Training Tips

Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called

 

As a pet owner, one of the most important commands you can teach your dog is to come when he’s called, the first time. Having this command mastered allows you to trust that he can be free to run around in the park, in the yard, or anywhere for that matter, because you know he’ll come when you call him. This is extremely important for his safety, as dogs are often oblivious to any potential dangers that are around, such as coyote or another wild animal. Knowing this essential command could quite literally save his life one day! So how can you teach him so that he knows to come when called the first time, every time? We have some tips for you.

Find a Quiet Spot

By teaching your dog this skill in a quiet, secluded area at first, it allows him to focus with minimal distractions. If you have a fenced in yard, let him run free and begin practicing the command. Slowly you can work your way up to doing this in the park, on walks, and other public places until he’s comfortable enough with the command that you could do it in any crowded area and you’d trust that he’d come!

Use Treats for Reinforcement

When you’re first teaching your dog this command, using treats will work wonders. Although you don’t want your dog to become dependant on food motivation, its a good tool to use to start getting your dog to associate the words you’re saying with the desired behavior. Ideally, you should offer the treat every few commands when teaching until slowly he understands the command without any treat motivating him.

Never Repeat a Command

This is one of the most common mistakes that pet owners make when teaching any trick or command. If there’s one golden rule for training your dog, it’s to never repeat a command. After all, the goal is to get him to come after ONE call. Once you say the word “come,” if he doesn’t act immediately, you can make whistling noises or other sounds, call his name, and hold up the treat, but refrain from repeating the command over and over again.

Consistency is Key

This is true in any aspect of dog training and life, so it’s no surprise that it applies here. The more you practice this command with your pup, the quicker he’ll pick it up. Make each practice session count by staying focused, even if it’s just a short 5-minute lesson at home.

Contact Argos Dog Training

If you need assistance teaching your dog this or any other command, contact the experts at Argos Dog Training! We offer several different dog training courses and structured daycare programs. Fill out an online contact form or give us a call today at 617-302-7467 to learn more.

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Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

You know what they say… You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, right? Wrong! Just because your senior dog probably hasn’t been in training for quite some time now, that doesn’t mean that he can’t brush up on some old tricks and even learn a few new ones along the way. Not only is teaching them new tricks good for their physical health, but it also keeps them mentally stimulated. Just like humans, dogs should continue to be challenged throughout their life, even into their elder years. That being said, being aware of any health limitations, such as joint pain or arthritis in your dog, is crucial before starting. Here are a few new tricks to try out with your older dog.

Put Toys Away

If this is not something they learned as a pup, it’s not too late! Picking up toys and putting them back where they belong is a great skill for your dog to know. Not only will he be getting a little exercise, loosening up his joints, but also tidying the place up for you! You can help your dog learn this trick by first showing him how it’s done, offering treats for completing the task, and practicing consistently.

Name of Objects

This can be a fun one for you, and your dog! Even if your dog isn’t up for hours or fetch in the park anymore, that doesn’t mean he can’t fetch you a few household items every now and again. Start teaching him the names of items by showing him, and repeating the word over and over again. Items such as shoes, keys, or his toys may be a couple of handy items for him to learn. It may take him a while to pick up on the names at first, but once he understands the concept of the name game, he’ll likely pick up on new objects faster.

Tuck Himself In

If you live in a cooler climate and your dog loves to snuggle up in a blanket, this trick may be a dream come true for him! Teach him to lay down on the blanket, grab the corner of the blanket in his mouth, roll-over, and ta-da! He’ll be in a cozy blanket cocoon. This trick is pretty simple; Since he probably already knows “lie down” and “roll-over”, the only challenge will be grabbing the blanket, and putting it all together.

Contact Argos Dog Training

It’s never too late for your dog to learn new tricks, or perfect his skills! If you need assistance teaching your dog some of the basics, contact the experts at Argos Dog Training! Check out our programs, and give us a call today at 617-302-7467!

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Puppy Training Mistakes That Lead to Poor Behavior

Bringing a new puppy into the home can bring a whole lot of joy, but it can also bring an equal amount of work. Training a puppy is a lot like raising a child; It is your job to teach him right from wrong, and make it clear which behaviors are acceptable. After all, if you don’t set clear guidelines and expectations, how can you expect that he’ll behave the way you want him to? Taking the time from the start is crucial when it comes to training your puppy. Being lazy and ignoring/allowing bad behavior can lead to some pretty bad habits for your dog. Check out some of these common mistakes that many dog owners make when training their pup!

Dealing With Accidents Inside

Just like humans, puppies don’t come out of the womb potty trained. It is our responsibility, as their owners to teach them right from wrong. One of the biggest mistakes that we make in the training process is allowing accidents to happen inside the house, without reprimanding them. Ignoring these types of behaviors can be detrimental to their learning process. If they do have an accident, make sure to speak to them in a firm tone and make it clear that what they did was unacceptable. When the time comes that they need to go to the bathroom again, if they go outside be sure to use positive reinforcement and show them that this is the correct behavior that is expected of them.

