DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How To Train A Dog Part II - Starting The Process Of Shaping Behaviors

The first things you do to start shaping behaviors (rewarding behaviors to increase the chances that they will happen again) in the "how to train your dog" book When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs is to associate the sound of a clicker with food.

If this sounds like Pavlov's Dogs, you're right - only it's the click instead of a bell.

Basically, you click the clicker and then feed the dog a treat as soon as you can (within a half second of clicking). If you do this twice a day for three days (20 treats at a time), the author maintains that you will "power up the clicker" - your dog will give you his immediate attention at the sound of the clicker.

Your "pigs fly" dog - you know - the pup who does his own thing and mostly ignores you unless you are giving him his dinner - is on alert for the click. Great first step to "how to train your dog!" Ever try to train a dog who's paying attention to the squirrel running up a tree? LOL!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How To Train A Dog Part I - When Pigs Fly!: Training Success With Impossible Dogs

No matter what your beliefs about how to train a dog might be, consider this statement at face value:
No breed of dog is inherently better at learning than any other breed or mix of breeds.
Wow! This statement is right out of When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs. And the author's assertion is backed by scientific research! Very mind boggling!

According to the author, Jane Killion, a "Pigs Fly" dog is one that is perceived as being difficult to train, but in fact, is easily trainable using the shaping behaviors described in her book.

This is not the only dog training book that describes shaping behaviors.

What makes this book unique is that the focus is on understanding why dogs do what they do. When you get that, shaping behaviors are much easier and make sense.

Not theoretical, but practical application of using shaping behaviors to train your dog to do what you want him to do - willingly and enthusiastically!

And the author has included ways to stop aggressive behavior.

A different dog training technique that works - as evidenced by the clear photographs in the book.

Buy This Book! Learn This Training Technique!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When To Call The Vet When Your Dog Is Throwing Up

This is Alvin getting a treat a few weeks ago - he looks healthy and HUNGRY!

But by lat Sunday (Oct 16) he was lethargic and perched on the top of the couch all day either sleeping or looking pathetically sick. He started throwing up Sunday nite a few times and then several times Monday morning around 6 am.

Once a dog is losing this much fluid (12 hours of throwing up repeatedly), it's time to visit the vet. A call into the vet's office confirmed that he should be brought in.

Since this has happened before with Alvin (last Christmas), I knew the drill.

The vet examined him, gave him a shot to stop his vomiting and said she would wait to see how he did to decide if blood tests were necessary (thank you very much!). His abdominal area was not tender and he was alert and aware of what was going on (he hates the vet's office and tries to escape the examining room).

He's on boiled chicken and rice a few days. Then we start mixing in the kibble in small amounts.

What causes his bouts of vomiting? Both of the vets we see seem to think he gets into something in the yard, but no one knows what exactly causes it. I questioned the possibility of the stress caused by two family members disappearing on vacation for a week. Since he is a "sensitive" dog (aware of breaks in routine and suitcases being packed), that also could be the cause.

Whatever the cause - we'll keep him on his chicken and rice (Boiled only) and see what develops. This is the third day on this routine - so far so good!