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Kathy Santo Training Tips on Daily Buzz
Kathy's Training tips from her live appearance on the Daily Buzz. Watch it here.
5 Biggest Dog Training Myths
I want to address (and maybe put to rest forever!) the dog training myths that I’m asked about on a daily basis.
Puppies Can’t Be Trained Until They’re 6 Months Old.
Wrong! At 6 months, dogs are at the height of adolescence (think teenagers). This guarantees more resistance even in the sweetest tempered dogs. They can’t help it – it’s a stage. Not to say that you can’t train adolescent dogs, of course you can. BUT, young puppies 8 weeks and older are walking stomachs (will train for food), who love to follow you (heeling), run after you (come when called) and think you’re the best thing ever. If you’re lucky enough to have a puppy at this stage, Get Training!
Start with the “Name Game”: Have someone hold your puppy (who’s wearing a collar and light leash) while seated on the ground. Show your puppy that you have an extra-special ‘treat that he never gets except in training’. Let him nibble it, then walk a few feet away and sit on the floor, facing the puppy. In an excited voice, call the puppy’s name, which will incite your puppy to struggle out of the holders’ arms and into yours. After a few minutes, have the holder release him. When your puppy gets to you, feed him his treat, holding it against the center of your body. This teaches him to enjoy coming close to you, which makes attaching leashes and collars much easier. When your puppy masters the game, try longer distances, and soon you’ll have a puppy that will leap tall buildings in a single bound to come to you when he hears his name.
The best training collar is a Choke Collar.
The best training collar is the one that works for your dog. There are buckle collars, martingale collars, head halters, and body halters, just to name a few. Dogs should start training on a nylon or leather buckle collar, but if more leverage is needed, seek the advice of a professional dog trainer.
My dog is stupid. We offered him steak and told him to Sit and he wouldn’t.
Sigh. Dogs love steak. Unless they don’t. Maybe he loves cheese. Maybe he loves toys or roughhousing, not food. In order for you to motivate your dog, you have to know what makes him tick. Knowing what your dog loves – not what you think he should love – will take your training from frustrating to rewarding. For both of you.
You can't train a dog if they're older.
SO not true. I’ve personally re-trained many shelter dogs and older dogs and I can tell you that there is no reason you can’t teach a healthy “old dog” new tricks. It’s easier to teach an old dog to “come” if you start from scratch and use a new command. Try, “Here” instead. If you’re consistent and don’t skip steps, he will learn how to come!
Dog Training is so HARD!
Wrong! You can do this. If you know who your dog is, you’ll know how to motivate him, and how to advance through basic training into off-leash, no-treats-necessary (replacing with verbal praise and hugs!) obedience commands. Happy Training!