Loving people comes naturally to dogs. Dogs love us.
People who know dogs, give their dogs more than love.
A few simple daily activities will help your dog love and live long.
After reading dozens and dozens of books on dogs, a simple truth needs saying.
Dogs need walks. On that, most dog lovers agree.
My own dogs have all lived long and healthy lives. I feel grateful for each dog’s alert, playful and affectionate nature. Pizza, Buttons, Dawn, Nabisco and Sydney have all lavished me with love. And I know I have taken more walks and tried more games, than if I had not raised all these dogs.
- Dogs need sensory games and play, different kinds depending on fitness level, age and personality. Scent work, dog agility, dancing with dogs or long walks in new places, all give dogs welcome challenges and mental activity.
- Even small dogs, that are often treated like stuffed animals made for hugging and petting, need physical and mental activity. Some love toys, some love socializing with other dogs, and others love to go for rides in a car.
- Dogs need structure. Give your dog simple rules to follow. Make most of your dog’s days predictable. Give meals, walks, and naps on a dependable schedule.
For those of you who want to know about clicker training with your dog, this post is for you. Clickers work because they provide a clear marker. You only click when your dog does something you want him to do. Check out my other post on Common Sense in Dog Training.
You click (at first giving treats for each click) and your dog learns something wonderful has just happened. Now he will look to you for rewards. He will pay attention when you catch him doing something right and tell him by clicking. After a few days, your dog will instantly know when he or she is doing something you like.
Use a clicker like a building block. Load your dog’s success from simple “feel good” experiences to more challenging activities. Teach simple tasks first.
Once your dog knows basic commands, start teaching your dog complex behaviors. If you want to work toward more than sit, stay, and come, clicker training can help.
This positive reinforcement method works well for families that share a dog. All agree on behaviors to encourage. Then as each family member uses a clicker and the same cue words, soon that dog will know how to please his whole family.
More than teaching tricks and obedience, clicker training can help you keep your dog healthy. Clicker training helps you encourage behaviors when you want your pet to do something cross a room or at the opposite end of a backyard. Your click reinforces instantly all positive behaviors your dog does at a distance.
Two life saving commands you can teach with clicker training.
- Teach your dog to “wait.”
- Teach your dog to “leave it”
Practice “wait” everyday at doorways, gates and before your dog gets in or out of your car. This simple command requires your dog to stop walking or running and wait for you. No more running out the door, jumping out of the car, or running into a street.
“Leave it” warns your dog off of eating anything he is about to chomp on. Use it in your kitchen and at public places where fast foods land on sidewalks. Practice “leave it” with a small unopened bag of cookies or snacks. Always, instantly reward with a click and treat when your dog stops sniffing or mouthing the item. Never use your dog’s toys or treats as bait, only things you want him to drop or avoid.
Have you ever tried clicker training?
What games does your dog love to play?