Avoiding the Crate

Some people feel guilty or mean putting their dog in a crate at any time. However, it is an important thing for him to learn how to get used to, as crate time is crucial for their learning. It keeps your dog, your family, your guests, and your belongings safe during certain situations. Your dog will hopefully learn to think of his crate as a “safe place,” as long as he is introduced to it in a positive manner and doesn’t develop negative feelings against it. As the owner, you have to be strong and make him stick it out. At first, he made cry and whine, but you can’t let him out immediately. This will just encourage him to misbehave everytime you put him in the cage. Instead, practice having him in there for short periods of time to show him it is not permanent and you are not abandoning him.

Allowing Your Dog to Demand

Just like you wouldn’t let your child run the household, you can’t let your dog have that type of power. If you give him what he wants every time he throws a fit barking or crying, you’re teaching him the wrong behavior. He will get the message that this is how to act any time he wants something. Instead, you have to show him that you’re in charge.

Contact Argos Dog Training

Training a puppy can be a difficult task. Whether they need to learn new behaviors, or they need to correct bad habits, the experts at Argos Dog Training can help! Check out our list of programs here!

 

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Dog Safety Tips for the Winter

When the cold, stormy weather comes this winter, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not the only one that might need an extra layer when stepping outside! Your furry friend might need a little extra help staying warm this winter, too. Check out our tips to keep your dog safe this winter!

Avoid Thin Ice

Keep your furry friends away from ponds and other bodies of water in the winter, even if it seems the ice is strong enough. Ice can easily crack, causing your dog to fall in and quickly turning into a disastrous situation. The slippery ice could also cause muscle strains or other injuries to your dog.

Protect Your Dog’s Paws

You wouldn’t go outside barefoot in the winter, and neither should your dog! Ice and other winter conditions can hurt their paw pads if not covered. There are several different types of dog booties or paw protectors that you can buy. Choose one that best fits your dog’s needs.

Trim Foot Fuzz

If you have a long-haired dog, the hair in his feet can form ice balls between his pads and toes. Keeping his hair well-trimmed so that it is even with the surface of the foot can prevent this.

Clean Your Dog’s Feet

The streets are filled with salt and other harsh chemicals in the winter time. While this makes it safer for us to walk on the icy sidewalks in the winter, it can harm your dog’s paws. You can keep a bucket of warm water next to the door for your dog to immediately rinse off as soon as he comes in. Some dogs with extra dry skin may even require a moisturizer in the winter months.

Bundle Up

Since dogs have to go out year round, no matter what the weather, make sure they have the appropriate gear to bundle up in. You can have some fun by layering him up in sweaters, coats, and more.

Make a Cozy Bed

Create a nice warm place for your dog to sleep, off the floor and away from drafty doors or windows. Buy a pet bed or make one out of blankets and pillows!

Contact Argos Dog Training

For more tips on keeping your dog safe and healthy this winter, contact the experts at Argos Dog Training! Fill out an online contact form or give us a call at  617-302-7467!

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Handling Your Dog at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be a fun time for family and friends to gather, and enjoy delicious foods. However, it can be a stressful time for your dog, with so many new faces in the house, a variety of yummy food, and lots of commotion. It’s important to make sure your dog is prepared for these changes. Check out these tips to ensure Thanksgiving goes smoothly for both you and your pet!

Review Commands

Now is the time to practice basic commands with your dog to prepare him for all the extra commotion during the holidays. Sit, stay and heal are all good commands to refresh with your dog before the guests arrive. The last thing you want is your dog to charge the front door and knock the pumpkin pie right out of someone’s hands!

Establish Safe Spot

Does your dog have a special place in your home that he goes when feeling overwhelmed or scared? If not, now is the perfect time to establish a spot for him to go when he needs a minute to regroup during all the chaos. Even the friendliest of dogs can become aggressive when he feels threatened by unfamiliar faces or other dogs. Be sure to discuss with your guests if they’ll be bringing their furry friends, and prepare accordingly.

Limit Begging

At Thanksgiving, it can be especially hard for your dog to control his begging. But with all the mouthwatering food in your house, can you blame him? You can try to help reduce the begging by making sure you feed your dog either right before, or during the serving process so he doesn’t feel deprived. You can also choose to keep your dog in a separate room during the meal so he won’t bother your guest for food.

No Dessert

We know, it can be hard to say no to the puppy eyes when you bring out the pies and other sweet treats. But remember, these goodies are not healthy for your dog and can pose health risks. Try making them their own “pet-friendly” dessert that they can enjoy with you.

Keep Trash out of Sight

Turkey carcasses that are left out or in a trash bin that could be easily opened can be quite dangerous to your pet. Dispose of the turkey carcass and bones in a tightly secured bag, and either take out immediately or leave behind a closed, locked door.

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