Tag: dog training

Drooling Dog

Now that we know why our dog is barking at other dogs/people on walks and we have an idea of the best tools to use, let’s talk about what we actually need to DO to make it stop. Because the root of your dog’s reactivity is most likely fear (if it’s not, it’s frustration and that’s a bit of a different story), we have to get to that root, that emotion and change it before the outward behaviour can change.

This is where Pavlov comes in. It’s so simple, you might read this and smack your hand to your forehead.

What is it?

Counter conditioning is a simple, effective training technique to change a dog’s association with an object, animal, or person from a bad feeling to a good feeling.

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A pink plastic spray bottle.

Most dogs have some annoying habits. We humans want them to stop as quickly as possible.

Some humans have a little handheld tool they use to stop behaviours they don’t like: a squirt bottle. A sharp spray of water in the dog’s face should stop jumping/chewing/nipping/barking pretty efficiently, right? Plus the gadget is cheap, easy to get and shouldn’t really hurt the dog, right? Well, not in my opinion.

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A small dog sticking its head out of a car window.

Riding in the car can create anxiety and/or motion sickness in dogs and sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which. In fact, often times, one can cause the other, so it becomes a question of “chicken vs egg”.

Let’s look at some products that can make car rides a little easier, depending on your dog’s issue.

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dog looking at food dispensing toy

When training our dogs, it’s crucial to consider their currency. What does that mean? How does your dog like to get paid? What do they find most reinforcing?

When we go to work, we get paid in the form of money – paycheques and monetary bonuses. If the paycheque stopped suddenly, we would question and likely stop working. Imagine if your boss sent you an envelope with Monopoly money in it on payday in place of your regular cheque!

Let’s consider some variables – sometimes the US dollar is more reinforcing than the Canadian dollar (like right now) and other times it’s the reverse. Sometimes winning a trip to Hawaii is more exciting than the equivalent in a cash prize.

When it comes to dogs, there are so many options for reinforcement out there – all you have to do is get to know your dog!

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