Category: dog training

How To Keep A Dog Calm During Thunderstorms

Veterinarians call it storm phobia and it could be your dog’s worst nightmare if not addressed early on. Storm phobia can lead to lacerations, bruises, broken limbs, and fractured claws. In the video, English dog trainer and television presenter Victoria Stilwell discusses how to handle your dog’s storm phobia with the aid of a playing music.

Animal experts say that thunderstorm phobia should not be ignored. Even well-behaved dogs are not spared from this storm phobia. Dogs have this tendency to pant, cling to their owners, and hide in the closet even before the first clap of thunder.
There is no scientific evidence yet on the factors that trigger this dog behavior. But veterinarians attribute storm phobia to low-frequency rumbles, static electricity, and pressure changes that humans cannot feel and hear. Frequent storms can increase your dog’s anxiety.

The video shows Victoria Stilwell talking about how to reduce and prevent noise phobias and anxiety in dogs. She advises owners to use her CD, the “Canine Noise Phobia (CNP) Series”, which contains specialized audio recordings to resolve phobias triggered by thunderstorms, fireworks, and the sounds of a city. The 4-CD compilation is a product of Stilwell’s collaboration with sound researcher Joshua Leeds and concert pianist Lisa Spector, who founded the clinically researched auditory series “Through a Dog’s Ear”.

As shown in the video, Stilwell combines progressive sound effects, a specially-designed psychoacoustic music, and reward-based reinforcement protocols to desensitize the dog and to reduce the likelihood of common sound phobias. Victoria uses food, affection, and positive reinforcers to teach the dog to be calm and associate positive feelings with thunderstorm noises.

Victoria conditions the dog to feel different about storm noise through exposure to low levels of audio recordings. She says that this session should be done twice or thrice a week until the dog is accustomed to the noise.

Stilwell provides a den-like area where the dog securely sits out the storm. She also covers the dog’s kennel with a blanket to make sure that the canine is secured inside. She stresses the need to keep the doors and windows closed and curtained. This will dull the noise and light of the storm.

If the anxiety continues, Stilwell advises dog owners to bring their pets to the veterinarian. Animals clinics can provide calming therapies and anti-anxiety medication, which should be given along with behavioral therapy and management.

How To Keep A Dog Calm During Thunderstorms
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How To Teach Your Dog To Drop It / Give By Playing Tug-Of-War

Playing tug-of-war is a wonderful way for a dog and their owner to bond with each other. This activity can serve as a form of exercise for your dog. It can be done without making your dog aggressive.

There are several things to consider when playing tug-of-war, which strengthens your dog’s self-control. This game also teaches your dog how to listen to you when he is excited.

The most effective way to have a smooth tug-of-war playing session with your dog is to teach him the ‘take it and drop it’ game. By turning the whole process into a game of trade, your dog will feel good about giving up any object.

You need to have a good tug toy, which can be something soft and comfortable to hold such as a soft rope or tug toys with handles. Once you find the suitable tug toy, you need to consider several basic tug rules.

• Your dog can only grab the tug toy if you permit him to do so.
• You need to use the “drop it cue” to order your dog to let go of the toy
• Your dog can only put his mouth on the tug toy and not on human skin or clothing while playing tug

Now that the tug toy is chosen, here are the steps required when playing tug of war with your dog. The tug of war game should be controlled by you. Stop the game immediately if your dog attempts to make contact with your skin. Use the verbal cue “take it” to present the tug toy. Your dog will have increased interest or chase if you will move the tug toy back and forth. Once the tug is in the dog’s mouth, engage him in a gentle game of tug. Then reward his interest in the tug verbally. Use the verbal cue “Drop it” with a treat placed directly your dog’s nose. Give your dog the reward for dropping the toy. Your dog’s arousal can be controlled by employing the cue “sit” or “down”. You can then reward your dog with “take it” and presentation of the tug toy.

Tug of war between your dog and kids is not recommended to prevent an untoward incident. Increased excitement on the dog’s part might make it difficult for kids to control the game. As stated earlier, the tug of war game should be ended by you.

How To Teach Your Dog To Drop It Give By Playing Tug-Of-War
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How To Teach Your Dog To Roll A Ball

You can bring out your dog’s “inner herder” with this trick, which combines the elements of sports and obedience. This trick is both mental and physical exercise for you and your dog when done outside. For teaching your dog how to roll a ball, a clicker, some treats, and a ball are only needed.

This activity can be done easier if your dog is adept with the touch and cue. The first thing to do is to introduce the ball to the dog. If your dog responds to any sort of movement, give him a reward. You need to click every time the dog responds.

Start the training session by putting the ball close to your dog’s nose. You can place the ball in different spots. You should not allow your dog to place his paw on the ball. If he keeps on doing that, do not give a treat. Once he learns to touch the dog using his nose, you can proceed to get the dog into a different direction. The cue “roll” can be employed once your dog gets used to putting his nose on the ball.

If your dog has already mastered this trick, you can do it outside on the field. Playing soccer with your dog is one way to practice this trick. However, you need to teach another trick to teach your dog to roll a ball.

You can use shaping to teach your dog to roll a ball into a net. Rewarding is important when doing this trick. If your dog shows any interest in the ball, give him a treat. Another reward should be given once the dog learns to sniff or touch the ball.

The aim of this trick is for the dog to nudge the ball to a designated net or goal area. Non-force methods, clicker training, and shaping are imperative to get the desired behaviors. You can use this session to compete with your dog for fun and bonding.

Verbal and hand signals are needed when teaching your dog how to roll a ball into a designated goal area. This activity can help your dog’s behaviors when faced with distractions and complexity on the field. The dog is expected to perform off-leash and at an increasing distance from its handler. It is advised to use fitness balls for this activity. These balls are brightly colored, inflatable, and light.

How To Teach Your Dog To Roll A Ball
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