. Now you are driving very slow, 10 miles an hour surfing a string of garage sales. The police officer stops you and gives you $10.00 and says great job, really good driving. You would think he is rewarding you for going slow through a neighborhood with a bunch of garage sales. In fact he was rewarding you for turning you signal on ahead of time.
3. CONSITANCY, CONSISTANCY, CONSITANCY. We hear that all the time but the truth is we are really not very good at it because it is boring. Dogs love it. Rules are black and white with dogs. They either can with 100% freedom or they can’t. For example they can either get on the couch whenever they feel like or they are not allowed on the couch at all. When training puppies, they can either use their teeth on