Integrating a Second Dog Into Your Home

If you’re anything like us, once you have one dog, you just keep wanting more! You couldn’t get enough of their puppy days before they grew up…It’s almost like baby fever for us dog lovers. And after all, wouldn’t your dog love a friend to play with when you’re out? Adding a second dog can mean double the cuteness… but it can quickly turn into double the trouble, if he’s not properly integrated into your home. Just as there are steps you need to take in order to “puppy proof” your home when getting a first dog, there are steps that need to be taken to make the adjustment smooth for both the new dog and your beloved first furry friend. If you do choose to get a second dog, take precautions, and avoid these common mistakes to ensure that both dogs will be healthy and happy in their environment. Common Mistakes When Getting a Second Dog:   1.Getting two dogs of the same sex and breed Who doesn’t love twins, right? Wrong. Although it may be adorable to walk around with two dogs that are almost identical, you’ll probably realize that there is quite a bit of tension between the two. Studies have shown that two dogs in the same household of the same sex and breed are much more likely to have inter-dog aggression. Since they have the same “hardwired” behaviors, it will take a lot of work in the training phase. When it comes to dogs, opposites certainly attract. Try getting a second dog whose behaviors will complement those of the first dog. 2. The two...

The Rules of Positive Reinforcement

When training your dog and teaching him basic commands, positive reinforcement can be a highly beneficial tactic to use. Dogs love a good treat, so it is an effective way for them to learn behaviors that you want them to know. However, if positive reinforcement is used incorrectly, it can actually confuse your dog and lead him to pick up some bad habits without you even realizing. We’ve laid out a few simple rules for you and your dog to follow, to avoid confusion and have successful training sessions. Timing is everything Dogs have a fairly short attention span, so it’s important to reward them on “dog-time.” Be sure that the positive reinforcement happens immediately following the good action. This ensures that they know exactly which action you are happy with, and they will be likely to do it again in the future. A delayed reward could confuse them into associating the wrong action with the positive reaction. For example, if you tell your dog to sit and you wait to reward him until he stands, he will think that by “sit” you actually want him to stand. It is essential that they are able to understand which actions you are praising. When to give treats When using positive reinforcement, it’s important to know how often you should be treating your pet. After all, the end goal is to get him to do the behavior on his own out of instinct. When your pet is first learning a new behavior, you should use “continuous reinforcement,” rewarding him every time he does the behavior. As your pet starts to understand...

What is Breed Handling?

Breed handling is a type of show dog style that involves showing your dog in front of a panel of judges while working your way around a ring. Other competitors whose dogs fall under the same class as your own will also be working their way around the ring. The judges will then choose which dogs they believe have exhibited the perfect example of what the breed is all about; this includes appearance, proper stance and gait, expression and other traits. Breed Handling Training at Canine College At Canine College, you and your dog will work on how to look and act presentable while in the show ring. We’ll work with you in order to develop every skill needed to give your dog an advantage over the competition. Our facility is spacious which allows for a large practice ring and has the capability of housing a full training group. Having other handlers and dogs at the breed handling training session is a great way to gauge how well you and your dog will perform on competition day. Skills Acquired at Breed Handling Class Our professional dog show training staff will help your dog develop the following skills: Free stacking which includes walking your dog into a desired position using a leash and bait Baiting using a treat in order for your dog to perform appropriately Standing your dog either on the floor or a judges examination table Hand stacking which involves using your hands to properly place your dog’s feet Presenting your dog to the judge’s panel after showing around the ring Executing desired gaits that a judge calls...

Tips for Handling Your Dog During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year where you can catch up with family and friends and show off your baking skills. For your dog however, Thanksgiving can be a bit overwhelming — especially if it’s their first one. At Canine College, our dog training professionals have often been asked what the best approach would be to making sure dogs are safe and happy during the holiday. We’ve included a few crucial tips for you and your family members that won’t detract from meal prep and socializing. How To Handle Your Dog During Thanksgiving Review Commands. If you’ve been training your dog with us at Canine College, then now is the time to practice some of those commands you and your pup have learned. Review sit, stay, heel and other basic commands that will prevent your dog from charging at guests as they enter the door or from bolting out of your home as soon as they get the opportunity. Establish a Safe Zone. Most dogs have a place in the house they go to if they are feeling threatened or scared. Be sure that they have access to this space once your guests start arriving. Dogs who aren’t familiar with a particular person may feel threatened, even if your dog is friendly and lovable. Also don’t forget to discuss with your guests about whether or not they will also be bringing their furry friends with them — as this could end up being an issue. Even the nicest dogs may get territorial. Always have a place where you can separate your dog from other guests’ pets. Reduce Begging. This may be...

5 Signs Your Dog Needs Obedience Training

As pet owners, we often believe our pets are perfect just the way they are. Sometimes we may even believe that we can train our dogs ourselves; we’ve made the commitment to create a wonderful house pet on our own. However, not all situations end up as planned when it comes to owning a new puppy. Luckily at Canine College, we’ve got a quick list for you to review that can help you determine whether or not Elementary dog training at our Holbrook facility is right for your dog. Aggression. If your dog is showing aggression to other dogs, pets or humans, then it’s time to reassess your training methods and seek help from a professional trainer. Aggressive behavior includes snarling, biting, charging and barking. The chances are your dog is nervous, confused or scared and showing aggression as a coping mechanism. Jumping. “Down!” just sometimes won’t cut it. If your dog is a hyperactive breed that gets excited whenever a leaf falls or the doorbell rings, then more in-depth training is needed. At Canine College, we use positive reinforcement in order to instill better behavior. Barking. Whether your dog is barking in an aggressive manner, a friendly manner or a territorial manner, excessive barking should not be tolerated. When living in the greater Boston area, it can be quite easy to create unhappy neighbors with a dog that barks constantly. Leash Pulling. It’s important to bring your dog out for daily walks in order for them to release some energy (among other things) and get familiar with their surrounding environment. At our Holbrook dog training facility we specialize in both on and...

How Early Can My Puppy Learn Commands?

From the moment they open their eyes and start to walk, puppies are constantly learning from both humans and other dogs. If you purchased your new puppy from a breeder, then chances are that breeder has already begun to socialize the puppy and maybe even taught it basic commands. If you’ve adopted a puppy from a shelter, then you may want to assume that it has no prior training (a test of issuing simple commands will determine if this is true). Start with Simple Commands For those looking to start training their puppy early, our dog training professionals recommend starting as early as 7 to 8 weeks old. Be sure to start off with basic commands such as “sit” “stay” and “down” so as not to confuse or overwhelm your puppy. It’s important to keep in mind that they have short attention spans because they are continuing to process and learn about their new environment — so have some patience! Preferred Training Methods When it comes to reinforcement, Canine College believes in positive reinforcement. This type of psychological training involves rewarding your dog for good behavior and withholding rewards for poor or wrong behavior. Some examples of positive reinforcement include verbal praise (“Good dog!”), physical praise (belly rubs), or dishing out a treat or two in instances of exceptionally good behavior (keep the treats to a minimum!). If you’re in need of some professional pointers or simply need some help training your puppy, contact Canine College and enroll in our Puppy Kindergarten or Elementary I training...
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