Dog Trick — Teach Your Dog To Balance & Sit Pretty

[] New Video… “Dog Trick — Teach Your Dog To Balance & Sit … Dog Training Tips Newsletter IN THIS ISSUE: Video Lesson of The Week – “Dog Trick — Teach Your Dog To Balance & Sit Pretty” ———————————————— Copyright 2009 by Browning Direct, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ————————————————- “Dog Trick — Teach Your Dog To Balance…

Teach Your Dog to Find Your Keys

Teach Your Dog to Find Your Keys

Once you’ve done the Shell Game for awhile, do this:

Attach a small piece of leather to your key chain. Spend two minutes pinching the leather between your thumb and index finger. This will transfer some of the oil in your skin to the leather and link your “scent” to it.

Next, repeat the “Shell Game” with your key chain, instead of the doggie cookie.

When your dog finds the bucket that hides your keys, lift the bucket to reveal your keys. At this point, you really need to lay it on thick (the praise, that is) and make a big deal about your dog finding the keys. You may also want to throw your dog a cookie as a reward.

Finally, you can start hiding your key in other places around the room (away from the buckets). Start out easy. Place them on the floor, next to the couch, where your dog can almost stumble upon them quite easily.

After a few days, you should be able to hide your keys in some really difficult places and your dog will be able to find them for you.

Imagine how handy this trick will become when you really lose your keys!

Can You Really Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

I received a surprise Christmas present last year in the form
of a 4 year old female shepherd mix that my wife and daughter
decided I needed to replace my long time pet who had to be put
down last summer.

She really is a beautiful dog, but the shelter
fibbed to us when they said she was good with other dogs and
cats. She has been rather aggressive with them. We are 6 months
into this relationship now and she is much better. I guess she is
more secure now.

The one problem I have not solved is her desire to run out the door
and ignore our “come” commands. All this is to ask you: Will the
techniques in your book and video series work on an older dog? I’d
rather not invest the money in a lost cause. We live in the Arizona
desert and she won’t last long this summer if she gets out and runs
off again. I’ve looked through many of your newsletters, but didn’t
find any mention of age.

Thanks for your help.


Dear Larry:

Thank you for the e-mail.

Yes, the dog training techniques work on all dogs, as long as they
are healthy and do not have any mobility problems.

In many cases, training an older dog is easier than training a younger
dog, despite the saying that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,”
there is definitely something to be said about maturity.

How To Train Your Dog To “Retrieve”

How To Train Your Dog To “Retrieve”

The “Retrieve” must be learned step by step.

First, you should teach your dog to take a very light dumbbell and hold it. Even though a handler has never tried this with his dog he should be able to accomplish it in one lesson. If you are training a dog who refused to retrieve when some other method was used, and he has become stubborn or frightened, it might take two or three lessons. The length of time it takes will depend upon your skill in using your voice as you tighten his collar.

Teaching a dog to retrieve is one of persuasion, and your voice is your most important asset here. You must use your dog’s name repeatedly before each command and do so in a most persuasive tone of voice. Your voice should be kept low, firm, and pleasant, and you should talk to the dog continually as you urge him to take the dumbbell. When your dog takes it, you should immediately sound very pleased and praise him happily and excitedly as you pet him.

Never raise your voice in anger or impatience; if the dog appears to be stubborn, never shove the dumbbell in your dog’s mouth or against his gums, never jerk your dog’s collar, and don’t hit him over the head with the dumbbell. Be gentle but firm with him at all times.

Start your dog in a quiet corner and keep him on a leash for the first three steps. Place the dumbbell under, in front of, and close to, your dog’s upper lip, and as you tell him to “Get it,” put your third finger behind his canine tooth. This will open his mouth slightly and you can gently slide the dumbbell into his mouth. If you can’t use your right hand to open his mouth, use the index finger of your left hand. Quickly tell your dog to “Hold it,” as you stroke his nose on top, in one direction away from his nose, with your right hand, and you stroke him under the chin with your left hand. By stroking him this way you will keep the dumbbell in his mouth. You should be praising him as you do this. Keep the dumbbell in your dog’s mouth for two or three seconds at first so he can get the feel of it.

Most dogs accept the dumbbell gracefully and hold it firmly the first time. This is especially true of puppies who will actually reach out to take it and hold it for you. Make sure the dog first understands the “sit” command.

However, some dogs will put up a struggle, and you will have to hold their jaws closed gently with both hands around their muzzles as you command them firmly, but quietly, to “Hold it.” Generally speaking, the majority of dogs will hold the dumbbell if you are gentle with them and talk to them reassuringly. Be careful not to bang the dog’s teeth with the dumbbell.

After placing the dumbbell in your dog’s mouth two or three times to get his reaction to it, teach him to take it by himself. Slide your dogs medium link chain or heavy nylon choke collar up high on his neck, behind his ears and high under his chin, and hold it in your left hand. Your right hand will be holding the dumbbell. By pushing against the dead ring with your thumb you will be able to draw the collar into the palm of your hand very steadily and smoothly. Do not jerk the collar, just tighten it smoothly and quickly. When the dog takes the dumbbell you should let go of his collar immediately and praise him.

