Before you begin your dog’s obedience training
you need to choose a dog trainer.
Even if you plan to train your dog yourself using methods from a book or video, you need to know that the author or presenter is a competent, professional and effective trainer.
Below are some tips that will help you choose a dog trainer who’s just right for your, and your dog’s, learning style.
Training your dog is much easier if it’s fun for both of you. It needn’t be dull or boring, and it shouldn’t be fear-inducing.
Pick a dog trainer whose classes are full of people enjoying themselves. Look for people having a positive and successful learning experience. A professional and competent instructor will encourage you to observe a class before you make your decision.
If the instructor rejects your request to observe a class, leave.
You’re looking for one who’s easy to deal with and wants their customers to enjoy the experience. If they won’t let you observe, how will you know before you buy? Take your dog, and your business, where you’re more welcome.
If you’re using a book, look for an entertaining writing style.
You want the trainer to speak to you from the book, not just throw information at you. Does she use humorous anecdotes or jokes to lighten the presentation? Spend an hour or so in the bookstore or your library until you find a book that suits your learning style.
Do you want to use a video?
As with live classes, look for an instructor who has an entertaining and relaxing manner. You don’t want one with the delivery of a stuffy university professor. Look for one who speaks to you by looking into the camera "at" you.
It’s more difficult to choose a training video before buying since you can’t just skim through it like you can with a book.
Does the local dog club rent out its training videos? This may be the best way to find the video that suits you. If not, you may have to rely on reviews and testimonials.
Speak with current clients.
This is another reason why it’s good to choose a dog trainer who allows you to observe a class. You have the opportunity to ask current customers about their training experience.
If you will be having private training classes, ask to speak to others who have used the same trainer for private lessons.
Sometimes a trainer’s methods and style differ between group and private training.
For books and videos, you’ll have to rely on testimonials, reviews and recommendations. Unfortunately, testimonials and reviews can be edited to show only the good side. This is something that is happening more and more within the world of reviews.
This isn’t to say that it’s happening with obedience training videos and books; however, it is something to be alert to. If you don’t feel good about the reviews and testimonials you’ve read, ask other dog owners to recommend a book or video.
Choose a dog trainer who:
Provides a clear explanation of each lesson, including the expected outcome demonstrates the behavior you’ll be teaching to your dog.
Provides clear instructions along with written handouts to help you teach the behavior.
Gives you enough time during the class to begin practicing that day’s lesson
Provides individual attention to ensure your proper use of the training technique.
This is where obedience training books and videos have an advantage, especially videos. Any good book or video will follow the first three points listed above.
If the presentation is clear and engaging , you should have no problem understanding the training technique. The trainer will demonstrate the technique and give you time to try it yourself.
Then you can turn off the video, or close the book, and practice. If you become stuck on some point, you can simply review the material.
Pick an instructor who is always improving her own skills and knowledge.
Ask if she’s a member of any educational organizations for trainers, such as the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) in the United States, or the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (CAPPDT).
A training book or video should list the credentials of the author or presenter and any organizations to which she belongs. Pick a trainer who always strives to protect your dog’s health in a group training setting. She should require that all dogs, and especially puppies, are vaccinated prior to class, and she should ask for proof. Ask her which vaccinations are required, then discuss them with your veterinarian if you are uncomfortable with the requirements. Choose a dog trainer who uses tools and methods that are humane and not harmful to your dog, or to you. You want one who does not use shocks, kicks, beatings or other physical attacks, or any other training methods or tools that could harm your dog or cause him distress.
Dog’s temperament and breeding vary, making it more difficult for some dogs to learn certain behaviors. Owners’ levels of experience with dogs, and their commitment to the training process, vary. These variables make it impossible for the instructor to offer a guarantee to achieve certain results with you.
Choose a dog trainer who promises to do everything to ensure your satisfaction with there services.
The same holds true with books and videos. The author or presenter cannot guarantee that the required result will be achieved, but will be able to guarantee the professionalism of the content and presentation.
Choose a dog trainer with care and planning.
Don’t leave your research to the last minute, and don’t rush into it. You’ll be living with the consequences for several years.
Review your learning style and your dog’s temperament and abilities. If you’re the type who needs hands-on coaching, a class will be best for you.
If you learn best on your own, and you’re a visual learner, use a video. If you want to go at your own pace, or your dog’s, a book might be best.
