A Step by Step Guide to Beginning Manners
By M. Shirley Chong
Shirley's newest effort introduces your dog to basic household and social manners. In 90 pages of text, plus that much more in step-by-step training check-off schedules and training logs, she outlines a program to build the basics of a well-mannered dog over a period of weeks. This guide can be used to build a basic obedience class or do at-home basic obedience training. Here's a look at what's covered:
Principles of Clicking
What the click is. What is reinforcement; when, how and why you use it.
Learn how to maximize your training time and boost your dog up the learning curve.
"Grasshopper, to get the treat, you must give up the treat!" Shirley believes that this is a foundation exercise for all training. Teach your dog when to take treats and how to take them gently--plus when to leave food alone and how to deal with temptations.
Or, in other words, walking on a loose lead! Get rid of the pulling, lunging, foraging and stress. Shirley outlines several methods, including:
- targeting (having the dog follow your hand)
- responsible heeling (it's the dog's job to keep up with you, not vice versa!)
- penalty yards/paper clip walking (dog lurches forward, you walk backwards or do an about turn)
With a clicker, you don't have to lure the sit or push down on the dog. Just wait for the sit. Plus tips on sit exercises that will help later if you plan to compete with the dog, sitting on leash when you stop.
Teach your dog that downs are fun and easy.
Use low-stress methods of teaching the stay
This comes in handy when you want your dog to stop in mid-stride or wherever he is.
Shirley's favorite method is pure classical conditioning and repetition. If you follow these steps, the dog will start coming back to you before he even knows why he's doing it.
Want to keep the dog away from the table during dinner? Here's how to teach "go to your mat" -- and you can even train a dog to do it any time he hears the doorbell ring!
The goal? To place your hand on the dog's side and feel him automatically relax and settle down. It's a wonderful tool for calming the dog in stressful situations and will make grooming and nail work a lot easier too.
Shirley's household rule is "No one goes out the door until I say so." If you have ever found yourself with your heart in your throat because your dog slipped through an open door and is playing loose near the street, this is the exercise for you.
Clicking Fear Away
Steps, boxes, shadows, sounds, people - at some point in a dog's life, he'll be afraid of something. You can use the clicker to gently help the dog overcome those fears.
Shirley's special tips on dealing with barking, chewing, housetraining and jumping up on people.