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Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Fetch Command Comes in Handy

I like watching dog films, It's fascinating to see pets act and perform, especially when they do tricks that are really amazing. When I was a kid I dreamed of having a dog just like the ones in movies, a dog who can sit,stay,come and fetch things. At that time I have no idea how these commands can be possibly taught especially retrieving objects which I find very impressive and useful. I never knew that someday I'll be able to train and teach my dog the command I love most "Fetch or Get". but of course my dog went through a consistent training starting from the basics before he can actually do tricks.

Teaching the Fetch, Retrieve or Get command may be easy for some dogs who are natural retrievers, however, there are dogs that require more motivation and guidance, and owner teaching this command to his dog  need a lot of understanding & patience.

Fetching or retrieving is not only a fun activity but also a good physical and mental exercise for your dog.It's also one of the few interactive games that will reinforce your human-dog bond. Working on a good foundation of Retrieve makes it easy for a dog to follow a more difficult task. Imagine your dog retrieving your car keys, instructing him to get his leash or even carry a basket for you. It takes time to master the trick so it should not be rushed.

Here is a demonstration of what fetch, retrieve can do after Loki successfully mastered the command. I use the word "Get" instead.

You can also view  Loki's other related videos.

Loki's Training Exercises
Loki the Son of Pixel

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Unhappy Dog Equals Unhappy Owner

This morning I met a man with two beautiful Labradors and just like everyone else whom I got to meet in a park started talking about their dogs/his dogs, likewise he spoke about good things as well as the bad things he experienced with his pets. At that moment I already felt that the man seemed to need help when he begun discussing the unacceptable behavior his canines exhibit, and I’m no longer surprise for I’ve heard these more than a dozen times. It’s always been that the dog is bored, stressed and suddenly became destructive. This Dog behavior issues can be caused by different things but more often it’s a typical case of an unhappy dog relationship with the owner.

As I listen to the man’s story on how he spends time with his Labs, it really turned out that the dogs were unhappy with him. Obviously, it was lack of time attending to his dog’s needs because he was too busy with his job which I do not blame. It’s just that, his dogs do not fit his lifestyle and we are talking about two large dogs that require social attention, physical and mental exercise. And again it is sad to say that the owner is the problem and not the dog. 

I’ve always been consistent on telling people that dog ownership is a long term commitment that requires sacrifice, patience, and quality attention. It’s the owner’s responsibility to attend to his dogs’ requirements not just food or shelter but lots of interactive time such as playing or simply walking him to make him happy. Keep in mind that a happy dog is a behaved dog and that makes us owners more than pleased.

Here is a link to a great article that I would like to share entitled “Is Your Dog Happy?” by Dr. Nicholas Dodman. And learn some great tips and ideas to make your dog blissful.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fashionista Pooch - Dog Fashion Show 2010

Last June 13, 2010, Philippine Canine Club Inc. (PCCI) held it’s Annual Dog Fashion Show- “Fashionista Pooch 2010 at Music Hall in SM Mall of Asia. This is in line with the Independence Day celebration and which explains why most of the dogs came in their cutest Filipiniana outfit.  Well, certainly this is the kind of event I would not want to miss, and it’s a good thing I was able to bring Tyson-my Minpin student who’s single and ready to mingle.  We saw Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Pomeranians and some other breed participants, but no Mini Pinscher walked the ramp.  Tyson could have bagged several awards if he was able to join. Unfortunately, he cannot because he is a member of a different organization which PCCI does not allow. Well I guess it wasn’t his time to shine.  Though it was indeed an exciting and fun experience for Tyson,  not bad at all, with some fans and paparazzis around, Tyson still appeared like a celebrity that day.
Maldita, a five-year-old Shitzu, stands in front of a traditional style umbrella is the winner of the   Fashionista Pooch 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

TYSON: The High Spirited Mini Pinscher Dog

It's been a long while since my last post and many of my friends have been asking what happened in the past month? Well, I may have been busy with some other things but dogs will always be my passion, in fact I have a new dog student that is amazingly smart, his name is TYSON, a micro mini pinscher and his only 6 months old. I have fun teaching this awesome intelligent creature, he loves being trained, he follows and performs every command with so much enthusiasm and he's a quick learner. Most dogs enjoy the chance to interact with their people and as long as it is pleasurable, they can actually enjoy the training process. With Tyson it's more of a play than schooling, it only shows that he is happy with the activities and this is exactly what I want him to feel. Training a puppy is a delicate task,lots of positive reinforcements and avoiding situations that could imprint a negative outcome, it's a crucial stage where there's good opportunity for good and bad habits to learn and carry over in his adulthood.

I used clicker training in teaching Tyson, it is a positive reinforcement type of training. There is no punishment and the goal is to keep it fun and positive for everyone involved. (Read the related articles below, on Clicker Training Your Dog). Personally, I find this technique very effective in marking a behavior though I still  apply the conventional vocal praise reward method. The combination of two training process works best for me and Tyson.

I have video recorded a few sessions  of Tyson's training during the first week. And I'm proud to share what he has learned  in that short period of time.

Training your dog is a good way of building a relationship with your pet. Making your activities enjoyable and thrilling will keep the dog excited and interested in every session.
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