Below are links to help you find and choose a dog trainer near you. Association of Pet Dog Trainers, (APDT) The APDT directory lists trainers from England Canada and Australia, so you can choose a dog trainer from this directory, or use one listed below.
Create an evacuation kit now (or right after you create one for yourself and family members) so that if disaster looms, everything is there, in one place.
In minutes you’ll have everything in the car and be escaping the danger.
What You’ll Need in Your Dog’s Kit
Pack a two week supply of dry food in an airtight, waterproof container. If you’re using canned food, buy flip-top cans or purchase a can opener for your evacuation kit use only.
If you’re using frozen food, like the "bones and raw food diet", you’ll need ice packs and a cooler that plugs into your car lighter to keep the food from thawing.
Also take along treats and chew toys to keep your dog calm during stressful periods and if they have to be restrained or tethered for long stretches of time.
Instructions on what and how much to feed your dog in case you’re not available or not able to feed your dog.
Include any foods your dog cannot eat due to allergies.
Try to feed your dog on their normal regular schedule, and feed them regular food if at all possible.
This will help keep their stress levels lower. It will also reduce the possibility of them suffering from diarrhea.
Keep at least two weeks’ worth of bottled or purified water on hand at all times. A large dog could need a gallon or more per day, especially if it is hot or the dog is stressed. Store it out of direct sunlight to avoid algae growth, and rotate the water at least every other month.
Do not let your dog drink flood water or water that may have been contaminated. "Boil water" warnings mean that tap water is unsafe for you and your dog to drink.
Non-spill food and water bowls, and a spoon for canned food.
Newspaper for bedding and/or litter.
A collar, leash, harness and muzzle for each dog. Ensure each collar has your dog’s name, as well as your name, phone number and address (in case the phones aren’t working). If you’re relocating for an extended period of time, attach an alternate phone number to the collar.
Use a crate for smaller dogs, and label each crate with your name and contact information. Larger dogs, and dogs that prefer to be outside, can be secured with a stake and some chain or wire.
A two week supply of medications. Have an ice cooler or plug-in cooler and ice packs ready to store any medications that need refrigeration. Ice is often available from emergency shelters.
Obtain tranquilizers from your vet if your dog is high-strung or easily frightened. Add instructions on the dose and frequency of medications. Also include your vet’s and pet pharmacy’s contact information for refills.
Pet Information. If you don’t have a documentation package, check out Dog Information and Records for help assembling it. Your dog first aid kit. See Dog First Aid Kits for information on making your own evacuation kit, buying prepackaged kits, and familiarizing yourself with the supplies in your kit.
If your kit didn’t come with a pet first aid book, add one to your survival kit.
Also make sure you know which vet clinics and animal hospitals will be open in your area in case you need emergency care for your dog.
A flashlight, solar/crank/battery powered radio, and fresh spare batteries, all in resealable plastic bags. Plastic bags and pooper scooper. Paper towels, a small container of dish soap, and trash bags. Two non-essentials that can make your dog’s life, and yours, a little easier are a grooming brush, and a bottle of either "Rescue Remedy" or "First Aid Remedy," two herbal products that you can use to relieve some of your dog’s tension and stress. If you have the room, consider an aromatherapy diffuser and some calming scents to use with it. They are very effective in relieving stress and anxiety. Check out Aromatherapy for Dogs for more information. A plastic container large enough to carry all the supplies except the water. Pack the water in sturdy cardboard boxes or several plastic crates. Remember, water is heavy: four US gallons weigh over 30 pounds, and four Imperial gallons (18 litres) weigh 40 pounds (18.2 kilograms). Place the water and the container full of supplies in plain site of your main house entrance so that anyone checking your home can find it. Don’t store them in your kitchen or garage, as most house fires start in those areas.
Check the evacuation kit twice a year, perhaps on your birthday and your dog’s birthday. Replace the food. Test the batteries and replace them if necessary. And remember to change the water every one to two months, as mentioned above.
Place "Pet Inside" stickers in your main floor windows, and leave a note on your door explaining where in the house/on the property rescuers can find your dog and the evacuation kit. Leave your work contact number and your vet’s contact info for rescuers as well.
There are several agencies and organizations providing information and/or support to help you and your dog during disasters or emergencies.
Disaster Evacuation Plan for more information on these sources of help to create your dogs evacuation kit.
Why Won”t My Rottweiler Listen To Me?
This is a common question that most first-time Rottweiler owners ask me. Before I answer your question, let me ask you a few instead:
If your answers are mostly in the negative, its time you seriously reconsider your role as a sincere Rottweiler trainer and an ideal pet parent.
