Teach Your Dog To Dress Themselves

Posted on May 27, 2016November 23, 2020Categories Assistance Dog Skills, Dogs, Great Tricks, VideosTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your dog might not ever be ready to move out and go to college, but teaching this easy trick will make your life a little smoother, on a daily basis, which adds up. Most importantly, giving your dog this responsibility will make their life more pleasant.

Teach The ‘Dress’ Cue

Ensure your dog’s collar, bandana, harness, or backpack is oriented so that large or dangly parts hang down, rather than looming over your dog’s head, hitting them in the face as they dress.

Step 1)

Reach your hand through the neck hole, place a treat on your dog’s nose, and lure them through. Say ‘Yes!’ and allow them to eat as they ‘dress.’

Step 2)

Hold a treat on the other side of the hole and ask your dog to make the first move, this is sometimes a tricky step because you can’t hold it open wide with one hand as easily, enlist the help of a friend if you are struggling. If your dog is struggling, try holding the treat right in the center of the hole, and luring from there, saying “Yes!” once their entire head is through.

Step 3)

Hold the opening wide with both hands and say ‘dress.’ Mark with “yes!” and reward once they are fully dressed. If they hesitate to go through, show them the treat on the other side again to remind them.

Enjoy your dog’s new trick!

If your dog’s harness is the kind that it would help if they would just stand still on top of it, begin by teaching the ‘stand‘ cue on a pedestal.

 

Martin The Deaf Bulldog: A Deaf Puppy Can Be A Wonderful Gift

Posted on April 10, 2014Categories Animal Health, Great Tricks, VideosTags , , , , , , , , , ,

If you looked at Martin, you’d say he was a perfect English Bulldog. His muzzle is long enough that he can breathe relatively comfortably. He’s lean, he’s fit, he’s adorable.

But after they brought him home, Martin’s proud owners began to notice that their puppy didn’t seem to be responding to sounds. A trip to the vet confirmed their fears: Martin was deaf.

Their vet put them in touch with our trainer, Carol, and over the next couple of months she helped them adjust to life with a deaf dog.

What does it mean to have a deaf dog?

Cons:

  • Cannot hear you call.
  • Cannot hear commands.
  • Cannot hear people or other dogs approaching from behind.
  • Cannot hear cars or other dangers approaching from behind.

Pros:

  • Will never bark at the doorbell.
  • Motivates you to discover your inner dog trainer.

For the dog’s safety and the owner’s sanity, deaf dogs need to learn to look to their handlers for sign language commands. That means that the owners of deaf dogs need to train their puppy to a level that many owners aren’t motivated to achieve in their hearing dogs.

Thanks to his deafness, Martin’s owners discovered two amazing things:

  • Martin is very intelligent.
  • They are incredible dog trainers.

Check out this video of Martin working at 11 weeks and again at 15 weeks. While Carol was there to guide Martin’s owners through the training process, the credit goes all to them.

We know that results like these can’t be achieved without daily hard work.

Prepare to be impressed:

Featured This Month: Walnut Struts His Stuff

Posted on October 14, 2012Format VideoCategories 100 Reasons To Love Wag The Dog, Dogs, Great Tricks, Kids and Pets, Videos

Meet Walnut, a 1 year old Havanese Mix and our Wag The Dog of the Month!

Walnut’s eagerness to learn and his family’s willingness to keep raising their goals for him higher and higher have more than earned him a feature on our website. Check out how far this young dog has come in the past 9 months…

Walnut’s Bio:

Walnut came to Wag The Dog as a 4 month old puppy with a tendency to nip, snap, pull on the leash, and steal the family socks. He woke his family up at 6 am with his ear-piercing yips… even on a Sunday. He ran away when called, bit people on the bum, and basically acted like, well… an untrained puppy!

Continue reading “Featured This Month: Walnut Struts His Stuff”

Can Your Child Walk The Dog?

Posted on July 25, 2012Format VideoCategories 100 Reasons To Love Wag The Dog, Dogs, Kids and Pets, VideosTags , , , , , , , ,

Walking safely on leash is one of the most important forms of controlling your dog.

A dog who tugs and pulls at the leash is not only annoying, but a danger to himself and others. Even a small dog can yank a leash out of his unsuspecting owner’s fingers and dash in front of a car. A large dog can do the same, but can also pull his owner right into the road with him. Owners of large dogs can have their fingers broken when their dog lunges at the leash unexpectedly, and may be pulled right off of their feet.

Photo credit to Tobyotter

The pulling-on-the-leash problem becomes even more serious in a family situation. A pregnant woman is precarious on her feet at the best of times, especially in wet winter weather. A pulling dog is simply an accident waiting to happen. Children also love to walk the family dog, but again, even a small dog can pull a child right over.

At Wag The Dog, we teach the entire family to control the family dog safely.

While children and dogs should always be supervised when together, it is entirely possible to teach them to play and interact in a safe and controlled manner. When you have taught both child and dog how to handle each other properly, the bond between them can be a truly heart warming thing to witness.

Some dog trainers refuse to work with child handlers, requiring an adult to handle the dog in training classes.

Not at Wag The Dog. We love to include children in the dog training process.

Even children under the age of two can be involved.

In the following video, 21 month old William participates in training the family dog to walk nicely on a leash with him:

If you are looking forward to doing the same thing at home, there are a few training pre-requisites that your dog and child must be able to meet:

Dog

  • Knows “leave it”
  • Good on-leash skills with an adult handler
  • Gentle at taking treats
  • Good off-leash control

Child

  • Knows not to eat dog treats
  • Enjoys giving treats to the dog
  • Understands the concept of walking the dog
  • Follows single step instructions, like “walk over there” or “give the dog the cookie”

The best part about teaching a dog to walk nicely on leash with a child is that it boosts the bond between them. Dogs tend to get the upper hand over toddlers, snatching food from their hands and bowling them over when they are excited. When the leash is handed to a small child, the dog tends to treat the child as nothing more than a post that he has been tied to, and he quickly finds out that he can pull free of the post.

Training the dog to respond to the child’s instructions helps establish the child as “dominant” over the dog, and the frequent use of cookie rewards motivates the dog to follow the child.

How To Train A Dog To Be Walked By A Child:

The most important part of this process is starting the training off-leash.

If the dog learns how easy it is to pull the leash free from the child’s hands, he is rewarded for his efforts and more likely to do that again. If the dog pulls the child over, the child may be hurt, and safety is key in any dog training exercise!

Instead, start in a fenced yard or in the house, and have the dog choose to follow the child for the sake of frequent treat rewards. You can attach a command to that, such as “follow Susie” or (as in the video example) “Go with Will”. The dog begins to feel that he is choosing to stay close to the child as he or she walks around, and there is no opportunity to learn bad habits.

Only once the behaviour is well established do you want to actually try tying the dog to the child.

Incidentally, this is the best way to train any dog to heel nicely on-leash: start off-leash!

Remember that small children should always be supervised when walking or playing with the family dog, and that safety begins with teaching both child AND dog how to behave well around each other.

This exercise works on both, which is why we love it so much!

Photo Credit to JustycinMD

With a little work, you can help start a long and beautiful friendship. 

For more great tips on dog training, visit Wag The Dog often or follow us on Facebook. 

If you live in the Vancouver area and would like us to come to your home and help you in person, please don’t hesitate to email us at team@wagthedog.ca or by phone: 604-781-8448