How To Fix Problems With The “Fetch” or “Bring” Command

“I have a chocolate Labrador Retriever (very active) that is being trained (in OPEN class now) and he seems to be regressing since we  are working on retrieving.  He retrieves very well with the dumbbell, etc., but other dogs in the class do not.  And they bring toys for their retrieval work.

My problem is that my dog is just “overcome” with these toys and isn’t paying close attention to me.  He goes after THEIR toy many times instead of HIS dumbbell.  He knows the command “look” or WATCH ME” but serious corrections don’t even deter his disobedience on this toy-retrieval.

HELP!  How should I handle this?

Thank you!
Mary ”

Dear Mary:

These are the type of questions that I like.  They’re interesting.

First, make absolute 100% sure that your dog DOES understand the “Bring” or “Fetch” command.  Assuming that he does, here’s the next step:

Recognize that the problem you’re having is one of disrespect.  The reason that your dog goes for his neighbor’s toy AFTER you’ve clearly commanded him to BRING his dumbbell is that he CARES LESS about what you want.  As the dog goes into ‘play/prey’ drive, his sensitivity to your corrections goes WAY DOWN.  In other words, you’re giving him a $2 ticket and he needs a $200 ticket.

Here’s the easiest way to communicate to your dog (with this exercise) that you are serious:

Buy a remote electronic training collar.  I recommend Innotek or Dogtra.

Here’s how to use it to fix your dog problem:

Follow the directions on matching the e-collar (remote electronic training collar) to your dog’s temperament.

Next, place a dumbbell on the opposite side of the room–straight in front of the dog– and also place a distraction toy… off to the right.

Send the dog to retrieve the dumbbell.  Let him wear a long line, also.

As he starts to veer to the right to go after the toy, say, “No!” in a loud, forceful tone and then immediately stimulate him with the e-collar.  Re-issue the “Bring” or “Fetch” command and use the long line to redirect him back on course, as he may be confused.  When the dog starts to go toward the dumbbell again, immediately begin loud verbal praise, “Good dog, Good dog.”

There you go.  Now just repeat this same exercise by altering the training location and the type of distractions.  After a few times you’ll be able to eliminate the long line.  And after a few set-ups, the problem will be fixed.

On Retrieving

About 6 weeks ago, I acquired a border collie through the local SPCA.

She is about 18-24 months old. I have no idea of her history. All I can say is that “Rosie” is a very smart dog. Rosie is a quick learner and eager to please me. She knows the word “NO”., knows how to sit, is housebroken, comes when commanded to, stays within the borders on my farm, and comes wherever she is when I ring a Tibetan bell.

My Question: Since Rosie is from a working breed, I would like to teach her how to fetch so that she can get as much exercise as possible. How do I go about that, whether it is tennis ball or a Frisbee? I am sure once I have a method, it will take her no time to learn. Could you possibly give me some hints?

PS – I loved your book and use many of your ideas to acclimate Rosie to her new surroundings and ground rules. My friends think I am “nuts” when I spit in my dog’s food bowl and talk about being the alpha dog. However, they have very ill-mannered pets and I have one very nice dog!

I look forward to you reply,

Dear Katharine:

Thanks for the e-mail.

I would suggest re-reading the section in the book on “How to speed up training results by using the ball and food drive!” on page 53.

This will give you the necessary information regarding how to build up the dog’s natural drive to chase the ball (or any other object). This is basically what is known as a “play retrieve”.

If the dog has absolutely NO prey drive, then you won’t be able to do this with her.

The other type of retrieve is called a “trained retrieve,” where you actually teach the dog to formally pick up an object and not release it until give a specific command. Most trainers will use the dog’s natural drive to teach the dog to do this exercise FAST and with a lot of fun and outgoing attitude. And this is the proper way to do it, if you’re teaching a trained retrieve. (This would be appropriate for a service guide dog, for example).

The only problem with the trained retrieve for the purposes of giving the dog some exercise is that, although the trained retrieve CAN be taught to any dog– regardless of the amount of drive– you simply won’t get the dog to run fast if he has no natural ball drive.

Within the next couple of months I will be teaching my dog, Forbes, how to do a trained retrieve so that he can carry items in his mouth for an indefinite period of time.

You’ve probably already read about how Forbes carries my empty McDonald’s bag over to the trash can after breakfast, when we return from our daily McHeroin with Egg, Hash Brown and coffee. This is a play retrieve Forbes is doing. When he gets tired, or is simply disinterested, he spits it out. Once I teach him the trained retrieve, he will be able to carry a bag, or a hammer, or a basket (or any object) in his mouth for the duration of an entire 1 mile walk. You can also build on this behavior by teaching the dog to pick things up… like the phone. Or a can of beer!