Get Your Rottweiler To Listen To You
Before you begin any training, you must first establish yourself as the "ALPHA dog" of your family. Your Rottweiler must know that you’re the leader of the pack and it is YOU who is in charge.
Here is a list of simple DO”s and DONT”s that you must follow if you want to be the Alpha:
Once you successfully established yourself as the Alpha, training your Rottweiler and making him listen will be a lot easier than you can imagine. Remember, if your Rottweiler does not learn to "listen", all your training efforts will be in vain!
Does your Rottweiler know his name? Does your Rottweiler look at you whenever you call him by his name? This is the first and the most critical step involved in Rottweiler Training. If your Rottweiler doesn”t respond to his name, you cannot have his attention for teaching him any other commands.
To make sure that your Rottweiler recognizes his name, take a treat in your hand and hold it away from your body. Call your Rottweiler”s name. He is most likely to look at the treat in your hand. Continue calling his name untill he turns and looks at your eyes. Give him the treat immediately. Repeat this exercise by holding the treat in the other hand. Once you”re sure that your Rottweiler has learnt to recognize his name, just call his name and reward him for looking at you by petting or with a hug.
You must understand that Rottweilers respond far better to positive reinforcement than they do to coercion or force.
Copyright (c) 2009 TrainPetDog.com
Why Not Sign Up For Our Free Training E-Book Course
It”s essential for Rottweiler parents like you to know certain basic factors that determine your relationship with your Rottweiler and can go a long way in training him effectively.
Before you begin training your Rottweiler, it is absolutely essential that you build a loving bond with him. This is important as it helps you to understand his needs and instincts and also allows your Rottweiler to have complete trust in you.
Let us see how…….
How To Bond With Your Rottweiler
Building a bond with your Rottweiler is the first and the most crucial step involved in training him successfully. As soon as you bring your Rottweiler home, you must first try to develop a caring and loving relationship with him in order to win his trust and confidence.
When Rottweilers are secure in the knowledge that they belong to the family, they are more likely to respond better to their owners” training commands. Just like with any relationship, there must be mutual trust and respect between you and your Rottweiler.
Trust takes time to develop and respect comes from defining boundaries and treating any breach of those boundaries with firmness and fairness.
Without enforceable limitations, respect can’t be developed. And when there is no respect, building a bond with your Rottweiler is almost impossible.
4 Golden Rules To Building A Relationship With Your Rottweiler :
Building a bond with your Rottweiler will not only help you manage him better but will also make your Rottweiler calm, quiet and an extremely well-adjusted pet.
Love Your Rottweiler and He Will Love You back
Once you”re succesful in building a bond with your Rottweiler, you can rest assured that training him and teaching him new and clever tricks will be a cakewalk.
How Your Rottweiler Learns…
Your Rottweiler”s learning period can be divided into five phases:
The Teaching Phase – This is the phase where you must physically demonstrate to your Rottweiler exactly what you want him to do.
The Practicing Phase – Practice makes Perfect. Once a lesson is learnt, practice with your Rottweiler what you have just taught him.
The Generalizing Phase – Here you must continue practicing with your Rottweiler in different locations and in an environment with a few distractions. You can take your Rottweiler out for a walk, or to a nearby park and command him to practice whatever you”ve taught him.
Practicing the learned lessons in multiple locations and in the presence of small distractions will help him learn and retain lessons better .
The Testing Phase – Once you”re sure that your Rottweiler has achieved almost 90% success….he responds correctly almost every time you give a command, you must start testing his accuracy in newer locations with a lot of distractions.
Example: Take him to the local shopping mall and ask him to obey your command. He may not come up with the correct response the very first time you do this, but you must not lose hope.
The idea is to test your Rottweiler to see how he responds in an environment which is new to him. Set-up a situation where you are in control of the environment and your Rottweiler.
There are only 2 possibilities:
Keep on testing until he succeeds. Follow the rule of the 3 Ps – patience, persistence, praise.
Internalizing Phase – Finally, comes the extremely rewarding phase where your Rottweiler does everything he is taught to do even without your commands.
Copyright (c) 2009 TrainPetDog.com
At some point before or during first aid treatment, you may need to lift and move your dog.
Once you’ve completed the care, you’ll need to transport her to your car and then to the veterinarian or emergency animal clinic.
