Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another Training Guest Post By Andre From "When Hounds Fly" - Holiday Guest Greeting!

Let There Be Peace on Earth - And Let it Begin With Crates

This month's newsletter is all about preparing your pooch for houseguests!  Regardless of the reason for the celebration, having friends and family over can be a stressful time for both your dog and you.  Read more below to get useful tips on making your holiday get-together a success.
Only One Spot Left for Rally Obedience Class (January 11 start)
Only one more spot remains for our first Rally Obedience class - don't delay if you want the last spot.  It's a 5 week program for students that have completed Basic Obedience (or equivalent) that's starting on Tuesday, January 11, at 7:30pm.
Mirkka is working hard at getting everything ready for the class and I had the opportunity to volunteer my dog, Petey, for a brief training session.  Here's a little clip of Petey working on the Finish behavior.



Teach Your Dog to Love Their Crate
The crate is the ultimate tool in management.  When a dog is in their crate, nothing bad can happen to them (for the most part), and they can't rehearse bad behaviors.  Crates are sanctuaries, so make sure young children or your inebriated house guests don't bother your dog while he's in there.  You can train a dog to LOVE their crate, but like all behavior modification, it requires time, patience, and effort.  But, it is so worth it to have a dog that happily "kennels up" when cued.

Casey Lomonaco (KPA CTP) of Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training wrote this great article recently that summarizes how to train a dog to happily enter and settle in their crate:
Keeping the Holiday Peace:  How to Crate Train Your Dog

Another fun way to teach a dog to love their crate is using Susan Garrett's "Crate Games" method.  She sells a DVD illustrating the method, but here is a 3 part video on YouTube that does a fairly good job of teaching you how to implement the Crate Games protocol.

Crate Games

More Tips on Holiday Success With Your Dog
Here are a bunch of other tips to think about this holiday season:
  1. Do house guests understand how to greet a dog properly?  Don't tolerate roughhousing or overly forward greetings (pick ups, head kisses, hugs, etc.), especially from children.  For more details on How NOT to Greet a Dog, click here.
  2. Christmas Trees can be dangerous for dogs - ornaments to ingest, cords to chew, tree water full of chemicals or preservatives to drink, poinsettas, mistletoe, holly to eat (toxic!), candles to knock down.  Manage this carefully!
  3. Keep gifts off the floor - or else you may find your pooch has opened them and treated himself to your box of chocolates and turned your new cashmere sweater into a chew toy.
  4. Don't neglect your dog's physical and mental exercise - If you're having a house party, you need your dog at his best, so make sure he's tired out.
  5. Prevent rehearsal of bad behavior - If you know your dog's going to jump on guests, steal food, or run out the door, focus on managing your dog this holiday season and make a New Year's resolution in January to train polite guest greetings, a default leave-it (aka doggy zen), and front door boundary training.  Your best bet to manage your dog's behavior this season is a crate filled with yummy kongs.  Your best bet to learn how to teach your dog these behaviors for 2011 is to enroll at When Hounds Fly! :)
My favorite solution to the enthusiastic Beagley-howly door greetings is to train my dogs to run to their crates when the doorbell rings or the door is knocked.  Curious how to do it?  Check out Pam Johnson's award winning training video that teaches you how to train your dog to go to their crate and close the crate door themselves when the doorbell rings.

Prevent barking at doorbell

Holiday Schedule at When Hounds Fly
Just a reminder that December 19th is the last date for Puppy Socialization and Basic Obedience classes.  A limited number of private lessons can be booked afterwards.  Classes will resume on January 5th and the class calendar will be updated shortly for 2011.

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Till next time!

Clicks and tailwags,


Andrep

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