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A "dog blog" about all breeds and issues of importance to people who value the dogs in their lives, with a special emphasis on Search and Rescue dogs, in particular the training of my Newfoundland Dogs

Monday, July 25, 2005


THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST!! a down to earth beginning guide to starting clicker training! And more to come in the weeks ahead! Quoting diretly from the first paragraph:
"the whole key to clicker training is to get the dog to a stage in his training where you can quickly reinforce a behavior that he does in order to tell him that he is "doing something right". The clicker is a substitute for "good dog" and has more meaning because it is very specific to the dog. for example there are dozens of times every day and many situations where you use the words "good dog" (or at least there should be) but when you use a clicker you are working towards the end result of putting the dog into a "learning mode" and in the end he will understand, when you are "clicking" that he has performed a behavior which was correct and he will be rewarded."

Click on the title to read all of this article!

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Chewing, and generally destroying stuff is as normal for dogs as tail-wagging and sniffing ... If you have a dog, expect chewing. Provide him with his own toys and teach him to chew them and to play with them or he will destructively chew anything available, such as your furniture, carpet, clothing or shoes. If you leave stuff around that he CAN chew, expect that he will. Puppy proof your house the same as if you had a two year old toddller....

Dont believe the old wives tale that dogs destroy your house because they are angry, jealous or spiteful. They do it because they are dogs. They may be lonely, bored, frustrated or anxious, but they are not spiteful. If something is there for them to chew,, and they are in the mood, they will chew. . Active dogs can become restless when left alone for long periods. If for example you always come home at a certain time and you are late, your dog may become anxious. Your dog does not punish you for being late by chewing. The dogs' chewing just helps to relieve stress and release energy. If you come home and find that your dog has destroyed something, do not punish the dog. Be matter of fact and clean up the mess. He is not going to understand punishement AFTER the fact, no matter what you might think...dogs live in the moment.

Preventing Chewing problems before they start
Until your dog can be trusted not to destroy your home and yard, do not give him free, unsupervised run of your house. Give him a room of his own or a crate...where he can enjoy himself and relax when you are not home or are unable to supervise him. Give him a rawhide chew in the crate. Stuff a kong toy with peanut butter. give him rope toys, stufed toys, safe toys made for dogs. When he tries to pick up something else, remove it from his mouth and offer him one of his toys. some examples of cheap toys that dogs love: empty toilet tissue cardboard rolls or paper towel rolls .....empty boxes (not food boxes such as cereal boxes) .....paper bags........woven rope toys.....It helps to keep all of his toys in his "toy box" (usully a nice big flat sort of basket works very well......)
Teach your dog to play with those toys. play fetch.... praise the dog when you see that is has a toy..hide a toy and have him go find it ..put the toy in the dogs mouth when it is attempting to chew on your clothes or your hands... it works very well to put a toy in the dogs mouth when you first return home, it relieves the "anxiety" of the greeting and gives the dog something to "mouth" rather than you....An added benefit is that this will ALSO stop jumping up on people and overly excited greetings at the door when people (or you) arrive home. I have a dog that deliberately goes and looks for s toy to pick up and carry when people come to the door !

Chewing Deterrents
If you catch your dog in the act of chewing something it should not chew there are things you can try. of course the first thing is to correct verbally. Be loudly disapproving. saying NO forcefully never hurt a thing! If a dog perssts in chewing the leg of your antique table.....(which you CANT pick up and put away!!) then try tabasco sauce, red pepper, or some of the commerical products made for a dog to prevent chewing.

Common Sense and Chewing
By far the simplest way to keep your dog from chewing on forbidden items is to prevent access to them. Put your shoes in the closet and shut the door. Place the trash outside. Keep doors closed; keep valuables out of reach. Praise and reward your dog profusely for chewing her own toys.