Use the following information to correctly lift and move your dog so that their injuries don’t worsen, and you both remain safe.
The first rule in providing first aid to dogs is to move the injured dog only if their life is in further danger from a hazard, such as traffic or fire.
If the threat to your dog’s life continues, your first priority is to move them to a safer location before starting dog first aid.
The second rule of first aid is to ask for help. Don’t try to do it all yourself. This is especially true when trying to move the injured dog. You could end up injuring yourself by trying to more them on your own. The same holds true when treating your dog.
Now isn’t the time to be shy. Ask for help. However, sometimes there isn’t anyone around to help, so you’ll have to lift and move your dog, and treat them, on your own.
If they are light enough, or you are strong enough to move them when they are healthy, you should be able to lift and move your dog without risk to yourself.
If they too large or heavy, or you have limited strength, you may have to drag them to safety.
Grab their front legs and drag them toward you. Be careful not to bend or twist her neck or trunk. This will reduce the risk of (further) spinal cord injury.
If one or both front legs are injured, grab the hind legs. Never drag her sideways (for example, by pulling one front leg and one hind leg).
If your dog is small enough to carry easily, get her to the vet or clinic quickly.
Plan your lift and carry so that you don’t injure them more during the trip to the car.
Keep an injured leg on the side away from your body, so that it isn’t caught between your body and theirs.
Rest their chest on your forearm so that their legs can dangle below, if suitable.
If her chest or abdomen is injured, stand next to the uninjured side, facing them. Bend down and place one arm below their neck and the other at the top of their hind legs.
Bring your arms together, sweeping them up into your arms. Their chest should be resting on one forearm, with their hind quarters on your other forearm.
Remember when doing this to bend from the knees, not the waist. You don’t want to injure your own back.
If your dog is ill from disease, poisoning, or heat stroke, there is likely little risk of injury, and a greater need for speed. Lift and move your dog as you normally do and get them to the car.
If they are too large to carry, you have a few options to help you lift and move your dog to the car.
If they are conscious and seems okay overall but can’t use their hind legs, use a blanket or towel to help them walk.
Use the towel as a sling to lift their hind legs while she moves forward with their front legs.
Fold the towel in half lengthwise and run one end under their belly. Grab both ends and slowly lift them.
If you are strong enough to lift with one hand, walk beside them and offer lots of praise and encouragement.
If you need both hands to hold the towel ends, straddle their hind end and lift.
Once at the car, you may have to improvise a ramp to help them up and in, if you don’t have the strength to lift them.
If you have an assistant, you can improvise a stretcher. An ironing board, a plank, or a narrow door can serve to help you carry your dog to the car. If possible, add some padding over the stretcher.
If you are in the country, or camping, make a stretcher with two strong poles and two jackets. Turn the sleeves inside out so that they are inside the jacket.
Zip up the jackets. Run the poles through the sleeves. This creates a double layer of material where the stress from the weight is located.
Lash a small branch or piece of wood to either end to help keep the stretcher taut.
Test the stretcher before you lift and move your dog with it. You don’t want it to break and drop them to the ground.
If you have no poles, but have more people, you can use a blanket lift. Roll a blanket lengthwise for half its width. Place the rolled half along your dog’s back.
With one person supporting the head and neck, turn your dog over the roll onto the unrolled part of the blanket. Unroll the rest of the blanket.
Have each person grab the blanket. One person should hold it near your dog’s head and neck (to minimize possible spinal cord injury).
Another should hold the two ends at the rear. If you have more people available, have one on either side to support your dog’s back and thighs.
Once you are all in position, rise together, bending from the knees, and carry them to your car or a stretcher.
If you’re on your own and have only a blanket or towel, pull your dog onto it and use it to drag them to the car.
If you think your dog needs attention along the way, park the car and attend to them, then continue on your way.
Do not use your cell phone while driving. Your attention will likely be split already. Calling your vet or another person will only make you less aware of what’s happening around you.
Before you leave home or the accident site, call your vet or clinic with details. They will be ready to help you lift and move your dog when you arrive.
If you have an assistant who knows how to drive, have them drive for you so that you can attend to your pet.
This person will likely be less emotionally attached and thus will have a clearer head for dealing with traffic.
Unlike in an accident where a human is involved, no medical team will be coming to help you.
You’ll need to lift and move your dog to your car, then get them to the vet clinic as quickly and safely as you can.
Practice how to lift and move your dog at least once a year, perhaps on her birthday.